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MistressJ

Fact Or Crap......

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Fact....Johan Bessler, 32, a native of Zittau, Saxony, amazed the world when he unveiled a 3-foot-diameter wheel that, with a slight push, turned at 24-26 rpm indefinitely without any visible assistance. The belligerent and paranoid Bessler, who later referred to himself as "Orrfyreus," refused to reveal the wheel's secret and so was dismissed as fraud. For the next 18 years, Bessler built larger wheels-up to 12 feet in diameter- that also passed rigorous testing, but Bessler took the secret to his grave. The physics of the Bessler wheel is still debated.

Fact or Crap: In the first decade of the 20th century, football (american) was considered a genteel activity for the upper class only.

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Crap....In the 1905 football season, 18 men lost their lives and 159 were permanently injured in American college football games. During that era, football players wore little or no protective gear. Punching, kicking, gouging, and linking arms were all part of the game. One quarter of all games ended in mob brawls. The shocking number of deaths and injuries that year prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to establish the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which instituted regulations designed to make college football less lethal.

Fact or Crap: Since 1976, there have been 273 people executed in the United States.

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Crap....There have been 916--16 of them women--executed since the 1976 reinstatement of the death penalty in the United States. As of April 2004, another 3,494 inmates are awaiting execution on death row.

Fact or Crap: The stirrup was invented in Sienna, Spain.

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Crap...The stirrup appeared in China in the first few centuries A.D., a surprisingly late date considering man had ridden horses as early as 10,000 B.C. In Europe, it's first documented use was in the 6th century during the rul of Charles Martel. Some historians believe that medieval feudalism would not have spread without this Chinese invention, as it allowed men to brace and attack with lances and swords, making knights and cavalry nearly invincible.

Fact or Crap: Despite a day on Saturn being equivalent to 10 Earth hours, a Saturnian year is about 29.5 Earth years.

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