Thursday, October 29, 2009

GEOGRAPHY TRIVIA (thanks to Estelle Raderman who notes, "I guess they don't count Lake Erie in the Ohio factoid.")




 More than half of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska .. 


   The Amazon rainforest produces more than 20% the world's oxygen supply. 

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The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean.  The volume of water in the Amazon river is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States ...


   Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country.


Ninety percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica . This ice also represents seventy  percent of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert. The average yearly total precipitation is about two inches Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it, ice.), Antarctica is the driest place on the planet, with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert.



  Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around.


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  Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Canada is an Indian word meaning ' Big Village ...' 


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 Next to Warsaw , Chicago has the largest Polish population in the world.


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Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, carries the designation M-1, so named because it was the first paved road anywhere. 

Damascus, Syria


 Damascus, Syria, was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC, making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence. 

   Istanbul, Turkey


 Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world located on two continents.

   Los Angeles

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 Los Angele's full name is El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula -- and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size: L.A. 

New York City

The term 'The Big Apple' was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930's who used the slang expression 'apple' for any town or city. Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time - The Big Apple.

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There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin , Ireland ; more Italians in New York City than in Rome, Italy ; and more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv, Israel . 


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There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio , everyone is manmade.

   Pitcairn Island

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 The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn in Polynesia , at just 1.75 sq. miles/4,53 sq. km.


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 The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome , Italy in 133 B.C.  There is a city called Rome on every continent.



Siberia contains more than 25% of the world's forests.

   S.M.O.M .

The actual smallest sovereign entity in the world is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

 (S.M.O.M). It is located in the city of Rome, Italy, has an area of two tennis courts, and as of 2001 has a population of 80, 20 less people than the Vatican.  It is a sovereign entity under international law, just as the Vatican is. 

   Sahara Desert

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In the Sahara Desert , there is a town named Tidikelt , Algeria , which did not receive a drop of rain for ten years.

Technically though, the driest place on Earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island .. There has been no rainfall there for two million years.

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Spain literally means 'the land of rabbits.' 

St. Paul , Minnesota

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St. Paul, Minnesota , was originally called Pig's Eye after a man named Pierre 'Pig's Eye' Parrant who set up the first business there.


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Chances that a road is unpaved in the U.S.A : 1%, in Canada : 75% 



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The deepest hole ever drilled by man is the Kola Superdeep Borehole, in Russia . It reached a depth of 12,261 meters (about 40,226 feet or 7.62 miles). It was drilled for scientific research and gave up some unexpected discoveries, one of which was a huge deposit of hydrogen - so massive that the mud coming from the hole was “boiling� with it.

United States

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 The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one-mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies. 


The water of Angel Falls (the World's highest) in Venezuela drops 3,212 feet (979 meters). They are 15 times higher than Niagara Falls ..

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Goodstock: Brooklyn's tikkun olam fair

Park Slope charity fair has activities for people of all ages.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Interesting essay from last week's book review

The State of Families, Class and Culture By ARLIE HOCHSCHILD

After stating the obvious (blue collar Americans have been the shock absorbers of the financial crisis and the shift from an industrial to an information based economy) the author ends by blaming high divorce rates and serial monogamy on "a continual state of unconscious immersion in a market turnover culture" in which romantic partners are viewed as consumer items for which many Americans are continuously shopping for the next upgrade. Apparently this is less the case in Europe.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Adult circumcision patient compares sex before and after.

One Man, Both Ways: To understand the real difference between being circumcised and uncircumcised, ask someone who’s been cut and uncut

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Our day trip to Putnam and Dutchess counties to see fall foliage

On Wednesday Shoshana took a personal day and we drove two hours north of the city to see fall foliage (it took us 40 minutes to get out of Brooklyn). Our first stop was Cold Spring, NY where we had lunch at The Riverview Restaurant and took photos of the Hudson:

west bank of Hudson opposite Cold Spring

We then drove west and north to the Beacon Reservoir in Fishkill, NY and its surrounding woods,

Beacon City Reservoir, Fishkill, NY

where we parked the car, did a short walk, and took photos.

Looking west from Beacon City Reservoir with Taconic Mountains in background.

Our next destination was Manitoga in Garrison, NY which has 4 miles of hiking trails. We only hiked for a little over an hour, and will return another time for a longer hike.

Manitoga, Garrison, NY

On our way back we stopped at a scenic view of the Hudson near the Bear Mountain Bridge

Hudson River from Bear Mountain Bridge Road, Peekskill, NY

where after taking a picture of a family (on their camera) we got them to return the favor

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Before returning to Brooklyn we stopped at a restaurant in lower Westchester to have dinner with my parents and our niece Rachel with whom we played hangman. My sister-in-law Sharon and Rachel's twin sister Emily came by to pick up Rachel, and it was good to see them too. The drive back to Brooklyn took longer than usual because of traffic on the BQE.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009