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December 21, 2009

Netscapes: Tracing the Journey of a Single Bit


The Internet surrounds us like air, saturating our offices and our homes. But it’s not confined to the ether. You can touch it. You can map it. And you can photograph it. Here are five postcards from the journey of a single bit, as data flashes from sea to wired sea

December 21, 2009 in Information | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 19, 2008

Absence Request Form

Zippo_patent Via a Freedom of Information Act request (which involved paying $700 and waiting almost 4 years), The Memory Hole has obtained blank copies of most forms used by the National Security Agency)

The original Zippo Lighter patent application

Please specify your reason for absence

Recommended storage times for refrigerators and freezers

Un-related: John Edward! The musical

A Huge Depository of Unusual Bits of Information Here

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August 19, 2008 in Information | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 26, 2008

Why Do Beautiful Women Marry Ugly Men?

Water_leak When a person needs to investigate a phone number, step number one is to run it through Phone Validator to learn what type of phone line it is, who the phone company is, and what is the general geographic area of the phone… (From Dave Goodman, composer of this giant compendium of "They do it with..." one-liners)

Also, Animal Congregations, or What Do You Call a Group of …?

Uptime monitoring service Pingdom has put together a list of thousands of .com domain names owned by Google, based on an analysis of the root zone file. Want goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com? Too late

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The silicon chip gets all the attention. The valley is even named after it. But none of the computer revolution would have been possible without the humble hard drive, which IBM introduced to the world 50 years ago this week…

Compare the advancement in disk drives with that in automobiles: A car in 1956 cost about $2,500, could hold five people, weighed a ton, and could go as fast as 100 mph. If the auto industry had kept the same pace as disk drives, a car today would cost less than $25, hold 160,000 people, weigh half a pound and travel up to 940 mph

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Just remember, tonight's safe word is ... (From Wrong Cards)

A water leak at the local Mcdonald

Also, The Nation's Most Wasteful Corps of Engineers Projects

All 120 Crayon Names, Color Codes and Fun Facts. (From Dooby brain)

Why Do Beautiful Women Marry Ugly Men?

A Huge Depository of Unusual Bits of Information Here

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April 26, 2008 in Information | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 26, 2008

Ten Little Known Facts


March 26 update: Welcome, 'Street' readers. Explore over 100 rich categories, (For example Money & Finance) that Grow-a-brain has to offer!

"Did you know that sometimes baby sharks will devour one another while they're still in the womb? Fighting to their death before they're even born?" —Janet Tashjian, Tru Confessions, 1999, p. 81.

(Outside the womb is no picnic, either. Here's a sea lion devouring a baby shark. And here's a fossilized shark egg and baby shark)

"There is a curious and little-known fact about the name 'penguin.' Although this name is now used exclusively to indicate the well-known birds of the southern seas, it was not originally applied to them at all. In fact, the 'original' penguin was the great auk. The actual origins of the word are fairly obscure, but one school of thought favors the idea that is made up from two Welsh words—pen, meaning 'head,' and gwyn, meaning 'white'—a possible reference to the large patches behind the great auk's eyes." —Errol Fuller, The Great Auk: The Extinction of the Original Penguin, 2003, p. 17.

"It's a little-known fact that America's first millionaire [and later first multimillionaire] was a real estate investor. A German immigrant and the son of a butcher, he was named John Jacob Astor." — Gary Keller, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, 2005, p. 123.

"Even as debate continues on the role of female soldiers in combat, it is a little-known fact that hundreds of women already have fought, and many have died, in our nation's wars. In fact, women fought in America's wars even before the existence of the United States." — Thomas Ayres, That's Not in My American History Book, 2000, p. 67. (Indeed, women have been warriors throughout world history.)

"The U.S. Congress has the authority to order the U.S. military to shoot the President's plane out of the sky, if the U.S. President becomes a rogue President." —Keith N. Ferreira, Simpletism, 2004, p. 28.

"It's a little-known fact that it rains more in Rome than it does in London." —Duncan Garwood, Rome, 2006, p. 288.

"It wasn't an iceberg that sank James Cameron's Titanic; it was UNIX." — Bill Wagner, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Unix, 1998, p. 10.

"So-called empty space is actually a cauldron of seething energies—the Zero Point Field." —Lynne McTaggart, The Field, 2003, p. 33.

"A little- known fact is that one could live without fruits, but not without vegetables." — Meredith McCarty, American Macrobiotic Cuisine, 1996, p. 6.

"Unlike a computer's hard drive, our brains have no known limits for memory storage." —Gene D. Cohen, The Mature Mind, 2005, p. 106.

This is another post that was composed by on-going contributor Craig Conley of the Abecedarian blog fame. Craig's new book is A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns By Sound, available in an eco-friendly low-wattage palette. Thank you again, Craig! (All previous co-blogger's posts archived here.) If other bloggers are interested to share the forum here on any other topic, please contact me for details

Please show Craig some love by leaving lots of comments below!

March 26, 2008 in Co-blogged with, Information | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 02, 2007

I love wikipedia

Texas_area_codes Wikipedia is the second-best site on the internet (After Google). Search there for any random piece of information, and you’ll always learn new things about anything under (and above) the sun.

For example, here are a few tidbits from an article about the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) which is the system of three-digit area codes and seven-digit telephone numbers, directing telephone calls to particular regions on the public switched telephone network:

The plan was implemented in 1951 by AT&T. Originally there were 86 codes, with the biggest population areas getting the numbers that took the shortest time to dial on rotary phones. That is why New York City was given 212, Los Angeles given 213, Chicago 312, and Detroit 313, while Vermont received 802 (a total of 20 clicks, 8+10+2)…

In the 1990s... the US experienced rapid growth in the number of area codes. There were two main reasons for this. First was the increased demand for telephone services (particularly due to wide scale adoption of fax, modem, and cell phone communications). The second and more important reason was due to telecom deregulation of local telephone service. At that time, the FCC began allowing telecommunication companies to compete with the incumbent local service provider (usually by forcing the existing monopoly service provider to lease infrastructure to other local providers who then resold the service to consumers). However, due to the original design of the numbering plan and telephone switching network which assumed only a single provider, number allocations had to be made in 10,000-number blocks. Thus, anytime a new local service provider entered a certain market it would be allocated 10,000 numbers by default, even if the provider managed to obtain few (if any) customers. As more companies began requesting numbering allocations, this caused many area codes to begin exhausting their supply of available numbers, and additional area codes were needed. Many of the new telecom ventures were not successful and while the number of area codes started increasing rapidly, this did not necessarily translate to a much larger number of actual telephone subscribers as large blocks of numbers lay unassigned to any "real" subscribers due to the 10,000-number block allocation requirement...

In American television shows and films, 555 (or, in older movies and shows, KLondike 5 or KLamath 5) is used as the first three digits of fictional telephone numbers, so if anyone is tempted to telephone a number seen on screen, it does not cause a nuisance to any actual person. There are occasions, however, when a non-555 is used in real-life context, with varying intents and consequences... For example when a version of Madonna's Truth or Dare showed her giving out her actual phone number. The phone number was quickly changed and the scene was cut from the movie shortly afterwards...

The complete article

The phone is ringing, and I don't recognize the number. All Caller ID says is, "NAME UNAVAILABLE". Please help me figure out who is calling and what they want

An incomplete list of people who have disappeared

Units of Measurement

A Huge Depository of Unusual Bits of Information Here

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December 2, 2007 in Information | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 25, 2007

Every 30 seconds one man is driven over by a drunk

Us_postal_stamp Every 30 seconds one man is driven over by a drunk driver… This is that man! (Very funny)

More from Cogmios: What is a problem and what is not a problem

History of US Postage Rates

A map showing which side of the road traffic drives on

The worldwide distribution of blood types

Secrets of the circus engineers - 15c

What's Special About This Number? - from 0 to 9,999

Encyclopedia Britannica 1911 Edition wiki

Vidipedia, a free video encyclopedia that anyone can edit

Don't try and lick your elbow (You can’t) and other interesting real facts (that are strange and might be true)

/// Reddit it /// Add it to your del.icio.us /// A Huge Depository of Unusual Bits of Information Here

February 25, 2007 in Information | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 12, 2006

Disaster Map

Medieval_building A World Map of Emergency and Disaster

Screenshots of many Graphical User Interfaces

How to Get Rid of Things, a do-it-yourself guide dedicated to helping you prevent, eliminate or remove common annoyances from your life

Rebuilding a medieval building at Guédelon. (Thank you William G.)

Insults - they just don't make them as they used to: "A modest little person, with much to be modest about."

In Russian city Ekaterinburg there is a Keyboard Monument

By the way, I've been getting many hits from Digg & Fark for the last 3 days, but I can't figure out where exactly they come from (Probably from the private membership area). If you know of the links, please email it to me. Thank you!

/// Add it to your del.icio.us /// A Huge Depository of Unusual Bits of Information Here

October 12, 2006 in Information | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2006

Free Info For You

Jerry_seinfeld The 27 Worst Family Feud Answers. Example:
Question: Name something packrats have a hard time throwing out.
#1 Answer: Photos
Worst Answer: Corn

From Ozzie Nelson to Jerry Seinfeld. List of actors who play characters with the same names. (From The Free Dictionary)


Where your tax dollars go

Radical cartography by Bill Rankin

By the way, only a handful Hello’s are missing from the 500 comments for $ 100 Post. If you haven’t left a comment yet, please do so now for a chance to win. And UWE, you may pick up the winner, as per the rules. Please contact me, if you wish to do so. (My emails to you bounced back)

(Photo above from Worth 1000). Many More Unusual Bits of Information Here /// Digg this post /// Add it to your del.icio.us

August 12, 2006 in Information | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 15, 2006

Cartographers of the world

Complexity Tobacco Timeline. (From White Man Stew)

Visual Complexity

Color coded flight pattern visualizations by Aaron Koblin (The same guy who designed The Sheep Market)

Murphy's Law Calculator

World Population Tree map. (Please apply salt liberally)

Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest

Many More Unusual Bits of Information Here /// Digg this post /// Add it to your del.icio.us

June 15, 2006 in Information | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2006

What is the meaning of life?

The_meaning_of_lifel Free, self-serve analyses of Powerball data. The 30 most recent Powerball drawings are listed below. Click the date of the drawing for detailed drawing information and analysis, or click on individual white and red numbers for information on that number

Many people want to know What is the meaning of life?. On Google Answers

Checkbook and Stamps Lifehack. I always misplace stamps. But I realized that I only ever need them when I'm mailing someone a check. So I store them in the checkbook now

How to Read 12 Digit UPC Barcodes. Most barcodes in the US are 12-digit UPC barcodes, with ten digits at the bottom of the code and one small number to each side. Impress your friends by asking them to select a random item from the kitchen with a removable label and cut the numbers off of the UPC barcode; you can then proceed to read the numbers encoded in the lines

The phone number 1-800-FREE-411 offers free directory assistance service

Background Notes from the US DoS about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty

Many More Unusual Bits of Information Here

March 19, 2006 in Information | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 01, 2005

Hacking voice mail


The IVR Cheat Sheet by Paul English. A handy cheat sheet to bypass phone systems and talk to a human

Do you like facts? Here’s a giant Alphabetical index of facts

Afraid to ask. Have you ever had a medical question that you were too embarrassed to ask a friend, family member, or even your doctor?

Not listed there: G virus, "The Phage" and Magnimus Obliviophallocytis - List of fictional diseases. (From Ben Yates’s Wikipedia Blog)

How to Spin a Pencil Around Your Thumb

Many More Unusual Bits of Information Here

December 1, 2005 in Information | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 18, 2005

Kangaroo Traffic Courts

Data_input_1 Ticket Assassin – How to successfully fight traffic tickets in California

Forty-one Anomalies of Water, by Martin Chaplin

The US Census Bureau. Your source for population, housing, economic, and geographic data

Sunrise/Sunset Calculator anywhere

20 Things They Don't Want You to Know about Computers

Wikipedia:Community Portal. Photo of Two bread rolls at the Wikipedia:List of images. Also, List of internet slang from "10-4" to "zOMG". Much more there

Many More Unusual Bits of Information Here

September 18, 2005 in Information | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 21, 2005

Behind the facts

Headsup_your_ass A Timeline of Timelines, Daniel Rosenberg's introduction to the timeline

A Dictionary of Three Letter Acronyms, from “American Automobile Association” to “Zero Insertion Force”

Human Population through History, animated version

Publicly Traded Companies by SIC Code and by State

Behind the Name, the etymology and history of first names

Interesting stories and fascinating facts. Did you know, for example, that the tomato is the world's most popular fruit, selling more than bananas and oranges

I am on a short vacation this week. This post had been pre-blogged for your enjoyment. Many More Unusual Bits of Information Here

May 21, 2005 in Information | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2005

“All the knowledge we lost with information”

Mystery_manAll (?) of PBS special programs, more than 1,000 PBS television specials!

Rand corp's 1946 random numbers book is sold on Amazon, and the reviews are raving! Browse outstanding chapters, but note “The material is copyrighted”. Only $30 & This item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping. See details inside

The Ferengi Rules Of Acquisition:

14) Anything stolen is pure profit…
70) Get the money first, then let the buyers worry about collecting the merchandise.
214) Never begin a business negotiation on a empty stomach…

Table Tennis Links! Many more comrehensive guides at The Research Guide for Students

The Best Online Reference Sites, from “Search Engine Watch”

By the way: Who is the mystery professor above? (Hint: He is not a graduate of Duke University.) Many More Unusual Bits of Information Here

January 30, 2005 in Information | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 04, 2004

All about numbers

Pythagoras_ The following window shows a geometrical proof of Pythagoras' Theorem

The First 1,000 Primes

Have you ever wondered how library books are assigned their places on the shelves? Did you know that the call number -- the number placed on the spine of the book -- is a code which provides valuable information about the book? This page is an introduction to understanding library call numbers . (From ”Save Delete”)

20 Questions Ask Jeeves Can't Answer

Many ”True Facts”, like for example, that John Kerry's hometown newspaper, the Lowell Sun, endorsed Bush for president. Bush's hometown newspaper, the Lone Star Iconoclast, endorsed John Kerry for president. Or that, Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey.

And everything you wanted to know about The War on Errorism

(Snarky Malarkey has temporarily gone insane. Damn!)

Today’s “Blog Of The Day”, is the “Sideshow”", Avedon Carol’s Reality-based Weblog. If you wish to have your blog considered as “Blog Of The Day”, or if you know of a blog that should get same recognition, please email me at realhanan (at) yahoo (dot) com, or post a comment at the bottom of this post.

Many Other Odd Sources of Wisdom Here

November 4, 2004 in Information | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack