Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Weird Facts: Man Buys A New Truck With Spare Change He Saved For 13 Years

weird facts
(AP) FRANKFORT, Ind. - Paul Brant considers himself a penny pincher, but his savings in quarters and dollar coins really paid off.

Brant, 70, used more than $25,000 in change to help buy a new Dodge Ram half-ton pickup truck Friday _ 13 years after buying another truck with spare change.

"(The old truck) didn’t have four-wheel drive, and living in the country, I figured I better get a new one to help get me through the snow," he said.

Brant said he was raised to be thrifty. His father always paid in cash and saved up loose change to take vacations.

Brant has been storing his change for years, and estimated he had about $26,000 in coins for Friday’s purchase. In 1994, he bought a Dodge pickup and a Dodge Neon using about $36,000 in quarters.

"As long as you don’t put your hands back in the till, it really adds up," he said.

Brant stored his change in coffee cans, water jugs and piggy banks over the years, and was escorted by sheriff’s deputies as he brought the rolled coins to the dealership.

A Mike Raisor Chrysler Dodge and Jeep employee who sold Brant the truck said the dealership called in an armored car to count and handle the coins.

"No bank wants to take them," Keith Gephart said.

[Via - Kob.Com]

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Weird Facts: Woman Spends 3 Days In Walmart

weird facts

A Wal-Mart shopper overstayed her welcome at the 24-hour store in Lilburn. Gwinnett County police escorted the shopper home after she stayed there for three days eating and sleeping inside the store.

Between the traffic, the congestion and the crowds -- spending more than 5 minutes at a Wal-Mart at this point in the game, makes up most Christmas shoppers' nightmares."It's my first time here but it's pretty crowded. There's a lot of people in there," said one shopper.At the 24-hour Wal-Mart in Lilburn, police said a 70-year-old woman spent three days inside the store sleeping, shopping and eating at the on-site Blimpie."Three days in any store is a little crazy, but in a Wal-Mart...yeah," said a shopper.

Despite what most people think about such and experience, it is likely that because of all the shoppers, the woman was able to blend in with the carts, crowds and chaos and go unnoticed for 72 hours a week before Christmas. When asked by Wal-Mart employees why she was there for so long she simply said, 'I'm shopping.'The woman was escorted home by police after she paid for her merchandise.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Weird Facts: Winner, Loser And Their Amazing Story

weird facts
In 1958, a New York man named Robert Lane decided to call his baby son Winner. The Lanes, who lived in a housing project in Harlem, already had several children, each with a fairly typical name. But this boy – well, Robert Lane apparently had a special feeling about this one. Winner Lane: how could he fail with a name like that?

Three years later, the Lanes had another baby boy, their seventh and last child. For reasons that no one can quite pin today, Robert decided to name this boy Loser. It doesn’t appear that Robert was unhappy about the new baby; he just seemed to get a kick out of the name’s bookend effect. First a Winner, now a Loser. But if Winner Lane could hardly be expected to fail, how could Looser Lane possibly succeed?

Loser Lane did in fact succeed. He went to prep school on a scholarship, graduated from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, and joined NYPD (it was his mother’s longtime wish). Although he never hid his name, people were uncomfortable using it. “So I have a bunch of names,” he says today, “from Jimmy to James to whatever they want to call you. But they rarely call you Loser.” Once in a while, he said, “they throw a French twist on it: ‘Losier.’” To his cop friends he is known as Lou.

And what of his brother with the can’t-miss name? The most noteworthy achievement of Winner Lane, how in his mid forties, is the length of his criminal record: almost three dozen arrests for burglary, domestic violence, trespassing, resisting arrest, and other mayhem.

These days Loser and Winner barely speak. The father who named them is no longer alive. Clearly, he had the right idea – that naming is destiny – but he must have gotten the boys mixed up.

[Via - BadCyclopedia]

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Weird Facts: It Ain't No Texas - Denver Is The 'Drunkest City' In US

weird facts
Colorado and Texas residents may like their drink a little too much.

That's at least according to a study conducted by Men's Health magazine to determine the nation's most dangerously drunk cities.

Topping the list as the nation's "Drunkest City," according to the study, was Denver. Fellow Colorado communities Colorado Springs and Aurora rated third and 19th respectively. Denver was rated the most dangerously drunk city in 2006 as well.

Meanwhile, Texas joined Colorado as the only state with more than one city falling in the "top" 10 on the list, with San Antonio ranking sixth, Austin coming in seventh and Lubbock in the ninth spot.

Other communities making the top 10 list included second-ranked Anchorage, Alaska, fourth-ranked Omaha, Neb., fifth-ranked Fargo, N.D., eighth-ranked Fresno, Calif., and 10th-ranked Milwaukee, Wis.

The magazine says it looked at factors such as annual death rates due to alcoholic liver disease, drunk-driving arrests and the percentage of fatal accidents involving intoxicated motorists. Also factored in is the report card from Mothers Against Drunk Driving on state efforts to cut down on excessive drinking.

On the other end of the scale, Durham, N.C., was named the least dangerously drunk city, earning an A-plus from MADD.

Because self-destructive drivers tend to buy alcohol impulsively and at late hours, the magazine recommended readers visit the Alcohol Policy Information System's Web site to review which states put strict limits on where and when alcohol can be sold.

[Via - The Weird World Of Economics]

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Weird Facts: $90 Game Sells For Over $9000 On EBay

weird facts
MONTREAL (AFP) - After catching his 15-year-old smoking pot, a father sold the hard-to-get “Guitar Hero III” video game he bought his son for 90 dollars for Christmas at an online auction, fetching 9,000 dollars.

The sale took place after the father spent two weeks searching for the video game for the Nintendo Wii gameboard.

“So I was so relieved in that I had finally got the Holy Grail of Christmas presents pretty much just in the nick of time. I couldn’t wait to spread the jubilance to my son,” the father wrote on the eBay website.

“Then, yesterday, I came home from work early and what do I find? My innocent little boy smoking pot in the back yard with two of his delinquent friends.”

The man, a school teacher, who kept his identity private, said he sold the coveted video game to punish his son and discourage him from smoking dope.

The sale was a boon for the family’s bank account, since the game the father purchased for 90 dollars (US) was finally sold to an Australian who plunked down 9,100 dollars for it.

The naughty son, however, will not go without a present on Christmas.

“I am still considering getting him a game for his Nintendo. Maybe something like Barbie as the Island Princess or Dancing with the Stars … I know he will just love them,” the father said, tongue-in-cheek.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

weird facts
weird facts


Weird Facts: $83,000 Phone Bill

weird facts
TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian oil-field worker, stunned to get a C$85,000 ($83,700) cell phone bill, has had the charges reduced to C$3,400, but is still fighting them.

Piotr Staniaszek, a 22-year-old oil and gas well tester in rural northwest Alberta, became a figure of international media attention this week when his father went to the press to complain about the size of his son's bill.

Staniaszek's father, also named Piotr Staniaszek, said his son thought he could use his new phone as a modem for his computer as part of his C$10 unlimited browser plan from Bell Mobility, a division of Bell Canada.

He downloaded movies and other high-resolution files unaware of the charges they would incur.

"He's working in the field sometimes, alone, in the shack. What to do? Drink vodka or go on the Internet?" Staniaszek senior told Reuters on Thursday from Calgary, Alberta.

"Now it's $85,000 and nobody told him," he said.

According to his invoice, the son rang up C$60,000 in charges in November, and they have since climbed to C$85,000.

Staniaszek senior said Bell has agreed to reduce the charges to C$3,400 for "goodwill".

"It's still high...Who can afford it?" he said, adding his son can barely make payments on a new truck he bought for work, and will continue to fight the charges.

A Bell spokesman said the plan is not intended for downloading files to a computer, and that's clear in his contract.

Staniaszek said his son did not want to talk to the press after the interest his story has received and that he is afraid to use his cell phone and incur more long-distance charges.

[Via - The Weird World Of Economics]

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Weird Facts: Human Calculator's New Record

weird facts
World's fastest human calculator today broke his own record for working out a 200-digit number using nothing but brain power to produce the answer in just over 70 seconds.

Alexis Lemaire, a 27-year-old Frenchman, correctly calculated the 13th root of a random 200-digit number from a possible 393 trillion answers.

The so-called 'mathlete' produced the answer of 2,407,899,893,032,210 in 70.2 seconds, beating his previous record of 72.4 seconds, at London's Science Museum.

A computer was used to produce a random 200-digit number before he sat down to calculate the answer in his head.

The museum's curator of mathematics, Jane Wess, said: "He sat down and it was all very quiet - and all of a sudden he amazingly just cracked it.

"I believe that it is the highest sum calculated mentally.

"He seems to have a large memory and he's made this his life's ambition. It's quite remarkable to see it happen. A very small number of people have this extraordinary ability; nowadays there is only a handful."

Mr Lemaire, who attends the University of Reims in northern France, began demonstrating his prowess by finding the 13th root of a random 100-digit number but gave up trying to improve his performance when he calculated an answer in under four seconds in 2004.

Like an athlete, he trains his brain daily for the far harder task of finding the 13th root of 200-digit numbers.

Via - Human Calculator Sets New Record

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weird Facts: 100 million pennies displayed in NYC


weird facts
NEW YORK -- One hundred million pennies for your thoughts on the latest display in Rockefeller Center. New York first lady Silda Wall Spitzer joined hundreds of public school children on Monday to unveil a mass of $1 million in pennies collected for charity. The display, called the Penny Harvest Field, includes an estimated 100 million pennies - plus a few nickels, dimes and quarters that slipped in by mistake.

The exhibit, 30 feet by 165 feet, as long as a city block, is the culmination of the nonprofit organization Common Cents' 17th annual Penny Harvest, a national educational program designed to teach children about their value as contributors to society. Hundreds of thousands of city students from more than 800 schools spent the weeks between Oct. 22 and Thanksgiving going door to door and collecting the pennies, which will be donated to organizations of their choice for causes such as protecting the environment and helping the elderly.

The exhibit was designed by architect James Polshek and will be on display in Rockefeller Center, near the famous Christmas tree, through the end of the year.

[Via - SeattlePI.Com]

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Weird Facts: How To Get Paid For Your Opinion - ePoll.com

weird facts
The E-Poll Market Research Panel was founded in 1997, and has a primary focus on gathering research on consumer attitudes and behavior towards entertainment and media. Members are invited to take mostly entertainment and media related surveys, and membership to the panel is free.

Members that complete these online surveys are rewarded with points that can be redeemed for gift certificates from online retailers like Amazon.com.

I know that I promised an update here and now I can add one, I redeemed my points 3 weeks ago for a Ben and Jerry's certificate for a free pint of ice cream and I have now gotten it in the mail. So it took me three weeks to get that from them and I don't consider that to be too bad of a wait. The redemption process was very simple, they verified I did own the account by asking my password and then I selected how many points I wanted to redeem and then selected my price and verified my address. So overall that was a simple process. They say that it could take up to 6 weeks for you to get your reward, which I'm sure they add in case it does take longer.

But overall I am pleased with the results.


Friday, December 7, 2007

Weird Facts: Chinese Company Destroys $130 Million Plane With Caustic Chemicals

BEIJING weird facts (Reuters) - A Chinese state-run company has been ordered to pay a record $65 million in compensation, plus interest, for destroying a Malaysia Airlines plane with falsely declared cargo of caustic chemicals.

The Airbus A330 was ruined when 80 canisters belonging to the Dalian branch of the China National Chemical Construction Corp. leaked an extremely corrosive chemical, oxalyl chloride, in the cargo hold in March 2000.

The crew of the passenger flight from Beijing detected an acrid odor before landing in Kuala Lumpur en route to India and five ground handlers were taken ill when unloading the canisters to be sold to an Indian company.

The passengers disembarked without incident, but the $130 million aircraft was so badly damaged that the manufacturer concluded that it could not be repaired.

The Beijing Higher People's Court ruled Wednesday that the Dalian company should bear the main blame by declaring the canisters contained a safe chemical in the form of powder, the Beijing Times said Thursday.

The company had to pay five foreign insurers for Malaysia Airlines $65 million plus interest in compensation, ending a five-year lawsuit, the newspaper said.

The compensation ordered by the Beijing court was the highest ever for a civil lawsuit in the Chinese capital, the Beijing Times said.

Both sides had yet to decide whether or not to appeal the ruling, the newspaper said.

[Via - Reuters]

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Weird Facts: Santa Claus As Business

weird facts
Mail By Santa is not a unique business idea, but it just proves a point that you don't have to be a genius to make money online.

Children look for reasons to believe. This is what makes these letters from Santa Claus so magical. These letters remove any doubt if there really is a Santa Claus.

The MailBySanta Letters are both personalized and addressed to a child. Imagine the thrill as a child receives a letter from Santa Clause addressed to them.

Each letter is written to a child such as Dear Michael, mentions the achievements along with the names of their best friend, teachers and other information that comes from parents.

The letters are fairly inexpensive, only $9.99 and the shipping is free, so clearly the profit margin has to be fairly big. The only downside is that Christmans is only once a year.

And by the way, if you are into history of Santa Claus and Christmas, Here are some Christmas facts that will arouse your interest


Monday, December 3, 2007

Weird Facts: Bank Tells Man He Owes $211 Trillion

COBB COUNTY, weird facts Ga. -- It’s one thing to bounce a check and it’s another to be so far in the red Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Donald Trump combined couldn’t come close to bailing you out.

A Cobb County man got a letter from his bank with that very shocking news.“And I open up the letter and I look at it and I’m like, ‘No, you’ve got to be kidding me,’ said Joe Martins.Martins said he recently closed an account at Wachovia Bank and made good on an outstanding check.

He just got a letter about the closure and his negative balance -- $211,010,028,257,303.00. That’s $211 trillion.The letter includes the clarification, “no cents.”“I didn’t know what to think. Obviously $211 trillion is a little above what I put in my bank account,” said Martins.$211 trillion is more than 70 times the entire federal budget.Still, the letter said Wachovia was reporting him to an agency that rates risky bank customers.

“I don’t own $211 trillion but because it is automated and reported to check systems, I assume it will be reported to my credit at some point,” said Martins.He said Wachovia had made mistakes on his accounts before so he called Channel 2 first. Wachovia blamed the letter on a word processing error and the office of the president is sending a letter of apology.

“They tell me it’s going to be resolved but I’m not sure that it will,” said Martins. “I closed my account today.”Since it is a closed account it is now safe to say the dollar figure in the letter matched the account number.Martins said Wachovia told him late Friday afternoon they never did report him for his negative balance.

Wachovia vice president David Oliver told Channel 2, “We can certainly understand how our recent correspondence with Mr. Martins about his account would be cause for great concern. I can confirm that there will be no adverse effect on Mr. Martins’ credit report related to the letter he received. Also, I can confirm that this was an isolated error specifically related to his account.”

[Via - WSBTV]

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Weird Facts: Man Returns Mistaken $2M Check

weird facts
SALT LAKE CITY — There are probably a million ways Jerry Mika could spend $2 million dollars. Trouble is, he couldn't cash the check. Expecting a $15 refund from the Utah Department of Commerce, the Draper man opened his mail recently to find a $2,245,342 check.

"I kept trying to find a way to make it legitimate so I could cash it," he said. "I did think about all the things I could do with the money ... who wouldn't?"

Mika returned the check - a mistake that occurred when an employee entered a serial number, not an amount - to state finance offices Wednesday.

"Clearly we have an honest, honest citizen. I wish I could do something more than say thanks," commerce department director Francine Giani said.

Giani said the state will implement additional internal controls to catch such mistakes in the future. A new computer system, which only requires entering the amount of a check once, might have contributed to the problem, she said.

Mika, who runs the nonprofit Providence Foundation to help Nepalese sherpas, said he's had great fun showing off the state's mistake.

"Everybody looked at it, started giggling and asked why I wasn't already in Switzerland," he said.

He admits to being tempted to deposit the money and draw a bit interest before the state asked for its return.

"That money would have gone a long way," he said.

But ultimately honestly and the idea of spending time at the Utah state prison made Mika too nervous to do anything.

Because the check was state-issued, cashing it would probably have been easy, despite the large amount, Giani said.

"It was a valid check," said Rick Beckstead, the state accounting operation manager whose signature is stamped on the check. "But it would have been caught when we did reconciliation and we would have been after him for the refund."

[Via - WRAL]

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Weird Facts: How To Make A Chair Out Of An Old Bicycle

http://www.bikefurniture.com/weird facts

Andy Gregg may not have reinvented the wheel, but he has reinterpreted it. Gregg, 40, owns Bike Furniture Designs, which transforms recycled bicycle parts into sleek, eco-friendly furniture. Combining skills developed in art school -- he is fascinated by early-20th-century furniture design -- with mechanical chops he began polishing at age 10, Gregg sells his pieces on bikefurniture.com and through a smattering of retailers.

Creations such as the Milano lounge chair (pictured), $400, blend steel hardware and rubber upholstery -- made from inner tubes -- with swooping, organic curves. Gregg has been making the furniture since 1991, but it wasn't until 2004 that revenue picked up enough to allow him to quit his carpentry job and focus on his business, based in Marquette, Mich. (Last year, he says, revenue hit the "low five figures.") While the growing demand has spurred him to explore new designs and materials, he maintains that his favorite piece is his first and simplest barstool. "It's so pure," he says. "Just made from a wheel."

[Via - Incredible Furniture Made From Used Bikes]

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Weird Facts: Butterfly Naming Rights Go For 40K

weird facts
A butterfly species discovered in a Florida museum has a new name after an anonymous bidder paid $40,800 for naming rights in order to honor a woman who died in 1972.

The butterfly's common name will be the Minerva owl butterfly. It's being named after the late Margery Minerva Blythe Kitzmiller of Malvern, Ohio.

While the bidder's name was not disclosed, the payment was made on behalf of Kitzmiller's grandchildren.

The butterfly's scientific name will be Opsiphanes blythekitzmillerae.

University of Florida researchers George Austin and Andrew Warren discovered the new species while looking through a butterfly collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville earlier this year. They found it was misidentified as an example of another species.

The 4-inch butterfly is brown, white and black and lives in Sonora, a Mexican state bordering Arizona. Proceeds from the auction will go toward further research of Mexican butterflies.

Beverly Sensbach, director of development for the museum, said Kitzmiller's grandchildren wanted to honor her through the name of a beautiful butterfly because she was "an extremely creative person who wrote poetry, played piano and sang."

The rights were sold via an online auction. Warren had said before the auction closed that the researchers were hoping to raise at least $50,000, which would fund two years of work in Mexico.

[Via - Sun Sentinel]

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Who Is Shawn Casey?


It's just been brought to my attention that Shawn Casey is now giving away hia five hundred dollar e-mail marketing software for free. I grabbed my copy and while I don't feel that it's worth $500, you'd be stupid not to get it for free. This "business in a box" concept if freaking genious. So, who's Shawn Casey?

Shawn—a successful self-made millionaire and Group Leader at SFI—takes readers step-by-step through the process of succeeding on the Internet with an online home-business.

Shawn Casey is real big on teaching about the power of Joint Ventures. I know Joint Ventures are a valuable part of any business persons life, but I also know, just about every marketing guru in the world is teaching them. So I think the topic of Joint Venture is getting over-done to some degree.

When I read what Shawn Casey had to say on the subject of Joint Ventues, the following appeared to be his stance on the topic.

The way I understood him, he says if you do have a product, joint ventures almost eliminate the risk of advertising. You pay your partner nothing until AFTER he's made sales for you. And you only pay in direct proportion to the number of sales he generates!

And then of course, he plugs his own company, name and website by saying "You can even joint venture with ME! (Get all the details when you order "Mining Gold"). Now you see why I guarantee you $1,000 within your first 5-15 days."

He claims to have this one special technique that is only available to a priveledged groups he calls his circle of "power players."

From what I read, he appears to be directly claiming you could be making thousands of dollars for an hour's work, as often as you want. And he loves to tell you how this special "Insiders Only" technique is fully detailed on page 77 of his system, "Mining Gold On The Internet".

But after reading page 77 of Mining Gold on the Internet, I don't see anything very special or new. I wasn't impressed.

Shawn Casey is so focused on joint ventures that I just saw an offer where he says you get his proven super-responsive Joint Venture Proposal form letter.

Then he goes on to say it's so responsive, that when he emails it to potential joint venture partners, 2 out of 3 reply with a strong interest. And he claims that the "average" deal generates about $1,000 profit for both him and the guy he's doing the venture with. But I tested his form letter and I didn't get these amazing results he's talking about. My numbers weren't even half as good as what he's talking about.

Although, I myself wasn't overly impressed with Shawn Casey or his teachings, I'm not going to say this is a bad offer. I think Shawn has a lot of potential as a marketing guru and I plan to keep on eye on what he's doing from time to time.



Thursday, November 22, 2007

Weird Facts: Stolen, Dumped, Found, Sold: The Story of a $1m Painting

A painting stolen 20 years ago then found lying in a pile of rubbish on a New York City street has sold at auction for just over $1m (£484,000).

The 1970 painting Tres Personajes (Three People) by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo was taken from a warehouse where the owners had placed it while moving.

It was found by Elizabeth Gibson as she took her morning walk four years ago on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

After discovering the painting's value, she returned it to its original owner.

It sold for $1,049,000 (£507,900) to a telephone bidder at Sotheby's New York auction house.

Sotheby's describes the painting as an important work from Rufino Tamayo's mature period.

Elizabeth Gibson said she was drawn to the painting when she spotted it on the street.

"I know nothing of modern art but it didn't seem right for any piece of art to be discarded like that," she said.

It hung on a wall in her home for several months before a friend suggested it might be valuable.

An internet search revealed that the missing painting had been the subject of an appeal for information on the Antiques Roadshow TV programme.

Ms Gibson has already received a $15,000 reward the couple put up when it was stolen, plus an undisclosed percentage of the sale of the painting.

It is still not known how the painting ended up on the street.

The owners - a couple from Houston whose names have not been disclosed - bought the oil on canvas, with marble dust and sand worked into the paint, in 1977 at Sotheby's.

August Uribe, Sotheby's senior vice-president of impressionist and modern art, said that the husband had paid $55,000 for it as a gift for his wife. The husband later died.

At the time of the theft in 1987, the couple alerted local and federal authorities.

Information on the painting was posted on the databases of the International Foundation for Art Research, and the Art Loss Register.

The FBI is still investigating the theft.

[Via - BBC News]

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Weird Facts: Miami Woman Sues Missing Husband For Share of Lottery Win

weird facts
A woman whose husband has kept about $600,000 in lottery winnings from her says she has a number for him: half. And Donna Campbell is suing her husband in her attempt to get it.

But American Airlines mechanic Arnim Ramdass disappeared after his wife confronted him about the secret, so process servers haven't been able to hand him the lawsuit papers yet, Campbell's attorney said.

"Here's a guy who for years has spent marital money on the lottery and at casinos, and he's always lost," Bruce Baldwin said. "And now he finally wins, and he's trying to keep it from his wife. That's pretty low."

Campbell, Ramdass' wife since 2005 and girlfriend for five years before that, said she suspected he was hiding something when he disconnected their phone and kept their television off. A postcard offering congratulations on a new house purchase was her final clue.

So Campbell did an Internet search on "Ramdass" and "lotto" and saw a news release from the Florida Lottery about a pool of 17 airline mechanics who won the $19 million jackpot on June 20.

"I said, 'Do you have any news you want to share with me,'" Campbell recalled telling her husband. "He said, 'No. What are you talking about?' I said, 'The lottery.'"

Ramdass told her he had bought the ticket for his daughter from another marriage, but Campbell didn't believe it.

"He had been buying those tickets for years, and he never, ever said one of them was for her," Campbell said. Ramdass and his co-workers have for years pooled their money every Wednesday and Friday for Lotto tickets, Campbell said.

The group opted for the lump-sum payment of $10.2 million, so each got about $600,000 before taxes.

An American Airlines official declined to comment on Ramdass' job status, citing employee privacy, but his co-workers said he has taken a leave of absence.

"Right now, all I want is justice," Campbell said. "With time, I will file for divorce."

[Via - Bradenton.Com]


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Weird Facts: Australian Santas Not Allowed To Say “Ho Ho Ho”, Because It Might Offend Women

SYDNEY weird facts(AFP) - Santas in Australia's largest city have been told not to use Father Christmas's traditional "ho ho ho" greeting because it may be offensive to women, it was reported Thursday.

Sydney's Santa Clauses have instead been instructed to say "ha ha ha" instead, the Daily Telegraph reported.

One disgruntled Santa told the newspaper a recruitment firm warned him not to use "ho ho ho" because it could frighten children and was too close to "ho", a US slang term for prostitute.

"Gimme a break," said Julie Gale, who runs the campaign against sexualising children called Kids Free 2B Kids.

"We are talking about little kids who do not understand that "ho, ho, ho" has any other connotation and nor should they," she told the Telegraph.

"Leave Santa alone."

A local spokesman for the US-based Westaff recruitment firm said it was "misleading" to say the company had banned Santa's traditional greeting and it was being left up to the discretion of the individual Santa himself.

[Via - Yahoo!News]

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Weird Facts: 10 Most Popular Myths in Science

weird facts
There is no gravity in space

Blame the term "zero-gravity" for this common misconception. Gravity is everywhere, even in space. Astronauts look weightless because they are in continuous freefall towards the Earth, staying aloft because of their horizontal motion. The effect of gravity diminishes with distance, but it never truly goes away. Oh, and while we're at it, it's also untrue that space is a vacuum. There are all kinds of atoms out there, albeit sometimes far apart (and this thin gas adds to the collective gravity budget, too!)

Humans use only 10 percent of their brains

This media darling has been around for at least a century. Fortunately, it's just not true. MRI imaging clearly demonstrates--with fancy colors no less--that humans put most of their cerebral cortex to good use, even while dozing.

Yawning is "contagious"

Empirically, this is tough to deny; perhaps you'll yawn while reading this. The real question is whether there's actually something physiological at work here, and the answer is likely yes: even chimpanzees mimic each other's yawns.

A penny dropped from the top of a tall building could kill a pedestrian

A penny isn't the most aerodynamic of weapons. A combination of its shape and wind friction means that, tossed even from the 1,250-foot Empire State Building, it would travel fast enough merely to sting an unlucky pedestrian.

Adults don't grow new brain cells

Much of a human's crucial brain development happens during childhood, but it isn't all downhill from there. Studies have shown that neurons continue to grow and change well into the adult years.

Chicken soup can cure the common cold

Cure is a strong word, but science suggests Moms around the world are still right in forcing spoonfuls of chicken soup down their kids' throats. Studies have found that the broth actually contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce congestion.

Eating a poppy seed bagel mimics opium use

Purveyors of this urban legend call on a popular Seinfeld episode for support. It turns out there's truth behind the comedy: tests suggest ingesting just two poppy seed bagels may produce a positive result for opiates on a drug screen.

Lightning never strikes the same place twice

In fact lightning favors certain spots, particularly high locations. The Empire State Building is struck about 25 times every year. Ben Franklin grasped the concept long ago and mounted a metal rod atop the roof of his home, then ran a wire to the ground, thereby inventing the lightning rod.

Chickens can live without a head

True, and not just for a few minutes. A chicken can stagger around without its noggin because the brain stem, often left partially intact after a beheading, controls most of its reflexes. One robust fellow lived a full eighteen months. Likely he was a real birdbrain, however.

Water drains backwards in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Earth's rotation

Not only is the Earth's rotation too weak to affect the direction of water flowing in a drain, tests you can easily perform in a few washrooms will show that water whirlpools both ways depending on the sink's structure, not the hemisphere.

[Via LiveScience]

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Weird Facts: Researchers Discover That Name Initials Predict Academic Performance

weird facts
Certain initials may look better than others as monograms but they can also have an impact on how well a person performs in a sport or at school, according to a new study.

Researchers who studied the impact of initials found that baseballs players whose first or last name starts with the letter K, which signifies a strikeout, tended to strike out more often than other players.

And students whose names start with the letters C or D, which denote mediocre marks in some grading systems, did not perform as well as other pupils with different initials.

"Just having the right initial doesn't spontaneously make you a better baseball player, but it can spontaneously make you a slightly worse baseball player," said Leif Nelson, of the University of California, San Diego.

Nelson and Joseph Simmons, of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, studied the effect of first or last-name initials in situations where letters corresponded to an undesirable outcome.

They found that people whose initial matched a negative label performed more poorly than others. The findings suggest that the unconscious mind finds one's own initials appealing even when it compromises success, according to the study that will be published in the journal Psychological Science.

The researchers examined the effect in baseball, in academia and in a lab setting where a reward-based test was performed.

"These are domains where people really, really focus on top performance and still this unconscious desire to match their initial seems to be undermining their performance," Nelson explained in an interview.

In baseball, players aim to avoid striking out. But after looking at 93 years of Major League baseball data and poring over more than 6,000 player names, the authors found that those whose names began with a K struck out more than others. Weird facts

The effect was the same in a study of the grade point averages of 15,000 graduate students over a 15-year period.

"Cs and Ds do reliably worse than everyone else," said Nelson.

"All the students are working very hard to succeed as much as possible, it just happens to be that if you find failure less aversive than someone else, you'll fail slightly more often," he added.

The researchers said their findings are in line with the name-letter effect, in which a person's favorite letter is often one of their initials. The favored initial may influence life outcomes, such the city a person lives in or the choice of occupation.

Nelson said the study demonstrates the power of the unconscious mind in controlling behavior in certain situations.

"Certainly, my wife made sure we didn't name our daughter with a C or a D after reading the paper," Nelson said.

[Via - Weird Odd News]

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Weird Facts: Hitler's Globe Sold For For $100,000

SAN FRANCISCO weird facts - A globe that once belonged to Adolf Hitler has sold at auction for $100,000 -- more than five times the expected amount.

American soldier John Barsamian found the globe in the ruins of Hitler's Eagle's Nest retreat in the Bavarian Alps in May 1945.

Barsamian, now 91, of Oakland, recently decided to sell it while he is alive so he can personally tell the story behind it, said his son, Barry Barsamian. Both Barsamians watched the bidding Tuesday at Greg Martin Auctions.

The winning bid came from San Francisco entrepreneur Bob Pritikin.

Experts had estimated the item would only bring $15,000 to $20,000.

Other globes presumed to have been owned by Hitler have been extensively researched for authenticity. But there is no uncertainty about the origins of Barsamian's wartime trophy, since he had all the military paperwork that allowed him to bring it back to the United States, including a certificate that reads "1 Global Map, German, Hitler's Eagle Nest."

"This is probably the most airtight documentation I've run across in some time," Greg Martin, proprietor of the auction house, said before the sale. "We have pictures of the guy there at the time, standing in the ruins holding the globe like a newborn baby."

[Via - The Weird World Of Economics]

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Top 10 Facts About Top 10 Weird Facts

1. Most of the times at least one weird fact is made up to make sure there are really ten weird facts.

2. Regardless of how stupid these Top 10 are, those posts quickly rise to the top of Reddit, Digg, Mixx, StumpleUpon, Delicious and other social bookmarking sites. Just because it’s Top 10.

3. Most of the Top 10 articles are written when there is nothing else to write about or when a person has no clue about the subject he or she is writing about.

4. Only items 1 through 3 really matter. The other 7 can go in any order and nothing will change.

5. The more Top 10 is used, the more shallow and pseudointellectual that particular niche is. Don’t believe me? Try finding a Top 10 list in a nuclear physics textbook and then compare it with Cool Magazine or MTV.

6. You don’t actually have to know most of the weird facts that are listed in any article that is titled ‘Top 10 weird facts you need to know about …’

7. Google indexes over 35 400 different Top 10 weird Facts, scientific term for which is “a whole shitload”.

8. The most popular post on this very blog is 10 Million Dollar Ideas That Shouldn't Have Worked.

9. Nobody ever remembers what number 9 in the Top 10 was.

10. There has never been a Top 10 article called “Top 10 Ways To Rape A Donkey”.

[Via - NicheGeek.Com]

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Weird Facts: Seattle Company Starts Making Ham Flavored Soda

weird facts
SEATTLE -- Coming soon next to the Coke and Pepsi in a store near you: ham-and latke-flavored soda to make your holiday feast complete. It even will be kosher, the company making it says - including the ham.

Jones Soda Co., the Seattle-based purveyor of offbeat fizzy water, is selling holiday-themed limited-edition packs of flavored sodas.

The Christmas pack will feature such flavors as Sugar Plum, Christmas Tree, Egg Nog and Christmas Ham. The Hanukkah pack will have Jelly Doughnut, Apple Sauce, Chocolate Coins and Latkes sodas.

"As always, both packs are kosher and contain zero caffeine," Jones said in a statement.

The packs will go on sale Sunday, with a portion of the proceeds to be given to charity, the company said.

Jones' products feature original label art and frequently odd flavors. Last year's seasonal pack was Thanksgiving-themed, with Green Pea, Sweet Potato, Dinner Roll, Turkey and Gravy, and Antacid sodas.

For its contract to supply soda to Qwest Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks, Jones came up with Perspiration, Dirt, Sports Cream and Natural Field Turf. The company - fortunately or unfortunately - prides itself on the accuracy of the taste.

Jones also makes more traditional flavors, including root beer, cherry and strawberry sodas.

[Via - SeattlePI]

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Weird Facts: Free Ipod Touch From Apple ? Video Proof

weird facts
Did you know that you can get a free iPod touch from Apple? This method has been PROVEN LEGITIMATE by major news networks like CNN and NBC - hundreds of people have received free iPods, free XBOX 360s, and free PS3s, and now YOU can get an iPod touch for FREE!

Lots of people will ask "How is this possible?" and "Why would someone give me a Free Apple Ipod Touch?" Here's a video that explains how these companies can afford this:


Weird Facts: Cliff-Diving Cow Hits Minivan

weird facts
A Michigan couple are happy to be alive after a cow fell from a 200-foot cliff and landed on top of their minivan outside Manson, Wash.
Charles Everson Jr., 49, of Westland, Mich., told The Wenatchee (Wash.) World Monday he never saw the incoming animal until it landed squarely on the minivan as he and his wife Linda traveled along Highway 150 last weekend.

It was just 'bam' -- you just saw something come down and hit the hood, he said of Sunday's accident. I'm like, 'I don't believe this. I don't believe this. I don't believe this.'

Chelan County Fire District 5 chief Arnold Baker said the cow, which he estimated at nearly 600 pounds, had been reported missing by a local breeder.

Whatever caused the animal to hurdle off the cliff remains a mystery, but Baker told the World the couple was lucky to escape with only a heavily-damaged vehicle.

It's funny because it was such a close call, Baker said. Inches different and the couple in this car would have been killed. (c) UPI

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Weird Facts: The $1000 Bagel

weird facts Now big spenders tired of dropping big bucks on the luxury pie can now wake up to a grand breakfast at the Westin Hotel in Times Square, where Executive Chef Frank Tujague has concocted his $1,000 bagel.

Yes, that's a thousand bucks for a single bagel.

So what do you get for your money?

The bagel is topped with Alba white truffle cream cheese and goji berry infused Riesling jelly with golden leaves.

The white truffle, which is known for its one-of-a-kind aroma, is the second most expensive food in the world, next to caviar, and is very hard to come by. So hard, in fact, that it's grown from late autumn to winter beneath certain oak trees in the Alba region of Italy, where trained pigs and dogs are called upon to find the delicacies.

"I wanted to create something that speaks to New York, and is also a reflection of my culinary passion for seasonality and fine ingredients," Tujague said in a statement. "Bagels are a New York food landmark, which is where the base for this dish came from. White truffles are a simple, quality ingredient that takes the meal, or the bagel in this case, to the next level."

The goji berries are also lauded for their health benefits, as they're the richest known source of beta-carotene of all known foods or plants on earth, and are demonstrated to be a healing catalyst.

Tujague created the delicacy to raise money for the Les Amis d'Escoffier Scholarship, which benefits culinary arts students.

"We wanted this bagel to be more than an over-the-top seasonal menu item. By giving back a portion of the proceeds, we are inspiring future chefs to think outside the box and maximize culinary creativity," said Tujague.

But you better act fast, the luxurious bagel is only available through Dec. 14. And if you're worried about tax and gratuity -- don't worry, that's included in the price.

The $1,000 bagel must be ordered 24-hours in advance.

[Via - CBS]

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Weird Facts: 3,450 babies in China named 'Olympics' so far

weird facts
BEIJING - The upcoming Beijing Olympics is more than just a point of pride for China — it's such an important part of the national consciousness that nearly 3,500 children have been named for the event, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Most of the 3,491 people with the name "Aoyun," meaning Olympics, were born around the year 2000, as Beijing was bidding to host the 2008 Summer Games, the Beijing Daily reported, citing information from China's national identity card database.

The vast majority of people named Aoyun are male, the newspaper said. Only six live in Beijing. The report didn't say where the others live.

Names related to the Olympics don't just stop with "Olympics." More than 4,000 Chinese share their names with the Beijing Games mascots, the "Five Friendlies."

The names are Bei Bei (880 people), Jing Jing (1,240), Huan Huan (1,063), Ying Ying (624) and Ni Ni (642). When put together, the phrase translates to "Beijing welcomes you!"

Chinese have increasingly turned to unique names as a way to express a child's individuality.

In a country with a population of 1.3 billion, 87 percent share the same 129 family names. That's why 5,598 people have the same name as basketball player Yao Ming and 18,462 share a moniker with star hurdler Liu Xiang, according to the Beijing Daily report.

Parents have turned to unusual combinations of letters, numbers and symbols when choosing their child's name, Li Yuming, deputy director of the National Language Commission, told the Xinhua News Agency in an August interview.

At least one couple wanted to call their child "1A," he said, while others use the e-mail address symbol (at), which in Chinese is pronounced "Aita," meaning "love him."

[Via - Yahoo!News]

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Weird Facts: So That's How $100m Looks Like

weird facts
You might like to look at this photograph before filling in your lottery numbers.

It's what £100 million looks like in cold, hard cash.

The money pile is even bigger because it is in US dollars, currently worth about two to the pound. But it serves the same purpose when you're daydreaming about winning the jackpot.

However, nobody is going to be spending this $207 million in $100 bills very soon. The US government yesterday called the windfall "the largest single drug cash seizure the world has ever seen."

Here is a link to the article...


Friday, November 2, 2007

Do What You Love And…

weird facts by Shawn
I get a lot of emails from people asking me about how to make money, etc

They ask me what they should sell, what’s hot, “the next big thing” etc…

Unfortunately, most people seem to think that the only way to make money on line is by teaching other people how to make money on line.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

I show people how to make money on line because I love it (and live it). I’m truly passionate about it. I’ve been making money online for over 10 years and I absolutely love it. That’s why I do so well and most others don’t.

Now, I’m not discouraging you from teaching others how to make money if that’s your passion. If it’s something you love, then go for it.

If it’s not, consider this:

When times get tough and the money gets low, as it inevitably will, most people tend to quit because they aren’t passionate about what they’re doing…they’re chasing after money.

When you’re following your passion and doing what you love, ‘work’ doesn’t look like ‘work’ it’s fun. And because it’s fun you’ll see what could be considered ‘problems’ as fun and exciting opportunities.

You’ll push through the tough times and inevitably succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

A friend of mine wrote about this in his book where he shows people how to turn their hobby into a business..

He gives you dozens of quick and easy ways to start profiting from the thing you love to do…your hobby. And, even better, he shows you how to ‘keep it fun’. This is really important be cause when most people try to turn their hobby into business they get ‘burned out’ and eventually start disliking the thing they loved so much.

Stop spending money on the thing you love and start making money from it!!

Click here now and get started making money from your hobby.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Weird Facts: Guess You Didn't Know This

weird facts
Information no one really thought about and might not be aware of.

Did you know?

1. That the tongue of a whale weighs as much as an elephant.
2. By 2003, the number of people who lived together before marriage was a little over 70% as against 5% in the 1960's.
3. According to a recent study, people who talk on cell phones while driving are as impaired as drunk drivers, even when they use hands-free devices.
4. The number of people with diabetes worldwide rose from about 30 million to over 230 million.
5. The three richest men in the world are worth as much as the 40 most poorest countries of the world.

6. Over the last eight year, at least 130,000 children have been kidnapped for sale, for sexual or labour exploitation or for the removal of their organs.
7. During 2005, there occurred 28 full-fledged wars and eleven other minor armed conflicts, worldwide.
8. According to the wall street journal (USA), up to half of the couples asked admit that they commit "financial infidelity" - lying to their spouse about expenditure they made.
9. In the United States, half of all adults have gum disease or tooth decay. 3 out of 10 people over 65 have lost all their teeth.
10. In Spain about 25% of children are born out of wedlock, 43% in France, 45% in Denmark and 55% in Sweden.
11. About a third of Britons sleep less than 5hrs each night. This makes a person more prone to suffer poor concentration, memory lapses and mood swings. It may also increase the risk of Obesity, Diabetes and depression.
12. There are over 18,000 pieces of plastic floating on every sq. kilometer of ocean today. (UN Environmental Programme).
13. The amount of hours spent by US. Workers every year playing computer games on the job amounted to about half a billion. This is a loss of productivity valued at $10 billion. This however excludes time spent surfing the web at work for personal use.
14. By 2004, every 2 marriages out of 3 weddings failed in Spain.
15. Children who spend extended periods in front of the T.V are more likely to develop communication problems.
16. Every second a child dies because they didn't get enough to eat.
17. The oldest known living animal is said to be Harriet, a 150kg. giant tortoise living at a zoo in Brisbane, Australia.
18. "Kangaroo care" for babies is when a parent lies back and cradles their baby against their bare chest for an hour or two each day. According to Japan's Daily Yomiuri, babies who receive such care sleep longer, have improved breathing and put on weight much faster.
19. A survey conducted among individuals from east and south China, with an average of 2.2 billion Yuan ($275 million). The research studied the rich people's attitude towards faith, marriage, life career and money. It was discovered that a majority of the millionaires hate and love money at the same time. Some said that apart from social status and a sense of accomplishment "annoyance" was the main thing wealth has brought them.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Weird Facts: Star Wars' Yoda Has His Own Stamp Now

weird facts
The U.S. Postal Service sought to harness the force Thursday, releasing a new postage stamp featuring Star Wars' enigmatic Yoda, known for his odd syntax as well as his wisdom.

The Jedi master's stamp was originally part of a multi-stamp Star Wars set and is now available as an individual stamp following a public vote on which of that set should receive special attention.

Also on Thursday the post office released its annual Christmas and holiday stamps.

The set of four holiday stamps features classic wintertime knitting design imagery.

"The new holiday stamps provide another way for people to express warm winter greetings on all their mailings sent this season to family, friends or customers, " said Katherine C. Tobin, a member of the post office's governing board.

Inspired by traditional Norwegian sweaters, the stamps include a stag, a snow-dappled evergreen tree, a snowman sporting a top hat and a whimsical teddy bear.

The Christmas stamp is a traditional Madonna and child. This year's image is from Bernardino Luini's "Madonna of the Carnation," painted around 1515 and now part of the collection at the National Gallery of Art.

All of the new stamps carry the current 41-cent first-class rate and had their first day of issue ceremonies at a stamp show in New York.

[Via - Sun Sentinel]

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Weird Facts: Vista Install in 2 Minutes !

weird facts

Here is the best way to install Vista


Weird Facts: Stupid Things People REALLY Put On Their Resumes

weird facts
1. I am very detail-oreinted.

2. My intensity and focus are at inordinately high levels, and my ability to complete projects on time is unspeakable.

3. Thank you for your consideration. Hope to hear from you shorty!

4. Enclosed is a ruff draft of my resume.

5. It’s best for employers that I not work with people.

6. Here are my qualifications for you to overlook.

7. I am a quick leaner, dependable, and motivated.

8. If this resume doesn’t blow your hat off, then please return it in the enclosed envelope.

9. My fortune cookie said, “Your next interview will result in a job.” And I like your company in particular.

10. I saw your ad on the information highway, and I came to a screeching halt.

11. Insufficient writing skills, thought processes have slowed down some. If I am not one of the best, I will look for another opportunity.

12. Please disregard the attached resume-it is terribly out of date.

13. Seek challenges that test my mind and body, since the two are usually inseparable.

14. Graduated in the top 66% of my class.

15. Reason for leaving last job: The owner gave new meaning to the word paranoia. I prefer to elaborate privately.

16. Previous experience: Self-employed-a fiasco.

17. Exposure to German for two years, but many words are inappropriate for business.

18. Experience: Watered, groomed, and fed the family dog for years.

19. I am a rabid typist.

20. I have a bachelorette degree in computers.

21. Excellent memory; strong math aptitude; excellent memory; effective management skills; and very good at math.

22. Strengths: Ability to meet deadlines while maintaining composer.

23. I worked as a Corporate Lesion.

24. Reason for leaving last job: Pushed aside so the vice president’s girlfriend could steal my job.

25. Married, eight children. Prefer frequent travel.

26. Objective: To have my skills and ethics challenged on a daily basis.

27. Special skills: Thyping.

28. My ruthlessness terrorized the competition and can sometimes offend.

29. I can play well with others.

30. Personal Goal: To hand-build a classic cottage from the ground up using my father-in-law.

31. Objective: I want a base salary of $50-$60,000 dollars, not including bonus. And some decent benefits. Like a retirement plan, health insurance, personal or sick days.

32. Experience: Provided correct answers to customers’ questions.

33. Education: Graduated from predatory school with honors.

34. Never been fired, although it could happen anytime now.

35. I have happily been a “kept man” for the past 10 years.

36. Have extensive experience in turkey manufactures as well as new product development and implementation.

37. I am accustomed to speaking in front of all kinds of audiences. I make points as well as I can.

38. Personal: Five children. Dog: Jasper. Cat: Morris. Gerbil: Binky.

39. While in military, was instrumental in creation of a treat detection system.

40. My compensation package at my last job included a base salary of $64,500 with excellent benefits including flextime. I am looking for a position in which I can work a more flexible schedule.

41. Hire me and you won’t regret it - I am funny, cute, smart and creative… really.

42. Referees available upon request.

43. Previous rank: Senior instigator.

44. I have recently sold my home and I now live in a large RV so I will be able to relocate quickly.

45. Reason for leaving: They stopped paying me.

46. Cover letter: Desire the chance to showcase my delightful personality, intelligence and superior judgment, which are so hard to find these days.

47. Personal achievements: Successfully played “Chop Sticks” on a toy piano with my big toes.

48. Objective: To obtain a position where I can make a difference, infecting others with my professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication.

49. Strengths: Impersonal skills.

50. Special interests: I like any projects that are fun.

51. Please explain any breaks in your employment career: 15 minute coffee break while working at a home improvement store.

52. Vocational plans: Sea World.

[Via - Uncommon Business Blog]

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weird Facts: Get Your Hands Off The Clock.

daylight savings time - weird facts
If you don't want to hear coworkers laughing at you on Monday morning don't forget: This year, Daylight Saving Time ends 2 a.m. the first sunday in November.

Thanks to the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005.
when is day light savings time
end daylight savings time
day light savings time ends


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Weird Facts: What If You Had A Gun To Your Head And Had To Make $1,000 In 48 Hours or...

What If You Had A Gun To Your Head And Had To Make $1,000 In 48 Hours or Less – How Would You Do It? Here’s EXACTLY How!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Weird Facts: Home-Made Helicopters

weird facts
KANO (AFP) - Mubarak Muhammad Abdullahi, a 24-year-old physics undergraduate in northern Nigeria, takes old cars and motorbikes to pieces in the back yard at home and builds his own helicopters from the parts.

"It took me eight months to build this one," he said, sweat pouring from his forehead as he filled the radiator of the banana yellow four-seater which he now parks in the grounds of his university.

The chopper, which has flown briefly on six occasions, is made from scrap aluminium that Abdullahi bought with the money he makes from computer and mobile phone repairs, and a donation from his father, who teaches at Kano's Bayero university.

It is powered by a second-hand 133 horsepower Honda Civic car engine and kitted out with seats from an old Toyota saloon car. Its other parts come from the carcass of a Boeing 747 which crashed near Kano some years ago.

For a four-seater it is a big aircraft, measuring twelve metres (39 feet) long, seven metres high by five wide. It has never attained an altitude of more than seven feet.

The cockpit consists of a push-button ignition, an accelerator lever between the seats which controls vertical thrust, a joystick that provides balance and bearing.

A small screen on the dashboard connects to a camera underneath the helicopter for ground vision, a set of six buttons adjusts the screen's brightness while a small transmitter is used for communication.

"You start it, allow it to run for a minute or two and you then shift the accelerator forward and the propeller on top begins to spin. The further you shift the accelerator the faster it goes and once you reach 300 rmp you press the joystick and it takes off," Abdullahi explained from the cockpit.

He said he learned the rudiments of flying a helicopter from the Internet and first got the idea of building one from the films he watches on television.

"I watched action movies a lot and I was fascinated by the way choppers fly. I decided it would be easier to build one than to build a car," he said pacing the premises of the security division of the university which he uses as hanger for his helicopter.

He hoped -- and still does hope -- that the Nigerian government and his wealthy compatriots would turn to him and stop placing orders with western manufacturers.

So far, however, government response to his chopper project has been underwhelming to say the least.

Although some government officials got very excited when they saw him conduct a demonstration flight in neighbouring Katsina state, Nigeria's Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has so far shown no interest in his aircraft.

"No one from the NCAA has come to see what I've done. We don't reward talent in this country," he lamented.

Abdullahi does admit that his first helicopter lacks "some basic facilities like devices for measuring atmospheric pressure, altitude, humidity and the like."

In a country with Nigeria's abysmal air safety record officials may be loath to gamble on one student's home-made helicopter.

But Abdullahi, undeterred, has started work on a new flying machine, which, he says, "will be a radical improvement on the first one in terms of sophistication and aesthetics."

Currently just a spindly metal frame in the back yard, the helicopter will be a two-seater and Abdullahi calculates it will be able to fly at an altitude of 15 feet for three hours at a stretch.

It will be powered by a brand new motor -- albeit Taiwan-manufactured and destined for the Jincheng motorbike so common on the streets of Kano.

[Via - Yahoo!News]

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Weird Facts: Did You Know ?

weird facts


Weird Facts: Scientists Discover Why Gossip Is More Powerful Than Truth

weird facts
Researchers, testing students using a computer game, also found gossip played an important role when people make decisions, said Ralf Sommerfeld, an evolutionary biologist at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, who led the study.

"We show that gossip has a strong influence... even when participants have access to the original information as well as gossip about the same information," the researchers wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Thus, it is evident that gossip has a strong manipulative potential."

In the study, the researchers gave the students money and allowed them to give it to others in a series of rounds. The students also wrote notes about how others played the game that everyone could review.

Students tended to give less money to people described as "nasty misers" or "scrooges" and more to those depicted as "generous players" or "social players", Sommerfeld said.

"People only saw the gossip, not the past decisions," he said in a telephone interview. "People really reacted on it."

The researchers then took the game a step further and showed the students the actual decisions people had made. But they also supplied false gossip that contradicted that evidence.

In these cases, the students based their decisions to award money on the gossip, rather than the hard evidence, showing such information is a powerful tool, Sommerfeld said.

"Rationally if you know what the people did, you should care, but they still listened to what others said," he said.

"They even reacted on it if they knew better."

Researchers have long used similar games to study how people cooperate and the impact of gossip in groups. Scientists define gossip as social information spread about a person who is not present, Sommerfeld said.

In evolutionary terms, gossip can be an important tool for people to acquire information about others' reputations or navigate through social networks at work and in their everyday lives, the study said.

One example could be using gossip to learn that a potential mate had cheated on others, something which could make that person an undesirable match, Sommerfeld said.

[Via - Stuff]

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Weird Facts: Monkeys Kill The Mayor Of The Capital Of India

Weird facts from India
The deputy mayor of the Indian capital Delhi has died a day after being attacked by a horde of wild monkeys.

SS Bajwa suffered serious head injuries when he fell from the first-floor terrace of his home on Saturday morning trying to fight off the monkeys.

The city has long struggled to counter its plague of monkeys, which invade government complexes and temples, snatch food and scare passers-by.

The High Court demanded the city find an answer to the problem last year.

Solution elusive

One approach has been to train bands of larger, more ferocious langur monkeys to go after the smaller groups of Rhesus macaques.

The city has also employed monkey catchers to round them up so they can be moved to forests.

But the problem has persisted.

Culling is seen as unacceptable to devout Hindus, who revere the monkeys as a manifestation of the monkey god Hanuman, and often feed them bananas and peanuts.

Urban development around the city has also been blamed for destroying the monkeys' natural habitat.

Mr Bajwa, a member of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is survived by his wife and a son, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

[Via - BBC]

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Weird Facts: Only in China (Photo)

weird facts from china - how about this swimming pool ?


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Weird Facts: 10 Most Depressing Jobs

This is really weird facts, folks. The US Department Of Health And Human Services released a report of what the most depressing jobs are. To be honest with you, I am not all that shocked. But next time I go to McDonalds, I'm thinking of giving a big hug to their depressed employees. Here is the list, anyway:

1. Personal Care and Service 10.8%
2. Food Preparation and Serving Related 10.3%
3. Community and Social Services 9.6%
4. Healthcare Practitioners and Technical 9.6%
5. Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media 9.1%
6. Education, Training, and Library 8.7%
7. Office and Administrative Support 8.1%
8. Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance 7.3%
9. Financial 6.7%
10. Sales and Related 6.7%

[Source - Past Year Major Depressive Episode (MDE) among Full-Time Workers Aged 18 to 64, by Occupational Categories]

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Homeless man is chess king of Washington

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Weird Facts: Cat Rescue Mission!

Weird facts: How did he get there ?

We are trying to release a kitten


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Weird Facts About Animals

Weird facts about animals

  • Penguins can jump 6 feet in the air.
  • A bear can run at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).
  • Beavers can hold their breathe for 45 minutes under water.
  • A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.

  • The smallest bird in the world is the Humming Bird. It weighs less than 1 oz (or 1g).
  • Elephants are the only animal that can't jump.
  • Polar bears are left handed.
  • A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
  • Tigers have striped skin not just striped fur.
  • Reindeer eat moss because it contains a chemical that stops their body from freezing.
  • Snakes can see through their eyelids.
  • A Woodpecker can peck 20 times per second.
  • Woodpeckers don't get headaches from all that pecking. Their skulls have air pockets to cushion the brain.
  • The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head 360 degrees.
more weird facts soon
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10 Weird Facts About Einstein

Weird Facts about a weird man
Albert Einstein in a famous 1951 photo by Arthur Sasse.

  • Einstein Was a Fat Baby with Large Head
  • Einstein Had Speech Difficulty as a Child
  • Einstein was Inspired by a Compass
  • Einstein Failed his University Entrance Exam
  • Einstein had an Illegitimate Child
  • Einstein Became Estranged From His First Wife, then Proposed a Strange "Contract"
  • Einstein Didn’t Get Along with His Oldest Son
  • Einstein was a Ladies’ Man
  • Einstein, the War Pacifist, Urged FDR to Build the Atom Bomb
  • The Saga of Einstein’s Brain: Pickled in a Jar for 43 Years and Driven Cross Country in a Trunk of a Buick!

Here is a link to the article...

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Strange Facts - Homeless man is chess king of Washington

strange facts from washington

Strange Facts from WASHINGTON (AFP) - He sleeps on a bench, but he is king of chess during the day at Washington's Dupont Circle, where he dazzles beginners and masters alike with his winning moves on the park's stone chessboards.

Tom Murphy, 49, makes what little money he has from teaching his prodigious knowledge of the game to passersby for a few dollars.

"He has the title of expert in chess. This is the second highest American title; above him are master. So it means he is quite good" said Washington's Chess Center director David Mehler.

A former math and science major and a celebrity among amateurs, Murphy has made the Dupont Circle public square America's most prestigious chess park after New York's fabled Washington Square, according to some chess lovers.

"The mathematical equation has always been strange facts to me, then when you add the camaraderie, the ambiance, the open air, it's almost irresistible," said Murphy, peering over a park chessboard that draws players from all walks of life -- students, doctors, lawyers, drunkards.

Garrulous and brilliant, Murphy, grew up in North Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two well known chess centers, and specializes in a lightning version of chess known as "blitz".Strange Facts

In this accelerated version of the ancient game, players are allowed five minutes for all their moves, and the game ends within 10 minutes.

"The appeal of blitz is that, maybe in two or five minutes, I may put together a work of art that might last a life time," Murphy said in his inimitable style of explaining chess basics.

The game, he said consists of "few guiding principles: king safety, fight for the center, give every piece a job."

"At blitz he is a very strong player. He has a very fast mind and he sees combinations very quickly. He calculates very quickly," said Mehler, who has been teaching the board game to underprivileged children for 15 years.

Murphy has won several chess tournaments and finished 15th in the 2005 world blitz championship.

He's not always down and out, but his addiction to booze often lands him on the street.

"The pursuit of the ego versus the pursuit of the spirit are in conflict sometimes," he explained. "I enjoy alcohol a little too much."

He attends Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and admits, "when I don't drink my chess is better." That's some strange facts for sure - he sais

Murphy aims to get better at chess and rise to the title of master.

"I would dearly love to go on and make my master's rating because through that I get a credibility to increase my teaching fee," he said.

"There is an upcoming tournament on Thanskgiving (November 22) in Philadelphia. That's looking promising," he added.

For now, the homeless chess teacher charges 20 to 30 dollars an hour and will match his wits with any rival for two to five dollars per game.

"Grand masters are teaching 100 or 200 bucks (dollars) an hour, masters can get at least 50, that's not bad," he said.

[Via - Yahoo!News]

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

5 Strangest Things To Be Outsourced Weird Facts

1. Lying And Cheating weird facts

Looking to get away for a weekend fling without getting caught? A new French company provides would-be adulterers with custom-made excuses that help take the danger of discovery out of cheating. Founded six months ago by former private eye Regine Mourizard, Web-based Ibila can cook up invites to phony weekend seminars, fake emergency phone calls from work, invitations to nonexistent weddings - anything to justify cheating spouses' absence. [Full Story]

2. Loading Music To Other People's iPods (http://www.hungrypod.com/)

Catherine Keane, the owner of Hungry Pod, makes over $100,000 a year, uploading music to other people’s iPods. This online homebusiness idea came to her when an acquaintance offered her $500 to load his CD collection onto his iPod. Thanks in part to a small story in The New York Times, Keane's advertising efforts on Craigslist and word-of-mouth, HungryPod has expanded to three employees and four computers, and has annual sales that exceed $100,000. [Full Story]

3. Picking Lice (http://www.texaslicesquad.com/)

Founded by an experienced registered nurse and mother of two, The Texas Lice Squad provides a full range of services to help eliminate lice and prevent recurrences, beginning with individual and family inspection to determine the extent of infestation, priced at USD 65 for a family of four (USD 5 for each additional household member). In-home treatment and removal costs USD 60 per hour, with a two-hour minimum, which could be money well spent for families who feel that they've exhausted their own resources attempting to eradicate the critters themselves. After using a non-toxic product and professional combing to thoroughly remove all nits and lice, The Texas Lice Squad confirms in writing that a child is nit-free so that he or she can be readmitted to school or daycare. [Full Story]

4. Finding Cool Domain Names For Other People (http://www.pickydomains.com)

Hire another person to think of a cool domain name for you? No way people would pay for this. Actually, naming domain names for others turned out a thriving business, especially, when you make the entire process risk free. PickyDomains currently has a waiting list of people who want to PAY the service to come up with a snappy memorable domain name. PickyDomains is expected to hit six figures this year. [Full Story]

5. Your Reputation (http://reputationdefender.com)

For $10 a month, ReputationDefender.com will search your name everywhere — even “beyond Google” — including password-protected sites, and give a report of their findings. For about $30 a month, clients can have them do a clean-up, which involves ensuring all links to, for example, a college kegstand on Facebook.com or a disparaging blog entry from a former partner, will not appear during an online search. [Full Story]