"Useless information is driving me insane..."
[Editor's note: In response to Phil's special
edition of useless information, I took it upon myself -- at no
extra charge to you, the viewer -- to add as many useless links
as I can find. It's a "value-added" thang. As you read
through this orbit, you will notice that the frequency of the
links increase. It was not by design; I just got carried away
with it -- it certainly delayed publication of this obit for some
time, and left friends and families wondering if I was still
alive. I am, and here is the result of Phil's and my efforts: a
totally useless edition of Planet Proctor with totally useless
(but whimsical) links. I hope you enjoy it. I'm going to take a
long vacation now. - RJA, ed.]
OK, LET'S GET STARTED...
cheese comes from England.
- Henry Ford drove a car made of hemp.
- Winston Churchill was
born in a ladies' room during a
- The longest place-name still in use is a
New Zealand hill:
- The longest word in the English language,
according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
- The Ramses brand condom is
named after the Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.
- The world's greatest lover was King Mongut
of Siam. He had 9,000 wives. Before dying of syphilis he
was quoted as saying he only loved the first 700.
- Harrods Department
Store of London installed its first escalator in 1896.
Some riders fainted. The store stationed two attendants
at the top to revive stricken folk with cognac.
Thereafter, quite a few riders fainted, some several
- Librarian Robert Henderson in 1939 proved
baseball was derived from the English game of Rounders, but an A. G. Spalding wanted
baseball to be the national sport, so in 1908 he set up a
commission to support his story that Abner Doubleday
invented the game at Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1839.
- In France, a professional
clown paints a replica of his made-up face on an emptied
egg shell and it's registered and stored by a government
bureau. By law, no other clown can use that face.
- Who was the real Robinson Crusoe? In
1703, an old pirate named Alexander Selkirk, got
mad at his ship's master, Capt. William Dampier, and
jumped overboard. He slept that night on the beach and
next morning hailed the ship, but the captain ignored him
and set sail. Nine years later, it was that same Captain
who saw Selkirk's campfire and sent a boat but Selkirk
was still mad. It took two days to talk him into going
- Why do you get wrinkles on your face,
but nowhere else on your body? Because your face is the
only place in your body where the muscles are attached to
the skin. Elsewhere they're attached to your bones. That's why your
face can express emotion, but your backside can't.
- A pig's orgasm lasts for 30
minutes. A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows
why. An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain. The longest
recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds. Studies
show that if a cat falls off the seventh floor of a
building it has about thirty percent less chance of
surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor.
It supposedly takes about eight floors for the cat to
realize what is occurring, relax and correct itself. A
cat has 32 muscles in each ear. Cats have over one
hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten. Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur. The
muzzle of a lion is like a
fingerprint - no two lions have the same pattern of
- Bats always turn left
when exiting a cave. Reindeer like to eat bananas. Armadillos have four
babies at a time and they are always all the same sex.
The giant squid has the
largest eyes in the world. All porcupines float in water. To escape the grip of a crocodile's jaws, push
your thumbs into its eyeballs - it will let you go
instantly. There are twice as many kangaroos in Australia
as there are people. The kangaroo population is estimated
at about 40 million. Cost of raising a medium-size dog to
the age of eleven: $6,400.
- Emus and kangaroos
cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of
arms for that reason. It is possible to lead a cow (or a
horse) upstairs but not downstairs. Horses love Jell-O. Dartboards are made
out of horsehairs. 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. More people are killed annually
by donkeys than die in
air crashes. A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won't. A group of
unicorns is called a blessing. Horses cannot vomit.
- It was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up. The frog
throws up it's stomach first, so the stomach is dangling
out of it's mouth. Then the frog uses it's forearms to
dig out all of the stomach's contents and then swallows
the stomach back down again. Rabbits cannot vomit.
Certain frogs can be frozen solid then thawed, and
continue living. Camel's milk does not
curdle. The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World
War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.
- A dragonfly has a
lifespan of 24 hours. A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. The average
garden variety caterpillar has 248
muscles in its head. The male gypsy moth can
"smell" the virgin female gypsy moth from 1.8
IN A WORD!
- "Sin" is an
archery term for "missing the mark." "Mai Tai" is Tahitian for "the
very best." "Chad" is the word for the little paper dots
left over when you make perforations. Trace back the word
you'll get "bottle bearer."
If the redhead objects to the word redhead, you can
describe her as "hirsutorufous."
No word in the English language rhymes with month,
orange,1 silver, and purple.
A dressed doll is called a "poupee" in French.
It's where we got the word "puppy."(Poopy?)
Sound intensity is measured in decibels, from the name of
Alexander Graham Bell
who measured degrees of deafness. And Bel-Air is named after
oilman, Alfonzo Bell.
[1. Impertinent editorial footnote: Tom Lehrer once proved
that a rhyme with orange is possible: "Eating an orange/
While making love/ Makes for bizarre enj-/
Oyment thereof." - RJA, ed.]
- Skepticism is the longest word
that alternates hands when typing. Stewardesses
and reverberated are the two longest words (12
letters each) that can be typed using only the left hand.
The longest word that can be typed using only the right
hand is lollipop. The only 15-letter word that
can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
(That's why I just reprinted it here) "I am" is
the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
- The term the whole nine yards came from WWII fighter pilots in the South
Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the
.50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27
feet, so if the pilots fired all their ammo at a target,
it got the whole nine yards. The distress call
"Mayday, mayday" comes from the cries of French
pilots," M'Aidez, m'aidez," meaning "Help
me." Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of
their unwanted people without killing them used to burn
their houses down, hence the expression to get fired.
The word Checkmate comes from the Persian phrase
"Shah Mat," which means "the king is
dead." Pinocchio is
Italian for "pine head."
YOU DON'T SAY?
WHAT'S IN A NAME...
- The most common name in the world is Mohammed. Donald Duck's middle
name is Fauntleroy. Bob
Dylan's real name is Robert
Zimmerman. Dr. Seuss pronounced
his name so that it rhymed with "rejoice." The
names of the three wise monkeys
are: Mizaru: See no evil, Mikazaru: Hear no evil, and
Mazaru: Speak no evil. The name for Oz in the "Wizard of Oz" was
thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at
his filing cabinet and saw A-N, and O-Z, hence
- Maine is the only state whose name is just one
syllable. Canada is an Indian
word meaning "Big Village." Los Angeles's full
name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los
Angeles de Porciuncula." ABBA got their name by
taking the first letter from each of their first names --
Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-frid. The Beatles' song "Dear Prudence"
was written about Mia Farrow's sister,
Prudence, when she wouldn't come out and play at a
religious retreat in India. John Lennon's first
girlfriend was named Thelma Pickles. St. Stephen is the
patron saint of bricklayers and Bingo is the name of
the dog on the Cracker Jack box.
- The word "samba" means
"to rub navels together." The symbol on the
"pound" key (#) is called an octothorpe. The
letters KGB stand for Komitet
Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti. A "jiffy" is an
actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. The plastic
things on the end of shoelaces are called "aglets." Hershey's Kisses are
called that because the machine that makes them looks
like it's kissing the conveyor belt.
- 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. The term "skyscraper" was
first used way back in 1888 to describe an 11-story
building. To "testify" was based on men in the
Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on
their testicles. The first
song played on Armed Forces Radio
during operation Desert Shield was
"Rock the Casbah"
by the Clash. Al Capone's business
card said he was "a used furniture dealer."
WHY EVEN BODY?
TAKE A NUMBER
- Every single day, Los Angelinos drive
142 million miles -- the distance from Earth to Mars. A cab ride from New York to Los Angeles costs $6,000. Barbie's measurements
if she were lifesize: 39-23-33. The average man owns 22
ties. Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10
of a calorie (and the glue
on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher). The
average ear of corn has
eight-hundred kernels arranged in sixteen rows. There is
enough stone in the Great
Wall of China to build an eight-foot wall
circling the globe at the equator. There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball. The maximum
weight for a golf ball is 1.62 oz. A quarter has 119 grooves around the edge. A dime has 118 ridges around the
edge. In the U.S. there are four times more astrologers than astronomers.
- The average person falls asleep in seven minutes and has
a vocabulary of 45,000 words. Leonardo da Vinci
spent twelve years painting the Mona Lisa's lips. Wayne's World
was filmed in two weeks. Pulp Fiction
cost $8 million to make - $5 million going to actor's salaries. All
of the clocks in the movie Pulp Fiction
are stuck on 4:20. In most advertisements, including newspapers, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10. (Looks
like a Happy Face) The brightest star in the
sky, Sirius, gives out
twenty-six times as much light as the Sun. There are
over 3 million lakes in Alaska. The largest, Lake Iliamna, is the size of Connecticut. When the University
of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home, the stadium becomes the state's third largest city.
The host team in an NFL football game must have 26 footballs inflated and ready to play.
OUR NUMBER'S UP
THE CHAOS THEORY LIVES
P.P.S. Thanks to you all, and especially to L.M.. Boyd of Sampler
fame, (who seems now to have disappeared), and if you
really can't get enough of this stuff, go out and buy every
edition you can find of "Uncle
John's Bathroom Reader" by the Bathroom
Readers' Institute, St Martin's
Oh, I almost forgot: the average
woman's bra size is 34B.
© 1996/2002 by Phil Proctor