A Compendium of Useless
Hue: Another name for color
Tint: Color + White
Tone: Color + Grey
Shade: Color + Black
Intensity or Chroma: The brightness or dullness of a
Value: The lightness or darkness of a color
Five Times Faster Underwater
Did you know that sound travels five times faster
underwater than it does through the air?
Watch Those Intersections
The Federal Highway Administration says that more
than 1.8 million crashes occur at intersections each
year, killing more than 7,800 people. That is over 20
people per day killed at intersections.
Iced Tea Is an English
Richard Blechyden, an Englishman, had a tea concession
at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. Hot tea
wasn't selling so hot on a hot day a the fair, so
Blechyden served the tea cold and invented iced tea. So
next time a Brit gives you a hard time for ordering iced
tea, tell him that an Englishman invented it.
Edward Adolf Barq, Sr. invented root beer in 1898 in
No Wonder I Love Chocolate
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, the same chemical
produced by your brain when you fall in love.
Puts Some to Sleep, Helps
Others Work Faster
During World War II, Muzak® was discovered to raise
worker productivity by 11% when played in U.S. assembly
What a Spaz!
The average human blinks about 12,000 times each day.
The Good Old Days?
How did life in the 90's compare to life in the 20's?
|Life expectancy (in years)
|Infant mortality (deaths/1,000)
|Deaths from infectious diseases
(per 100,000 population)
|Heart disease (age-adjusted deaths
per 100,000 population)
|Accidental deaths (per 100,000
|Home ownership (% of households)
|Telephone calls (annual per
|Air pollution (lead micrograms per
100 cubic meters of air)
|High school completion (% of
Don't Wear Cotton Socks
Once cotton gets wet, it stays wet, bunches up, and can
lead to blisters. (Cotton also becomes abrasive and
loses its shape when it's washed.)
On the other hand, socks made from synthetic fibers
will keep their shape, wick water away from your skin,
stay dryer, and keep your feet cooler.
The new fiber trade name CoolMax works best.
Teflon is now being used in BlisterGuard socks by
SmootheEase. Acrylic fibers (much cheaper) work
well, especially when blended with other fibers. Source:
Runner's World, October 1999
What a Nut!
Did you know that the coconut is the world's largest
Danger on the Road
Be aware that trucks create wind gusts, and keep both
hands on the wheel when a truck passes. Also leave
plenty of room behind a truck stopped on a hill because
it may roll back when the trucker releases the break. Source:
AAA and USA Today, June 29, 2000
Round and Round We Go
There is enough fiber-optic cable lying on the ocean
floor to circle the earth almost 10 times. Did you know
that the merry-go-round was invented in 1871 by W.
That Face, That Face, Get Me
There is an official circus clowns'
face registry to protect an individual's look from being
Palm Dominates in 2000. Gone in 2012
Market researcher International Data Corp says 76% of
the handheld-device hardware market is dominated by Palm
Computing. The Handspring Visor has a 2.3% market share,
and Pocket PC devices have a 10% market share. Source:
Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2000
By the end of 2012, Palm was gone.
Never heard of him? He was either the
inventor or co-inventor of:
- the mouse
- hypertext linking
- word processing
- outline editors for idea development
- a full windowing software environment
- the concept of consistency in user interfaces
- on-line help systems, or context-sensitive help
- user configurability and programmability
In the early 1960's, Engelbart and his colleagues
(William K. English and John F. Rulifson) founded the
Augmentation Research Centre (ARC) at the Stanford
Research Institute where the created the On-Line System
(NLS). NLS provided the above tools. Learn more at the Bootstrap
Did you know that the Greek word gymnasium means
"to exercise naked"? In ancient Greece,
gymnasts wore no clothes when they competed.
On what day of the year do the most collect phone calls
usually occur? Father's Day.
Where did the name "Ivy League" come from?
Columbia, Yale, Princeton and Harvard were the IV
original IVy league schools.
The Flying Chair
The first elevator was called the Flying Chair. It was
built in 1743 for King Louis XV at his palace in
The Sky is Falling!
Canada has 26 meteorite craters, the most of any
Look Who's Talking, or A
Thomas Edison invented the world's first talking doll in
1888. The voice came from a small phonograph inside the
What else was invented in 1888? The paper straw.
In 1888 a temperance society founded Hollywood,
California to be a model community.
Nothing Left to Invent
The director of the U.S. Patent Office resigned in 1875.
He recommended closing the office, claiming that there
was nothing left to invent. Just think— if he had been
right, we wouldn't be able to drink root beer through a
Microwaves and Popcorn
What came first, the microwave oven or microwave
popcorn? Microwave popcorn.
Percy Spencer was standing next to a magnetron tube
in 1945 when he noticed that the candy bar in his pocket
was melting. Curious, he placed popcorn in front of the
tube and watched it pop. Next, he tried an egg that
exploded when the inside of the egg cooked faster than
the shell. This led to the
invention of the microwave oven.
Kerplunk and Zeedonk
A zeedonk is the offspring of a zebra and a
Here Kitty Kitty
When is a kitten not a cat? When it's a baby
rat. What are the names for other baby animals? Find out at Zoo Central.
Milk and Cookies
The average cow produces 70,000 glasses of milk in its
lifetime. Markita Andrews sold 60,000 boxes of cookies
during her 12 years as a Girl Scout.
The Black Box
The black box which contains the voice recorder is easy
to find in the wreckage of an aircraft because it is
actually orange, not black.