Interesting Facts About France

Fertile plains cover two-thirds of France, which is the largest country in Western Europe. With more than half the land under cultivation, France leads the European Union in food exports. The mountain ranges are mostly in the south, including the Alps, Pyrenees, and Massif Central. Forests cover one-third of the land area in France and are a source of environmental and scenic wealth.
The north is humid and cool, while the south is dry and warm. Favorable conditions for grape growing in the south make French wines world-renowned—and France the world's largest producer. The nation sets a fast pace in telecommunications, biotechnology, and aerospace industries. Sophia Antipolis, a booming high-tech complex on the Riviera, attracts scientists from throughout Europe. Coal and steel industries are concentrated in the northeast near major coalfields.

The government continues to play a large role in directing economic activity. The national road network is the world's densest, and the high-speed train (TGV) runs at speeds of 270 kilometers (167 miles) per hour or more. Both road and rail transport tourists, helping to make France the most visited country on Earth. Nuclear power, which supplies 80 percent of France's electricity, enjoys widespread support, in part because there is virtually no domestic oil. Government policies provide for a 35-hour workweek and five weeks of paid vacation annually.

Paris has long been France's cultural, political, and business epicenter. In the early 19th century Napoleon Bonaparte divided large, traditional provinces into small departments, which have since been regrouped into larger, regional units. Low turnout in the 2002 elections was interpreted as voter apathy due to the dominant influence of Paris. Amendments to the constitution, approved in 2003, give more political power to the country's 22 regions and 96 departments.

Heavy losses in both world wars bled France of labor, wealth, and prestige. After World War II, France's colonial subjects, from Algeria to Vietnam, struggled for independence. Immigration from France's former colonies, especially Algeria, contributes to some four million persons of Arab descent living in France today. An independent defense doctrine, launched by President Charles de Gaulle in 1966, has turned the nation into one of the world's largest arms suppliers. France maintains ties with its former colonies through aid, trade, and military pacts. The French have developed modern political ties with former colonies still under French administration. Overseas departments (officially part of France) with their own elected governments are French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Reunion. Territories with varying degrees of autonomy are French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Mayotte, New Caledonia, St.-Pierre and Miquelon, and Wallis and Futuna.
Couple Walk Through Ruins of St. Lo France:
A civilian couple walks through ruins of the heavily bombed ruins in the city of St. Lo, France, August 1944.
(Photo Credit: Getty)
Damage in Trafalgar Square, London: London, England 1942.
Soldiers examine buildings in Trafalgar Square damaged by German bombs.
(Photo Credit: Corbis)

 France Facts: Map and Geography

France is situated in Western Europe, 1 hr flight from London/England, 5.5 hrs from New York/USA. On the France outline you will see the little island of Corsica, which belongs to France, also in the French flag colors:-)

France Geography: France shares borders with Belgium to the North East, Germany and Luxemburg in the East as well as with Switzerland, Italy to the South East. The Pyrenees, a mountain range to the South of France, form a natural border between Spain and France. The highest mountain in France is the Mont Blanc, which is 4,810m high and stands at the border between France and Italy .

Mainland France is divided into 27 regions and these into 101 departments . The Mediterranean island of Corsica belongs to France too. Of the 101 departments there are also 5 ROM (regions d’outre mer or overseas regions) also belonging to France: French Guyana in South America, Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean, La Reunion and Mayotte in Africa in the Indian Ocean.

France Attractions
  • Paris: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre, Montmartre, Arc de Triomphe, river Seine and many other great attractions
  • Versailles : castle of French kings
  • Lasceaux Caves for 17,000 year old rock paintings
  • Cote d’Azur for turquoise blue sea and great beaches
  • Corsica: in the Mediterranean sea
  • French Alps: great skiing and snowboarding 
  • Mont St. Michel: Island with high tide
  • Provence for lavender fields and old historic towns like Avignon
Mont St. Michel: Island with high tide

Interesting Facts: French Language facts

French is the official language in France and it is also the second major language in Europe.

The Romanic language comes from Latin and is today the second most studied language after English and spoken by more than 300million people around the world as first or second language.
Famous French People

Caricature of Eiffel, published in 1887
at the time of "The Artist's Protest"
Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923), the famous French engineer who build the Eiffel Tower in Paris, also designed the Statue of Liberty which stands in New York's harbour.

France is famous for the beaux-arts, the many great painters, sculptors. Famous French painters are Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne and Auguste Rodin is certainly one of the most famous French sculptors.

French composers which are very famous are: Maurice Ravel (Bolero) and Georges Bizet (Carmen). Children all around the world love French literature, like the famous “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas and “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

French political leader Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was born on Corsica. He reformed the French laws. He declared himself Emperor of the French in 1904. Napoleon’s army was defeated by the British in the Battle of Waterloo (now in Belgium) in 1815. He was exiled to the island St. Helena in the Mediterranean Sea where he died in 1821.

French Food

The French main dishes contain: fresh vegetables, meat and cheeses. French cuisine is well known for its freshness and high quality dishes. The French people enjoy their main meal in the evening and this meal often consists of three courses starting with a "hors d’oeuvre", a starter dish which often is soup or a salad and bread, then the main course and afterwards some cheese or fruit.

The bread you will get in France in a typical French "boulangerie" (bakery) is mostly white wheat bread or bread sticks, called "baguette".

Here is some typical French food:
  • Baguette: long bread stick
  • Croque Monsieur/Croque Madame: ham and cheese grilled sandwich while Croque Madame is the more heavy version with ham, cheese and a fried egg on top 
  • Escargots: snails 
  • Foie Gras: Goose liver pate
  • Pain au chocolat: similar to a croissant filled with chocolate
  • Crepes: French very thin pancakes with filling
  • Ratatouille: vegetable stew

Interesting Video About France

Paris France - Paris Francia
Paris is the capital city of France and a French departement (75). Situated on the banks of the river Seine in north-central France, ...

Nans ventriloque -la France a un incroyable talent
nans est un enfant qui sais faire de la ventriloquie ici il est aux auditions il arriverait en final et se classera deuxieme.

La France vue par la tele russe (VOSTF)
Debut octobre 2012, une equipe de la premiere chaine publique russe Rossiya 1 est venue en reportage en France. Comme ...

What is it like living in France?
The video describes house buying and living in France. 

France bans all Muslims' political protests
After a French newspaper sparked global outrage by publishing obscene images of the Prophet Muhammad, the state decided 

Tour de France 2012 Stage 17 Highlights ITV
With help from Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins survived the tough peaks of the Pyrenees on a stage won by

Interesting Facts About Pablo Picasso

pablo picasso
1. Picasso's Full Name Has 23 Words
Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruiz y Picasso. He was named after various saints and relatives. The "Picasso" is actually from his mother, Maria Picasso y Lopez. His father is named Jose Ruiz Blasco.

2. When He Was Born, The Midwife Thought He Was Stillborn
Picasso had such a difficult birth and was such a weak baby that when he was born, the midwife thought that he was stillborn so she left him on a table to attend his mother. It was his uncle, a doctor named Don Salvador, that saved him:
'Doctors at that time,' he told Antonina Vallentin, 'used to smoke big cigars, and my uncle was no exception. When he saw me lying there he blew smoke into my face. To this I immediately reacted with a grimace and a bellow of fury'" 
3. Picasso's First Word: Pencil
It's like Picasso was born an artist: his first word was "piz," short of lapiz the Spanish word for 'pencil.' His father Ruiz, an artist and art professor, gave him a formal education in art starting from the age of 7. By 13, Ruiz vowed to give up painting as he felt that Pablo had surpassed him.

4. Pablo's First Drawing
At the tender young age of 9, Picasso completed his first painting: Le picador, a man riding a horse in a bullfight.

His first major painting, an "academic" work is First Communion, featuring a portrait of his father, mother, and younger sister kneeling before an altar. Picasso was 15 when he finished it.

5. Picasso was a Terrible Student
No doubt about it, Picasso was brilliant: artistically, he was years ahead of his classmates who were all five to six years older than him. But Picasso chafed at being told what to do and he was often thrown into "detention":
"For being a bad student I was banished to the 'calaboose' - a bare cell with whitewashed walls and a bench to sit on. I liked it there, because I took along a sketch pad and drew incessantly ... I could have stayed there forever drawing without stopping" 

6. Picasso's First Job
Picasso signed his first contract in Paris with art dealer Pere Menach, who agreed to pay him 150 francs per month (about US$750 today).

7. Did Picasso Steal the Mona Lisa?
Actually no, but in 1911, when the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre, the police took in Picasso's friend, the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Apollinaire fingered Picasso as a suspect, so the police hauled him in for questioning. Both were later released.

8. Cubism: Full of Little Cubes
In 1909, Picasso and French artist Georges Braque co-founded an art movement known as cubism. Actually, it was a French art critic Louis Vauxcelles who first called it "bizarre cubiques" or cubism, after noting that Picasso and Braque's paintings are "full of little cubes."

9. Picasso was a Playboy
Being a famous artist certainly helped Picasso get the girl. Girls, in fact - many, many girls. Here's a short list of known wives and lovers of Picasso

  •  Fernande Olivier (Picasso's first love, she was 18?; he was 23)
  •  Marcelle Humbert AKA Eva Gouel (she was 27, Picasso was 31)
  •  Gaby Lespinasse (he was 34, I don't know how old Gaby was, but she was young, that's for sure!)
  •  Olga Khokhlova (Picasso's first wife; she was 26 and he was 36 when they met)
  •  Marie-Therese Walter (she was 17, he was 46) 
  •  Dora Maar (she was 29, Picasso was 55)
  •  Francoise Gilot (she was 21 when she met Picasso, who was 61)
  •  Genevieve Laporte (one of Picasso's last lovers. She was in her mid-twenties and a French model of Picasso, who was in his seventies when the affair started)
  •  Jacqueline Roque (who became Picasso's second wife. She was 27 and he was 79)

Marie-Therese Walter was Picasso's model for Le Reve. In 2006, casino magnate Steve Wynn agreed to sell the painting for $139 million, but accidentally put his elbow through the canvas the day before the sale was to be completed!

10. Picasso's Car
Okay, it's not exactly his car, but I couldn't resist. Last year, 44-year-old mechanic Andy Saunders of Dorset, England, spent six months converting his old Citroen 2CV into a cubist work inspired by Pablo Picasso!

Saunders named his car Picasso's Citroen, which is much better looking than the ho-hum

Source: (Alex Santoso)

Video about Pablo Picasso

Modern Lovers - Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso . Un alma primitiva


Documental: El Guernica de Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso Paintings

Interesting Facts about Cocaine

Cocaine is an alkaloid found in leaves of the South American shrub Erythroxylon coca. The drug induces a sense of exhilaration in the user primarily by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

In pre-Columbian times, the coca leaf was officially reserved for Inca royalty. The natives used coca for mystical, religious, social, nutritional and medicinal purposes. Returning Spanish conquistadores introduced coca to Europe.

The active ingredient of the coca plant was first isolated in the West by the German chemist Friedrich Gaedcke in 1855; he named it "Erythroxyline". Albert Niemann described an improved purification process for his PhD; he named it "cocaine". Sigmund Freud, an early enthusiast, described cocaine as a magical drug. Robert Louis Stephenson wrote The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde during a six-day cocaine-binge. Intrepid polar adventurer Ernest Shackleton explored Antarctica propelled by cocaine tablets.

Doctors dispensed cocaine as an antidote to morphine addiction. Unfortunately, some of their patients made a habit of combining both.

Cocaine was soon sold over-the-counter. Until 1916, cocaine was widely used in tonics, toothache cures and patent medicines, in coca cigarettes "guaranteed to lift depression", and in chocolate cocaine tablets.

When combined with alcohol, the cocaine alkaloid yields a further potently reinforcing compound, now known to be cocaethylene. Thus cocaine was a popular ingredient in wines.

Coca-cola was introduced in 1886 as "a valuable brain-tonic and cure for all nervous afflictions". Until 1903, a typical serving contained around 60mg of cocaine.

Effects of "Crack" on the Individual & Society

A coca leaf, if chewed, rarely presents the user with any social or medical problems. Indeed coca-chewing may be therapeutic. When the leaves are soaked and mashed, however, cocaine is then extracted as a coca-paste. After the organic solvent used has evaporated, the coca-paste is 60 to 80 per cent pure. It is usually exported in the form of the salt, cocaine hydrochloride. This is the powdered cocaine most common, until recently, in the West. Drug testing for cocaine aims to detect the presence of its major metabolite, the inactive benzoylecgonine. Benzoylecgonine can be detected for up to five days in casual users. In chronic users, urinary detection is possible for as long as three weeks.

Sensation-hungry thrill-seekers have long sought the ultimate "rush". Normally, only intravenous administration could deliver the more potent hit they have been seeking. Yet there are strong cultural prejudices against injecting recreational drugs. So a smokeable form was developed.

Since the hydrochloride salt decomposes at the temperature required to vaporize it, cocaine is converted to crack. Ordinary cocaine hydrochloride is concentrated by heating the drug in a solution of baking soda until the water evaporates.

The initial short-lived euphoria of crack is followed by a "crash". This involves anxiety, depression, irritability, extreme fatigue and possibly paranoia. Physical health may deteriorate. An intense craving for more cocaine develops. In heavy users, compulsive and repetitive patterns of behavior may occur, so may tactile hallucinations of insects crawling underneath the skin.

The social consequences of heavy cocaine use can be equally unpleasant. Addicts are likely to alienate family and friends. They tend to become isolated and suspicious. Most of their money and time is spent thinking about how to get more of the drug. The compulsion may become utterly obsessive. During a "mission", essentially a 3-4 day crack-binge, users may consume up to 50 rocks a day. To obtain more, crack addicts will often lie, cheat, steal and commit crimes of violence. Once-loved partners and children may be callously cast aside. Whole communities can be disrupted by crack-abuse.

More Fact about Cocaine/Crack

  • Cocaine is one of the oldest known drugs but became popular in the last two decades as the ‘drug of the 80s and 90s’. It is a powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain. However, ordinary people know very little facts about cocaine.
  • Facts about cocaine are as follows:
  • It is a drug extracted from the leaves of the coca plant that has a strong stimulant effect on the central nervous system of the body.
  • In appearance it is a crystalline powder, white in color. On the street it is mixed with vitamins, cornstarch, flour or sugar and looks like a small rock with an off-white or pink color.

  • On the street cocaine is known by a variety of names such as, Coke, Dust, Toot, Line, Nose Candy, Powder, Girl, White Pony, Flake, C, The Lady, Cain, Neurocain, Rock, and Crack.
  • Cocaine is sniffed, snorted or smoked and in the deeply addict stage, injected.
  • Nearly 1 percent of Americans currently use cocaine, and they come from all social and economic levels. It is the second most popular drug in the US.
  • The drug gives the user a strong sense of exhilaration. Users generally feel highly energetic and euphoric, are alert and have a sense of invincibility. The effects usually last for about two hours followed by a feeling of intense depression, anxiety and paranoia. This is accompanied by loss of appetite.
  • Cocaine is an extremely potent and highly dangerous drug. It has several adverse effects that include insomnia, blurred vision, high anxiety, irritability and loss of appetite. Users are susceptible to cardiac arrest or respiratory failure preceded by seizures.

Video about Cocaine

How Drugs Work 3/3 - Cocaine (BBC Three)

Eric Clapton - Cocaine

Cocaine Mafia: Vanguard

Pablo Escobar - King of Cocaine

How Cocaine Is Made

How Does Cocaine Affect The Brain? - How Drugs Work, Cocaine, Preview - BBC Three

Colombia mulls decriminalising cocaine


Any language
コカインについての興味深い事実 // Faits intéressants au sujet de la cocaïne // Ενδιαφέροντα δεδομένα για κοκαΐνη // Numeri interessanti di cocaina // 有趣的事實可卡因 // 코카인에 대한 흥미로운 사실 // Interessante Fakten über Kokain // Fatos interessantes sobre Cocaína // Datos interesantes sobre la cocaína

Interesting Facts about Benjamin Franklin

Born: January 17 [Jan. 6, Old Style], 1706
Died: April 17, 1790

As a scientist, he is best known for his experiments with electricity. As a writer, he is known for Poor Richard's Almanac and his autobiography. He was the oldest figure of the American Revolution. Franklin also was the only person to sign the three documents that established the United States: the Declaration of Independence, the peace treaty with Britain that ended the Revolutionary War, and the Constitution.

Fun Facts about Ben Franklin

  • He actually had two birthdays. Franklin's birth certificate says that he was born on January 6, 1706, but on September 2, 1752 the British colonies changed to a different calendar. Over time, calendars no longer line up with seasons and adjustments must be made to make sure that seasons happen in the right month. That is why we have leap year. Therefore, at midnight on September 2, 1752, it legally became September 14 and Franklin's new birthday became January 17.
  • His picture has been on every $100 bill minted since 1928.
  • Franklin thought the turkey should be the national bird, rather than the bald eagle. He wrote in a letter to his daughter, Sarah, in 1784 that the turkey is more respectable than eagles and a true native of the United States.
  • He taught himself five different languages: Latin, German, Spanish, Italian and French.
  • Franklin crossed the Atlantic Ocean eight times and spent 27 years of his life living in other countries.

Amazing Facts about Benjamin Franklin

  • Ben earned lots of money, but he could have earned a lot more if he had patented his inventions. He never once patented any of his inventions.
  • Ben Franklin was the first American to invent an instrument, the armonica.
  • Ben Franklin was bad at math!
  • Ben Franklin taught himself how to swim when he was eight, and often taught his friends how to swim. At one time he considered opening up a swim school.
  • At the age of 16 Ben Franklin read a book about vegetable diets and decided to become a vegetarian.
  • While working in London, Ben got the nickname "Water-American," because he drank water instead of beer like almost everyone else.
  • Ben Franklin convinced the Pennsylvania Assembly to switch from coins to paper currency because coins were hard to come by and cumbersome.
  • Ben wrote a letter that convinced Congress to publicly debate slavery for the first time.
  • After writing and publishing Poor Richard's Almanac and The Way to Wealth, Ben Franklin became so wealthy that he was able to retire from printing in his early forties.
  • Ben liked to take "air baths." He would sit naked in his bathtub and let the cold air from an open window clean away any germs!
  • Ben Franklin founded the prestigious Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Ben nearly electrocuted himself to death while trying to cook a turkey with electricity!
  • Ben helped Thomas Jefferson revise the Declaration of Independence.

10 Jobs Held by Ben Franklin
An interesting fact about Ben Franklin's life is that he had many different jobs. Here are ten jobs that he had in his career.

  • Printer
  • Writer
  • Politician
  • Inventor
  • Scientist
  • Volunteer firefighter
  • Librarian
  • Postmaster
  • Bookstore owner
  • Soldier in Philadelphia militia

Ben Franklin invented many things that are still used today. Here are just a few of Franklin's inventions:

  • Bifocals
  • Lightning rod
  • Swimming fins
  • The Franklin stove, an iron fireplace that produced less smoke and used less wood.
  • Glass harmonica, a musical instrument

Video about Benjamin Franklin

The American Revolution - Biography Benjamin Franklin Citizen of the World

Walter Isaacson: "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life"

Benjamin Franklin Biography Short

The History Channel: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Conductor

Benjamin Franklin in a Nutshell

Maravilhas.Modernas A tecnologia de Benjamin Franklin

source: ( Lynne Ringle )

Interesting Facts about Tornado

What is a Tornado?
A Tornado is a column of air violently rotating  across the earth's surface.  The column of air most frequently attached to a cloud or thunderstorm overhead, which then extends down to the ground.  Tornadoes can form into any shape, but generally form the shape of a tunnel, narrow near the bottom and larger at the top.

What causes a Tornado?
The most common cause of a tornado is from a thunderstorm.  Tornadoes form when warm, moist air or air from a  thunderstorm meets cooler, dry air creating an unstable atmosphere. After creating an unstable atmosphere, changes in wind direction and wind speed creates a spinning effect near the earth's surface, eventually forming a tunnel of wind that rapidly grows and violently rotates along the earth's surface, destroying homes and uprooting trees that are in it's path.

Where are they  most likely  to  occur?
Tornadoes are likely to occur anywhere in the world, but most tornadoes occur in "Tornado Alley," which stretches from Texas to Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas and into the Dakotas.  The reasoning for "Tornado Alley," is because warm, moist air from the gulf of Mexico mixes with the cooler, dry air from the north creating dangerous tornadoes.  Tornadoes can occur during any time of the year, but typically happen during the spring.

What to do in case of a Tornado-  
If you find yourself in danger of a tornado, it's important that you take shelter to protect yourself.   The safest place to be in the case of a tornado is in the basement of your house or the building that you are in.
Do not go near the walls that face in the southern or western directions, this is generally the direction tornadoes move in.  You should seek shelter under a stair case, inside a closet or under a heavy table.  You should also use a heavy blanket or trash can for protection against debris.
You may also seek shelter in the bathtub, in many homes that have been destroyed by tornadoes, the bathtub plumbing is the only thing left standing.  This is because the plumbing is anchored into the ground.  If you driving near a tornado, you should leave your car and find shelter inside, you should not keep driving, you may not know what you may encounter on the road. It's also important to realize that a car cannot outrun a tornado.

15 Facts About Tornadoes

1. In order for a vortex to be classified as a tornado, the violently rotating column of air must be in contact with both the cloud above and the ground below.

2. Though tornadoes do occur on other continents, North America’s geography makes it more vulnerable to them. Bradley Smull, an atmospheric scientist at the National Science Foundation, explained yesterday in a Washington Post online chat: “In particular, the proximity of a major north-south mountain range…and the Gulf of Mexico…all in a latitude range frequented by strong upper-level jetstreams amounts to something of a “perfect storm” for severe (supercell-type) thunderstorm formation.”

3. Tornadoes are rated on the Enhanced F (EF) Scale (the old scale was called the Fujita (F) Scale), which assigns a number (0 to 5) based on estimates of 3-second wind gusts and damage. There have been more than 50 F5/EF5 tornadoes recorded in the United States since 1950.

4. Rain, wind, lightning and/or hail may accompany a tornado, but none of them is a reliable predictor of an oncoming tornado.

5. A tornado can last from a few seconds to more than an hour. On average, they persist for about 10 minutes.

6. It is a myth that a tornado cannot pass over features like valleys, mountains, lakes and rivers. When it passes over a lake or river, a tornado becomes a waterspout.

7. Tornado alley is the region in the middle of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent. However, every U.S. state and every continent (except Antarctica) has experienced a tornado.

8. A tornado watch means that conditions are ripe for a tornado; a warning means that a storm has been spotted on the ground or via radar (and you should take cover immediately).

9. Since the first tornado forecast was made in 1948, tornado warning lead times have been increasing and now average 13 minutes. However, they have a 70 percent false alarm rate, which may lead some people to take them less seriously than they should.

10. Mobile homes aren’t more likely to get hit by a tornado than any other type of building, but their flimsy structure provides little protection against strong winds and flying debris.

11. It’s also a bad idea to take shelter in a car—which can be easily tossed about—or under a bridge, where a person would be vulnerable to flying debris or a bridge collapse.

12. The single deadliest tornado killed 695 people in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana on March 18, 1925. The series of tornadoes that struck Tuscaloosa, Alabama and other Southern states in April 2011 set a new record. According to NOAA, there were 312 recorded tornadoes that touched down from 8 a.m. on April 27 through 8 a.m. on April 28. The death toll these storms was over 250 people, and did not break the 1925 record mentioned above.

13. A tornado that struck Washington, D.C. on August 25, 1814, is credited with driving the British invaders out of the city and preventing them from carrying out further destruction. They had burned the White House and much of the city the day before.

14. The city of Greensburg, Kansas was flattened by a tornado in 2007, but instead of abandoning the town, the people are rebuilding with an emphasis on green technology.

15. In 2009 and 2010, more than 100 scientists participated in VORTEX2 (funded by the National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), which set out to track tornadoes as they formed and moved across the landscape. The V2 researchers are trying to answer many basic questions about tornadoes, such as how, when and why they form, how strong the winds get near the ground, how they do damage, and how predictions can be improved. During the two years, they collected data from dozens of storms and tornadoes. In order for a vortex to be classified as a tornado, the violently rotating column of air must be in contact with both the cloud above and the ground below.

Interesting Video about Tornado

Tornado Destruction

Family's surveillance cameras rolling as tornado hits West

Largest tornado ever recorded? 2.5 miles wide! Hallam, Nebraska 2004

Tornado Watch - Girls Swimming - Baby Having Fun - VLOG - Beach Plan Fail - Bad Prank

BEAUTIFUL tornado in New Zealand!!

Planeta zywiolów - Tornado (Cz.1/5)

Australia Tornado 'Was Frightening'

Tornado en Tuscaloosa Familia Duarte

Australian driver races for his life against massive tornado in Victoria

Tornado Chasers Needs Your Help!


Interesting Facts about China

Fact #1 – Chinese go to the hospital for everything. There are no personal family doctors. When I first came to China this came as as a surprise. My friends would tell me they have to go to the hospital. I thought they had a serious illness or disease. But it turns out most of the time it was a common cold or flu bug. Still whenever I have a cold someone will invariably ask me if I am going to the hospital and I have to remind myself that hospitals are the only place to go for medical care, no matter how small. It's no wonder they are so popular. To register and get a consultation with a doctor (often times Master or P.H.D. program graduates) costs between $0.25 and $.0.75!

Fact #2 – Driving has a whole different set of rules here. No doubt if you have been in China before, you know that taking to the roads can be a heart stopping experience. At the beginning of my time in China every single trip across time would present five to ten moments when I thought there was no way the driver could possibly avoid a crash. My friend told me that in China if you let other drivers in, then you will never get where you are going. There is just a continuous stream of vehicles. The rule of right of way is “whoever gets their bumper in first has it!” After several years in China, I now find myself upset if the driver is slow and doesn't race through traffic changing lanes. Lest you think that Chinese drivers are poor, think again. They go through rigorous and costly driving lessons far more difficult than what the States puts its drivers through. Drivers here have lightning fast reflexes and can stop on a coin if a pedestrian gets in their way.

Fact #3 – Want to know the biggest migration in the world every year? It is not birds going south or arctic reindeer, it happens right here in China. Each year at Chinese Spring Festival roughly 230 million Chinese city workers head back to their hometowns to celebrate Chinese New Year. Ticket prices soar and public transportation turns into a sea of people. One reason for this mass migration is that China institutes a 15 day nation wide holiday. Actually China has four or five public holidays every year when everyone gets off at the same time. Because everyone is off at the same time, everyone travels at the same time. This is in stark contrast to America, where nationwide holidays are short and workers have a lot more discretionary time off.

Fact #4 – China boasts one of the highest percentages of male hand bag carriers in the world. Whereas top brands like Gucci and Prada cater to women in Western countries, they are starting to realize the importance of targeting men here. The reason so many Chinese men carry expensive handbags is simple. The highest denominations of Ren Men Bi (Chinese Yuan) is 100. That is the equivalent of about $14. Checks aren't used and cash is. This means that large wads of cash are carried about as a must to conduct business. Wealthy businessmen buy these handbags to put in piles of cash. Also Chinese guys will cheerfully carry their wives or girlfriends purses and handbags. Sometimes you can catch sight of a burly gym rat carrying a bright red handbag with hearts on it, quite a sight!

Fact #5 – Elderly people in China have a completely different lifestyle than their Western counterparts. Early in the morning you might hear music drifting in your apartment window. It is probably women (and a lot of men too!) who have gotten up early to dance. Parks, local complexes, and sports stadium grounds are filled with public dancing. It is a great form of exercise as they really get into it. Besides that many occupy their time with social exercising, jianzi (kicking a weighted shuttlecock in a group), Tai Ji, or Ma Jiang. I have found that most elder people in China keep in great shape because of their daily exercises. Many times they will walk backwards or tap their biceps or other body parts to loosen up and keep limber.

10 interesting facts about China as an economic powerhouse

A two-decade long run has catapulted the Chinese economy to amazing heights. It is said China will will become new economic powerhouse in the next few years. And China has always been the topic of much conversation world wide. Let`s review China from the following 10 interesting facts to see how China’s economy has reached incredible scale.

1. Artificial christmas trees
China is not only the world’s largest textile producer, but also a leader in Christmas tree manufacturing industry. 85% of the world’s artificial Christmas trees are made in China.

2. Pig-keeping Empire  
China is not only the most populous country in the world, but also a counry with the biggest number of pigs. United Nation`s 2008 data shows that in 2008, there were 446.4 million pigs in China, more than the total of other 43 countries.

3.Daily smoking
Chinese people light 50,000 cigarettes per second. The WHO said the number of smokers in China is constantly increasing in the past few years, 66 percent of Chinese men smoke at least one cigarette a day.

4. “Ghost Towns” spread all over the country
In recent years, China carried out large number of constructions including rural areas. And “ghost town” also appears in many places. It is estimated there are more than 64 million vacant apartments around the country.

5. Lonely McDonald
South China Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall, should have 1,500 stores, but in fact 99% of the shops are still vacant at present, only a small number of restaurants, including McDonald’s can be found there.

6. Construction boom continues
China still make great efforts to carry out construction. The result is that there is no country consumes so much cement than China, 53% of the global demand for cement is from China.

7. Barbie dolls are too sexy
Chinese are either high on building houses or produce textiles and toys, such as Barbie dolls and stuffed animals. Nearly 70% of the toys in the world are from China. However, Chinese people rarely buy Barbie, because blond Barbies are too sexy for them. In China the market manily sell cute Barbie dolls.

8. There are tens of millions of Christians in China
In this Confucian-and-atheists-dominated country. There are about 19 ​​million Christians according to the 2008 figure.

9. Rapid development
In 2010, China overtook Japan to become the second largest economy, Chinese people today have 4 times of wealth than that of 10 years ago.

10. Everything is under control
Giant companies in China are all controlled by the state including Petro China and the Bank of China. Business managers and government are closely linked.

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source: (vincent01)

Interesting Facts about Smoking

Smoking Overview:

In the United States:
• 20.6% of U.S. adults smoke
• 40% of non-smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke
• 54% of children are exposed to secondhand smoke
• Smoking causes 443,000 deaths every year!
In Kentucky:
• More than 8,000 Kentuckians will die this year from tobacco-related illnesses
• 28.6% of Kentucky adults smoke which is one of the highest rates in the nation
• 17% of Kentucky youth smoke

  • The facts about smoking in China are scary and getting scarier by the minute:
  • It produces more tobacco than any other country.
  • It has an estimated 350 million smokers — that's 1 in 3 of the world's smokers.
  • 36% of the population smoke, including 70% of all Chinese men. Most of them have no knowledge of the facts about smoking or any awareness of the consequences they face.
  • More than one million people a year die in China from tobacco-related diseases, including lung cancer and heart disease.
  • These 1 million smokers were mainly aged 35-69 and this figure is predicted to increase to 2 mil in just 15 years.
  • In fact the biggest killer in China is lung cancer, beating road accidents (and if you drive in China, you'll know what this means!).

CUBA — home of smooth cigars and black tobacco cigarettes:
  • In an effort to have Cubans live longer, Fidel Castro issued a stop smoking resolution back in Feb 2005, banning smoking in enclosed public spaces, such as halls, theatres, sports facilities, transport, and designated areas in clubs and restaurants. Cubans laughed at the idea and mostly ignored this attack on their sacred vice, and the authorities are not interested in enforcing the ban.
  • Castro himself quit chomping on cigars in 1986 to try and set a good example to other Cubans and to support his health ministry's anti-smoking efforts.
  • Cubans took no notice and currently 40% of the population of 11.2 million smoke.
  • The cheapest pack of cigs costs ½ a day's pay and one cheap cigar costs ¼ of a day's pay.
  • Smoking death statistics for Cubans, that cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death, with the highest percentage caused by smoking.
  • Doctors are some of the heaviest smokers even though they were banned from smoking during work back in 1990.

45,000 people die each year from COPD (chronic bronchitis and emphysema), or diseases precipitated by COPD, such as pneumonia, heart disease and stroke. Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. A smoker is 10 times more likely to die of COPD than a non-smoker. Global deaths are estimated to be 4.8 million.

How does smoking affect health?

• On average, adults who smoke cigarettes die 14 years earlier than non-smokers
• Harms nearly every organ in your body
• Causes coughing and wheezing
• Causes yellowing of teeth and fingernails
• Leading cause of cancer incidence and mortality
• Increases risk of developing heart disease
• Increases risk of having a stroke
• Increases risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
• Increases risk of hip fractures and cataracts
• Increases risk of pneumonia
• Women: increases risk of premature birth or low birth weight babies
• Women: increases risk of cervical cancer

Pap tests
• Men: increases risk of prostate cancer

How does secondhand smoke affect health?

• Secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for 49,400 deaths each year
• Known to cause cancer
Living with a smoker increases a non-smokers chance of lung cancer by 20-30%
• May trigger asthma attacks in non-smokers with asthma

Effects of secondhand smoke on children’s health
• Increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
• Increased number of ear infections and colds
• Increased risk of pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma

What Happens When You Quit Smoking?

20 minutes
Blood pressure and heart rate return to normal
8 hours
Carbon monoxide in blood decreases to normal
24 hours
Risk of having a heart attack decreases
48 hours
Nerve endings start to regrow
Ability to taste and smell is enhanced
2 to 12 weeks
Circulation improves, less coughing and wheezing
Improvement in lung function begins
1 to 9 months
Cough, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease
Phlegm production decreases
Cilia (tiny hair like structures) in the lung regain normal function
1 year
Risk of heart disease and heart attack reduced to half that of a smoker
5 to 15 years
Risk of stroke returns to that of a non-smoker
10 years
Risk of lung, mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas cancer drops
15 years
Risk of heart disease and heart attack similar to risk of those who have never smoked

10 Smoking Facts That You Don’t Know

10. The legal age of tobacco purchasing is increased from 16 to 18 in many countries except in Japan, where the minimum age is 20 years for that.
9. Scientists say that smokers lose 14 years of their life due to smoking.
8. After smoke is inhaled, nicotine reaches the brain within 10 seconds and is found in every part of the body.
7. Urea that is a major component of urine is added to flavor the cigarettes.
6. Smokers normally smoke after having a meal; because they think that it allows food to digest easily but in fact the body’s priority moves to protecting blood cells other than digesting food.
5. Around 25% of the cigarettes are sold around the world are smuggled
4. Brands like Marlboro, Kool, Camel and Kent owns around 70% of the cigarette market.
3. U.S cigarette manufacturers earn a lot more in selling the cigarettes to countries all over the world than by selling to Americans.
2. Now with blended tobacco some toppings are mixed to add flavor like clove, licorice, orange oil, apricot stone, lime oil, lavender oil, cocoa and many other.
1. Cigarette is the only most traded item in the world. More than $400 billion is earned by the industries each year.

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