useless interesting information




Did you ever wonder what the WD in WD-40 stands for?.

The name was lifted right out chemist Norm Larsen’s laboratory notebook. Way back in 1953, he was trying to concoct an anti-corrosion formula, which worked on the basic principle of displacing water.

On his 40th try, Larsen finally got it right. Hence the name WD-40. It literally means Water Displacer, 40th try.

Not a lot of people know that (in Michael Caines voice)

It is impossible to keep your eyes open when you sneeze.

I have been told this is a protective mechanism as the pressure in the head is high enough to, ahem, ‘displace’ the eyes if the eyelids weren’t closed but that bit might just be an urban myth.

(Currently testing this as I’m just coming down with a cold and so far, it’s true!)

as we’re on the subject of useless information -

does anyone know why the watershed - the nine o’clock limit for swearing and stuff on telly - is so named?

Watershed (from a German word too long to type out) is the geographical line drawn between areas where the water runs in different directions. For example, the water on one side of the Rockies runs into the Pacific and that on the other into the Atlantic. For over 100 years it has also been used as a term to mark a turning point in political affairs. This second meaning has obviously been adopted to mark the turning point at which more adult material is acceptable on TV.

As for the sneezing thing. The eye closing reflex is to stop eye injury as head and body movement is violent and uncontrolled during a sneeze. As the sneeze takes control of almost all the body’s muscles to force air out of the nose at the maximum speed, the body can’t use any of the usual safely reflexes so the sneeze reflex locks the hands and eyes in relatively safe positions until the sneeze is over.

Interestingly (no really!) the blink and sneeze reflexes are so closely linked in the brain that in some people bright lights can cause a sneeze because a blink starts, and the brain takes a wrong turning and instead of just blinking, follows through with the sneeze. I am a sufferer of this condition, known as Auto-Compulsive Heliogenic Olfactory Outburst!

On Magnetic Hill (A27), between Ronague and the Round Table crossroads on the Isle of Man,

whilst sitting in your car with the engine and hand-brake off, it will appear and feel like it is rolling backwards uphill!!

something just like that in Highgate too.

The armadillo is the only creature other than human beings which can catch leprosy.

hey Giuliano i thought that was a natural reaction for everyone? i do it all the time i cant even look into the sky on a bright day without sneezing once or twice heh

bit of useless computer info

half of a byte (8 bits) is called a nibble

You asked for it . . .

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time television were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.

Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters.

Men can read smaller print than women; women can hear better.

The world’s youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.

The youngest pope was 11 years old.

First novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:

Spades - King David
Clubs - Alexander the Great,
Hearts-Charlemagne, and
Diamonds - Julius Caesar.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

“I am.” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

The term “the whole 9 yards” came from W.W.II fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got “the whole 9 yards.”

The phrase “rule of thumb” is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn’t beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

These may or may not be true . . . .

Molecularly speaking, water is actually much drier than sand.

Human tonsils can bounce higher than a rubber ball of similar weight and size, but only for the first 30 minutes after they’ve been removed

If an average human scrotum were stretched until all its wrinkles were smoothed out, it could hold a basketball

When subjected to an electric current of at least 50 volts, a cat’s tail always points toward the north

If the current trend continues, by the year 2215 midgets will outnumber “normal-sized” people.

Female black cats can actually see their shadows at night.

Nearly three percent of the ice in Antarctic glaciers is penguin urine

In the weightlessness of space a frozen pea will explode if it comes in contact with Pepsi

The Boeing 747 is capable of flying upside-down if it weren’t for the fact that the wings would shear off when trying to roll it over

Polar bears can eat as many as 86 penguins in a single sitting

Approximately one-sixth of your life is spent on Wednesdays

The typewriter was invented by Hungarian immigrant Qwert Yuiop, who left his “signature” on the keyboard.

If you put a bee in a film canister for two hours, it will go blind and leave behind its weight in honey

Never hold your nose and cover your mouth when sneezing, as it can blow out your eyeballs

When immersed in liquid, a dead sparrow will make a sound like a crying baby

The French language has seventeen different words for “surrender.”

If a cricket were the size of Mount Rushmore, it could jump to the moon

The number of words in the Bible divided by the number of verses equals exactly 666

The second list I posted was entirely the musings of a fragmented mind and all untrue . . .

Sorry Jonny but I heard that coka-cola was always red but Father Christmas originally wore a green suit. But when Coke used FC on Xmas advertising they had him dressed in a red suit and since then it has stuck.

Lego is the worlds largest tyre manufacturer!!

How useless is that!

JZ mentioned that “I am.” is the shortest sentence in the English language.

This is actually equalled by another one - “I do.” - which has the honour of also leading to the longest sentence…

I know dead sparrows dont make any sort of sounds when you imerse them in liquid - I’ve tried, they just float!