Sunday, June 30, 2013

Facts About The State of Illinois

The name "Illinois" comes from a Native American word meaning "tribe of superior men."

Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818. Illinois was the 21st state to enter the Union. It had a population of 34,620 people. Illinois is now the sixth most populous state in the country with almost 11.5 million people.

The state song is “Illinois.”

Illinois’ state animal is the white-tailed deer.

The state slogan, "Land of Lincoln," was adopted by the General Assembly in 1955. The State of Illinois has a copyright for the exclusive use of the slogan.

Ottawa, Freeport, Jonesboro, Charleston, Galesburg, Quincy, and Alton hosted the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates that stirred interest in the slavery issue all over the country.

The first aquarium opened in Chicago in 1893.

The world's first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885.

Illinois is home to the Chicago Bears Football Team, Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, Chicago Bulls basketball team, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox baseball teams, and Chicago Fire soccer team.

Peoria is the oldest community in Illinois.

Illinois’ state fruit is the Goldrush apple.

The Illinois state reptile is the painted turtle.

The Willis Tower, located in Chicago, is the tallest building on the North American continent. It was the world's tallest building from 1973 until 1996. It covers two city blocks and rises one-quarter mile above the ground. It is still the tallest building to the top of the roof (1,450 feet) and has the highest occupied floor (1,431 feet).

Metropolis, the home of Superman, really exists in southern Illinois.

Illinois is home to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, which is the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico.

Illinois had two different capital cities, Kaskaskia and Vandalia, before Springfield.

The Illinois state fossil is the Tully monster.

The Illinois state prairie grass is big bluestem.

Illinois was the home of President Ulysses S. Grant, whose home is preserved in Galena.

The NFL's ChicagoBears were first known as the "Staley Bears." They were organized in Decatur in 1920.

In 1865, Illinois became the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery.

On December 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi and a small band of scientists and engineers demonstrated that a simple construction of graphite bricks and uranium lumps could produce controlled heat. The space chosen for the first nuclear fission reactor was a squash court under the football stadium at the University of Chicago.

Illinois’ state tree is the white oak.

The Illinois state mineral is fluorite.

Springfield is the state capital and the home of the national historic site of the home of President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln is buried just outside Springfield at Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site.

Chicago is home to the Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station, the only buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire.

The Illinois state insect is the monarch butterfly.

Illinois’ state snack food is popcorn.

Before Abraham Lincoln was elected president, he served in the Illinois legislature and practiced law in Springfield.

Carlyle is the home of the largest man-made lake in Illinois.

Illinois has 102 counties.

Ronald Reagan, born in Tampico and raised in Dixon, became the 40th president of the United States in 1980.

The highest point in Illinois is Charles Mound at 1,235 feet above sea level.

The state motto is “State Sovereignty, National Union.”

The Illinois state amphibian is the eastern tiger salamander.

Illinois’ state flower is the violet.

Evanston is the home of the ice cream sundae.

The first silo was constructed on a farm in Spring Grove.

The Illinois state dance is square dancing.

The Illinois state bird is the cardinal.

Illinois’ state fish is the bluegill.

At over 6,000, Illinois has more units of government (i.e., city, county, township, etc.) than any other state. One reason for this may be the township governments, which generally govern areas of just 6 square miles.

In 1905, the president of the Chicago Cubs filed charges against a fan in the bleachers for catching a fly ball and keeping it.

Unlike most skyscrapers, the Chicago's Mercantile Exchange building was built entirely without an internal steel skeleton; it depends on its thick walls to keep itself up.

The abbreviation "ORD" for Chicago's O'Hare airport comes from the original name, Orchard Field. The airport was renamed in honor of Lieutenant Commander Edward H. "Butch" O'Hare.

The trains that pass through Chicago's underground freight tunnels daily would extend over 10 miles total in length.

In Mount Pulaski, it is illegal for boys (and only boys) to hurl snowballs at trees.

Illinois is known for its varied weather, including major winter storms, deadly tornadoes, and spectacular heat and cold waves.

The first birth on record in Chicago was that of Eulalia Pointe du Sable, daughter of Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable and his Potawatomi Native American wife, in 1796.
Chicago's Mercy Hospital was the first hospital in Illinois.

The first animal purchased for the Lincoln Park Zoo was a bear cub, which was bought for $10 on June 1, 1874.

The University of Chicago opened on October 1, 1892, with an enrollment of 594 and a faculty of 103.

Comedy showcase "Second City" was founded on North Wells Street in a former Chinese laundry in 1959.

Chicago's first African American mayor, Harold Washington, took office in 1983.

The four stars on the Chicago flag represent Fort Dearborn, the Chicago Fire, the World's Columbian Exposition, and the Century of Progress Exposition.

The Chicago PublicLibrary is the world's largest public library, with a collection of more than 2 million books.

The Chicago Post Office at 433 West Van Buren is the only postal facility in the world you can drive a car through.

The Chicago River is dyed green on Saint Patrick's Day.

Chicago is home to the world's largest cookie and cracker factory, where Nabisco made 16 billion Oreo cookies in 1995.

Illinois’ state soil is Drummer silty clay loam.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Strange But True Facts About Superman

Superman is the original and most known comic book super hero!  Many people know the basics about the Superman story, but here are some strange but true facts you may not know about him!

Superman was originally a villain!  In the early 1930s, Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster collaborated on a comic in which a mad scientist transformed a regular person into someone who could read and control minds and who used his powers for evil and his own gain. The comic was titled, "The Reign of the Super Man."

The first Superman comic in which the super hero appeared as we all know him, came out in 1938, as Action Comics  #1. It is the most valuable comic book in the world.

The original falling out between Superman and his arch enemy,  Lex Luther  was because Superman cost Luthor his hair! As teenagers, they were working on a scientific experiment when a fire in the lab began. Superboy (then) blew out the fire with his "super breath" but the spread of the chemicals caused Lex Luthor's permanent hair loss and Luthor vowed revenge!

There really is a hometown of Superman! It's the small town of Metropolis, Illinois.  The newspaper is even named "The Planet," although it's a weekly newspaper instead of a daily newspaper.  Each year, Metropolis hosts a Superman Celebration as Superman and comic book enthusiasts gather!  Metropolis boasts a huge statue of Superman, a Superman Museum, and  a statue of Noel Neill, who played Lois Lane in the TV series with George Reeves, in addition to other attractions.

After a storyline in 1945 where Superman visited an "cyclotron" which smashed atoms, the FBI, fearing a leak involving the development of the nuclear bomb in WWII, visited the editorial offices of the comic.

Superman celebrates his birthday as June 1st, the day he landed on Earth.  Clark Kent celebrates his birthday on June 18th, the day he was adopted by the Kent family.

Long before the Civil Rights Movement, Superman took on the KKK in episodes for the radio show, in which Superman challenged the KKK's Grand Scorpion, preaching tolerance over racial purification.

The S on Superman's outfit is not really an S at all, but a symbol honoring the family name of his birth father, Jor-El.  It only looks like an S!

Originally, Superman stood for just "Truth and Justice," but around the time of World War II, the "and the American Way" was added in the radio broadcasts and eventually in the TV show.

The characters Perry White and Jimmy Olsen,  along with the storyline about the element Kryptonite, came from the radio show, not the comic.

Although Superman first appeared, in his present character, in 1938, he didn't gain the ability to "fly" until 1941.

Clark Kent's middle name is Joseph.

Superman gave Batman a piece of Kryptonite, to to used if Superman ever got "out of control."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Facts About The American Flag

How much do you know about the American Flag?  Here are some facts, some of which might surprise you!

The flag was first authorized by Congress June 14, 1777. This date is now observed as Flag Day.
There is NO evidence that Betsy Ross had anything to do with the design or sewing of the first American Flag! YOu can tour the Betsy Ross House in Phildelphia, although it's unclear if it's the actual house she even lived in!
It was first decreed that there should be a star and a stripe for each state, making thirteen of both; for the states at the time had just been erected from the original thirteen colonies.
The flag was first flown from Fort Stanwix, on the site of the present city of Rome, New York, on August 3, 1777. It was first under fire for three days later in the Battle of Oriskany, August 6, 1777.
The colors of the Flag may be thus explained: The red is for valor, zeal and fervency; the white for hope purity, cleanliness of life, and rectitude of conduct; the blue, the color of heaven, for reverence to God, loyalty, sincerity, justice and truth.
The star (an ancient symbol of India, Persia and Egypt) symbolized dominion and sovereignty, as well as lofty aspirations. The constellation of the stars within the union, one star for each state, is emblematic of our Federal Constitution, which reserves to the States their individual sovereignty except as to rights delegated by them to the Federal Government.
There have been 27 official versions of the US flag, each with a different amount of stars. A 39-star version is not among them, but that did not stop some enterprising flag manufacturers from producing one for the marketplace. The reason for the miscalculation: some thought North Dakota and South Dakota were going to be admitted as one state.
The current 50-star American Flag was designed by a high school student, Robert Heft, from Ohio!
The symbolism of the Flag was thus interpreted by Washington: “We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty.”
In 1791, Vermont, and in 1792, Kentucky were admitted to the Union and the number of stars and stripes was raised to fifteen in correspondence. As other states came into the Union it became evident there would be too many stripes. So in 1818 Congress enacted that the number of stripes be reduced and restricted henceforth to thirteen representing the thirteen original states; while a star should be added for each succeeding state. That law is the law of today.
The actual "Star Spangled Banner" flag which flew over Ft McHenry in the War of 1812 STILL EXISTS and hangs in the Smithsonian Museum of American History. It inspired Francis Scott Key's song which remains the National Anthem. It's actually what's left of the flag, as many swatches were snipped off as souvenirs.
The name “Old Glory” was given to our National Flag August 10, 1831, by Captain William Driver of the brig Charles Doggett.
Of the 6 American Flags planted on the moon, 5 are still standing!
The United States Flag is unique in the deep and noble significance of its message to the entire world, a message of national independence, of individual liberty, of idealism, of patriotism.
It symbolizes national independence and popular sovereignty. It is not the Flag of a reigning family or royal house, but of 205 million free people welded into a Nation, one and inseparable, united not only by community of interest, but by vital unity of sentiment and purpose; a Nation distinguished for the clear individual conception of its citizens alike of their duties and their privileges, their obligations and their rights.
It incarnates for all mankind the spirit of Liberty and the glorious ideal of human Freedom; not the freedom of unrestraint or the liberty of license, but an unique ideal of equal opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, safeguarded by the stern and lofty principles of duty, of righteousness and of justice, and attainable by obedience to self-imposed laws.
Floating from lofty pinnacle of American Idealism, it is a beacon of enduring hope, like the famous Bartholdi Statue of Liberty enlightening the World to the oppressed of all lands. It floats over a wondrous assemblage of people from every racial stock of the earth whose united hearts constitute an indivisible and invincible force for the defense and succor of the downtrodden.
It embodies the essence of patriotism. Its spirit is the spirit of the American nation. Its history is the history of the American people. Emblazoned upon its folds in letters of living light are the names and fame of our heroic dead, the Fathers of the Republic who devoted upon its altars their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Twice told tales of National honor and glory cluster thickly about it. Ever victorious, it has emerged triumphant from eight great National conflicts. It flew at Saratog, at Yorktown, at Palo Alto, at Gettysburg, at Minala bay, at Chateau-Thierry, at Iwo Jima. It bears witness to the immense expansion of our national boundaries, the development of our natural resources, and the splendid structure of our civilization. It prophesies the triumph of popular government, of civic and religious liberty and of national righteousness throughout the world.
The flag first rose over thirteen states along the Atlantic seaboard, with a population of some three million people. Today it flies over fifty states, extending across the continent, and over great islands of the two oceans; and two hundred and five million owe it allegiance. It has been brought to this proud position by love and sacrifice. Citizens have advanced it and heroes have died for it. It is the sign made visible of the strong spirit that has brought liberty and prosperity to the people of America. It is the flag of all us alike. Let us accord it honor and loyalty.

Strange But True Facts About The United States

Here are some strange but true facts about the United States of America!

 Although English is the most commonly spoken language used in the U.S. and is the language used in government, the country has no official language.

 The tallest mountain in the world is located in the United States!  Mauna Kea, located in Hawaii, is only 13,796 feet (4,205 m) in altitude above sea level, however, when measured from the seafloor it is over 32,000 feet (10,000 meters) high, making it taller than Mt Everest  (Earth's tallest mountain above sea level at 29,028 feet or 8,848 meters).

 The state of Alaska is 429 times larger than the state of Rhode Island is.  But Rhode Island has a much higher population!

 Montana has 3 times as many cows as it does people.

The world’s tallest battle monument is found in Houston, Texas

The world’s highest roller coaster is located in Jackson, New Jersey

The world’s first atomic bomb was set off in New Mexico during 1945.

The first US capital was New York City.

The center of North America is in the town of Rugby, North Dakota.

The center of the U.S. is in the town of Castle Rock, South Dakota.

Bagdad, California once had no rain for 2 years!

Boulder, Colorado is the only city in the U.S. to own a glacier.

The wettest place in the world is Mountain Waialeale in Hawaii.

Hawaii is the only state that grows coffee.

More breakfast cereal is made in Battle Creek, Michigan than any other city in the world.

Death Valley is the lowest point in the U.S.

Alaska has a longer coastline than all the other 49 states put together.

The Four Corners region is the only point at which 4 states come together.

Maine makes more toothpicks than any other state.

The first U.S. Mint was in Pennsylvania.

The first night baseball game was played in Cincinnati, Ohio.

California grows more food than any other state.

The smallest state has the longest name! State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

More Revolutionary War battles were fought in South Carolina than in any other state.

The oldest public building in the U.S. is in New Mexico.

In Nebraska, you can still see the tracks of wagons over 100 years ago!

Maine sees the sunrise before the whole U.S. every day.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Infamous Paul Dean Blooper Reel...

What did Paula Deen REALLY say on that infamous blooper reel?  Well here it is!  It's a shame the Food Network will not renew her contract.  There are probably a lot of people now who appreciate this sassy, southern gal in a whole new light!  Watch the video below....

What Are The Real Odds Of Winning The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes?

Well according to information from the Publishers Clearing House, it almost makes the lottery seem like a sure thing! According to their information,  the odds for winning $5,000 a week for life are a whopping 1 in 1.2 BILLION!  The odds of winning $1 Million are even longer, at 1 in 1.3 BILLION.  In fact, the odds of winning only $100 is only 1 in 3.6 MILLION!

 Compare this to the lottery game, PowerBall....which some describe as a "tax on those bad at math."  The odds of winning the grand prize in Powerball are only 1 in 175 million! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rare Kitten with TWO Faces

Rare kitten born with 2 faces in Oregon

Killer Whale Takes Man's Fish...

Amazing video as a Killer Whale appears out of nowhere to take a man's fish off his line!

Amazing Video: "The Power of Powerlines!"

Check out this amazing video of an electrical worker working on powerlines!

The Strangest From Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival 2013

The Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival happens each year on a large farm near Manchester, Tennessee. It's grown into one of the biggest festivals in the USA, attracting upwards of 100,000 music fans, many of whom camp, and top music acts.  Of course, the vast majority there are just normal music lovers, but when you get that many people together, there is going to be some strangeness!  Here's the highlights or "strangelights"  from this years!
Molly is a slang term for the drug Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as  Ecstasy 

Lots of Peace Signs...

Gotta make sure those phones are charged!

More Peace Signs....

A new tattoo to make Mom proud!

Lots of Fashion Statements

Who knew TeleTubbies would be there!

As you might imagine, there was an increased police presence....