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30 Interesting Facts About Cats

  1.  Dogs, cats do not have a sweet tooth. Scientists believe this is due to a mutation in a key taste receptor.

  2. When a cat chases its prey, it keeps its head level. Dogs and humans bob their heads up and down.

  3. The technical term for a cat’s hairball is a “bezoar.”

  4. A group of cats is called a “clowder.”

  5. A cat can’t climb head first down a tree because every claw on a cat’s paw points the same way. To get down from a tree, a cat must back down.

  6. Cats make about 100 different sounds. Dogs make only about 10.

Many people in China consider cats a “warming” food that is perfect to eat during the winter

  • Every year, nearly four million cats are eaten in Asia.[8]

  • There are more than 500 million domestic cats in the world, with approximately 40 recognized breeds.

  • Approximately 24 cat skins can make a coat.

  • While it is commonly thought that the ancient Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats, the oldest known pet cat was recently found in a 9,500-year-old grave on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This grave predates early Egyptian art depicting cats by 4,000 years or more.

  • During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, Pope Innocent VIII condemned cats as evil and thousands of cats were burned. Unfortunately, the widespread killing of cats led to an explosion of the rat population, which exacerbated the effects of the Black Death.

  • During the Middle Ages, cats were associated with withcraft, and on St. John’s Day, people all over Europe would stuff them into sacks and toss the cats into bonfires. On holy days, people celebrated by tossing cats from church towers.

  • The first cat in space was a French cat named Felicette (a.k.a. “Astrocat”) In 1963, France blasted the cat into outer space. Electrodes implanted in her brains sent neurological signals back to Earth. She survived the trip.

  • The group of words associated with cat (catt, cath, chat, katze) stem from the Latin catus, meaning domestic cat, as opposed to feles, or wild cat.

  • The term “puss” is the root of the principal word for “cat” in the Romanian term pisica and the root of secondary words in Lithuanian (puz) and Low German puus. Some scholars suggest that “puss” could be imitative of the hissing sound used to get a cat’s attention. As a slang word for the female pudenda, it could be associated with the connotation of a cat being soft, warm, and fuzzy.

  • Approximately 40,000 people are bitten by cats in the U.S. annually.

Cats are the world’s most popular pets, outnumbering dogs by as many as three to one

  • Cats are North America’s most popular pets: there are 73 million cats compared to 63 million dogs. Over 30% of households in North America own a cat.

  • According to Hebrew legend, Noah prayed to God for help protecting all the food he stored on the ark from being eaten by rats. In reply, God made the lion sneeze, and out popped a cat.

  • A cat’s hearing is better than a dog’s. And a cat can hear high-frequency sounds up to two octaves higher than a human.

  • A cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph (49 km) over a short distance.

  • A cat rubs against people not only to be affectionate but also to mark out its territory with scent glands around its face. The tail area and paws also carry the cat’s scent.

  • Researchers are unsure exactly how a cat purrs. Most veterinarians believe that a cat purrs by vibrating vocal folds deep in the throat. To do this, a muscle in the larynx opens and closes the air passage about 25 times per second.

  • When a family cat died in ancient Egypt, family members would mourn by shaving off their eyebrows. They also held elaborate funerals during which they drank wine and beat their breasts. The cat was embalmed with a sculpted wooden mask and the tiny mummy was placed in the family tomb or in a pet cemetery with tiny mummies of mice.

  • In 1888, more than 300,000 mummified cats were found an Egyptian cemetery. They were stripped of their wrappings and carted off to be used by farmers in England and the U.S. for fertilizer.

  • Most cats give birth to a litter of between one and nine kittens. The largest known litter ever produced was 19 kittens, of which 15 survived.

  • Smuggling a cat out of ancient Egypt was punishable by death. Phoenician traders eventually succeeded in smuggling felines, which they sold to rich people in Athens and other important cities.[7]

  • The earliest ancestor of the modern cat lived about 30 million years ago. Scientists called it the Proailurus, which means “first cat” in Greek. The group of animals that pet cats belong to emerged around 12 million years ago.

  • The biggest wildcat today is the Siberian Tiger. It can be more than 12 feet (3.6 m) long (about the size of a small car) and weigh up to 700 pounds (317 kg).

Cats have 300 million neurons; dogs have about 160 million

  • A cat’s brain is biologically more similar to a human brain than it is to a dog’s. Both humans and cats have identical regions in their brains that are responsible for emotions.

  • Many Egyptians worshipped the goddess Bast, who had a woman’s body and a cat’s  head.

All Facts About Harry Potter And Hogwarts

35 Things You Might Not Know About Harry Potter

Original image

WARNER BROS

1. ROWLING AND HARRY SHARE A BIRTHDAY.

They both blow out candles on July 31 (happy birthday, JKR!). And that’s not the only influence Rowling had on her characters: She’s said that Hermione is a bit like her when she was younger, and her favorite animal is an otter—which is, of course, Hermione’s patronus. Plus, both Dumbledore and Rowling like sherbet lemons (Rowling said that the wizard’s “got good taste”).

2. SHE INVENTED THE NAMES OF THE HOGWARTS HOUSES ON THE BACK OF A BARF BAG.

In 2000, Scholastic gave schoolchildren across the U.S. the opportunity to ask Rowling questions about Harry Potter. When one student asked her, “What made you think of the people’s names and dormitories at Hogwarts?” Rowling responded, “I invented the names of the Houses on the back of an airplane sick bag! This is true. I love inventing names, but I also collect unusual names, so that I can look through my notebook and choose one that suits a new character.”

3. EARLY ON, ROWLING WROTE A SKETCH OF THE FINAL CHAPTER OF THE FINAL BOOK.

Rowling calls the idea that she had the first chapter of Deathly Hallowswritten and locked away in the safe “rubbish.” But there was a small element of truth to it: “I had, very early on—but not the first day or anything, probably within the first year of writing—I wrote a sketch for what I thought the final chapter would be,” she told Harry Potter’s big screen portrayer, Daniel Radcliffe, in an interview for the Deathly Hallows Part 2 DVD extra features. “I always knew—and this was from really early on—that I was working toward the point where Hagrid carried Harry, alive but supposedly dead, out of the forest, always. I knew we were always working towards a final battle at Hogwarts, I knew that Harry would walk to his death, I planned the ghosts—for want of a better word—coming back, that they would walk with him into the forest,  we would all believe he was walking to his death, and he would emerge in Hagrid’s arms.”

And that mental image is what kept Hagrid alive, despite the fact that he “would have been a natural to kill in some ways,” Rowling said. “But because I always cleaved to this mental image of Hagrid being the one carrying Harry out … That was so perfect for me, because it was Hagrid who and took him into the world, and Hagrid who would bring him back … That’s where we were always going. Hagrid was never in danger.”

4. THE DEMENTORS ARE BASED ON ROWLING’S STRUGGLE WITH DEPRESSION AFTER HER MOTHER’S DEATH.

Rowling’s mother, who had multiple sclerosis, died in 1990, after which Rowling suffered a period of depression. She would use the experience to characterize the Harry Potter’s dementors, creepy creatures that feed on human emotion. “It’s so difficult to describe [depression] to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness,” Rowling told Oprah Winfrey. “I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling—that really hollowed-out feeling. That’s what Dementors are.”

5. SHE CREATED QUIDDITCH AFTER A FIGHT WITH HER BOYFRIEND.

“If you want to create a game like Quidditch, what you have to do is have an enormous argument with your then-boyfriend,” Rowling said in 2003. “You walk out of the house, you sit down in a pub, and you invent Quidditch. And I don’t really know what the connection is between the row and Quidditch except that Quidditch is quite a violent game and maybe in my deepest, darkest soul I would quite like to see him hit by a bludger.”

6. THE WIZARDING WORLD’S PLANTS COME FROM A REAL BOOK.

“I used to collect names of plants that sounded witchy,” she told 60 Minutes, “and then I found this, Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, and it was the answer to my every prayer: flax weed, toadflax, fleawort, Gout-wort, grommel, knotgrass, Mugwort.” The book was penned in the 17th century by English botanist and herbalist Nicholas Culpeper; you can read it here.

7. A PROPOSED TITLE FOR THE AMERICAN VERSION OF PHILOSOPHER’S STONE WAS HARRY POTTER AND THE SCHOOL OF MAGIC.

Rowling turned that down, saying, according to American publisher Arthur Levine, “No—that doesn’t feel right to me … What if we called it the Sorcerer’s Stone?” (The French edition, Levine points out in J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography, is called Harry Potter a L’ecole Des Sorciers.)

8. ROWLING MADE COMPLICATED OUTLINES FOR THE BOOKS.

Click to enlarge.

You can see a partial outline for Order of the Phoenix above. The outline has chapter titles, a general outline of the plot, and then more specific plot points for certain characters. (Based on this outline, it looks like Rowling thought about calling Dolores Umbridge Elvira Umbridge instead!)

9. ARTHUR WEASLEY WAS SUPPOSED TO DIE.

In a battle between good and evil this epic, not everyone would make it through alive—that would have led to “very fluffy, cozy books,” she told Meredith Vieira. “You know, suddenly I [would be] halfway through Goblet of Fire and suddenly everyone would just have a really great life and … the plot would go AWOL.”

Which is not to say that Rowling knew exactly who was on the chopping block. She thought about killing Arthur Weasley after he’s attacked by Nagini in Order of the Phoenix, but instead opted to save him, partly because “there were very few good fathers in the book. In fact, you could make a very good case for Arthur Weasley being the only good father in the whole series.” (She also “seriously considered” killing Ron, then thought better of it.)

Instead, Lupin—a character she had no intention of killing when she began the books—and Tonks died during the final Battle of Hogwarts. “I wanted there to be an echo of what happened to Harry just to show the absolute evil of what Voldemort’s doing,” she said. “I think one of the most devastating things about war is the children left behind. As happened in the first war when Harry’s left behind, I wanted us to see another child left behind. And it made it very poignant that it was [Lupin and Tonks’s] newborn son.”

10. TO KEEP DEATHLY HALLOWS FROM LEAKING EARLY, BLOOMSBURY GAVE IT CODENAMES.

You probably wouldn’t have been so interested in reading Edinburgh Potmakers or The Life and Times of Clara Rose Lovett: An Epic Novel Covering Many Generations.

11. HALEY JOEL OSMENT COULD HAVE PLAYED HARRY.

When Steven Spielberg was attached to direct the film adaptation, he wanted Sixth Sense star Haley Joel Osment to play Harry. But the director eventually left over a creative clash with Rowling, and new director Chris Columbus had to find his star. Some 300 kids tested for Harry Potter over a period of seven months; Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry McGuire) even expressed interest. “There were times when we felt we would never find an individual who embodied the complex spirit and depth of Harry,” Columbus said.

Then, one night, Heyman went to the theater with screenwriter SteveKloves (who ended up penning all but one of the Potter scripts). “There sitting behind me was this boy with these big blue eyes. It was Dan Radcliffe,” he told HeroComplex in 2009. “I remember my first impressions: He was curious and funny and so energetic. There was real generosity too, and sweetness. But at the same time he was really voracious and with hunger for knowledge of whatever kind.” He persuaded Radcliffe’s parents to let their son audition, and the rest is history.

12. RUPERT GRINT’S AUDITION WAS UNUSUAL.

Nine-year-old Emma Watson’s first audition for the role of Hermione took place in her school gym; she auditioned a total of eight times. Grint, then 10, sent in a video audition, and went in a rather unusual direction: “I found out that you could audition by sending a picture of yourself and some information to Newsround,” he said in 2002. “I did my own video with me, first of all, pretending to be my drama teacher who unfortunately was a girl and then I did a rap of how I wanted to be Ron and then I made my own script thing up and sent it off.”

He had some competition, though: Tom Felton auditioned for both Ron and Harry before ultimately being cast as Draco Malfoy.

13. THERE’S A VERY GOOD REASON HARRY’S EYES AREN’T GREEN IN THE MOVIES.

In the books, Harry’s eyes are described as “bright green”—but Radcliffe’s are blue. When Sorcerer’s Stone was in pre-production, Heyman called Rowling and told her their options: They’d tried green contacts; they could also trying making Radcliffe’s eyes green in post-production. How important was it, he wondered, for Harry’s eyes to be green?

Rowling said that the only thing that was really important was that Harry’s eyes looked like his mother’s eyes, so whoever played Lily Potter would need to have some resemblance to Radcliffe. This was a relief for Radcliffe, who had an an extremely adverse reaction to the contacts. (He was also allergic to the glasses, which made him break out in acne.)

14. THE BROOMS USED IN THE SERIES AREN’T REGULAR BROOMS.

They were made by modeler Pierre Bohanna using aircraft-grade titanium. “People think of them as a prop the kids are carrying around, but in reality, they have to sit on them,” Eddie Newquist, chief creative officer of the firm Global Entertainment Services, which puts on Harry Potter: The Exhibition, told Popular Mechanics. “They have to be mounted onto motion-control bases for green-screen shots and special-effects shots, so they have to be very thin and incredibly durable. Most of these kids weighed 80 pounds, 90 pounds [at the beginning]. Now they’re all adults, so they’re up over 120, 130 pounds, and you have to really make sure your brooms can withstand that.”

15. THE ROLE OF PEEVES WAS CAST AND FILMED—THEN CUT.

British comedian Rik Mayall was cast as Hogwarts’s prank-happy poltergeist in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. He showed up and shot the scenes, which were later cut when director Chris Columbus decided he didn’t like the look of the ghost. Mayall described the experience in a 2011 interview:

He didn’t tell his kids his part had been cut, though, and when they went to see it, “they came back and they said: ‘Bloody good make up. You didn’t look like yourself at all dad,’” Mayall said. “They thought I was playing Hagrid, Robbie Coltrane’s part.”

16. THE ACTRESS WHO PLAYED MOANING MYRTLE WAS MUCH OLDER THAN A STUDENT.

Shirley Henderson was 36 when she played the bathroom-haunting ghost of a 14-year-old student who was killed by a basilisk’s stare in Chamber of Secrets. Playing a ghost was tougher than playing a real person, she told the BBC, “because of all the technical stuff it involved. I had to be strapped up to this harness so it looked as if I was flying and so I could be pushed through the air and twisted and turned over and over again. It’s physically very tiring on your body. It also requires a lot of concentration, because there’s all kinds of people shouting stuff like ‘Turn, do this, look at this’ so they can do all their stuff with the computer effects while I’m trying to act it out. But once you block all that out, it’s great fun. Really good fun.”

17. PRISONER OF AZKABAN DIRECTOR ALFONSO Cuarón ASKED THE TRIO TO WRITE ESSAYS ABOUT THEIR CHARACTERS.

Alfonso Cuarón wanted Watson, Radcliffe, and Grint to write essays about their characters from a first person point of view. According to Heyman, “they all responded very much in character … Dan wrote a page, Emma wrote 10 and Rupert didn’t deliver anything.” Grint told Entertainment Weekly, “I didn’t do mine, because I didn’t think Ron would. Or that was my excuse. At the time, I was actually quite busy with the real schoolwork involved with my exams, and I just didn’t do it. But in the end, it felt right because that’s what Ron would have done.”

18. ROWLING SHOT DOWN ONE OF Cuarón’S IDEAS.

Rowling wasn’t precious about all of the details of her books (see: Harry’s eye color). “Inevitably, you have to depart from the strict storyline of the books,” she told Radcliffe. “The books are simply too long to make into very faithful films.” But that didn’t mean she’d let everything slide: “Sometimes I would dig my heels in on the funniest things,” she said. “I’d say yeah, change the costume, that’s not a problem … And then all of a sudden I’d say, ‘Why would they do that spell? They wouldn’t do that there.’”

Take, for example, one shot that Cuarón wrote into Prisoner of Azkaban, which Rowling called “rather bizarre.” “I think Flitwick was conducting, and there were miniature people in an orchestra inside something,” she told Radcliffe. “I said to him, but why? I know it’s visually exciting, but part of what I think fans really enjoyed about the literary world is that there was a logic that underpinned it. There was always a logic to the magic, however strange it became. And I know it’s intriguing to go through the mouth of whatever it was and see these little people, but why have they done it? For you to film it, that’s just what it feels like. Normally, with the magic, there’s a point. So we had a bit of discussion.”

19. ROWLING TIPPED ALAN RICKMAN OFF TO SNAPE’S MOTIVATIONS.

“I told him really early on that Snape had been in love with Lily, that’s why he hated James, that’s why he projected this amount of dislike onto Harry,” Rowling told Radcliffe. “So he knew that. Then you told me that he’d been saying … ‘I just don’t think Snape would do that, given what I know.’” She laughed, continuing, “And I thought, ‘Alan, are you really milking this now?’”

She also tipped Radcliffe off to Harry’s (partial) fate after seeing him in Equus. Radcliffe asked her, point blank: “Do I die?”

“You get a death scene,” Rowling told him.

“I saw you double-take,” Rowling said. “Neal, my husband, afterward, said, ‘What did Dan ask you?’ And I said ‘He wanted to know if he’s going to die.’” When he asked what she’d said, Rowling told him, “I’m not telling you!” Though her husband was tipped off to Dumbledore’s fate ahead of time, Rowling kept Harry’s ultimate fate a secret till the end.

20. THE ACTORS COULDN’T PLAY CONTACT SPORTS.

Instead, they played golf. ”[At Leavesden Studios], Rupert Grint and my brother [James] and I would hang out at the driving range downstairs quite a bit,” Oliver Phelps, who played George Weasley, told EW. “I mean, I say driving range, but it was a mat and a 150-yard cone at the other end. Golf was one of the only sports we were allowed to do in our contract because it was relatively quite safe. We couldn’t do any contact sports.”

21. THE MOVIES FEATURED SOME HIGH TECH VISUAL EFFECTS …

Visual effects artists were tasked with bringing many of the fantastic magical elements of Harry Potter to life, including everything from fire-breathing dragons and club-swinging giants to zombie-like Inferi and Voldemort’s snake-like face (which was created by using practical makeup and digitally removing Ralph Fiennes’s nose). One of their most challenging sequences came early in Deathly Hallows, when members of the Order of the Phoenix arrive at Privet Drive to whisk Harry away to a safe spot. Multiple Harrys, Mad-Eye Moody says, will confuse the Death Eaters on their trail—so some of the wizards chug Polyjuice Potion and transform into Harry.

The transformation was tough for visual effects artists to pull off. “We needed to have a little bit of the attributes of Harry, and a little bit of the attributes of whoever we started with—George, Fred, Ron, Hermione,” Nicolas Aithadi, VFX supervisor at Moving Picture Company, told Popular Mechanics. “The tricky part is you have to be able to read the Harry part and the George part. What we keep from each of these characters has to be perfect.” They accomplished it by coating the actors’ faces in UV paint, then having them make faces in the Mova Contour Reality Capture system, which has 29 cameras and can capture 50,000 points of information, creating a 3D mesh cloud they could use as a basis for the transforming faces.

According to Phelps, it was completely different than anything they’d ever done before. “There are probably 30 different facial expressions they tried to get you to do,” he told Popular Mechanics. “I never realized how wide I could open my mouth until we did that scene, so that was quite cool.” Because of the UV paint, the VFX artists had one piece of advice, Phelps said: “They were quite keen to say, ‘Just don’t go to any nightclubs tonight, because you’ll look like a floating head.’”

22. … BUT NOT ALL THE EFFECTS WERE COMPUTER GENERATED.

Animatronics were made for the actors to interact with on set, including baby mandrakes, Hedwig, the Monster Book of Monsters, and Buckbeak, which was used on-set for close ups. “He could stare at you, his eyes could follow you, he could bow, and every one of his feathers was dyed and put in by hand,” Newquist told PopMech. “There are tens of thousands of them, and they look absolutely gorgeous.”Other creatures were built to give the animators reference for lighting, like the giant Jack-in-the-Box from Prisoner of Azkaban and house elf Kreacher.

23. THE FILM’S MAKEUP ARTISTS APPLIED THE LIGHTNING BOLT SCAR MANY, MANY TIMES OVER THE COURSE OF EIGHT FILMS.

Five thousand eight hundred times, to be exact. In our 2014 interview with Radcliffe, he told us, “The lightning scar, on the first two films, we essentially painted it on, and after that we used Pros-Aide, which was like a glue [to put it on]. It was very simple.” The scar was applied to his face 2,000 times; the rest went on film and stunt doubles. Radcliffe also went through 160 pairs of Harry’s round-frame glasses.

24. HELENA BONHAM CARTER KEPT HER BELLATRIX TEETH.

“I loved my [fake] teeth!” the actress told EW. “I kept them because they’re not going to fit anybody else. I keep them in a blue plastic thing in the bathroom and bring them out when I miss [Bellatrix].’”

25. THERE COULD HAVE BEEN AN OFFICIAL HARRY POTTER MUSICAL.

Rowling has turned down a lot of proposed Harry Potter ideas—including, she told Winfrey, a musical that Michael Jackson wanted to do. Earlier this year, Rowling announced that she’s working with a team to bring a new Harry Potter story to the stageHarry Potter and the Cursed Childwill hit the West End in 2016.

26. DUMBLEDORE WAS GAY.

In 2007, when asked by a fan whether or not Hogwarts’s favorite headmaster had ever been in love, Rowling responded, “I always thought of Dumbledore as gay.” She revealed that he had fallen in love with Grindelwald, “and that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was.”

Rowling said she found the reaction to the news very interesting. “To me it was not a big deal,” she told Radcliffe. “This is a very old man who has a very terrible job to do. And his gayness is not really relevant. Very relevant to him as a character, because I always saw him as a very lonely character. And I think that there is in fact a hint of it in [Deathly Hallows] because of the relationship he has with Grindelwald. He fell very hard for this boy …  And don’t you think it was perfect that Dumbledore, who is always the great champion of love … his one great experience of love was utterly tragic.”

This led to one very necessary tweak to the Half-Blood Prince script. “In an early draft of that script, Dumbledore said to Harry … ‘I remember a young woman with eyes of flashing whatever, raven-haired…’ and I read this and I scribbled on my copy of the script, ‘Steve, Dumbledore is gay,’ shoved it up the table,” she said. “And Steve [said,] ‘Oh.’ So that’s why that line didn’t make the film.”

27. ROWLING ACKNOWLEDGED THAT A HARRY/HERMIONE PAIRING MIGHT HAVE WORKED.

In an interview with Emma Watson for Wonderland magazine in 2014, Rowling said that “I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment,” saying that they ended up together “for reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it … The attraction itself is plausible but the combative side of it … I’m not sure you could have got over that in an adult relationship, there was too much fundamental incompatibility.”

She noted that “in some ways Hermione and Harry are a better fit,” and that she felt that “quite strongly” when she wrote a particular scene in Deathly Hallows, where Harry and Hermione are in the tent. “I hadn’t told [Steve] Kloves that and when he wrote the script he felt exactly the same thing at exactly the same point,” she said.

28. BACK IN THE DAY, THE MALFOYS HUNG OUT WITH RICH MUGGLES.

“Until the imposition of the Statute of Secrecy in 1692, the Malfoy family was active within high-born Muggle circles, and it is said that their fervent opposition to the imposition of the Statute was due, in part, to the fact that they would have to withdraw from this enjoyable sphere of social life,” Rowling wrote on Pottermore. In fact, one Malfoy might have had designs on the British Throne: “There is ample evidence to suggest that the first Lucius Malfoy was an unsuccessful aspirant to the hand of Elizabeth I, and some wizarding historians allege that the Queen’s subsequent opposition to marriage was due to a jinx placed upon her by the thwarted Malfoy,” Rowling writes. The Malfoys gave up their Muggle fraternizing when the Ministry of Magic, “the new heart of power,” was founded.

29. MOANING MYRTLE HAS AN INTERESTING INSPIRATION.

Rowling wrote on Pottermore that the whiny, bathroom-dwelling ghost was inspired by “the frequent presence of a crying girl in communal bathrooms, especially at the parties and discos of my youth. This does not seem to happen in male bathrooms, so I enjoyed placing Harry and Ron in such uncomfortable and unfamiliar territory in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

30. MUGGLES CAN’T MAKE POTIONS.

And that’s because you can’t make potions without wands. “Merely adding dead flies and asphodel to a pot hanging over a fire will give you nothing but nasty-tasting, not to mention poisonous, soup,” Rowling wrote on Pottermore. Though her least favorite subject in school was Chemistry, she admitted that “I always enjoyed creating potions in the books, and researching ingredients for them. Many of the components of the various draughts and libations that Harry creates for Snape exist (or were once believed to exist) and have (or were believed to have) the properties I gave them.”

31. ROWLING’S EDUCATION CAME IN HANDY.

At university, she minored in Classics, and she put that education to good use, peppering the books with Latin. “It just amused me, the idea that wizards would still be using Latin as a living language, although it is, as scholars of Latin will know,” she said in 2000. “I take great liberties with the language for spells. I see it as a kind of mutation that the wizards are using.” Expelliarmus, for example, combines expellere, meaning “drive out” or “expel,” with arma, meaning “weapon,” and knocks weapons from an enemy’s hands. Incendio, which lights a fire, comes from incendiarius, or “fire-raising.” And Hogwarts’s motto is Draco Dormiens Numquam Titillandus—“Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon.”

32. THERE WAS ONE HARRY POTTER QUESTION ROWLING FEARED THE MOST.

It was “What was Dumbledore’s wand made of?”

“That would have been quite a telling question,” Rowling told Time. “Because I had this elder thing in my mind, cause elder has this association in folklore, it’s the death tree. I thought, ‘What am I going to say?’” Thankfully, no one ever asked.

33. STEPHEN KING THOUGHT DOLORES UMBRIDGE WAS A GREAT VILLAIN.

In his review of Order of the Phoenix for Entertainment Weekly, King said, “The gently smiling Dolores Umbridge, with her girlish voice, toadlike face, and clutching, stubby fingers, is the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter” [PDF].

34. YOU CAN SPOT A CRUMPLE-HORNED SNORKACK IN THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER …

It’s on the second story of the Magical Menagerie. Luna’s father, Xenophilius Lovegood, claimed it was a real creature, but it was never found. Rowling said that Luna, who became a naturalist, had to eventually “accept that her father might have made that one up.”

35. … AS WELL AS ARTHUR WEASLEY’S FLYING CAR.

Top 25 Facts About “INDIA”

“India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.”

These are not our words. These are the words of the great Mark Twain. And here are 25 Indians facts to support his statement:

1. A floating post office

India has the largest postal network in the world with over 1, 55,015 post offices. A single post office on an average serves a population of 7,175 people. The floating post office in Dal Lake, Srinagar, was inaugurated in August 2011.

Source: trendingpost

2. Kumbh Mela gathering visible from space

The 2011 Kumbh Mela was the largest gathering of people with over 75 million pilgrims. The gathering was so huge that the crowd was visible from space.

Source: WordPress

3. The wettest inhabited place in the world

Mawsynram, a village on the Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, receives the highest recorded average rainfall in the world. Cherrapunji, also a part of Meghalaya, holds the record for the most rainfall in the calendar year of 1861.

Source: Dailymail

4. Bandra Worli Sealink has steel wires equal to the earth’s circumference

It took a total of 2,57,00,000 man hours for completion and also weighs as much as 50,000 African elephants. A true engineering and architectural marvel.

Source: Wikipedia

5. The highest cricket ground in the world

At an altitude of 2,444 meters, the Chail Cricket Ground in Chail, Himachal Pradesh, is the highest in the world. It was built in 1893 and is a part of the Chail Military School.

Source: iseeindia

6. Shampooing is an Indian concept

Shampoo was invented in India, not the commercial liquid ones but the method by use of herbs. The word ‘shampoo’ itself has been derived from the Sanskrit word champu, which means to massage.

Source: Huffington post

7. The Indian national Kabaddi team has won all World Cups

India has won all 5 men’s Kabaddi World Cups held till now and have been undefeated throughout these tournaments. The Indian women’s team has also won all Kabaddi World Cups held till date.

Source: Rediff

8. Water on the moon was discovered by India

In September 2009, India’s ISRO Chandrayaan- 1 using its Moon Mineralogy Mapper detected water on the moon for the first time.

Source: chandrayaan-i

9. Science day in Switzerland is dedicated to Ex-Indian President, APJ Abdul Kalam

The father of India’s missile programme had visited Switzerland back in 2006. Upon his arrival, Switzerland declared May 26th as Science Day.

Source: hdwallpaperswala

10. India’s first President only took 50% of his salary

When Dr Rajendra Prasad was appointed the President of India, he only took 50% of his salary, claiming he did not require more than that. Towards the end of his 12-year tenure he only took 25% of his salary. The salary of the President was Rs 10,000 back then.

Source: iloveindia

11. The first rocket in India was transported on a cycle

The first rocket was so light and small that it was transported on a bicycle to the Thumba Launching Station in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Source: tkayala

12. India has a spa just for elephants

Elephants receive baths, massages and even food at the Punnathoor Cotta Elephant Yard Rejuvenation Centre in Kerala. Now that’s a BIG step for the country.

Source: National Geographic

13. India is the world’s second-largest English speaking country

India is second only to the USA when it comes to speaking English with around 125 million people speaking the language, which is only 10% of our population. This is expected to grow by quite a margin in the coming years.

Source: IBNlive

14. Largest number of vegetarians in the world

Be it because of religious reasons or personal choices or both, around 20-40% of Indians are vegetarians, making it the largest vegetarian-friendly country in the world.

Source: blogspot

15. The world’s largest producer of milk

India recently overtook the European Union with production reaching over 132.4m tonnes in 2014.

Source: flickr

16. The first country to consume sugar

India was the first country to develop extraction and purifying techniques of sugar. Many visitors from abroad learnt the refining and cultivation of sugar from us.

Source: business-standard

17. The human calculator

Shakuntla Devi was given this title after she demonstrated the calculation of two 13 digit numbers: 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779 which were picked at random. She answered correctly within 28 seconds.

Source: heliosmediadesign

18. Rabindranath Tagore also wrote the national anthem for Bangladesh

Rabindranath Tagore is credited not only for writing the Indian national anthem,Jana Gana Mana, but the Bangladeshi national anthem, Amar Sonar Bangla, as well. He was also offered knighthood by the British but refused the honour after the Jalianwala Bagh massacre.

Source: mindpodnetwork

19. Dhyan Chand was offered German citizenship

After defeating Germany 8-1 in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Major Dhyan Chand, the wizard of hockey, was summoned by Hitler. He was promised German citizenship, a high post in the German military and the chance to play for the German national side. Dhyan Chand however declined the offer.

Source: Wikipedia

20. Freddie Mercury and Ben Kingsley are both of Indian descent

Freddie Mercury, the legendary singer of the rock band ‘Queen’ was born a Parsi with the name Farrokh Bulsara while the famous Oscar winning Hollywood star Ben Kingsley was born Krishna Pandit Bhanji.

21. Astronaut Rakesh Sharma said India looks saare jahaan se achcha from space

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked the first Indian in space, Rakesh Sharma, about how India looked from space. His response was our famous patriotic song, “Saare Jahaan Se Achcha.”

Source: spacefacts

22. Havell’s is purely an Indian brand & named after its first owner

Though the company was bought for just 10 lakh Rupees a long time ago and is now a multi-billion electrical goods company, it’s an Indian company and is still named after its original owner, Haveli Ram Gupta.

Source: behance

23. Diamonds were first mined in India

Initially, diamonds were only found in the alluvial deposits in Guntur and Krishna District of the Krishna River Delta. Until diamonds were found in Brazil during the 18th century, India led the world in diamond production.

Source: Indiaspend

24. A special polling station is set up for a lone voter in the middle of Gir Forest

Mahant Bharatdas Darshandas has been voting since 2004 and during every election since then, a special polling booth is set up exclusively for him as he is the only voter from Banej in Gir forest.

Source: BBC

25. Snakes and Ladders originated in India

Earlier known as Moksha Patamu, the game was initially invented as a moral lesson about karma to be taught to children. It was later commercialized and has become one of the most popular board games in the world.

Facts About Earth

  • earthThe Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing.
    This deceleration is happening almost imperceptibly, at approximately 17 milliseconds per hundred years, although the rate at which it occurs is not perfectly uniform. This has the effect of lengthening our days, but it happens so slowly that it could be as much as 140 million years before the length of a day will have increased to 25 hours.
  • The Earth was once believed to be the centre of the universe.
    Due to the apparent movements of the Sun and planets in relation to their viewpoint, ancient scientists insisted that the Earth remained static, whilst other celestial bodies travelled in circular orbits around it. Eventually, the view that the Sun was at the centre of the universe was postulated by Copernicus, though this is also not the case.
  • Earth has a powerful magnetic field.
    This phenomenon is caused by the nickel-iron core of the planet, coupled with its rapid rotation. This field protects the Earth from the effects of solar wind.
  • There is only one natural satellite of the planet Earth.
    As a percentage of the size of the body it orbits, the Moon is the largest satellite of any planet in our solar system. In real terms, however, it is only the fifth largest natural satellite.
  • Earth is the only planet not named after a god.
    The other seven planets in our solar system are all named after Roman gods or goddesses. Although only MercuryVenusMarsJupiter and Saturn were named during ancient times, because they were visible to the naked eye, the Roman method of naming planets was retained after the discovery of Uranus and Neptune.
  • The Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System.
    This varies according to the part of the planet; for example, the metallic core is denser than the crust. The average density of the Earth is approximately 5.52 grams per cubic centimetre.earth

Facts About Maa Vaishno Devi- Jammu

  • It is believed that Mata Vaishno Devi, who was also known as Trikuta observed the ‘Navratra’, to pray for the victory of Lord Rama against Ravana. It is also said that Lord Rama also ensured her that the entire world would sing her praises and revere her as Mata Vaishno Devi. Thus, it is due to Rama’s blessings that Mata Vaishno Devi attained immortality and now attracts thousands of pilgrims to the shrine each year.
  • Bhairo Nath, who chased Mata Vaishno Devi and pestered her to marry him, was actually sent by Gorakh Nath, who was a Mahayogi. Gorakh Nath had a vision of the conversation between Lord Rama and Vaishnavi. Led by curiosity to know more about Vaishnavi, the Mahayogi sent his prime disciple to collect information about the Goddess.
  • Mata Vaishno Devi had an Ashram on the foothills of Trikuta. The ashram was constructed on the instructions of Lord Rama, who ensured Vaishnavi to built an ashram where they will live after getting married in the Kaliyug.
  • The Goddess after forgiving Bhairo Nath and allowing him to attain Moksha shed her human form and took the form of a rock in order to continue uninterrupted meditation. Mata Vaishno Devi, hence, gives her devotees darshan in the form of a five and half feet tall rock, with three pindies or heads on the top. The cave where she transformed herself is now the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi and the pindies form the sanctum sanctorum.
  • There are many legends for establishment of Mata Vaishno Devi Temple. However, the legend related to Pandit seems most appropriate. It is said that Pandit Sridhar was a poor sage, who had a vision of Mata Vaishno Devi indicating him the route to the temple. It is also believed that whenever Sridhar losts his way, Vaishno Devi appeared in his dream to guide him.
  • Certain geological studies indicate that the caves are a million year old. On the other side the earliest reference to a mountain deity named Trikuta has been made in the Rigveda scripture of Hindu. It is worth noting that the worship of Shakti and other female deities started only during the Puranic era.
  • The mention of Vaishno Devi is made in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The epic states before the Great War of Kurukshetra, Arjuna meditated upon the Goddess, seeking her blessings for victory. Arjuna is said to have described the Devi as “Jambookatak Chityaishu Nityam Sannihilaye”, which means “the one who permanently resides in the temple located on the slope of the mountain in Jamboo”. Here Jamboo might refer to Jammu according to several scholars.
  • Navaratri is considered the most auspicious time to visit Mata Vaishno Devi cave temples. Visiting Vaishno Devi during the Navaratras is believed as being one step closer to attaining heaven.
  • It is believed that the late Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh himself visited Vaishno Devi in his lifetime.
  • There are three main caves located at Vaishno Devi, of which the main cave remains closed most of the year. It is said that the three caves combined are too long for a single pilgrimage and that is why only two caves are kept open for the flock of people to see.
  • The route that leads to the cave temple is not the original entrance. It is said that the original route to Vaishno Devi was not wide enough to accommodate the multitudes who swarmed it. In order to make more space, the mountain was split in half to build a new road, at Ardh Kuwari (the halfway point).
  • It is reckoned that the few fortunate pilgrims are able to witness the main cave of the temple. It is said, whenever there are less than 10000 pilgrims for the Darshan, the doors to the main cave is opened by the authority. This is most likely to take place during the winter Vaishno Devi Yatra in the months of December and January.
  • The ancient cave as the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine holds lot of importance. It is believed that this cave preserves the body of Bhairo Nath whom the Goddess killed with her Trishul (Trident). The legend has it when Vaishnavi Devi beheaded Bhairo Nath, his head flew to the Bhairo Valley and his rest of the body remained in the cave.
  • It is said that a stream of Ganga flows through the cave. The devotees wash themselves with this water before heading to the temple.
  • At Ardhkuwari a separate cave is situated to which an interesting legend is attached. This separate cave is said to be the place where Vaishno Devi hid from Bhairo Nath for 9 months. It is said, the Goddess positioned herself in the same way as an unborn child is placed in his/her mother’s womb. This cave is also known as Garbhjun.
  • According to believers, those who enter Garbhjun cave acquire freedom from entering the womb again. If incase one is born again/or is conceived by the mother then one is free from all the problems during childbirth