These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday Trivia

Summer's over. Are you finished with your traveling? Here are some things about places that I'll bet you didn't see this summer and probably a lot that you didn't know:

Ukraine, the largest country fully contained in Europe and the site of the 1986 explosion of a nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, has more than 25,000 rivers.

The Netherlands, whose name means "the lowlands", originated the December tradition of a visit from Santa Claus.

The people of Madagascar are known as the Malagasy. The island republic contains half the chameleon species on earth and over 200 unique butterfly species and 40 lemur species.

New Zealand, one of the world's largest exporters of lamb and dairy products, was the first country to allow women to vote.

Costa Rica, whose name means "rich coast", has Central America's highest literary rate.

Portugal, whose language is spoken by 200 million people in different parts of the world, supplies 70 percent of the cork used by all other countries.

The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota is the size of 78 football fields --- 9.5 million square feet.

Bloomington and Minneapolis are the two farthest north latitude cities to ever host a World Series game.

In Australia, the Number 1 topping for pizza is eggs. In Chile, the favorite topping is mussels and clams. In the United States, it's pepperoni.

On average, 9,000 earthquakes take place worldwide everyday.

Rock drawings from the Red Sea site of Wadi Hammamat, dated to around 4000 BC show that Egyptian boats were made from papyrus and reeds.

The world's earliest known plank-built ship, made from cedar and sycamore wood and dated to 2600 BC, was discovered next to the Great Pyramid in 1952.

Following Chicago's 1886 Haymarket Riot in which ten people were killed by a bomb, the police charged eight labor leaders--none of whom was present at the time of the bombing--with aiding an unknown person to commit murder. Although no evidence linked the leaders with the incident, seven of them were sentenced to death and four were hanged. The remaining leaders were pardoned by the governor of Illinois in 1893.

In India it is perfectly proper for men to wear pajamas in public. Pajamas are accepted as standard daytime wearing apparel.

The pyramids in Egypt contain enough stone and mortar to construct a wall 10 feet high and 5 feet wide running from New York City to Los Angeles.

Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, a French nobleman and a Franciscan, came to America in 1683. Cadillac established a fur-trading post in 1701, where Lake Erie connects to Lake St. Clair. That became Detroit.

Magnets got their name from Magnesia, a province in Greece.

Alaska has more caribou than people.

It was at a concert in Minneapolis in 1954 that Al Dvorin first closed Elvis's concerts with: "Ladies and Gentleman, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and good night."

Minneapolis is known as the City of Lakes and the Mill City.

The Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields --- 9.5 million square feet.
The first open heart surgery and the first bone marrow transplant in the United States were done at the University of Minnesota.

The Minnesota State Motto is L'Etoile du Nord, which means The North Star.

Akeley is birthplace and home of world's largest Paul Bunyan Statue. The kneeling Paul Bunyan is 20 feet tall. He might be the claimed 33 feet tall, if he were standing.

Candy maker Frank C. Mars of Minnesota introduced the Milky Way candy bar in 1923. Mars marketed the Snickers bar in 1930 and introduced the 5 cent Three Musketeers bar in 1937. The original 3 Musketeers bar contained 3 bars in one wrapper. Each with different flavor nougat.

In Browning, Montana on January 23, 1916, the temperature dropped exactly 100 degrees, from 44 degrees above zero to 56 degrees below zero. This is the world record for a 24-hour temperature change.

The Vatican's Swiss Guard still wears a uniform designed by Michelangelo in the early 16th century.

The original name of Los Angeles was El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles del rio Porciuncula, translating into: The Village of our Lady the Queen of the Angels of the Porciuncula River.

The United States government keeps its supply of silver at the US Military Academy at West Point, NY. Erected in 1937 as the West Point Bullion Depository, this was originally a storage facility for silver bullion and was nicknamed "The Fort Knox of Silver."

In South East Asia, the banana leaf is used to wrap food (in the place of plastic bags and cling wraps), providing a unique flavor and aroma to nasi lemak and the Indian banana leaf rice.

The first city in the world to have a population of more than one million was London, which today is the 13th most populated city, with about 8 million residents.

Holland is the only country with a national dog. The Keeshond.

Hawaii is the only U.S. state never to report a temperature of zero.

Two of the tallest mountains in the Pacific - Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa - dominate the center of the island. Most of the world's macadamia nuts are grown on the island.

The Hawaian Islands themselves are the tips of mountains.

Only about 13,448 feet of Mauna Loa are above sea level, so it may not seem like a very tall mountain. But, when you start measuring Mauna Loa from its true base on the bottom of the ocean, in the Hawaiian Trough, the total height exceeds that of Everest by over 3/4 of a mile.

The Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii is the largest volcano on Earth. It rises more than 50,000 feet (9.5 miles) above its base, which sits under the surface of the sea.

The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome, Italy in 133 B.C. London, England reached the mark in 1810 and New York, USA made it in 1875. Today, there are over 300 cities in the world that boast a population in excess of 1 million.

Home of the Wolverines - In 1817 the University of Michigan was the first university established by any of the states. Originally named Cathelepistemian and located in Detroit the name was changed in 1821. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1841.

Never Forget your Roots - China holds the honor as the only ancient civilization that has continued to the present day. Its culture and language date back to the 3000s B.C.

Ode to Ohio - Seven United States presidents were born in Ohio. They are: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding.

A few things about the St. Louis Arch:

The Arch is the tallest national monument in the United States at 630 feet; it is St. Louis' best known landmark and a popular tourist attraction.

The Arch weighs 17,246 tons. Nine hundred tons of stainless steel was used to build the Arch, more than any other project in history.

In order to ensure that the constructed legs would meet, the margin of error for failure was 1/64th of an inch. All survey work was done at night to eliminate distortion caused by the sun's rays. Since the Arch was constructed before the advent of computer technology, relatively crude instruments were used for these measurements.

Each year, approximately a million visitors ride the trams to the top of the Arch. The trams have been in operation for over 30 years, traveling a total of 250,000 miles and carrying over 25 million passengers.

The Arch sways a maximum of 18" (9" each way) in a 150 mph wind. The usual sway is 1/2".

The Arch is a structure known as a catenary curve, the shape a free-hanging chain takes when held at both ends, and considered the most structurally-sound arch shape. The span of the Arch legs at ground level is 630 feet, the same as its height.

Now .... go forth and share the knowledge!


  1. Great triva I need to move to Hawai.

  2. Redfrog, I'm guessing it is the "no freezing temperature" thing, right? ;)

  3. Hawaii here I come...I have been to the arch several times and it is pretty cool.

  4. MJ, WHAT? You'd give up MO/KS for Hawaii? Wha'samattau??



If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!