Friday, March 23, 2012

Facts About The Akita

The Akita is a large spitz breed of dog originating from the mountainous northern regions of Japan. There are now two separate strains: American, a/k/a "Akita" or "American Akita"; and Japanese, aka "Akita Inu" or "Japanese Akita". The American strain comes in all dog colors; however, the Japanese strain comes in selected colors only, with all other colors considered untypical of the breed. The Akita has a short double coat, similar to that of many other northern Spitz breed.

The Akita today is a unique combination of dignity, courage, alertness, and devotion to its family. It is extraordinarily affectionate and loyal with family and friends, territorial about its property, and can be reserved with strangers. It is feline in its actions; it is not unusual for an Akita to clean its face after eating, to preen its kennel mate, and to be fastidious in the house. They are however known to be intolerant of other dogs of the same gender, as stated in the AKC breed standard.

Facts About Akitas:

Recent DNA testing proves that the Akita bloodline is one of the most primitive bloodlines among all the canine species.

The very first Akita to reach the United States was given by the Japanese government to writer, scholar and activist Helen Keller in 1937. The Akita was named Kamikaze - meaning divine wind.

Coat and colors of Akitas: The double coat is outer coat is normally coarse and straight  and the undercoat is soft and dense and comes in a range of colors including white, brindle and pinto.

Helen Keller is credited with having introduced Akitas to America.

The Akita is generally a healthy breed, although they can be prone to hip dysplasia and eye trouble.

Akitas can live for 10-14 years with good care and proper nutrition.

90% of all Akitas in Akita Rescue are affected with hypothyrodism which is easily treated by inexpensive twice-daily replacement thyroid hormone therapy.

The most famous Akita dog in all of Japan was named Hachik. When Hachik's owner died, the dog returned to the train station time and again to wait for its master.

During ancient times, mothers in Japan relied heavily on their pet Akitas to take care of their very young children.

Strange Facts

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400.

A duck's quack doesn't echo and no one knows why.

A Native American tribe in South Dakota collects bottle caps left by campers, using them as currency. Several banks in the area now recognize the caps as legal tender.

The MGM Grand Hotel of Las Vegas washes 15,000 pillowcases per day!

Polar bears are left-handed.

No word in the English language rhymes with "MONTH".

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

80% of your brain is made up of water.

Over 1,000 birds die every year from smashing into windows.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Facts About The Statue of Liberty

The statue was built from copper sheets mounted onto a steel framework.

Work on the statue began in France in 1875 and was completed in 1884. The statue had to be dismantled before being shipped to New York in 1885.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Each of the 1350 iron bars were replaced by stainless-steel bars because the iron bars were all severely corroded.

Statue of Liberty stamps that have been minted were: 15 cent stamp issued on November 11, 1922; 3 cent stamp issued on June 24, 1954; 8 cent stamp issued on April 9, 1954; and 11 cent stamp issued on June 11, 1961.

Liberty Island was known as Bedloe's Island till 1956.

Liberty island was closed to the public from September 11, 2001 and reopened in December the same year.

There are seven rays on Liberty's crown, symbolizing the seven seas and seven continents. Miss Liberty holds a tablet in her left hand that reads "July 4, 1776" (in Roman numerals).

There are 354 steps inside the statue and its pedestal and 25 viewing windows in the crown.

The Statue of Liberty National Monument has stood proudly in New York Harbor for almost 120 years (her official 120th birthday will be on October 28, 2006)

Recommended Reading:

The Story of the Statue of Liberty

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fun Facts About The Wizard Of Oz

The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed primarily by Victor Fleming. Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf received credit for the screenplay, but there were uncredited contributions by others. The lyrics for the songs were written by E.Y. Harburg, the music by Harold Arlen. Incidental music, based largely on the songs, was by Herbert Stothart, with borrowings from classical composers.

Fun Facts:

As a child, author L. Frank Baum had a recurring dream where he was being chased by a scarecrow.

Judy Garland's ruby slippers are among the most valuable movie memorabilia. Five pairs are known to exist. One pair sold for $666,000 at an auction in 2000.

When the movie script was being adapted from the book, the role of the Wizard was written with W.C. Fields in mind for the part. 

The film rights to L. Frank Baum's book were purchased by MGM for $75,000, a very large sum at the time.

The production costs came in at $2,777,000 – a vast sum for the time. On initial release, the film only earned $3m.

Bert Lahr's costume weighed 90 pounds.

The multi-colored horses in Emerald City were colored with Jell-O crystals and those scenes had to be filmed quickly before the horses licked it off.

In the original novel, the gift given to the Tin Man is not a heart clock but a stuffed satin heart put into the Woodsman's chest and then patched over with tin.

Baum was obsessed with the theater. His father actually built him one in 1880, but it burned down—ironically enough during a production of Baum’s play Matches.

Shirley Temple was considered to play Dorothy because she was close to the actual age of Dorothy and popular at the time. Her vocal capabilities were thought inadequate for the role.

Most of the Munchkins' voices were dubbed by professional singers because most of them could not speak English or sing well. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Facts About Bob Dylan

Today, Dylan’s primary residence is in Malibu, CA, but he owns several properties around the world.

Bob received a D-plus in a music-appreciation class at the University of Minnesota. 

Bob Dylan was born in Duluth, Minnesota on May 24, 1941.

Bob's real name is Robert Zimmerman. He began introducing himself as “Bob Dylan” during his Dinkytown days.

Between the ages of 10 and 18 Dylan ran away from home seven times.

Borrowed lines from a Japanese book "Confessions of a Yakuza" for lyrics in the songs of his album "Love and Theft" - the author was apparently flattered by this.

He turned down an offer to headline the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969 (Jimi Hendrix ultimately headlined), even though he had been living on a farm in Woodstock for many years at that point.

His favorite movie is Shoot the Piano Player (1960) by Fran├žois Truffaut.

He was voted the seventh greatest singer of the rock era in a Rolling Stone magazine poll in 2008.

The town of Hibbing, Minnesota where he went to high school still acknowledges him. On Howard Street, there is a restaurant called Zimmy's taken after his real last name (Zimmerman).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Facts About World War II

  • World War II (September 1, 1939-September 2, 1945) was the largest, most destructive, and most widespread war in history.
  • As a result of World War II more than 50 million people died and hundreds of millions were wounded, physically and psychologically. 
  • Most of the German soldiers who died in World War Two died on the Eastern front.
  • The top American ace of all time was Richard Ira Bong. He shot down 40 Japanese planes in the Pacific.
  • Germany lost 40-45% of their aircraft during World War 2 to accidents.
  • For each man killed on battle, four others were wounded.
  • The National Socialist Party was originally called the ‘Nasos’ and not the Nazis.
  • From 1939 till the end of the war, the Allies dropped 3.4 million tons of bomb, mostly in industrial German cities.
  • During World War II the government appointed a Minister of Food. His job was to sell the benefits of rationing to the public and educate people into better eating habits.
Recommended Reading:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2010: From Laura Hillenbrand, the bestselling author of Seabiscuit, comes Unbroken, the inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. In evocative, immediate descriptions, Hillenbrand unfurls the story of Louie Zamperini--a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic runner-turned-Army hero. During a routine search mission over the Pacific, Louie’s plane crashed into the ocean, and what happened to him over the next three years of his life is a story that will keep you glued to the pages, eagerly awaiting the next turn in the story and fearing it at the same time. You’ll cheer for the man who somehow maintained his selfhood and humanity despite the monumental degradations he suffered, and you’ll want to share this book with everyone you know. --Juliet Disparte

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fun Facts About Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy, Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln helped begin the Republican Party.

Abraham Lincoln was born to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, on February 12, 1809. They were both uneducated farmers.

Lincoln was 6’4”, making him our country’s tallest president.  

Lincoln was the first president to be photographed at his inauguration. Standing close to Lincoln in the photo is his future assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

Lincoln's ancestry is mapped down to Samuel Lincoln. Samuel had come to Massachusetts in the 17th century, from England.

He had no middle name.

He created a national banking system with the National Banking Act in 1863, resulting in a standardized currency.

Lincoln was fond of pets, and owned horses, cats, dogs and a turkey.

He was the first president to have a beard.

 Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address made at the end of the Civil War is one of the most oft repeated speeches throughout history.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Facts About Tornadoes

The chances that a tornado is a F5, the highest classification for a tornado on the F-scale, is less than 0.1%.

A Tornado can occur at any time, but most often between 3pm and 9pm.

Funnel clouds usually last less than 10 minutes before dissipating with many only lasting several seconds. On rare occasions, cyclones can last for over an hour as many were reported to have done in the early 1900's.

Rotating thunderstorms called mesocyclones (or supercells) are the best predictors of tornado activity. Mesocyclones are well defined thunderstorms on radar that may include hail, severe winds, lightning and flash floods.

Texas gets hit with the most tornados every year. They average about  125 tornadoes every year. Oklahoma comes in next with about 57 tornadoes per year, with Kansas and Florida following close behind with 55 each. Florida of course is much smaller, and therefore has more twisters per square mile than anywhere else.

In terms of absolute tornado counts, the United States leads the list, with an average of over 1,000 tornadoes recorded each year. A distant second is Canada, with around 100 per year. 

The deadliest tornado in the United States touched down on March, 18, 1925, killing 695 people and injuring 2,027 in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

It is a myth that a tornado cannot pass over features like valleys, mountains, lakes and rivers. When it passes over a lake or river, a tornado becomes a waterspout.

According to a study by A.M. Best, tornadoes are responsible for 57 percent of all catastrophic losses since 1953.

Tornado strength is measured by the enhanced Fujita scale, from 0 to 5, with an F5 tornado packing 300-mph winds. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cat Facts

  • The biggest breed of domesticated cats are called a Maine Coon cat and weighs up to 11 kg.
  • Cats are some of the smartest animals and can interpret a human's mood and feelings.
  • The average cat sleeps between 12-14 hours a day.
  • Cats have 220° field of view where humans only have 180°.
  • Cats' sense of smell is 14 times stronger than that of humans.
  • A litter of kittens is called a kindle, and a group of cats is called a clowder.
  • A cat lover is called an ailurophile.
  • The only "natural" breed of domestic cat in America is the Main Coon.
  • A cat's IQ is only surpassed by that of monkeys and chimps in the world of animals.
  • Cats are the only animals that purr. They can purr at around 26 cycles per second, which is the same frequency as an idling diesel engine.