Serving Up the Facts

Friday, September 13, 2013

Welcome to another edition of Factoid Friday! I hope you all are ready to learn something. I love sharing what I've found interesting in books, however, I'm always frightened that what I share might be common knowledge and I'm just really stupid. But that's the risk I take!

Another trivia book I read recently is called "Why Do Men Leave the Seat Up? - 150 Questions We Aren't Afraid to Answer." It's an entire series called FYI which is in the similar vein of The Bathroom Reader Series, except this is in a question and answer format. (FYI, men leave the seat up because of an evolutionary need to conserve energy called bipedalism. I think I shall use "bipedalism" as my excuse for all my lazy whims!)

FYI Institute, F.Y.I. Institute, Why Do Men Leave the Seat Up?, Bathroom Reader type book, random fact book, random trivia book, random knowledge book, question and answer book, 150 Questions We Aren't Afraid to Answer

Things I Learned From This Book

That Baby Mozart line of merchandise? Total rip off and unfounded claims. It's based on a 1993 study where participants had slightly higher spatial reasoning for about 10-15 minutes after listening. The test subjects were all adults. Books later published implied that Mozart significantly made you smarter and it sparked a trend of Baby Mozart merchandise and college students studying to Mozart's sonatas. The truth it turns out? Listening to music, any kind of music, puts you in a better mood, allows you to think abstractly, figure out complex problems and may decrease seizures. So put on some tunes!

It's a myth that mice like cheese. While they won't say no to it (most mice will eat whatever they can get their little paws on) they much prefer peanut butter, potatos and raisins (especially if they are covered in chocolate.) Mice prefer items higher in carbohydrates and lower in fat. The myth of mice loving cheese came about long ago when they were stowaways on ships and would hide out in the holes of Swiss cheese.

Cute little mouse in a hole of Swiss cheese, squee, baby mouse

Mosquitos have their food preferences too! Their favs? Type O blood and pregnant women.

Some facts about one of my greatest fears - moths (I'm not literally afraid of them, but imagine how horrible an infestation would be? GAH!) Most moths would prefer to eat plants rather than clothes (phew!) The bollworm is known for wreaking havoc on ornamental trees, shrubs as well as major farm areas of cotton, tomatos and beans. The moths that do end up setting up shop in your closet likely will be from the Tineidae family. They hate the light, and prefer dark closets and attics (so I shall be keeping my closet door open from now on.) Their larvae are the ones that do the munching. If your entire closet is polyester cheapie stuff, you're in luck. They only eat wool, fur, silk, felt, feathers and hair. However, if something is heavily soiled, they'll eat it still, even if it is garbage material.

Cool things invented by women? Life rafts (Maria Beasley), circular saws (Tabitha Babbitt), medical syringes (Letitia Geer), telescopes (Sarah Mather), and wind shield wipers (Mary Anderson). Also, remember Hedy Lamarr! The wireless technology she developed during WWII is still being used for cell phones today!

Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood actress, inventor, black and white photo, profile shot

The Romans used to sell urine to bleach clothes and to brush their teeth with!

Exposure times for the first photographs were a few minutes. No wonder they didn't smile! I couldn't even sit still that long! I guess it's better than sitting that long to be painted.
Old family portraits, black and white photos, people not smiling, Victorian couples, man with mustache

On This Day in History

In 1501, Michaelangelo begins work on his statue of David. Upon completion, workers in Florence, Italy had to tear down archways and widen streets to allow for it's transport.
The Seven Year Itch was mid production in 1954. The iconic image of Marilyn over the subway grate took 40 takes before they got the perfect shot!

Marilyn Monroe, white dress, subway grate, blowing up skirt, Seven Year Itch, movie still, iconic image, iconic photo, most famous photo of Marilyn Monroe
Roald Dahl, author of such famous works as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach is born in 1916 in Wales.
Legendary rapper Tupac dies in 1996.
The first American person to die in an automobile accident does so on September 13th, 1899 (his name was Henry Bliss.) Earlier deaths had occurred in Europe however. A woman named Mary Ward was killed by a steam powered car in 1869 in Ireland.
Mary, the Asian elephant was executed in 1916 after killing her elephant trainer. Her story is used as a cautionary story against how harmful circuses can be and how many abused animals will turn on their trainers.
On a happier note, Fiona Apple turns 36 today! I like this fact especially since I turn on her Extraordinary Machine CD everytime I clean. I especially like Better Version of Me. It reminds me to always do better.

Happy Friday the 13th! Stay away from crazy, machete wielding maniacs and I hope you all have a splendid weekend!

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