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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Do you know... ?

 Do you know that we have 10,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000 stars in our universe? Well, as astounding as that sounds, science has found that number to be a gross under-estimation! Astronomers recently discovered that a typical elliptical galaxy, thought to  contain of about 100 billion stars, could actually have as many as a trillion. And get this: there are about 100 billion galaxies--and we are just one of them! Is that mind-boggling incredible?

THE GOOD NEWS: We now have at least three times as many wishes.

Do you know that "In the first few years after birth, there are 700 new neuron connections formed every second of the child's life. The achievement gap between a child born into extreme poverty and one of the professional class is evident by age 3," says Daniel Pedersen, president of the Buffet Early Childhood Fund. "I would build new centers for preschoolers, infants and toddlers, with three teachers per classroom."

Do you know that in Canada, guess who sells a McLobster... or in France, the McBaguette... or the McRice Burger in Singapore... or (my favorite) McSpaghetti in the Phillippines? Come on, Italy... the Phillippines?

Do you know that Warner Brothers, which bought the rights to Patty and Mildred Hill's 1893 song, "Happy Birthday," collect about $2 million in royalties every year? Hmm. If I could only remember the words.

Do you know that on 9/11, when it was realized that United Flight 93, the fourth hijacked plane, was thought to be headed to Washington DC, two of our F-16 pilots were sent into the sky with orders to bring it down. Neither plane was armed with live ammunition--no time. It was expected that the pilots would use their planes as missiles... and they were ready. It was the heroic passengers on board that took care of that.

As an aside, I was in Washington DC the week before the 10th anniversary of that tragic day, and the city and it's venues provided an awesome, somber, reflective, pride-swelling experience. If you haven't been there recently, go again, soon. There is no greater place to feel American.

Another one: The social networking site, recently polled its 120 million users around the globe as to what nationality is "most cool." Guess what?  Americans were voted the world's "coolest." While anti-American sentiment is a high profile perception, "we sometimes forget how many people across the world consider Americans seriously cool." Less cool: Brazil, Spanish, Italians, French, Brits, etc.

Do you know it costs more than a penny to make a penny and more than a nickel to make a nickel. Oh, don't worry... I'm sure we make it up on volume.

Do you know that in America, anyone can sue anyone for any reason. Robert Lee Brock sued himself for $5 million. He claimed that he had violated his own civil rights and religious beliefs by allowing himself to get drunk, commit crimes and land in jail, just like the song. Sounds like a solid case, but certainly not win-win.

Elsewhere, a 290-pound man is suing burger chain White Castle because he can't fit into their seats. 

Do you know that a city in Taiwan has offered an incentive to dog owners who pick up after their  Bowsers and Fifis? For every bag of poop turned in, the good owner gets a ticket to a special raffle for poop-scoopers... a chance to win one of three gold ingots worth about $2,100 (shaped like a what?)... and the city gets all the dog poop it could ever hope for. Sales of dog laxatives have gone through the roof.

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