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Green grass lawns are beautiful, but are they good for the planet?

A green rolling lawn is a great feature of a house or park, and generally lawns are associated with nature and the outdoors.

But, how good are lawns for the environment? Sure, they are better than paving, and provide a much more pleasant place to be than the starkness of tar and concrete, but maintaining all the lush greenery comes at a price.

There are over 20 million acres of lawn in the US and together they consume between 30% and 60% of an urban area's fresh water reserves through the continuous need for watering. Lawns also need to be trimmed frequently, and if this is done by powered mower, there is a significant impact on the environment. Lawn mowers are not subject to the same controls as cars, thus a lawn mower will, on average, produce as much pollution in one hour as a car will when driven 45 miles.

That's not to mention all the synthetic fertiliser that is flushed into the groundwater reserves after all the watering.

Therefore, next time you are lying on the nicely trimmed green grass of your backyard, spare a thought for the impact this luxury has on the planet.


There is an asteroid that will alter the time it takes Earth to orbit the sun. Does that mean of 'one year' will change too?

Cruithne is an Aten asteroid in orbit around the Sun in 1:1 orbital resonance with Earth, making it a co-orbital object. It has been incorrectly called "Earth's second moon" in the past; however, Cruithne does not orbit Earth and at times it is on the other side of the Sun.

It takes Cruithne about 364 days to orbit the sun, almost the same amount of time it takes for the Earth to complete it's orbit of the sun. Because of this, it appears that the Earth and Cruithne follow each other around the sun and that is why it is sometimes erroneously referred to as Earth's second moon.

It takes slightly less than a year for Cruithne to complete it's path around the sun, which means Earth 'falls behind' a little more each year. Eventually, after many years, Earth would have fallen behind so much that Cruithne will be catching up from behind.

When Cruithne does catch up, it will make a series of annual close approaches to the Earth and gravitationally exchange orbital energy with Earth. This will alter Cruithne's orbit by a little over half a million kilometers and Earth's orbit will altered by about 1.3 centimeters. This will mean that it will take us a bit more than a year to orbit the sun.


Dorothy's slippers in the Wizard of Oz should have been silver. Why did they end up red?

The ruby slippers worn by Dorothy in the 1939 MGM movie The Wizard of Oz are among the most valuable movie memorabilia around today. The weird part is that the slippers should never have been red at all!

The original novel by L. Frank Baum called for a pair of silver slippers and the movie producers were more than happy to stick to his original colour. However, back in 1916 a film technology known as Technicolor was invented that promised the commercial introduction of colour films into the movie industry.

The technique was improved over the following decades, and by 1930, Technicolor had evolved into an effective process for producing colour films so MGM Studios started to adopt it for all their big budget films.

One of the first of these films was The Wizard of Oz. The producers thought that a pair of silver slippers would not make effective use of this new technology, so a vibrant colour was needed. The Technicolor process favoured rich saturated shades and a deep red colour was eventually chosen.

Hence, Dorothy's slippers became the famous Ruby Slippers.

One of the five surviving pairs, thought to be the actual pair worn by Judy Garland during filming, are now on display in the Smithsonian.


Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins. These three astronauts don't have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; they have a moon!

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an almost 2 mile section of Hollywood Boulevard sidewalk that houses 2,518 stars as monuments to entertainment's greatest and brightest personalities.

The stars are presented to recipients that are deemed to have excelled in five major areas of entertainment. The areas are motion pictures, broadcast TV, music, broadcast radio and live performance.

So it may seem a little odd to find the names of the Apollo 11 astronauts on this sidewalk as well. The names of Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins are grouped together on their own monument which features, not a star, but rather fittingly, a moon.

Obviously the three astronauts don't quite fit any of the "required" categories for the award, but the selection committee, who is known to bend the rules from time to time, decided the three had played an important part in their "contributions to the television industry" when their moon landing was televised live on TV, and as such should be allowed to feature.


13 Facts About Famous Movies You Didn't Know

Michael Keaton didn’t want Michelle Pfeiffer in the first Batman because it’d be too awkward. She played Catwoman in the sequel!

The 1989 film, Batman, stars Michael Keaton in the title role, Jack Nicholson as the villain and Kim Basinger as the beautiful love interest. Just one in a long series of Batman movies, this particular Batman film was a critical and commercial success with over $400 million in box office sales.

Before this success though, the film's casting was a difficult task. A veritable who's who of Hollywood leading men were considered for the role of Batman, including Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan and Tom Selleck.

Producer Jon Peters and director Tim Burton both favored Michael Keaton, though. His was a controversial casting, and Warner Brothers received 50,000 protest letters about it.

Burton then suggested that Michelle Pfeiffer play Vicki Vale, the role that would later go to Bassinger.

Keaton had been in a relationship with Pfeiffer though and thought it would be too awkward. Bassinger was then cast, but Pfeiffer would later play Catwoman in "Batman Returns."



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