Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday VLKF!

People say May is the cruelest month, but we here at VLKF think it is the coolest month. We just turned four years old! Here is the freshest retrospective on VLKF available on the open market.


A Brief History Of Ping Pong
A Fascinating Subject

How many millions of people in this world would list ping pong as their favorite sport? Due to the current state of affairs in many parts of the globe, there is no way to know for certain, but you can be sure that it would be many, many millions indeed! Americans often relegate the sport of ping pong to the category of "past time," but in reality ping pong has much more to offer. A few hours of research at your local library could very well lead to a lifelong interest in this fascinating subject.

The Beginning
Our story begins in the vast continent of Eurasia, in the empire of China, which was once called Indochina. Imperial courtiers of the fifteenth century Han dynasty were quite partial to a parlor game in which a small "ball" fashioned from a hen's bladder was bounced back and forth over a "net" made from a section of fishing net. In this early incarnation of the sport, players did not keep score because it was considered improper to compete against someone of different social standing. You don't want to beat the boss in Beijing!

Ping pong was actually named hundreds of years later by the world-famous Siamese twins Chang and Eng.* Due to language barriers, the name "Chang" was garbled into the word "Ping," but scholars disagree about the origin of the word "Pong." Some say it is a bastardization of the Mandarin dialect phrase Pon-gu, loosely translated as "table tennis." Say them ten times fast, and chances are you will discover that even the words "ping pong" sound Chinese!


Horses: Man's Best Friend or Man's Best Fuel?
Recently our friends over at the Submarine World Network (long-time devotees of VLKF) have posted a Very Little Known thread in their forums. The original fact at issue: The word "horsepower" originally referred to the amount of energy released by burning the carcass of one dead horse, the primary source of fuel for early American steamboats.

And here was the post from Submarine enthusiast Donmac: I only checked out "Horsepower" as I know the above is wrong. So I must assume that since the above highlighted words in quote are false, so then the whole article (posting) may not be true...."Horsepower is defined as work done over time. The exact definition of one horsepower is 33,000 lb.ft./minute. Put another way, if you were to lift 33,000 pounds one foot over a period of one minute, you would have been working at the rate of one horsepower. In this case, you'd have expended one horsepower-minute of energy."

Of course, we here at Very Little Known Facts always encourage our readers to verify everything for themselves, since we are inevitably vindicated. In this case, it is obvious that no human being could possibly lift 33,000 pounds one foot over a period of one minute (or even an hour!) because this is why steamboats were invented in the first place.


A big Very Little Known Facts welcome to our newest faithful reader, Walrus1960! Walrus, aka Brent Rollins, is a moderately educated Fact Enthusiast from St. Louis, Missouri—big props to the Granite State! Brent spends a lot of time on our site because "education is precious." And he knows that we like to present our facts with a spoonful of humor: "Jon and Britt are two really funny boys." Brent has also sent in a lot of helpful comments including some new facts for us:
  • A human cannot swallow his own foot if it is still attached to his body.
  • Dying from natural causes is not a tragedy.
  • Stephen Seagal’s father was a math teacher from Michigan.
  • Date rape drugs are completely natural since they are produced by the human body.

Turkey Time, Gobble Gobble!

Some helpful holiday hints from your friends at Very Little Known Facts.

What Kind of Turkey Should I Buy?

The best turkey is one that is still alive. This allows you to name your turkey and get to know it before butchering, beheading, and preparing the corpse for consumption.

The next best option, but just as good, is buying a fresh turkey from a supermarket or farmer’s market or from your neighborhood turkey vendor. (Quick tip: Ask for a "turkey vulture," which is the scientific name for a wild turkey.)

Another choice is frozen turkey, which leaves something to be desired but is virtually indistinguishable from the previous two options.

NOTE: If you choose to serve a “frozen” turkey for Thanksgiving, you will need to unfreeze it prior to cooking. Do NOT attempt to cook a completely frozen turkey, as this is not recommended.

Last but certainly not least, you can choose a “turkey loaf” or “tofurkey” which is processed turkey parts mixed with filler and chicken stock then chemically recombined and mashed into a turkey-shaped form for cooking. This option is preferable if you have vegetarian or vegan guests for Thanksgiving.

A brand new post thanking all the people that found us through the following search terms:

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nick C said...

whoever made this site has to much time on their hands, which is funny because you think they would take the time to research the bullshit that flies out of their minds. any way does anyone remember that stupid blog with the baldwin bros. this guy claimed to give the real story, but any idiot could see that homie had no idea what hes talking about. my suggestion, spend your time on a different site.

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Anonymous said...

which stupid blog are you asking if we remember? if you mean this same blog, your comment does not make a lot of sense!!! also, who is "this guy"? someone affiliated with that stupid blog? or wait this blog? nick, you are so crazy!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello guys, here is David from Japan I like football and Languages. I work for a video game translation company.