Did you know that there are twice as many chickens in the world as humans, or that one in three men picks his nose while driving? Do you want to know the average weight of a human eyeball, or how many hearts a worm has? Learn the answers to all these questions—and more! The first book in the Dr. Dino's Learnatorium series, How Fast Can You Fart? is packed with the wildest, weirdest, funniest, grossest, brainiest, and best facts about history, science, food, geography, words, and much more.
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How Fast Can You Fart?
By Dr. Dino's Learnatorium
John Blake Publishing LtdCopyright © 2014 Noel Botham and Chris Mitchell
All rights reserved.
A Little Bit About You to Start Off With
Your thumb is the same length as your nose.
It takes food just seven seconds to travel from your mouth to your stomach.
On average you (and every other person) fart about once an hour. That's 8,760 farts every year, which adds up to 700,800 farts in your lifetime. Phew, that's a lot of gas!
Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete. I wouldn't recommend kicking a concrete wall though ...
It doesn't matter what day you were born on, you share a birthday with at least 10,000,000 other people in the world.
It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. What's more, a sneeze travels out of your mouth at a whopping 100 miles per hour! No wonder you can't keep it in.CHAPTER 2
The next time your parents serve up some unwanted carrots, tell them you only like the purple kind. Before the 16th century, almost all carrots were purple, but then in Holland some farmers grew mutant orange carrots in honour of the Dutch Royal Family – The House of Orange. You can still get purple carrots, but they're pretty rare.
Carrots aren't the only food whose colour might have you fooled. Butter is naturally white – the yellow colour is artificial.
Not all colouring is artificial. Turnips turn green when sunburned.CHAPTER 3
What's in a Name?
If you think where you live is crazy, think again. There is a town in West Virginia, USA, called Looneyville.
Probably the worst place to live is in Boring, in Oregon, USA. Just to make things worse, in 2002 Boring twinned with the village of Dull in Scotland.
The smelliest place to live has to be Middelfart, a town in Denmark.
With a whopping 85 letters Taumatawhakatangihanga -koauauotamatearturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokai -whenuakitanatahu is the longest place name in the world. It is a small hill in New Zealand, and it means 'The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his love one.' Try saying that in one breath!
Simon Bolivar was a great military leader in South America in the 19th century. He gave Colombia its name in 1819 and in 1825 Bolivia was named after him. Unfortunately, Bolivar was actually Venezuelan ...CHAPTER 4
Ye Olde English
The oldest word in the English language is 'who'.
If your teacher ever tells you that you are using commas and full stops incorrectly, just tell them punctuation didn't even exist in writing until the 15th century, and people seemed to get on fine then!
Shakespeare was a great inventor. In fact, he invented over 1,700 words in his plays, most of which we still use today such as champion, lonely, torture, bloodstained and swagger.
You might think the English language is fairly fixed by today, but you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, around 4,000 new words are created every year. By the time you are 20, there will have been more new words created in the English language (80,000) than the average person knows (75,000).CHAPTER 5
The Sizzling Sun
The Sun might look like it's the same size as the Moon, but this is just because it is so much further away. In reality you could fit 73,000,000 Moons inside the Sun.
The Sun is so far away it takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds for light from the Sun to reach the Earth. You might think that's not very long, but light travels at 299,792,458 metres per second! To think about that another way, if you were in a car that was going 90 miles per hour it would take you 118 years to get to the Sun. I hope you have some good car games to play!
Because gravity is so much stronger on the Sun, a human weighing 60 kilograms on the Earth will weigh 1624 kilograms on the Sun. Incidentally, a dinosaur weighing 60 kilograms on the Earth will also weigh 1624 kilograms on the Sun.CHAPTER 6
The world record for carrying a milk bottle on your head is 80.95 miles.
A Flemish artist painted the world's smallest hand-painted painting – a picture of a miller and his mill – on a single grain of corn. Scientists have also been able to recreate the Mona Lisa perfectly using machinery ... at a third of the width of a human hair!
The longest Monopoly game ever played lasted 70 days. However, in Buffalo, USA, someone decided playing normal Monopoly was a little too easy, and set up an underwater Monopoly tournament. To date the longest underwater game lasted 45 days.
In 2009 Jackie Bibby held 11 rattlesnakes in his mouth by their tails for 10 seconds, claiming one of the world's most dangerous world records.CHAPTER 7
Laws to Die For
It is illegal for an MP to enter the House of Commons wearing a full suit of armour. Not only that, it is also against the law to die in the House of Commons. I don't quite know what the punishment would be ...
In Scotland, you cannot be drunk and be in charge of a cow or a horse.
Be careful the next time you are sending a letter. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down on an envelope.
If you're Scottish, the best bet is to stay out of York. It is legal to kill a Scotsman within the city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.CHAPTER 8
You might think of the Sahara Desert as being pretty hot, but it has been known to snow there!
The windiest place on the planet is Common-wealth Bay, Antarctica where winds regularly top 150 miles per hour.
Lightning strikes the Earth about 6,000 times per minute. And, contrary to what your teachers will tell you, it often strikes the same place twice.
The heaviest hailstones to ever fall to Earth weighed more than one kilogram each, and fell in a storm in Bangladesh. They caused enormous damage.CHAPTER 9
What Sort of a Word is That?
The longest published word in the English language is 1913 letters long and refers to a part of DNA. It is an enzyme that has 267 amino acids:
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]
Rhythm and syzygy are the longest English words without vowels.
When two words are joined together to form a new word (breakfast + lunch = brunch) it is called a portmanteau.
The Eskimo language has over 100 words to describe different types of snow.
It's true that women speak more than men, almost three times as much in fact. The average woman speaks about 20,000 words a day. The average man speaks only about 7,000. This is only the case for humans though. In my experience male dinosaurs speak far more than female ones, but that might be because I'm the only one left ...CHAPTER 10
Famous Last Words
Some people know just the right thing to say at the right time, and none more so than these men whose last words have gone down in history:
'My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.' – Playwright Oscar Wilde.
The wallpaper stayed.
'Now, now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies.' – French philosopher Voltaire, after being asked to reject Satan.
'I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather. Not screaming in terror like his passengers.' – Jim Harkins.
'They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist ...' – General John Sedgwick, who unfortunately miscalculated the distance the Confederate soldiers were away from him in the American Civil War.
'Don't let it end like this! Tell them I said something!' – Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, who couldn't think of anything to say.CHAPTER 11
The Marvellous Moon
A peach was the first fruit eaten on the Moon.
The Moon orbits the Earth once every 27.32 days, which is just under a month.
Neil Armstrong might have been the first man to walk on the Moon, but Buzz Aldrin gets the far greater honour of being the first man to pee his pants on the Moon!
The only person to play golf on the Moon was Alan Shepherd. His golf balls have never been found.
A full moon always rises at sunset and is 11 times brighter than a quarter moon.CHAPTER 12
Every year thousands of farmers, both professional and amateur, around the world compete to see who can grow the biggest food, with competitions in everything from who has the biggest potato to the biggest turnip. Here are just a few of the all-time records:
In October 2013 Tim Mathison set a new world record at the 23rd Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off in California with a pumpkin weighing a gigantic 2,032 pounds. That's about the same as a fully-grown walrus and heavier than some elephants. The pumpkin was taken to New York to do a series of TV events.
The world's heaviest apple, by contrast, weighed in at 'only' 4 pounds and 1 ounce. It was picked by apple farmer Chisato Iwasaki at his farm in Japan.
Chris Kent, an accountant from Tennessee, proved he wasn't too boring when he grew the world's largest watermelon in October 2013. He beat the previous record by 42.5 pounds when the watermelon was revealed to be 350.5 pounds. A single seed from that watermelon was valued at about £10 and it had around 1,500 seeds, making it by far the world's most expensive watermelon.
The largest cabbage ever grown weighed 138.25 pounds. It was grown by Scott Robb and presented at the Alaska State Fair in 2012. The next year, in 2013, the competition was won by 10-year-old Keevan Dinkel.
The UK held the world record for the world's longest cucumber at 47 inches long. However that was smashed by a young farmer in China who grew a 5 foot 7 inch long cucumber. It was bigger than him! The secret? He used horse poo to help it grow.CHAPTER 13
If you want to impress your friends and teachers, try slipping in some of these words into everyday conversation. There are 26 here, one for each letter of the alphabet:
An armsaye is the word for the armhole in clothing.
The skin that peels off you after you get sunburned is called blype.
Food that has just been spat out is called chanking.
A deltiologist is someone who collects postcards.
Ejectamenta is the word for everything that comes spewing out of a volcano.
A funambulist is another name for a tightrope walker.
Watching people eating in the hope that they will offer you some of it is called groaking.
A horologist measures time.
When you are afraid of going to the doctors you have iatrophobia.
Jazzetry is the official name for poetry when it is read out accompanied by some lovely jazz music.
The word karate mean 'empty hand'.
The white area at the base of a fingernail is called the lunula.
If you are macrocephalic you have a very large head.
The next time you're told it's your bedtime, tell your parents that you are a noceur. That's someone who naturally stays up late.
Another word for your armpit is an oxter.
When you yawn I bet you pandiculate, which is the way you stretch your body when you yawn.
Quagswag has nothing to do with swag. It is the act of shaking back and forth.
The habit of picking your nose is called rhinotillexomania.
A Sultan's wife is called a Sultana. She shouldn't be confused with a grape, dried or otherwise.
The single dot over the letter i is called a tittle.
If something is slimy it can be described as uliginous.
To vaticinate is to predict the future, like a prophet.
Unsurprisingly, someone who goes to a wedding is officially called a weddinger.
Xenologists would say that they study the extraterrestrial. Everyone else would just say that they believe in aliens.
A youf is a woof that has been muffled in some way.
If you are a zoilist you are someone who enjoys finding fault in things.CHAPTER 14
You could be forgiven for thinking that the Earth isn't moving – but actually it's moving very quickly indeed. In fact, it's speeding around the Sun at a ridiculous 66,600 miles per hour. And on top of that, it spins on its axis at roughly 1,000 miles per hour. When you think about it, it's amazing you don't feel dizzy.
Our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains at least 100,000,000,000 stars, and may have up to 400,000,000,000. To give a sense of perspective, if the Milky Way were the size of a 100-metre running track, our solar system would be about the same size as a grain of sand!
If that doesn't make you feel small, although scientists don't really know how many galaxies there are in the Universe, their best guess is that there are 100,000,000,000. Which means that they think there might be around 70 sextillion stars. If you're wondering how many zeros that is, it's an awful lot: 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
The Universe is about 13.8 billion years old. The Earth is only about a third as old as that, at around 4.54 billion years old.
Scientists believe that the Universe isn't finite. That means it just keeps expanding and becoming bigger and bigger.
What it is expanding into, nobody knows. But if you think about it enough, it makes your head hurt. A lot.
Once known as the ninth planet in our Solar System, Pluto, about two-thirds the size of our Moon, was declassified as a planet in 2006 and named a dwarf planet. And, in fact, it's not even the biggest dwarf planet in the solar system, as Eris, a dwarf planet discovered in 2005, is actually 27% larger than Pluto.
CH15 Loony Laws From Around the World
Every citizen of Kentucky, USA, is required by law to take a bath at least once a year.
In Tibet, China, all Buddhist monks are banned from reincarnating after they die – unless they first get government permission!
Elsewhere in the USA, in Hartford, Connecticut, you may not, under any circumstances, cross the street walking on your hands.
A law in Virginia, USA, requires all bathtubs to be kept out in the garden, not inside the house.
It is strictly forbidden to stare at the Mayor of Paris.
Back in the USA, in Omaha, Nebraska, it's against the law to burp or sneeze in church.
In Sweden it is illegal to train a seal to balance a ball on its nose.
In the US state of Texas you are not allowed to put graffiti on someone else's cow.
In Alabama you are not allowed to wrestle bears. The US state law doesn't give advice on what to do if you come across a bear that wants to wrestle.CHAPTER 16
Inventors have changed the way you humans live your lives, from the caveman who first came up with the spear, to the most famous inventor of all-time, Leonardo da Vinci, who back in the late 15th and early 16th centuries came up with designs for a helicopter, a tank, and even built a robotic knight! But not all inventions have worked so well, and here are a few of the more bizarre:
5. In the 1930s members of the Chelsea Baby Club, who often had small apartments, were given baby cages. This doesn't sound too bad, except that they weren't designed for indoors. To save room they were attached to the outside of a window and dangled over the edge!
4. In 1948 a man called Joe Gilpin invented a motorised surfboard. While fine for travelling very slowly around lakes, it didn't work well at all when it came across a wave, which kind of misses the point of surfing.
3. A curved machine-gun was developed in the 1950s for shooting around corners. Unfortunately, this had the obvious drawback of not letting the soldier see where he was shooting ...
2. You might have 3D TV glasses at home, but Hugo Gernsback was ahead of the game in 1963 when he invented the original TV glasses. These were actually just glasses with a very small, but heavy, TV attached to them.
1. However, the prize for the worst invention of all time has to go to Henry Smolinski's flying car. In 1973, Smolinski strapped the wings of a Cessna airplane to a Ford Pinto and went for a test 'flight'. He did manage to take off, but unfortunately the car quickly broke free and fell to Earth, killing Smolinski and his unlucky passenger.
Excerpted from How Fast Can You Fart? by Dr. Dino's Learnatorium. Copyright © 2014 Noel Botham and Chris Mitchell. Excerpted by permission of John Blake Publishing Ltd.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
A Little Bit About You to Start Off With,
What's in a Name?,
Ye Olde English,
The Sizzling Sun,
Laws to Die For,
What Sort of a Word is That?,
Famous Last Words,
The Marvellous Moon,
Loony Laws From Around the World,
What's in a Name? Part 1,
Plants You Don't Want in Your Garden,
The Earth Moves,
Our Home Planet,
Get to Know Yourself,
Faster than the Speed of Light?,
A Sporting Life,
World's Biggest and Best,
The Royal Windsors,
Do you know your ABCs?,
Dinosaurs - The Greatest Creatures that Ever Lived,
What's Really in Food?,