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

OCT 2012

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10/1/12     The metals most resistant to chemical reaction or oxidation are gold, silver, mercury, and the platinum group (including palladium, iridium, rhodium, ruthenium, and osmium). Osmium is the hardest of the group and has the highest melting point. - Provided by Reference.com
10/2/12     Why does thunder rumble? When a lightning bolt flashes through the sky we see it instantly. Thunder takes a few seconds longer to reach us. Sound travels about a mile in 5 seconds. Start counting when you hear a lightning flash. If you hear the thunder in 5 seconds, the lightning's a mile away; in 10 seconds and it is two miles away. We hear rumbling as sound from other parts of the flash hits our ears. Thunder from the part of flash nearest us reaches our ears first. The phenomenon of 'rolling thunder' is many lightning flashes and their sounds occurring in sequence. - Provided by Reference.com
10/3/12     The first nationally televised general election debates occurred in 1960, when Kennedy and Nixon debated four times from Sept. 26 through Oct. 21. - Provided by Reference.com
10/4/12     Early doors, used throughout Mesopotamia and the ancient world, were merely hides or textiles. Stone doors, usually hung on pivots, top and bottom, were often used on tombs. A marble, paneled example, probably from the time of Augustus, was found at Pompeii. A Greek door (c. 200 AD) from a tomb at Langaza, Turkey, has been preserved in the museum at Istanbul. - Provided by Reference.com
10/5/12     Cancer is any of a group of more than 100 related diseases characterized by the uncontrolled multiplication of abnormal cells in the body. - Provided by Reference.com
10/6/12     A cattle driver is a drover. A cattle roundup was a drift. A cattle stall is a crib. To drive cattle with a rod is to goad. A headlong rush of cattle is a stampede. - Provided by Reference.com
10/7/12     The original source of fire undoubtedly was lightning, and such fortuitously ignited blazes remained the only source of fire for aeons. For some years Peking man, about 500,000 BC, was believed to be the earliest unquestionable user of fire; evidence uncovered in Kenya in 1981 and in South Africa in 1988, however, suggests that the earliest controlled use of fire by hominids dates from about 1,420,000 years ago. - Provided by Reference.com
10/8/12     Moths fly to burning candles or glowing light bulbs because of their mating instinct. It is not the illumination that draws them but the infrared light of radiant heat, which to us is invisible. Their body temperatures soar when they are in flight and they home in on one another like heat-seeking missiles. Warmth from a candle or light seems like a powerful summons from a supermoth. - Provided by Reference.com
10/9/12     The largest publication is 'Yongle Dadian', a thesaurus and encyclopedia of the Yongle reign, with 22,937 chapters in 11,095 volumes. It was written by 2000 Chinese scholars between 1403-1408. The 20-volume 'Oxford English Dictionary' has 21,543 pages. The largest dictionary was 'Deutsches Worterbuch' with 34,510 pages in 33 volumes. - Provided by Reference.com
10/10/12     The irregular three-dimensional web of cobweb spiders has anchoring threads of sticky silk. An insect caught in the web or touching an anchor line becomes entangled, increasingly so if it struggles; if a thread breaks, the force of elasticity in it pulls the insect toward the center of the web. - Provided by Reference.com
10/11/12     The sun sneeze is called 'photic sneeze reflex' which occurs in one-sixth to one-quarter of the population. Nobody is sure what causes it, but there are many nerves in your head and there can be leakage from one nerve pathway to another, which could cause a sneeze from looking at sunlight. - Provided by Reference.com
10/12/12     As we get older, collagen in the skin loses some of its water (polymerization). This process stretches the collagen molecules into longer chains. It acts like elastic that has been left in the Sun; it loses its snap and flexibility. Below the dermis is the subcutaneous tissue that has a high amount of fat. In time, the tissue loses fat and doesn't replace it. The cushion of dermis becomes thinner and the skin sags. With some elasticity gone, the skin folds into creases or wrinkles, increasing in depth as more fat vanishes from the subcutaneous layer. - Provided by Reference.com
10/13/12     The first president to ride in a car was Theodore Roosevelt in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1902. The first president to fly in an airplane was Franklin Roosevelt in 1943 from Miami, Florida, to French Morocco. The first president to fly an aircraft was Theodore Roosevelt who was a passenger in a Wright biplane in 1910. The first president to hold an airplane pilot's license was Dwight Eisenhower. Theodore Roosevelt was probably the first president to 'own' a car, also. - Provided by Reference.com
10/14/12     Golf balls were originally made of wood, but in the early 17th century the feather ball was introduced. It was a slow and expensive process to manufacture these balls, which consisted of boiled feathers compressed into a hole left in a stitched leather cover. The invention of the cheaper gutta-percha ball about 1848 helped to make the game more popular. Regulation balls have a maximum weight of 1.62 ounces (45.93 grams) and a minimum diameter of 1.68 inches (4.27 centimeters). - Provided by Reference.com
10/15/12     The first shopping center in a suburb was in Kansas City, Missouri and the first tenant moved in in 1923. It had 150 stores and a 2000-seat auditorium. The first enclosed climate-controlled suburban shopping mall was Southdale, in Edina, Minnesota, opened in 1956. The first pedestrian shopping mall was constructed in 1959 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. - Provided by Reference.com
10/16/12     The name 'cottage' in cottage cheese comes from early European farmers who made this cheese in their cottages with milk that was left over from making butter. Today, cottage cheese is not made from buttermilk or whey. - Provided by Reference.com
10/17/12     Brown sugar is white sugar combined with molasses, which gives it a soft texture. There is light and dark brown sugar -- with the light generally being a more delicate flavor and the dark being the old-fashioned style with more intense molasses flavor. Both granulated and liquid brown sugar are now available but neither of these forms should be substituted for regular brown sugar in recipes. - Provided by Reference.com
10/18/12     Auroras like the northern lights are caused by the interaction of energetic particles (electrons and protons) from outside the atmosphere with atoms of the upper atmosphere. Such interaction occurs in zones surrounding the Earth's magnetic poles. During periods of intense solar activity, auroras occasionally extend to the middle latitudes; for example, the aurora borealis has been seen as far south as 40 latitude in the United States. - Provided by Reference.com
10/19/12     The first 'practical' lawn mower was invented by Elwood McGuire of Richmond, Indiana, in the 1890s. He attached sharp blades to a rotating reel, with a cutting bed at the center. The first power mower was Moto-Mower, invented by Edward George in 1919, and run on gasoline. - Provided by Reference.com
10/20/12     Chemical Bank in New York City placed its first ATM machine in operation at Rockville Center, Long Island, in January 1969. - Provided by Reference.com
10/21/12     The heat involved in boiling the egg causes chemical changes to the soft matter which makes it harden. The discoloring that sometimes occurs (gray or green) is caused by iron and sulphur compounds that accumulate when eggs are overcooked. Although the discolored egg yolks don't look great, it does not affect the taste or nutritional value of the eggs. - Provided by Reference.com
10/22/12     The first countries to grant women's suffrage in national elections were New Zealand (1893), Australia (1902), Finland (1906), and Norway (1913). - Provided by Reference.com
10/23/12     The spine of a turtle is connected to its shell. Turtles generally have between 40 and 50 vertebrae. The ribs of the turtle develop with the costal plates of the carapace. As the turtle ages, the ribs fuse with plates of the shell. Turtles use the cervical vertebrae (eight bones of the neck), withdrawing them under the carapace to provide greater protection to the neck. - Provided by Reference.com
10/24/12     A cat can't climb head first down a tree because every claw on a cat's paw points the same way. To get down from a tree, a cat must back down. - Provided by RandomHistory.com
10/25/12     Nine out of ten people are right-handed. Most animals, other than humans who write, are closer to ambidextrous than right- or left-pawed, clawed, etc. - Provided by Reference.com
10/26/12     The eyes of frogs and toads bulge out enabling them to see in almost all directions. They can close their eyes by pulling the eyeballs deeper into the sockets. This action closes the upper and lower eyelids. Most species also have a thin, partly clear inner eyelid attached to the bottom lid. This inner eyelid is called the nictitating membrane. It can be moved upward when the eyes are open. It protects the eyes without completely cutting off the vision. - Provided by Reference.com
10/27/12     A victimless crime is one in which the accused has not acted in a manner harmful to another. In other words, nothing was stolen; no property damaged; no other party was hurt, no other real person that is. What has occurred is this: The accused has broken some 'shall' or 'shall not' statute of law. In all such cases the state assumes the role of victim, no matter that in most cases the accused is the real victim and the state the assailant. - Provided by Reference.com
10/28/12     The spleen is a lymphoid organ located in the left side of the abdominal cavity under the diaphragm, the muscular partition between the abdomen and the chest. In man it is about the size of a fist and is well supplied with blood. As the lymph nodes are filters for the lymphatic circulation, the spleen is the primary filtering element for the blood. - Provided by Reference.com
10/29/12     Redwoods are the tallest living trees; they often exceed 90 m (300 feet) in height, and one has reached 112.1 m (367.8 feet). Their trunks reach typical diameters of 3 to 6 m (10 to 20 feet) or more, measured above the swollen bases. The redwood tree takes 400 to 500 years to reach maturity, and some trees are known to be more than 1,500 years old. - Provided by Reference.com
10/30/12     Freshwater lakes constitute about 0.009 percent of the Earth's free surface water, while saline lakes account for a somewhat smaller percentage. Canada alone contains nearly 50% of the world's lakes. The Caspian Sea, Dead Sea, and Great Salt Lake are among the greatest of the world's salt lakes. The Great Lakes of the United States and Canada is the world's largest system of freshwater lakes. Lake Superior alone is the world's largest freshwater lake with an area of 31,820 sq mi (82,414 sq km). The Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world, with an area of c.144,000 sq mi (372,960 sq km). Lake Titicaca in the Andes Mts. of South America is the world's highest large lake at 12,500 ft (3,800 m) above sea level; the Dead Sea is the lowest at 1,292 ft (394 m) below sea level. - Provided by Reference.com
10/31/12     The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, or the Bill of Rights, were adopted as a single unit on Dec. 15, 1791. They constitute a collection of mutually reinforcing guarantees of individual rights and of limitations on federal and state governments. The Bill of Rights derives from the Magna Carta (1215), the English Bill of Rights (1689), the colonial struggle against king and Parliament, and a gradually broadening concept of equality among the American people. - Provided by Reference.com

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