Interesting Facts About Serengeti

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

  • The Serengeti National Park is amid in Tanzania, adjoining to Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

  • The Serengeti ecosystem includes 2 countries: Tanzania and Kenya

  • In Kenya, the Serengeti ecosystem is acclaimed as Masai Mara National Reserve.

  • Serengeti National Park is 14,763 aboveboard kilometers.

  • The Serengeti National Park has abounding rivers abounding through it, abiding and seasonal, including the Seronera River, Mara River, Grumeti River and Orangi River.

  • The highlight of the Serengeti ecosystem, not activate anywhere in the world, is the clearing of the animals appropriately the acumen to appointment Serengeti National Park and Masai Mara National Reserve.

  • The clearing of animals consists of White Bearded Wildebeests, Burchells Zebra and Thomson's gazelles.

  • The clearing begins by the wildebeests, gazelles and zebra's own congenital biological triggers bent to chase for baptize and greener pastures.

  • The clearing attracts assorted breed of predators, some being: Hyenas, Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Crocodiles, Pythons etc.

  • Over a actor wildebeests activate their circumambulation of the Serengeti National Park and Masai Mara National Reserve. Over bisected a actor Burchells Zebras and Thompson's gazelles participate in the traditions of the Serengeti.

Serengeti comes from the Maasai chat "Siring" acceptation "Endless Plain", which absolutely is what it means: hundreds of kilometers of collapsed apparent land, more good termed "The Sea of Grass On Plains". The aboriginal compassionate about Serengeti comes from its acumen of the ecosystem from the Serengeti National Esplanade itself. The ecosystem encompasses the following: Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area in the south east, Ikorongo, Grumeti and Maswa Bold Affluence in the western pockets, the Loliondo Bold Ascendancy Area (also accepted as government accustomed hunting blocks) in the arctic east, and in the arctic by the acclaimed Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, appropriately the Serengeti National Esplanade itself is absorptive aural these bold ascendancy and reserves. The Serengeti ecosystem is about 27,000 aboveboard kilometers and the esplanade is accurate at 14,763 aboveboard kilometers.


Interesting Facts About Kite

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

  • The smallest kite in the world which actually flies is 5mm high.

  • The largest number of kites flown on a single line is 11,284, this record is held by a Japanese kite maker.

  • The longest kite in the world is 1034 metres (3394 ft).

  • The largest kite in the world is the Megabite 55 x 22 metres (630sq metres).

  • The fastest recorded speed of a kite is over 120 mph. (193 km/h).

  • The record for the highest single kite flown is 3801 metres (12,471ft).

  • for a train of kites 9740 metres (31,955 ft).

  • The world record for the longest 'kite fly' is 180 hours.

  • Kite flying was banned in China during the Cultural Revolution, anyone found flying a kite was sent to jail for up to three years and their kites destroyed.

  • There are 78 rules in kite fighting in Thailand.

  • Kite flying was banned in Japan in 1760 because too many people preferred to fly kites than work.

  • The aeroplane is a development of the kite.

  • For centuries kites have been used in wars and battles, for signalling, lifting observers, target practice, as barrage kites, dropping propaganda leaflets etc.

  • The Chinese believe that looking at kites high in the sky maintains good eyesight.

  • The Chinese believe that when you tilt your head back to look at a kite in the sky your mouth opens slightly, which gets rid of excess body heat giving you a healthy yin-yang balance.

  • The Chinese name for a kite is Fen Zheng, which means wind harp. The name is derived from early Chinese kites which used to carry wind musical instruments.

  • Kites were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.

  • The delta hang glider was a development of flexiwing kite called a Rogallo.

  • The first powered aircraft were large box kites with motors fitted to them.

  • The world-renowned father of aeronautical theory was Sir George Caley (1721 to 1790) who lived near Scarborough in Yorkshire. He discovered the difference between lift & thrust and invented the steerable tail and rudder. He also discovered the importance of the dihedral angle for stability of flight and knew the importance of a curved wing.

  • If a lightweight engine had been invented in Sir George Caleys time he would have beaten the Wright brothers flight by over 150 years.

  • Large kites were banned in East Germany because of the possibility of man lifting over the Berlin Wall.

  • The fastest crossing of the English Channel towed by kites was 2hrs 30min by a team from Flexifoil International in 1999. They would have done it in 2hrs if the French Coastguards had not stopped them 1/2 a mile from the French coast.

  • In 1985 I was presented to his HRH Prince Charles after winning a British Council travel award to visit kite festivals in China. He told me that whilst on honeymoon on the Royal Yacht Britannia he asked a crew member to launch his kite (a wedding present) from the rear of the yacht. The kite went up so fast the line burnt his hands - he had to let go and lost the kite. He said he learned two things that day, first you must wear gloves when flying kites and secondly remember to tell the Captain of the ship to slow down.

  • The British scholar Joseph Needham said in his book "Science & Civilisation

  • in China", that the kite was the most important scientific device to have come to Europe from China.

  • When the Japanese were building some of the early temples & shrines they used large kites to lift tiles and other materials to the workmen on the roofs.

  • The Russians used kites to tow torpedoes in 1855 with great accuracy.

  • Ancient stories of fire breathing Dragons were probably a windsock type of kite flown by soldiers in the middle ages which had burning tar in the mouth opening to frighten the enemy in battle.

  • The para-gliders that brought back the first space capsules to earth were are development of the Rogallo Kite invented by Francis Rogallo in 1948.

  • The Rogallo kite was the model for the first hang gliders.

  • More adults in the world fly kites than children.

  • In 1826 there used to be a stage coach service between London and Bristol using kites instead of horses.

  • There is at least one Kite Festival every weekend of the year in some part of the world.

  • There are many indoor Kite Festivals.

  • Kites have been used for centuries for fishing.

  • Kites are used for bird scaring, forecasting the weather and frightening evil spirits away.

  • Approximately 12 people are killed each year in kiting accidents throughout the world.

  • It is now thought that the first kites flown over 3000 years ago, were made from leaves.

  • In Indonesia leaf kites are still used for fishing.

  • Kite flying is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

  • The Maori tribes from New Zealand made beautiful birdman kites made from bark cloth and leaves.

  • Kite flying is popular in most countries except for one or two for example, Iceland and Russia, but we are trying to remedy that.

  • You do not need wind to fly a kite.

  • Each year on the second Sunday of October kite flyers in nearly every country of the World unite and fly a kite to celebrate "ONE SKY ONE WORLD".

  • People were flying kites 1,000years before paper was invented.

  • Kites have been used for thousands of years to lift offerings and give thanks to the Gods for good harvests, fertility, weather and prosperity.

  • There are over 50 million kites sold in the USA every year.

  • Alexander Bell, the inventor of the telephone also developed the tetrahedral kite, which was very successfully used for man carrying.

  • In the Orient, kites are given to someone to bring them happiness, good luck, prosperity and cure illness.

  • The modern ram air parachute and para-gliders were developed from a parafoil kite invented by the American kite maker Domina Jalbert in 1963.

  • Baden-Powell (the brother of the founder of the scout movement) did lots of successful experiment with man lifting kites.

  • Samuel Franklin Cody who invented the Cody manlifting kite system was the first man to cross the English Channel towed by kites in 1903.

  • In 1908 Samuel Franklin Cody was the first man in England to build and fly a powered aircraft, (a large box kite fitted with a small engine).

  • Samuel Franklin Cody was the first man in England to be killed in a powered aircraft accident - 1913.

  • In 1901 Marconi used a Hexagon kite to transmit the first radio signals across the Atlantic, the kite line was used as the aeriel.

  • Benjamin Franklin used a kite to prove that lightning was electricity.

  • Lawrence Hargrave was an English man who emmigrated to Australia where he invented the box kite in 1893.

  • In 1847, a young boy won a competition to fly and land a kite on the other side of the Niagara River. They then used the kite line to pull larger cables over the river, enabling them to start work on building the first railway bridge between Canada and the USA.
  • Some Japanese kites weigh over 2 tons.

  • One of the longest Chinese Dragons I have seen flying was over 600 metres long.

  • Kites have been used in many sea rescues.


Interesting Facts About Jamaica

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

  • Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean and the third largest overall. The island spans 4,400 square miles.

  • Jamaica is populated by over 2 million people, largely descendents of the freed African slaves brought over to the island by the spanish and British. Jamaica is classified as a developing country. Tourism and mining are the two most profitable economic sectors along with agriculture and manufacturing. Jamaica has been an independent country since 1962 when it ceased to be a British colony but remains part of the British Commonwealth.

  • Jamaica is an independent nation and a member of the British Commonwealth. After enjoying full internal self-government for a number of years Jamaica achieved independence in August of 1962. Queen Elizabeth II however, is still Queen of Jamaica by tradition and the titular head of state is her representative on the island—the Governor General. It is similar to Canada.

  • Jamaica is the third largest Caribbean island, measuring 146 miles at its widest point. Primarily of volcanic origin, the lush island features a mountain ridge that peaks at Blue Mountain which is 7,402 feet high. Many white-sand beaches and clear seas ring the island.

  • Democracy is complete, with an elected Parliament, a Prime Minister, an elected House of Representatives and a Senate. It works on similar lines to the British parliament. The constitution embodies absolute safeguards to personal liberties and democratic rule of law.

  • Parliament sits at Gordon House on Kingston's Duke Street and visitors can watch proceedings from the visitors gallery.

  • Population standing at 2,731, 832 at the end of 2005 is made up of the following approximate ethnic groups: African 76.3%, Afro-European 15.1%, European 0.8%, Chinese and Afro-Chinese 1.2%, East Indian and Afro-East Indian 3.4% and others 3.4%.

  • Arawak Indians were the original inhabitants exterminated by the Spanish after Columbus discovered Jamaica in 1492. The Spanish were defeated by the British in 1655.

  • Snakes are extremely rare. They were killed off by the mongoose, imported to exterminate canefield rats.

  • Climate is year-round summer with no definite rainy season, although it usually rains most in May and October. North-easterly trade winds blow continually.

  • Obeahism the Jamaican form of Voodoo exists but is seldom heard of. The Obeah man is supposed to marshal evil spirits to bring good or bad fortune. The practice of Obeahism is a still considered a crime punishable by imprisonment here.

  • Industries in order of importance are tourism bauxite, agriculture (sugar, bananas, coffee, pimento, cocoa and tobacco). No other country in the world produces pimento, also known as Allspice.

  • Orchids grow wild all over Jamaica—200 species of them, 73 of which are found nowhere else. There are also 500 species of fern and 1,000 species of trees.

  • Blue Moons happen in Jamaica. Sapphire-coloured moons have been observed half a dozen times during the last 40 years.

  • The Coconut Palm is not native to Jamaica or the West Indies. Surprisingly nor are sugar cane, bananas, mangoes, breadfruit or bamboo. They were all brought to the island at various stages in its history. The original Arawak inhabitants lived mainly on corn, fish and yams.

  • Unexplored country still exists in the Cockpit Country, part of which is inhabited by the Maroons, slaves turned loose by the Spanish before they fled the island, and who went to this wild country to form settlements. They later harassed the British so much they were granted independence in a treaty of 1734 and still govern themselves today.

  • Miscellaneous Departure Tax-Most important to remember, you will be asked to pay a departure tax of US$22 unless it was already calculated into your ticket when you bought it.

  • Official Matter Entry Regulations- No passports are required of Canadian or U.S. Citizens/Residents entering as tourists for any period up to six months provided that they have a return ticket and identification such as a social security card or driver's license. All other visitors must carry a valid passport.

  • Your home country may however impose other travel requirements in order for you to leave and return. Please check with your local officials for more information and to prevent any confusion.

  • Visitors can obtain a special licence after a 24-hour period on the island. You must produce your passport and two witnesses. If either party has been divorced or widowed, necessary documents must be produced to vouch for their current status. Young people under 21 years of age must produce written consent from a parent, signed by a notary public.

  • Jamaica's currency is the Jamaican dollar, not to be confused with the U.S. dollar. The value of the Jamaican dollar fluctuates but in November 2004 it was approximately JA$61 to US$1

  • With a size of 4411 square miles, Jamaica is a little smaller than the state of Connecticut in U.S. Jamaica has a length of 146 miles and a width of 22-51 miles. The annual population growth is 0.46%.Hot and humid weather conditions typical of a tropical climate, with a temperate interior, prevails in Jamaica. The average annual rainfall is 78 inches. Some significant places in Jamaica are: Kingston/ Montego Bay/ Mandeville/ Port Antonio/ Ocho Rios/ Negril/

  • Though the locals speak Jamaican language-Patois, the official language is English. The Ethnic groups comprising Jamaica are: Black (90.9%), mixed (7.3%), East Indian (1.3%), White (0.2%), Chinese (0.2%). The dominant religion of Jamaica is Christianity. Natural resources of Jamaica include bauxite, gypsum and limestone. The major exports of the country are bauxite, sugar, coffee, citrus products, rum, cocoa etc. The GDP per capita of Jamaica is US 3350.


Interesting Facts About Peanut

Saturday, July 25, 2009

  • The peanut is not a nut, but a legume related to beans and lentils.

  • Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free.

  • Peanuts account for two-thirds of all snack nuts consumed in the USA.

  • There are four types of peanuts grown in the USA — Runner, Virginia, Spanish and Valencia.

  • Four of the top 10 candy bars manufactured in the USA contain peanuts or peanut butter.

  • The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year.

  • March is National Peanut Month.

  • Peanuts are planted after the last frost in April or early May.

  • Dr. George Washington Carver researched and developed more than 300 uses for peanuts in the early 1900s; Dr. Carver is considered "The Father of the Peanut Industry" because of his extensive research and selfless dedication to promoting peanut production and products.

  • Astronaut Allen B. Sheppard brought a peanut with him to the moon.

  • Tom Miller pushed a peanut to the top of Pike's Peak (14,100 feet) using his nose in 4 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes and 3 seconds.

  • Most USA peanut farms are family-owned and -operated.

  • The peanut plant originated in South America.

  • As early as 1500 B.C., the Incans of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with their mummies to aid in the spirit life.

  • Peanuts contribute more than $4 billion to the USA economy each year.

  • The peanut growth cycle from planting to harvest is about five months.

  • The average peanut farm is 100 acres.

  • The peanut plant produces a small yellow flower.

  • Americans eat more than 600 million pounds of peanuts (and 700 million pounds of peanut butter) each year.

  • Peanuts flower above ground and then migrate underground to reach maturity.

  • Two peanut farmers have been elected president of the USA - Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.

  • Adrian Finch of Australia holds the Guinness World Record for peanut throwing, launching the lovable legume 111 feet and 10 inches in 1999 to claim the record.

  • A mature peanut plant produces about 40 pods that then grow into peanuts.

  • Peanuts are a good source of folate, which can reduce the risk of certain birth defects in the brain and spinal cord.

  • Ever wonder where the term "Peanut Gallery" comes from? The term became popular in the late 19th century and referred to the rear or uppermost seats in a theater, which were also the cheapest seats. People seated in such a gallery were able to throw peanuts, a common food at theaters, at those seated below them. It also applied to the first row of seats in a movie theater, for the occupants of those seats could throw peanuts at the stage, stating their displeasure with the performance.

  • Besides being high in protein, peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free. They are also an excellent source of folate, meaning they have the ability to reduce the risk of some birth defects in the brain and spinal cord.

  • March is National Peanut Month and November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month.

  • When snacking, you may think to recall that peanuts or peanut butter are ingredients in four of the top ten candy bars that the United States manufactures.

  • Each year, the average American consumes over six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products.

  • Each year, Americans consume more than 600 million pounds of peanuts and 700 million pounds of peanut butter!!

  • More than $4 billion of the United States' economy each year comes from peanuts.

  • Talk about setting records! The world's largest reported peanut was four inches long. It was grown in North Carolina by Mr. Earl Adkins.

  • Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter, what do they have in common? They were both peanut farmers who were elected as president of the United States.

  • Peanut butter is the number one use of peanuts in the United States. It takes, on average, 540 peanuts to make one 12-ounce jar of peanut butter. The average child is said to eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they graduate from school. On one acre of a peanut crop there are enough peanuts to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches!! You do the math!

  • Peanuts have traveld a long way and been in many places, South America (Africa), India and China, North America (the United States), and even the moon! Astronaut Allen B. Sheppard took a peanut with him on his trip to the moon.

  • Peanuts have come a long way from their original use of feeding pigs to becoming acounted for as two-thirds of all snack nuts consumed in the United States.

  • Chocolate manufacturers use 20% of the worlds peanuts (2008).

  • Dr. George Washington Carver researched and developed more than 300 uses for peanuts in the early 1900s; Dr. Carver is considered "The Father of the Peanut Industry" because of his extensive research and selfless dedication to promoting peanut production and products.

  • The U.S. produced about 4.1 billion pounds of peanuts in 2004.

  • Adrian Finch of Australia holds the Guinness World Record for peanut throwing, launching a peanut 111 feet and 10 inches in 1999 to claim the record.

  • Tom Miller pushed a peanut to the top of Pike's Peak (14,100 feet) using his nose in 4 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes and 3 seconds.

  • Peanuts originated in South America, where they were cultivated by Indians for at least 2000 years. As early as 1500 B.C., the Incans of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with their mummies to aid in the spirit life.

  • Spaniards and Portuguese slave traders introduced them to Africa and Europe, and slaves introduced them to the American South.

  • Though there are several varieties of peanut, the two most popular are the Virginia and the Spanish peanut. The Virginia peanut is larger and more oval in shape than the smaller, rounder Spanish peanut. Unshelled peanuts should have clean, unbroken shells and should not rattle when shaken.

  • The U.S. produces only about 6% of the world crop.

  • In the U.S., annual peanut production (about 1.5 million tons per year) often exceeds the production of beans and peas combined.

  • India & China together produce almost 2/3rds of the world crop.

  • Historically, the largest producer of peanuts in the world was India, but production in China overtook Indian production in the mid-1990s. For the period 1996 to 2000, China produced almost 40% of the world crop, and India almost 25%, with the U.S. in 3rd place with almost 6%

  • Worldwide, about 2/3rds of the peanut crop is processed for peanut oil.

  • 20% of the world's peanut production is used in candy.

  • Peanut oil accounts for 8% of the worlds edible oil production.

  • Americans eat 3 pounds of peanut butter per person every year. That's about 700 million pounds, or enough to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon!

  • March is National Peanut Month. National Peanut Month had its beginnings as National Peanut Week in 1941. It was expanded to a month-long celebration in 1974.

  • One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.

  • One acre of peanut plants yields about 2,860 pounds of peanuts.

  • Two peanut farmers have been elected President of the United States: Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.

  • Peanuts are also called goobers, goober peas, pindars, ground nuts, earth nuts, monkey nuts, and grass nuts.

  • Peanuts contain about 28% protein, 50% oil and 18% carbohydrates.

  • Peanuts are members of the pea family.

  • The official state crop of Georgia is the peanut. Georgia produces almost 1/2 of the total U.S. peanut crop. More than 50% of the crop goes to peanut butter production (2002).
  • Georgia is the largest producer of peanuts in the U.S.

  • The first peanuts grown in the United States were grown in Virginia.

  • Mr. Peanut was created by 13 year-old Antonio Gentile in a logo contest held by Planters in 1916. He won the grand prize of $5.00. His drawing of a peanut person with arms and crossed legs was refined by a professional illustrator who added the top hat, monocle, white gloves and cane.

  • What is supposedly the World's Largest Peanut is in Turner County. A 20 foot tall peanut, it is a monument to the importance of the peanut in Georgia history.


Interesting Facts About Shawshank Redemption

  • The Mansfield State Reformatory in Ohio was used for the exterior shots. However the prison is now derelict and improvements had to be made prior to shooting. The interior shots were done on a stage as it was cheaper to do so than to renovate the interior of Mansfield prison.

  • All scenes containing Brook’s crow were monitored by the American Humane Association. The American Humane Association objected to the feeding of a live maggot to the crow during a scene, as they considered it cruel to the maggot. A maggot that had died from natural causes was found to complete the scene.

  • In the original story Stephen King wrote Red as an Irishman. Morgan Freeman was cast as Red. Although Morgan Freeman is of African descent, and cannot be of true Irish descent, the line "Maybe it's 'cause I'm Irish" was left in the movie.

  • "The Count of Monte Cristo" novel, by Alexandre Dumas père, is mentioned in the movie. The book has several similarities to the story. The Dumas’ story has a man who is falsely imprisoned for a crime, and makes a daring escape. After he has escaped he finds treasure that he has learnt about whilst in jail. He also carries out a plan of revenge against those who had imprisoned him.

  • The Shawshank Redemption is dedicated to Frank Darabont’s former agent Allen Greene.

  • The prisoners watch the movie Gilda, staring Rita Hayworth.

  • Prison Warden Norton whistles the tune from the hymn "Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott". The English title of this is "A Mighty Fortress is Our God".

  • The pictures of the young looking Morgan Freeman attached to his parole papers are actually pictures of Morgan Freeman’s son Alfonso Freeman.

  • Morgan Freeman’s son, Alfonso Freeman appears in the Shawshank Redemption as an extra, shouting "Fresh fish! Fresh fish today! We're reeling 'em in!" when the new inmates arrive.

  • The Shawshank Redemption movie follows Stephen King’s story of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption very closely. Stephen King says the story is a collection of the memories he has of prison movies as a child.

  • A picture of Albert Einstein hangs on Andy Dufresne’s cell wall. Tim Robbins, who plays Andy Dufresne, also starred in a movie about Einstein, called I.Q.

  • After Andy is found to have escaped, Warden Norton instructs the guards to question Red. The guard shouts to “Open 237!”, which is Red’s cell number. 237 is the room number used in the Shining, and the total of the change in the story Stand By Me (called The Body in the book). All of these stories were written by Stephen King.

  • Warden Norton opens the bible where Andy Dufresne hid his rock pick it opens to the Book of Exodus. The Book of Exodus details the escape of the Jews from Egypt.

  • Two Shawshank inmates have the names of Heywood and Floyd. Heywood Floyd is the name of the main character in 2010.

  • Although the Shawshank Redemption movie was only a reasonable hit in the theaters, it has become of the most successfully video and DVD rentals of all time.

  • Brad Pitt was originally intended to play the role of Tommy Williams.

  • Stephen King and Frank Darabont were already friends as Frank Darabont had adapted Stephen King’s short story “The Woman in the Room”. Stephen King has a policy whereby aspiring filmmakers can adapt his short stories for a dollar. Stephen King was very impressed by Frank Darabont’s adaptation of “The Woman in the Room”. They became pen friends but didn’t meet until Frank Darabont optioned the Shawshank Redemption. Frank Darabont also directed The Green Mile movie, another Stephen King story.

  • When Red, played by Morgan Freeman, leaves his parole meeting at the end of the film, his friends ask him how it went. He Replies with "Same shit different day". This phrase was also used by a character in the Stephen King movie Dreamcatcher, which also starred Morgan Freeman.

  • When on the roof the prisoners are drinking Stroh's beer.

  • After Frank Darabont had written the screenplay Rob Reiner offer Frank Darabont US$2.5 million for the rights to the script. Rob Reiner was so impressed that he wanted to direct the movie himself. Frank Darabont seriously considered the offer, but decided to make the movie himself, as he considered it a "chance to do something really great".

  • After the Shawshank Redemption had gained popularity Ted Turner sold the television right to the TNT network, which his is own network. He sold it for a much lower fee than normal. Because it is so inexpensive to show the movie is sown on the TNT network very frequently.

  • Once Andy has been reassigned to the prison library, from the laundry, a prison guard comes to see him, for investment help. The guards name is Deakins. The cinematographer for the Shawshank Redemption was called Roger Deakins.

  • When Tommy Williams (played by Gil Bellows) is on the bus, the man sat behind him is Dennis Baker. Dennis was a former warden on the Mansfield State Penitentiary, where the Shawshank Redemption was filmed.

  • After seeing the screenplay an agent, who perhaps is in the wrong business, requested an audition for his supermodel client for the role of Rita Hayworth, who only appears in the movie as a character in one of her own films shown in the prison theater.

  • Auditions were held in Mansfield for extras for the movie. The auditions proved so popular than no more people were accepted after 3pm.

  • Thomas ("Tommy") Williams is played by Gil Bellows. He plays William ("Billy") Thomas In "Ally McBeal" (1997).

  • The hands seen loading the revolver in the opening scene are those of Frank Darabont and not Tim Robbins. The scenes were shot during post production.


Interesting Facts About Sunflower

Friday, July 3, 2009

  • The scientific name of sunflowers is Helianthus, Helia for sun and Anthus for flower.

  • Sunflowers are a great choice for planting to attract birds to your yard.

  • Sunflowers are one of the fastest growing plants. They can grow 8 to 12 feet tall in rich soil within six months.

  • Do you know what country grew the tallest sunflower? The Netherlands (25' 5.5" tall) grown in 1986 by M. Heijmf.

  • It require only 90 to 100 days from planting to maturity.

  • The former Soviet Union grows the most sunflowers. The sunflower is the national flower of Russia.

  • The sunflower is native to North America and was used by the Indians for food and oil. Some farmers use it to feed their livestock.

  • We use sunflower seeds to make oil, bird seed and for snacking. They have lots of calcium and 11 other important minerals. They do have 50% fat, BUT it is mostly polyunsaturated linoleic acid.

  • Wild sunflower is highly branched with small heads and small seeds, in contrast to the single-stem and large seed head of domesticated sunflower.

  • Sunflower heads consist of 1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base. The large petals around the edge of a sunflower head are individual ray flowers which do not develop into seed.

  • A well-known sunflower characteristic is that the flowering heads track the sun's movement, a phenomenon known as heliotropism.

  • The daily orientation of the flower to the sun is a direct result of differential growth of the stem. A plant-growth regulator, or auxin, accumulates on the shaded side of a plant when conditions of unequal light prevail. Because of this accumulation, the darker side grows faster than the sunlit side. Thus, the stem bends toward the sun.

  • Sunflower seeds are rich in oil, which they store as a source of energy and food. Sunflower seeds are crushed to give us oil. We can use sunflower oil for cooking.

  • Sunflower plants can be from 3 to 18 feet tall.

  • One sunflower can have up to 2000 seeds.

  • There are more than sixty different kinds of sunflowers in the U.S.

  • Sunflowers originally came from the U.S.

  • There are two kinds of sunflower seeds- black and stripe

  • Oil is made from black seeds.

  • Snacks are made from striped seeds

  • Sunflower seeds are also used to feed birds.

  • Sunflowers are the state flower for Kansas.

  • There is only one flower on each sunflower stem.

  • Sunflowers are very beautiful flowers and are used for decoration.Sunflower plants can be from 3 to 18 feet tall. One sunflower can have up to 2000 seeds.

  • Sunflowers are also an important crop. There are more than sixty different kinds of sunflowers growing in the United States, Europe, Japan and Russia. Sunflowers originally came from the United States.

  • There are two kinds of sunflower seeds. Oil is made from black seeds and snacks are made from striped seeds. Sunflower seeds are also used to feed birds.


Interesting Facts About Jasmine

Sunday, May 31, 2009

  • Jasmine flower and the essential oil extracted from the flower are being used extensively in cosmetics and perfumery, and as a calmative (relaxing properties, sedative) and aphrodisiac (intensifies sexual desire).

  • Jasmine is a very popular flower around the world, especially in tropics because of its unique fragrance. The Jasmine is native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the old world.

  • Jasmine flowers are white in most species, with some species being yellow flowered. Jasmine is believed to have originated in the Himalayas in western China.

  • Unlike most genera in the Oleceae family, which have four corolla lobes petals, Jasmines often have five or six lobes. Jasmines are often strongly and sweetly scented. Jasmine is widely cultivated for its shining leaves and beautiful clusters of fragrant flowers.

  • Flowering in Jasmines takes place in summer or spring, usally six months after planting. The Jasmine flower releases its fragrance at night after the sun has set and especially when the moon is waxing towards fullness. Jasmine flower buds are more fragrant than the flowers.

  • There exists a true Jasmine and a false Jasmine, and the two are commonly mistaken for each other because of the fragrance the plants release. The true Jsmine belongs to the family Oleaceae, is primarily a bushy shrub or climbing vine, and is non-poisonous.

  • True Jasmine has oval, shiny leaves and tubular, waxy-white flowers. The false Jasmine, on the other hand, is in a completely different genus, Gelsemium, and family, Loganiaceae, is considered too poisonous for human consumption.

  • Jasmine shrubs reache to a height of 10-15 feet, growing approximately 12-24 inches per year.

  • Jasmine leaves are either evergreen or deciduous.

  • A Jasmine leaf is arranged in opposite in most species, leaf shape is simple, trifoliate or pinnate with 5-9 leaflets, each up to two and half inches long.

  • The Jasmine stems are slender, trailing, green, glaborous, angled, almost 4-sided.

  • Most of the Jasmine species bear white flowers, which are about 1 inch in size.

  • Jasmine oil, which is a very popular fragrant oil, contains benzyl acetate, terpinol, jasmone, benzyl benzoate, linalool, several alcohols, and other compounds.

  • The variety Jasminium sambac, is a clustered flower of a equally strong scent known in Hawaii as the Pikake.

  • Two types of Jasmine are used for oil production - Jasminum grandiflorum and Jasminum officinale.

  • The nectar of the fragrant flowers of Carolina Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens, is poisonous, although its dried roots are used in medicinal preparations as a sedative.

  • Jasmine flower oil, extracted from the two species Jasminum Officinale and Grandiflorum, is used in high-grade perfumes and cosmetics, such as creams, oils, soaps, and shampoos.

  • Jasmine is known in India as the "Queen of the Night" because of it's intoxicating perfume that is released at night.

  • In China ,Jasmine is used a symbol of feminine sweetness and beauty. Jasmine also symbolize deep affection, happiness and elegance. This is why it is used in wedding toss.

  • Jasmine has been used for healing the female reproductive system. In Ayurvedic medicine jasmine is used to calm the nerves, sooth emotional problems, help with PMS and tension headaches. Because Jasmine has antispasmodic properties it can help relax the uterine cramps and pain during childbirth.

  • In Chinese medicine Jasmine flowers are known to "cool" the blood and have a strong antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-tumor properties. Because they cool the blood they help with reducing a fever or cooling an overheated person (from the sun) .

  • Jasmine has astringent properties which aids in treating inflamed eyes and skin, and as a gargle to relieve sore throats and mouth ulcers. Jasmine is used in aromatherapy to calm the emotions, and as an aphrodisiac. It is a valuable remedy in cases of depression because is produces a feeling of confidence , optimism and euphoria. It revitalizes and restores the balance of energy.

  • Jasmine is used in teas, herbal bathes, skin creams, soaps and potpourri. It is also used as a decorative touch to special dishes.


Interesting Facts About Soap

  • Soap has been made for at least the last 2000 years in some form or another.

  • The first soaps were formed by boiling animal fat (or olive oil around the Mediterranean) to dryness with ashes from a wood fire, which contain potassium hydroxide. The earliest users were either the Celts (who called it saipo), or the Phoenicians. According to Pliny the Elder, the Phoenicians were using soap as early as 600 B.C.

  • These early soaps were generally used for cleaning clothes and for curing animal hides. The Romans used soap on their bodies as part of bathing, and they spread their soap making skills throughout Europe.

  • In Europe, medieval soap production centered around Marseilles and spread to Genoa and Venice. In England, there was soap production in Bristol as early as the 12th century. In the 13th and 14th Centuries, it started in Cheapside in London. Soap was seen as a great source of revenue by the government and it was taxed. During the Napoleonic wars this tax was as much as 3d per pound, and the tax inspectors would lock up the soap boiling pans to stop illegal production at night.

  • This tax was not repealed until 1835, by which time the exchequer was making £1m a year from the industry.

  • The process remained more or less unchanged until a method of producing large quantities of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) was discovered in the late 18th century. This opened up the manufacture of good quality soap on a large scale. By the time of the industrial revolution in the late 18th century, soap was more widely available. In fact, Pears Soap dates from 1789.

  • Apparently, Justus von Liebig, a German chemist, said that the amount of soap that a nation used was a measure of its wealth and civilisation. If only that were true now.What's special about our soap Droyt's Clear Glycerine Soap is an all-in, semi-boiled frame soap, cut by hand from a large block and stamped to shape in a box die.

  • With the addition of a few other ingredients, this method can be used to make a genuine transparent soap, i.e. a soap which is clear like glass. It is not possible to make a true transparent soap by mechanical means.

  • Extra vegetable derived glycerine is added to bring the glycerine content to a level of between 10 and 11%.

  • Fully boiled soap -- In this case the glycerine is removed by adding a brine solution (salt water) to the soap. The glycerine dissolves in the water and is drained off leaving only the soap which is then dried into little flakes or ``noodles''.

  • Cold process soap -- This is an all in soap, but there is no external heating as all the heat comes form the saponification reaction which is exothermic (i.e. an excess of heat is produced by the chemical changes in the components of the reaction. An example would be the dissolving of sodium hydroxide in water). These soaps are normally made with pure coconut oil.

  • The soaps produced are called hard or soft depending on what sort of fats and oils are used, and whether sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide is the alkaliProcessing The soaps are then processed. If the soap was made into noodles, it is milled. If it was poured into a frame while hot it is cut.

  • During milling the soap chips are pushed through a machine called a plodder which mixes in colour and perfume and produces a continuous extruded bar of soap. This is then cut into billets by machine.

  • With cut soap, the soap is cut by hand or machine from a large block down to a soap sized billet.

  • After the soap has been made into a billet, it is stamped. There are two kinds of die. One is a capacity die where excess soap squeezes out around the middle and cut off later. This method produces a very regular weight and size and is the way that most domestic soaps are made. The other kind is a box die (or collar die). This contains all the soap which was placed in the mould. This methods produces a less deformed (and therefore more transparent) tablet and also requires less finishing.

  • Opaque milled soap -- This group represents the vast majority of soap produced in the world today. These soaps are made using a fully boiled process and utilise some of the most advanced soap making techniques, usually on a very large scale. After manufacture the soaps are then milled as above.

  • Translucent soap -- This is a relatively modern technique which simulates the old frame method and can produce glycerine soaps which a reasonable level of glycerine (up to 4%). The benefit of this method is that it produces a glycerine soap using a large scale, automatic machine process, which is therefore more commercially attractive.

  • Transparent soap -- There are three ways to make transparent soaps. The first is to pour the whole making into a frame and cut up the soap from a large block. This is very labour intensive.

  • The second way is to pour the soap into individual tubes which produces long bars of soap which then can be processed automatically.

  • The third method is to pour soap into individual moulds, which are then cooled, and the individual soaps released. This can be a completely automatic process.

  • The best method is the first. Pouring into individual moulds requires the soap to be very liquid and thus the water content is very high. This in turn means that the soap is prone to melting, even more than normal glycerine soaps. Glycerine is attractive to water and there is a tendency for such soaps to absorb moisture unless kept dry.

  • Synthetic detergent bars -- There are an increasing number of these cleansing bars on the market. They are made using a different chemical process to normal soap making. They were originally developed to attempt to achieve a product which is closer to pH neutral than normal soap. The first of these was Neutrogena, but there are now others available such as Dove.

  • Soap is famed. It has a magazine named for it and has limericks written about it,*but until this week no one apparently had ever fully investigated world soap statistics. This week Soap, a monthly magazine, publishes what it claims is the first such survey. Among its findings:

  • World production: 10,000,000,000 Ib. per year (of which the U. S. makes and uses about one-third).

  • Per capita consumption: U. S. 25 Ib.; The Netherlands 24 Ib.; United Kingdom 20 Ib.; Japan 7 Ib.; Brazil 6.8 Ib.; world average 6.6 Ib.; Russia 5.7 Ib. (compared to less than 2 Ib. 20 years ago); British India, 4 oz.; China, 2 oz.

  • Uses classified: World. 92% laundry soap; U. S. 85% laundry soap, 12% toilet soap, 3% miscellaneous.


Interesting Facts About Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

  • Nelson Mandela’s original name was Rolihlahla Mandela. (Nelson was added later.) He was born in “Black” Transkei, Africa on July 18, 1918.

  • Mandela is the world's most celebrated man who has held a political office while being jailed for nearly 30 years. Despite the fact that his freedom was stripped from him, he continued to stand up for his beliefs for his South African Brothers and Sisters who are still struggling with the affects of Apartheid.

  • Nelson’s peaceful boyhood was spent cattle herding and other rural pursuits. When his father died, Nelson’s rich and powerful relative took custody of him. Nelson Mandela was influenced by his African heritage of ritual and taboo. His values and attitudes were shaped by traditions and his royal privileges.

  • He was sent to boarding school and later to Fort Hare Missionary College. He was expelled from college for helping to organize a strike against the white colonial rule of the institution. He then became involved in other protests against the white colonial rule. In doing so he set out for personal and national liberation. He ran away from home to avoid an arranged marriage. Later, he graduated from the University of South Africa with a degree in law. He joined a law firm as an apprentice.

  • Nelson MandelaIn 1942,Nelson joined the African National Congress (ANC), which, at the time, was polite to the government. Soon Nelson Mandela had persuaded the ANC to use boycotts and strikes against the government instead of being polite. He was arrested for civil disobedience, and was not allowed to attend gatherings.

  • In his spare time, Nelson Mandela studied to become a lawyer so that he could protect blacks. Work as a lawyer strengthened his feelings against apartheid (which segregated and discriminated against blacks in South Africa). Nelson was particularly active during the 1950’s.

  • After the Shapesville massacre in which many blacks were killed, the white rule banned the ANC. Nelson went underground. He created the MK, which was the military portion of the ANC. Nelson arranged military training in Algeria for the MK members. He launched a sabotage campaign. On his return from Algeria he was arrested for going between countries without a passport, and was tried for sabotage and Africa attempting to overthrow the government. He spent the next 28 years in prison. Before going to prison he said, “Make every home, every shack or rickety structure into a learning center.”

  • When he got to Robben Island where he was to be imprisoned Nelson was told to jog to the prison gate. He refused. He and the other prisoners started a hunger strike to get better living conditions. The prisoners won. They also found ways to communicate with other prisoners. A few methods were: writing messages on toilet paper, hiding messages in the bottom of food buckets, slipping notes in the dirty dishes (they made the dishes extra dirty for this) so the cook prisoners could read them, and taping notes to the inside rim of toilet seats.

  • While Nelson was in prison he was offered freedom if he would stop his violent actions. He refused this offer.

  • During Nelson Mandela’s jail time he had secret talks with South Africa’s president, P.W. Botha, and his successor, F.W. de Klerk. As a result, in 1990 he was freed.

  • He was appointed Deputy President of the ANC. The ANC decided to suspend its 30-year armed struggle. In July of 1991, Nelson Mandela was appointed President of the ANC. Nelson decided to join the government and other parties to negotiate South Africa’s future. Finally everyone came to agree on a majority rule constitution. This constitution states that racial discrimination it is against the law.

  • In 1993, Nelson Mandela shared the Nobel Peace Prize with F.W. de Klerk forAfrican Flag dismantling apartheid, and in 1994 he became the first democratically elected South African president.

  • In June of 1999, Nelson Mandela retired from the presidency, and returned to live in the town of Qunu, Transkei, in which was born.

  • Restful retirement was not on the cards as Mandela shifted his energies to battling South Africa's AIDS crisis raising millions of dollars to fight the disease.

  • His struggle against AIDS became starkly personal in early 2005 when he lost his only surviving son to the disease.

  • The country also shared the pain of Mandela's humiliating divorce in 1996 from Winnie Mandela, his second wife, and watched his courtship of Graca Machel, widow of Mozambican President Samora Machel, whom he married on his 80th birthday in 1998.

  • In 2007 Mandela celebrated his 89th birthday by launching an international group of elder statesmen, including fellow Nobel peace laureates Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter, to tackle world problems including climate change, HIV/AIDS and poverty.


Interesting Facts About Slumdog Millionaire

Saturday, April 18, 2009

  • Slumdog Millionaire is a 2008 British film directed by Danny Boyle, written by Simon Beaufoy, and co-directed in India by Loveleen Tandan. It is an adaptation of the novel Q & A (2005) by Indian author and diplomat Vikas Swarup.

  • Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of a young man from the slums of Mumbai who appears on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Kaun Banega Crorepati, mentioned in the Hindi version) and exceeds people's expectations, arousing the suspicions of the game show host and of law enforcement officials.

  • Slumdog Millionaire initially had a limited North American release on 12 November 2008 by Fox Searchlight Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, to critical acclaim and awards success. It later had a nationwide grand release in the United Kingdom on 9 January 2009 and in the United States on 23 January 2009. It premiered in Mumbai on 22 January 2009.

  • Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for ten Academy Awards in 2009 and won eight, the most for any film of 2008, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Original Song.

  • It also won five Critics' Choice Awards, four Golden Globes, and seven BAFTA Awards, including Best Film. Slumdog Millionaire has stirred controversy concerning language use, its portrayals of Indians and Hinduism, and the welfare of its child actors.

Budget $15 million
Gross revenue $326,895,516

Academy Awards record
1. Best Picture
2. Best Director, Danny Boyle
3. Best Adapted Screenplay, Simon Beaufoy
4. Best Cinematography, Anthony Dod Mantle
5. Best Original Score, A. R. Rahman
6. Best Original Song - "Jai Ho", A. R. Rahman and Gulzar
7. Best Film Editing, Chris Dickens
8. Best Sound Mixing, Resul Pookutty, Richard Pyke, and Ian Tapp

BAFTA Awards record
1. Best Film, Christian Colson
2. Best Director, Danny Boyle
3. Best Adapted Screenplay, Simon Beaufoy
4. Best Cinematography, Anthony Dod Mantle
5. Best Film Music, A. R. Rahman
6. Best Editing, Chris Dickens
7. Best Sound, Glenn Freemantle, Resul Pookutty, Richard Pyke, Tom Sayers, Ian Tapp

Golden Globe Awards record
1. Best Picture - Drama
2. Best Director, Danny Boyle
3. Best Screenplay, Simon Beaufoy
4. Best Original Score, A. R. Rahman


Interesting Facts About Indonesia

Thursday, March 19, 2009

  • Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago consisting of many thousands of islands. Around six thousand of the islands are inhabited.

  • The Indonesian name for Indonesia is "Tanah Air Kita" - Our Land and Water.

  • Indonesia's national motto is Unity in Diversity.

  • The highest point in Indonesia is Puncak Jaya (5,030 m) in the highlands of Papua.

  • Indonesia's region of Papua (formerly Irian Jaya) shares the island of New Guinea with Papua New Guinea.

  • The Indonesian administrative divisions of Kalimantan share Borneo with Malaysia and Brunei.

  • The islands of New Guinea and Borneo are two of the largest islands in the world.

  • The eruption of Mount Tambora, on Sumbawa Island, in 1815 was the most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history. 1816 was known as the "Year Without Summer" because of the global climatic effects of the eruption.

  • In 1883 the volcanic island of Krakatoa (part of the Indonesian archipelago) was destroyed by a volcanic eruption. This caused a tidal wave that killed over thirty thousand people.

  • Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions sometimes cause a tsunami, a giant wave which can swamp islands and coastal settlements. A tsunami can travel as fast as 800 kph.

  • Indonesia is part of the Ring of Fire which includes about seventy-five percent of all the world's volcanoes. (The rim of the Pacific Basin is ringed with volcanoes, from Alaska through the USA, Mexico and South America, then on to New Zealand and up to Japan and Russia.).

  • In the early 1890s Eugene Dubois discovered a skull and thigh bone of Homo erectus in East Java. Dubois published his findings of "Java Man" in 1894, claiming that Homo erectus was an ancestor of modern humans.

  • The Sangiran Early Man Site, on the World Heritage List, is estimated to have been inhabited one and a half million years ago. Half of the world's hominid fossils have been found at Sangiran in Java.

  • Marco Polo was one of the first Europeans to visit Indonesia.

  • Europeans went to Indonesia in search of spices. Spices were a very valuable commodity in Europe.

  • Indonesia is one the world's largest producers of nutmeg.

  • Thousands of statues regard Java's jungles from the heights of Borobudur—the world's largest Buddhist temple. The ancient pilgrimage site was built in the 8th and 9th centuries A.D.

  • By the late eighteenth century "Indonesia" was part of the Dutch colonial empire and known as the Netherlands East Indies.

  • Indonesia's island of Bali did not come under the control of the Netherlands until 1906. During the Dutch capture of the island many thousands of Balinese were killed. Puputan Square in Denpasar is named after the suicidal battle of the Balinese aristocracy in their struggle against the Dutch.

  • Between 1811 and 1816 (during the Napoleonic Wars), "Indonesia" came under British rule but was returned to the Dutch.

  • After the War (1939-1945) Indonesia declared independence. Sukarno, the independence leader, became the country's first president.

  • Following independence, the Dutch remained in control of the western part of New Guinea (now Papua). This territory was eventually passed to Indonesia under a United Nations agreement (1963).

  • In 1975 East Timor gained independence from the Portuguese but was annexed by Indonesia in 1976. East Timor voted for independence in 1999 but did not regain independence until 2002.

  • In October 2002 a terrorist bomb in Bali (Kuta town) killed over 180 people. Three years later, suicide bombings in Bali killed over twenty people.

  • In 2003 a car bomb outside the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta killed fourteen people. A year later, another car bomb in Jakarta outside the Australian embassy killed nine people.

  • On 26 December 2004, a quake occurred under the sea near Aceh in north Indonesia (8.9 on the Richter scale); this produced tsunamis causing flooding and destruction in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Thailand, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and the east coast of Africa (Kenya and Somalia).

  • An earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale, off the coast of Sumatra, killed between one and two thousand people in March 2005. Many of the victims lived on the small island of Nias.

  • Towards the end of May 2006 an earthquake measuring 6.2 struck the Indonesian island of Java killing over three thousand people.

  • A tsunami, caused by an undersea earthquake (magnitude 7.7), struck the island of Java on 17 July 2006 killing over 500 people.

  • In November 2008 an earthquake near the island of Sulawesi, magnitude 7.5, killed at least six people.

  • An earthquake with a of magnitude 7.6 occurred near the north coast of Papua in January 2009.

  • Indonesia is a vast equatorial archipelago of 17,000 islands extending 5,150 kilometers (3,200 miles) east to west, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans in Southeast Asia. The largest islands are Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), Sulawesi, and the Indonesian part of New Guinea (known as Papua or Irian Jaya). Islands are mountainous with dense rain forests, and some have active volcanoes. Most of the smaller islands belong to larger groups, like the Moluccas (Spice Islands).

  • Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation, is 86 percent Muslim—and the largest Islamic country, though it is a secular state. Indonesians are separated by seas and clustered on islands. The largest cluster is on Java, with some 130 million inhabitants (60 percent of the country's population) on an island the size of New York State. Sumatra, much larger than Java, has less than a third of its people. Ethnically the country is highly diverse, with over 580 languages and dialects—but only 13 have more


Interesting Facts About Ginger

Saturday, March 7, 2009

  • Ginger, a knobby, fibrous root, has smooth light brown skin with a sheen to it. The flesh of the root is white. Ginger root is a seasoning and flavors sweets, including cakes, cookies, breads, and beverages. It is also good in sauces, and fruit dishes, and is often used heavily in Asian cooking. When buying, look for ginger root with the least amount of knots and/or branching.

  • Ginger is said to stimulate gastric juices, and provide warming and soothing effects for colds and coughs.

  • Ginger root should be kept in a cool, dry place, usually at 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. After purchasing, ginger may be refrigerated in plastic wrap for up to one week. For longer storage, peel ginger root and cover it with sherry wine before refrigeration. Freezing for up to three months is also an option.

  • Fresh ginger can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores. Look for smooth skin with a fresh, spicy fragrance. Tubers should be firm and feel heavy. Length is a sign of maturity, and mature rhizomes will be hotter and more fibrous. Avoid those with wrinkled flesh, as this is an indication of aged ginger past its prime.

  • Ginger was used in ancient times as a food preservative and to help treat digestive problems. To treat digestive problems, Greeks would eat ginger wrapped in bread. Eventually ginger was added to the bread dough creating that wonderful treat many around the globe love today gingerbread

  • Ginger ale eventually stemmed from a ginger beer made by the English and Colonial America as a remedy for diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

  • Ginger thrives in the tropics and warmer regions and is therefore currently grown in parts of West Africa, the West Indies, India and China with the best quality ginger coming from Jamaica where it is most abundant. In the United States, ginger is grown in Florida, Hawaii, and along the eastern coast of Texas.

  • Gingerroot is characterized by it’s strong sweet, yet woodsy smell. It is tan in color with white to creamy-yellow flesh that can be coarse yet stringy.

  • Ginger is an excellent natural remedy for nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness and general stomach upset due to its carminative effect that helps break up and expel intestinal gas. Ginger tea has been recommended to alleviate nausea in chemotherapy patients primarily because its natural properties do not interact in a negative way with other medications. It is a safe remedy for morning sickness, since it will not harm the fetus. Some studies show ginger may also help prevent certain forms of cancer.

  • To make ginger tea, slice some ginger root, put it in a tea ball and place in a teapot. Pour boiling water over the tea ball and let it sit for ten minutes. Sweeten with honey or drink it straight.

  • In spite of it being a natural remedy, it's important that any medicinal use of ginger be discussed with a physician, as it must be taken in moderation to avoid gastric irritation.

  • Ginger is available year-round. When selecting gingerroot, choose robust firm roots with a spicy fragrance and smooth skin. Gingerroot should not be cracked or withered. It can be stored tightly wrapped in a paper towel or plastic wrap (or put into a plastic bag) in the refrigerator for 2–3 weeks and like galangal, gingerroot can also be placed in a jar of sherry and refrigerated for 3–6 months.

  • The aromatic rhizome of this 30 – 60 cm tall tropical plant is used in food preparation and as medicine for centuries in southeastern Asia. There, pharmacists recommend it for any ailment with which people may be afflicted.

  • After ginger was first introduced in Europe (approximately 800 AD) it ranked second to pepper as a spice for centuries.

  • Ginger grows in southern China, Japan, West Africa, and many other tropical countries including the Caribbean islands. Jamaican ginger is considered to be the best of all.

  • Chinese cooks use ginger with beef successfully, whereas European chefs prefer to use it as an exotic flavouring for fresh fruit salads, or to give cream of carrot soup and extra kick.

  • English make candied ginger, ginger jam, and dry it to be ground and use as a condiment.

  • Chinese dry ginger and sell it as green ginger. Black ginger is first scalded and then dried.

  • Fresh ginger is best. Its thin skin can be scraped with the back of a spoon and then cut, grated or pounded to mix into soups, sauces and stews.

  • Ginger possesses an intriguing; sweet, spicy and pungent flavour rendering it suitable for use in a range of dishes from stir-fried beef to ginger tea.

  • Ginger ale, ginger beer and ginger wine are only vaguely flavoured with ginger.

  • The ginger root is not actually a root, but a rhizome.

  • The major producers of Ginger today are China and tropical/subtropical places in Asia, Brazil, Jamaica, Nigeria.

  • The health benefits of honey and ginger in treating respiratory problems are unmatched by any other concoction.

  • The ginger plant is approximately 30 - 60 cm tall and is extremely rare to find in the wild.


Interesting Facts About Skype

Thursday, February 19, 2009

  • Founded in August 2003, Skype is the leading global Internet communications company.

  • Skype is headquartered in Luxembourg with offices in Europe, United States and Asia.

  • Skype was acquired by eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) in October 2005.

  • In Q3 2008, Skype posted total revenue of $143 million, representing 46 percent year-over-year growth and delivered the seventh consecutive quarter of profitability.

  • Every day millions of people use Skype software to communicate with others through free voice and video calls, as well as instant messages. Many people also use SkypeOut or one of our global subscriptions to save money when calling landlines and mobiles across the world.

  • Skype is a global phenomenon - in Q3 2008, Skype added 32 million users - ending the quarter with more than 370 million users, representing an increase of 51 percent from a year ago.

  • In Q3 2008, Skype-to-Skype minutes reached nearly 16 billion, a 63 percent increase year over year, and SkypeOut minutes increased 54 percent versus last year to 2.2 billion.

  • Skype's 370 million registered users have made more than 100 billion minutes worth of free Skype-to-Skype calls.

  • Skype software is extremely secure, sustainable, and scalable. At peak times, there are over 14 million concurrent users and over 300,000 simultaneous calls. There are more than 100,000 information queries on the network each second.

  • Skype accounted for 6% of the world's international calling minutes in 2007, according to preliminary data released by TeleGeography Research.

  • Skype is available in over 28 languages and is used in almost every country around the world.

  • 30% of Skype users use Skype for business purposes.

  • More than 25% of Skype-to-Skype calls include video.

  • Downloads of the Skype application surpassed 1 billion copies in 2008, making Skype one of the most popular free software applications of all time.

  • Skype's popularity is being fueled by an active ecosystem that includes 15,000 developers and over 50 partners. Today, there are more than 190 Skype Certified hardware products and there are over 227 software Extras for Windows, Mac and Linux users.

  • Skype for Windows Mobile has been downloaded more than 11 million times.

  • In the UK specifically, 3 has announced that over 100 million Skype minutes have been sent across its network since it launched the 3 Skypephone last year. In addition, more than 150 thousand handsets have been sold since the launch last year.

  • Skype adapts its bandwidth usage in order to always guarantee the best possible audio and video quality at any given time. The bandwidth Skype uses ranges from 8-50 kilobits per second for a voice call and 250-500 kilobits per second for a video call.

  • The worldwide communications services market opportunity is $1.7 trillion, growing at 5.5% annually (Sources: World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), Datamonitor, Credit Suisse, Informa, Ovum).

  • Online conferencing revenue in the U.S. in 2008, according to the Telecommunications Industry Association's (TIA) Market Review and Forecast:
o Video conferencing - $2.2 billion
o Web conferencing - $1.5 billion
o Audio conferencing - $2.7 billion
o TOTAL - $6.05 billion online conferencing revenue in the U.S. in 2008

  • The predicted CAGR for Web conferencing revenue in the U.S. is 14.1% from 2008-2011 (Source: Telecommunications Industry Association's (TIA) Market Review and Forecast).

  • The telecom spend by consumers was 100% wireline in 1991; now, it is 50% wireless and growing (Sources: Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Trends in Telephony Service (June 2005), Primetrica's U.S. VoIP Research Service (2008)).

  • Telecom has remained 2% of household expenditures for 40+ years - people have always and will always pay for communications services (Sources: Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Trends in Telephony Service (June 2005), Primetrica's U.S. VoIP Research Service (2008)).

  • The global size of profit pools from communications services, according to Ovum, IDC and Bain:
o International calling - $70 billion
o Premium calling - $2 billion
o Conferencing services - $1.3 billion
o Mobile voice - $500 billion

  • IDC predicts there will be almost half a billion worldwide personal IP communications subscribers by 2012 (Source: IDC's "Worldwide Personal IP Communications Services 2008-2012 Forecast: A New Kind of Telephony Service," released in May 2008).

  • Personal IP communications is the future of real-time communications for the individual user. This market segment is categorized into three areas including Web-based services, portals, and mobile thin-clients. Together, IDC forecasts these categories will represent more than $5 billion in annual spending in 2012 (Source: IDC's "Worldwide Personal IP Communications Services 2008-2012 Forecast: A New Kind of Telephony Service," released in May 2008).


Interesting Facts About Singapore

Sunday, January 11, 2009

  • Singapore consists only of one main island and 63 other tiny islands. Most of these islands are uninhabited.

  • Singapore is among the 20 smallest countries in the world, with a total land area of only 682.7 square kilometres. The USA is about 15,000 times bigger.

  • Apart from Monaco, Singapore is the most densely populated country in the world, with 6,430 people per square kilometre.

  • Singapore became the 117th member of the United Nations on 21 September 1965.

  • Symbolism of the National Flag: Red symbolises universal brotherhood and equality of man while white signifies purity and virtue. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the rise and the five stars signify the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

  • The national flower of Singapore, Vanda Miss Joaquim, was first discovered in 1893 by Agnes Joaquim, an Armenian. The orchid is a natural hybrid between V. teres and V. hookeriana.

  • The Merlion, a half-fish, half-lion beast, is a fitting symbol of Singapore. The "Singa" or lion represents the animal that a Sumatran prince saw which resembled a lion, and the fish is a tribute to Singapore's history as "Temasek", the ancient sea town.

  • Singlish, a Singaporean patois mixing English with the odd phrase of Chinese, Malay and even Tamil, has two entries - lah and sinseh - in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.

  • Although English is the official working language and the most widely used language in Singapore, the national anthem 'Majulah Singapura' is actually sung in Malay.

  • The flying fox, the world's largest bat with a wingspan of up to 1.5 metres, can be found on Pulau Ubin, one of the islands off mainland Singapore.

  • Singapore is a stopover point for thousands of migratory birds travelling the East Asian Flyway.

  • The world's first night zoo, The Night Safari, is located in Singapore.

  • Despite being largely urbanised, Singapore is the largest exporter of ornamental fish (25% of the world market).

  • The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore contains more species of trees than the entire North American continent.

  • The highest natural point in Singapore is Bukit Timah Hill, which is only 164 metres high (Singapore has a very flat terrain).

  • Buildings in Singapore cannot be higher than 280 metres. There are presently three buildings of that height: OUB Centre, UOB Plaza and Republic Plaza.

  • The world's highest man-made waterfall, standing at 30 metres, is located at the Jurong BirdPark.

  • The largest fountain in the world is located in Singapore at Suntec City. Made of cast bronze, it cost an estimated US$6 million to build in 1997.

  • The buildings of Suntec City have been built in the shape of a palm of a hand symbolising good "feng shui".

  • In 2003, Singapore's Changi Airport won the award for "Best Airport Worldwide" for the 16th consecutive year from the UK/Europe edition of the Business Traveller magazine.

  • The Guinness book record for the longest human domino chain was set in Singapore on 30th September 2000. Formed by 9,234 students, it measured 4.2km.

  • The world domino topple record (303,621 men) was set in Singapore on 18th August 2003 by a 24-year-old woman from China.

  • The record for the biggest ever game of pass-the-parcel was set in Singapore on 28 February 1998. It involved 3,918 students removing 2,200 wrappers from a 1.5 x 1.5 x 0.5 m parcel.

  • The record for the most number of people participating in line dancing was set in Singapore in May 2002 with 11,967 dancers.

  • The Great Singapore Duck Race, an annual event that raises funds for charity, set a new world record in 2002 when more than 123,000 toy ducks took to the Singapore River.

  • Russell Lee, a pseudonym for a team of ghost-writers, is the hottest-selling local author in Singapore. His 11 volumes of True Singapore Ghost Stories have sold more than 600,000 copies to date.

  • The fastest selling book of all time in Singapore is Hello Chok Tong, Goodbye Kuan Yew: The Untold Story. Written and drawn by political cartoonist George Nonis, it sold 40,000 copies in two months.

  • The highest grossing movie of all time in Singapore is Titanic, raking in S$6.65 million in 1997.

  • The highest grossing locally made movie of all time is Money No Enough, raking in S$6.02 million in 1998.

  • The first Singaporean film to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival was director Eric Khoo's 12 Storeys in 1997.

  • British pop violinist Vanessa Mae Nicholson was born in Singapore and moved to England when she was four.

  • More Singaporeans are born in the month of October than any other month of the year.

  • The first population census taken in 1824 revealed that the total population was 10,683.

  • The 2000 census showed that the population of Singapore is 4.2 million.

  • Nearly 9 out of 10 Singaporeans live in public housing flats.

  • The most common Chinese surnames in Singapore are Tan, Lim and Lee.

  • Singapore has more than 3,000 kilometres of roads. Stretched end to end, they can cover the distance from Singapore to Hong Kong.

  • 8 in 10 people in Singapore own cell phones. In fact, telecom companies issue new numbers at the rate of 30,000 to 40,000 per month.

  • Singapore's best showing in the Olympic Games: Silver medal won by weightlifter Tan Howe Liang in Rome (1960) followed by a Silver Medal won by the women’s table tennis team in Beijing (2008).

  • Swimmer Ang Peng Siong was ranked world number one in the 50m Freestyle in 1982.

  • The Singapore Sling was first served in 1915 at the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel. The ingredients are gin, Cointreau, cherry brandy, Dom Benedictine, pineapple juice, Grenadine, Angoustura bitters and limes.