World Facts #5

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Consecotaleophobia is the fear of chopsticks. - San Diego Union, 9/18/07

A 50 year old woman walked up to a sheriff's deputy and complained that a drug dealer had just sold her some "bad crack". She wanted the deputy to make the dealer give her the money back. The woman was arrested and charged with drug possession. - USAToday, 12/19/06

Dachshunds are disappearing from their native Germany, as birthrates for them have dropped 35% in the last decade. - The Week Magazine, 8/24/07

Venezuela has announced that the country's clocks are moving ahead a half hour. President Hugo Chavez noted, "It's about the metabolic effect". - New York Times, 8/26/07

Scientists have tracked hurricanes for 150 years. During that period, there has only been one hurricane to make landfall in South America; Hurricane Catarina in March 2004. - Discover Magazine, 9/07

Iraq's soccer team won the prestigious Asian Cup. Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds put aside their differences and poured into the streets to cheer the victory. Celebratory gunfire in the streets killed four. - The Week Magazine, 8/10/07

Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain is visited by approximately 30,000 climbers each year - so many that the French authorities plan to install public toilets at the top. - Times Online (London), 7/26/07

Only 7% of homes in Afghanistan have a flush toilet, but 19% have a television. - The Week Magazine, 8/17/07

Canadian researchers have developed a computer program that can never be beaten at the game checkers. - CNN, 7/20/07

Once your cell phone is charged, unplug the charger. If 10% of the world's cell phone users did this, it would reduce energy consumption by the amount equivalent to that used by 60,000 homes per year. - CNET News, 9/21/06

The Chinese city of Luoyang is attempting to be named a "state-level hygenic city". They have offered a bounty of 1,000 yuan (about $130) for every 2,000 dead flies turned in. - The Week Magazine, 7/20/07

A teenager, recovering from an auto accident in a German hospital, couldn't sleep because of the incessant beeping from the machine for the man in the next bed. So he unplugged the life-support unit of his neighbor. Luckily, nurses reconnected the machine to save the neighbor's life. - The Week Magazine, 6/29/07

Greenland is feeling the effects of global warming more quickly than anywhere else on the planet. Average winter temperatures have gone up nine degrees from 1991 to 2003. - CNN, 6/6/07

The Internet is running out of IP addresses. There are 4 billion combinations that make up an IP address. 3 billion are already taken, and the remainder will likely be gone by 2010. - The Week Magazine, 6/22/07

A Dutch hospital is begging public-minded citizens to stop donating their bodies for science. The University Medical Center in Leiden has 60% more bodies than it can store. - The Week Magazine, 5/25/07

Hundreds of Indian rail passengers were told to get out of their stalled train and push. After pushing the train about sixty yards to the next electricity pole, the train was able to restart and continue its journey. - Chicago Sun-Times, 5/17/07

One out of eight Iraqi children died of disease or violence before reaching their fifth birthday in 2005. - North County Times, 5/8/07

There were 14,000 terrorist attacks globally in 2006. 47% of those took place in Iraq. Two-thirds of fatalities from these attacks worldwide occurred in Iraq. - Time Magazine, 5/14/07

40% of Amsterdam commuters get to work by bicycle. - The Week Magazine, 5/18/07

A dentist urinated in a surgical sink and used sterilized tools to clean his ears and fingernails, a General Dental Council (GDC) tribunal has heard. Alan Hutchinson, 51, is accused of unhygienic practices at his Branch Road Dental Practice, in Batley, West Yorkshire. - BBC News, 4/2/07
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