In a world obsessed with wealth, it is inspiring to find a man who believes that some things are priceless.
As the last living member of the Djok clan, shy 36-year-old Jeffrey Lee controls the fate of Koongarra in Australia. The beautiful stretch of land just happens to be rich in highly coveted uranium. French energy giant Areva wants to extract 14,000 tons of uranium from the site worth more than $5 billion.
Continue reading "Sacred Down Under: Sole Survivor Saves Ancestral Land by Rejecting $5 Billion" »
They're yellow, they go quack, and they’re made of plastic; what am I talking about? Yeah, you got it, scientific water buoys! Or at least, that’s what these rubber ducky’s have become to oceanographers across the globe.
It happened in 1992, 15 years ago, on a storm tossed night somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of mainland China; 29,000 plastic yellow ducks, blue turtles and green frogs were washed overboard from a Chinese freighter.
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1. A new study from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press shows that Americans who rely on Comedy Central fare—The Daily Show and Colbert Report, know much more about current events than those who watch Fox “News”.
Continue reading "10 Random & Odd Facts -June 29 '07 " »
It’s a strange tale to tell, one filled with a sense of awe and melancholy. It’s the story of the once extensive network of tunnels and dwellings beneath the streets of downtown Oklahoma City. Most of the “above ground” residents had heard rumors, but weren’t sure if it really existed. Entrances to the subterranean ‘city’ were often hidden or disguised. Mother’s took advantage of the mystery by warning unruly children to behave lest they were dragged off to a lair far below, never to be seen again.
Indeed, an underground multi-leveled complex was found extending deep into the earth. According to some accounts, there was even a third level Buddhist temple and cemetery built by the residents.
Continue reading "The Secret Chinatown: A Subterranean‘City’" »
Have you ever wondered what exactly the difference between a million and a billion is? We hear it in the media all the time, with millions going to defense contracts and billions lost in environmental disasters. We can sometimes become desensitized to it all; lose our bearings on what is what.
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1) Although Hollywood pirates, such as Jack Sparrow’s friends, like to grumble “arrr” or “arrrrgh" frequently, real pirates were not known to do so. Hollywood actor Robert Newton, who played Long John Silver in the 1950s had a regional accent from the Cotswolds district of southwest England where they like to roll the "r" a bit. However, your average real pirate did not exaggeratedly roll their “r” like the fictional ones do.
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1- The bloodhound is the only animal whose evidence is admissible in an American court.
2- Abraham Lincoln, who invented a hydraulic device for lifting ships over shoals, was the only US president ever granted a patent.
3- The only father and son to hit back-to-back home runs in a major league baseball game were Ken Griffey, Jr., and his father, Ken Griffey, Sr., both of the Seattle Mariners, in a game against the California Angels on September 14, 1990.
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1. Charlie Chaplin once lost a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.
2. Percy Spencer’s father died when he was just a baby, his mother subsequently abandoned him. He never finished grade school and was put to work at a mill when he was only 12. That didn’t stop him from receiving hundreds of patents including the one for the microwave. He figured that one out by accident when he walked by a radar tube and felt a candy bar melt in his pocket.
Continue reading "10 Random & Obscure Facts: June 1" »
1. An average office desk has 400 times more bacteria than an average toilet, at least according to a study conducted by University of Arizona researches, which tested common surfaces like telephones, desks, water coolers, doorknobs, and toilet seats. Phones actually came in first, with desks a close second.
2. In 1998, Sony accidentally sold 700,000 camcorders that had the technology to see through people's clothes using a night vision setting. Sales spiked when the news went public.
Continue reading "5 Random & Obscure Facts -May 29" »