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Lance Armstrong
Did you know that Lance Armstrong, seven time winner of the world's toughest bicycle race, the Tour de France was born in Plano, Texas on18 September 1971? Armstrong is the second American to win the Tour de France: the first was Greg LeMond.


Inflatable/ pneumatic tires
Did you know that early bicycles ran on hard rubber or wooden wheels, there was no air-filled tubes inside them. It was only in 1888, that Scotsman John Boyd Dunlop introduced the first practical pneumatic tire for the bicycle. Though he successfully designed and tested the pneumatic or inflatable tyre, he was granted patent on December 7, 1888. There was no interenet at that time, so it took two more years for people to realize that another Scottish inventor Robert William Thomson (1822-1873), had patented the idea in France in 1846 and in the US in 1847.


Summer time is Swimmer time Ė 7
First Swimming Competition in the US

Did you know that the first official swimming competition in the US took place in 1883? The New York Athletic Club organized this and continued to hold annual competitions through 1887.


Summer time is Swimmer time Ė 6
Plunge for Distance

Early Olympic games had a unique swimming event known as Plunge for Distance. Though it was a short-lived Olympic event, the sport was pretty popular. Introduced in the 1904 St. Louis Games, the event followed the following format. Contestants began with a standing dive into a swimming pool where they remained motionless for 60 seconds or until they ran out of breath. The length of their dive was then measured. The first person to win a gold medal in the plunge for distance event was William Dickey of the United States, who plunged 19.05 metres.


Summer time is Swimmer time Ė 5
Inspiring Indian Mermaid

Indian Swimmer Bula Chowdhury Chakraborty is the first woman to swim all the seven seas in five continents. She earned this distinction in 2004 by crossing the Palk Straits from Talaimannar in Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi in India in approximately 14 hours. Bula swam the English Channel in 1989 and repeated the feat in 1999 to become the first Asian woman to swim the channel twice. She then went on a long-distance swimming spree to swim the Strait of Gibraltar in 2000, Tiranian Sea in Italy (2001), Great Toroneos Gulf in Greece (2002), Catalina Channel in the U.S. (2002) and Cooks Straits in New Zealand (2003).


Summer time is Swimmer time Ė 4
Underwater swimming competition

The first and only time underwater swimming was held at the 1900 Paris Olympic Games. The organizers decided that two points would be awarded for each metre swum underwater and one point was added to the scoring of each individual for every second he stayed below the surface. French swimmer Charles de Venderville won the event swimming 60 metres and staying submerged for 1 min 8.4 sec.


Summer time is Swimmer time Ė 3
Captain Matthew Webb of England was the first to swim the English Channel using the breaststroke; he was also the first man to complete the course without a life jacket. Swimming brought him glory but took his life too. He died while attempting to swim the rapids above Niagara falls.


Summer time is Swimmer time - 2
American swimmer Johnny Weissmuller was the first athlete to swim 100 meters in less than a minute. During his career he won fifty-two US National Championships and set sixty-seven world records. That is not all, Weissmuller was also a Hollywood actor, best known for his role as Tarzan


Summer time is Swimmer time - 1
One of the most popular activities during the hot summer months is to spend time in the cool comforts of the swimming pool. Starting today for the next seven days, you will get to know interesting and rare facts about this sport and people of this sport.

In the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics Japan won all the men's titles except the 400-meter freestyle, which was won by Buster Crabbe of USA


Beetle Mania
Volkswagen Beetle is perhaps the most favored car across the world. It not only has a beautiful shape and great engine but also has a fascinating history. Adolf Hitler proposed the idea to the company to make a car which could five people and run at 100 km/ h (62 mph). The Beetle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche founder of automotive design company, which later became known as the Porsche BŁro. Porsche currently owns 31% of the Volkswagen car company.


Truth about Amazon.com
Amazon.com started as a small online book store known as Cadabra.com. At that time Yahoo was the only search engine available and results were posted in alphabetical order. Hence Jeff Bezos changed the name of the enterprise to Amazon.com. It was also a great way to present large volume bookstore online.


All of us who use the internet know about the portal Yahoo and most of us would have an e-mail account on Yahoo. But did you know that Yahoo! was originally called 'Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web'.
Surprised are you???


Who has not heard about Jackie Chan? But did you know that his original name was Kong-Sang Chan and has a nickname Sing Lung which means Already A Dragon. He is one of the most hilarious and good natured actors. Here are some interesting facts about his life, work and fans.
1. Was supposed to be filming a scene at the top of one WTC building, in the restaurant at 7:00 am on Sept 11 but didn't, since the script wasn't delivered in time.
2. Has a permanent hole in his head from a stunt accident.
3. Always does his own stunts.
4. While performing his own stunts, Jackie Chan has broken his nose three times, his ankle once, most of the fingers in his hand, both cheekbones and his skull.
5. Has a son (born in 1983) and a daughter with former Miss Asia (Hong Kong), Elaine Ng.
6. In 1989, Jackie Chan was nominated to become the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.


Five things about India make everyone proud
1. India is the world's largest, oldest, continuous civilization.
2. India hasn't invaded another country in the past 10,000 years of history.
3. The four religions born in India: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism have over 1.5 billion adherents (25% of the world population)
4. Chess (Shataranj) was invented in India
5. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India!


George Washington is revered as one of the Founding Fathers of this country. He was the first president of the United States and is a very well known figure across the world. Here are some interesting facts about Washington which is not very well known:

* Washington was the only one among the Founding Fathers to set his slaves free.
* He was the only president who did not live in Washington D.C.
* The nation's capital, along with 1 state, 31 counties and 17 cities are named in his honor.
* While he was a farmer, Washington grew marijuana and promoted it's growth. Unlike now during the 1790s, Marijuana was known had only industrial value as hemp and used for soil stabilization.
* George Washington was the only president to win a unanimous vote of the Electoral College.
* Washington's 2nd inaugural address was the shortest ever delivered - 135 words.


America is the land of cars, there are very few people in the country who donít own a car. How much do you know about cars, test your knowledge with these amazing facts:

* The fastest time for removing a car engine, and replacing it is 42 seconds for a Ford Escort, on 21 November 1985.
* The Ferrari Formula 1 team is unique in the fact that it produces both chassis and engines for its cars.
* Ferrari makes a maximum of 14 cars every day.
* There were only 107 models of the Ford GT40 made of which only 7 were road cars.
* Luxembourg has the most crowded roads in Europe with 570 cars per 1,000 people.
* The first auto insurance policy is purchased in Westfield, MA, in 1897.


Interesting facts from the animal kingdom!
1. Porcupines float in water
2. An ostrich's eye is bigger that its brain
3. An iguana can stay under water for twenty-eight minutes
4. Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards
5. The pupil of an octopus' eye is rectangular
6. A cat has 32 muscles in each ear
7. A cat's jaws cannot move sideways
8. There are more beetles than any other kind of creature in the world
9. A starfish can turn its stomach inside out
10. The largest eggs in the world are laid by a shark
11. The blue whale can produce sounds up to 188 decibels. This is the loudest sound produced by a living animal and has been detected as far away as 530 miles
12. The Stegosaurus dinosaur measured up to 30 feet (9.1 meters) long but had a brain the size of a walnut
13. The tentacles of the giant Arctic jellyfish can reach 120 feet (36.6 meters) in length.
14. Armadillos, opossums, and sloth's spend about 80% of their lives sleeping.


Last week we featured five interesting places which you could visit and enjoy a spring picnic. Here are three more places in Downtown Dallas area and as usual we made sure that these places are easily accessible and donít cost you to visit. Pack up a picnic lunch get the family together and just drive.

Art Garden at the Trammell Crow Center
Sited in the heart of Downtown Dallas, the art garden features more than 20 beautiful artworks. All the works are installed at the ground level around the Trammell Crow Center. Featured are the works from French master craftsmen including Rodin. The sculptures are set amidst cascading waters falls and verdant gardens. The art garden is open from 10 am Ė 5 pm (Tuesday-Sunday). Call 214-979-6530 for details.

Meyerson Symphony Center
Sited in the heart of Downtown Dallas, the world-famous Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, offers free tours on selected Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Volunteer guided tours begin at 1 pm and take about an hour. The larger than life Herman W. Lay Family Organ is the centerpiece of the center. Built of 4,535 pipes, this $1.36 million organ, crafted by C.B. Fisk Inc., is acoustical wonder and one has to see to believe it! Once a month, schedule permitting, a thirty-minute organ demonstration of the Lay Family Concert Organ is presented, followed by a tour of the Center.

Free Admission Museums
Dallas has several museums and galleries, most of them charge an entry fee but there are some which are free. Donations are accepted. Check out the African American Museum (exception - special exhibitions) sited in the Fair Park neighborhood, open from 10 am to 5 pm on Satrudays and 1 pm to 5 pm on Sundays, this museum gives a rare insight into the African-American traditions, art and history. Another equally interesting museum is The Hall of State (exception - special exhibitions). Open from Mon - Sat 9 am - 5 pm and Sun 1 pm - 5 pm, this definitely merits a visit.


Did you know these amazing facts about human beings?

1. The human eye blinks an average of 4,200,000 times a year
2. Human jaw muscles can generate a force of 200 pounds (90.8 kilograms) on the molars
3. The heaviest human brain ever recorded weighed 5 lb. 1.1 oz. (2.3 kg.)
4. A sneeze travels out of your mouth at over 100 mph and it's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open
5. Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie
6. In your lifetime, you'll shed over 40 pounds of skin
7. There are more living organisms on the skin of a single human being than there are human beings on the surface of the earth
8. The average human produces a quart of saliva a day -- about 10,000 gallons in a lifetime
9. There are 60,000 miles (97,000 km) in blood vessels in every human
10. The longest living cells in the body are brain cells which can live an entire lifetime


Ten Tips to Lose Weight
So you feel you are a few pounds heavier than you should ideally be and want to shed those extra weights. Well dieting and exercise are two sure shot ways to lose weight and keep it lost. And with our busy lifestyles, keeping off food or following a strict exercise regimen is not Dieting is not easy. Here are some proven tips that people have used and lost weight. You can follow them and get closer to your weight loss goal.

Drink 8-10 Glasses of Water daily
Start from morning, it is not easy but be persistent and get used to the taste or tastelessness of water. Starting your day with one or two glasses of water would be an ideal way to start the diet. If you wish you could add a few drops of lime, donít add sugar or any sweetener.

Donít miss Breakfast
The first meal is the most important of the day, and breakfast is very important for weight control. Having a good breakfast will help you avoid sugary or fattening stuff later during the day.

Spread out your eating. Consume 3 meals and 2 snacks every day
Eat protein-rich and fiber-rich foods at regular intervals. Donít fill up once a day and skip all other meals this is a very bad habit. This way you will keep your metabolism functioning at optimal capacity throughout the day and not overload it.
Avoid White Foods
This is perhaps the toughest to do. We canít live without carbohydrate rich sugar, flour, rice and potatoes. But these are the main causatives of weight gain. Instead supplement these in your diet with fruits and vegetables.
Consume lots of vegetables
Experiment with salads, boiled vegetables, especially those which are not rich in carbohydrates such as potatoes. Try greens such as broccoli, beans, bell peppers etc.
Avoid Eating Out
Restaurants advertise low-carb and low-fat foods but then these are not the ideal food for fostering health and weight loss. Look up cook books and try to cook your own meals. Cooking your own food also helps save money.

Get your protein during meals
Once inside your system, proteins take longer to break down so you feel full longer. This will keep you from reaching out to the sugary cookie or snack between meals.
Water.. water and more water
Make sure you drink a glass of water after each snack or a meal. This is one of the easiest ways to get that 8-10 glasses of water into your system every day. Water cleans up your mouth and removes the aftertaste, which helps curb your craving for more food.
Chew well and enjoy your food
While eating donít just gobble down your meal, take your time to chew, savor and enjoy every morsel. This will help you feel full and more satisfied.

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