Fact of the Week Archive
Week of June 25, 2012
(The last one of the 2011-2012 school year! See you in the fall!)
The last U.S. President with a mustache was William Howard Taft (1909-1913); the last President who did not graduate from college was Harry S. Truman (1945-1953).
Week of June 18, 2012
Central Park has at least two times more annual visitors than Disneyland.
Week of June 11, 2012
We just experienced the warmest spring in United States history, by an eye-opening margin. The spring season's nationally averaged temperature was 57.1 degrees -- 5.2 degrees above the average and 2 degrees higher than the previous warmest spring, back in 1910. Spring 2012 marked the largest temperature departure from average of any season on record in the USA.
Week of June 4, 2012
One 12-ounce glass of soda contains up to TEN teaspoons of sugar.
Week of May 28, 2012
Ever heard of an atluk? It's a hole in the ice where seals come up to breathe.
Week of May 21, 2012
The cost of a cell phone in 1984? $4,195.00.
Week of May 14, 2012
Central Park's 3,400-year-old Obelisk was seen as a coming-of-age moment for New York as a world-class city when Egypt presented the gift in 1881. But did you know that "Cleopatra's Needle," as it is also known, sits on top of a time capsule? When it was erected, a box containing a copy of the Declaration of Independence, the complete works of William Shakespeare and the 1870 U.S. census was placed beneath it, along with a secret time capsule filled by William Henry Hurlbert, the man who initiated the project.
Week of May 7, 2012
On Saturday, we had a "supermoon," which occurs when a full moon corresponds with perigee, the moon's closest point to Earth. This full moon was 16% brighter than an average one, but the moon's closest point to Earth isn't all that close. It was 221,803 miles away on Saturday night -- about 15,300 miles closer than average.
Week of April 30, 2012
"April showers, bring May flowers." This well-known phrase has been traced back to 1557 when Thomas Tusser wrote
"Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers"
in his work A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry.
Week of April 23, 2012
The names of the main characters from Kung Fu Panda were selected from actual Chinese words. "Shifu" means teacher, the definition of "Tai Lung" is the great dragon and "Ugvey" is turtle.
Week of April 16, 2012
There are 216 noodles in a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup.
Week of April 9, 2012
If a cockroach touches a human, it runs to safety and cleans itself.
Week of April 2, 2012
The most common school colors in America are blue and white.
Week of March 26, 2012
Garlic is a member of the lily family. So are onions.
Week of March 19, 2012
Amazed biologists have recently uncovered a new species of frog in the jungle -- New York's concrete jungle. The mottled green creature was for years mistaken as a variety of the leopard frog, but now scientists realize this is a different kind. It appears to be a baseball fan and has chosen the center of its habitat wisely: Yankee Stadium.
Week of March 12, 2012
St. Patrick's Day is around the corner, so it is worth noting that by one estimate, there are about 10,000 regular three-leaf clovers for every lucky four-leaf clover. Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest number of leaves found on a clover is 14!
Week of March 5, 2012
New York City enjoyed its 2nd-warmest winter since records began in 1869, outdone only by the balmy 2001-02 season. In the heart of winter on January 10, only 15% of the country was snow-covered, the least amount for that day since national snow-cover statistics began being kept in 2003, according to the National Weather Service. By comparison, it was 62% in both 2011 and 2010 (although the spring equinox is 3 weeks away, meteorologists define winter as the months of December, January and February).
Week of February 27, 2012
Beef Jerky got its name from charki, the Inca word for "dried llama meat."
(Bonus fact!): Unlike most fresh fruits, grapes will not float in Jell-O.
Week of February 13, 2012
The hottest place on Earth is the air around a lightning strike, which can reach as much as 54,000° F, easily five times hotter than the surface of the sun. Lightning strikes about 6,000 times per minute on this planet.
Week of February 6, 2012
The dog featured on the box of Cracker Jack popcorn is named is Bingo; the little boy is Jack.
Week of January 30, 2012
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.
Week of January 23, 2012
The oldest public park in New York City is Bowling Green Park, which was created in 1733. The wrought-iron fence in the park dates from 1771, making it the oldest fence in the entire city.
Week of January 16, 2012
Babe Ruth used to wear a cabbage leaf under his baseball cap to keep cool; he changed it every two innings.
Week of January 9, 2012
Pepsi-Cola was invented by a young pharmacist named Caleb Bradham in 1898. Originally called "Brad's Drink," the beverage was first marketed as a digestive aid and energy booster. It was renamed Pepsi-Cola because of its pepsin and kola nut content.
Week of January 2, 2012
The first fire station to install a sliding fire pole was New York's Engine Company Number 21, in 1878.
Week of December 12, 2011
The following are weird, but real "holidays" this month...Dec. 15 is Cat Herders Day; Dec. 16 is Barbie Backlash Day; Dec. 25 is A'phabet Day (it's "No 'L' Day." Get it? "Noel" -- it's Christmas!)
See you in 2012 - HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
Week of December 5, 2011
The phrase "second string," which means a replacement or backup, came from medieval times. An archer always carried a second string, in case the one on his bow broke.
Week of November 28, 2011
The white area at the base of the fingernail is called the lunula because it resembles a crescent moon.
Week of November 21, 2011
The largest pumpkin pie ever made weighed 2,020 pounds...A ripe cranberry will bounce...All turkeys and chickens have wishbones...Abraham Lincoln declared it a national day in 1863...The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in 1924.
Week of November 14, 2011
The Wizard of Oz's complete name was Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmanuel Ambroise Diggs. The initials purposely spell out O.Z.P.I.N.H.E.A.D.
Week of November 7, 2011
Ever heard of Hanson Gregory? He is the inventor of the doughnut (1847).
Week of October 31, 2011
Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy a year for Halloween and the average American household spends $44 a year on Halloween candy. The top selling candy is Candy Corn -- Americans purchase over 20 million pounds of it a year. The leading best sellers after that are as follows: Snickers, Reese's, Kit Kat and M&M's.
Week of October 24, 2011
The most expensive book ever sold at auction was Leonardo da Vinci's The Codex Leicester -- his observations and illustrations on natural phenomena. The book was sold on November 11, 1994 to software magnate Bill Gates for...
Week of October 17, 2011
Guess who nicknamed New York the "Empire State?"
Week of October 10, 2011
Columbus Day remembers Christopher Columbus' arrival to the Americas on October 12, 1492. In 1968, Columbus Day was declared a federal public holiday on the second Monday in October by President Lyndon B. Johnson, however, 22 states do not celebrate this holiday.
Week of October 3, 2011
Seeking a sage and wizened look, the creators of Star Wars modeled Yoda's face after Albert Einstein.
Week of September 26, 2011
By the time a kid graduates from high school, he will have eaten 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches.
Week of September 19, 2011
(Welcome back! We hope your summer was memorable and you are ready to get back into the park!!!)
Have some free time? There are 122 bumps per square inch on a Spalding basketball. Count 'em yourself!