20140827

Bikini Wax

The bikini wax has been around for hundreds of years. Muslim brides-to-be in the Middle East and North Africa remove all their body hair before the wedding night.

20140826

Crows Nest

The "Crows Nest" on a ship (the basket near the top of the mast) used to actually contain a crow.

The ships navigator would use one of the birds as a guide in bad weather, since they invariably flew towards land.

20140825

Does decaf really have no caffeine?

FDA regulations specify that for coffee to bear a decaffeinated label, 97 percent of the original caffeine must be removed from the beans. So, yes, there’s caffeine in decaf coffee. But it’s not very much, right?

Not so fast. Caffeine content varies from bean to bean.

Coffee in America generally contains one or a blend of two bean types – the hardy Robusta bean and the sweeter, delicate Arabica bean. Robusta beans generally contain twice the caffeine of Arabica beans, but their harsh taste is often considered inferior. Instant coffee brands like Folgers and Maxwell House tend to be Robusta blends, while coffee houses like Caribou and Starbucks pride themselves on their pure Arabica beans.

While 97 percent of the caffeine must be removed, the Robusta bean will have more caffeine left over than the Arabica bean after the decaffeination process is completed, which can lead to a lot of variance among brands.

Henry Ford

In 1914, Henry Ford doubled the daily wage for his factory workers (from $2.40 to $5) while cutting their daily work hours from nine to eight.

This improved workers attendance and it allowed his workers to afford to buy one of his cars.

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is the world’s leading exporter of false teeth.





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20140823

Survival Rule of Three

In survival situations, while it will change depending on your body, remember the rule of threes:

3 minutes without air (maybe you're buried in snow following an avalance)

3 hours without shelter against the elements

3 days without water

3 weeks without food

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20140822

Physicians’ Indecipherable Handwriting

That joke about physicians’ indecipherable handwriting? It really isn't a laughing matter.

U.S. doctors write about 3.2 billion prescriptions every year. The Institute of Medicine reports that, of those, 1.5 million injuries occur because pharmacists or hospital workers misread that handwriting. Worse, sloppily written prescriptions lead to more than 7,000 patient deaths per year.

Fortunately, health-care providers and tech companies have come up with a solution: the National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative, which encourages doctors to write prescriptions electronically.

Congress backed the plan in 2008, and since then, medical errors caused by sloppy scribbles have dropped by 90 percent.

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20140820

The Old Farmer's Almanac

The Old Farmer's Almanac is the familiar, 223-year-old chronicler of climate, folksy advice and fun facts,

The almanac, which has about an 80 percent success rate in its forecasts, employs modern technology but still uses the "secret formula" that founder Robert Thomas devised in 1792.

By combining the study of sunspots, prevailing weather patterns and basic meteorology, the almanac's weather staff comes up with a long-range forecast.

The temperature deviations are based on 30-year averages compiled by government forecasters.

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UNO

After having an argument with his son about Crazy 8's, Merle Robbins, a barbershop owner and card lover, invented UNO in 1971 in Reading, Ohio.

He introduced the game to his family, and after they started playing the game more and more, he decided to have the game printed.

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20140819

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton reportedly only ever sent two emails as president, one of which was a test message to see if he was doing it correctly.


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20140817

Head of a Union

The only U.S. president to have been the head of a union was Ronald Reagan, former president of the Screen Actors Guild.





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New Baby

A baby can cost new parents 750 hours of sleep in the first year.






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First Ford Mustangs

The first Ford Mustangs, built in 1964, were nothing more than Ford Falcons with different exterior sheet metal.





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20140815

Oscar for Best Picture

Through the first half of the 20th century, only one winner of the Oscar for Best Picture was filmed in color: Gone with the Wind.






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