Monday, August 20, 2007

Useless Information

More from Mick..

One month after Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration, the U.S. Civil War began.
Abraham Lincoln was the first president born outside of the original thirteen colonies.
Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated.
Five days after the end of the Civil War, he was fatally shot.
William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) was the first U.S. president to die while in office.
At 32 days, he also had the shortest term in office.
During Ronald Reagan's presidency, the White House purchased 12 tons of jelly beans.
Lightning kills more people in the US than any other natural disaster: an average of 400 dead and 1,000 injured yearly.
Salt Lake City, Utah, gets an average of 17 inches more snow annually than Fairbanks, Alaska. Santa Fe, New Mexico, gets an average of 9 inches more snow each year than New Haven, Connecticut.
Average life span of a major league baseball: 7 pitches.
Average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000.
It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
You can't kill yourself by holding your breath.

Monday, July 23, 2007

More from Mick...

-More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes.
-The percentage of income tax paid by the average American has more than doubled since 1953. In 1953 the average family paid 11 percent of its income out in taxes. In 1976 it paid 23 percent.
-For his X-Files audition, David Duchovny showed up in a tie with pink pigs all over it.
-Eddie Murphy began writing comic routines for himself when he was just 15 years old, and before he turned 20, was selected to be a cast member of TV's Saturday Night Live
-The word "bookkeeper" is the only word in the English language with three, back-to-back double letter combinations.
-Time magazine named the computer its "Man of the Year" in 1982. -A chip of silicon a quarter-inch square has the capacity of the original 1949 ENIAC computer, which occupied a full city block.
-At the start of the twentieth century, the spectacular city of Las Vegas, Nevada, didn't even exist.
-Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than for the US Treasury.
-The number of possible ways of playing the first four moves per side in a game of chess is 318,979,564,000.
-The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
-A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time. It is 1/100 of a second.
-The Muppet Show was banned from TV in Saudi Arabia because one of its stars was a pig.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Pit History 101

OK, so you may be wondering just exactly where we got the name "The Pit" from. Well, that's a very long story, so for the moment I'll fill you with useless information about the beginning of....THE PIT.

The Pit Itself is actually a 3 Bedroom Home with a garage apartment. The owners of this home rented out the rooms to local college student attending local colleges and Universities in the Daytona Beach, FL area. The tenants, the owners, and their resident property manager/son all had a common interest, that being they were also members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The mood and theme of this residence is much as that of this blog, ALOT of useless information and plain silliness (much in the fashion of Monty Python, Jim Carrey, The Animaniac's, and lastly Beavis and Butthead.) The several souls to call The Pit home included the likes of the new young adult, moving out of Mom and Dad's house, the college student majoring in Film Production, the aspiring pilot who sought more dates in a day than flight hours in a plane, and so on!

The Name "The Pit" came actually from not a tenant, but rather from a frequent visitor and friend, Kevin, who was attending a local University (Grad School). You see, the home had two unique features in the back yard. A trampoline designed for divers (I.E. Greg Louganis) and a Pool. The pool was very unique as it had more algae and debris than it had water. It drew many jokes tying it to "The Pits of Despair" from "The Princess Bride". Thus would come the name that would forever identify this singles hang-out....THE PIT!

The two primary authors of this Blog, Ben and Mick were the longest tenants to this sacred edifice, and therefore serves as our inspiration here in feeding you nothing but useless information (Cuz frankly I need a break from my more stolid political blog!)

Monday, July 2, 2007

"Small" Sample of Things to come....

This is from Mick.

I wanted to share an experiment that I found and the family tried, and it works. I got it off the website

Mentos + Pop = Fun Words cannot begin to describe the awesome eruption that is created from adding Mentos candies to a 2-liter bottle of soda. The eruption is enormous... and so is the learning if you consider the chemistry.
A roll or box of Mentos (candy mints) and a 2-liter bottle of diet soda. Either diet or regular soda will work for this experiment, but diet soda is less sticky when you're cleaning it up!
1 This activity is probably best done outside in the middle of an abandoned field, or better yet, on a huge lawn.
2 Carefully open the bottle of soda. Position the bottle on the ground so that it will not tip over. (I used a lawn table.)
3 Unwrap the whole roll of Mentos. The goal is to drop all of the Mentos into the bottle of soda at the same time which is trickier than it looks. One method for doing this is to roll a piece of paper into a tube just big enough to hold the loose Mentos (I used cardstock and tape. Just make sure the Mentos can easily drop out, and not get jammed up inside the tube). You'll want to be able to position the tube directly over the mouth of the bottle so that all of the candies drop into the bottle at the same time. (Use a card, or something stiff so the Mentos do not fall out of the tube. Place the card with the Mentos on top, aligning the tube with the opening of the bottle.)
4 Don't drop them into the bottle just yet! Warn the spectators to stand back. Okay, remove the card to drop all of the Mentos into the bottle at the same time and then get truckin' (move out of the way... so long... bye- bye... hasta la vista!)
5 It's just like fireworks on the 4th of July. The spectators erupt, of course, in a chorus of ooohs and ahhhs. Someone yells out, "Do it again" and you do.
How Does It Work:
Here's the question of the day... Why do Mentos mixed with soda produce this incredible eruption? You should know that there is considerable debate over how and why this works. While we offer the most probable explanations below, we also understand and admit that other explanation could be possible... and we welcome your thoughts.
As you probably know, soda pop is basically sugar (or diet sweetener), flavoring, water and preservatives. The thing that makes soda bubbly is invisible carbon dioxide gas, which is pumped into bottles at the bottling factory using tons of pressure. Until you open the bottle and pour a glass of soda, the gas mostly stays suspended in the liquid and cannot expand to form more bubbles, which gases naturally do. But there's more...
If you shake the bottle and then open it, the gas is released from the protective hold of the water molecules and escapes with a whoosh, taking some of the soda along with it. What other ways can you cause the gas to escape? Just drop something into a glass of soda and notice how bubbles immediately form on the surface of the object. For example, adding salt to soda causes it to foam up because thousands of little bubbles form on the surface of each grain of salt.
Many scientists, including Lee Marek, claim that the Mentos phenomenon is a physical reaction, not a chemical one. Water molecules strongly attract each other, linking together to form a tight mesh around each bubble of carbon dioxide gas in the soda. In order to form a new bubble, or even to expand a bubble that has already formed, water molecules must push away from each other. It takes extra energy to break this "surface tension." In other words, water "resists" the expansion of bubbles in the soda.
When you drop the Mentos into the soda, the gelatin and gum arabic from the dissolving candy break the surface tension. This disrupts the water mesh, so that it takes less work to expand and form new bubbles. Each Mentos candy has thousands of tiny pits all over the surface. These tiny pits are called nucleation sites - perfect places for carbon dioxide bubbles to form. As soon as the Mentos hit the soda, bubbles form all over the surface of the candy. Couple this with the fact that the Mentos candies are heavy and sink to the bottom of the bottle and you've got a double-whammy. When all this gas is released, it literally pushes all of the liquid up and out of the bottle in an incredible soda blast. You can see a similar effect when cooking potatoes or pasta are lowered into a pot of boiling water. The water will sometimes boil over because organic materials that leach out of the cooking potatoes or pasta disrupt the tight mesh of water molecules at the surface of the water, making it easier for bubbles and foam to form.
When a scoop of ice cream is added to root beer, the "float" foams over for essentially the same reason. The surface tension of the root beer is lowered by gums and proteins from the melting ice cream, and the CO2 bubbles expand and release easily, creating a beautiful foam on top
Next question... Why should you use diet Coke or diet Pepsi? The simple answer is that diet soda just works better than regular soda. Some people speculate that it has something to do with the artifical sweetner, but the verdict is still out. More importantly, diet soda does not leave a sticky mess to have to clean up. Hey, that's important.
What's the record for the biggest Mentos fountain? My official record is a 18 foot blast that shot up and almost took out a half million dollar, high-definition television camera. You'll find video on-line at of some of our favorite eruptions.
On a personal note... I've performed this demonstration well over a thousand times - on television, talk shows, science conventions, teacher associations, for CEO's at huge motivational speaking rallies, for Nobel Prize winners and anyone else who might watch. And the reaction is always the same... that's amazing!

Here is a small list of the knowledge that doesn't really improve your life.
-A space vehicle must move at a rate of at least 7 miles per second to escape Earth's gravitational pull. This is equivalent to going
from New York to Philadelphia in about 20 seconds
-Disney World in Orlando, Florida covers 30,500 acres (46 square miles), making it twice the size of the island of Manhattan, New
-Plain old vanilla is the favorite flavor of ice cream, accounting for 29 percent of all sales.
-The Hershey Foods Corporation can produce 33 million Hershey's Kisses in one day of production.
-According to the U.S. government, people have tried more than 28,000 different ways to lose weight.

Well, Here it is.....

The ultimate source for useless knowlege is here! The Pit! Over the course of this week and going forward, myself and the other Authors will fill your mind with stories of the place that inspired this blog and other totally useless information. Stay tuned, I promise you will be seriously entertained!!!!!