Sunday, August 24, 2008

First Harley Davidson Bike

This is the very first Harley-Davidson motorcycle. It hs serial number 1. It was made in 1903.

William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson make available to the public the first production Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The bike was built to be a racer, with a 3-1/8 inch bore and 3-1/2 inch stroke. The factory in which they worked was a 10 x 15-foot wooden shed with the words "Harley-Davidson Motor Company" crudely scrawled on the door. Arthur's brother Walter later joins their efforts.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Childhood Photos Of Famous Personalities

Following is the collection of childhood pictures of some of the most famous celebrities of our times. Lets see how many can you recognize without looking at names.

George Clooney
George Clooney..................Tom Hanks

Michael Jackson..................Tom Cruise

Robbie Williams
Robert Niro......................Robbie Williams

Ricky Martin....................... Pamela Anderson

Nicole Kidman.................. Michael Jordan

Michael & Ralf ........................Meg Rayan

Mariah Carey ........................Madonna

Leonardo di Caprio..................Keanu Reeves

Julia Roberts .........................Jennifer Lopez

Jean Claude............................Janet Jackson
Van Damme

Helen Hunt ........................Hally Berry

Drew Barrimore ..................Demi Moore

Christina Aguilera ..................Cher

Bruce Willis ........................Britney Spears

Anna Kournikova ..................Angelina Jolie

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Liew Thow Lin - Magnet Man

Liew Thow Lin of Malaysia is known as the "Magnet Man", or "Mr. Magnet" because he has the ability to stick metal objects to his body.

Lin has performed in many charity events showing his ability. He can make metal objects, weighing up to 2kg each, up to 36 kg total, stick to his skin. He has also pulled a car using this ability.

Lin's ability is not due to any source of magnetism. Scientists from Malaysia's University of Technology found no magnetic field in Lin's body, but did determine that his skin exhibits very high levels of friction, providing a "suction effect". The trait appears to be genetic, appearing in Lin's three sons and two grandchildren.

Lin was featured on the second episode of the Discovery Channel's One Step Beyond.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

World War II-Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant Camouflage

During World War II the Army Corps of Engineers needed to hide the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant to protect it from a Japanese air attack. They covered it with camouflage netting and to make it look like a rural subdivision from the air.

Before Camouflage :

After Camouflage :

During World War II the Army Corps of Engineers needed to hide the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant to protect it from a Japanese air attack. They covered it with camouflage netting and to make it look like a rural subdivision from the air.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Amazing Falkirk Wheel

The Falkirk Wheel, named after the nearby town of Falkirk in central Scotland, is a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The difference in the levels of the two canals at the wheel is 24 metres (79 ft), roughly equivalent to the height of an eight storey building. The structure is located near the Rough Castle Fort and the closest village is Tamfourhill. On 24 May 2002, Queen Elizabeth II opened the Falkirk Wheel as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations. The opening had been delayed by a month due to flooding caused by vandals who forced open the Wheel's gates.

The Falkirk Wheel cost £17.5 million, and the restoration project as a whole cost £84.5 million (of which £32 million came from National Lottery funds).


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Language Facts

  1. There are more than 2,700 major languages spoken throughout the world.
  2. There are over 583 different languages and dialects spoken in Indonesia alone, including Numbered ListEnglish and Dutch. More Info: The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa. Other languages include Minahasa, Tetu, Ambonese, Buginese, Dayak, Halmahera, Javanese, Acehnese, Batak, Toraja, Sundanese, Ceramese, and Sasak.
  3. More than 2,000 languages are spoken in the entire continent of Africa.
  4. The language spoken by the people most is Mandarin, a type of Chinese. Second is English.
  5. The most difficult language to speak is Basque. It is not related to any language in the world. It is spoken in north-western Spain and south-western France.
  6. The Berbers of Northern Africa have no written form of their language.
  7. Somalia is the only country in the world where every citizen speaks one language, Somali.
  8. The only country where Latin is the official language is Vatican City.
  9. The Cambodian alphabet is the world’s largest alphabet, with 74 letters.
  10. The world’s shortest alphabet, used in the Solomon Islands, has only 11.
  11. English, the second most spoken language in the world, has more words than any other language. But English speakers generally use only about 1% of the language.
  12. About one third of the more than one million English words are technical terms.
  13. The language of Taki, spoken in parts of French Guinea, consists of only 340 words.
  14. The Irish language has three dialects, the Connact Irish, Munster Irish, and Ulster Irish.
  15. The language Malayalam, spoken in parts of India, is the only language whose name is a palindrome.
  16. Tigrinya, spoken by half of Eritrea’s population, is a Semitic language based on Ge’ez, the ancient liturgical (and now extinct vernacular) language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
  17. Modern Japanese employs four writing systems: kanji (adapted from the Chinese hanji), hiragana, katakana, and romaji.
  18. Today, 58 countries in the world and the United Nations include English as an official language, followed by French with 32 countries and the United Nations, and Arabic at 25 countries and the United Nations.
  19. There are more than 7,000 dialects in the world.
  20. Sign language for the deaf was first systematized in France during the 18th century by Abbot Charles-Michel l’Ep?e.
  21. French Sign Language (FSL) was brought to the United States in 1816 by Thomas Gallaudet, founder of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, whom developed American Sign Language (ASL).
  22. By the time a child is 5 years old, he/she will on average have spent 9,100 hours learning its native language.
  23. What is known as standard Italian today dates back to last century, when the great Italian novelist Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) gave Italy a national language by resolving that it should be Tuscan Italian.
  24. German is commonly divided into two forms, Low German (Plattdeutsch) and High German (Hochdeutsch).
  25. There are 33 letters in the Cyrillic alphabet.
  26. The country Nigeria itself has more than 250 different languages, making the production of newspapers and television shows a challenge. Major languages include, French, Arabic, Hausa, Djerma, and Songhai.
  27. Many linguists estimate that of the 6,800 languages currently spoken, only about 3,000 will remain viable by the end of the century.
  28. Some 95% of the world’s population living today learn one of about 100 languages as a first language, leaving the remaining 6,700 languages spoken by 5% of the population.
  29. Two areas of the world have the largest number of languages (some 300 to 400 total) that are currently becoming extinct: Australia and North America (Aboriginals and Native American languages).
  30. About 140 languages are thought to be dead and dying in Australia and some 80 to 90 in North America.
  31. Votic, a Finno-Ugric tongue of the Uralic language family in the Kingisepp district on the Leningrad region of Russia, has less than a hundred remaining speakers.
  32. According to the 2000 Census, of the nearly 47 million Americans at least 5 years old who spoke a language other than English, about 60% of them spoke Spanish.
  33. Esperanto is an artifical language devised by a Polish eye doctor, L. L. Zamenhof, introduced in 1887. The name comes from his pen name, Dr. Esperanto, which in the language means one who hopes.” Based on Indo-European roots with a simple grammar, it was intended to be an international second language that people from different countries could learn easily and use to communicate. Thousands of books have been published in Esperanto, and there are 100,000 or more Esperanto speakers in the world according to some estimates.
  34. Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language. It uses 4 different tones to convey different meanings: flat, rising, falling then rising, or falling.
  35. The language with the largest number of consonantal sounds was that of the Ubykns in the Caucasus, with 82. The last fully competent speaker, Tevtik Esenc, died in Istanbul in October 1992.
  36. The language with the most vowels is Sedang, a central Vietnamese language, with 55 distinguishable vowel sounds. via

20 Parts of Your Body You Don’t Need

You might hear the NERD bells go off in your head when you saw this article, but I still thought it was extremely interesting. Here are parts of your body that you actually don’t need. Check out point 13. LOL.
1. VOMERONASAL ORGAN (VNO), or Jacobson’s organ: a tiny hole on each side of the nasal bridge that is considered to be connected to nonfunctional chemical receptors. Could be all that is left from our once great ability to detect pheromones.
2. EXTRINSIC EAR MUSCLES: These three muscles most likely made it possible for our ancestors to move their ears independently of their heads, as rabbits and dogs do. We still have them, which is why most people can learn to wiggle their ears.
3. WISDOM TEETH: Early humans had to chew a lot of plants to get enough calories to survive, making another row of molars helpful, but unless you chew a lot of branches, these will eventually come out in a painful procedure. Only about 5 percent of the population has a healthy set of these third molars.

4. NECK RIB: A set of cervical ribs—possibly leftovers from the age of reptiles, still appear in less than 1 percent of the population. They often cause nerve and artery problems.
5. THIRD EYELID: A common ancestor of birds and mammals may have had a membrane for protecting the eye and sweeping out debris. Humans retain only a tiny fold in the inner corner of the eye, exactly there where you always catch a spec of dust or debris.
6. DARWIN’S POINT: A small folded point of skin toward the top of each ear is occasionally found in modern humans. It may be a remnant of a larger shape that helped focus distant sounds.
7. SUBCLAVIUS MUSCLE: This small muscle stretching under the shoulder from the first rib to the collarbone would be useful if humans still walked on all fours. Some people have one, some have none, and a few have two.
8. PALMARIS MUSCLE: This long, narrow muscle runs from the elbow to the wrist and is missing in 11 percent of modern humans. It may once have been important for hanging and climbing. Surgeons harvest it for reconstructive surgery.
9. MALE NIPPLES: Lactiferous ducts form well before testosterone causes sex differentiation in a fetus. Men have mammary tissue that can be stimulated to produce milk. This just makes me angry; I’ve been spending a fortune on milk all these years! I’ll have to test this tomorrow with my Special K.
10. ERECTOR PILI: Bundles of smooth muscle fibers allow animals to puff up their fur for insulation or to intimidate others. Humans retain this ability (goose bumps are the indicator) but have obviously lost most of the fur.
11. APPENDIX: This narrow, muscular tube attached to the large intestine served as a special area to digest cellulose when the human diet consisted more of plant matter than animal protein. It also produces some white blood cells. Annually, more than 300,000 Americans have an appendectomy.
12. BODY HAIR: Brows help keep sweat from the eyes, and male facial hair may play a role in sexual selection, but apparently most of the hair left on the human body serves no function.
13. THIRTEENTH RIB: Our closest cousins, chimpanzees and gorillas, have an extra set of ribs. Most of us have 12, but 8 percent of adults have the extras.
14. PLANTARIS MUSCLE: Often mistaken for a nerve by freshman medical students, the muscle was useful to other primates for grasping with their feet. It has disappeared altogether in 9 percent of the population.
15. MALE UTERUS: A remnant of an undeveloped female reproductive organ hangs off the male prostate gland.
16. FIFTH TOE: Lesser apes use all their toes for grasping or clinging to branches. Humans need mainly the big toe for balance while walking upright, the other four are for holding when you slam them on a coffee table at night!
17. FEMALE VAS DEFERENS: What might become sperm ducts in males become the epoophoron in females, a cluster of useless dead-end tubules near the ovaries.
18. PYRAMIDALIS MUSCLE: More than 20 percent of us lack this tiny, triangular pouch-like muscle that attaches to the pubic bone. It may be a relic from pouched marsupials.
19. COCCYX: These fused vertebrae are all that’s left of the tail that most mammals still use for balance and communication. Our hominid ancestors lost the need for a tail before they began walking upright. All they’re good for now is give us painful falls on the butt.
20. PARANASAL SINUSES: The nasal sinuses of our early ancestors may have been lined with odor receptors that gave a heightened sense of smell, which aided survival. No one knows why we retain these perhaps troublesome mucus-lined cavities, except to make the head lighter and to warm and moisten the air we breathe.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Periscope Rifle

"Australian sniper with periscope rifle - Gallipoli 1915"

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