Saturday, April 30, 2011

Interesting Facts

American Revolutionary War – interesting facts

Nobody knows who fired the “shot heard round the world,” but it launched the American Revolutionary War. The shot was fired at Lexington in 1775. Here 73 British soldiers, marching to capture rebel guns and powder, met colonial farmers and townspeople called “Minutemen.” The Minutemen were trained to be ready at a minute’s notice to fight.

The British tried to march past the Minutemen when someone fired a shot. There was panic; the British returned fire and soon eight Minutemen were dead. In nearby Concord, Minutemen attacked British soldiers, killing 73 and wounding 174.

The Second Continental Congress met on May 10th, in Philadelphia, and voted Virginian George Washington as commander of the Continental Army.

The American Revolutionary War lasted eight years, ending in 1783, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Unlike the British, American soldiers were untrained and under-armed. Much like the Vietnamese whom the Americans fought almost 200 years later, the Americans had the advantage since the war was fought on their turf. They knew how to get around and could get support from local families.

Also, the French gave America lots of support with money and gunpowder. France didn’t like England and wanted to get back at England for the French-Indian War.

Interesting Facts About Credit Cards

Credit cards become popularly successful in the 1920s.

Visa was originally called BankAmericard, a card offered by Bank of America in 1958 in California.

78 percent of American households — about 91.1 million — had one or more credit cards at the end of 2008. A year earlier, there were 90.4 million households with cards.

41 percent of college students have a credit card.

Eighty percent of American households have at least one credit card. (Source:

The average level of debt for a middle-class American family is $9,827 (out-of-pocket medical expenses account for $2,194 of that, on average).

Interesting Facts About The Ivory Coast

Côte d’Ivoire is a republic with a strong executive power personified in the President. Its de jure capital is Yamoussoukro and the official language is French. The country is divided into 19 regions and 81 departments.

Most people in the Ivory Coast live near the beaches and coastlines of the country, while some live in the forested areas.

17 million people live in the Ivory Coast, with birth average of 4 per women and literacy rate of over 50% .

The Ivory Coast is among the world’s largest producers of cocoa, coffee beans and palm oil.

The Ivory Coast is known to be a country that loves Soccer, this can be seen by it’s great soccer team that has reached the world cup twice in recent years.

Largest island and the longest river on Earth
 Largest island – Greenland, 839,999 square miles (2,175,600 square kilometers), seems to have been misnamed by Vikings hoping to attract settlers to a colony on the southern coast, which, to be fair, is green for a short time in summer.

Longest river – Africa’s Nile River, at 4,241 miles (6,825 kilometers) long, barely beats out the Amazon in South America (approximately 4,000 miles; 6,437 kilometers) as the world’s longest river. The Nile runs north—through Uganda, Sudan, and Egypt—into the Mediterranean Sea.

Largest river system – The Amazon wins hands down with a drainage basin of approximately 2.5 million square miles (6.7 million square kilometers), an area equal to three-fourths the contiguous United States. It also carries the greatest flow of water—around six million cubic feet per second, or one-fifth of all the river water in the world.

Red Blood Cells Functions – interesting facts

Red blood cells function by carrying oxygen to every part of the body, and then carrying carbon dioxide back to the lungs. Red blood cells are very well designed to perform this important job. First, they are packed full of hemoglobin, which is an iron-bearing protein that transports oxygen to other cells. Interestingly, red blood cells have no nuclei, a feature which makes even more room for hemoglobin. Red blood cells are the only cells in the body that do not have a nucleus.

Second, they are shaped like disks. This shape greatly increases their surface area compared with a sphere of the same volume. The large surface area is important because it improves the efficiency of oxygen transfer between hemoglobin and the tissues where the oxygen is needed. Red blood cells are formed in the bone marrow, where special cells called stem cells divide repeatedly, then lose most of their internal parts before they are released into the blood. Red blood cells have an average life span of about 120 days. After this, they tend to become misshapen and they are removed from the circulation system by the spleen. A typical human body makes about 2.5 million red blood cells every second, or about 200 billion every day!

Red cells normally comprise about 40% of the blood volume. When doctors measure this number, it is called the hematocrit. Sometimes the number of red blood cells drops too low. This condition is called anemia. Generally, anemia results either because too few red blood cells are being made, or because they are being destroyed prematurely. The most common cause for underproduction of red blood cells is iron deficiency. Iron is a necessary component of hemoglobin, so iron deficiency results in inadequate formation of new red blood cells.

Interesting facts about Mount Everest

Mount Everest – also called Qomolangma Peak or Mount Chomolungma – is the highest mountain on Earth, and the highest point on the Earth’s continental crust, as measured by the height above sea level of its summit, 8,848 metres (29,029 ft).

Everest was formed about 60 million years ago.

First man who ascent Everest: Sir Edmund Hillary, NZ and Tenzing Norgay, NP, via the South Col Route in May 29,1953.

Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, is growing!
Millions of years ago, India was an island. Due to the motion of continental plates, India drifted North and crashed (very slowly!) into Asia about forty million years ago. Its northward motion created the Himalayan mountain range, and continues today. As a result of this motion, Mount Everest is growing by an average of about four centimeters (or one and a half inches) per year!

First person to summit Everest twice was Nawang Gombu-Nepal(once with Whitaker in ’63,and again two years later in ’65)Gombu now works for the Himalayan mountaineering institute.

About 120 corpses remain on Everest.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011



A German named Charles Wiesenthal who lived in England got patented the needle that he designed for sewing machine in 1755. It was in 1790 Thomas Saint, who was an English inventor and a maker of cabinets got a copyright for a sewing machine as a whole. This machine was designed to sew leather but it could not produce results and failed. Though Balthazar Krems invented an automated sewing machine to sew caps in 1810 but he did not get it patented. There were few unsuccessful tries too. In 1814 Josef Madersperger was able to get patent for his unsuccessful machine. Thomas Stone and James Henderson got French patent for their machine and Scott John Duncans for his embroidery machine in 1804 but both machines were a great failure.

The French tailor Barthelemy Thimonnier invented the first sewing machine that could function in 1830. The machine used a single thread and a needle which was hooked. The other tailors burnt his shop and almost killed him as they thought the new invention might bring unemployment.

It was in 1834 that America’s first successful machine came up and the man behind this was Walter Hunt who took no interest in getting a patent for it due to the fear that it might cause unemployment. It was in 1846 that Elias Howe got the first American patent for a sewing machine that had one pointed eye and accepted thread from two sources.

The mass production of machines started in 1850 when Isaac Singer invented the machine that was commercially successful.


It was in 18th century that the process of invention of refrigerator started. In 1748 William Cullen of University of Glasgow developed a process for creating an artificial cooling medium. No one took interest in it for commercial or home consumption, it only attracted scientific attention. An American inventor Oliver Evans made the first design for the refrigerator in 1804 but until 1834 none was interested in the same. Jacob Perkins built the first refrigeration machine in 1834. In 1844, a physician John Gorrie built a working unit on the basis of Oliver’s designs. He constructed this unit to create cooling atmosphere for his patients who were suffering from yellow fever.

In 1876 Carl von Linden invented the improved method of liquefying gas and got it patented. This was a great help in the creation of practical refrigerator. Ammonia, sulphur dioxide and methyl chloride were utilized for the formation of this gas which led to many accidents. The need led to the development of Freon and was used in bulk till it was found that it was not environment friendly and affected the ozone layer.

The gas compounds have now changed to safer compounds which compress and heat up working to cool the inside air of the refrigerator. Without this adjustment the working of the refrigerator seems impossible. It has been a work of many great inventors that the present form of refrigerators has simplified the work.


Walkman is actually a Sony trademark and was the name used for portable tape or cassette deck players. These were meant for the listening pleasure of a single person and the trademark was later expanded for other portable Sony devices for audio and video entertainment. The term Walkman is also given to a range of the Sony Erricson range of mobile phones which also became immensely popular. Walkman was a device that was designed and created by audio engineer Nobutoshi Kihara who worked for Sony.

The Sony co-chairman Akio Morita wanted a device where he could listen to his favorite operas during the Trans Atlantic flights. The concept was well liked and was originally marketed in Japan in 1979 and was sensational, since it gave freedom to young people to listen to their music with light weight headphones.

Even though Morita hated the name Walkman, the name stuck on and the promotional campaign using the name had already begun and to change the name midway would have been extremely expensive for the company. In 2007 March, the digital flash based video walkman was released and was named the A800 series.

The Walkman by Sony faced stiff competition from other companies such as Toshiba, Aiwa, Panasonic etc, but the personalization of the gadget worked in its favor for almost 20 years and the essential design remained unchanged.


The names of many are associated with the invention of the television. The two people who worked on the same appliance at two totally different places were Vladimir Kosma Zworykin; a Russian who was born in America and worked for Westinghouse Corporation, the other was a farm boy from Utah, Philo Taylor Farnsworth. Zworykin was the one who got his electron scanning tube also known as iconoscope patented first, in the year 1923 and was thus thought of as the inventor of modern television. The quality of his work was very poor and not appreciated.

It was on September 7, 1927 that Fransworth gave a successful demonstration for the transmission of the television signals for which he used his self designed scanning tube and received the patent for the same in the year 1930.

The patent for a similar type of tube was also applied for by Zworykin in 1923 but he was refused the same as the tube was not in a functional state. He could make a functional tube in the year 1934 and got the patent for it in 1938.

Many people acclaim John Logie Baird to be the original inventor of television as he was the one to give the very first live demonstration of the working television which had images that moved and had tone graduation on 26 January in the year 1926.


Toilets as we know today have existed for about a century only. Earlier homes didn’t have the flushing toilet and even taking a bath was considered quite a luxury. The flush toilet is the most popular toilet that is used the world over and were known as water closets in the 19th century. Though the concept has been in use for a long period. Around 4000 years ago, in the Indus valley Civilization, toilets and sewers were an integral part to the city planning. The water flushing toilets were usually used by the affluent and these were linked to the drains that were also covered.

Remnants of water flushing toilets were also found at Skara Brae in Oakney, Scotland around 3100 BC – 2500 BC. The Pharaohs and ancient Persia also had toilets around the 18th century BC. While toilets during the roman times were a part of the public bath houses.

In the US, it was estimated that 90 liters of water were used by individuals in the flushing toilets everyday. Now newer designs are being implemented and researched that will reduce the water consumption and wastage. In many homes and offices, dual flush toilets are in use that is meant for reducing the wastage of water. The dual system uses less water for flushing smaller loads of wastage.


Vacuum cleaners are used for residential, commercial and industrial purposes. They are also known as hoovers or even sweepers are used for sucking up both dry and wet wastes from the surroundings. The dirt that is collected is collected in a bag for later disposal. The first documented Vacuum cleaners were invented by Daniel Hess in the United States in 1860 and were called a carpet sweeper. Just like the modem Vacuum cleaners, it also had a rotating brush and had a bellow mechanism that was quite complex for sucking out the dirt and the filth from the carpets. Hess received a patent for his vacuum cleaner on July 10, 1860.

The first few vacuum cleaners that were invented were operated manually. Till 1900’s most vacuum cleaners that were invented by Ives W McGraffy, Melville Bissell and others were manual ones. Soon after the motorized versions of the vacuum cleaners began to be produced. John H Thurman created a gasoline powered carper cleaner for the General Compressed Air Company. However this design wasn’t very successful, since the dust was blown into receptacle rather than the dust being sucked in as the cleaners do now.

The first vacuum cleaners were quite bulky, stand up and couldn’t be easily moved. After Electrolux launched its model V that lay on the floor with metal runners future machines would standardize this pattern. Now robotic vacuum cleaners can clean the place effortlessly.