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Odd Facts

There is nothing too profound here. This is just our collection of a few odd facts to make you think.

- Animals cannot survive being frozen, because of the ice crystals that form and break the cell membranes. There are, however, certain frogs that have special proteins that prevent the freezing of liquids in their bodies, even when they are far below zero Celsius. The liquids remain liquid, a phenomenon known as 'supercooling.' They become active again when the temperature rises in spring. Touch them in their super-cooled state though, and you may cause the instant formation of ice crystals, which kills them.

- Who played Darth Vader in Star Wars? David Prowse, was the guy in the suit, and he spoke all of Vader's lines. But he didn't know that the voice of James Earl Jones would dubbed in until he saw his first screening of the movie.

- There is a correlation between the amount of zinc and copper found in people's hair and their level of intelligence. Those with higher IQ have more of both metals.

- Who invented the drinking straw? It is speculated that the first ones were made by ancient Egyptian brewers. They needed to taste beer that was still brewing, without disturbing the fermenting ingredients floating on the top.

- A sphere has two sides. However, there are one-sided surfaces.

- The Queen, the Church of England and Trinity College, Cambridge are the three largest land-owners in England.

- The slogan on New Hampshire license plates: "Live Free or Die." Who makes them: prisoners in the state prison in Concord.

- The Hawaiian alphabet has only 12 letters.

- Father's Day is the busiest day of the year for collect calls.

- 58 percent of divorced or separated men say they are happier afterwards.

- 85 percent of divorced or separated women say they are happier afterwards.

- Roughly 90 percent of bird species are monogamous.

- Porpoises can surf. They often ride the bow wave of a ship, making no swimming motions, and sometimes for an hour at a time.

- Wal-Mart is the single largest employer in at least 20 states (as of 2006).

- Blue whales produce sounds up to 188 decibels - the loudest sound of any animal. Their calls have been detected from more than 500 miles.

- Esposa means "wife" in Spanish, and "esposas" means "wives." In addition, "esposas" also means "handcuffs."

- It is estimated that 300 million people study English in China. That's more than speak it in the entire United States of America.

Note: You'll find many more odd facts in the regular "Did You Know" section of the Brainpower Newsletter. You can sign up here...

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