Friday, December 30, 2005

50 Things We Know Now (That We Didn't Know This Time Last Year)

From WNCT.com - Greenville, N.C.

To assist you in better understanding our changing world, here's a collection of tidbits we learned this year that may have eluded your radar.

1. A crystalline structure in popcorn appears to determine its popping quality. The discovery could lead to a better microwave popcorn with fewer or no unpopped kernels.

2. The U.S. prison population, already the largest in the world, reached a new high of more than 2.1 million in 2004, with one in every 138 residents of the country incarcerated.

3. Tampa is the sixth-worst city for dating in the country.

4. The microphone that once sat prominently on the desk of Johnny Carson was worth $50,787 at auction.

5. Twenty-six percent of the organizations surveyed by the American Management Association said they have fired workers for misusing the Internet. Another 25 percent have terminated employees for e-mail abuse, and 6 percent have canned them for misusing office phones.

6. The Bungee Cam was born in April, during a San Antonio Spurs-Dallas Mavericks NBA telecast by TNT. The camera dropped from the scoreboard to 7 to 10 feet from the floor to get shots of team huddles and a view from behind a free-throw shooter.

7. For the first time ever, half of all individual tax returns were electronically filed.

8. Former FBI official W. Mark Felt was revealed to be Deep Throat, the secret source whose insider guidance was vital to The Washington Post's coverage of the Watergate scandal.

9. Fifty-seven percent of cyclists polled by Greenfield Online said they would prefer bike seats with extra padding for added comfort.

10. Four percent of Americans read e-mail in the bathroom on a handheld electronic device.

11. The typical U.S. church congregation draws an adult crowd that is 61 percent female and 39 percent male - a gender gap that shows up in all age categories.

12. More than 900 nutrition bars came to market between 2001 and 2004.

Read the rest of the fascinating list of facts here.

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