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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 28, 2018 3:35 pm 
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Bobcat wrote:
Henry wrote:
Bobcat wrote:
Henry wrote:
The first country to be saddled with the insulting name may have been Honduras early this century, when American fruit companies were buying up Honduran land and using it to grow bananas. To this day, bananas are Honduras’s principal crop.

Which century would that be? :)



Oops. Post corrected. :oops:

Being older, I do it all the time. Every time someone says "turn of the century" and they are talking about the 20th to the 21st it just points out to me how old I am.

You know you are getting old when you tell someone your birth date and it sounds like a long time ago.


That certainly describes me. :yikes:

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 29, 2018 7:41 am 
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What Was The Underground Railroad And Where Was It Located?

The Underground Railroad (UGRR) was the name given to a secret network of houses and people who illegally helped escaping slaves reach safety in the non-slave states or Canada in the period before the American Civil War.

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It was also called the Liberty Line. The name also referred to the escape routes through the North as well as some that led south to other countries.

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Underground Railroad (aka Liberty Line)

Many people who believed that slavery was wrong offered their homes, churches, and services to the Underground Railroad.

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The Underground Railroad began in the 1780s under the Quakers. Northern free blacks played an important role in planning, communication, and decision making within the network. The Underground Railroad was most active in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio, and existed in most states in the North.

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It is estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 escaped slaves were aided by the Underground Railroad.

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Harriet Tubman was one of the more famous conductors in the Underground Railroad. She was a Maryland slave who escaped in 1849 by walking one hundred miles to Pennsylvania.

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Carrying a rifle, she made at least fifteen trips back to the South to help at least three hundred slaves escape, including her parents and six of her ten brothers and sisters. Although a reward of $40,000 was offered for her capture, she was never caught, and never lost a passenger.

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William Still and Letitia Still were free blacks in Philidelphia who used their home as a station on the Underground Railroad. Still kept records on as many slaves as possible and published them in a book, Underground Railroad Records.

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William Still

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Pages from William’s journal

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Underground Railroad Records

In Depth

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jun 30, 2018 7:37 am 
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Where Is the Driest Desert In The World And How Often Does It Rain There?

The Atacama Desert in Chile is the driest desert in the world.

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The Desert Hand – symbol of the Atacama Desert

There are a limited number of flora species that grow there. And they must all be resistant to extreme drought conditions.

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Dried riverbed

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The foot of Volcan Licancabur in the Atacama Desert

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Its elevation is about 8,000 feet (2,438 m), with average temperatures ranging from 32° to 75°F (0° to 25°C). It rains there about once every 100 years.

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This is due to its location on the eastern side of the Coast Range, which results in a weather phenomenon known as the rain shadow effect.

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When moist air from the ocean rises up the western side of these mountains, it cools and the water condenses, producing rain. But when the air goes down the eastern side of the mountains, it grows warmer and drier.

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The Atacama receives some precipitation in the form of fog in the coastal areas and of snow in the mountains.

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Much of Chile’s copper comes from mines in the Atacama Desert.

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Post Posted: Jul 1, 2018 7:35 am 
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Five Of The World's Most Remote Places (And What It Takes To Get There)

As the world's infrastructure and technology continue to advance, it's becoming easier and easier to take off and travel the globe. Even so, there are still some places left on Earth that are far from easy to get to. These are five of the world's most remote towns, islands, and inhabited lands, and what it takes to get there — if you dare attempt it.


Supai, Arizona, USA

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Havasupai Indian Reservation (aerial view)

The remote village of the Havasupai Indian Tribe is located in the westernmost part of the Grand Canyon and it's open to visitors who reserve a campsite. Sounds easy enough, right? Not at all. To get there, it's a 4-hour drive from Grand Canyon Village to Havasupai Hilltop. Once there, you'd better lace up your hiking boots, because it's quite the trek down to camp — the National Park Service recommends giving yourself three days to get there. If you're looking to make more of an entrance, horseback or helicopter are also option.

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Havasupai Falls, AZ


Kerguelen Islands, French Southern and Antarctic Lands

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Appropriately nicknamed "Desolate Islands," this group of islands in the Indian Ocean is only accessible by boat four days a year. Talk about remote! Part of the French and Southern Antarctic Lands, the Kerguelen Islands are 2,000 miles from civilization (on the southernmost part of Africa) and covered in inhospitable mountains and glaciers. The 45 to 100 researchers that inhabit the islands year-round must endure 300 days of rain, sleet, or snow and winds so strong that its flying insects have evolved to be wingless so that they don't blow out to sea.

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Road to Nowhere



Socotra Island, Yemen

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An archipelago 211 miles off the coast of Yemen in the Indian Ocean, Socotra is so isolated that one-third of its plant and animal species aren't found anywhere else on Earth. Once part of the supercontinent of Gondwana, Socotra split off on its own millions of years ago, allowing its many unique species to flourish.

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Many say visiting Socotra is like visiting another planet, which makes it a particularly popular bucket-list item. However, traveling there by sea has always been problematic due to two annual monsoons and the prevalence of pirates. Traveling by air, meanwhile, is only possible via mainland Yemen and that's ill-advised due to the country's ongoing civil war.

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Motuo (aka –Mêdog) County, China

Motuo County, nestled on the southern side of the Himalayas, is the only place in all of China with no roads leading in or out — but it's not for lack of trying.

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Forces of nature like mudslides and avalanches have thwarted previous attempts to build any kind of access roads into the area.

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Although it's one of the most remote places in the world, it is possible to visit Motuo — but be ready for anything.

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People looking to visit this beautiful and mysterious place must trek across the treacherous Himalayas and cross a 200-meter long suspension bridge to get there. Hold on tight.

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Hiking to Motuo

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Crossing the suspension bridge

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Motuo/Medog



Oymyakon, Russia

Tucked away in a remote corner of Siberia, this Russian town is known as one of the coldest inhabited places on earth. Winter temperatures average an unbelievable minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit, cold enough to give you frostbite within minutes. It's also impossible to grow crops in these temperatures, so people survive on reindeer meat, frozen fish, and horse-blood ice cubes with macaroni. I posted on this place a few months back.

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Frozen fish

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Outhouse. Too cold for plumbing

As if the cold wasn't challenging enough, it takes several days just to get in or out of the region. You can catch a flight from Moscow to the towns of Yakutsk or Magadan, but those are still 560 miles (900 kilometers) away from Oymyakon via the Road of Bones. Visit at your own risk!

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Road Of Bones

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jul 2, 2018 7:23 am 
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How Does A Flying Squirrel Fly And Where Do Flying Squirrels Come From?

Flying squirrels are nocturnal mammals that have fluffy tails that helps stabilize it in flight, and are native to North America and Europe.

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Flying squirrels don’t really fly, they glide or drift like a hang glider between trees.

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The flying squirrel does this by using a fold of skin on each side of its body that’s connected to its front and back legs.

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Leaping from a tree branch and stretching out its legs allows the folds of skin to become “wings” of sorts, but more like those of an airplane than a bird.

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A flying squirrel steers by using its flat, wide tail as a rudder and stabilizer.

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Its flight path begins with a downward glide to pick up speed, then levels off, and finally makes a quick upward dart to slow down before landing.

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It’s a skill that doesn’t seem to require much practice: by the time they are six weeks old, young flying squirrels can fly on their own.

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Young flying squirrel

Cue the Theme from Rocky.

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In Depth

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jul 3, 2018 7:36 am 
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*** Topic Revisit ***

--------------------

Note: A “revisit” means that either new facts or better images
- or both - have been found on a topic I previously posted on.

--------------------



Where Is The Longest Suspension Bridge In The World And How Long Is It?

In Japan, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge connecting the city of Kobe with Awaji Island over the Akashi Strait opened in 1998 and is 2.43 miles (3.9 km) long.

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Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

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The main span (suspension tower-to-suspension tower) is 1.24 miles (2 km) long.

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Because the bridge is near the epicenter of the earthquake that hit Kobe in 1995, its designers made sure that its foundations were deep enough to withstand earthquakes up to a magnitude of 8.5 on the Richter scale.

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Other key features were improved wind resistance and the addition of mass dampers to lessen the sway during an earthquake.

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The previous record holder was the Humber Estuary Bridge in Humberside, Great Britain, which has a 4,625 foot (1,410 meter) main span.

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Humber Estuary Bridge

In Depth

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Post Posted: Jul 4, 2018 7:31 am 
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Independence Day

On July 4, 1776, the United States of America proclaimed its independence from England by adopting the Declaration of Independence.

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While the signing of the Declaration itself was not completed until August, the Fourth of July holiday is seen as the official anniversary of U.S. independence.

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Although Philadelphians marked the first anniversary of independence in 1777 with spontaneous celebrations in the streets of Philadelphia, the first recorded use of the name "Independence Day" wasn't until 1791 and Independence Day celebrations only became common after the War of 1812.

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1812

By the 1870’s, Independence Day had become the most important secular holiday on the American calendar and has transformed into what is known as the 4th of July today.

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In 1870, The U.S. Congress made Independence Day an unpaid holiday for federal employees, though it wasn't until 1941 that Congress declared Independence Day to be a paid federal holiday.

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Post Posted: Jul 5, 2018 7:31 am 
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Which Came First The Chicken Or The Egg?

Many religions would say the chicken came first without hesitation, claiming that their god created the animals and birds complete and without evolution or change.

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However, evolutionary evidence more strongly supports the egg-first theory.

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Genetically, chickens can be traced back to an earlier bird found in Indochina called the red jungle fowl.

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Red Jungle Fowl

Over time, with enough tawdry little love affairs and subsequent genetic mutations, one of these red jungle fowl mothers laid an egg about 8,000 years ago, the egg that “came first.”

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It produced a bird much more closely resembling a chicken than a red jungle fowl.

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So the egg came first, and shortly afterward the chicken was born, becoming a fixture on farms everywhere.

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In Depth

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jul 5, 2018 8:30 am 
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:hugegrin: That was fun! Image

Thanks very much, Henry!! I really enjoy these. The ones that are above my head stretch my brain a little. 8O :D

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Post Posted: Jul 6, 2018 7:33 am 
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The More Certain You Are About Something, The Less Informed You're Likely To Be

There are some things that you can be absolutely sure of. The Earth is round, it goes around the sun, everybody is going to die someday, and tax day is going to come around every single year. But if you feel that you've got the one correct answer to a question that's a little more controversial, then you might want to double-check that. It turns out, the more certain you are about something, the less informed you're likely to be about it.

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According to a new study by Michael Hall and Kaitlin Raimi from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, people with a high degree of what they call "belief superiority" had the largest gap between how informed they believed they were and how informed they actually were about the subjects they were so opinionated about. First, let's clear up what, exactly, belief superiority is. It's not just how confident you are in your belief; it's how much you believe that belief is better than those of other people. In other words, confidence is an absolute value, but belief-superiority is a relative value based on what you think of others' opinions.

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It's yet another version of the Dunning-Kruger effect, where the most qualified people feel the least confident about their abilities and the least qualified are the most certain that they've got the skills to pay the bills.

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For this study, the researchers gathered their participants through Amazon's Mechanical Turk, which allowed them access to people of a wide variety of demographics and viewpoints. When they asked those people about some politically contentious topics, they were able to find which of them had the greatest sense of belief superiority. Then, they compared how those participants ranked their own knowledge about those subjects and how much they actually knew. Then came the fun part.

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After they compared people's presumed knowledge against their actual knowledge, the researchers then presented them with a spread of headlines from various sources. They included a mix of headlines that were belief congruent and belief incongruent — that is, some headlines that participants would agree with and some that they'd disagree with. The participants were then asked how likely they would be to read each article to the end. You might not be too surprised to find out that the people with the strongest sense of belief superiority were also the least likely to read articles that didn't jibe with their previously held beliefs.

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In other words, not only were they less informed about the things they felt the most strongly about, but they were also less likely to seek out information that might expand their knowledge about those things. It's not all bad news, though. For one thing, the participants with the bias against headlines they didn't like were absolutely aware of that tendency in themselves. And secondly, the researchers found that when they tried methods to lower their sense of belief superiority, those same participants were more likely to try reading horizon-expanding think pieces. So maybe the answer is that the next time you're feeling especially fired up about something, it's a good moment to step back and consider a different point of view.

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In Depth

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jul 6, 2018 7:57 am 
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Very interesting and timely article, Henry, thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jul 6, 2018 9:56 am 
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keg wrote:
Very interesting and timely article, Henry, thanks!


A pleasure indeed, keg.

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