Thursday, October 28, 2004

Electoral History

The most electoral college votes ever received was Reagan, in 1984, garnering 525 votes; the fewest was Washington in 1789 -- he got only 64 votes. These were, however, not the extremes in regards to the percentage of the total number of votes. Roosevelt, in 1936, earned 98.5% -- or 523 -- of 531 votes, just eking out Monroe's 1820 win of 98.3% -- or 231 -- of 235 votes. The winner garnering the smallest percentage was Adams, in 1796, winning just 25.7%. Quincy Adams, however, had the smallest difference between him and his competitor -- Jackson beat him by 15 votes, but did not win a plurality and the House gave the election to Quincy Adams. The closest contest was 1800 when Adams and Jefferson tied and the House gave Jefferson the Presidency. This is closely followed by 1876 when Garfield had but one more -- 185 to 184 -- electoral vote than his challenger.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Forbes Lists

Top-Earning Fictional Characters for 2003

1. Mickey Mouse and Friends
2. Winnie the Pooh and Friends
3. Frodo Baggins, Lord of the Rings
4. Harry Potter
5. Nemo, Finding Nemo
6. Yu-Gi-Oh!
7. SpongeBob SquarePants
8. Spider-Man
9. Wolverine, X-Men
10. Pikachu, Pokemon

World's Most Powerful Women

1. Condoleezza Rice - US National Security Advisor
2. Wu Yi - Vice Premier of Chinese Politburo, Minister of Health
3. Sonia Gandhi - President of Indian Congress Party
4. Laura Bush - First Lady
5. Hillary Rodham Clinton - US Senator
6. Sandra Day O'Connor - Supreme Court Justice (First Women on Supreme Court)
7. Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Supreme Court Justice
8. Megawati Sukarnoputri - Indonesian President
9. Gloria Arroyo - Phillipine President
10. Carleton Fiorina
- Chair, CEO Hewlett-Packard


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Best Selling Singles in UK

  1. "Something About The Way You Look Tonight"/"Candle In The Wind 97" - Elton John, 1997 (4.8 million)
  2. "Do They Know It's Christmas?" - Band Aid, 1984 (3.51 million)
  3. "Bohemian Rhapsody" - Queen, 1975, re-released 1991 (2.13 million)
  4. "Mull of Kintyre" - Wings, 1977 (2.05m)
  5. "Rivers Of Babylon"/"Brown Girl In The Ring" - Boney M, 1978 (1.99m)
  6. "Relax" - Frankie Goes to Hollywood, 1983 (1.91m)
  7. "She Loves You" - The Beatles, 1963 (1.89m)
  8. "You're The One That I Want" - John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, 1978 (1.87m)
  9. "Unchained Melody" - Robson Green & Jerome Flynn, 1995 (1.82m)
  10. "Mary's Boy Child - Oh My Lord" - Boney M, 1978 (1.79m)

Best Selling Singles in US

ERA records

Henry Chadwick -- the father of baseball statistics keeping -- first devised the Earned Run Average (ERA) in the 1900s. It wasn't widely adopted, though, until 1912 when the National League kept official ERA statistics. At the time, it was called Heydler's Statistic after NL secretary John Heydler.

Lowest Single Season ERA - Tim Keefe, 0.86 (1880 )
Lowest Single Season ERA (modern) - Bob Gibson, 1.12 (1968 )
Lowest Single Season ERA (active) - Greg Maddox, 1.56 (1994 )
Lowest Career ERA - Ed Walsh, 1.82
Lowest Career ERA (active) - Pedro Martinez, 2.58

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Best Selling Albums in USA

  1. Eagles - Greatest Hits - 28 times platinum
  2. Michael Jackson - Thriller - 26 times platinum
  3. Pink Floyd - The Wall - 23 times platinum
  4. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV - 22 times platinum
  5. Billy Joel - Greatest Hits Volume I & II - 21 times platinum
  6. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours - 19 times platinum
  7. AC/DC - Back in Black - 19 times platinum
  8. The Beatles - The Beatles ("The White Album") - 19 times platinum
  9. Shania Twain - Come on Over - 19 times platinum
  10. Boston - Boston - 17 times platinum

Longest English Words

Many claim that Antidisestablishmentarianism (a movement opposed to the separation of church and state) is the longest word in the English language; it is, however, merely the most familiar longest word. Barring medical and biological terms that can be made almost arbitrarily long, floccinaucinihilipilification (the act of estimating as worthless) is the Guinness Recognized "longest real word." It even has the distinction of being used by Jesse Helms in a Senate Hearing.

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica or quartz dust) is longer than both the above words, but it is believed to have been contrived by Everett Smith in 1935 as an attempt to show how long words may be manufactured.

The longest word Shakespeare used is honorificabilitudinitatibus (the state of being able to achieve honours), appearing in Love's Labors Lost.

Long Words, One Syllable

The longest word in the English language of only one syllable is squirrelled, at eleven letters. This is contended, however, as it requires certain dialects to be but one syllable.

The next candidate is the ten-letter scraunched is contested as it is obsolete.

Of the nine-letter words, many are but one syllable:

broughams
craunched
scratched
scraughed
screeched
scrinched
scritched
scrooched
scrounged
scrunched
sprainged
spreathed
straights
strengths
stretched
throughed
thrutched

Of all these words, only strengths has only one vowel. Also, it is the most complicated syllable in the English language.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

States' Entry Dates

The first fifteen states to enter the United States:

1. Delaware Dec. 7, 1787
2. Pennsylvania Dec. 12, 1787
3. New Jersey Dec. 18, 1787
4. Georgia Jan. 2, 1788
5. Connecticut Jan. 9, 1788
6. Massachusetts Feb. 6, 1788
7. Maryland Apr. 28, 1788
8. South Carolina May 23, 1788
9. New Hampshire June 21, 1788
10. Virginia June 25, 1788
11. New York July 26, 1788
12. North Carolina Nov. 21, 1789
13. Rhode Island May 29, 1790
14. Vermont Mar. 4, 1791
15. Kentucky June 1, 1792

The last ten are:

41. Montana Nov. 8, 1889
42. Washington Nov. 11, 1889
43. Idaho July 3, 1890
44. Wyoming July 10, 1890
45. Utah Jan. 4, 1896
46. Oklahoma Nov. 16, 1907
47. New Mexico Jan. 6, 1912
48. Arizona Feb. 14, 1912
49. Alaska Jan. 3, 1959
50. Hawai'i Aug. 21, 1959

Monday, October 04, 2004

Presidents with Facial Hair

Sideburns
John Quincy Adams (1825-29)
Chester Alan Arthur (1881-1885)

Moustaches
Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897)
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (1901-1909)
William Howard Taft (1909-1913)

Beards
Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
Ulysses Simpson Grant (1869-1877)
Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)
James Garfield (1881)
Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)

The last bearded man to run for president was Charles Hughes, in 1916. Thomas Dewey was the last candidate to have facial hair of any sort -- he had a moustache -- Dewey lost to Roosevelt in 1944 and famously to Truman in 1948.

The longest stretch of bearded presidents was 12 years, 1869-1881; however, for the 28 year stretch from 1869-1897, all the presidents had facial hair of some sort.

Noted Polydactls

Polydactlism is the condition of having extra fingers or toes. Sometimes it is a fully-formed digit, others it is just a bulge or toe-/finger-nail.

Anne Boleyn
Antonio Alfonseca - relief pitcher for the Atlanta Braves
Charles VIII of France
Winston Churchill
Pacal the Great - King of Palenque
Hannibal Lecter