Traffic jams of New York, San Francisco and Paris are well known – beaten only by those in Seattle where a driver annually spends 59 hours stuck in traffic.
A dog was the first in space and a sheep, a duck and a rooster the first to fly in a hot air balloon. A dog was the first to parachute.
In 1620, Dutch inventor Cornelius van Drebbel launched the world’s first submarine in the Thames.
Manhattan traffic crawls at an average of 6.2 miles an hour on midtown city streets.
In 1893 J. Frank and Charles E. Duryea produced the first successful gasoline-powered automobile in the United States. They began production of their Duryea in 1896, the same year Henry Ford started operations of his first successful car in Detroit.
A green diamond is the rarest diamond.
Hurricanes, tornadoes and bigger bodies of water always go clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. This directional spinning has to do with the rotation of the earth and is called the Coriolis force.
All the planets in the solar system rotate anticlockwise, except Venus. It is the only planet that rotates clockwise.
The magnetic north pole is near Ellef Ringes Island in northern Canada.
There is no record of a person being killed by a meteorite but animals are occasionally hit.
A diamond will break if you hit it with a hammer.
Organist William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 with the first reflecting telescope that he built. He named it Georgium Sidium in honour of King George III of England but in 1850 it was renamed Uranus in accordance with the tradition of naming planets for Roman gods.
Plates carrying the continents migrate over the earth’s surface a few centimetres (inches) per year, about the same speed that a fingernail grows.
The tail of the Great Comet of 1843 was 330 million km long. (It will return in 2356.)
During a total solar eclipse the temperature can drop by 6 degrees Celsius (about 20 degrees Fahrenheit).
Yet, by 1905 80% of cars were petrol driven and by 1920 the electric car was, well, almost history.
New York cabs get about 2000 tickets per month, handed out by about 2000 traffic attendants.
In 1955, the Ford Thunderbird outsold the Chev Corvette 24 to one.
The world’s earliest known plank-built ship, made from cedar and sycamore wood and dated to 2600 BC, was discovered next to the Great Pyramid in 1952.
In 1913, the Russian Airline became the first to introduce a toilet on board.
The world’s oldest surviving boat is a simple 3 metre (10 feet) long dugout dated to 7400 BC. It was discovered in Pesse Holland in the Netherlands.
Air-filled tyres were used on bicycles before they were used on motorcars.
More than 60 million people annually visit France, a country of 60 million people.
About a quarter of the world still drives on the left, and the countries that do are mostly old British colonies.
The usual thermal efficiency of reciprocal steam engine is 15%. That of steam turbine is over 40%.
Oar-powered ships were developed by the Sumerians in 3500 BC.
There are about a billion bicycles in the world, twice as many as motorcars.
Sails were first used by the Phoenicians around 2000 BC.
Rock drawings from the Red Sea site of Wadi Hammamat, dated to around 4000 BC show that Egyptian boats were made from papyrus and reeds.
The pilot with the most flying hours is American John Edward Long. From May 1933 to April 1977 he flew 62 654 hours, achieving a total of more than 7 years airborne.
The shortest scheduled airline flight is made between the island of Westray to Papa Westray off Scotland. The flight lasts 2 minutes.
Thomas Cook, the world’s first travel agency in the world, was founded in 1850.
It is said that, in 1941 the Ford motor company produced an experimental automobile with a plastic body composed of 70% cellulose fibres from hemp. The car body could absorb blows 10 times as great as steel without denting. The car was designed to run on hemp fuel. Because of the ban on both hemp and alcohol, the car was never mass produced.