19 Interesting Facts About Ireland

ireland

  1. The average Irish man is 5’8″ tall.
  2. Raymond O’Brien was the shortest person in Irish history. The dwarf, who died in 1795, was one foot eleven inches tall.
  3. One misconception about Ireland is that people stay up all night drinking at local pubs, while this is only half true. Most pubs in Ireland close at either midnight or 1 am. However if you make friends at the bar or pub, you may be invited home to continue drinking until the wee hours of the morning.
  4. So both sides of your family hail from Ireland? Well, don’t plan on bragging about being 100% Irish to any locals. This is because the Irish people consider themselves 100% Irish and if you’re traveling from the US, you’d be considered Irish-American. Don’t argue about it either, as you definitely won’t win. If you know which part of Ireland your family comes from, locals may be willing to discuss your heritage.
  5. Titanic, the Unsinkable ship, which sunk in its maiden voyage, was made in Ireland.
  6. Women could hold any office at Queen’s University in Belfast, twelve years before they could study at Oxford.
  7. The Celtic Trinity Knot symbolizes the “Trinity” and represents the three forms of God as a single being. God the father, his son Jesus Chris and the Holy Spirit.
  8. Baileys Irish Cream which was launched in Ireland in the early seventies, is now the most popular liqueur in the world.
  9. The Union Jack was flown for the very first time in Dublin on 1st January 1801 to herald the Union of Great Britain and Ireland.
  10. Ireland is called Éire in Irish and is also known as the Republic of Ireland.
  11. It would cost Ireland €15 million to implement a system of postcodes, and so it is currently the only EU country without one.
  12. The National symbol of Ireland is the Celtic harp, not the shamrock as most “non Irish” believe.
  13. Some tourists think that when they’re visiting new lands, they should try to adjust a bit to the local culture and speech patterns. However, trying to imitate the Irish accent is not advised. Locals hate it when foreigners attempt to speak like them, so please refrain from saying “erin go bragh” when you visit.
  14. Saint Patrick’s Day is Irelands official national holiday. The 17th of March holiday is celebrated in Ireland and also embraced by many other countries around the world.
  15. Irish marriages last an average of 13 years, although the majority do not end in divorce. Irish couples prefer to separate and live in sin with their new partners rather than go through costly legal proceedings.
  16. Tourists traveling to the Emerald Isle often find it amusing to ask the locals about leprechauns, as if these legendary little folk were real and commonplace. However, Irish citizens find it more tiresome than funny. So next time you’re traveling to Ireland, don’t crack any jokes about leprechauns, pots of gold or rainbows with the locals.
  17. The Claddagh Ring represents Friendship, Love and Marriage. The heart represents love and the hands are a symbolize friendship and the crown stands for loyalty.
  18. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to establish a system of hereditary surnames. Originally, the forms were limited to prefixes i.e. Mac (meaning ‘son of’) and ‘O’ (meaning descendant of.)
  19. Only 9% of the Irish population are natural redheads.

 

Useless Trivia Facts

  1. NPP

    Nobel Peace Prize Medallion

    The Nobel Peace Prize medal depicts 3 naked men with their hands on each others shoulders.

  2. Fortune cookies were actually invented in America, not China!
  3. Of the 17,000+ words used by Shakespeare, more than 1,700 are recorded for the first time.
  4. During our lifespan the average human grows approximately 590 miles of hair. How do we know?  Well, consider this, hair grows approximately 6″ annually and the average lifespan is 67.2 years. So we multiply: 6 x 100,000 x 67.2 = 40,320,000 inches = 636 miles. Hair growth is not uniform however this calculation would be a highly likely average.
  5. The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days when the fire engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and soon figured out how to walk up straight staircases.
  6. A hurricane releases more energy in 10 minutes, than all the world’s nuclear weapons combined.
  7. The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.
  8. According to one study, 24% of homes with lawns have some sort of lawn ornament in their yard.
  9. 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321.  Go ahead, grab your calculator and verify it.
  10. The Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, has twice as many bathrooms as is necessary. When it was built in the 1940s, the state of Virginia still had segregation laws requiring separate toilet facilities for blacks and whites.
  11. The chances of you dying on the way to get your lottery tickets is greater than your chances of winning.
  12. If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19.You also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar.
  13. Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do. (Sorry for that news sis.)
  14. In ancient Egypt, Priests plucked every hair from their bodies, including their eyebrows and eyelashes.
  15. More people have a phobia of vomiting than death.
  16. The human brain holds between 1 and 7 terabytes (1 and 7 million megabytes) of data.
  17. Men buy an average of 3.4 pairs of underwear in a year.
  18. Testosterone in males decreases 10% every 10 years.
  19. MonkeyFlower

    Monkey Flower

    The monkey flower, looks like a monkeys face.

  20. The location of the Mars face on Mars matches the location of Stone Henge in England.
  21. Venus’s day is longer then its year.
  22. The rotation of the Earth will eventually slow down to match the moon. So they say.
  23. President George W. Bush was once a cheerleader! Give me a G-E-O-R-G-E!
  24. The most popular boy’s first name in the world is Muhammad.
  25. Sound does not travel in space.

25 Days of Christmas: Day 20 ~ A Century of American Christmases, Part IV (1990-2000)

Christmas in the 1990s

1990sThe 1990s brought an unsettling decade, as we coped with the first Gulf War and the bombings of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. On the economic side, however, the nation was booming, alongside advances in technology that brought the World Wide Web to homes and businesses, connecting people around the world like never before. Popular toys included Beanie Babies and Tickle Me Elmo, and a move from skateboards to Rollerblades.

1990s Christmas Budget

  • Sony Walkman – $69.99
  • Transformer toy figure – $15.00
  • Girl’s bicycle – $150.00
  • Hardcover books – $25.00
  • Music CD – $19.99
  • Cordless power drill – $95.00
  • Polar fleece scarf – $9.99
  • DVD Player – $525

New Century Christmas: 2000-2009

2000sAlthough the decade opened with the hope brought by the turn of the millennium, emotions turned to shock at the events of September 11, 2001 in the United States, with conflict ensuing in countries around the world. As the decade continued, however, further advances in technology, health, and environmental researched provided hope again – in the battles for wellness, quality of life, and climate change. Toys based on cartoon characters remained very popular, from Buzz Lightyear to Spiderman, along with ever-more-sophisticated computer-simulation games.

Christmas Budget; 2000 – 2009

  • Men’s sport jacket – $99.95
  • TV cabinet – $450.00
  • Portable MP3 player – $109.99
  • China candlestick – $35.00
  • Boys’ worsted sweater – $30.00
  • Toy sewing machine – $29.99
  • Toy automobile – $9.99
  • Railroad set – $34.00

(Jeffrey, Yvonne; The Everything Family Christmas Book)

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25 Days of Christmas: Day 19 ~ A Century of American Christmases, Part III (1960-1980)

Christmas in the 1960s

1960 tape recorderA pivotal decade, the 1960s were marked by the Civil Rights movement, the rise of the hippies, the Bay of Pigs, the Vietnam War, and the race to be the first nation to reach the moon. Postwar baby boomers began to transition from teenagers to adults against a background of toys that included Easy Bake Ovens, the Etch-a-Sketch, and GI Joe.

1960s Christmas Budget

Kitchen convenience was offered in style in the 1960s – never mind the refrigerator, check out the lazy Susans and the electric can openers!

  • Lazy Susan – $4.76
  • Electric can opener – $7.77
  • Ladies’ stretch slacks – $3.97
  • Aluminum Christmas tree and stand – $2.99
  • “Your kiddie’s Polaroid picture taken with Santa himself” – $0.49
  • Viewmaster stereo viewer in “rugged, shock-resistant plastic” – $1.75

 Christmas in the 1970s

1970sProtest against the Vietnam War increased as the decade opened; it would close with the capture of hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, after seeing the end of the war and the resignation of a president, North America families took to the highways in station wagons, sporting mood rings and playing with Rubik’s Cubes, skate-boards, and Matchbox cars.

1970s Christmas Budget

  • Stereo set with turntable and 8-track player – $199.95
  • AM radio mounted in headphones – $14.95
  • Lava lamp – $45.00
  • “25-function” calculator – $49.95
  • CB radio – $89.95
  • Bionic Man action figure – $6.65
  • Baby Thataway – $8.88
  • Ten-speed bike – $99.50
  • Evel Knievel stunt cycle – $9.95

Christmas in the 1980s

1980sThe beginning of the end for the Cold War marked the close of this decade, as the Berlin Wall fell in Germany. Here at home, the drive toward space continued with the first reusable space vehicle, the Space Shuttle, in 1981. Computers arrived in homes and schools, while video games such as Nintendo and Pac Man gained huge followings. Shoppers flocked to stores in search of Cabbage Patch Dolls, while other hot toys included Trivial Pursuit and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

1980s Christmas Budget

  • Microwave oven – $227.00
  • Videocassette recorder (1980) – $1,395
  • Videocassette recorder (1989) – $299
  • Garfield telephone – $44.70
  • Space Invaders video game cassette – $24.88
  • Care Bear – $13.99
  • Castle Greyskull, from Masters of the Universe Collection – $23.99
  • Lazer tag game kit – $29.99
  • Rambo Rocket water launcher – $14.96

(Jeffrey, Yvonne; The Everything Family Christmas Book)

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25 Days of Christmas: Day 18 ~ A Century of American Christmases, Part II (1930-1950)

Christmas in the 1930s

The Thirties were a time of great hardship for many people, as the Great Depression took hold of the continent. By the end of the decade, as World War II began in Europe, social programs and work projects such as those tackled by the Civilian Conservation Corps has been launched. Even the toys reflected the times: Board games such as Monopoly, which was introduced in 1935 became popular partially because they were less expensive than many other forms of entertainment.

1930sMonopoly

1930s Christmas Budget

The child’s red wagon in the list remains a staple of childhood play even today.

  • Satin mens pajamas – $10.95
  • Pullman men’s slippers – $4.00
  • Quart bottle of Monopole champagne – $5.00
  • Boy’s knickers – $1.49
  • Doll, layette, and basket – $4.94
  • Dollhouse – $5.00
  • Toy airplane – $0.65
  • Toy typewritter – $1.95

 Christmas in the 1940s

1940sWorld War II defined the first half of the 1940s, associated with images of Rosie the Riveter as women went to work to replace the men who left for the war. Television arrived later in the decade, as did the very first computer and the traditional American diner. Forties-era toys included the Slinky, Tonka trucks, and Silly Putty.

1940s Christmas Budget

  • Zippered rayon ladies’ robe – $6.98
  • Upright vacuum cleaner – $49.90
  • Electric iron – $2.49
  • Electric coffee maker – $6.98
  • Roller skates – $9.95
  • Magnetized soldier doll with American flag – $4.00
  • Tiddlywinks game – $0.39

Christmas in the 1950s

1950sTelevision became perhaps the greatest influence during the 1950s, bringing programs such as The Honeymooners and Father Knows Best into living rooms across the nation, first in black and white, than in color.  Rock and roll arrived on the music scene, as did a polio vaccine on the health front. Mr. Potato Head, Frisbees, and Barbie dolls made names for themselves in the toy department.

1950s Christmas Budget

  • Slide projector – $43.95
  • Men’s topcoat – $18.00
  • Quilted rayon and taffeta robe – $8.95
  • Pipe and lighter set – $1.94
  • Television set with life-size seventeen-inch screen – $229.95
  • Donald Duck xylophone – $2.65
  • Mickey Mouse train set – $1.59
  • Musical milk mug – $6.95

(Jeffrey, Yvonne; The Everything Family Christmas Book)

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