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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Apr 18, 2018 2:53 pm 
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Post Posted: Apr 19, 2018 8:50 am 
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Family Lives In Tiny House On Island The Size Of A Tennis Court

Earth’s tiniest inhabited island is known as Just Room Enough Island for a reason — it’s barely the size of a tennis court.

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Despite measuring in at a minuscule 3,300 square feet, the mini-rock has enough room for a cramped cottage, a tree and a pair of deck chairs.

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Once known as Hub Island, the land — marooned off Alexandria Bay in New York state — was purchased in 1950 by the wealthy Sizelands family.

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The island is one of 1,864 tiny patches of land poking out of the St. Lawrence River, which separates New York from Ontario, Canada.

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The tiny island is about half the size of Bishop Rock, which the Guinness Book of World Records claimed was the world’s smallest inhabited island. But it lost its crown in 1982 after the island’s lighthouse became automated, so there was no need for humans to man it.

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Bishop Rock, Isles of Scilly

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Post Posted: Apr 20, 2018 8:55 am 
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A Massive Ancient Civilization Found In Guatemala

When Europeans began invading the Americas in force, they destroyed a lot of history along the way. They also destroyed the idea that the people who had been living on the continent for millennia were, well, people, with cultures and religions and cities of their own. That's carried all the way to the present day — most people these days think the Maya had an apocalyptic calendar, a couple of stone pyramids, and that's about it. But a new scan of the Guatemalan jungle has revealed a much more advanced infrastructure than even the experts would have guessed.

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What's been waiting in the jungle this whole time? Wide, raised highways connecting cities, complex irrigation systems, and no fewer than 60,000 residences, palaces, and other structures. This abundant discovery was made possible through the use of LiDAR (short for "Light Detection and Ranging"), which is capable of peering through the jungle's dense vegetation and seeing the hidden structures underneath. Seriously, in that area of the world, you could be standing right in front of a giant pyramid and not even realize it. But now that we have realized it, it's become clear that the Maya civilization was way bigger than we ever thought.

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LiDAR image

The project, which was spearheaded by the Pacunam Foundation, didn't target the entire Maya region. It only scanned about 800 square miles (2,100 square kilometers) of it, split among 10 different parcels of land. Even so, the findings suggested a densely populated region much more like ancient Greece or China than the sparsely populated "islands" of civilization modern archaeologists had originally believed were there. At its height, around 250–900 C.E., the Maya civilization was approximately twice as large as England, but was much more densely populated. The LiDAR revealed that the Maya empire may have had as many as 15 million citizens. Such a population was possible thanks to the empire's elaborate road networks and infrastructure.

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Densely populated region

The LiDAR didn't just uncover good news, though. Besides the wealth of newly discovered ancient structures, it also turned up the telltale signs of looters. In other words, these pyramids, palaces, and residences may have been a secret to researchers, but they weren't to unscrupulous huecheros, people who sell lost antiquities on the black market.

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Thieves aren't the only threat these ancient sites face. Deforestation and other environmental concerns put them at constant risk as well. Guatemala is currently losing its forestlands at a rate of about 10 percent per year. Just like the archaeologists, the industrialists and other trespassers who clear the land aren't able to see the ancient sites before they do so — but when they're done, those sites are destroyed forever. That's why it's more important than ever that we map the Maya world and protect it from four more centuries of wanton destruction.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Apr 21, 2018 8:55 am 
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Africa Is Physically Splitting Into Two Continents

Earth has seven continents — any third grader can tell you that. But that won't be the case forever. Africa is on track to split into two continents, but there's no need to freak out. Not yet, anyway. It’ll take a few million years … give or take.

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You may have seen apocalyptic photos of a huge crack cutting straight into Kenya on the internet recently. While they might look like a bad hoax, those images aren't photoshopped. That actually happened. On March 19, 2018, geologists confirmed a big ol' crack in the Earth that split the Nairobi-Narok highway. The photos look like the end of days, as the crack was a staggering 50 feet (15 meters) deep and more than 50 feet wide.

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What's happening here? News of this crevasse renewed conversation about the continent of Africa breaking into two. Believe it; it's true. In northeastern Africa, the continent is slowly cracking into what will eventually become two separate land masses, not unlike how Africa and South America once fit together like puzzle pieces. But whether that cracking caused this crack is up for debate.

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Africa and South America split

While the crack seems terrifyingly urgent, it's a bit misleading. Scientists have known for quite some time that Africa is splitting, thanks to tectonic plate action. You probably know that the Earth's lithosphere, which is formed by the crust and the upper part of the mantle, is broken up into multiple tectonic plates.

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These plates slowly glide around, bumping up against each other in some instances and stretching to the point of tearing in others. That's exactly what's going on here: the African plate is ripping itself in two, between the Nubian and Somalian plates. The East African Rift Valley, which stretches 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) from the Gulf of Aden to Zimbabwe, is where that'll occur.

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East African Rift

or

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While that process could be the underlying reason for the crack in Kenya, it's most likely expressing itself now due to heavy rainfall on the already weakened crust, not necessarily full-fledged plate separation. As the Guardian points out, similar results from erosion have been seen in tectonically stable regions like Arizona.

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Heavy rains in East Africa

As for when we'll have two separate Africas? Not for a while. The rifting in northeastern Africa began about 25 million years ago and will take 50 million more years to totally break off at the current rate of spreading (which is just a few millimeters per year). As for now, there's nothing we can do except sit back and watch. Geologist David Ahede tells Daily Nation, "You cannot stop a geological process because it occurs from deep within the crust of the Earth." In the meantime, the East African Rift is giving scientists a pretty fascinating look at the different stages of rifting in real-time.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Apr 21, 2018 12:11 pm 
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Isn't that deeply cool?! I just put a post on my FB page from Geology Wonders about it. Here are a couple more photos that astonished me in addition to the ones above:

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I wonder if it will break away faster once the Indian Ocean begins creeping in? and also, will they find oil there where it will be more accessible to extract?

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Post Posted: Apr 22, 2018 8:36 am 
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Book Towns Are Tiny Cities Made Up Almost Entirely Of Bookstores

A book town is a small rural town or village in which second–hand and antiquarian bookshops are concentrated. Most Book Towns have developed in villages of historic interest or of scenic beauty.

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It sounds simultaneously head-scratching and heartwarming — a beautiful tourist destination in a city made up almost entirely of bookstores. In Alex Johnson's new book "Book Towns: 45 Paradises of the Written Word," readers discover that such places can be found all over the world, from Jimbochu, Japan to Hobart, New York. But how does an entire town develop such a specialized industry?

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First of all, a picturesque environment is basically a must-have. Book towns are tourist hot spots and they can only thrive if tourists want to go there in the first place. Second of all, they generally need to be somewhere far away from any major cities, so the kind of money you make from secondhand books goes a little bit farther. Finally, you need to have a plan made with an equal mix of determination, business-savvy, and a love of books. Because while it might be a business decision to turn your town into a book town, it's a decision that doesn't necessarily guarantee fame and fortune.

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The transformation of a normal village into a book town is usually spurred by economic necessity, but with well over 40 examples of book towns around the world, it's a strategy that seems to pay off. They work because they collectively draw huge crowds to browse, so even though everyone and their neighbors are in the same business, the atmosphere is one of mutual support instead of competition. The result is a peaceful, scenic place where a visitor can experience the world even if their nose is in a book.

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Book towns are a relatively new phenomenon. The first one, Hay-on-Wye in Wales, popped up in 1977, and the actual International Organisation of Book Towns (IOBT) didn't start until the year 2000.

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Hay-on-Wye

Still, you'd have a task ahead of you if you were to try to hit them all. Here are a few that looked the most enticing to me:

Clunes, Australia was once a gold-rush town and transformed into a movie set for movies like "Mad Max" and "Ned Kelly." Since then, it's swiftly built itself up into a major book town surrounded by the rugged Australian outback.

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Fjærland, Norway is everything you could hope for in a Nordic getaway, plus miles upon miles of secondhand books. No better place to crack open a classic than overlooking a peaceful mountain lake.

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Hobart, New York isn't a member of the IOBT, but it certainly deserves an honorable mention. The self-described "book village" is home to only 500 people but a whopping five independent bookstores.

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Paju Book City, South Korea boasts a ratio of 20 books for every person, but there's a catch. Unlike many of the other literary destinations, nobody really lives in the city at all — they commute there to work.

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In Depth

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Post Posted: Apr 23, 2018 8:20 am 
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Why Was Singapore Called The Lion City?

The nation of Singapore consists of one large island and a few smaller islets at the end of the Malay Peninsula.

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The large island is connected to the mainland of Malaysia by a causeway almost a mile long. The name of the nation, its largest city, and the island it lies on, Singapore, comes from an expression that means “city of the lions” in the Malay language.

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But there are no lions in Singapore, or anywhere nearby. The nearest lions living in the wilds today are in India, more than 2,500 miles away.

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Closest thing to its namesake Lion

Then how did Singapore come to be known as the “city of the lions”? No one knows for sure.

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Maybe it’s their soccer team. Name? You guessed it … Lions

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Post Posted: Apr 24, 2018 8:31 am 
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This Russian Surgeon Removed His Own Appendix

Picture this: you're a 27-year-old on an Antarctic expedition to build a Soviet base in the early 1960s when you feel a stabbing, nausea-inducing pain on the right side of your midsection. It's a sure sign of acute appendicitis. The good news? You're a doctor. The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad news? You're the only doctor at your station, and the ship that left you there won't return for a year.

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Dr. Leonid Rogozov (left)

This nightmare scenario was Russian surgeon Leonid Rogozov's reality while on the sixth Soviet Antarctic expedition to build a base at the Schirmacher Oasis.

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Leonid Ivanovich Rogozov

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The new Novolazarevskaya Station was finished in February, but by April, Rogozov was in a life or death situation. He realized that the only person who could perform the surgery he desperately needed was himself. Vladislav, Rogozov's son, retold the story to the BBC: "He had to open his own abdomen to take his intestines out. He didn't know if it that was humanly possible." Even beyond the considerable personal costs, there were also political risks. The surgeon had to get approval from Moscow to attempt the surgery, since botching it would shed a negative light on the Soviet expedition during the Cold War. Not a great time to fail an auto-appendectomy, Rogozov.

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How'd it go? Rogozov assigned different tasks to his colleagues. They handed him instruments, held up a mirror, and made sure no one else fainted. Vladislav notes that he was very systematic and prepared for all potential outcomes. Rogozov even administered his own local anesthetic and performed the entire two-hour surgery without losing consciousness. But, he finally found the source of his pain. As Rogozov reports in his diary, "Finally, here it is, the cursed appendage! With horror I notice the dark stain at its base. That means just a day longer and it would have burst." But, it didn't — Rogozov's self-surgery was a success.

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According to the BBC, Rogozov returned to Russia a hero and his unfortunate medical issue became fodder for Soviet propaganda. Rogozov was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour and was even compared to the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. But what's the most impressive part of this story? He went back to work just two weeks later. Now that's dedication!

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Post Posted: Apr 25, 2018 8:59 am 
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The Mercury 13 Should Have Been The First Women In Space

Picture this. You're an accomplished pilot with multiple altitude records to your name. One day, you get the call that you never thought would come — NASA wants to recruit you for one of their first voyages into outer space. And with your credentials, they want you to train a crew as well. Spoiler alert: since it's the late '50s, and you're a female pilot, this dream won't happen the way you think it will.

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Jerrie Cobb undergoing physiological testing (NASA)

That pilot we were talking about? Her name is Jerrie Cobb, and she's lived an incredible life even without ever going to space. The daughter of distinguished pilot Lt. Col. William Cobb, she was flying before most kids even learn how to drive. Her first flight was in 1943, and four years later, at 16, she was helping to advertise traveling circuses by dropping leaflets from her little Piper J-3 Cub. Obviously, the kind of kid who has that as an after-school job is destined for great things. As an adult, Cobb was barred from joining the military — this would become a recurring theme in her life — but at age 22, she set international flight records for speed, distance, and absolute altitude.

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By 1958, she was a household name, at least in houses that cared a lot about airplanes. She had become one of the only female executives in the aeronautical field.

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So maybe it's not surprising that she was at the top of Dr. Randy Lovelace's short list of potential female astronauts. Lovelace was the physician who designed the physiological tests for the Mercury Seven, the men who became the United States' first astronauts — including famous names like John Glenn and Alan Shepard.

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Cobb turned out to be the first of many candidates who Lovelace tested, although he did so without the support of either the Air Force or NASA. After Cobb lasted more than nine hours in a sensory deprivation tank, much longer than any of the male astronaut trainees, Lovelace's program got its funding — from another female aviator named Jacqueline Cochran, who also happened to be a businesswoman with funds.

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All told, Lovelace found a total of 20 qualified female recruits, a number that was eventually whittled down to 13. Along with Cobb, their names were Wally Funk, Irene Leverton, Myrtle "K" Cagle, Jane B. Hart, Gene Nora Stumbough, Jerri Sloan, Rhea Hurrle, Sarah Gorelick, Bernice "B" Trimble Steadman, twin sisters Jan and Marion Dietrich, and Jean Hixson. For a minute, it looked like they might actually make it into space, until NASA decided not to support the next step of their training at the Naval School of Aviation Medicine. The Navy pulled its support shortly after. In 1962, with the bulk of their training behind them, the 13 women had to argue their case before Congress.

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NASA's first six women astronauts pose with a mock-up of a personal rescue enclosure (PRE) or "rescue ball" in the crew systems laboratory at the Johnson Space Center. From left: Margaret R. (Rhea) Seddon, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Judith A. Resnick, Sally K. Ride, Anna L. Fisher, and Shannon W. Lucid. Picture: NASA

The Mercury 13 weren't exactly unknown, although they were officially known as the FLATs (First Lady Astronaut Trainees). But when you look at coverage of their fight to blast off, you'll generally find plenty of info about their looks, their fashion choices, and their husbands, instead of their credentials. In fact, when Jane Hart took the stand, she wasn't even billed under her own name — she was called "Mrs. Philip Hart."

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”Mrs. Philip Hart”

Their cause was just and their logic was sound, but just consider that one NASA official was quoted as saying women in space made him sick to his stomach. It's clear that they were never going to win the fight.

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Even John Glenn wouldn't support them, testifying that only men who had served in the military could be capable of spaceflight. The Mercury 13 program was allowed to wither away — and the next year, the USSR became the first country to put a woman in orbit.

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Valentina Tereshkova

About 20 years after the Soviets broke the planetary glass ceiling, the United States finally sent its first female astronaut, Sally Ride, into space. It was another 12 years before US astronaut Col. Eileen Collins became the country's first female pilot in space.

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Sally Ride

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Eileen Collins

The good news is that we've come a long way. But the bad news is that it's taken a long time. Now, with a new documentary on the Mercury 13 available on Netflix (and another from Amazon coming close behind), it might be time to reflect on the many ways that prejudice held us back in the past — and how it's holding us back right now.

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Post Posted: Apr 26, 2018 8:36 am 
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More Little Known Facts

The kale salad at McDonald's has more calories (730) than a Double Big Mac (680). It also has more fat and sodium, and less protein.

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No one is certain why John Deere chose green for its main color, but that hue has been in use by the company since the late 19th century.

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When an order of sizzling fajitas goes out at Chili's, the cooks begin preparing more skillets, because the smell and sizzle of the dish prompts more orders. It's known as the "fajita effect."

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From an engineering standpoint, the Titanic was not really a ship at all but a gigantic, seagoing zeppelin.

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John Adams thought the president should be referred to as “His Highness.”

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Germany has the most total McDonald's franchises in Europe - a whopping 1,478.

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Hunting unicorns is legal in Michigan

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Banging your head against a wall burns 150 calories per hour.

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The average person spends 6 months of their lifetime waiting on a red light to turn green.

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James Buchanan, the 15th U.S. president continuously bought slaves with his own money in order to free them.

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Post Posted: Apr 27, 2018 8:38 am 
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Where Is A Lake Within A Lake?

Lake Huron is one of the Great Lakes, on the border between the United States and Canada. In the Canadian part of the lake, there’s an island called Manitoulin, the largest island in the world that lies within a lake.

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And on this island is a lake, called Lake Manitou, that might be called a lake-within-a-lake! It covers about 41 square miles, making it the largest lake of its kind on earth. And in Lake Manitou you’ll find a few islands, islands-within-an-island!

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Apr 27, 2018 8:46 am 
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The earth "breathes". The changing of seasons replicates a breathing-like action. Imagine inhaling winter and exhaling
life back into our hemisphere. At 30 seconds, the view changes to the north pole perspective (my favorite part).





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUW8V5Rn0BM

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