Useless Stuff

Some useless trivia:

The most played song on American radio during the twentieth century was You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling which was written by Barry Mann, Phil Spector, and Cynthia Weil. Although recorded by different artists, the song is the only one in history to be played over 8 million times on the radio. That amounts to about 45 years if the song was played back to back! Three songs were played 7 million times: Never My Love, Yesterday, and Stand By Me (in that order).

“Weird” Al Yankovic received a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture in 1981. He also served as valedictorian of his high school at age 16.

The oldest business in the United States of America is the cymbal company Zildjian that was founded in Constantinople in 1623.

Every act that has had a Billboard Top 40 hit whose title included the name of a different recording act, that other act had at least one Top 40 hit at the same exact time. Some examples (not a complete list):
· 1964: The song We Love You Beatles by the Carefrees was on the charts while The Beatles had seven songs of their own in the Top 40.
· 1984-85: Rick Springfield had the minor hit Bruce while Bruce Springsteen was charting himself with Born in the U.S.A.
· 1987: Both the ABC song When Smokey Sings and Smokey Robinson’s song One Heartbeat were in the Top 10 at the same time.
· 1992: Weird Al had the hit Smells Like Nirvana at the same time that Nirvana had the hit Come As You Are.

There are approximately ten million bricks in the Empire State Building.

The lightning that we see actually goes from the ground to the sky in what is known as the “return stroke” at 1/3 the speed of light. We can’t see the initial “stepped leader” that passes from the sky to the ground.

From space, the brightest man-made place is Las Vegas, Nevada.

Janis Joplin’s will called for a party for 200 people at her favorite pub in San Alselmo, California at a cost of $2,500.00.

Contrary to common belief, elephants are not afraid of mice. Go to any zoo and chances are that the mice are living in the same quarters as the elephants. The mice eat the grain and nest in the hay that is so common to elephant habitats.

The Carpenters signature song, We’ve Only Just Begun, was originally part of a television commercial for a California bank. The music played in the background of a scene in which a newlywed couple had, of course, just begun their lives together. Richard Carpenter saw the commercial and sculpted it into the classic song that we know today.

Actress Cheryl Ladd started her career as the singing voice of the character Melody on the 1970’s cartoon Josie and the Pussycats.

The most common invention of the 19th century was the washing machine. Between 1804 and 1873, at least 1676 patents were issued by the United States Patent Office for various forms of this device.

The five most stolen items in a drugstore are batteries, cosmetics, film, sunglasses, and, get this, Preparation H. Apparently people are just too embarrassed to purchase the last item. And, just in case you are curious, one of Preparation H’s main ingredient is shark liver oil. The oil not only helps shrink haemorrhoids, but will shrink any tissue. As a result, many older women in Florida use the stuff to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles!

It’s widely known that Alexander Graham Bell beat Elisha Gray to the patent office by a mere two hours with his application to patent the telephone. However, ten years after Bell’s patent was issued, patent examiner Zenas Wilber admitted in a sworn affidavit that he had taken a $100 bribe from Bell, had taken a loan from Bell’s patent attorney, and had given Bell the complete details of Gray’s caveat. Hmmmm….

Why do ostriches bury their heads in the sand? They actually don’t. In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of eighty years, no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the sand (or attempted to do so).

The Next Survivor

I thought this was funny:

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and four kids each for six weeks. Each kid plays two sports and either takes music or dance classes. There is no access to fast food.

Each man must take care of his four kids, keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, etc. The men only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done. There is only one TV between them, and there is no remote. The men must shave their legs and wear makeup daily, which they must apply themselves, either while driving or while making four lunches. They must attend weekly PTA meetings, clean up after their sick children at 3 a.m., make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker, and get a 4-year-old to ear a service of peas.

The kids vote them off the island, based on performance. The last man wins only if he has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment’s notice. If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over again for the next 18-25 years – eventually earning the right to be called “mother.”

–there are some woman who should go through this also.

More Useless Stuff

More Useless Trivia:

Charles Lindbergh achieved great fame for being the first man to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean. What most people don’t know, however, is that two men had achieved the same goal eight years earlier! Flying for sixteen and a half hours from June 14 to June 15, 1919, Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten-Brown had co-piloted a Vichers-Vimy twin-engine plane non-stop from Newfoundland across the Atlantic to Ireland. Lindbergh was just the first person to do it alone.

Contrary to popular belief, only one alligator has ever been found in the New York City sewer system. The 125-pound (57 kilogram) alligator was pulled out by four boys way back in 1935.

A South Korean movie theater owner decided that the movie The Sound of Music was too long. His solution? He shortened the movie by cutting out all of the musical scenes!

In four separate instances between October 1987 and February 1988, small pink frogs rained down from the sky on to various parts of Great Britain. Scientists are still uncertain as to where these frogs originated, although some have traced them back to the Sahara desert.

The Malaysian government decided to solve their disease-carrying mosquito problem by spraying the infested areas with DDT. This worked, but the cockroaches then devoured the dead mosquitos. This was followed by the region’s gecko lizards consuming the roaches. The geckos did not die from the residual poison (surprisingly), but their central nervous systems were greatly affected, causing the lizards to slow down. Moving up the food chain, the cats ate the slow-moving lizards and started to die off in large quantities. Of course, fewer cats mean more rats, and the country’s rat population soared. As a result, the World Health Organization was forced to step in and ban the DDT. In an effort to restore the ecological balance, they flew in planeloads of cats to kill the rats.

Two hundred and twenty six soldiers lost their lives way back in 1850 when they crossed a suspension bridge that spanned the Maine at Angers, France. It turns out that they were all marching in step and had caused an increased resonance (vibration) to the bridge. Ever since, troops are ordered to rout step (march out of step) when crossing a bridge.

The phrase “Often a bridesmaid but never a bride” actually comes from an advertisement for Listerine mouthwash. The text was written by Milton Feasley and first appeared in 1925. The advertisement was so successful that it ran for more than ten years.

A man named Angus McDonald was a lookout man for an explosives company in Johannesburg, South Africa. One April Fool’s Day, he decided to pull the ultimate prank. He put on an oversized uniform and hid his head inside. To the casual passer-by, it appeared that his head had been blown off. McDonald’s joke blew up in his face, however. The story (and photo) was picked up by the newswires and McDonald was fired from his job.

Did you ever wonder what the WD in WD-40 stands for? The name was lifted right out chemist Norm Larsen’s laboratory notebook. Way back in 1953, he was trying to concoct an anti-corrosion formula, which worked on the basic principle of displacing water. On his 40th try, Larsen finally got it right. Hence the name WD-40. It literally means Water Displacer, 40th try.

Back in 1956 recording artist Johnny Mathis was forced to make the decision between trying out for the United States Olympic team (his specialty was track) and recording his first album for Columbia Records. He chose the latter and went on to become the eighth biggest selling album artist of all time. His 1958 album, Johnny’s Greatest Hits, was the first Greatest Hits album ever marketed, spending three weeks at #1 and 490 consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Pop Album chart (that’s almost 9 ½ years!).

The Bank of Vernal, in Vernal, Utah (where else?) is the only bank in the world that was built from bricks sent through the mail. Way back in 1919 the builders realized that it was cheaper to send the bricks through the United States Postal System (seven bricks to a package) than to have them shipped commercially from Salt Lake City.

Before the invention of anaesthesia, speed was a highly regarded trait in a surgeon. Dr. Robert Liston of London was among the fastest. But, speed comes with some cost. In one particular operation, Liston killed three people. The patient actually survived, but later died of gangrene. During the operation, Liston accidentally cut of the fingers of his surgical assistant, who soon died from an infection. Liston even managed to slash through the coattails of a colleague who was observing the operation – he was so sure that his vital organs had been punctured that he died of fright!

Way back on August 13, 1903, police entered the Liverpool, England home of William and Emily Shortis. Worried friends had contacted the authorities because the couple had not been seen for several days prior. There they found William near death. Oddly, he was pinned under the dead body of his 224-pound wife. Did she die during a moment of passion? Not at all. The coroner concluded that William was following Emily up the stairs of their home when she lost her balance and tumbled down the steps, pulling him down with her. Emily immediately died from a blow to the head, trapping William under her body for over three days. Sadly, William did not survive his injuries, either.

Frenchman Michel Lotito has a very unusual diet. Born on June 15, 1950, he has been consuming large quantities of metal and glass since he was nine years old. To date, he has eaten supermarket carts, television sets, bicycles, chandeliers, razor blades, bullets, nuts and bolts, lengths of chain, phonograph records, computers, and an entire Cessna 150 light aircraft (which took him nearly two years to consume). It seems that his body has adjusted to this unusual diet, as he eats nearly two pounds of metal every day. His technique includes lubricating his digestive tract with mineral oil, cutting the parts into bite-size pieces, and then consuming a large quantity of water while eating this junk. Most people would prefer a nice glass of wine with their dinner.

Madame Marie Curie was the first person ever to win two Nobel Prizes. Her first was in Physics (1903) and the second in Chemistry (1911). So what did she do with the money? She used part of the prize to both change the wallpaper and to put a modern bathroom into her Paris home.

Marijuana was not illegal in the United States until October 1, 1937, when Congress passed the “Marijuana Tax Act”. Total debate time on the House of Representatives floor concerning this issue: 90 seconds. This act did not actually ban the substance – it simply said that one could not sell marijuana without a license. Of course, Congress refused to issue any licenses. Congress finally banned marijuana outright in 1970.

Everyone knows that spinach is loaded in iron and makes you stronger – Just look what it has done for Popeye’s career. Well, Popeye was wrong. So were all of those parents that stuffed it down their kids’ throats. In reality, spinach has no more iron in it than any other vegetable. This spinach misconception dates back to the 1950’s when a food analyst made an error while calculating the iron in spinach. His decimal place was off by one place, suggesting that spinach had ten times as much iron content than it really did.

Fare thee well, King

After decades as a master of spine-tingling thrillers, Stephen King is killing off his career (or so he says).

Stephen King is calling it quits after his last novel ‘From A Buick 8’. He apparently will still keep writing but will not publish.

Fare thee well, oh Master….. *bowing*

Movie Trivia

You guys may already know most of this but if not, I thought you might enjoy it and please feel free to add on…

The woman that plays Vasquez in Aliens is the same woman that plays John Conner’s foster mother in Terminator II. (It’s amazing what they can do with makeup) James Cameron, like many directors, likes to use the same actors. Michael Beihn (Hicks in Aliens) is sent back to save Sarah Conner in Terminator. Vasquez is also in Cameron’s Titanic. She is the mother of the two kids in the belly of the ship telling them a bedtime story before they die.

Lilo and Stitch is the first Disney animated movie since Dumbo to have all watercolor backgrounds. Right after Lilo sees the falling star, if you look at her easel you can see a stuffed animal of Dumbo

In Jurassic Park – The Lost World, the civilian who gets eaten by the T-Rex in San Diego is David Koepp, the man who wrote the screenplay. Search the cast credits for him and you will see he has a funny title for him. When the T-Rex chomps the traffic light in San Diego, there is a sign nearby that reads “No Dinosaurs”.

In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dr. Scott breaks through the laboratory wall in his wheelchair and Brad shouts, “Great Scott!” The only reason the character (played by Jonathan Adams) breaks through the wall is because the carpenters forgot to put a door in the lab.

Bill Murray’s part in Ghostbusters was originally written for John Belushi, but he died shortly before the casting. Eddie Murphy was originally supposed to play Winston Zeddemore but he was busy with Beverly Hills Cop at the time

“Halloween” was supposed to be titled “The Baby-sitter Murders”.

In Highlander II: The Quickening, during the scene where Connor McLeod is battling with one of Katana’s henchmen, Christopher Lambert had his hand cut right to the bone. He continued filming the scene after a little on-set first aid.

In Big, the part of Josh (played by Tom Hanks) was originally intended for Harrison Ford.

While filming The Matrix, the camera crew all wore white so they wouldn’t be reflected in the actor’s sunglasses.

In The Mummy, during the scene where Imhotep is conjuring up the sandstorm, the camera pans up in order to not have Arnold Vosloo’s lower half in the scene because a gust of wind blew his robe up and you could see his bare derriere. When the Scorpion King says the battle command at the first scene, it really means “It’s hot as hell” in Arabic.

In License to Kill, when Bond is doing his Indiana Jones Stunt (hanging from the bottom of the truck) and Sanchez shoots at him. You can hear the Bond theme played with the ricocheting bullets.

In The X-Men, the trucker that gave Rogue a ride was the voice of Beast in the cartoon series.

World’s Funniest Joke

[size=large]World’s Funniest Joke Is Named [/size]

[i]Associated Press[/i]
Drum roll, please — an online search for the world’s funniest joke has produced a winner.

In a year-long experiment called LaughLab, a British psychology professor asked thousands of people around the world to rate the humor value of a list of jokes; they could also add their own favorites.

In December, Richard Wiseman and his associates announced the front-runner, a hoary old gag involving fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson. But in the final tally of some 2 million votes for 40,000 jokes, announced Thursday, a new joke emerged as a round-the-world rib-tickler:

[i]”A couple of New Jersey hunters are out in the woods when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing, his eyes are rolled back in his head.

“The other guy whips out his cell phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: ‘My friend is dead! What can I do?’

“The operator, in a calm soothing voice says: ‘Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.’

“There is a silence, then a shot is heard. The guy’s voice comes back on the line. He says: ‘OK, now what?'” [/i]

“Many of the jokes submitted received higher ratings from certain groups of people, but this one had real universal appeal,” said Wiseman, who has published a book based on the experiment.

Wiseman, who teaches at the University of Hertfordshire in southern England, said the research revealed that different countries preferred different types of jokes. Respondents were asked to rate jokes on a five-point scale from “not very funny” to “very funny.”

Germans were the most likely to find all types of jokes funny, while Canadians were the least amused of the 10 top responding nations.

The British, Irish, Australians and New Zealanders favored jokes involving wordplay, while continental Europeans liked jokes with a surreal bent. Americans and Canadians preferred jokes invoking a strong sense of superiority — either because a character looks stupid or is made to look stupid by someone else.

Among the jokes favored by Americans:

[i]”Texan: ‘Where are you from?’

“Harvard graduate: ‘I come from a place where we do not end our sentences with prepositions.’

“Texan: ‘OK, where are you from, jackass?'” [/i]

Wiseman said jokes work “for lots of different reasons. They sometimes make us feel superior to others, reduce the emotional impact of anxiety-provoking situations or surprise us because of some kind of incongruity.”

The winning joke about the hunters, he said, “contained all three elements.”

Computer analysis also threw up a number of arcane humor “facts.” Not all animal jokes, for example, are created equal — jokes mentioning ducks were rated as funnier than other jokes.

And length matters. Jokes containing 103 words were thought to be especially funny. The winning joke is 102 words long.

__

On the Net:

Laughlab: www.laughlab.co.uk

TV Movie Producer Bruce Paltrow Dies

TV, Movie Producer Bruce Paltrow Dies
Thu Oct 3, 3:32 PM ET
By TOM RACHMAN, Associated Press Writer

ROME (AP) – Bruce Paltrow, producer and director of “St. Elsewhere” and patriarch of a show business family that includes Oscar-winning daughter Gwyneth Paltrow, has died in Italy. He was 58.

Bruce Paltrow, who had been battling throat cancer, was traveling in recent days with his daughter, who recently celebrated her 30th birthday. He died from complications of pneumonia and a recurrence of the cancer, his daughter’s publicist, Steven Huvane, said Thursday.

Paltrow, whose wife was actress Blythe Danner, was perhaps best known for producing and directing episodes of the 1980s TV show “St. Elsewhere,” a hospital story with odd, frustrated characters and stories that blended comedy and tragedy.

“He had a tremendous wit. He worked fast and talked fast. He was a terribly bright man,” said William Daniels, who won an Emmy for playing perfectionist surgeon Dr. Mark Craig on “St. Elsewhere.”

Daniels recalled that Paltrow shut down “St. Elsewhere” in its early stages of production and overhauled it with new cast members, set designs and cinematographers. Before that, many shows about doctors featured clean-cut medics in brightly lit hospitals.

“(Paltrow) wanted a darker more realistic look, a grittier look,” Daniels said.

A U.S. diplomatic official said on condition of anonymity that Paltrow died in Rome, and that American officials in Italy were informed of the death Thursday. When Paltrow died was not immediately made public.

Paltrow had made several public appearances in Italy in the last week, including at the Italian premiere of the film “Minority Report,” starring Tom Cruise.

His most recent work was writing and directing the quirky karaoke road movie “Duets” in 2000. The film had multiple, intersecting story-lines and an ensemble cast that included his daughter.

In “Duets,” Gwyneth Paltrow co-starred as a Las Vegas showgirl who hits the highway with her long-lost dad, a karaoke hustler played by pop singer Huey Lewis.

In the original script, her character did not sing, but her father added it to the story.

“I wrote it in because I felt it was essential for the character to sing,” Bruce Paltrow said at the time. “I thought it would be a way for her to connect with her father. And I knew how well Gwyneth could sing. When she and her mother sing together, you just can’t believe it.”

Gwyneth Paltrow, who won an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love,” said she saw it as an advantage taking direction from her father.

“I think he’s the smartest person I’ve ever known in my life,” she had said. “And also he’s my Dad. I thought, maybe I’ll work and get spoiled at the same time.”

Bruce Paltrow’s other child, Jake, is also a television director.

The father began his show business career writing for Screen Gems Pictures in New York City and in the early 1970s made his television breakthrough with ABC action-comedy movie called “Shirts/Skins.”

Paltrow was co-nominated for best-drama Emmys in 1980 and 1981 for his work on the show “The White Shadow,” about a professional basketball player who retires to coach at an inner-city high school.

His other credits include the 1982 romantic comedy “A Little Sex,” starring Tim Matheson and Kate Capshaw as a couple dealing with love and infidelity. He also directed for the 1990s police drama “Homicide: Life on the Streets” and the 1995 TV movie “Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct: Lightning.”

He has been recognized as a champion of women and minorities, receiving the first Diversity Award from the Directors Guild of America in 1997.

The Brooklyn-born filmmaker married Danner in 1970. Co-star of “Meet the Parents,” Danner was working on her new television drama “Presidio Med” in Los Angeles and was not with her husband when he died.

Huvane said Paltrow’s body would be returned to the United States, although specific funeral plans remained uncertain. He is survived by Danner and children Gwyneth and Jake.

gotta have my dragon babies!

sorry, had to say something about this. last night’s Conan was hilarious with Luke Perry (who’s actually funny?) and Alice somethingorother from Buffy. actually the coolest thing was when “Keith Richards” called in…recounting his recent encounter with evil lizards.

now thats good TV 😛

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