Tasty Tips & Trivia
Here are some fascinating facts, some of which you may already know, some of which I'll bet you don't, and others which fly in the face of "conventional wisdom." It was the famous scholar and professor Julian Simon who said, "All of us necessarily hold many casual opinions that are ludicrously wrong simply because life is far too short for us to think through even a small fraction of the topics that we come across." So just sit back, relax, and enjoy learning the truth about a few of them.
"Just the facts..."
HOW MANY OF THESE DID YOU ALREADY KNOW? --
1. All of the Harry Potter movies were filmed in England, at the request of author Joanne Kathleen Rowling, who shares creative control. The indoor scenes were filmed at Leavesden studios outside of London, and the outdoor scenes were filmed in a variety of locations in the UK, including London, Oxford University, Ainwick Castle, Gloucester Cathedral and many other places in England and Scotland. Harry Potter has turned former welfare mother Rowling into a billionaire. She's the first billion-dollar author and one of only five self-made female billionaires.
2. Have a bottle or jar top that won't unscrew? Run it under the hot water faucet for a few minutes. Usually the heat will make the top expand faster than the jar or bottle, and you'll be able to unscrew it without using an adjustable pliers or other opener.
3. "Bookmarking" is only for the short-sighted. Web pages are taken down every day. In fact, NO web page will be up forever, not even the ones in the web archive (http://web.archive.org). If you find a web page which is really valuable to you, making your own backup copy is the best way to make sure that you and those you care about will have continued access to it.
4. Why is real maple syrup so expensive? About 10 gallons of slowly- collected maple sap have to be boiled down to make just one quart of syrup.
5. Parents, heads up! It is estimated that 50,000 sexual predators are online at any given time. Of the roughly 400,000 sex offenders in the U.S., the location of fully one-fourth of them is unknown.
6. Especially when driving, sitting on a wallet, checkbook or anything else as thick will, more often than not, result in curvature of the spine, pinched nerves and backache over time. NEVER put anything in a back pocket thicker than a piece of paper.
7. No chin? No problem! The fastest way to put a pillow case on a pillow is to turn the pillow case inside-out, reach inside and grab a corner of the pillow with a corner of the pillow case, and then snap the pillow case right-side out, now with the pillow inside it.
8. The growing consensus among lawn and garden experts is that lawn-watering is best done at about 4am or 5am in the morning for a variety of reasons, from avoiding mildew from watering too early in the evening to avoiding sunburn and excess evaporation from watering during the day. Besides, since it often causes wet and slippery streets and sidewalks, it's a lot safer done during those hours of the early morning when the fewest people are out and about.
9. Mattel sold 300,000 Barbie dolls in 1959, her inaugural year. Ken, Barbie's first "boyfriend," debuted in 1961. Barbie and Ken "broke up" on Valentine's Day in 2004 after 43 years together. But they're still "friends." Barbie has never been married or pregnant, but she has had more than 108 "careers." It is estimated that over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries, with Mattel claiming that three Barbie dolls are sold every second.
10. According to Claude Lafleur, as of December 31, 2009, there had been 6,854 spacecraft launched so far. This is an average of 132 spacecraft a year over the prior 52 years. This number varied from 180 in 1965 to only 77 in 2004. Of those spacecraft, 3,543 are Russian and 1,811 are American. All other countries (including Europe, Japan, China, and India) had sponsored only 808 spacecraft combined. There are also 580 commercial spacecraft and 112 built by amateurs and students. See: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1598/1
11. One of the best ways to give your children a head start in life is to enroll them in a Montessori pre-school. Did you know there are 27 steps to tying a shoe? In the Montessori method toddlers are taught all kinds of useful things slowly, gently, lovingly and methodically. And they are taught to neatly put away each teaching module before getting a new one. There are Montessori elementary schools to consider as well. http://www.montessori.edu/refs.html
12. 24 karat gold is pure gold, with no other metals. 18 karat gold is 75% gold by weight but only 61% gold by volume; the other (lighter) metals mixed with it are 25% by weight and 39% by volume. 14kt gold is 58.5% gold by weight but only 39% by volume, and 10 karat gold is 41% gold by weight and only 24% gold by volume.
13. Many people who suffer from dyslexia and/or a general lack of muscular coordination were encouraged to walk too early by impatient or ignorant parents. (Impatient people should never be parents anyway). If you want your babies to develop excellent left-brain/right-brain coordination, make sure you provide a large enough area (NOT a playpen!) to keep them crawling until long after they're really, really good at it. Look up "cross crawl" in your favorite search engine.
14. The quickest relief from stomach aches due to minor cases of food poisoning can often be had by drinking a few ounces of diluted apple cider vinegar (preferably the uncooked or "raw" kind) followed by a tablespoon or two of raw honey. They both are known to kill some kinds of germs. So are shiitake, reishi, and maitake mushrooms and grapefruit seed extract. Leftovers more than 2 days old (and salad bar salads) can sometimes be made safer by sprinkling them with vinegar. Enter "remedy" along with "apple cider vinegar" into your favorite search engine and see how many results you get.
15. The most dangerous optical illusion is the one which tricks your brain into thinking you're driving much slower and safer than you actually are in heavy rain and blizzards, and especially in simple haze and fog conditions, when in fact you're actually driving much too fast for those conditions. In other words, fog diminishes your sense of speed drastically -- and dangerously.
16. Trains, large trucks and other large vehicles are ALWAYS moving MUCH faster than they look. Their size can fool your depth perception and sense of speed. NEVER risk outracing ANYTHING big.
17. The surface of a black car can become as much as 60 degrees (fahrenheit) hotter than that of a white car sitting all day in the hot summer sun. A silver car? Up to 40 degrees hotter. Studies show that black and green cars suffer the highest percentage of accidents, as old people often can't see them in time. People who drive with their headlights on during the day suffer 7% fewer accidents (than those who don't) in the lower latitudes, and as much as 40% fewer accidents in the higher latitudes (where the sun is in your eyes more often)!
18. "Small" floods can be VERY powerful! Don't risk getting washed away! Moving water just 6 inches deep can knock a person over, and just 2 feet deep can float a BUS, let alone a car, and wash it away! 70% to 80% of all flood deaths are in vehicles!
19. People who habitually back into their parking spaces in parking lots, garages and driveways run over a lot fewer toddlers, animals, pedestrians, cyclists and even inanimate objects than people who don't, especially when it's time to leave, which they can do with MUCH greater visibility. According to research reported in Money magazine, EVERY YEAR 2,400 kids are backed-up over BY SUVs ALONE (It's IMPOSSIBLE to see a toddler right behind you while you're backing an SUV).
20. The secret to parallel parking and making 3-point turns is keeping your foot on the brake HARD until you've finished turning the steering wheel ALL the way. THEN and ONLY then should you ever take your foot off the brake.
21. No sidewalks? In America pedestrians who walk on the improper (right) side of the road are TWICE as likely to be killed as those who walk on the recommended (left) side, facing traffic. And bicyclists who ride on the wrong (left) side of the road are more than FIVE TIMES as likely to be killed as those who ride on the recommended (right) side WITH traffic. This is because motorists approaching from their left on cross-streets or driveways and turning right don't usually see them as they're constanting looking left and may not even look to their right at all -- whereas motorists approaching on cross-streets from their right do usually notice them in time. So whenever YOU're driving a car and turning right, after looking over your left shoulder to see if it's clear from THAT direction, make sure you snap your head to the right and check for cyclists BEFORE you turn right!
22. The a .33. See THIS entry and http://tinyurl.com/ArmedCitizen
23. The Pilgrims founded Plymouth Colony in 1621. It was first organized on a communal basis, as their financiers required. Land was owned in common. The Pilgrims farmed communally, too, following the "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" precept. The results were disastrous. Communism didn't work any better 400 years ago than it does today. By 1623, the colony had suffered serious losses. Starvation was imminent. Governor Wiliam Bradford realized that the communal system encouraged and rewarded waste and laziness and inefficiency, and destroyed individual initiative. Desperate, he abolished it. He distributed private plots of land among the surviving Pilgrims, encouraging them to plant early and farm as individuals, not collectively. The results: a bountiful early harvest that saved the colonies. It was after THAT harvest when the Pilgrims celebrated with a day of Thanksgiving. See: http:/freedomkeys.com/thanksgiving.htm
24. McDonald's feeds more than 46 million people a day - more than the entire population of Spain. French fries are the most eaten vegetable in America. You would have to walk for seven hours straight to burn off a Super Sized Coke, Big Mac and fries. Most nutritionists recommend not eating fast food more than once a month. More at supersizeme.com
25. When making change, don't make your customers try to balance any coins on top of the bills! When making change in a retail establishment, if you give your customers their COINS FIRST, and THEN their bills, you cause fewer mishaps despite being able to speed up. After all, if you give them a chance to palm their coins while they put their bills in their wallets, the coins are much less likely to fall on the floor. This, of course, is especially important at DRIVE-UP WINDOWS, right?
26. When are you too old for success? Harland David Sanders, almost broke, founded his Kentucky Fried Chicken (now "KFC") empire in 1955 at the age of 65. He sold a large portion of it in 1964 for $2 million, the equivalent of $14 million in today's dollars, and kept his interest in the rest. Until 1980 the Colonel traveled 250,000 miles a year visiting KFC restaurants around the world, and by that time had created more new millionaires among his franchisees than any other company at that time. Today the surviving company serves more than a billion chicken dinners annually in more than 80 countries.
27. Most people who are called "millionaires" are actually only rich on paper. Most of them are small business owners whose business may be valued at around $700,000, and their home around $300,000, qualifying them to be called "millionaires," but many of them are cash-poor and have cash-flow problems. That's why the majority of new businesses fail in their first 5 years and every tax increase puts tens of thousands more out of business. According to the U.S. Trust survey, the wealthiest Americans worked an average of 56 hours a week for their first 29 or 30 working years. And contrary to popular belief, less than 10 or 11% of them inherited their money; the vast majority of them earned it through lots of hard work, long hours and the taking of significant amounts of risk. Many people don't know the difference between income and wealth. The income tax hampers those still TRYING to get rich, NOT those who already are. sticker
28. The average federal income tax rate for the 437,036 individual returns filed for the year 1916 was .0275 (2.75 percent) and the highest rate was 7 per cent. And to think that Senator Nelson Aldrich had urged passage of the income tax, vehemently bellowing on the floor of the Senate his impassioned assurances that it would never, never, EVER go above one percent! Politician's promises, nomatter how self-righteous and ostensibly sincere, usually seem to work out that way...
29. Congresses, not presidents, are most responsible for economic conditions, despite the fact that people credit, or blame, whoever is President at the time. For example, Bill Clinton never (repeat: NEVER) presented anything close to balanced budgets, let alone surpluses; they were forced upon him by Republican congresses. So the Democrats' taking credit for them is based on misled ignorance if not deliberate deception. Often enough, economic conditions under one president are mostly determined by congresses during previous administrations. The most dramatic example was the economic collapse of 2008, which was caused primarily by the consequences of the "Community Reinvestment Act" passed by the 95th Congress in 1977, 31 years beforehand and then vigorously expanded during the Clinton administration, and then multiple attempts to stop the madness by the Bush administration were all stymied by Democratic congresses -- who later went on to blame Bush for the resulting collapse anyway. All taxing and spending legislation In the U.S. federal government must start in the House of Representatives. The current incredibly massive deficits are caused by the enormous spending increases that were passed by the Democrat-dominated congress in 2009 and 2010, and they were passed with mandates to stay in effect for years to come. "A president cannot spend one dime that Congress does not first appropriate." -- Dr. Walter E. Williams, HERE. Also see: http://tinyurl.com/MadnessStoppingAttempts
30. The last president to have a balanced budget in every single year of his term of office was Andrew Jackson, the 7th President, who served from 1829 to 1837. He obviously had a very cooperative and frugal congress, which, until 1831, included Davy Crockett, whose famous speech, "Not Yours To Give" is still circulating today. Also they completely paid off the national debt. Jackson fought vigorously and successfully against the establishment of a central bank. So the fact that his face is now printed on the $20 "notes" of the Federal Reserve (the central bank, established in the early 1900s) is not just an irony; it's an insult.
31. The average price of a movie ticket in 1972 was $1.58. The base price of the '59 Chevy El Camino was $2,500. In 1951 the average house cost $16,000, a gallon of gasoline cost $.20, a loaf of bread $.16, a candy bar or a bottle of soda pop $.05, and a first-class postage stamp? 3 cents! And gold was only $35/oz! Where does inflation come from? From the Federal Reserve Bank's pumping out "printing press money" and especially "arbitrary data-entry money" not backed by gold or silver, relentlessly diluting the value of what's in your paycheck and savings and retirement accounts.
32. On June 4, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 11110 to compel the U.S. Treasury to issue paper certificates backed by silver, which put the Treasury Department in competition with the Federal Reserve. That currency bore a red seal instead of the green seal that debt-backed Federal Reserve notes have.
33. In the entire history of the United States, only one president held a degree in economics, Ronald Wilson Reagan, president from 1981 to 1989. Both he and John Fitzgerald Kennedy were two of the VERY FEW politicians who understood, and cared about, the LONG-term effects of economic policy.
34. Both of those economically-astute presidents, JFK and RWR, persuaded congress to pass tax cuts large enough to lead to booming economies and therefore increased, not decreased, revenues to the federal government. In contrast, biographer John T. Flynn noted that "it is entirely possible that no one knew less about [economics] than Roosevelt [FDR, whose policies we now know actually prolonged and worsened the Great Depression]."
35. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, 2nd and 3rd Presidents respectively, (also 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents respectively) both died on July 4, 1826 -- exactly 50 years to the day after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Although they belonged to opposing parties, they remained fast friends who corresponded regularly until their simultaneous deaths. James Monroe died on July 4, 1831. And Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872.
36. Up until their successful Battle of Trenton, "the turning point" on Christmas night of 1776, the American colonists had been losing the Revolutionary War. To cross the Delaware and surprise the Hessians in the wee hours of the morning, Gen. George Washington had prepared a flotilla of rowboats and other small craft to cross the Delaware River. The command boat started sitting low in the water after the obese Col. Henry Knox got in. At that point, legend has it that Gen. Washington said something like, "Shift your fat ass, Henry, but slowly, or you'll swamp the damn boat!" causing everyone within earshot to laugh uproariously. The story of it quickly spread among the troops, cheering and warming them that miserable, frigid night, apparently boosting their morale enough to carry on and win the battle, and then the war. Ever since, American servicemen have carried on the tradition of talking like that. See: http://www.trussel.com/hf/washwit.htm
37. As stuffed animals, "teddy bears" were first made by Morris Michtom, who was inspired by a 1902 cartoon by Clifford Berryman in The Washington Post depicting President Teddy Roosevelt refusing, because it would have been un-sportsmanlike, to shoot a tired old bear that had been trapped and tied up for him. It was based on an actual hunting trip incident.
38. The Ten Commandments contain 297 words. The Bill of Rights is stated in 463 words. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address contains 266 words. A federal directive regulating the price of cabbage contains 26,911 words.
39. Amendment X to the Constitution of the United States, together with Article I, Section 8, prohibits the U.S. Congress from authorizing federal involvement in cabbage pricing, education, health care, personal safety, campaign financing, most criminal law, toilet capacity, shower head flow, light bulb energy usage, fuel efficiency and thousands of other things it has gotten away with, or failed to oversee (so far). Unelected federal regulators added 3,573 new regulations for every facet of human life, covering tens of thousands of pages, in 2010 alone, in areas in which the elected members of Congress have abdicated their law-making authority. State and County regulators have been adding even more. Since the passage of Obamacare, 12,000 pages of new regulations have been issued by the Department of Health and Human Services alone. Now the administration is getting great press coverage by boasting about being "business friendly" by ellminating 30 of the regulations. See: http://snipurl.com/khu0
40. A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds (So do many politicians, apparently). A pregnant goldfish is called a twit (ditto).
41. Once on the books, a federal law, regulation, act, or establishment of a new federal agency, nomatter how ineffective, expensive or even counter- productive it turns out to be, is more than 20 times more likely to remain in effect -- and even expanded -- than ever to be ended. In every country in history, once bureaucrats, politicians or their particular constituents establish their incomes based on the coercive power of the state, they will fight tooth and nail, often viciously, to preserve them.
42. "Your tax dollars at work"? A recent survey showed that out of every 100 federal government employees who get unsatisfactory job ratings, less than two are fired. Eighty out of the one hundred even get raises! During a budget dispute between congress and the president in 1995, most of the U.S. government was shut down for awhile, and 98 percent of the employees in some agencies were deemed "non-essential" and told not to bother coming to work, at which point Jay Leno asked, "If they're NON-essential, WHAT are they doing there in the first place?" See: http://tinyurl.com/GovtWorkers
43. Almost all large first-time campaign contributions given by private individuals or companies are asked for by the politicians, not offered by the donors. That's why, despite the "conventional wisdom", the vast majority of them involve politicians' "sales pitches" and veiled threats rather than any donors' attempts at bribery. When the politicians are caught they always blame their victims, of course. In 2001, Sen. John McCain, who is famous for his knowledge of campaign financing, said, "I don't think it's bribery; I think it's extortion. Bribery, you know, is when the person that's giving the money does it voluntarily. What it is in Washington is extortion because they all ask for the money." So the problem with politics isn't the money; it's the power. ►http://tinyurl.com/lwdsv3a
44. Krill, tiny relatives of the shrimp, are only one to five centimeters (about a half inch to two inches) in length, yet their enormous numbers make them the largest animal biomass on the planet. It is estimated that there are about 500 million tons of krill roaming the northern oceans, but only 110,000 tons are harvested annually for their oil. Krill oil, like fish oil, contains omega-3 fatty acids, but in a slightly different form that makes them measurably more beneficial for human health and longevity, and even for treating attention deficit disorder.
45. The largest animal on earth is the blue whale. It can grow to be over 100 feet long and to weigh over 200 tons. It is known as a baleen whale; it feeds primarily on krill. It is so enormous that its tongue alone can weigh 6,000 pounds, or about as much as an adult female elephant!
46. There are two different kinds of selfishness, the good kind and the bad kind. The good kind is taking care of yourself and your family, the pursuit of happiness and engaging in free trade with others for mutual benefit; the bad kind is taking advantage of others without their permission, even by having the government do it for you. The freedom to act on the good kind of selfishness, a culture that used to respect it, and a government that left peaceful, honest citizens alone were the principal causes of America's widespread prosperity and pervasive spirit of good will and benevolence, surpassing all other countries on earth in just its first 170 years. See: http://FreedomKeys.com/selfishness.htm#pcdt , http://bit.ly/j1vKm7 & http://tinyurl.com/RootsOfBenevolence
47. One of the most productive and satisfying charities to donate your time or money to is Big Brothers Big Sisters. You can be instrumental, even crucial, in helping a child reach his or her potential. See: http://www.bbbs.org
48. The Harlem Globetrotters were the brainchild of promoter-coach Abe Saperstein in the mid- to late-1920s. He thought the name gave them the right amount of appeal, mystique and prestige despite the fact, or perhaps, because of the fact, that he and his original players all came from, Chicago, not New York. And their headquarters was in Chicago too.
49. “A handful of sand contains about 10,000 grains; more than the total number of stars we can see with the naked eye on a clear night... but the total number of stars in the Universe is larger than all the grains of sand on all the beaches on planet Earth.” -- Dr. Carl Sagan
50. Aspirin is an effective platelet inhibitor and works to prevent clot formation in diseased unstable atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries. That's the reason for the 81mg daily aspirin regimen prescribed for anyone with risk factors for a heart attack. However, even the short-term use of some other painkillers could be dangerous for people who've already had a heart attack, according to research published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association. Some of them, including ibuprofen, counter aspirin's prevention of clots. In a study in the 1980s, thousands of doctors who took both a baby aspirin and a beta carotene capsule daily enjoyed a dramatically superior survival rate than thousands of others who took only one, or the other, or none at all.
51. No jurisdiction in the U.S. will invalidate your ballot if you don't vote on every item or office in it -- in fact, you can vote on just one, and it will count. The only exception (sort of) is in Wyoming, where there's a unique state rule that counts ballots left blank for referendum measures as "no" votes.
52. Smart actors: The sultry Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr received a patent for "wireless frequency hopping" which made it harder for enemies to jam radio guided torpedoes. This proved valuable to the allies during World War II. Kevin Costner invested 15 years and $20 million funding a team of scientists, including his brother, to develop centrifugal oil-water separation machines which proved successful in cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico. Buxom movie star Jayne Mansfield had an IQ of 163 and James Woods boasts one of 180 -- a full 40 points above the lowest "genius" level. He's listed here: http://www.superscholar.org/smartest-people/ .
53. People who don't drink their requisite 8 glasses of water a day suffer more headaches (and heart attacks, BTW) than those who do. And often enough, they aren't helped as much by the pain-killers they take as they are by the water they wash them down with. If it contains fluorides however, tap water is not recommended, as fluorine has recently been shown to increase the assimilation of aluminum, a suspected cause of Alzheimers.
54. People whose diets are limited are usually not as healthy as those whose are varied, especially if they contain foods which seem to have a lot of rare nutrients, including turkey, salmon, cranberries, blueberries, yams, broccoli, beans, wild rice, liver, guava, kelp, garlic, almonds, walnuts and root beer! Soy products can help women prevent bone loss. Only fermented soy products (miso, natto & real soy sauce) are good for men or women; unfermented (the kind found in most products) is not really good for anyone. Turmeric, a spice found in American mustard and Indian curry dishes, has been found to halt the progression of, and sometimes reverse, Alzheimers' disease. It is available in capsule form.
55. A good, fully ripened cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball. In the 1800s New Jersey farmer "Peg Leg" Webb discovered that cranberries can be sorted for quality and ripeness by bouncing them. Cranberries float, as each one has four air pockets, and this helps in their harvesting from the flooded fields or bogs they're grown in. Eating cranberries has been shown to enhance kidney health and kidney function.
56. Serotonin, an important chemical produced in the brain, is a neurotransmitter considered essential for relaxation, concentration, sleep and calmness. Its lack or suppression can lead to insomnia, severe mental disturbances and bizarre, even violent, behavior. To make serotonin the body requires sufficient levels of magnesium, tryptophan and vitamin B-6, nutrients which many nutritionists say American diets are severely deficient in, but which medical doctors rarely run tests for -- even when they prescribe "SSRIs" (depression meds), ritalin, adderall, or other medications that depend on adequate serotonin levels (which is often!), and even when just taking supplements for those missing nutrients may be all that is needed. Also see: http://bit.ly/WO3Jgf and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24042216
57. There are about 20,000 deaths a year in the U.S. because of illegal drugs, and about 200,000 deaths, or ten times as many, because of prescription (legal) drugs, including the homicides and suicides from "serotonin re-uptake inhibiters" and other so-called anti-depressives. As proof that SSRIs are COUNTER-productive: They're WELL known to worsen or even cause insomnia, NOT relieve it!
58. Most American medical doctors have taken no more than 5 hours of nutrition classes in medical school if any at all, yet they are subjected to dozens and dozens of presentations by pharmaceutical company representatives on patent medications every year. So it should be no wonder why more and more people look elsewhere for advice on real nutrition.
59. Cheap vitamins are just as easily absorbed and utilized as expensive ones, but you must have a high level of minerals in your system first, before you can process enough vitamins of any kind. Unfortunately, most mineral supplements on the market are neither readily absorbed nor usable by the body even if they are. Evidence is accumulating to show that the most effective (and cost-effective) mineral supplements are those which are "chelated" with amino acids, some of which should be in the form of long branch-chain molecules and which are bound to the minerals with multiple bonds.
60. The only vitamins known to be absorbed through the lining of the mouth and throat are vitamins C and B12 (all others are absorbed in the small intestine). Sucking on vitamin B12 lozenges has been found to help with canker sores in the mouth. Gargling and swallowing liquid vitamin C has been found to be a very effective natural remedy for ordinary sore throat conditions (adding a drop of tea tree oil and/or grapefruit seed extract sometimes helps). Humans are the only mammals who have lost the ability to produce vitamin C in their bodies. A 100-lb. goat produces 14 grams of vitamin C every day. Vitamin C advocate Dr. Linus Pauling took Vitamin C every day in doses gradually increasing from 10 to 18 grams (10,000 to 18,000 mg.) over time (and never suffered from constipation) until he died at the age of 93.
61. Did you know Barack Obama is in favor of high energy prices? In January, 2008, he told the San Francisco Chronicle, "Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket." See him say it here: http://tinyurl.com/44vtosa
62. Does saving pennies add up? Well, American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating ONE olive from each salad served in first-class (too bad governments don't think that way!).
63. Dr. Kenneth Cooper, "the father of aerobics," has proven that fat people who exercise live longer than thin people who don't. Studies show that the more active people become, the more cellular mitochondria are created in the cells. That's where the most food is turned into energy. So activity makes MORE activity possible, let alone much easier to engage in, over time. Perhaps that's why people who take part in sports as kids are often successful in a wide variety of careers as adults.
64. The Declaration of Independence has 1,337 words. The entire Holy Bible has about 773,000 words. So far, over 7 million words covering well over 60,000 pages of complex regulations make up the U.S. income tax code. According to a study by the Joint Committee on Taxation, tax compliance alone costs Americans $250 BILLION a year. Since the so-called "Tax Simplification Act" was passed in 1986, the tax code has been changed (and made more complicated) over 6,000 times, many of the changes being in the form of targeted tax breaks as rewards for campaign contributions to lawmakers or to consumers for government-influenced behaviors.
65. Today the top 1% of American income-earners pay more than one-third of all individual income taxes, (WAY more -- over 37% -- even though they earn only 17 percent of all individuals' income), and the top 5% pay over half. In the past, their savings and other investments were used for creating over 90% of all new jobs -- when their taxes were low and they weren't punished for moving their money from less productive projects to more productive ones via so-called "capital gains" taxes.
66. Politicians who tell you they'll raise taxes on businesses "but not on you" are taking you for a fool. Almost all business taxes are passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices. Also they result in less hiring of new employees and cutbacks in overtime opportunities for established ones. sticker
67. Most people have forgotten the accomplishments of Jimmy Carter. The U.S. Department of Education was established during Carter's term. During his administration President Jimmy Carter deregulated the airline industry and made a big deal of "deregulating" while actually imposing a large number of new economy-crippling regulations. In fact, the term “midnight regulation” was coined in the final days of the Carter administration when over 10,000 pages of new rules were published between Election Day and Ronald Reagan's inauguration. The term "stagflation" was coined to refer to the stagnant economy and the runaway inflation during Carter's term. Carter brokered the 1979 peace accords between Egypt and Israel, but also paved the way for the islamist fundamentalist mullahs to take over Iran, for the Red Chinese to take over the Panama Canal, and signed into law the Community Reinvestment Act ("CRA") which began the process of having the government force the banks make millions of mortgage loans to people with low credit ratings. This was in spite of the fact that they were considered very bad risks by experienced professional underwriters who actually spend their entire careers assessing risks (which politicians do not). The program was later dramatically amplified and accelerated by the Clinton administration HUD, which made an intensive effort to reduce mortgage underwriting standards (with Attorney General Janet Reno threatening legal action against reluctant banks), and is being re-energized by the Obama administration. So far over 27 million of these "sub-prime" mortgages have been issued. See: http://bit.ly/WwkFqc , http://bloom.bg/RIomZD , http://tinyurl.com/HousingArsonist , http://bit.ly/VTTeYO
68. After the CRA became law, members of ACORN and similar organizations, led by "community organizers" staged noisy, disruptive sit-ins in the offices of thousands of banks, and even on the front lawns of bank officers' homes, for the purpose of intimidating them into making as many of those financially-risky bad loans as possible. Thanks to the CRA, the intimidation not only worked, but scared most of the country's bankers into making the risky loans, even though the vast majority of them were not contacted personally by CRA enforcers.
69. The economic collapse of 2008 was triggered primarily by the default of hundreds of thousands of those home owners who could not keep up their mortgage payments, and then by the resulting collapse of the markets for packages or "derivatives" of such mortgages, and of the banks and financial institutions whose "assets" consisted largely of such mortgages and packages. So if the government "bailed out" some of them, it's because it was the government that put them in those bad positions in the first place. As Simon Carr famously said, "Scratch the surface of an endemic problem ... and you invariably find a politician at the source."
70. A 1989 study by researchers at Harvard and the Brookings Institution concluded that fuel economy standards kill thousands of Americans each year. After all, when politicians mandate more fuel efficiency, it often means making the vehicles lighter and flimsier and therefore less safe in crashes. As Prof. Donald Boudreaux says, "Politicians, like bombers, seldom see their victims."
71. The Social Security and Medicare systems are going bankrupt and will self-destruct soon if nothing is done. Yet many people who depend on them scream "Don't touch my program," apparently unaware that they are exempt. Over the years the number of proposals to reform those programs in order to save them number in the dozens if not the hundreds. Do you know how many of those proposals change the coverage for seniors (and others soon to be eligible) in any way whatsoever? ONE. Only one of them, the so-called "Affordable Care Act" also known as "Obamacare" actually cuts spending for those already receiving, or about to receive, benefits. In ALL the other plans, including the one in the proposed "Paul Ryan Budget," treatment for anyone 55 and over would NOT change at all. ALL of them would be "grandfathered in." (Or "grandmothered in" as the case may be.) EVERY politician knows that, including the ones who say seniors would be "hurt" if any such reform takes place (when precisely the opposite is true). They ARE unconscionable liars; as the professional-politician class is famous for being.
72. Walking for at least 3 hours a week helps to keep your heart, endurance and sense of well-being in shape, even well into old age. Recent studies indicate it's as good as, if not better than, running. Also, weight loss and weight control programs which include brisk nonstop 55-minute walks every other day if not every day appear to trigger the most helpful physiological and even psychological improvements.
73. No weight loss program without exercise can be effective long term. Some people even believe that eating less is all that is needed to lose weight. That's like saying you can empty a sackful of junk by not putting any more into it. You have to BURN OFF the excess fat, and that is best done in the "furnaces" of your body: the large muscles in your butt and legs. So improving the mass and tone of those and ALL your muscles is STEP ONE in efficient fat-burning. Taking supplements, including chromium picolinate, L-carnitine and alpha lipoic acid, and avoiding eating too many carbohydrates, also help. The one way focus on eating helps, however slightly, is in eating undipped celery. It actually takes more calories to chew it than you get from it!
74. Professor R. J. Rummel, who keeps track of such things, now estimates that in the 20th century 262,000,000 people were murdered by their own governments. And all these horrors were perpetrated by collectivist governments making demands for "sacrifice" for the alleged sake of "the proletariat," the "master race," and especially, "the greater good." See: http://tinyurl.com/RJRummel and THIS.
75. In the International Adult Literacy Survey it was found that nearly one in four Americans ages 16 to 25 scored at or below the Survey's lowest level of literacy. This represents a tremendous drop in literacy rates in the last 50 years even though it was accompanied by the establishment of the U.S. Department of Education and tremendous growth in the apparatus of public schooling and an accelerating increase in the cost, which is now FIVE TIMES what it was then, even in inflation-adjusted dollars. In public schools, anyway, MORE money has been accompanied by WORSE performances for decades, with the worst performances actually accompanying the highest per-student costs, as in D.C., Hartford and Baltimore. Even when they are "educators" fanatical adherents of the misnamed "progressive" agenda can look at these types of results repeating over and over again and learn absolutely nothing.
76. The vast majority of high school graduates don't even know how to write a realistic business plan and find funding for it. This is an outrage in the land of entrepreneurs! No one should think only in terms of finding a job. Everyone should know how to start his own business so that it's always at least one of the considerations. See http://www.myownbusiness.org and http://www.score.org/about-score
77. Do NOT buy or rent property without first checking out its susceptibility to flooding. Check both http://www.floodsmart.gov and the flood zone maps in your county government headquarters.
78. So who says it doesn't matter when you start investing or going into your own business? It most certainly DOES!! Conversely, PAYING interest on interest, as people do when they don't pay off their credit cards COMPLETELY EVERY month, can RUIN you big time, and much, much faster.
79. The Bible was named most often in a survey conducted by The Library of Congress in which respondents were asked to name a book that had made a difference in their lives. ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand was named second most often. In 2010 ATLAS SHRUGGED sold about 500,000 copies, more than in any year since it was first published in 1957. It is being made into a series of 3 movies. The first part of the 3-part trilogy opened in 300 theaters nationwide on tax day, April 15, 2011. You can sign up to be notified when Part I comes out on DVD here: http://amzn.to/mzZcrO and/or on Blu-ray here: http://amzn.to/ljkKF0
80. The U.S. mortality rate for breast cancer is 25%, but with "single payer" health care systems it's worse. In Canada and Australia it is 28%, in Germany it's 31%, in France it's 35%, and in New Zealand and the United Kingdom it's 46%. For prostate cancer, the U.S. mortality ratio is 19%. In Canada it is 25%, in New Zealand it's 30%, in Australia it's 35%, in Germany it's 44%, in France it's 49%, and in the United Kingdom it is 57%. In 1997, an estimated 20 to 30 percent of all patients on Canadian waiting lists died before even getting care. Nowadays in Canada people wait 18.2 weeks on average from seeing a primary care doctor to getting treatment by a specialist. As P.J. O'Rourke once said, "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!"
81. The U.S.A. is over 237 years old, yet some Americans still haven't learned the unique lesson of America's greatness. Thomas Paine, pamphleteer of the American Revolution, in his 1776 publication, "Common Sense," said, "Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins ... Society is in every state a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." Making the point a little more specific, In his 1849 book, The Law, Frédéric Bastiat said, "It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting people to eat because we do not want the state to raise the grain." See:http://freedomkeys.com/gummint.htm
82. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security now make up almost half the Federal Budget. And the new health care bureaucracies, not yet in place, are estimated to cost a trillion dollars a year more. Barack Obama signed spending bills so enormous that our national debt rose a whopping $5.2 trillion in his first 4 years alone, with the compliance of the Congress that was elected along with him in 2008 (and which got a "shellacking" in 2010), of course. It is now more than $16 trillion and climbing. And as the debt continues to explode, so does the percentage that goes toward interest. The interest payments alone are expected to reach $1 trillion a year by the end of the decade. 23% of the Federal Budget goes toward interest on the national debt already. As Veronique de Rugy has said, "America is on the verge of fiancial disaster."
83. A million seconds is less than 12 days; a billion seconds is over 31 years; a trillion seconds is more than 31,000 years, 5.4 trillion seconds is over 167,000 years and 16 trillion seconds is over 496,000 years!
84. According to Dr. Thomas Sowell, many people are unaware that the money that is taken out of their paychecks for Social Security is NOT being put aside to pay for their retirement. That money is paying for people who are retired right now, and anything that is left over is being spent by politicians in Washington for anything from farm subsidies to Congressional junkets. The system as it stands will begin paying out more in benefits than it receives in taxes as soon as next year if it isn't already.
85. Public employee unions are vastly different from unions in private companies. Directly or indirectly, sooner or later, public employee unions' demands are always met, even if they're unreasonable, short-sighted or budget-busting, because they get to "negotiate" with the people they helped to elect, who are therefore beholden to them, and who don't have direct financial responsibility to pay for the wages and benefits or meet the demands themselves (the taxpayers do). FDR was adamantly opposed to the creation of public employee unions. Check out this commentary.
86. There actually are people who say that "all wealth is based on stealing", so in order to believe that, they have to look at all the wealth around them and believe it has always existed, even in caveman times. Ridiculous? Of course, but think about it; these people have absolutely no concept of productivity or the distinction between producers and non-producers. Collectivist demonstrators even carry signs with such absurdities as "America can't afford to have millionaires." They look at Bill Gates, for example, not just with envy, but with hatred. Here is a man who has doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled the productivity of millions of people, and yet they cannot comprehend that he was motivated by, and deserves, to have made, billions of dollars, by creating billions of dollars worth of wealth that never existed before, for himself and millions of others. Think about this: http://freedomkeys.com/gap.htm
87. According to F. A. Hayek, the worst effect of a welfare state is the transformation in the attitude of the people from an enthusiastic can-do spirit to a dependent, griping, complaining victimhood. And then when the state "runs out of other peoples' money" (which it ALWAYS does) the brainwashed dependent masses resort to rioting, looting, burning and murder as they do in Greece. See this prediction from Democrat James Carville and this report from the Australian government.
88. With a "smart phone" you can now take a movie of any criminal activity, mob violence or even police brutality and quickly upload it to the world via http://qik.com/ or the new app from the ACLU before anyone even notices that you've done so. Some prognosticators say this may become very necessary, even in the U.S., in the not-too-distant future.
89. Clinical psychologists hired by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi found that the brainwave and physiological changes induced by transcendental meditation were exactly the same as those brought about by taking a nap. Can't nap? Meditate! Can't meditate? Nap!
90. The national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner," actually has four verses. See all four of them here, and hear an old Marine veteran sing the fourth verse here.
91. Sea temperature calculations prove that between 600AD and 1100AD world temperatures were about 2 degrees higher than they are now. During this period, northern Europe experienced a golden age for agriculture. Greenland, now a frozen wasteland, was then a habitable Viking colony and it was actually green, not white as it is now. There were even vineyards in the south of England. Temperatures then dropped in the 1600s in what is called the "Little Ice Age," and they have been rising slowly ever since. But they are still much lower than a thousand years ago. So some more global warming would be a good thing. However, ultra long-term temperature records show we are most likely on the verge of another major ice age.
92. It would take enough solar cells to cover 53,760 acres, or 84 square miles, in order to supply as much energy at the same rate as just one average gas station. People, including the President, who wish solar or other "alternative energy sources" would completely replace oil products apparently have no grasp of either the economics or the enormity of the challenge. See THIS article and THIS one too.
93. Since oil drilling and pipeline operations began in Prudhoe Bay on the north slope of Alaska, caribou herds in the area have increased to more than 6 times their previous size. Even though TV networks may misleadingly show pictures of rolling grasslands with rushing streams with beaver and other wildlife when the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge is discussed, the little area in question is actually nothing but barren ground and tundra with occasional sparse outcroppings of lichens, cottongrass and few other plants. Oil drilling would have essentially no environmental impact there.
94.The proposed Keystone pipeline to bring oil from Alberta to the gulf coast would add only 850 miles (plus 329 miles in Canada) of pipeline to the more than 200,000 miles of pipelines that safely move oil and other energy products every day in the U.S. If you were to line up trains and trucks carrying gasoline alone, it would require thousands and thousands of miles of trucks to deliver the amount of gasoline that pipelines deliver. See this.
95. It's been estimated that 30,000 birds per year are killed by wind turbines in Denmark, where windmills generate 9% of the electricity. It's been estimated that 100,000 birds are killed by wind turbines each year in the. U.S., based on an average of about 3+ birds per turbine per year times 30,000 turbines. If the wind power advocates have their way, in the U.S. there will be a 12-fold increase in the number of wind turbines (and in the number of birds killed as well).
96. It may seem counter-intuitive to some, but studies show that, generally speaking, American "conservatives" are more economically literate, believe more in personal responsibility, give more to charity, and are happier and more optimistic than American "liberals." Also they have less in common with "fascists" than liberals do. Much less. See: http://tinyurl.com/k5d3fxc , MAKERS AND TAKERS http://freedomkeys.com/isms.htm , and http://tinyurl.com/EconomicIllLIBerates
97. A comprehensive national study by the University of Chicago in 1996 found that states which passed concealed carry laws reduced their murder rates by an average of 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%.
98. Gun accidents account for only 7/10 of 1% of all accidental deaths. Most accidental deaths involve motor vehicles or are due to drowning, falls, fires, poisoning, medical mistakes or choking. According to Dr. Preston Covey of Carnegie-Mellon University, a gun in the U.S. is used over 32 times more often to scare off or defend against a criminal threat than to actually kill anybody, whether accidentally or on purpose. According to the National Self Defense Survey conducted by Florida State University criminologists in 1994, the rate of Defensive Gun Uses can be projected nationwide to approximately 2.5 million per year -- one Defensive Gun Use every 13 seconds. So guns are much more of a boon to honest citizens than they are to criminals. Way more. Yet many people fervently insist that politicians pass laws to somehow make guns "just go away.” See: http://tinyurl.com/muvpl and this article
99. In March of 2012 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security purchased over 750 million rounds of rifle ammunition suitable mostly for firing squads. This is 10 times as many rounds as our armed forces used during the Iraq war every year. It has also purchased a variety of automatic weapons and mine-proof assault vehicles. So far, Congress has failed to investigate this. See: http://bit.ly/NMBV7w Now, although many in the law enforcement community and armed forces may refuse to take part in gun confiscation (see http://tinyurl.com/WontTakePart ), it seems the government has already anticipated that and has armed a new "civilian security force" called the FEMA Corps. ( see http://i47.tinypic.com/spi1jm.jpg ) On top of all that, our armed forces have designated evangelical Christians, Catholics and Orthodox Jews as "extremist threats," insinuating affiliations with racist and Nazi groups! See THIS.
100. Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution says, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government..." because the founders did not want any majority to be able to vote away the rights of any minority (which is what happens in a democracy). The founders' writings show that they despised democracy as a form of tyranny (of the majority) and didn't even want any state to become one. Thus the main purposes of the Constitution included keeping the governments limited, keeping politicians from grabbing so much power that "anything goes", and especially, preventing the majority from voting away the property or other rights of the minority, directly or indirectly. This is further emphasized by Amendments I through X, also known as the Bill of Rights.
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