Japan's working unions have a new framework - "The National Trade Union Productivity Congress." In many places, this is a paradox or an oxymoron. "Can't we just work together?"

The fourth largest capacity electric utility is Escom, in South Africa. Kimberly had electic streetlights in 1882, before London, New York and many other US cities.

If the temperature of an alligator's mound is 30 C, all the hatchlings will be females. If it is 33 C, they are all male.

In 1885, Thomas Edison had a great start on woiring and distributing electricity to hundreds of US cities. But the technology, while innovative, was flawed; DC (or Direct Current as in a car battery) does not perform well with distance. The intensity of the current decreases because of resistance of the wires and this required homes and factories to be with a few thousand feet of generators. To effectively use DC current would have dramatically shifted the way our cities were being organized and constructed.

Nikola Tesla, a student of Edison and a Croatian-born Serbian, had a different idea. He proposed using a devise of his own design, an alternating-current polyphase generator that produced an oscillating current that would not have these distance limitations. Response was not strong to the idea - after all, Edison was very well known and well-established.

But Tesla, with the support of George Westinghouse, underbid Edison for the contract to supply light to the World's Exposition in Chicago. The generators and system performed quite well and the technological tide turned in favor of a more effective process which is now the basis of the world's power grids.

A unionized Nokia Telecommunications plant in Finland manufactured microwave radios used in all parts of wireless transmission networks. They implemented three multi-discipline product teams and two process-improvement teams to study work flow. The remaining staff also formed some teams . Productivity improved 600% and the through-put times fell to 1/4 of pre-implementation over 16 months.

Stuff--Strange but true...trivia

Stewardesses and reverberated are the two longest words (12 letters each) that can be typed using only the left hand; the longest word that can be typed using only the right hand is lollipop; Skepticisms is the longest word that alternates hands.

A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.

In the 1940s, the FCC assigned television's Channel 1 to mobile services (two-way radios in taxicabs, for instance) but did not re-number the other channel assignments. That is why your TV set has channels 2 and up, but no channel 1.

A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, a group of geese in the air is a skein.

The underside of a horse's hoof is called a frog. The frog peels off several times a year with new growth.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

The "save" icon on Microsoft Word shows a floppy disk, with the shutter on backwards.

The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways; the following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough, after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."

The shape of plant collenchyma cells and the shape of the bubbles in beer foam are the same - they are orthotetrachidecahedrons.

The word 'pound' is abbreviated 'lb.' after the constellation 'libra' because it means 'pound' in Latin, and also 'scales'. The abbreviation for the British Pound Sterling comes from the same source: it is an 'L' for Libra/Lb. with a stroke through it to indicate abbreviation. Same goes for the Italian lira which uses the same abbreviation ('lira' coming from 'libra'). So British currency (before it went metric) was always quoted as "pounds/shillings/pence", abbreviated "L/s/d" (libra/solidus/denarius).

Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.

Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means "the king is dead".

Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head."

Camel's milk does not curdle.

In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

An animal epidemic is called an epizootic.

Murphy's Oil Soap is the chemical most commonly used to clean elephants.

The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.

Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan.

All porcupines float in water.

"Hang On Snoopy" is the official rock song of Ohio.

Did you know that there are coffee flavored PEZ?

The world's largest wine cask is in Heidelberg, Germany.

Lorne Greene had one of his nipples bitten off by an alligator while he was host of "Lorne Greene's Wild Kingdom."

Cat's urine glows under a black light.

If you bring a raccoon's head to the Henniker, New Hampshire town hall, you are entitled to receive $.10 from the town.

St. Stephen is the patron saint of bricklayers.

The first song played on Armed Forces Radio during operation Desert Shield was "Rock the Casba" by the Clash.

The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

Non-dairy creamer is flammable.

The airplane Buddy Holly died in was the "American Pie." (Thus the name of the Don McLean song.)

Texas is the only state that is allowed to fly its state flag at the same height as the U.S. flag.

The only nation whose name begins with an "A", but doesn't end in an "A" is Afghanistan.

The names of the three wise monkeys are Mizaru (See no evil), Mikazaru (Hear no evil), and Mazaru (Speak no evil).

When opossums are playing 'possum, they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror. Scientifically, it is called "Tonic Immobility." You can do the same thing by holding a chicken on its back for a few moments - it will also freeze.

The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history. Spades - King David, Clubs -Alexander the Great, Hearts - Charlemagne, and Diamonds -Julius Caesar.

 

Fact-O-Rama

**Contributed to Swenny's E-Mail Funnies by Lyn Deadmore Taylor, Atlanta, Georgia**

Before Prohibition, Schlitz Brewery owned more property in Chicago than anyone else, except the Catholic church.

If you put a raisin in a glass of champagne, it will keep floating to the top and sinking to the bottom.

Kermit the Frog is left-handed.

Non-dairy creamer is flammable.

The car in the foreground on the back of a $10 bill is a 1925 Hupmobile.

Dr. Seuss and Kurt Vonnegut went to college together. They were even in the same fraternity, where Seuss decorated the fraternity house walls with 20 drawings of his characters.

The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

It's rumored that sucking on a copper penny will cause a breathalyzer to read 0.

Dogs and humans are the only animals with prostates.

The highest scoring word in the English language game of Scrabble is 'Quartzy'. This will score 164 points if played across a red triple word square with the Z on a light blue double letter square. It will score 162 points if played across two pink double word squares with the Q and the Y on those squares. 'Bezique' and Cazique' are next with a possible 161 points. All three words score an extra 50 points for having seven letters and therefore emptying the letter rack in one go.

Assuming Rudolph was in front, there are 40,320 ways to arrange the other eight reindeer.

The dial tone of a normal telephone is in the key of "F".

The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans, so much so that they could be confused at a crime scene.

In the four major US professional sports (baseball, basketball,football, and hockey), there are only seven teams whose nicknames do not end with an "S:" Basketball: The Miami Heat, The Utah Jazz, The Orlando Magic. Baseball: The Boston Red Sox, The Chicago White Sox. Hockey: The Colorado Avalanche, The Tampa Bay Lightning. Football: None. I think that the hockey team in Anaheim is officially known as "The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim" which does not end in "s."

Beelzebub, another name for the devil, is Hebrew for Lord of the Flies, and this is where the book's title comes from.

It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is shake and the 46th word from the last word is spear. The ship, the Queen Elizabeth 2, should always be written as QE2. QEII is the actual queen. There were no squirrels on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts until 1989.

The correct response to the Irish greeting, "Top of the morning to you," is "and the rest of the day to yourself."

The Les Nessman character on the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati wore a bandaid in every episode, either on himself, his glasses, or his clothing.

Columbia University is the second largest landowner in New York City, after the Catholic Church.

A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home to a sellout crowd, the stadium becomes the state's third largest city.

John Larroquette of "NightCourt" and "The John Larroquette Show" was the narrator of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first, and only, home run.

Gilligan of Gilligan's Island had a first name that was only used once, on the never-aired pilot show. His first name was Willy.

Ohio is listed as the 17th state in the U.S., but technically it is Number 47. Until August 7, 1953, Congress forgot to vote on a resolution to admit Ohio to the Union.

When Saigon fell, the signal for all Americans to evacuate was Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" being played on the radio.

The pet ferret (Mustela putorias furo) was domesticated more than 500 years before the house cat.

The dome on Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, conceals a billiards room. In Jefferson's day, billiards were illegal in Virginia.

The term "devil's advocate" comes from the Roman Catholic church. When 20 of the church's most important convene in deciding if someone should be sainted, a devil's advocate is always appointed to give an alternative view.

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