Fact of the Week Archive
Week of July 6, 2015
(The last one of the 2014-2015 school year! See you in the fall!)
One World Trade Center, at a very patriotic 1,776 feet, is the tallest building in the United States, besting the Willis Tower in Chicago (formerly the Sears Tower), at 1,729 feet, and the Empire State Building, which checks in at 1,454 feet. Overall, New York City has 396 skyscrapers at 400 feet or taller. Chicago is the next closest city with 195 and Miami is a distant 3rd, with 60. NYC has 43 skyscrapers at 700 feet or higher! Only 4 cities have that many total skyscrapers (Boston and San Francisco are the other two).
Week of June 29, 2015
If you look back at the May 11 FOTW, every child contributes about one ton of diapers to rot in a landfill. There is actually a company called Knowaste that collects and recycles dirty diapers at hospitals, nursing facilities and public restrooms. After sanitizing the diaper with a solution, they mechanically separate the "organic matter" from the diaper's plastic and paper. The plastic is then compressed into pellets, which are recycled into roof shingles. The paper pulp grows up to become wallpaper and shoe soles.
Week of June 22, 2015
The voice of Papa Smurf, Don Messick, was one of America's most talented voice actors. He also provided the voices of Scooby-Doo, Boo-Boo Bear (The Yogi Bear Show), Bamm-Bamm Rubble (The Flintstones) and Astro on (The Jetsons), among many, many others.
Week of June 15, 2015
Did you know that it was Flag Day on June 14? Do you know what it means? Flag Day is for observing the official adoption of the stars and stripes as our country's flag in 1777. Yet, Pennsylvania is the only state that recognizes Flag Day as a national holiday, so you might have missed it. The design for the American flag was reportedly created by high school student, Robert G. Heft, who made the design as a high school project. His teacher gave him a B- for his work, but it somehow became our flag anyway.
Week of June 8, 2015
Superman's full Earth name is Clark Joseph Kent. Superman was born Kal-El on the planet Krypton, before being rocketed to Earth as an infant by his scientist father Jor-El, moments before Krypton's destruction.
Week of June 1, 2015
Pac-Man, one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time, just turned 35. Creator Toru Iwatani recently told Time Magazine that he got the idea of how he wanted the star of his game to look after grabbing a slice of pizza and noticing how the remaining pie looked like a character and then said: "That's how Pac-Man's iconic shape was created." In honor of the anniversary, here are some other facts: It's the most successful coin-operated arcade machine ever. According to Guinness World Records, more than 293,000 Pac-Man machines were built and installed worldwide between 1981 and 1987. Since its launch, the game has been played an estimated 10 billion times. The maximum high score is 3,333,360, according to the official Pac-Man website. And last, there's even a song! At the height of the video game's popularity, songwriters Buckner & Garcia released the song Pac-Man Fever in 1982.
Week of May 25, 2015
Memorial Day not only ushers in summer, but also, peak hot dog-eating season. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council notes that starting on Memorial Day, Americans will consume a stomach-busting 818 dawgs per second. That's just a few wieners short of 71 million in a single day!
Week of May 18, 2015
Often within a group of kids, Cachinnation is extremely apparent, which means loud or hysterical laughter. Within a group like this, it is rare to find an Agelast, which is one who never laughs.
Week of May 11, 2015
According to some sources, by your 2nd birthday, your parents have changed your diaper 7,300 times.
Week of May 4, 2015
A baby mouse is called a kitten, a pup or a pinkie.
Week of April 27, 2015
There are just 18 minutes of total action over the course of an entire baseball game.
Week of April 20, 2015
The 45th anniversary of Earth Day is this Wednesday! How have we been doing? Curbside recycling programs started becoming widely adopted in the early 1990s and today, about 87% of the U.S. has regular access to recycling programs. The recycling of paper and paper products has increased by a whopping 90% in the last 20 years.
Week of April 13, 2015
A dark chocolate bar contains around 12 grams of sugar. A glass of orange juice? 22 grams of sugar.
Week of April 6, 2015
On April Fool's Day in 1985, Sports Illustrated ran a 14-page story by George Plimpton about a Mets' pitching phenom named Sidd Finch. The reclusive, skinny Finch reportedly threw a 168-mph fastball (which he credited to meditations in Tibet) and had a host of quirks, including carrying a French horn at all times and wearing only one hiking boot while pitching. And yes, baseball fans around the world fell for it. If you're curious, the full article can be found here.
Week of March 30, 2015
Westinghouse released the first color TV in 1953. The cost? $1,250, which is equivalent to about $10,000 today.
Week of March 23, 2015
54-year-old Mark Jordan of Corpus Christi, Texas did 4,321 pull-ups in one day this past November. On March 11, Jordan's total was certified as the most ever by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Week of March 16, 2015
If you're on spring break, watch out. After a 3-week vacation, your IQ can drop by as much as 20%!
Week of March 9, 2015
On Sunday, March 8, the high temperature in NYC was 49 degrees, our warmest day since January 5 -- over 2 months! That included 47 days in the 30s or lower. We are also beginning our 7th consecutive week with significant snow cover in Central Park, but it's almost over. Spring officially begins on March 20.
Week of March 2, 2015
Unlike most other birds, eagles use the same nest for life.
Week of February 23, 2015
New York City has more performance spaces than anyplace else in the world, including 420 theaters that show 43,000 performances each year.
Week of February 16, 2015
Did you feel a little scared last Friday? You might have paraskevidekatriaphobia, which is a fear of Friday the 13th. Successfully learning to pronounce that super long word supposedly means you're cured, so let's try...para-skev-EE-dek-a-tri-a-pho-bia.
Week of February 9, 2015
During most of Earth's history, the North and South Poles had no ice.
Week of February 2, 2015
Apple has now amassed a record pile of cash and investments of nearly $178 billion. How much money is that? Apple can afford to give $500 to every man, woman and child in the entire United States -- and still have almost $18 billion left over.
Week of January 26, 2015
It is impossible for it to snow without any clouds in the sky...Chionophobia is the fear of snow...Most snowflakes are six-sided...An inch of rain is equal to 10 inches of snow.
Week of January 19, 2015
According to Starbucks, 46 million people received gift cards for the coffee chain during the holidays. That is about 1 for every 7 Americans.
Week of January 12, 2015
The Ohio Buckeye Tree can be found throughout Central Park. Ohio is known as the Buckeye State and Ohioans are known as Buckeyes. Do you know why? In 1840, General William Henry Harrison was elected President of the United States. During his campaign, Buckeye wood cabins and Buckeye walking sticks became emblems of Ohio's first citizen to win the highest office in the land. This forever set Ohioans apart as "Buckeyes."
Week of January 5, 2015
New York City is getting greener! We have reduced our carbon emissions 19% since 2007. 930,600 new trees have been planted since 2007, as a part of the MillionTreesNYC program. AND, 59 new acres of parkland were added in just the last year -- 75% of New Yorkers now live with a quarter-mile of a park!
Week of December 15, 2014
Christmas traditions vary from culture to culture. Finns often visit saunas on Christmas Eve, while Portuguese revelers hold a feast on Christmas Day for the living and the dead (extra places are set for the souls of the deceased). In Greece, some believe that goblins called kallikantzeri run wild during the 12 days of Christmas and most Greeks don't exchange presents until Jan. 1, St. Basil's Day. Thanks to their geographic location, most Australians and New Zealanders enjoy Christmas on the beach or at barbecues. Spain, meanwhile, hosts the world's largest lottery.
See you in 2015 - HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
Week of December 8, 2014
Some animals, such as pigeons, dolphins and sea turtles, have the mineral magnetite in their bodies and brains. Scientists think this helps them navigate, acting like a built-in GPS. By sensing the Earth's magnetic field, these animals can tell where they are and where they need to go.
Week of December 1, 2014
The OHIO STATE BUCKEYES defeated the michigan wolverines 42-28 on Saturday, November 29. The Buckeyes became the first Big Ten team to post three straight unbeaten and untied seasons in conference history (the Big Ten debuted in 1896). Ohio State's 42 points against michigan marked the first time in the history of the rivalry that either team scored 40 in back-to-back games (OSU scored 42 last season).
Week of November 24, 2014
THANKSGIVING special: A 16-week-old turkey is called a fryer...A turkey at 5-7 months is called a young roaster...The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog...Turkey has more protein than chicken or beef...Male turkeys gobble, but hens do not; they make a clucking noise instead.
Week of November 17, 2014
Pizza Hut uses 700 million pounds of pepperoni and 525 million pounds of tomatoes a year.
Week of November 10, 2014
The front of a giraffe's tongue is dark purple to protect it from sunburn.
Week of November 3, 2014
The hardest chemical in your body is your tooth enamel.
(Bonus fact!): Pearls, bones and teeth will dissolve in vinegar, which contains weak acetic acid.
Week of October 27, 2014
Grower John Hawkley grew the biggest gourd at the 41st Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off, in Half Moon Bay, California, on Monday, October 13, 2014. Hawkley won with a 2,058-pound pumpkin and set a new North American record.
Week of October 20, 2014
Are you recycling whatever you can? Well then don't toss those stubby Crayolas! Instead, mail them to the National Crayon Recycle Program, which takes unloved, broken crayons to a better place: They're melted in a vat of wax, remade and resold. So far, the program has saved over 47,000 pounds of crayons!
Week of October 13, 2014
Can you name the bodies of water that border New York? They are Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Champlain and the Atlantic Ocean.
Week of October 6, 2014
If you are a logophile, then this one is for you. A logophile is a lover of words.
Week of September 29, 2014
Frogs don't need to drink water because they can absorb it through their skin. Humans, on the other hand, have waterproofing proteins in their skin to help prevent water loss.
Week of September 22, 2014
Derek Jeter will more than likely be playing the last game of his storied career this week. Although he grew up in Michigan, Jeter was born in New Jersey and grew up a Yankees' fan. Jeter produced his first career hit back on May 30th, 1995 and he now ranks 6th in baseball history with 3,459 hits (and counting). Jeter was drafted 6th overall by the Yankees in 1992. The Houston Astros chose Phil Nevin with the 1st pick that year and one of their scouts quit after the draft, insisting they should have chosen Jeter instead. He's never played anywhere but shortstop, though he's been DH 69 times, and he's never been ejected from a game.
Week of September 15, 2014
Fish scales are a common lipstick ingredient.
Week of September 8, 2014
(Welcome back! We hope your summer was awesome and you are ready to get back into the park!!!)
Soon after launching Franken Berry cereal in 1971, General Mills was forced to recall the product and pull it from supermarket shelves. It seems that after eating it, when kids went to the bathroom, their you-know-what had turned pink from the food coloring. Yikes!