Fact # 8: A man married a pillow.

We say that “Love is blind” and “True love can take many forms”. In this case, it has taken the form of a Korean man falling in love with, and eventually marrying, a large pillow with a picture of a woman on it. Lee Jin-gyu fell for his ‘dakimakura’ – a kind of large, huggable pillow from Japan, often with a picture of a popular anime character printed on the side.  In Lee’s case, his beloved pillow has an image of Fate Testarossa, from the ‘magical girl’ anime series Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. 

Now the 28-year-old otaku (a Japanese term that roughly translates to somewhere between ‘obsessive’ and ‘nerd’) has wed the pillow in a special ceremony, after fitting it out with a wedding dress for the service in front of a local priest. Their nuptials were eagerly chronicled by the local media.

His friends said, “He is completely obsessed with this pillow and takes it everywhere.”

They added, “They go out to the park or the funfair where it will go on all the rides with him. Then when he goes out to eat he takes it with him and it gets its own seat and its own meal.”

This is actually part of a broader cultural phenomenon. There is a growing subculture of men in Japan who engage in romantic relationships with pillows that have cartoons on them. People who have difficulty with romantic relationships with real (3-dimensional) people instead find themselves attracted to 2-dimensional anime characters.

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Fact # 7: It’s normal to fart up to half of a gallon.

I know it stinks, but anything we drink or eat gives us gas. Scientists say that it is normal to fart up to half of a gallon (1.9 liters) or about 15 to 20 toots worth of gas each day. 

When we eat or drink something, air comes with it, remember that the air has to leave our body one way or another. Let’s look at it from the scientific point of view: “Fragrant flatulence, however, comes from colonies of bacteria shacked up inside our lower intestinal tract. In the process of converting our meals into useful nutrients, these food-munching microbes produce a smelly by-product of hydrogen sulfide gas—the same stench that emanates from rotten eggs.

The response of bacteria to food differs from person to person (as each person has a unique collection of their own, just kidding :D). Just like all of us, bacteria like munching on sugary foods, especially Fructose (onions, corn, wheat, pears), Lactose (milk, bread, cereal), Raffinose (beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, and other vegetables), and Sorbitol (all fruits, sugar-free foods or drinks). Other fart-forming ingredients are fiber and starches found in foods like corn, potatoes, and wheat. Fats and protein don’t cause gas, but they can make a meal take longer to digest and give bacteria more time to generate gas from other ingredients.

Now you may be thinking is there any food that doesn’t give us gas? The answer is: Rice. If you were too much serious about this matter, after reading this fact, you should be out of worry. It’s normal, so keep farting. 

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Fact # 6: Democratic Republic of the Congo is the world’s poorest country.

All the information is according to the data gathered by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and CIA World Factbook.  The wealth of a country is measured by GDP per capita. GDP per capita is an estimate of how much an individual spends as a consumer compared to the total population spending on products and services. 9 out of 10 poorest countries in the world are situated in Africa.

Democratic Republic of the Congo has become the poorest country in the world as of 2011. It’s GDP per capita is $348 (in international dollar) as of 2011. The country is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world, located in central Africa. It is the nineteenth most populous nation in the world with a population of over 71 million. The country was known as Zaire until 1997. It is also the largest country in the world that has French as an official language.

Beginning in 1998, the Second Congo War has devastated the country which involves at least 7 foreign armies is the deadliest conflict in the world since World War II. It has already killed 5.4 million people. The war is called African World War in Africa. It is estimated that in 2010 at least 45,000 people in Congo are killed monthly.

In Congo, people were hunted down and eaten like animals by neighboring tribes. Eating people is a way to survive the hunger which is affecting about 67% of the population. It is also believed to be the worst place in the world for women. It has the most rapes per women in a year. Although citizens of the DRC are among the poorest in the world, it is widely considered to be the richest country in the world regarding natural resources; its untapped deposits of raw minerals are estimated to be worth in excess of US$ 24 trillion.


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Fact # 5: The only state in the U.S. that doesn’t have a rectangular flag is Ohio.

John Eisemann designed the flag of the state of Ohio and it was adopted in 1902. Ohio’s hills and valleys are represented by the large blue triangle, and roads and waterways are represented by the stripes.  The five stripes also represent that Ohio is one of the five states that comprised the Northwest Territory (Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin). Ohio was the 17th state admitted to the union which is symbolized by the 17 stars. The 13 stars around the circle (above, below, and left) represent the 13 original colonies of the U.S. The white circle with its red center represents the first letter of the state’s name and its nickname, “the Buckeye State”.

John Eisemann was an architect and a designer for the Ohio State Pan-American Exposition Commission. Burgee is the name of this type of flag which is based on the design of cavalry flags of the Civil War and Spanish-American War. It is the only American state flag that is non-rectangular, and one of only a few non-rectangular official jurisdictional flags, at the state level or above, in the world (the other is the flag of Nepal). Take a look at the all flags of the U.S. states by clicking here.

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Fact # 4: Muhammad is the most common given name in the world.

Yes, this is true. The most common, popular and given name in the world is Muhammad, according to the Columbia Encyclopedia (2000, 6th edition). There are approximately 150 million men (and boys) who have their name Muhammad.

In the United States, the name got ranked 4,194 out of 88,799 in the 1990 census for people of all ages. In 2006, 639th popular first name for newborns was Muhammad according to the Social Security Administration. Mohammad and Mohammed are ranked 589th and 633rd, respectively. Mohamed was also the 430th most common spelling variant in the US for the year of 2009.

In 2007, the second most popular given name in Britain was Muhammad, including 14 variations in its spelling, reported by the BBC. Mohammed was the 16th most popular baby name in 2009 in England and Wales (most popular in the West Midlands).

Statistics says that 8,928 Danish Muslims have their name Muhammad and it was reported that 167 new born babies were registered in 2004 only. Some men who have name of Muhammad use their middle name because they think it’s too common. 

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Fact # 3: 34,000 children die everyday from causes that are related to poverty and hunger.

Only 34% of people in the world’s poorest countries have access to safe drinking water. 1 in 5 people in developing countries (about 780 million people) lack enough food to meet basic daily needs. Poverty is not only the absence of material means or basic services, but it also means lack of food, shelter, clean water, education or health. Poverty creates powerlessness to determine the quality of life, and compounds vulnerability when conflict or natural disaster strikes.

Since the mid-1980s, the proportion of people living below the poverty line has fallen; the absolute number of poor people has risen to 1.3 billion — 8 per cent more than in the mid-1980s. We believe that most suffering is avoidable, being caused either by the direct action of others or indirectly through injustice, selfishness, inequality, neglect, or environmental and socio-economic imbalance.

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Fact # 2: A man named Charles Osborne had the hiccups for 69 years.

American Charles Osborne had hiccups for 68 years, from 1922 to 1990, and was entered in the Guinness World Records as the man with the longest attack of hiccups. In 2007, Florida teenager Jennifer Mee gained media fame for hiccuping around 50 times per minute for more than five weeks; she was given the nickname “Hiccup Girl”. Briton Christopher Sands had hiccups for a period of almost three years which were eventually discovered to be due to a tumor located on the part of the brain that controls vascular activity.

In Slavic and Baltic folklore, it is said that hiccups occur when the person experiencing them is being talked about by someone not present. Hiccups in Indian folklore are similarly said to occur when the person experiencing them is being thought of by somebody close.

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Fact # 1: The USA bought Alaska from Russia for 2 cents an acre.

The United States purchased the Alaska from Russia in the year 1867. The United States was offered to sell the region by the Russians in 1859 with the hope that presence of the US would offset the plans of Russia’s greatest rival, Great Britain. However, the deal wasn’t brokered due to the American Civil War.

The original check used to pay for Alaska, worth $7.2 million
After the Union victory in the Civil War, Russian minister, Eduard de Stoeckl was instructed by the Tsar to the United States to re-enter into negotiations with Seward in the beginning of March 1867. The decision was made after an all-night session with the signing of the treaty at 4 a.m. on March 30, 1867, with the purchase price set at $7.2 million, or about 2 cents per acre ($4.74/km2).


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Introducing Factbook. What is Factbook? What is this blog about?

This is my first ever blog post, so I was thinking how to start this journey. I thought that the best way to kick off would be “an Introductory Article.” I will also be answering few questions like, “How or why did I start this blog?” and “What is this blog about?” or “Why the name: Factbook?” Let’s start with the first question.

I like to get information from the web because it’s fast and easy, so as usual, I was searching on the internet on a topic. I visited few websites and tried to read them, but they all were boring. I felt like I was in my college’s library, reading some boring stuff. Uhhh… it sounds really boring, right? A question raised in my mind, “Is there any way that we can get some good information and learn them easily?” The answer was NO for me, so I came up with an idea to start a blog for people like me who like to read on the web and want to learn or know amazing things different and easy way. Now let’s move to the second question.

I was talking with my friend (who is in the field of I.T., a good blogger, too). He told me that whatever subject (topic) I choose to write on, I should write on “facts”. Everything has facts, e.g.,
Technology: Facts on computer
Biology: Facts on human body
Internet: Facts on Google – and so forth. On this concept, I named my blog Factbook. 

I will write on different subjects. I will choose them randomly, but I promise you one thing that you will enjoy it and your time won’t be wasted. If you want me to write on something, just email me and I’ll be happy to help you. My email address is [[email protected]]. Please, do support us by subscribing and giving comments below. Thanks for visiting and come back later, something interesting is coming soon. 😉

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