The Home Bible Study Library
A Collection of “Dumb Facts”
(Interesting Quotes, Facts and Trivia for Illustration)
Edited By Dr Terry W. Preslar Copyright (C) 2007. Terry W. Preslar All rights reserved.
“...when thou comest, bring with thee...the books, but especially the parchments. (2 Tim. 4:13) Psalms 107:2 S É S Romans 12:1-2
P.O. Box 388 Mineral Springs, N.C. 28108 1(704)843-3858
A Collection of “Dumb Facts”
(Interesting Quotes, Facts and Trivia for the Illustration Value) The Editor’s Preface This short book is for use in the illustrating of Gospel sermons and Bible lessons. Many facts are not untrue, even though these items may have an absurd or ridiculous connotation. Illustrations are made of these particles of data by placing these items of “Dumb Facts or Useless Trivia” in the proper relationship with our sermon or lesson content. The humor of the following “data” is a pleasant by-product of these, otherwise, superfluous factoids. The use of secular research findings as support for Biblical matters is a wise use of resources. Books like “Information Please...” and the “CIA’s Fact Book” are useful in finding and substantiating these facts. Enjoy the data that follows, add to the list as you find other items, but use these items in their proper place in the sermons and lessons you deliver. When you look up into the sky on a moonless night, you see even more stars than you realize. That’s because about 75% of the “stars” you see are actually groups of two, three, or more stars orbiting around each other. If the captain of a super-tanker “slams on the brakes” it takes 3 miles to stop. How big is a molecule? If you were to make a pile of 10,000 average-size molecules, you could just barely see it as a tiny speck. A computer with the job of issuing traffic citations goofed in September, 1989 and sent notices to 41,000 residents of Paris, France, informing them that they were charged with murder, prostitution and illegal sale of drugs. When Thomas Edison was 12 years old, a train conductor pulled him aboard a train by his ears. “I felt something snap inside my head,” he said. From that time until his death, he was hard of hearing. In November 1960, the sun released a multi-million mile thick cloud of hydrogen that reached the earth two days later. This cloud interfered with the electronic equipment of the times, messing up teletype and radio communications and affecting house current in many neighborhoods around the world. If that cloud had happened in modern times (and a repeat performance is certainly possible) it could very seriously affect modern integrated circuitry throughout the world. The Volkswagen was originally called the Strength-Through-Joy-Wagon. Your hair grows 83 feet per day. Explanation: This is the total growth of all your 120,000 hairs, which each grow, an average, from person to person, of one-hundredth of an inch per day. Your mouth produces about 16 ounces of saliva per day. Can you imagine drinking it all at once? Some people have as many as 500 taste buds per square centimeter, others as few as 5 per square centimeter. Do pancakes with maple-syrup taste the same to you as they do to me? Science has determined that fetuses can hear sounds while still in the womb. Sometimes they remember. One two-year-old girl was found sitting on the floor reciting, “breathe in,:breathe out, breathe in...” The only time she could have heard this was when her mother was practicing the popular La Maze exercises which -1-
help a mother during childbirth. In 1939 an author named Ernest Vincent wrote a 50,000 word novel called Gadsby. The only thing unusual about the novel is that there is not a single letter “e” in the whole thing. Perhaps the most uninteresting book ever written is the calculation of pi to 2 million places, in 800 pages. Just think of the TV special that could be made from this script. Finally, commercials would be more interesting than the show. There is a policeman in Ontario, Canada who is blind. Nine out of every 10 scientists who ever lived are alive today. The National Science Foundation conducted a study and found that only 33 percent of Americans know what a molecule is. Until recently in New Zealand, 66% of the children were smoking cigarettes by age seven. At graduation a child has logged 13,000 hours of school, and 20,000 hours of television. Approximately 66 percent of prisoners end up in prison again after release. In San Quentin prison where they teach some of the prisoners computer programming, less than 6% return to prison. The FDA considers chocolate acceptable for public consumption as long as there are less than 60 microscopic insect fragments per 100 grams (four ounces, or approximately one candy bar). In 1743 a teen-age boy was observed to have eaten 384 pounds of food in one week. There was another boy (or perhaps another report on this same boy) whose weight increased by 179 pounds in one year from 105 to 284. In 1963 a man ate a single meal weighing 54 pounds. Most people don’t realize that a hot dog may contain cow brains, lips, eyes, stomachs or tails. Americans eat an average of forty of these things per person, per year. If you lined them all up, that line would be about a half million miles long. Potato chips cost 200 times more per pound than raw potatoes. When plans were required for a new house of government, Ben Franklin was given a crack at the architect’s job, but his design was rejected. It was just too weird. He had planned to hook all the seats in the meeting room to the fireplace chimney. The bottoms of the seats would have many small holes. The draft from the chimney would create a slight suction at these holes in the seats, carrying away what he called “personal odours.” The population of the whole world in the year 5,000 B.C. was about five million. Now there are more people just in New York City. George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson all played marbles. In their era the game of marbles was fashionable among adults. The $ was originally equipped with two vertical lines. Sometimes you still see it used that way. The two -2-
vertical lines represented a U superimposed over the S, which stand for U.S. The United States is the only country which incorporates its own name into its monetary symbol. Most people think the Wright Brothers were first to fly. The first real flight happened in France on October 9, 1890 by Clement Ader in a steam powered airplane. The altitude was only a few inches. The Wright Brothers knew about and studied this flight. During the 1920's there was a law in Russia that owners of automobiles had to have a yellow stripe painted all the way around their cars. In Memphis, Tennessee, there is a law on the books which states that a woman cannot legally drive unless there is a man running on foot ahead of her car with a red flag to warn motorists that a woman is driving. Before giving up on a patient they couldn’t cure, doctors in parts of the Middle East used to display that patient in the center of town, in case a passerby might speak up with a cure. Cataract surgery (removal of lens from eye) was first done in 1748. But the first anesthesia wasn’t until 1842! In 1976, doctors in Los Angeles went on strike because of; the rising cost of malpractice insurance. All elective and non-emergency surgery and medical attention were canceled. During that time, eighteen percent less people died than usual. Two of every five Americans have never been to a dentist. A sociologist did a study that turned up some mortifying results. It seems that the people who work in hospital emergency rooms are more likely to administer resuscitation attempts on patients who are brought in DOA who are good looking than on those patients who are uglier. The longest operation on record took 96 hours. During February 4 - 8, 1951, surgeons in Michigan removed an ovarian cyst from a woman. When they were done, she weighed 308 pounds less. One out of every 88 births is twins. Americans use enough toilet paper in one day to wrap around the world 9 times. If it were on one giant roll, we would be unrolling it at the rate of 7600 miles per hour - roughly mach 10, ten times the speed of sound. If you could stack up all the copies of the Guinness Book of World Records made just in one year, your pile would reach into outer space. It would be 1006 miles high. Try to say the alphabet without moving your lips or your1tongue. Every letter will sound exactly the same. One out of every 144 people in America has the last name of Smith. In New York City, there are 37 taxi drivers who are each named Amarjit Singh. Approximately one out of every ten people World wide there are 1,006.7 men for every 1,000 women. The Federal Reserve offers a free service. If you have cash that has been burned, torn or otherwise destroyed, -3-
they will help you verify and replace that money. They once received a shotgun where a man had hidden some money, but forgot and fired the gun. In another case, a farmer sent his cow’s stomach to them, all stuffed with money. In Kentucky it is illegal to carry ice cream in your back pocket. There was a time when as much as one third, of all the money in America was counterfeit. One second after the sun sets where you are, the sun will set: approximately two blocks away. So, nightfall is moving at about 2 blocks per second or 750 miles per hour, which is just about the speed of sound. If the average housewife were paid one penny for every step she takes as she works around the house, she would make $64,240 per year. When the people who work in the Interior Decorating Department of Sears sell a contract, they have to write a customer’s name in 67 different places. One out of every four women fail in business. Four out of every five men fail in business. One out of every 300 Americans is a millionaire. The United States government spends over $16,000 per second, twenty four hours a day. Before 1913 there was no income tax. The IRS would need at least 15-3/4 miles of shelves to store the tax forms they receive each year. Within seven levels of acquaintance almost any two people in America are associated. Chances are you have a friend who hasa friend who has a friend... who knows the President, Geraldo Rivera, Johnny Carson, Connie Chung, or Michael J. Fox. When the scientist Nikola Tesla started messing around with: the newly discovered X-rays, he considered them beneficial8for the human brain, and spent sessions of as long as 40 minutes x-raying his own head. If anyone in this century were to attempt to produce a show like the freak show of P.T. Barnum, the world would be outraged. He included in the show at various times: a bearded lady, a man who was totally blue due to an industrial accident, a woman who was completely covered with tattoos, a man with a two-inch thick skull that people could smash things over harmlessly, a rubber man, a woman with a paralyzed face, a midget, a man who looked like a dog, a “skeleton dude,” a woman who looked like a monkey, and a person who was so distorted by congenital defects that no one could identify exactly what he was. Scientists at Ohio State devised an experiment in which volunteers were given an opportunity to give strangers pleasure. It was set up so that one volunteer was seated in a chair with a cushion that gave a pleasurable vibration if another volunteer not acquainted with the first, would press a button. Many of the button pressers refused to press. 10% of the people not only refused to press it but also expressed moral outrage at the experiment. In another experiment, with a similar arrangement between pairs of unacquainted volunteers, the button pressers were told that if they pressed the button, the other volunteer would be given a painful, possibly even dangerous electrical shock. Guess what? Most of these button pressers gladly pressed the button! -4-
A mathematics major with a higher than average IQ, estimated at 130, and seemingly normal in every other way, was referred: to a brain specialist because his head seemed a bit larger than normal. The brain specialist was amazed to find that the student had an extreme case of hydrocephalitis, also known as “water on the brain.” His brain cavity was mostly filled with fluid, not neurons. The cortex, the main thinking part of his brain, was merely a coating one twenty-fifth of an inch thick on the inside of his skull! There is a place in Hong Kong so populated, that each person has 42.69 square feet. It would seem that this allows only about 6 X 7 feet floor space per person, but most buildings are many stories high. If all the people came out on the streets at once, such as during an earthquake, there will not be enough room to stand. In Tokyo, to buy a three-line classified ad in the newspaper costs $3,000 per day. Deep in the jungles of South America a tribe of primitive people was discovered. Everyone had forgotten how to make fire and therefore they carefully guarded piles of burning embers. If all their fires went out, they would have been doomed to existence without fire. Reno, Nevada is farther west than Los Angeles, California. L.A. is an abbreviation, but most people don’t know the full name. It is, “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angelesde Porciuncula”. If you have a book older than 1883, there is a 75% chance it is made out of marijuana. President James Garfield could do a neat trick: He could write Greek with one hand while at the same time writing Latin with his other hand. In 1957, a senator, Strom Thurmond, made a speech that lasted 24 hours, 19 minutes. Before the first atomic bomb was tested in the New Mexico desert July 16, 1945, some of the scientists working on the bomb thought there was a three-in-one-million chance that an atomic bomb might melt down the entire earth - yet they went ahead and tested that first atomic bomb. A student at Iowa State University wrote to 37 scientists who had published research studies. He requested their data for verification. Five did not answer, and twenty-one of the scientists said that their data was lost or that some accident made it unaccessible. Scientists tested vision in men with tight collars and ties and found significant improvement in these mens’ vision when they loosened their ties and unbuttoned their collars. Some scientists trained a bunch of flatworms to react in a special way to light. They noted how long it took the worms to learn, then they cut the worms up and fed the pieces to another batch of untrained worms. After their meal, the new worms were taught the same lesson. The second batch learned much faster. Wondering if this were a fluke (no, they were plenaria), some other scientists tried similar experimentation with mice. A batch of mice were trained to run a maze. Then their brains were removed, an extract was made from these brains and fed to another untrained batch of mice. Once again, the new mice learned the maze much more quickly, up to twice as fast. Your brain is mostly water, 80 percent. Your blood actually is less fluid (or more solid) than your brain. Your brain uses 25% of all the oxygen that you breathe. If you could harness the power used by your brain, -5-
you could power a 10-watt light bulb. Mosquitoes like the scent of estrogen. Women get bitten by mosquitoes more than men do. There are 1.3 billion cattle in the world, and they all belch. This is a serious problem! Each of these cattle burp up about 8 ounces of methane per day, which totals 1/3 million tons. According to one scientist’s calculations, this is enough methane to ruin the world’s weather by raising the temperature 85 degrees within 60 years, due to the greenhouse effect. One night in 1833 there were almost a quarter-million shooting stars. (Don’t you wish you were there to see it?) Chances are, you are within ten feet of Krypton. This gas is in fluorescent lights. As you break a window the cracks travel across the glass at speeds up to three thousand miles per hour. Giuseppe De Mai was a normal man in every respect except one: He had two hearts. For the first 19 years Crayola Crayons were produced, they came in only one color - black. In 1666 a great fire leveled 80% of London, but it actually saved thousands of lives. At that time there was a major pandemic of “black plague.” The fire sterilized much of London, and spread of the disease was stopped. At one time George Washington had over 300 slaves. 82% of children list pizza as their favorite food. There is more alcohol in mouthwash than in wine. “When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us. Power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health and our happiness.” - Dale Carnegie Don’t get caught chewing gum in Singapore. For this horrible offense, you could be fined $6,250.00 or spend a year in jail. Scientific studies have proven that rats and mice will live up to half again longer than their normal life-span if they are fed about 40% less than they would eat if they were allowed an unrestricted diet. Many scientists are now thinking this may also apply to humans. Young children are poisoned by houseplants more often than by detergents and other chemicals. If you have two people in a test, one is deprived of food, and the other deprived of sleep, the one without sleep will die sooner. We do NOT recommend that you test this at home. A cure for cigarette smoking: learn to play a flute, recorder or trumpet. Then play a little music until the urge to smoke subsides every time you feel the temptation. Not only will you soothe your oral desire, but you will become involved in the music which will make you forget the urge, and you will be calmed by the music and the feeling of creativity. (Cigarette smokers catch colds 65 percent more often.) -6-
You can speed up your writing considerably with the following hints: Instead of writing out the ending “ing,” just write “.” It is much faster to write “end.” than “ending,” for instance. Any long word that you cannot mistake for another you can shorten by writ. the first few letters, then using a “-“ to represent the rest. For exam-, “computer” becomes “co-.” You wont hav much trubl read. senten- witho- punctuat- such as apostrophes, but u cant safly omit comas or periods. You can leave out double “leters” in most cases and still have a word that you can understand. Consider omit. silent letrs. Many smal words such as and, at, a, is, cn b left entir-out. U mst b care- avoid tak. so many shortcts u cant mak sens out of what u wrot latr. Speed writ. taks longr to red but fastr to writ. Usually, yu’r mor in hury when wr-. than when read. “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” - Ben Franklin “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.” - Ben Franklin “A word to the wise is enough, and many words won’t fill a bushel.” - Ben Franklin Theoretically, a human can survive without the stomach, most of the intestines, one kidney, 3/4 of the liver, and one lung. Furthermore, the legs and arms and sex organs can be removed successfully. Don’t try this at home. You eat a bowl of salad everyday, and you think it is helping you get all the vitamins you need. In the 1800's this would have been true, but latest evidence indicates that vegetables grown on modern industrial farms have less nutritional value. They are fertilized the minimum amount necessary to grow and look good. The land has long been depleted of important trace elements. One theory about the demise of the Mayan culture is that by clearing large areas of forest where they lived, they inadvertently changed their own climate enough to put themselves out of business. About 20 years from now this$story might sound terribly familiar. Great toy idea: Get an old yard-sale typewriter for your kids. The little ones will learn the letters by banging them; out and the older ones will tend to create stories in order to have something to type. Years ago my mother used to say to me, “In this world you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.” For years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.” - James Stewart in “Harvey” James Stewart wore the same hat in many different movies: as a good luck charm. If you look closely, in his younger days, he wore a very sharp hat, but in later movies, the hat is more and more worn out. One of the most helpful people the world has ever seen was Emile Coue (1857-1926) of France. He told people to say to themselves 20 times in a row, twice a day: “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” This actually cured thousands of people of an assortment of minor and major ills. “If the doctors threw all their medicine into the sea, it would be a horrible day for the fish.” - unknown author “I do not sleep eight hours a night. If you sleep eight hours and live sixty years, that’s twenty years of sleep!” - Nikita Khrushchev “Whether a school has or has not a special method for teaching long division is of on significance, for long division is of no importance except to those who want to learn it. And the child who wants to learn long -7-
division will learn it no matter how it is taught.” - A. S. Neill “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” -Oscar Wilde Perhaps the most famous last words in all history were spoken by Major General John Sedgwich in the Civil War battle of Spottsylvania. He said, “Why, they couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist...” “The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.” - Harlan Ellison, science fiction author “History is a race between education and catastrophe.” - H. G. Wells “People with great minds talk about ideas. People with average minds talk about events. People with small minds talk about other people.” - Ann Landers “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” - Armand Hammer “A man with a watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches isn’t so sure.” - unknown “This field of physics is so virginal that no human eyeball has ever set foot in it.” - An Unidentified Ph.D student “Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.” - Mark Twain “We have no system; we have no rules, but we have a big scrap heap.” - Thomas Edison “Every serving of processed food is treated with one or more dyes, bleaches, emulsifiers, antioxidants, moisturizers, desiccants, extenders, thickeners, disinfectants, defoliants, fungicides, neutralizers, artificial sweeteners, hydrolyzers, anticaking and antifoaming agents, curers, hydrogenators, fortifiers, antibiotics, arsenic, artificial sex hormones, and pesticides.” - Joseph Beasley, author of The Impact of Nutritionon the Health of Americans “Man is born to live and not to prepare to live.” - Boris Pasternak, from the book, “Doctor Zhivago” “Overheard at a perfume counter in a large department store: ‘If this stuff really worked, would I be standing here eight hours a day?’” - Ann Landers “There’s no way to rule innocent men.” - Ayn Rand “Knowledge isn’t power until it’s applied.” - Dale Carnegie “The reason that the all-American boy prefers beauty to brains is that he can see better than he can think.” - Farrah Fawcett-Majors “When we first look straight on at all this [American industrial and personal waste], it’s easy to fall into despair, overwhelmed at the picture of Yankee know-how run amok, chopping up mountains and rivers to produce Barbie Dolls and Screaming Yellow Zonkers. But before you crumple up in a heap, notice the critical link in this awesome chain of industrialism. -8-
“The reason for over-consumption is over-consumers. If the consumer refuses to be manipulated and makes wise choices that are not based on advertising, he - she - we! - can save the planet.” - Laurel Robertson, in her book Laurel’s Kitchen “What scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying.” - Nikita Khrushchev “The President is a prisoner of the American manufacturers of armaments who control the White House.” - Mikhail Gorbachev A. Conan Doyle never wrote, “Elementary, my dear Watson!” James Cagney never said, “You dirty rat.” Humphrey Bogart never said, “Play it again, Sam.” “The believer is happy - the doubter is wise.” - unknown “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face - forever.” - George Orwell When asked about the possibility of an alien race taking over our world by force, Isaac Asimov answered: “The nearest intelligence to us is likely to be as much as 50 light-years away, and that is not an easy distance to cross. If a people could cross it, they would be extremely advanced, and I think that a race far in advance of ourselves would probably also have advanced in humanity and would be unlikely to act like barbarians.” Undoubtedly, Henry Kissinger is more familiar with foreign policy and foreign geography than American geography. When invited to do the weather report one day on the “CBS This Morning” tv show, he had some difficulty pointing to the unmarked cities he was mentioning on a USA map. After a while, he told the TV audience, “I’m not pointing anymore, you figure it out.”
“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thes. 5:17-18)
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About the Electronic Text of this Christian Bible Study Document
This electronic version of this portion of “The Christian Bible Study Library” has been prepared and published to you in this format to allow all readers to have access to the knowledge of the Bible within practical means. A Copyright for this material is claimed (©2007) to protect the work and arrangement of this data from some who might squander it and discourage more from being produced. All rights are reserved for the reproduction of this document by: Terry W. Preslar through The Fresh Waters Digital Library – PO Box 388 – Mineral Springs, NC 28108. (704)843-3858. The reproduction of this document is allowed under the “fair-use” doctrine of the copyright laws of the USA for academic archival purposes. The Fresh Waters Digital Library is dedicated to the goal of placing these Bible study volumes and many classic documents into the hands of the most humble readers. Technology has become advanced enough to allow the easy and economical publication of this work in the form of an “E-Book.” This is a new method of distribution but a CD-ROM can be made that contains the complete series of books that make up this major project.
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E-Books, or electronic books are exactly the same as a traditional book, except there is no paper, thus saving production costs and offering wide distribution over the World Wide Web. The production cost savings are passed on to the customer, meaning that the price of an e-book is very low as compared to a traditional printed book and can be distributed on a Web Site. All the books distributed through FWDL are in the Public Domain, used by the permission of the copyright holder or written by Dr. Terry W. Preslar (The editor) and all texts are to be used without change or alteration in exchange for this special liberty.
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S É S Romans 12:1-2