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"Our life is what our thoughts make it."
- Marcus Aurelius

DEC 2012

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12/1/12     Bingo has had many names and variations. The earliest name, lotto (or loto), a children's game, was first recorded in 1778. The original American form, called keno, kino, or po-keno, dates from the early 19th century. The only form of gambling permitted in the British armed services, the game is called in the Royal Navy tombola (1880) and in the Army, house (1900), or housy-housy. Other American names are beano, lucky, radio, and fortune. - Provided by Reference.com
12/2/12     While awake, a human brain can generate enough energy to power a light bulb (between 10-23 watts). - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/3/12     The cost of treating annual flu epidemics, including lost wages and productivity of workers, is billions of dollars each year in just the United States alone. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/4/12     Cattle are domesticated mammals which are mainly raised for meat (beef and veal), milk (which can also be made into other dairy products), and sometimes for their skins. There are some countries where cattle are used as draft animals that pull farm machinery. Cattle eat grass and some like trees and shrubs. They are cud-chewing animals, which means their food goes through four complex stomachs during digestion. Cattle were first domesticated about 8,000 years ago. There are few wild cattle now, though they are related to bison and buffalo. Cattle are not native in the Western Hemisphere but were brought over in 1493 by Christopher Columbus. - Provided by Reference.com
12/5/12     If a person spent $1 every second, that would equal to $1 million dollars in 12 days. At this rate, it would take 32 years to spend $1 billion dollars. It would take 31,000 years to spend $1 trillion dollars. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/6/12     The most prolonged series of earthquakes in United States' history occurred not in California but in the Midwest, centered on New Madrid, Missouri. They continued from December 6, 1811 to February 12, 1812, but there were few deaths because of the sparse population. Those were the most severe earthquakes in the contiguous U.S.; some in Alaska have been higher on the Richter scale. - Provided by Reference.com
12/7/12     Most newborns will lose all the hair they are born with in the first three or four months of life. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/8/12     If brain cells were replaced, like skin or liver cells, scientists hypothesize we would lose our memories. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/9/12     Clarence Birdseye was an American industrialist who developed a way of deep-freezing foods. Birdseye's process consisted of rapid freezing of packaged food between two refrigerated metal plates. Though his were not the first frozen foods, Birdseye's freezing process was a highly efficient one that preserved the original taste of a variety of foods, including fish, fruits, and vegetables. - Provided by Reference.com
12/10/12     Due to jobs, kids, TV, the Internet, hobbies, and home and family responsibilities, the average married couple spends just four minutes a day alone together. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/11/12     In 1929, the Empire State Building was a long way from completion when an announcement was made on this day. The building's sponsors unveiled their plans to top the skyscraper with a mooring tower, because it seemed likely that there would be regular worldwide zeppelin service in the near future. One zeppelin did actually tie up briefly, but the tower's major effect was that it gave the building a good deal more height - and another observation deck. - Provided by Reference.com
12/12/12     George Grant, an avid golfer, was also interested in the physics of golfing. He set about to improve the game of golf and as a result he received U.S. patent No. 638,920 on December 12, 1899 for the golf tee. It was the world's first patent for a golf tee. - Provided by Reference.com
12/13/12     The Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin was introduced in 1979. The Coin Coalition, based in Washington, DC, reports that the Government Accounting Office studied the experience of the Anthony dollar. The GAO concluded that one of the reasons the Anthony dollar did not catch on was because the dollar bill was still being used. Cash retailers apparently did not want to count and store both paper and coin dollars. In addition, the dollar coins were too similar to quarters, both in look and feel. A new dollar coin with Native American Sacagawea, who helped guide Lewis and Clark, was minted in 2000. - Provided by Reference.com
12/14/12     Only 12 people have been on the moon: the astronauts on the Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/15/12     Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is one of the most famous English writers. His books have lively and memorable characters who depict Victorian England at that time. Dickens had a sad and poor childhood and his books reflect that. He intended to improve the lot of the poor by writing of their hardships in his books. Some of his most famous books are: A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers, and A Tale of Two Cities. - Provided by Reference.com
12/16/12     Champagne, one of the world's greatest sparkling wines, is popularly but erroneously thought to have been invented by the Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Perignon (1638-1715). Although he did not invent or discover champagne, he founded many principles and processes in its production that are still in use today. And he purportedly declared upon drinking the bubbly beverage, 'I am drinking stars.' - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/17/12     Polar bears have the largest home ranges of any bear. One polar bear can hunt and live in an area as big as Maine. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/18/12     While tsunamis have been recorded in every ocean on Earth, about 80% of all tsunamis occur in the Pacific "Ring of Fire." - Provided by RandomHistory.com>
12/19/12     The most common cause of death for American women is heart disease, which causes just over 27% of all mortalities in females. Cancer ranks just below, causing 22% of female deaths. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/20/12     Scientists believe that Earth will exist for another 7.5 billion years before the sun becomes a red giant star and, in all probability, destroys the planet. Earth may cease to support life forms far before that date, however, due to increased energy output from the sun over time. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/21/12     In 1937, Walt Disney premiered the animated cartoon feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Even though it was based on the Grimm brothers' tale, Disney himself named the individual dwarfs Doc, Happy, Grumpy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, and Dopey. - Provided by Reference.com
12/22/12     During the Middle Ages, a lemon slice was served with fish because it was thought the juice would dissolve any bones that were accidentally swallowed. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/23/12     Americans empty 2.5 million plastic water bottles an hour. Each one takes 500 years to decompose. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/24/12     It has long been thought that Clement Clarke Moore authored A Visit from St. Nicholas, which was first published in the Troy (New York) Sentinel, in 1893. The poem begins, " 'Twas the night before Christmas / And all through the house." Moore is said to have composed A Visit from St. Nicholas to amuse his children on Christmas 1822, but, unknown to him, a houseguest copied it and gave it to the press. Moore took credit for the work in 1844 after it appeared in his collection Poems. However, in 1999, descendants of Henry Livingston Jr. claimed that it was Livingston, not Moore, who wrote the piece. Much scholarly research supports their claim, but the poem remains cataloged under Moore's authorship. - Provided by Reference.com
12/25/12     Christmas is from the Old English words Cristes maesse, "the mass or festival of Christ." The first celebration took place in Rome about the middle of the fourth century. The exact date of the Nativity is not known, but even in pre-Christian times the period from December 25 to January 6 - now known as "The Twelve Days of Christmas" - was considered a special time of year. The abbreviation Xmas, thought as sacrilegious by some, is entirely appropriate. The letter X (chi) is the first letter in the Greek word for Christ. - Provided by Reference.com
12/26/12     Engagement rings are often worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because the ancient Greeks maintained that that finger contains the vena amoris, or the 'vein of love,' that runs straight to the heart. The first recorded wedding rings appear in ancient Egypt, with the circle representing eternity as well as powerful sun and moon deities. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/27/12     One of the most desirable of foods -- chocolate -- is made from the beans of the cacao tree. The roasted kernel of the bean is combined with sugar and cocoa butter to make chocolate. The processed beans are ground and pressed to make chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder. We know cocoa best as candy, which is not especially nutritious. It contains some caffeine, but it would take more than a pound of chocolate to equal the caffeine in one cup of coffee. The term 'chocolate' originally referred to what we now call 'hot chocolate.' Explorer Hernan Cortes introduced the drink to Spain upon returning from Mexico in 1519. The Dutch were the first to make chocolate powder and the Swiss made the first milk chocolate in 1876. - Provided by Reference.com
12/28/12     The cranium is the skull, the part of the body that encloses the brain. This large dome of bone is actually made from eight separate bones. They grow and fuse together during early childhood to form the rigid case, the cranium, which protects the brain and sense organs. The back of the cranium is divided into three major depressions, or fossae, in a descending stair-step arrangement from front to back. There are openings in the three fossae for the passage of nerves and blood vessels. - Provided by Reference.com
12/29/12     The oldest documented person on record is Jeanne Calment, a Frenchwoman who lived for 122 years and 164 days. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
12/30/12     In 1853, James Gadsden signed an agreement with the Republic of Mexico to purchase the southern portion of Arizona and New Mexico for ten million dollars. The Gadsden Purchase was one of America's largest land purchases, joining the ranks of the Louisiana Territory, Alaska, and the Virgin Islands. - Provided by Reference.com
12/31/12     "The ball dropped in Times Square on New Year's Eve is made from crystal (Waterford, to be exact). It weighs slightly more than one-half ton." - Fun Facts About New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

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