Facts about Sea Lamprey

August 23, 2021

 

The sea lamprey is a primitive species of eel-like fish that spends part of its life in the sea and part in fresh water. It is native to the Atlantic Ocean and can be seen near the coasts of North America and Europe. In freshwater, the sea lamprey is native to the Connecticut River ecosystem. At the beginning of the 20th century, the sea lamprey managed to expand its habitat to the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain by migrating through the artificial canal system. Each new habitat attacks and depletes the native fish population and disrupts the natural balance of the ecosystem.

There are 38 known species of lamprey in existence. Scientists have recorded at least five of the 38 species.

Sea lampreys can reach 12 to 20 inches in length and 8 to 13 pounds in weight.

Sea lampreys have at least 12 rows of teeth arranged in circles around their mouths.

Sea lamprey has eel-shaped body that is slimy and naked. It is brown to black on the back and light yellow to light brown on the belly.

They have seven gill openings on each side of their bodies. Their gills lie behind their eyes.

Sea lampreys are jawless fish. They have large, reddish eyes and single nostril on the top of their head.

Lampreys have a single nostril at the top of their heads.

Just like other fish, sea lamprey breathes using the gills. It has seven gill openings that are located behind the eyes.

Adult lampreys have long, slender, and scaleless bodies, making them look superficially similar to eels.

Sea lampreys are easily recognized by the large mouth, filled with circular rows of teeth. They are designed for sucking.

The sea lamprey, for example, is also called the vampire fish, because of its blood-sucking feeding method. 

Sea lamprey is feeding by sucking blood and bodily fluids of other fish. They will attach mouth to the prey like a vacuum cleaner. Sharp teeth and rasping tongue easily damages the prey’s skin and induces blood flow.

Similar to leeches, lampreys secrete enzymes that prevent the blood of their prey from clotting.

Larger fish might survive attack of sea lamprey, but smaller usually dies due to serious wounds or subsequent infections.

Today, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission coordinates control of sea lampreys in the lakes, which is conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Sea lamprey usually attacks white fish, trout and chub. Besides fish, sea lamprey feeds on small invertebrates.

Due to their similar body shapes, lampreys are sometimes inaccurately called “lamprey eels.”

Sea lamprey also uses its mouth to attach itself to the stones and take a rest during migration from marine to fresh water.

Unlike “bony” fishes like trout, cod, and herring, lampreys lack scales, fins, and gill covers.

Sea lamprey spends around 10 years in the fresh water. After that time, it migrates to sea, where it stays usually around 2 years. During that time, sea lamprey will become mature and it will return back to fresh water for spawning.

Like sharks, Sea lamprey’s skeletons are made of cartilage. 

Spawning takes place in the spring. Sea lamprey can deposit as much as 100 000 eggs in the stony nests. Sea lampreys will die immediately after spawning.

Sea lampreys can live in saltwater or freshwater. 

A lot of eggs deposited by sea lamprey serve as food for other fish in the water.

Sea lampreys often migrate during their lives from one habitat to another.

Sea lamprey can induce significant damage to an ecosystem by killing large number of native fish species. 

On average only about 1 in 7 fish will survive a lamprey attack.

For that reason, people use chemicals, electric fences and dams to prevent uncontrolled spreading of the sea lampreys toward sensitive rivers and lakes.

Although sea lampreys are major predators, they also spend time resting on rocks and other surfaces.

Sea lampreys can be fished and used as delicacy in certain European countries.

An average lamprey kills about 40 pounds of fish in a year.

Average lifespan of sea lamprey is 14 years.

The sea lamprey’s strongest sense is its sense of smell, which it uses to communicate.

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Facts about Belgium

August 22, 2021

 

Belgium is a country in Western Europe, that is well known for its medieval cities, Renaissance architecture and as the headquarters of the European Union and NATO. The country has distinct regions, including Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north, French-speaking Wallonia in the south and a German-speaking community in the east. The bilingual capital of Brussels offers splendid guild halls in the Grand Place and elegant Art Nouveau buildings.

Belgium has a population of approximately 11.3 million.

It was a Belgian, the priest and physicist Georges Lemaitre, who first came up with what is now called the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe in 1927. 

The government of Belgium is a Federal Parliamentary Democracy under a Constitutional Monarchy with both a king and a prime minister.

Belgian men are the second tallest in the world with a height of 181.7cm, only Dutchmen are taller at 182.5cm.

Belgium is officially known as the Kingdom of Belgium.

The Signal de Botrange on the High Fens plateau in far-east Belgium is the highest point at 694m, shorter than the world’s tallest building in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa at 828m. 

Brussels is both the capital city and the largest city in Belgium.

Belgium introduced same-sex marriage in 2003, after the Netherlands.

The Flemish make up about 60% of the population.

Euthanasia was legalized in Belgium in 2002.

Approximately 75% of Belgium’s French speakers reside in Wallonia. However, French-speaking inhabitants of Brussels usually do not consider themselves Walloons.

The Law Courts of Brussels is the world’s largest court of justice with a construction area of some 26,000sqm, it is bigger than St Peter’s Basilica in Rome by 5,000sqm.

The people of Brussels are known in French as Bruxellois and in Dutch as Brusselaars.

Belgium’s tax revenue is among the highest in Europe representing around 48 percent of the country’s GDP.

The national flag is black, yellow, and red in three vertical stripes.

The longest tram line in the world is the Kusttram which travels the full 68km of Belgian coast between the French and Dutch borders, making some 68 stops from Knokke-Heist to De Panne and running every 10 minutes during summer peak hours.

The largest and dominant religion in Belgium is the Roman Catholic. Over half the population identifies with this religion.

Belgium is also one of the most cabled countries in the world, where some 97 percent of Belgian households receive cable TV.

Ranking 25th in the world, Belgium’s nominal GDP is estimated at USD 512 billion, and it’s nominal per capita GDP USD 50,510 for 2018.

Belgium is among the top 10 countries for the highest road and railroad density.

Over 97% of Belgians live in urban areas giving it one of the most highly densely populated countries in the world.

Belgian Luc Luycx’s design was the chosen winner of a European Union design competition.

It is among the highest in Western Europe when it comes to homeownership. Government-guaranteed mortgage loans encourage people to construct new homes.

Belgium has the most cycling Tour de France victories of any country except France.

In addition to being well known got their famous waffles, Belgium is also known for a very different kind of snack called moules frites which are mussels served with french fries.

Belgium has more castles per kilometer than any other country in the world.

Belgium-born Adolphe Sax invented the world-famous jazz instrument, the saxophone.

The first evidence of chocolate production in Belgium dates back to 1635. Today Belgium produces over 173,000 tons of the stuff a year, and has an estimated 2,000 chocolate shops.

Antwerp, a Flemish city in Belgium, hosted the first ever World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 1903.

The Flemish jeweller Lodewyk van Bercken is credited to inventing the first pear cut diamond and the polishing wheel (scaif), which uses diamond dust to cut diamonds to achieve greater precision and more complex cuts. His statue can be seen near Antwerp’s diamond district.

The Belgian Draft Horse originated from Belgium. The world’s tallest living horse is a Belgian Draft Horse named Jake who stands at 20 hands 2.75 inches without horseshoes.

Nearly 80 percent of the world’s billiard balls are made in Belgium.

Belgian Pierre Culliford, who wrote under the pseudonym Peyo, created The Smurfs (Les Schtroumpfs in French) and they debuted in a comic he created called ‘Johan et Prilouit’ back in 1958.

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Facts about Buddy Holly

August 21, 2021

 

Buddy Holly was an American singer, songwriter, and musician who rose to fame alongside Elvis Presley and other music icons in the 1950s rock and roll era, but tragically died in a plane crash at the age of just 22. He was born Charles Hardin Holley on September 7th, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas, to a family of musicians during the Great Depression, he learned to play guitar and sing with his siblings.

Buddy Holly’s first instrument was the piano.

Buddy Holly had three older siblings named Patricia Lou, Travis, and Larry.

Hank Williams was Buddy Holly’s earliest musical influence.

Buddy got the nickname Buddy while still a child because his mother felt that his given name was too much for a young child.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets’ one and only British tour took place in March 1958.

Buddy changed his last name to Holly from Holley after it was misspelled on a recording contract and he determined he liked it better.

A young Des O’ Connor was one of the four acts who toured with Buddy Holly and the Crickets.

Buddy Holly played regularly on the radio after high school with a friend from elementary school named Bob Montgomery. They played country and western music under the name Buddy and Bob.

‘Peggy Sue’, a well-known Buddy Holly song, was originally called ‘Cindy Lou’, but he changed it at the request of Jerry Allison, who wanted the song to be named after his girlfriend.

When Buddy Holly saw Elvis Presley perform he began to change his music style from country and western to rock and roll.

On 1st July 1976, Paul McCartney purchased the rights to Buddy Holly’s entire song catalogue.

Buddy Holly and his band began recording demos and singles as Buddy Holly and the Three Tunes in 1956 in Nashville. By 1957 the band name had been changed to The Crickets and Buddy wrote the song That’ll Be the Day and recorded it with The Crickets that same year. It became their breakthrough hit.

Two films have been made about Buddy Holly; one in 1978 and a second in 1987 ‘The Real Buddy Holly Story, narrated by lifelong fan Paul McCartney.

From August of 1957 to August of 1958 Buddy Holly and The Crickets recorded seven top 40 singles.

In Don McLean’s 1971 hit ‘American Pie’, the lyric ‘the day the music died’ referred to Holly’s tragic early death.

Buddy Holly split from The Crickets in October 1958 and moved to New York City’s Greenwich Village.

Elvis Presley lent Buddy Holly his own personal guitar to use for his performance.

In 1959 Buddy Holly agreed to tour with The Winter Dance Party tour across the Midwest to meet with financial and legal issues that arose from his breakup with his band. Transportation for the tour was not ideal and the tour buses were not heated and broke down twice. This prompted Buddy Holly to find another mode of transportation.

Holly met a young girl named Maria Elena Santiago while she was working as a receptionist at the offices of a music publishing company in New York City. After seeing her around the office a few times, Holly decided to ask her out. Having never been on a date before, Santiago nervously told him that he needed to ask for her aunt’s permission before she could agree. After getting the okay from auntie, the couple went out. It was love at first sight. Partway through the evening, Holly pulled out a rose and unexpectedly proposed to Santiago on the spot. The couple tied the knot later that same year.

Buddy Holly charted a plane that would take him, Tommy Allsup, and Waylon Jennings from Clear Lake, Iowa to Moorhead, Minnesota. Tommy Allsup gave up his seat on the flight to Ritchie Valens and Waylon Jennings gave up his seat to J.P. Richardson, also known as The Big Bopper. On February 3rd, 1959, at 1:00am the plane crashed into a cornfield during bad weather, killing all three passengers and the pilot on impact.

Buddy Holly’s funeral was held on February 7th, officiated by the minister who had married Buddy Holly and Maria Elena only months earlier.

Musician Don McLean recorded the song American Pie inspired by Buddy Holly and his tragic death.

The biographical film The Buddy Holly Story was released in 1978 but was met with criticism because of errors. Paul McCartney then produced a more accurate documentary titled The Real Buddy Holly Story in 1985.

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Facts about Pumpkins

August 20, 2021

 

Pumpkin is an herbaceous plant that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. This plant originated in Central America. The cultivation of pumpkin began between 7000 and 5500 years before Christ in Mexico. Today pumpkin is grown on every continent except Antarctica. It is an important part of the human diet. It is also used as feed for animals. Pumpkins are sometimes grown for decorative purposes. The size, shape and color of the pumpkin depends on the variety. The name “pumpkin” is derived from the Greek word “pepon”, which means “big melon”. Pumpkins have been featured in numerous cartoons, films (such as Harry Potter), and fairy tales (such as Cinderella) due to their unusual morphology.

Around 80% of the US’ pumpkin crops are available during October.

Pumpkin grows in the form of vine. It produces numerous branches and can reach up to 30 feet in length.

Pumpkins consist of 90% water.

Leaves are large and dark green in color. They are divided in five lobes and have serrated edges. Leaves have prominent veins and they are covered with fine hairs.

It takes 85 to 150 days for a pumpkin to fully grow, depending on the variety.

Pumpkin develops male and female flowers on the same plant (monoecious plant). They are yellowish-orange in color and shaped like trumpet.

Pumpkins are actually a fruit. Many people think it should be our national fruit.

Flowers are pollinated by various insects, usually by honeybees.

The yellow-orange flowers that bloom on the pumpkin vine are edible.

Pumpkin is a fruit. It produces fruit of oval or spherical shape that is usually orange in color. Certain types of pumpkin develop green, yellow, white or red fruit. On average, fruit weighs 6 to 18 pounds. Largest ever recorded pumpkin had 1340 pounds of weight.

Native Americans grew and ate pumpkins and their seeds long before the Pilgrims reached this continent. Pilgrims learned how to grow and prepare pumpkins from the Native Americans.

All parts of pumpkin (root, stem, leaves, fruit and seed) are edible.

Early settlers dried pumpkins shells, cut it into strips and wove it into mats.

Pumpkin is rich source of vitamins A, C and vitamins of the B group. It also contains numerous valuable minerals such as potassium, magnesium and manganese.

Pumpkin has been prepared in a variety of ways from soups to stews to desserts since the immigration of the first European settlers.

Pumpkin can be consumed in the form of various sweet and salty dishes. Pumpkin pie is traditionally consumed for Thanksgiving Day. Biggest ever recorded pumpkin pie had 5 feet in diameter and 350 pounds of weight.

Roasted seeds are often consumed as healthy snack.

The ‘Pumpkin Capital of the World’ is Morton, Illinois. Home of Libby’s pumpkin industry.

Oil extracted from the seed is mainly used as dressing for salads and as an ingredient of soups and certain types of ice-creams.

The state of Illinois grows the most pumpkins. It harvests about 12,300 acres of pumpkins annually.

Pumpkins were used in the past for the removal of freckles and as a first aid for snake bites. Pumpkin can improve function of immune and digestive system and alleviate rheumatic disorders. It is often used in a treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia.

The latest U.S. record (2019) for the largest pumpkin ever grown weighed in at 2,517.5 pounds by Karl Haist of Clarence Center, New York.

Pumpkin can be used as “medicine” for animals. Since this plant facilitates digestion, it can be used for treatment of constipation, diarrhea and hairballs in cats.

Pumpkins were once considered a remedy for freckles and snakebites.

Over 1 billion tons of pumpkins are produced each year in the USA.

Natural medicine practitioners have proven that consuming pumpkin seeds reduces the risk of prostate disorders in men.

Carved pumpkins illuminated with candles (known as Jack-o-lantern) are used as inevitable detail of Halloween night in the USA.

One cup of mashed pumpkin contains a whopping 245% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin A.

Pumpkins are annual plants which mean that they complete their life cycle in one year.

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Facts about Narwhals

August 19, 2021

 

The narwhal or narwhal is a medium-sized toothed whale that has a large “tusk” of a protruding canine. It lives year round in the arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. Along with the beluga whale, it is one of two living species of whale in the Monodontidae family. Narwhal is also known as “Moon Whale” and the “unicorn of the sea”. Narwhals are hunted by Inuit people because of their skin, tusks and as a source of food.

The spiraled tusk juts from the head and can grow as long at 10 feet.

Narwhals are large animals. Males are larger than females. Males can reach length of 16 feet and weigh of 1.8 tones. Females are few feet shorter, usually weighing less than one ton.

Most narwhals winter for up to five months under sea ice in the Baffin Bay-Davis Strait area.

Narwhals are close relatives of bottlenose dolphins, orcas, belugas and harbour porpoise.

Oil and gas development and climate change pose threats to narwhals.

Color of narwhal skin depends on its age. At birth, narwhal’s skin is bluish-grey. Juvenile animals have bluish-black color of the skin. Adult animals are mottled grey. Very old narwhals are almost entirely white.

Narwhals feed on Greenland halibut, Arctic and polar cod, squid and shrimp. They do their chomping at the ice floe edge and in the ice-free summer waters.

Name “narwhal” means “corpse whale”. They are named that way because they often swim with their bellies at the surface of water. Also, they can remain motionless in that position for several minutes.

Narwhals change color as they age. Newborns are a blue-gray, juveniles are blue-black and adults are a mottled gray. Old narwhals are nearly all white.

Narwhals can dive to the depth of 5000 feed while they are searching for food.

Narwhals are related to bottlenose dolphins, belugas, harbor porpoises, and orcas.

Narwhals are carnivores (meat-eaters). They feed on fish, shrimps, squids, cods.

They are often sighted swimming in groups of 15 to 20, but gatherings of hundreds—or even several thousands—of narwhals have been reported.

Narwhals swim in groups called “pods”. Pods can be very large, composed of hundreds of animals. More often, pods are smaller, composed of 2 to 10 animals. Often, pods consist of animals of only one sex.

Narwhals also have a right canine which stays embedded in their mouths.

Narwhals communicate using clicks, squeals and whistles. These high-pitched sounds may induce deafness in humans.

There are millions of nerve endings in each tusk that may help this species locate food.

Narwhals have only two teeth. One of them grows rapidly and passes right through the upper lip, becoming a tusk. Tusk is the most prominent feature of the narwhal’s body.

Over the summer months, the Canadian Arctic is home to about 90 per cent of the world’s narwhal population.

Tusk is made of ivory. It is spiral, hollow and can reach the length of up to 8.8 feet.

Whales, like the narwhal, are near the top of the food chain and have an important role in the overall health of the marine environment.

Females also develop tusks, but their tusks are much shorter than tucks in males.

The narwhal is also an iconic and culturally significant species in the North. Inuit communities have long lived alongside narwhal and rely on the mammal as a source of food.

Scientists are not sure why narwhals develop tusks. They probably use tusks during mating rituals, to attract females, and to gain a chance to mate. Males can broke tusks during the fight. Broken tusk cannot be repaired (it does not re-grow).

Narwhals also feature prominently in Inuit stories and artwork.

Mating takes place during spring. Males reach sexual maturity between the age 8 and 10. Pregnancy lasts 14 to 15 months and ends with one baby.

You can spot narwhal at the northern reaches of Baffin Island, Nunavut during the annual migration to their summer feeding grounds in May and June.

Baby narwhal is brown at birth. It is usually 5 feet long and can have 175 pounds of weight.

Narwhal populations are estimated at 80,000, with more than three-quarters spending their summers in the Canadian Arctic.

Narwhal can survive up to 50 years in the wild.

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Facts about Indonesia

August 18, 2021

 

Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania that lies between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and is made up of more than seventeen thousand islands, including Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Guinea. The archipelago is divided among 34 provinces with Jakarta being the capital city. indonesia has a vast collection of natural resources like tin, gold and oil.

Rafflesia Arnoldii, an indigenous flower to the islands of Sumatra, is the largest individual flower weighing up to 8kgs.

The name “Indonesia” is derived from two words the Latin word Indus meaning “Indian” and the Greek word nesos meaning “island.”

Indonesia is home to about 400 smouldering volcanoes, of which 127 are active right now. 

Indonesia located in a region called “The Ring of Fire”, world’s greatest earthquake belt, named because is home to over 400+ active volcanoes.

Islam is the dominant religion in Indonesia.

Indonesia is the biggest shovel importer in the world.

Bahasa Indonesia is the national language of Indonesia.

Indonesia is home to animal species such as Komodo dragons, Sumatran tiger, Sumatran rhinoceros, and Orangutan.

There are over 700 different dialects of Bahasa Indonesia which can be heard in various islands of the country.

Indonesia banned public kissing in 2004.

The national language is similar to Bahasa Malay since it was adopted by national leaders from the Malay language.

Homo sapiens arrived in the region of Indonesia nearby 45,000 years ago.

Java is the most populous island in the world, with over 140 million people.

The national animal of Indonesia is the Komodo dragon.

Indonesia has the fourth-largest population in the world, with over 240 million people.

The Indonesian people are the shortest people in the world.

Ujung Kulon National Park is the natural habitat of the endangered Javan Rhinos with only about 50 of them are left in the entire world. 

Indonesia is the only nation with no language legacy.

It is the sixteenth largest country in terms of nominal GDP.

Krakatoa, a volcano in Indonesia, is the site of the largest volcanic eruption ever recorded on August 27, 1883.

The country’s economy mainly relies on its indigenous and foreign companies. 

Indonesia discovered 200 new species of animals in 2010.

Indonesia is the world’s leading exporters of frog legs which many European countries like France, Netherlands and Belgium being the major importers. 

Indonesia is the third worst emitter of greenhouse gases in the world because of deforestation, peat land degradation, and forest fires.

Indonesia exported more than 4000 tonnes of frog legs to the European Union in 2015.

The first European to visit Indonesia was Marco Polo in 1292.

Mount Tambora is the most volcanic mountain in Indonesia.

One of the longest snake ever found with a length of 10 meters was discovered in Sulawesi, Indonesia in 1912.

Amorphophallus Titanium is the most odorous flower in the world which is native to Sumatra island.

Indonesia is the only Southeast Asian country to have been a member of OPEC, although it left the cartel in 2008 due to the decline in world oil prices.

The first team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in South East Asia was from Indonesia.

Indonesia has the largest Chinese population in the world consisted of Hakka Chinese, Han Chinese, Wu Chinese etc.

Indonesia became the first developing country to operate its indigenously made satellite which was launched by the USA in 1976.

Indonesia ranks fourth among the most visited countries in the world.

The Pasola is a harvesting festival in Sumba, Indonesia. This is one of the most extravagant celebrations because it involves throwing of wooden spears with blunt tips on the rival team members.

Indonesia is also known as the most populous island nation in the world.

Indonesia is the largest producer of palm oil. It overtook Malaysia as the largest palm oil producer in 2006, and it now produces 21 million tonnes of palm oil every year.

Borobudur is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Indonesia.

An Indonesian company Indomie made the Guinness Book of World Record by making the ‘Largest Packet of Instant Noodles’. It had a whopping 665 kgs of noodles.

Indonesia has the second longest coastline in the world after Canada.

Papua Island belonging to the Indonesian island has the most diverse flora and fauna with over 200 animals, 2300 types of different orchids, and 600 breeding birds.

Indonesian President Suharto was the most corrupt leader, according to the 2004 Global Corruption Report.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama spent a part of his childhood in Indonesia. He visited Yogyakarta on the Java island in 2017. 

The Grasberg mine located near Puncak Jaya is the largest gold mine in the world.

Indonesia is the world’s 10th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity.

Indonesia’s national dish is Nasi Campur.

Two individuals with different religions are not allowed to marry in Indonesia, unless one of them converts.

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Facts about Betty White

August 17, 2021

 

Betty Marion White Ludden is an American actress, comedian, author and animal rights activist. Widely regarded as a television pioneer, with an entertainment career spanning more than nine decades, White was one of the first women to be in front of and behind the camera. She was born on January 17th, 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois, to Christine Tess and Horace Logan White. During the Great Depression her family moved to Alhambra, California and then Los Angeles. She began in radio and in 1949 began to appear on the television variety show Hollywood on Television.

Betty holds the Guinness record for the longest TV career a female has ever had, starting all the way back in 1939.

Betty White’s father was an electrical engineer and her mother was a homemaker.

According to Yahoo Finance, she has a networth of $75 million.

The first television show that Betty White’s produced and appeared in was a comedy titled Life with Elizabeth. Betty starred in the show and won a Regional Los Angeles Emmy for it in 1952.

In 1995, Betty was rightfully inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame to honor her work on the likes of The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Life with Elizabeth was the first television show to be produced by a woman who was also starring in it.

She was nominated for three Emmys for her work on Mary Tyler Moore, winning two of them, according to Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Betty White hosted the daily talk show The Betty White Show in 1954.

After starring in a humorous Super Bowl commercial in 2010, fans petitioned that she host Saturday Night Live, according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

In 1957-58 Betty White appeared as Vicki Angel in the show Date with the Angels.

She’s the oldest person to Host SNL at 88 years old.

In 1962 Betty White appeared as Kansas Senator Elizabeth Ames Adams in the movie Advise & Consent. This would be her only film role for decades, despite being well received for her performance.

She was first cast to play Blanche on The Golden Girls; however, producers switched her role to Rose.

In 1973 Betty White appeared in guest spots on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She was soon given the regular role of Sue Ann Nivens, also known as The Happy Homemaker.

Betty White joined the Voluntary Services of the American Women.

Betty White received both her second and third Emmy’s from her role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Betty has won six Emmy Awards and received 18 Emmy nominations during her career, which has spanned over sixty-five years. 

In 1977 Betty White got her own show for the second time in her career – The Betty White Show. It remained on the air for only one season.

Betty White has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame alongside the star for her late husband, Allen Ludden.

Betty White appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson several times as well as on The Carol Burnett Show multiple times.

In 1995, Betty White was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.

Betty White also appeared in With This Ring, The Gossip Columnist, Before and After, and The Best Place to Be.

In the early 1950s, she launched her first television series, Life with Elizabeth, which she developed with George Tibbles.

Betty White won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1983 for Outstanding Game Show Host for Just Men. She was the first woman to win that award.

In addition to her work in Hot in Cleveland, she also hosts Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.

Betty White went on to play Ellen Harper Jackson on Mama’s Family in the 1980s.

When she met President Barack Obama at the White House in 2012, she spent half an hour with the presidential dog, Bo, on her lap.

Betty White took on the role of Rose Nyland in the Golden Girls in 1985, which ran until 1992 and for which she won another Emmy.

In the first 24 hours after Betty White’s Twitter account launched, she amassed 118,000 followers.

Betty appeared in many more television series in guest roles and the soap opera The Bold and the beautiful.

She was one of the women nominated in the Emmy category for female performers in 1950.

In 2010 Betty White began to play Elka Ostrovsky in the show Hot in Cleveland. The show ran for 128 episodes until 2015.

Betty White was one of the first women to have full creative control of her own TV show (Life With Elizabeth, which she co-created, produced, and starred in while she was still living at home with her parents).

Betty White has been married three times, to Dick Barker, Lane Allen, and Allen Luden.

Being the first woman to produce a sitcom led to her becoming the honorary mayor of Hollywood in 1955.

Betty White has won a Grammy, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, eight Emmy Awards, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Facts about Peaches

August 16, 2021

 

The peach is a deciduous tree native to the northwestern region of China between the Tarim Basin and the northern slopes of the Kunlun Mountains, where it was first domesticated and cultivated. It produces juicy edible fruits with various properties, most of which are called peaches and other nectarines. This plant is closely related to almonds, cherries and plums. Peach tree usually grows in temperate climate because it requires low temperature during the winter for successful development of flowers.

Peaches are a great source of vitamins A and C.

Size of peach tree depends on the variety. It can reach 13 to 33 feet in height.

You can buy two main varieties of peaches: clingstone and freestone.

Peach develops green, elongated leaves. They are lanceolate in shape and have pinnate veins.

A large peach has fewer than 70 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber.

Flowers appear on the tree before leaves. They consist of 5 pink petals. Flowers are located individually or grouped in pairs. They contain both male (stamens) and female (pistil) reproductive organs.

In Georgia, the World’s Largest Peach Cobbler is made every year.

Honeybees are main pollinators of flowers.

August is National Peach Month in the USA since 1982.

Fruit of peach is botanically known as drupe (stone fruit). It consists of white or yellow flesh that is covered with yellowish-red velvety skin. Varieties of peach with white flesh are sweeter compared to the peaches that have yellow flesh.

Peaches are at their peak from June to the end of August.

Seed is large, oval in shape and protected with woody husk. Even though seed can be consumed, large doses are not recommended because it contains hydrocyanic acid which is poisonous.

There are over 2000 varieties of peaches in the world.

All varieties of peaches can be divided in two groups: clingstone and freestone peaches. In a clingstone type, flesh is tightly attached to the stone. This type of peach is mainly used for canning. Flesh of freestone types can be easily removed from the stone. This type of peach is mainly sold as fresh fruit.

The flower of peach consists of 5 pink petals.

Nectarine is a type of peach that has smooth skin instead of velvety (which is typical for peaches).

The single, large seed is red-brown, oval shaped, approximately 1.3–2 cm (0.5-0.8 in) long, and is surrounded by a wood-like husk.

Peach was known as “Persian apple” because ancient Romans believed that peach originates from Persia.

China is the world’s leading producer of peaches accounting for about half of world production.

Peaches are rich source of vitamin C, A and E. They also contain high amount of potassium, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. Peach of an average size contains only 37 calories.

The heaviest peach weighs 810 g (1 lb 12 oz) and is an Autumnstar variety harvested by Robert Hogue (Canada).

People consume peaches raw or in the form of juices and various desserts.

In China, peach is a symbol of good luck and protection.

Peaches are used in the cosmetic industry for the production of various lotions, creams and shampoos. Peaches are also used in the industry of perfumes.

Georgia is the Peach State, but California produces about 50 percent of the USA peaches.

Peach symbolizes immortality and unity in Chinese culture. Brides use flowers of peach to decorate their hairs during wedding ceremony in China.

In 2016, China alone produced 58% of the world’s total for peaches and nectarines.

First fruit will appear on the peach tree after 3 years. This plant usually lives around 12 years.

In Vietnam, the blossoming peach flower is the signal of spring.

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Facts about Hooded Seals

August 15, 2021

 

The hooded seal is a type of Arctic seal that belongs to the order Pinnipedes. Its close relatives are seals, walruses and sea lions. Hooded seals inhabit the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Hooded seals live in Svalbard, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Newfoundland. The main threat to the survival of hooded seals is hunting. People hunt them for their skin, fur and meat. They are not currently listed as endangered species.

Hooded Seal males become sexually mature at around 6 years of age while females mature anywhere from 3 to 6 years.

Males of hooded seals are larger than females. They can reach 9 to 10 feet in length and weigh of 900 pounds.

Breeding season of the hooded seal is during the spring. The Seals are generally only at their breeding grounds for 2 or 3 weeks during which time pregnant females deliver (after an 11 month pregnancy) and new mating occurs. 

Females are usually 6 to 7 feet long, with 700 pounds of weight.

Hooded Seal pups measure about 1 metre long and 25 kg at birth. 

Body of hooded seal is covered with thick fur that is usually grey or blue-gray in color. Fur is covered with irregular spots that can be light or dark in color.

Hooded Seals live up to 35 years.

The most prominent feature on the body of hooded seal is a hood that looks like a large red balloon when inflated.

Rough estimates place the Hooded Seal worldwide population at about 592,100 (as of 2006).

Hood is an enlargement of the nasal cavity. It can be seen only in males. Hood starts to develop at the age of 4 years, and it becomes fully developed at age of 12 years.

Hooded Seals have the shortest weaning period of any mammal.

Average hood is two times bigger than the football, with a volume of around 6.3 liters. When inflated, hood doubles the size of the seal’s head.

Hooded Seals get their name from their unique hooded nasal cavities.

Males inflate their hood when they are threatened or excited. Hood plays important role during mating season. Males with larger hoods have better chances to mate.

Hooded Seals are generally more territorial than other seal species and can become aggressive when in defense mode.

Hooded seals have large flippers, used for swimming. Flippers end with sharp claws.

Hooded Seal pups are referred to as “Blue-backs” due to their blue-black colouring which is shed for their adult colouring at around 14 months of age.

Hooded seal spends parts of its life on ice blocks that are floating in the ocean, and other part in the water, where it is searching for food.

The genera name Cystophora comes from a Greek word meaning “bladder-bearer”, referring of course to the Hooded Seal’s hood.

Hooded seal is carnivore (meat-eater). It usually eats fish such as redfish, herring, cod, and capelin. Besides fish, hooded seal hunts octopuses, shrimps, squids and mussels.

The males’ hood is also used underwater as a kind of noisemaker – when vibrated it sends out sounds warning other seals away from the territory.

Main predators of hooded seal are killer whales, sharks and polar bears.

Hooded seals have a light gray to blue-gray coloration with irregularly shaped light or dark blotches.

Hooded seal is solitary animal. It gathers with other hooded seals only during mating season.

Hooded seals feed on squid, starfish and mussels. They also eat several types of fish including Greenland halibut, redfish, Atlantic cod, Arctic Cod, capelin and herring.

Group of hooded seals is known as pod, harem, colony, flock, herd and rockery.

Hooded seals have the shortest lactation period of any mammal, with most pups nursing for only 4 days.

Pregnancy in hooded seals lasts 11 months and it ends with a single baby. Hooded seals have the shortest period of lactation (breast-feeding) of all mammals. Babies suckle only four to five days.

Hooded Seals differ from sea lions in a number of ways, including having shorter, stouter flippers, and no visible earflaps.

Although suckling lasts only couple of days, mother’s milk is rich in fat and babies can double their size immediately. After this period, young hooded seals can start eating like adult animals. Hooded seals reach sexual maturity at the age of five years.

As for other marine mammals, the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 protects hooded seals in U.S. waters.

Hooded seals have long lifespan. They can survive between 30 and 35 years in the wild. Captive hooded seals are prone to tuberculosis and cranial infections.

In Canada, hooded seals are federally managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

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Facts about Singapore

August 14, 2021

 

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is known as the Lion City (Singapura) and consists of the main island and about 64 smaller offshore islands, including Sentosa (the largest of the offshore islands), Pulau Ubin, St John’s Island and the Sisters’ Islands. It has a total area of 719 square km. Its capital and largest city is Singapore (city-state). English, Tamil, Malay and Chinese are its official languages. Singapore shares maritime borders with Malaysia and Indonesia.

Singapore was originally a part of Malaysia. It was one of the 14 states that made Malaysia. However, because of political skirmishes between Malaysia’s ruling party – United Malays National Organization and People’s Action Party based in Singapore, steep-rising racial riots took precedence.

Singapore has its national tree planting day on 7th November every year.

The Singapore dollar was introduced two years later in 1967. However, before separating the currencies, the Malayan government and government of Singapore tried to come to an agreement of having a common currency.

More than 80% of Singapore’s population lives in government-subsidized houses while the home ownership rate in Singapore is a staggering 92% (The highest in the world).

Singapore is both a state and a country.

In Singapore, stop chewing your gum if you see the police. Or simply don’t carry one. Currently, it is banned except without medical prescription.

The People’s Action Party has been the dominating politics since 1959, and the Prime Minister of the country is from the People’s Action Party.

Car use is heavily discouraged by the government and car owners have to pay additional 1.5 times the car price to get their car certified.

The President of the nation has a 6-year term while legislators can serve only a 5-year term. The role of the President is ceremonial. The real powers lie with the Prime Minister and his council.

Singapore has a limit on the height of its buildings- a fair 280 m. There are three buildings in Singapore exactly 280 m in length.

Singapore is the world’s third-most densely populated country with a population density of nearly 7,000 people per square kilometer that translates into nearly 19,000 people per square mile. As of 2017, the total population of Singapore stands at 5.71 million.

Singapore has compulsory military conscription of 1-2 years.

In Singapore, 63% of the population are actually Singaporeans that is, they are citizens of Singapore by birth. The remaining 37% are foreign-born, but are either permanent residents of Singapore or are guest workers.

Elevators in Singapore have Urine Detection Device, and if it detects the smell of kidney filtered water, it locks the doors until the police arrive. Singapore has passed a very specific law which prohibits urinating in the elevators.

Going by ethnicity, 74% of citizens of Singapore are Chinese while Malays make up 13.4%. Indians makeup 9.2% while the remaining 3% come from mixed ethnicity.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIRP), Singapore is the world’s 5th largest arms importer.

Over 50% of the population of Singapore have Chinese as their mother tongue.

It’s a crime to not flush the public toilet after use in Singapore.

English as a first language has been adopted by nearly 32% of the citizens of the nation.

The Hort Park in Singapore is the first Park dedicated to exclusive gardening niche and is a gardening lifestyle hub in Asia.

12% of the total population of Malay has their first language and Tamil is the first language for nearly 3% of Singaporeans.

The five stars in the national flag of Singapore represents the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. The color red signifies brotherhood while white represents purity.

Nearly 43% of the total population of Singapore follow Buddhism.

The Singapore Grand Prix Racing Circuit is not only Asia’s first one but also held the first ever F1 night-race in its 2008 inaugural race.

About 15% of Singaporeans are Muslims.

The Singapore zoo is a tropical paradise, filled with animals from all over the equatorial belt. It is named the best zoo in Asia and the third best in the world, by TripAdvisor.

10% of people of Singapore come from other Christian denominations and a staggering 15% belong to the class with no religious preference at all.

Ainan Celeste Cawley, of Singapore, is a record holder for being the youngest child ever to pass O-level chemistry, at 7 years old. At 9 years he cracked the Physics “O level certificate”, too.

The largest of all the islands of Singapore is Pulau Ujong. It also goes by the name Singapore Island.

Singapore has an amazing thrill ride called the Megazip or the Flying bat, of Sentosa Islands. It lets people experience life through the eyes of a flying bat.

Each person in Singapore earns an average of USD 60,500 per year.

Singapore’s National Stadium, has the world’s largest retractable dome, at 312m in diameter. The huge canopy can shelter 55 thousand fans from rain and the sun alike.

In the whole world, Singapore takes 5th position as the least corrupt country.

he only tropical garden with a UNESCO World Heritage Site tag is the 156-year-old Singapore Botanical Garden. With 4.5 million annual visitors and a National Orchid Garden, it is the mother of all botanic gardens.

The temperature in Singapore ranges between 23°C and 32°C.

Singapore had a brief name change. Syonan-to, which means the Light of the South, was the name given to Singapore under Japanese occupation.

The lowest point of the country lies at the sea level while the highest point that the country has is located at 545 feet or 166 meters. The highest point is known as Bukit Timah.

Singapore is one of the only three surviving city-states in the world. The other two are Monaco and Vatican City.

It is illegal in Singapore to have gay sex. Lesbian sex is allowed. Oral sex between male and female or two females was forbidden till 2007, but that ban has been lifted. A man and woman or two women can have anal, vaginal and oral sex. 

The Prime Minister of Singapore earns a whopping $1.7 million annually, which is four times higher than what the US president earns.

Two gay men adopting a child is also totally illegal in Singapore. Also, gay men are required to attend National Service, but with very limited duties. 

For ten consecutive years since 2006, Singapore has topped the ease of doing business list by the World Bank.

Littering on roads is also a serious offense in Singapore where the culprit can be fined up to USD 1,000 for littering and he or she will be forced to pick up the trash in public as humiliation. 

Lee Kuan Yew was the first prime minister of Singapore who held the office for three decades.

Benjamin Sheares – Singapore’s second President – is the man responsible for the invention of Vaginoplasty – a method of making artificial vagina.

17% of the population in Singapore, or one in every six people, has assets worth $1 million or more, which is the highest in the world.

In the whole of Southeast Asia, the Yakult bottles that are sold in Singapore are the largest. They are also the most expensive of all.

Both the IMF and the World Bank have placed Singapore at the 3rd position in their GDP per capita list.

Vanda Miss Joaquim is the national flower of the Singapore. The flower was discovered in 1893.

Singapore remains the world’s most expensive city in 2016.

Singapore is the largest exporter in the world when it comes to ornamental fish. The country accounts for 25% of the world market.

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