When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300o C. The Russians used a pencil.
All radios in North Korea have been rigged so listeners can only receive a North Korean government station. The United States recently announced plans to smuggle $2,000,000 worth of small radios into the country so North Koreans can get a taste of (what their government calls) "rotten imperialist reactionary culture".
Physicists have already performed a simple type of teleportation, transferring the quantum characteristics of one atom onto another atom at a different location.
A woman was chewing what was left of her chocolate bar when she entered a Metro station in Washington DC. She was arrested and handcuffed; eating is prohibited in Metro stations.
As part of a charity event, 500 cats were spayed and neutered in the cafeteria of an elementary school. School was cancelled for days and $10,000 was spent on cleaning and sterilizing the room.
The United States has five percent of the world's population, but twenty-five percent of the world's prison population.
A house in Baghdad worth $15,000 before the Iraq war now sells for $120,000 to $150,000.
In 2004, one in six girls in the United States enter puberty at age 8. A hundred years ago, only one in a hundred entered puberty that early.
So far, Congress has authorized $152,600,000,000 for the Iraq war. This is enough to build over 17,500 elementary schools.
Americans take an average of just ten days per year vacation. In France, the law guarantees everyone five weeks of vacation, and most full-time workers get two full months vacation.
The IRS admits that one in five people who call their help line get the wrong answer to their question.
20% of Americans think that the sun orbits around the Earth.
There is a new television show on a British cable called "Watching Paint Dry". Viewers watch in real-time. Gloss, semi-gloss, matte, satin, you name it. Then viewers vote out their least favorite.
French author Michel Thaler published a 233 page novel which has no verbs.
David Bowie thinks he is being stalked by someone who is dressed like a giant pink rabbit. Bowie has noticed the fan at several recent concerts, but he became alarmed when he got on a plane and the bunny was on board.
Almost 20% of the billions of dollars American taxpayers are spending to rebuild Iraq are lost to theft, kickbacks and corruption.
More than 8,100 US troops are still listed as missing in action from the Korean war.
In 1965, auditions were held for the "Monkees" TV show. Some of the people who responded (but were not hired) were Stephen Stills, Harry Nilsson, Paul Williams and Charles Manson.
71% of office workers stopped on the street for a survey agreed to give up their computer passwords in exchange for a chocolate bar.
George W. Bush and John Kerry are 16th cousins, three times removed.
If current trends continue, Medicare costs will absorb 51% of all income tax revenues by 2042.
The prison system is the largest supplier of mental health services in America, with 250,000 Americans with mental illness living there.
Newest trend in the Netherlands: Tiny jewels implanted directly into the eye.
Researchers have found that doctors who spend at least three hours a week playing video games make about 37% fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery than surgeons who didn't play video games.
World War II veterans are now dying at the rate of about 1,100 each day.
George W. Bush is probably going to be the eighth president in US history to have completed a term in office without ever having issued a single veto.
A deployed air bag adds as much as $2,000 to the cost of repairing a vehicle. That's enough for insurance companies to often declare the car "totaled".
Life Savers got their shape by a malfunctioning machine, which mistakenly punched a hole in the center of each candy.
SUV sales are up 18% in the first quarter of 2004 vs. the same period of 2003, even though gas prices are skyrocketing. Consumer surveys show that gas prices would have to hit $3.75 per gallon before there will be any real impact on SUV sales.
Jimmy Carter once reported a UFO in Georgia.
There are 150,000,000 cell phones in use in the United States, more than one per every two human beings in the country.
A Boeing 767 airliner is made of 3,100,000 separate parts.
The average child recognizes over 200 company logos by the time he enters first grade.
Last December, the House of Representatives earmarked $50,000,000 to create an indoor rain forest in Iowa.
Amusement park attendance goes up after a fatal accident. It seems many people want to ride upon the same ride that killed someone.
For every ton of fish that is caught in all the oceans on our planet, there are three tons of garbage dumped into the oceans.
In 1991, the average bra size in the United States was 34B. Today it's 36C.
U.K. telecom provider Telewest Broadband is testing a device that hooks to your PC and wafts a scent when certain e-mails arrive.
The average North Korean 7-year-old is almost three inches shorter than the average South Korean 7-year-old.
In 1993, David McLean developed lung cancer. He died on October 12, 1995. McLean's death made him the second Marlboro Man to die of lung cancer. Another actor, Wayne McLaren, died in 1992 at the age of 51 from lung cancer.
There is a bar in London that sells vaporized vodka, which is inhaled instead of sipped.
In an effort to encourage the use of nuclear energy, the United States lent highly enriched uranium to countries all over the world between 1950 and 1988. Enough weapons-grade material to make 1,000 nuclear bombs has still not been returned by such countries as Pakistan, Iran, Israel and South Africa.
Every year, 2700 surgical patients go home from the hospital with metal tools, sponges, and other objects left inside them. In 2000, 57 people died as a result of these mistakes.
Eleven top executives of the Direct Marketing Association (the telemarketers' group that is trying to kill the federal "Do Not Call" list) have registered for the list themselves.
In 2003, the Transportation Security Administration dropped a requirement that air marshals pass a marksmanship test. Some applicants were even hired after they repeatedly shot flight attendants in mock hijacking episodes.
As of January 2004, the United States economy now borrows $1,500,000,000 each day from foreign investors.
During Bill Clinton's entire eight year presidency, he only sent two e-mails. One was to John Glenn when he was aboard the space shuttle, and the other was a test of the e-mail system.
Albert Einstein never knew how to drive a car.
The Mars Rover "Spirit" is powered by six small motors the size of "C" batteries. It has a top speed of 0.1 mph.
Microsoft threatened 17 year old Mike Rowe with a lawsuit after the young man launched a website named MikeRoweSoft.com.
As of January 1, 2004, the population of the United States increases by one person every 12 seconds. There is a birth every eight seconds, an immigrant is added every 25 seconds, but a death every 13 seconds.
The chance that you will die on the way to buy your lottery ticket is greater than the chance of you winning the big prize in most lotteries.
An average of 100 people choke to death on ball point pens each year.
Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma.
The Bible has been translated into Klingon.
Toto was paid $125 per week while filming the "Wizard of Oz".
Fidgeting can burn about 350 calories a day.
To help reduce budget deficits, several states have begun reducing the amount of food served to prison inmates. In Texas, the number of daily calories served to prisoners was cut by 300, saving the state $6,000,000 per year.
Pope John Paul II is the world's Scrabble champion in the over-70 category.
Ted Turner owns 5% of New Mexico.
Over 8 years, this happened 284 times: "Cosmo" Kramer went through Jerry Seinfeld's apartment door.
There are more 100 dollar bills in Russia currently than there are in the United States.
It is physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.
Pope John Paul II was named an "Honorary Harlem Globetrotter" in 2000.
It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is "shake" and the 46th word from the last word is "spear"
Point Roberts in Washington State is cut off from the rest of the state by British Columbia, Canada. If you wish to travel from Point Roberts to the rest of the state or vice versa, you must pass through Canada, including both Canadian and U.S. customs.
The Pentagon in Washington, D. C. has five sides, five stories, and five acres in the middle.
Newborn babies are given to the wrong mother in the hospital 12 times a day worldwide.
Each year, over 1,000,000 people fail to itemize out the mortgage interest deduction on their income taxes. Last year, this amounted to $473,000,000 in taxes.
In 1998, more fast-food employees were murdered on the job than police officers.
If you know a millionaire who happens to be married, what is the most likely profession of his wife? She's probably a teacher.
Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
In all three Godfather films, when you see oranges, there is a death (or a very close call) coming up soon.