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Wednesday, 16 August 2017


The Amazon River in South America is the largest river in the world. It moves more water than the next eight largest rivers of the world combined and has the largest drainage basin in the world. It accounts for about one fifth of the world's total river flow.

Amazon River near Iquitos, Peru. By M M from Switzerland 

The Nile is the longest river on Earth (about 6,650 km or 4,132 miles), though other rivers carry more water.

The Congo is the world's deepest river with measured depths in excess of 220 m (720 ft).[

Grand Canyon's Thunder River is the steepest in the United States.

Britain's shortest river is the Brun which runs through Burnley in Lancashire.

The Brun near Heasandford, Burnley. By Richard Spencer, 

There are no rivers In Saudi Arabia. It is the largest country on this planet without a river.

Russia has to bomb their rivers every winter to prevent dangerous flooding caused by ice dams.

Contrary to popular belief, not all rivers flow south. The Nile River flows north and downhill due to gravity.

Evening, Nile River, Uganda. By Rod Waddington, 

The left bank on a river is the left side as you look downstream.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Rio de Janeiro


According to tradition, the spot now called Rio de Janeiro was first visited in January 1502 by Portuguese explorers, who believed the bay they encountered (now called Guanabara Bay) was the mouth of a river.

They named the area Rio de Janeiro, which translates as "River of January," based on their mistaken belief that the bay they sailed into was the mouth of a river.

The city of Rio de Janeiro was founded by the Portuguese in 1565 as São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, in honor of Sebastian, the saint who was the namesake and patron of the then Portuguese monarch.

Founding of Rio de Janeiro in 1565. By Halley Pacheco de Oliveira ,

During the 1567 Battle of Rio de Janeiro, Portuguese forces under the command of Estácio de Sá definitively drove the French out of Rio de Janeiro.

When French privateers captured gold-rich Rio de Janeiro in 1711, the Portuguese were forced to negotiate for its return. The ransom was 612,000 gold cruzados and 100 chests of sugar.

Rio was capital of Brazil from 1763 until 1960, when that role was transferred to Brasilia.

From 1808 to 1822, Rio served as the center for the exiled royal court of Portugal, then fleeing Napoleon's invasion. When Prince Regent Dom João VI arrived with the rest of the royal family in 1808 it was the first time a European monarch had set foot in the Americas.

The Embarkation of John VI and the Royal Family (1810)

Dom João transformed the city, establishing a medical school, national museum, national library (with the largest collection in Latin America) and botanical gardens.

In December 1815, Dom João made Rio the official capital of the Portuguese empire, a role it served until Brazil declared independence from Portugal in September 1822.

There was a large influx of African slaves to Rio de Janeiro during the first half of the 19th century: in 1819, there were 145,000 slaves in the captaincy. By 1840, the number of slaves had reached 220,000. During this period the Port of Rio de Janeiro was the largest port of slaves in America.

The stars on Brazil’s flag depict the night sky as seen from Rio on November 15, 1889, which was the date Brazil declared itself a republic.

On July 16, 1950, 173,850 paid spectators packed into the Maracanã stadium for the final of the 1950 World Cup. An estimated ten percent of Rio's population watched as Uruguay beat Brazil. The game holds the world record for the highest attendance at any soccer match, ever.

In 2014, Rio de Janeiro legalized street art on many types of city property, turning the already colorful city into an outdoor art gallery.

The 2016 Summer Olympics, commonly known as Rio 2016, opened in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, 2016.


Construction on Rio's beloved statue of Jesus, which is perched atop Corcovado, began in 1922. The statue officially opened on October 12, 1931.

The imposing statue of Cristo Redentor ("Christ the Redeemer") sits majestically atop the mountain known as Corcovado ("Portuguese for ‘hunchback"), giving its 2,329-foot height an additional 125 feet. Weighing in at 635 long tons, the soapstone-and-concrete statue's welcoming arms stretch almost 97 feet across.

Aerial view of the statue. By Gustavo Facci from Argentina - Flickr.

Christ the Redeemer cost $250,000 — the equivalent of approximately $3.4 million in 2016 — to build. The statue was funded by Brazilian Catholics.

It is the eighth largest statue of Christ in the world. A giant statue of Jesus Christ on Buntu Burake hill in South Sulawesi, Indonesia (approximately 130 feet tall) is the tallest.

In January 2014, the Rio statue of Jesus lost the tip of its thumb when it was hit by lightning. Its right middle finger was damaged in a storm the previous month.

The Christ the Redeemer is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the world and can be seen in many Hollywood movies and music videos.


The city’s nickname is ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’ Which, if you’re Portuguese is up to scratch, you will know means “Marvellous City”.

The people of Rio are known as “Cariocas”. Carioca means “white man’s house."

Rio de Janeiro celebrates an official Graffiti Day on March 27th—the date Brazilian graffiti pioneer Vallauri Alex died in 1987.

Over two million people gather annually on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on the night of December 31st, making of it the world's largest New Year's Eve party.

The annual Rio carnival is the world’s biggest and attracts around two million tourists.

Banda de Ipanema, one of the largest carnival blocks of the city. By Allbrazilian 

There are about 200 samba schools in Rio.

Sources Daily Express, Smithsonian magazine

Monday, 14 August 2017



Women have worn wedding rings since ancient Egyptian times but men only started doing so in the early 1900s.

Wedding rings are worn on the third finger of the left hand because the Romans believed there was a vein in the finger, referred to as the 'Vena Amoris' or the 'Vein of Love' which was said to be directly connected to the heart.

A ring has been included in wedding ceremonies since the 12th century. Pope Innocent III ordained that marriages had to take place in church and that a wedding ring should be exchanged during the service.

Old names for the ring finger include leech finger, physician finger and wedding finger.

While on Apollo 16, Ken Mattingly lost his wedding ring—another astronaut caught it days later as it floated out a door during a spacewalk.


During the Middle Ages, knights wore a ring which they would use to stamp a bill instead of paying cash.

Sailors used to make rings for their fingers out of gold or silver coins by cutting out the middles.

Mood rings were a short-lived fad of the mid-1970s, which were especially popular with young girls. They featured fake gemstones that were filled with liquid crystals. These special crystals were thermochromic, which meant they changed colors based upon the temperature of the finger of the wearer. The ring came with a color chart that indicated the person's supposed mood.

A mood ring shown face front. Note the band of color change.


The study of seals and signet rings is called sphragistics.

Elvis Presley was buried with his favourite diamond ring.

The £1.7million ‘Peacock Ring’ holds the record for most cut diamonds set in a single ring. Designed by Indian-based Savio Jewellery, it boasts 3,827 diamonds and weighs more than 50g. The diamonds used in the ring have a combined carat value of 16.5.

Rin Tin Tin

Rin Tin Tin was a male German Shepherd who ranked as one of the all-time famous canine movie stars.

He was rescued from a World War I battlefield by Lee Duncan, an aerial gunner of the U.S. Army Air Service, who nicknamed him "Rinty".

Duncan trained Rin Tin Tin and obtained silent film work for his pet.

Rin Tin Tin was an immediate box-office success and went on to appear in 27 Hollywood films, gaining worldwide fame.

Rin Tin Tin in the film Frozen River (1929)

Rin Tin Tin signed his own contracts for the films he made with a paw print.

At the height of Rin Tin Tin's fame, a chef prepared him a daily steak lunch. Classical musicians played to aid his digestion.

Along with the earlier canine film star Strongheart, Rin Tin Tin was responsible for greatly increasing the popularity of German Shepherd dogs as family pets.

On August 10, 1932, Rin Tin Tin died at Duncan's home on Club View Drive in Los Angeles.

After the death of Rin Tin Tin, the name was given to several related German Shepherd dogs featured in fictional stories on film, radio, and television.

Rin Tin Tin is one of only three animals to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—the other two being Strongheart and Lassie.

Sunday, 13 August 2017


Rihanna was born Robyn Rihanna Fenty in Saint Michael, Barbados.

Her mother is Monica (Braithwaite) who is of Guyanese ancestry and her father Ronald Fenty who is of Irish and West Indian ancestry.

Monica is a retired accountant, who now owns a clothing boutique back home in Barbados. Ronald Fenty, is a warehouse supervisor.

She has two younger brothers, Rorrey and Rajad Fenty.

Rihanna was an army cadet that trained with the Barbadian military.

She was discovered by music producer Evan Rogers while he was vacationing in Barbados, with his wife.

Rihanna's debut single "Pon de Replay" was released in May 2005. It peaked in the top five in fifteen countries, including at #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and the UK Singles Chart.

Rihanna  at the Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C. in 2014 By [1] - Rihanna,

Rihanna was dating fellow singer Chris Brown when he assaulted her the night before the Grammy Awards in 2009. On March 5, 2009, Brown was charged with assault and for making criminal threats. He was ordered to stay fifty yards (46 meters) away from Rihanna, unless at public events, which then would be reduced to ten yards (nine meters).

Rihanna holds the record for the most consecutive weeks in the UK singles charts. The Barbados-born pop star had at least one song in the Top 75 for 196 weeks starting with "Run This Town" in 2009 and ending with "Diamonds" in 2013. She snatched the record from The Shadows, Cliff Richard’s backing band, who notched up 186 weeks from 1959 to 1962.

Rihanna passed Justin Bieber on June 18, 2013 as the most-viewed artist on YouTube. At that date the 77 videos on Rihanna's official VEVO channel had clocked a combined 3.784 billion views in total, surpassing the total view counts of the 79 videos on Bieber's official VEVO channel by roughly two million views.

In 2015, a movie called Home was released. The character that Rihanna voiced, Gratuity 'Tip' Tucci, who was the first human black protagonist in a feature film by DreamWorks Animation.

Rihanna's fanbase are known as her Navy, after the lyric "We're an army, better yet a navy" from her song "G4L."

Source Artistfacts

Saturday, 12 August 2017


Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do.

When babies in the womb are seen sucking their thumb, they are sucking their right thumb 90% of the time.

Female cats tend to be right-pawed; tom cats tend to be left-pawed.

Right-hand traffic

Most of Europe followed the Roman practice of driving on the left hand side but the French seemed determined to change everything after their revolution in 1789, including the side of the road on which they drove. Napoleon strongly supported right-hand driving, partly as a show of his authority but perhaps also because he was left-handed.

Right hand drive in France

The Americans started by driving on the left but not long after their revolution, anti-British sentiment made them copy the French.

Until 1965, driving was done on the left-hand side on roads in Sweden. The conversion to right-hand was done on a weekday at 5 p.m.  On September 3, 1965 all traffic stopped as the Swedes switched sides. The later time in the day was chosen to prevent accidents out of concern that the drivers would have got up in the morning and been too sleepy to realize 'this' was the day of the changeover.

Traffic moves from left to right in Stockholm, Sweden, on 3 September 1967

Two out of three people who live on Earth drive on the right side of the road.

Source Washington Post