General Knowledge Database



Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What is the moving drum?

The moving drum is a japanese washing machine that is said to be the fastest in the world. It needs only 35 minutes to wash 9 kgs of clothes and 145 minutes to dry 6 kgs. Depending on the volume of clothes, it changes angles automatically.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

10 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

1. $135 million Adele Bloch-Bauer I, Gutav Klimt 2006
2. $104 million Boy with a Pipe, Pablo Picasso 2004
3. $95.2 million Dora Maar with Cat, Pablo Picasso 2006
4. $82.5 million Portrait du Dr Gachet, Vincent van Gogh 1990
5. $78.1 million Au Moulin de la Galette, Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1990
6. $76.7 million The Massacre of the Innocents, Paul Rubens 2002
7. $71.5 million Portrait de L'Artiste sans Barbe, Vincent van Gogh 1998
8. $60.5 million Rideau, Cruchonet Compotier, Paul Cezanna 1999
9. $55 million Femme aux Brax Croises, PAblo Picasso 2000
10. $53.9 million Irises, Vincent van Gogh 1987

Sunday, October 15, 2006

What is the wooden spoon in sports?

'Wooden spoon' is a phrase which refers to the performance of an individual or a team which finishes last in a competition. Sometimes, a mock or real wooden spoon award is also handed over to the contestant coming last. The phrase is apparently based on the fact that a wooden spoon is almost valueless compared to the winner's trophy which is made of precious metal. The term had its origin in Cambridge University where professors used to dangle wooden spoon before students who failed in examination.

Friday, October 13, 2006

What's the origin of 'nineteen to the dozen'?

While the exact origin of the phrase is unknown, it is often traced back to the Cornish beam engines of the Newcomen era in the 18th century. These engines could pump 19,000 gallons from a tin mile. All this from just 12 bushels of coal. In speech, the phrase means someone who talks too fast or too much.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Why does milk overflow when boiled but water does not?

Milk overflows when boiled for the first time because it contains entrapped air. The air expands on heating and tends to escape lifting the surface of milk. Once all the air is expelled, the boiling would be regular and smooth. A second boiling would not lead to overflow. Entrapped air in mother's milk is the cause of pain for babies that goes under the name 'colic pain'. Breast feeding is therefore to be done in small doses at a time.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Which is the largest burger in the world?

A Pennsylvania restaurant put a 15pound burger on its menu, claiming it to be the largest burger available. Dennis Liegey, the owner of Denny's Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield, 120 kms northeast of Pittsburgh, named it the 'Beer Barrel Belly Buster' which comprises 10 pounds of meat moulded into a 20-inch patty on a specially baked 17-inch bun. The remaining weight comes from 25 slices of cheese, a head of lettuce, three tomatoes, two onions, plus copious quantities of mayo, ketchup, relish, mustard, and peppers.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What is the real story behind saying 'touch wood'?

'Touch wood' and 'knock on wood' are used as a charm to bring good luck or to avoid 'tempting fate' after making a boastful statement. Some believe it has to do with knocking on the wooden cross. Another explanation stems from the pagan belief that spirits lived in trees and that knocking on wood would prevent the spirit from hearing the boastful words. The superstition has not been traced beyond the 19th century children's tag games.