What you think you know may not be so! Amaze your friends with these fun facts.

Random Did You Know Facts


Mar 29, 2009

Railroads & Trains (Locomotives)

Did you know...

Wagonways or Roads of Rails, as they were also called, were being used in Germany as early as 1550.
These primitive railed roads (what we now call railroads or railways) were made of wooden rails over which horse-drawn wagons, carts and carriages were pulled with greater ease than over dirt roads, were the beginnings of our modern railroads.

Iron replaced the wood in the rails and the wheels on the carts by 1776. The Wagonways soon became known as Tramways, which spread though out Europe. Even with the new rails horses still provided all the pulling power. It was kinda tricky keeping the wheels on the rails. Then in 1789 an Englishman, William Jessup, designed flanged wheels. The flange was a groove that allowed the wheels to better grip the rail, this was an important design that carried over to our modern locomotives today.

The invention of the steam engine in 1699 by Thomas Savery, was critical to the invention of the modern railroad and trains. In 1769 Frenchman Nicholas Cugnot builds a steam carriage. In 1803, a man named Samuel Homfray decided to fund the development of a steam-powered vehicle to replace the horse-drawn carts on the tramways. Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) built that vehicle, the first steam engine tramway locomotive. On February 22, 1804, the locomotive hauled a load of 10 tons of iron, 70 men and five extra wagons the 9 miles between the ironworks at Pen-y-Darron in the town of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales to the bottom of the valley called Abercynnon. It took about two hours.

The very first passenger train ran from Swansea to Mumbles (Wales) on March 25th,1807 .

Mar 16, 2009

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Mar 11, 2009

Why we wear shoes

Did you know...
Shoes or footwear or footcovers were used so long ago that we take them for granted.
Just ask yourself what would you have done to stop the pain on the bottom of your feet if you had to hunt for food in your bare feet whether in grass or on rocks. Can't you just imagine how that must have hurt. So sooner than later someone came up with the idea of covering the feet with animal hide to protect their feet from this pain.

Studies of the foot bones of ancient humans suggest that some form of sturdy footwear was worn by human beings beginning between 40,000 and 26,000 years ago.
Before words like "ouch" was used the primitive man had to make his way over rocks and discovered the need for covering his feet to protect them. So the first shoes, which were probably sandals, were mats of grass, strips of hide, or even flat pieces of wood. These were fastened to the soles of the feet by thongs that were then bound around the ankles. Of course, in colder regions, these sandals didn’t protect the feet sufficiently, so more material was added and gradually the sandals developed into shoes. Among the first civilized people to make shoes were the Egyptians. They used pads of leather or papyrus, which were bound to the foot by two straps. In order to protect the toes, the front of the sandal was sometimes turned up.

The Romans went a step further and developed a kind of shoe called the calceus They had slits at the side and straps knotted in front. There were different forms of the calceus, to be worn by the different classes of society. In some of the cold regions of the earth, people developed a kind of shoe independently.

For example, they sometimes wore bags padded with grass and tied around the feet. In time, these first foot coverings developed into the moccasins of the Eskimo and the Indian. As far as our modern shoes are concerned, their beginnings can be traced to the Crusades. The Crusaders went on long pilgrimages, and they needed protection for their feet, so it became necessary to create shoes that would last a long time.

The shoes found with the 5,300-year-old “Ice Man” in the Tyrolean Alps were made of skins and braided-bark netting and stuffed with straw and moss. The sandal, a very early form of the shoe, was worn in Egypt, Greece, and Rome; a more ancient example (c.8000 B.C.), woven from plant materials, was found in an Oregon cave. An early form of the boot was also known in Greece and Rome. The characteristic shoe of the Middle Ages was the soft, clinging moccasin, which extended to the ankle. It was highly decorated and was of velvet, cloth of gold, and, increasingly, of leather.

In time, leather shoes of great beauty began to appear in Italy, France, and England. Shoes have always been subject to whims of fashion. For example, at the time of King James I of England, high heels and very soft leathers were fashionable in society. It made for difficult walking, but people insisted on wearing them. At one time, before the appearance of the high heel, long-toed shoes were considered fashionable. The shoes were very narrow, and the toes were 12 and 15 centimeters long, and pointed.

In the American colonies, the earliest known shoemaker was Thomas Beard, who arrived in Salem, Mass., in 1629 and was under contract to make shoes for the Pilgrim colony. Early shoemakers worked at home, in small shops, or as itinerant workers who went to homes to make up the annual supply. Hand processes were used until c.1833

Mar 6, 2009

Your Body and Water

Did you know...

Water is truly the elixir of life for the human body. Our
bodies are mainly water as the percentages below show:

* Lean muscle tissue is 75% water
* Saliva is 95% water
* Blood is 90% water
* Lymph is 94% water
* Lungs and brain are 80% water

Why is water necessary to live:

- Water cleanses your body and removes toxic wastes. If
toxic wastes build up, they can lead to obesity,
constipation or diverticulitis. Also the toxins are
absorbed into the bloodstream and lead to inflammation and

- Water helps keep joints comfortable and lubricated.
Dehydrated cartilage causes friction in the joints that can
lead to degenerative joint disease and arthritis.
Water may be the answer to elevating the pain of arthritis.

- Water keeps your blood thin and makes it easier for the
heart to pump it through the body. When blood is too
thick, it causes increased stress on your heart to pump it.
It also shuts down blood vessels, making it harder for
nutrients to get to the vital organs.
Water may help diabetics control their blood sugar.

- Water keeps your skin smooth, healthy and young-looking.
Dehydrated skin is rough, dry and wrinkle-prone.
Water may help prevent wrinkles.

- Water is vital to the brain--80% of your brain is water
and it needs water to function and have energy.
Water may make your memory.

- Just a 5% drop in bodily fluids will cause a 25-30%
energy loss in most people, and a 15% drop will cause death.
Water may help you run that extra mile.

We need water to stay healthy, cleanse our systems
and replenish the fluids our bodies need.

How much water do we need?

It's been a common practice to recommend 8 (8 oz.) glasses
of water a day, but that's truly just a bare bones minimum.

Every day we lose over 2 quarts (64 oz.) of water through
our normal bodily functions alone, so we need to take in at
least enough water to replace what we lose...but our bodies
need more than that.

A good guide is to strive to drink a quart of water (32
oz.) for every 50 pounds of body-weight.

I know what you're thinking--"I'll be in the bathroom more

That's True, but what's wrong with that? It's a good thing--
you're cleansing your body of wastes and toxins. Would you
rather have them inside of you to cause sickness or
disease? I don't think so.

An easy way to tell if you're drinking enough water is by
the color of your urine. If it's dark yellow, you need
more water. Ideally, your urine should be clear and
colorless or barely have a tint of yellow.

Note that water means water.

Water is NOT:

- Soda
- Club soda, sparkling water or mineral water
- Gatorade, Propel or other sports drinks
- Vitamin water or other flavored waters (they're
processed and can contain sweeteners and additives)
- Coffee or tea
- Juice
- Fruit-flavored beverages such as Hi-C, Hawaiian Punch or
- Beer, wine or liquor (nope--sorry but that scotch and water you
like doesn't count)
- Other beverages made with water, such as Kool-Aid,
lemonade or Crystal Light
Why can't we count these beverages?
Because the additives take away the alkaline in water.

When and how to drink?

You should drink water freely throughout the morning,
afternoon and evening. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
to make it more alkaline--lemons are very alkalizing to
your body.

Avoid drinking large quantities with or immediately after
meals because the water can dilute your digestive enzymes
and make digestion less efficient.

If you're thirsty after a meal, it's OK to sip water, but
wait at least 2 hours after a meal to drink a large glass.

It's also essential to drink water before, during and
after a workout.

Filtered or unfiltered?

When it comes to drinking water, remember this: All water is
NOT created equal. Since our bodies are alkaline, our
water must be alkaline too. Thanks to acid rain and the
chemicals added by municipalities, that's not always a

Regular (unfiltered) tap water is acidic and contains
harmful toxins like fluoride and chlorine. Avoid tap water
(this includes water fountains) at ALL possible cost, no
matter what you may read in the news.

The best sources of alkaline water are distilled water or
filtered water (using reverse osmosis, Brita filters or
similar filtering).

Ionized water is also very alkaline, but the down side is
that ionization systems can be pricey. If you can swing
it, though, it's worth it.

What about bottled water?

Some people think bottled water is the best. Not always.
Here's a list of common brands of bottled water and their
pH (remember--anything 7.0 or greater is alkaline, less
than 7.0 is acidic):

San Pellegrino spring water--4.49 (acidic)
Perrier--4.91 (acidic)
Pellegrino sparkling water--5.28 (acidic)
Aquafina--5.96 (acidic)
Volvic--7.07 (alkaline)
Whistler Water--7.18 (alkaline)
Dasani--7.2 (alkaline)
Evian--7.53 (alkaline)
Canadian Mountain--7.96 (alkaline)
Vittel--7.98 (alkaline)

Other sources of water

Your daily water intake doesn't have to just come from a
glass or bottle.

Eating high water content foods is an ideal way to help get
your body's water needs. Not only are they alkaline by nature,
but they also contain essential nutrients that your body needs
to stay healthy.

High water content foods work perfectly with our bodies--
The water from fresh fruits and vegetables carries the
nutrients from those fruits and vegetables into the
intestines, where they're absorbed by the body.

Then, the same water that brought the nutrients in carries
wastes away from the body.

Mar 4, 2009

It's That Time again! TAX TIME

It's that time again (TAX TIME) and millions will be giving their money to the
private Federal Reserve Banks owners once again. What do they do with this money and why can't the IRS show us the law that would make it legal? WAKE UP AMERICA...You have been lied to. Here is part 1 of 11 videos that will or should open your eyes to their (IRS) illegal ways. And you thought our government was looking out for us when all they were doing was lying to us so they could help these bankers steal our hard earned money. It's time we put our foot down and said "NO MORE" I refuse to be a slave to the IRS.