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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 6, 2019 9:41 am 
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How Did The Virgin Islands Become Part of the United States?

The U.S. Virgin Islands, not to be confused with the British Virgin Islands, are a territory of the United States.

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They lie about 40 miles east of Puerto Rico.

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Because the U.S. government wanted to control this strategic spot in the Caribbean during World War I, it purchased this group of 50 islands and cays from Denmark in 1917. Purchase price was $25 million.

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In 2000 the population of the U.S. Virgin Islands was roughly 108,612.
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The islands were named by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493 after Saint Ursula and her virgin followers.

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During the 18th and early 19th centuries, sugarcane produced by slave labor drove the islands’ economy until the abolition of slavery in 1848.

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In Depth

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 7, 2019 9:25 am 
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How Did Dr. Seuss Come Up With the Ideas For His Classic Books?

Green Eggs and Ham was written by Theodor Seuss Geisel on a bet with the founder of Random House, Bennett Cerf.

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Theodor Seuss Geisel

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Bennett Cerf

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Green Eggs and Ham

Geisel wagered that he could write a good book using only 50 words, and Cerf was sure it was impossible.

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Geisel won the bet but never collected on it. It was the only one of his books - the author claimed - that made him laugh.

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Yertle the Turtle was based on Adolf Hitler.

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Adolf Hitler

Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now? features a skulking character who is constantly asked to go away.

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The character was based on ex-president Richard Nixon.

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The Cat in the Hat was an answer to a 1957 report about children who were struggling to read in school. The study showed that children responded to illustrations and retained more from “fun” books than from traditional but boring readers like Dick and Jane.

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Geisel was hired by a publisher to come up with a book that would fit this bill. He was given a list of 400 words and asked to choose 220, the number of words kids were thought to be able to absorb at one time.

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Unfortunately, the word restrictions made the book difficult for Geisel to write.

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He found two words on the list that rhymed, cat and hat, then spent nine months writing the story.

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In Depth

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 8, 2019 9:44 am 
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Can Dolphins Communicate?

Since ancient times, the dolphin has been considered a special animal.

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But it is only recently that research has discovered that the friendly, playful dolphin is highly intelligent.

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Some scientists consider the dolphin to be even more intelligent than the chimpanzee. A comparison of their brain sizes would seem to support this.

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Dolphins and porpoises belong to the same family as whales. They are all mammals. But much more is known about the dolphin than the porpoise. Dolphins adapt readily to captivity, while porpoises, when taken out of their natural environment, go into shock and die.

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Some suspect that all of the performing “porpoises” in aquariums are really bottlenose dolphins, and can be identified by their beaklike snouts.

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Dolphins cannot talk in the same way human beings do. But they do communicate with each other through a series of noises that sound to us like whistles, squeaks, creaks, chirps, and clicks.

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They can also echolocate with sonarlike ability

Dolphins also make some sounds that are beyond humans’ range of hearing. They make all their sounds by blowing different amounts of air through their blowholes.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 9, 2019 9:36 am 
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When Was Belize Settled By English Buccaneers?

Belize is a tiny country on Central America’s east coast and was founded by English buccaneers in the early seventeenth century.

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These pirates lurked on its cays, or small islands, waiting to pounce on Spanish ships bearing gold and silver bound for Spain. Britain kept possession of Belize until 1981, when the colony became independent.

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English is still the official language.

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Belize was not the only haven for pirates. Tortuga, an island near Hispaniola, and Jamaica were also used as bases to raid Spanish ships and colonies at various times until the eighteenth century.

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“Buccaneer,” a common term for a pirate of the West Indies, comes from the French word boucanier. A boucanier was a person from Hispaniola or Tortuga who smoked meat on a boucan, or barbecue frame, perhaps to provide a meal between raids on Spanish ships.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 10, 2019 9:23 am 
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What Are The Busiest Seaports In The World?

Rotterdam, Netherlands, was the busiest port city in the world from 1962 to about 2005.

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It handled more than 325 million tons of cargo annually, and is situated in the Dutch province of South Holland.

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Today the port of Shanghai has become the world’s largest cargo port as a result of economic reforms, intense re-development, and financing in the city. I assume that because of its size, it’s also the busiest.

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The city of Shanghai is located at the middle portion of the Chinese coast, and sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

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Once a fishing and textiles town, Shanghai is now the largest center of trade and commerce in mainland China, and is described as the “showpiece” of the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

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Other busy seaports in the world include the Port of South Louisiana in New Orleans, the port of Singapore, and Kobe in Japan.

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Port of New Orleans

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Port of Singapore

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Port of Kobe

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 11, 2019 9:37 am 
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Where Did The Term “Cagers” For Basketball Players Come From?

When Canadian James Naismith introduced basketball, the game was played with a soccer ball and the baskets were peach buckets nailed to the balcony at each end of the gym.

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The early games were rough and crude before Naismith introduced his thirteen rules in 1892.

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They were so rough that the Trenton basketball team, playing in the first YMCA League, built a fence around the court to keep the ball in play.

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This fence was like a cage, and so the players were called cagers. Some teams even adopted the term as the team name.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 12, 2019 9:18 am 
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What Was The Most Expensive Movie Ever Made?

Arguably (see "In Depth" link below), the costliest film ever made comes, surprisingly, not from Hollywood, but from Russia! This film, a 1960s version of the novel “War and Peace”, took five years to make, was over six hours long, and cost over $96 million, or $772 million in today’s dollars.

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The most successful movie of all time, however, is Star Wars, which earned over $350 million worldwide ($130 million in America alone) in its first year, and is still making money.

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The second most successful film in history is Jaws, followed by The Godfather, The Exorcist, and The Sound of Music.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 13, 2019 9:38 am 
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Where Are We Now?

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Vague hint:

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===============

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We are here.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 14, 2019 9:25 am 
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How’s the Weather At The Poles?

The North Pole is mostly water, the Arctic Ocean, with just the edges of the continents of North America, Europe, and Asia touching on the ocean. The air currents rising from that great expanse of ocean keep the temperature fairly high, ranging from -30° F. in the winter to 50° in the summer. This makes it possible for plants, animals, and people like the Eskimos to survive in the Arctic.

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The South Pole, on the other hand, is mostly solid land, the continent of Antarctica, which is one big icecap. It is actually the coldest and most barren area on earth. In the winter, temperatures inland range from -40° to -100° F., and even in the summer, temperatures are well below freezing. Here, cold, high-pressure air masses keep forming, and only simple insect and plant life can survive inland, although the Antarctic’s slightly warmer sea coast area is home to seals, whales, penguins, and some fish and birds.

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Scientists have found fossils in Antarctica to show that it was once a warm land covered with trees and plants, but can only speculate on how it became an icy wasteland!

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 14, 2019 10:59 am 
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Many years ago I worked in Antarctica and a funny thing is that the wind there is ALWAYS out of the north.


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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 14, 2019 11:46 am 
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At the south pole, I guess that answer is quite literally true.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jan 15, 2019 9:31 am 
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keg wrote:
At the south pole, I guess that answer is quite literally true.

Agree. From the south pole, you'd think all directions point north. :?

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