Friday, November 23, 2012

News You May Have Missed, No. 42

President Wants Name Change for Mexico
Mexico's president is making one last attempt to change the name of his country. The name "United Mexican States," or "Estados Unidos Mexicanos," was adopted in 1824 after independence from Spain in imitation of Mexico's democratic northern neighbor, but it is rarely used except on official documents, money and other government material. Still, President Felipe Calderon called a news conference to announce that he wants to make the name simply "Mexico." His country doesn't need to copy anyone, he said. Calderon first proposed the name change as a congressman in 2003 but the bill did not make it to a vote. The new constitutional reform he proposed would have to be approved by both houses of Congress and a majority of Mexico's 31 state legislatures. However, Calderon leaves office on Dec. 1, raising the question of whether his proposal is a largely symbolic gesture. His proposal was widely mocked as a ridiculous parting shot from a lame-duck president. Calderon said that while the name change "doesn't have the urgency of other reforms," it should be seen as a relevant issue. Mexico doesn't need a name that emulates another country and that no one uses on a daily basis, he said. Calderon has tried to keep Mexico's international image, and its vital tourism industry, from being tarred by the waves of violence set off by his six-year, militarized offensive against drug cartels. At least 47,500 people have died in cartel-related violence during his term in office, although the number is believed to be far higher, since his administration stopped releasing an official count last year. It's time for Mexicans to return to the beauty and simplicity of the name of our country, Mexico, Calderon said. A name that we chant, that we sing, that makes us happy, that we identify with, that fills us with pride.
Mole-like Creature Survives Dinosaur Extinction
A mole-like mammal nicknamed the "grave robber" survived the event that killed the dinosaurs, new research finds. Necrolestes  patagonensis, whose name translates in part to "grave robber," was among the mammals that lived through the dinosaur mass extinction. Once thought to have died with the dinosaurs, Necrolestes is now known to have survived 45 million years longer than its relatives, which mostly perished when the dinosaurs died. The new study finds that the creature lived 45 million years longer than paleontologists realized. Necrolestes was first discovered in fossil form in the Patagonia region of South America  in 1891, but little was known about the animal, study researcher John Wible, a mammalogist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, said in a statement. Necrolestes is one of those animals in the textbooks that would appear with a picture and a footnote, and the footnote would say 'we don't know what it is,'  Wible said. For a century, researchers at different institutions gave Necrolestes different places on the mammal family tree. Part of the confusion involved the animal's mismatched features, which included an upturned snout, compact body, and short, wide legs. All researchers could tell was that its body would have been perfect for digging. Triangular teeth suggested a diet of worms and other squirmy underground creepy-crawlies. Necrolestes' subterranean lifestyle may explain its lucky fate, the researchers reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. There's no other mammal in the Tertiary of South America that even approaches its ability to dig, tunnel, and live in the ground, Wible said. It must have been on the edges, in an ecological niche that allowed it to survive.
Nudity Ban in San Francisco
In San Francisco, U.S.A., lawmakers disappointed committed nudists by narrowly approving a ban on public nakedness despite concerns the measure would undermine the city's reputation as a place for free expression.  The Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 in favor of a public safety ordinance that prohibits exposed genitals in most public places, including streets, sidewalks and public transit. The law still must pass a final vote and secure Mayor Edwin Lee's signature in order to take effect. Supervisor Scott Weiner introduced the ban in response to escalating complaints about a group of men whose bare bodies are on display almost daily in the city's predominantly gay Castro District. The Castro, and San Francisco in general, is a place of freedom, expression and acceptance. But freedom, expression and acceptance does not mean anything goes under any circumstances, Wiener said. Our public spaces are for everyone, and as a result it's appropriate to have some minimal standards of behavior. Wiener's opponents on the board said a citywide ban was unnecessary and would draw police officers' attention away from bigger problems while undermining San Francisco values like tolerance and appreciation for the offbeat. I'm concerned about civil liberties, about free speech, about changing San Francisco's style and how we are as a city, Supervisor John Avalos said. I cannot and will not bite this apple and I refuse to put on this fig leaf. Under Wiener's proposal, a first offense would carry a maximum penalty of a $100 fine, but prosecutors would have authority to charge a third violation as a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and a year in jail. Exemptions would be made for participants at permitted street fairs and parades, such as the city's annual gay pride event and the Bay-to-Breakers street run, which often draws participants in costumes or various states of undress. A federal lawsuit claiming the ban would violate the free speech rights of people who prefer to make a statement by going au naturel was filed last week in case the ordinance clears its final hurdles.
Wasted Taxpayer Money
In Alaska, U.S.A., there is an unused $75.5 million airport and a $29 million  newly created harbor with no roads connecting it to any town. Both were built by the U.S. Federal government at taxpayer expense. Concerning the harbor, The Army Corps of Engineers, using $29 million in federal stimulus money, built the harbor. It was supposed to serve the native Alaskan  Aleutians community of Akutan. The town is home to just over 1,000 seasonal workers and 75 full-time residents. It has only about five boats. I personally own half a vessel, Akutan mayor Joseph Bereskin said. Bereskin added that he supported construction of the harbor and hopes it will grow in popularity once a connecting road is eventually built. There have been tentative plans to build a connecting road for years, but Jacob Stepetin of the Akutan Traditional Council says the project still lacks financial commitments from the state and federal governments and local businesses. And along with the missing road and boats, the harbor is also currently lacking electricity and running water. The inactive harbor now shares Akutan territory with the nearby airport. Residents are required to stake a six-mile hovercraft ride to reach the airstrip, which is located on a nearby island. However, there are no airlines currently serving the airport.
Teen Denied Sacrament Because of  Gay Rights Stance
According to his family, a non-gay teenager who posted his support for same-sex marriage online has been denied a Catholic sacrament and rite of passage known as Confirmation  at his Minnesota, U.S.A., church. Shana Cihak said her 17-year-old son, Lennon, wasn't allowed to be confirmed at Assumption Church in Barnesville, Minnesota, U.S.A., after posting a Facebook picture of himself with a political sign he altered which opposed the marriage amendment on Minnesota's ballot because he was in favor of its passage.  (Voters rejected the state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. ) Assumption Church's Rev. Gary LaMoine told The Associated Press that the teen was not denied confirmation but declined to explain, calling it an "internal and pastoral" matter. Some people chose to run out into the public and put it out in the media, LaMoine told the AP, adding that he was consulting with the Catholic Diocese of Crookston about the issue.  Shana Cihak said she was called into a private conversation with the priest after the Facebook photo was posted and was told her son wouldn't be allowed to complete confirmation.  Lennon has gone to church every week and volunteered around the community in preparation for his confirmation this year, Shana Cihak said. Lennon said other students in his confirmation class "liked" the photo on Facebook, but they were still allowed to be confirmed.  I just thought it was wrong to single him out, his mother said.  Her husband, Doug Cihak, said the family is not allowed to participate in Communion at Assumption. He insisted that he's not angry at LaMoine, explaining that the priest is just a "messenger" of the church.  Lennon said the experience hasn't altered his faith.  I don't want the church to be put down. I don't want the Catholic religion to be put down, he said. It's just the way the priest has things running. He's so strict. He won't loosen up about things. Shana Cihak said she was confirmed at the same church, but doesn't plan to return to Assumption.

Sex Toys Sales Increase in Canada

Sex toy retailers in Alberta, Canada, say that business has been booming this autumn, and they think they know why. They maintain the reason is the National Hockey League lockout. We’d be gearing up for hockey now, but there’s nothing, so I guess we need to find some better ways to spend our time, Vinay Morker, owner of Hush Lingerie and More in Edmonton, told the Toronto Sun. Morker says his sales of sex toys, sex games, sexual guides and lingerie and gone up 15%. Hal Roseberg, who owns Edmonton's Tease Adult Boutique, told the newspaper that he's noticed a similar spike in business. I suppose that’s one of the other reasons it’s as busy as it is there’s no hockey, he said. On the other hand, maybe the rise in sales is simply part of a larger trend in consumer spending habits. Last spring, sex toys were projected to skyrocket on a global scale with some experts crediting the bad economy. At a time when unemployment is high, Stefan Dallakian, owner of Paris Intimates, told CNBC (U.S.A cable television channel), and bank account balances are low, people are passing the time by getting busy.

Early Death Linked To Muscle Power

Swedish experts who tracked more than a million teenage boys for 24 years found those with low muscle strength - weaker leg and arm muscles and a limp grip - were at increased risk of early death.  The team behind the BMJ study believe muscle strength reflects general fitness, which would explain the link. Experts stress the findings do not mean muscle building makes you live longer. The effect of poor muscular fitness in those tracked was similar to well established risk factors for early death, such as obesity and high blood pressure. When the researchers took into account these better known risk factors, they found the link between early death and muscle power remained. Thin and fat men alike fared worse in terms of life expectancy if they had weaker than average muscles, while more burly men had better survival odds even if they were overweight. Over the course of the study, 26,145 (2.3%) of the men died. The leading single cause of death was accidental injury, followed by suicide, cancer, heart disease and stroke.  A third of the deaths were due to other causes and the researchers grouped these together for their calculations. The teenagers who scored above average on muscular strength at the start of the study had a 20-35% lower risk of early death from any cause and also from cardiovascular diseases. They also had a 20-30% lower risk of early death from suicide and were up to 65% less likely to have any psychiatric diagnosis, such as schizophrenia or depression. In comparison, the 16 to19 year-olds with the lowest level of muscular strength had the highest risk of dying before they reached their mid-50s. The teenagers, who were all conscripts to the Swedish military, were asked to grip and to do some leg curls and arm push-ups against resistance to measure muscle strength.

Woman Arrested for Having Sex with a Skeleton

A woman in southwestern Sweden took “boning” to a new level, police contend, and may face up to two years in the slammer. The 37-year-old woman is accused of necrophilia and was formally charged on Tuesday at the Gothenburg District Court for the crime of “violating the peace of the dead." Police were initially notified that a gunshot had been fired from the woman’s apartment in September, which led to the alleged discovery of 100 skeleton parts in her apartment.  While searching her home, the police reportedly also found a CD titled "My Necrophilia" as well as photographs in which a woman is shown being intimate with the skeleton’s parts, including licking a skull, according to the Swedish news agency, TT. However, the woman has denied the charges claiming she collected the bones out of historical interest, according to the AP.  In the confidential section of the investigation we have material which indicates she used them in sexual situations, the prosecutor Kristina Ehrenborg-Staffas told the TT news agency. Some of the photos show a woman licking a skull, Ehrenborg-Staffas told  the Swedish newspaper, The Local. She has a lot of photos of morgues and chapels, and documents about how to have sex with recently deceased and otherwise dead people, she said.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Little Known Facts about History

1. It was the custom in Ancient Greece and Rome for the men to place their right hand on their testicles when taking an oath. (The Latin word testis originally meant witness but also meant testicle in Latin.  There is some evidence that because testis meant both witness and testicle, the word testimony could be etymologically rooted in the double meaning of the word, testis.)

2. St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was not Irish. He was born in Italy.

3. A South African monkey was once awarded a medal and promoted to the rank of corporal during World War I.

4. St. John was the only one of the 12 Apostles to die a natural death.

5. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew marijuana in their gardens. At that time, it was called hemp.

6. There are only three angels who are named in the Bible: Gabriel, Michael and Lucifer (more commonly known as Satan).

7. Some very Orthodox Jews refuse to speak Hebrew because they believe it to be a language reserved only for the Prophets.

8. According to the Biblical book of Genesis, all demons are angels who were cast out of heaven after Lucifer tried to take God's throne and several of the other angels bowed down and worshiped Lucifer. The name Lucifer means light-bringer.

9. Many sailors used to wear gold earrings so that they could afford a proper burial when they died.

10. The Toltecs, 7th-Century natives of what is now Mexico, went into battle with wooden swords so as not to kill their enemies.

11. Sliced bread was patented by a jeweler, Otto Rohwedder, in 1928. He had been working on a device to slice bread for 16 years.

12. An American aircraft in Vietnam shot itself with one of its own missiles.

13. The Nobel Prize resulted from a late change in the will of Alfred Nobel, who did not want to be remembered after his death only as inventor of dynamite.

14. In 1647, the Puritan-dominated English Parliament abolished the celebration of Christmas.

15. Coffee is the second largest item of international commerce in the world. The largest is petrol.

16. King George III of England was declared insane in 1811, 9 years before he died.

17. During World War One, the future Pope John XXIII was a sergeant in the Italian Army.

18. The magic word Abracadabra was originally intended for the purpose of curing hay fever.

19. When George I became King of England in 1714, his wife did not become Queen. He placed her under house arrest for 32 years.

20. Henry VII was the only British King to be crowned on the field of battle.

21. John D. Rockefeller gave away over U.S. $500,000,000 during his lifetime.

22. English King Richard II died aged 33 in 1400. A hole was left in the side of his tomb so people could touch his royal head, but 376 years later some took advantage of this and stole his jawbone.

23. Albert Einstein was once offered the Presidency of Israel. He declined saying he had no head for problems.

24. Ralph and Carolyn Cummins had 5 children between 1952 and 1966, and all were born on the 20th of February.

25. The European war called the Hundred Years War actually lasted for 116 years.

26. Julius Caesar wore a laurel wreath on his head to cover the onset of his baldness.

27. At the age of 12, Martin Luther King became so depressed he tried committing suicide twice, by jumping out of his bedroom window.

28. The Turks consider it unlucky to step on a piece of bread.

29. Authorities do not allow tourists to take pictures of Pygmies in Zambia.

30. Harry S. Truman became the U. S. President in 1945. The initial S in the middle of his name does not stand for anything. Both his grandfathers had names beginning with an S and Truman's mother did not want to disappoint either of them.

31. During the Renaissance, it was considered fashionable for Venetian women to have silvery-blond hair.

32. Queen Victoria was one of the first women ever to use chloroform to combat pain during childbirth.

33. Russian Tsar Peter the Great had the head of his wife's lover cut off and put into a jar of preserving alcohol which he then ordered to be placed by her bed.

34. There are over 200 recognized religious denominations in the United States.

35. It is a criminal offense to drive around in a dirty car in Russia.

36. The Roman Emperor Caligula once decided to go to war with the Roman God of the sea, Poseidon, and ordered his soldiers to throw their spears into the water at random.

37. Winston Churchill rationed himself to 15 cigars a day.

38. The word denim comes from de Nimes (French: of Nimes). The French town of Nimes was where the fabric was originally created and produced.

39. During the reign of English Queen Elizabeth I, there was a tax put on men's beards.

40. Marie Currie, who twice won the Nobel Prize and discovered radium, was not allowed to become a member of the prestigious French Academy because she was a woman.

41. John Paul Getty, once known as the richest man in the world, had a payphone in his mansion.

42. The national flag of Italy was designed by the French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.

43. The Matami Tribe of West Africa play a version of football, the only difference being that they use a human skull instead of a more normal ball.

44. Elizabeth Blackwell, born in Bristol, England, in 1821, was the first woman in America to gain an M.D. degree.

45. The Great Pyramid of Giza consists of 2,300,000 blocks each weighing 2.5 tons.

46. King Solomon of the northern Kingdom of Israel had about 700 wives as well as hundreds of mistresses.

47. In Ancient Rome, urine was used to bleach clothes clean. They also used urine to clean and whiten their teeth.

48. The Imperial Throne of Japan has been occupied by the same family for the last thirteen hundred years. It is the longest dynasty in the world.

49. Due to staggering inflation in the 1920's, 4,000,000,000,000,000,000 German marks were worth one U.S. dollar.

50. Acupuncture was first used as a medical treatment in 2700 BC by Chinese emperor Shen-Nung.

51. The City of New York contains a district known as Hell's Kitchen.

52. The Ancient Romans used asbestos in their cloths for daily use as dish-towels, napkins, etc. Pliny the Elder (a Roman naturalist) noted that the slaves who wove the mineral for cloth often suffered from lung disorders.

53. During the plague in the European Middle Ages, some doctors wore a primitive form of biohazard suit called plague suits. The mask included red glass eyepieces, which were thought to make the wearer impervious to evil. And, the beak of the mask was often filled with strongly aromatic herbs and spices to overpower the "bad air” which was also thought to carry the plague.

54. The worldwide flu epidemic  known as The Spanish Flu broke out in 1918 and killed more than 30 million people world-wide in less than a year's time.

55. In Ancient Egypt, cats were considered sacred. When a family pet cat died, the entire family would shave off their eyebrows and remain in mourning until they had grown back.

56. In Ancient China, doctors could receive fees only if their patient was cured. If it deteriorated, they would have to pay the patient.

57. Because metal was scarce during World War II,  the Oscars given out during war were made of plaster.

58. The first novel ever written on a typewriter was Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

59. In the last 3,500 years, it is estimated that the world has had a total of 230 in which there were no wars.

60. The first country to abolish capital punishment was Austria in 1787.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thoughts about Music

Great Thinkers, Great Thoughts, No. 21

1. When music and courtesy are better understood, we will have no war. - Confucius
Confucius (Kong-fu-tzu, literally Master Kong; 551- 479 BC) was a Chinese thinker and philosopher. The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal morality, governmental morality, correct social relationships, sincerity and justice. He advocated strong family loyalty, ancestor worship, respect for elders, and the family as the model for ideal government. He was one of the first to state the principle, Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself. Confucius' principles became the basis of Chinese beliefs and traditions.
2. If music be the food of love, play on. - William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare  (1564 -1616) was an English poet and playwright . He is often regarded to be the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 152 sonnets, two long narrative poems and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Among his greatest plays are Hamlet,
Macbeth, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet. 
Plato (424/423-348/347 BC), was an Ancient Greek philosopher, writer, mathematician, student of Socrates and founder of the Academy of Athens, the first institution of higher education in Europe. Along with Socrates and Aristotle, Plato is credited with laying the foundations of Western philosophy and science. Thirteen letters and thirty-six dialogues dealing with philosophy, ethics, logic, rhetoric and mathematics have been ascribed to him.

4. If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: The only proof he needed for the existence of God was music. - Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922 - 2007) was a 20th-century American novelist, playwright, short story writer, essayist , poet and political activist. Among his most popular novels were Cat's Cradle (1963), Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), and Breakfast of Champions (1973). His work tended to be characterized  as blend of satire, gallows humor and science fiction. In addition, he was a liberal and leftist intellectual, a lifelong supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and honorary president of the American Humanist Association.


Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894-1963) was an English writer, humanist, pacifist and satirist. He edited Oxford Poetry magazine. He also wrote short stories, poetry, travel works, and film scripts. Huxley spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death. His best know work is the novel, Brave New World.


6. Without music, life would be a mistake.  - Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche (1841-1900) was a 19th-century German philosopher poet and composer who wrote on religion, morality, culture, philosophy and science. Nietzsche's influence remains substantial in the philosophies of existential and nihilism. He radically challenged the value and objectivity of "truth". His key ideas include the death of God, perspectivism, and  the nature of power. Central to his philosophy was the idea of life-affirmation. That notion involved an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life's expansive energies however socially prevalent those views might be.


Victor Marie Hugo (1802-1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist. He is one the most famous and best-known French writer. Among volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations is one of the most famous. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Miserables (1862) and Notre-Dame de Paris (aka: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, 1831) are his best-known works. Although a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views changed as time passed and he became an ardent supporter of the republican form of government. And, some of his work dealt with the political issues,  social issues and artistic trends of his day. Hugo's many talents did not include exceptional musical ability;  nevertheless, he had a major impact on the music world through the inspiration that his works provided for 19th and 20th century composers. In addition, Hugo loved music and two famous musicians were his friends, Berlioz and Liszt.  

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 -1827) was a German composer and pianist. He is viewed as a major figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in classical music. His best known compositions are his 9 symphonies, 5 concertos, 32 sonatas and 16 string quartets. He also composed other chamber music, choral works, and songs. A portion of his Symphony No. 9, The Ode to Joy, is the national anthem of the European Union.

The name Lao Tzu means Old Master. No one knows his real name or the dates of his birth or death. However, scholars place his birth between 600 and 300 B.C.E. He is credited with the writing of the Tao-Te Ching (tao means the way of all life, te means the fit use of life by men, and ching means text). Lao Tzu wanted his philosophy to remain a natural way to live life with goodness, serenity and respect. He laid down no rigid code of behavior and believed a person’s conduct should be governed by instinct and conscience. In addition, Lao Tzu believed that human life, like everything else in the universe, is constantly influenced by outside forces. He believed “simplicity” to be the key to truth and freedom and encouraged his followers to observe and seek to understand the laws of nature, to develop intuition and build up personal power, and to use that power to lead life with love, and without force.
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a Russian novelist, playwright, essayist and short story writer. His two most famous works are the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. He is considered one of the world's greatest novelists. Tolstoy was a moralistic, social reformer, ethicist and ascetic. His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus caused him to become a fervent Christian and pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance are expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You which profoundly affected the non-violent resistance movements of both Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Money Quiz

The Money Quiz
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              I dislike the term trivia. No knowledge is trivial. All information contributes to the whole of an intelligent human being. And, it is an essential part of critical thinking. That is why I did not call this a Trivia Quiz. Instead, I am calling it a Knowledge Quiz.
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Knowledge Quiz, No. 44
1. What is the derivation of the currency word, dollar?
2. Whose image was on Ancient Roman coins?
3. What is the name of the currency of Israel?
4. What is a doubloon?
5. What is name of the European Union currency?
6. What is the name of the currency is the Brazil?
7. What nation's currency is known as the baht.
8. What is the name of the currency of Saudi Arabia?
9. What nation was the first to print paper money?
10. What nations money was called the guilder?
11. What is the name of the currency of Ancient Greece?
12. What was a guinea?
13. What is the name of the currency of South Africa?
14. What was wampum?
15. What nation's currency is the dinar?
16.What is the currency of South Korea?
17. What is the name of the currency of India?
18. What is the name of the currency of Egypt?
19. What is a "loonie"?
20. What is the International Monetary Fund?
1. The Joachimsthaler coins minted in north-west Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic) in the 16th century became known as thalers for short. The word dollar is derived from the word thaler. The dollar has become the name of the official currency of many countries, territories and dependencies, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan.

2. The profile or face of the Roman emperor who was the ruler at the time the coin was minted had his image placed on Ancient Roman coins.

3.  The currency of Israel is the shekel. The first usage of the word shekel dates back to Mesopotamia around 3000 B.C. The Hebrew word shekel is based on the verbal root for weighing derived from the ancient Akkadian words šiqlu or siqlu which were a unit of weight.

4. The word doubloon is derived from the Spanish word doblón, which means double. The word was applied to the coin either because it was worth two ducats or because of the double images of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Doubloons were minted in  Spain, Mexico, Peru and Nueva Granada. They were replaced in 1859 by Spanish currency based on the escudo.

5. The euro is the currency used by the European Union and of 17 of the 27 member nations. It is also the currency used in 5 other European countries and used by 332 million  Europeans and additionally used by more than 175 million people worldwide.
6. The real (pronounced: re-al) is the currency of Brazil. It is subdivided into 100 centavos (hundredths). The modern real was introduced in 1994 as part of Brazilian monetary reform aimed to put an end to three decades of inflation. In Portuguese, the word real means both royal and real. The name of the real derived from the first meaning.

7. The baht is the currency of Thailand. It is also known as the tical. It is subdivided into 100 satang.

8. The riyal (aka: Saudi riyal) is the currency of Saudi Arabia. It is subdivided into 100 halalas and the Saudi ghirsh is  worth 5 halalas. The riyal has been the currency from the founding  of Saudi Arabia in 1932.

9. The idea of a using durable light-weight substance as evidence of a promise to pay a bearer on demand originated in China during the Han Dynasty in 118 BC. It was made of leather. The first known paper banknote was also developed in China sometime during the 7th Century AD. In Europe, the concept of banknotes was first introduced during the 13th century by Asian travelers such as Marco Polo. The first real paper money appeared in Sweden in 17th century.

10. The guilder was the currency of the Netherlands from the 17th century until 2002. It was replaced by the euro. The Dutch name gulden was a Middle Dutch word meaning golden and the name indicated that the coin was originally made of gold. Just before the Netherlands adopted the euro, instead of pictures of Dutch monarchs of famous Dutch person, its paper money used images of flowers.

11. The drachma was the currency of Ancient Greece. The word drachma is derived from the verb drássomai which means to grasp. It is believed that the same word with the meaning of handful or handle. Initially a drachma was a fistful (a grasp) of six obolai (metal sticks) used as a form of currency as early as 1100 BC and literally a form of bullion made bronze, copper, or iron ingots denominated by weigh. However, Ancient Greek coins seldom had official names and each city-state would mint its own and with recognizable symbols of the city on them. The exact exchange value of each was determined by the quantity and quality of the metal.

12. The guinea is a coin that was minted in the England and later in both Great Britain and the United Kingdom between 1663 and 1815.  It was the first English machine-struck gold coin. The name came from the Guinea region in West Africa from which much came of the gold used to make the coins. Although no longer circulated, the term guinea survives in some circles and currently means an amount of one pound plus one shilling (21 shillings) or one pound plus five pence (20 and 1/2 shillings).

13. The rand is the currency of South Africa. It takes its name from the Witwatersrand (English: White-waters-ridge), the ridge upon which the capital city of Johannesburg built and where most of South Africa's gold deposits were found. The rand is the currency of the Common Montary Area between South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho.

14. Wampum was the traditional sacred shell beads used by some tribes of the indigenous people of North America. Wampum include the white shell beads fashioned from the North Atlantic channel whelk shell and the white and purple beads made from the quahog (Western North Atlantic hard-shelled clam) Woven belts of wampum have been created to commemorate treaties or historical events, and for exchange in personal social transactions, such as marriages. In colonial North America, the colonists often used wampum as currency for trading with Native Americans.

15. The dinar is the official currency of several countries, Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Macedonia , Serbia, and Tunisia. The word dinar comes from the gold dinar, an early Islamic coin corresponding to the Byzantine Empire denarius auri.

16.  The won is the currency of South Korea. A single won is divided into 100 jeon, but the jeon is no longer used for everyday transactions and appears only in foreign exchange rates. During the Japanese occupation of Korea (1911-1945), the won was replaced by the Korean yen. In 1945, Korea became a divided nation (North Korea and South Korea) and that resulted in two separate currencies both called the won. The word won is a cognate (combined origin word) of both the Chinese yuan and the Japanese yen.

17. The rupee is the official currency of India. Banknotes are available in nominal values of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 rupees. Rupee coins are available in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 100 and 1000. The word rupee is derived from the Sanskrit word raupya, meaning silver.

18.  The Egyptian pound is the currency of Egypt. It is divided into 100 piastre (aka: qirsh, milliemes). In 1834, a Khedival Decree was issued providing for the issuing of an Egyptian currency based on gold and silver. The Egyptian pound, known as the gineih, was introduced, replacing the Egyptian piastre as the chief unit of currency.

19. The Canadian one dollar coin (commonly called the loonie) is a gold-colored one-dollar coin introduced in 1987. It bears images of a the bird, the loon, a bird which is common and well- known in Canada. On the reverse side of the coin is the image of Queen Elizabeth II.

20. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that was created in 1944 and came into existence1945 when 29 countries signed the Articles of Agreement. It originally had 45 members  now has 188 members. The IMF's stated goal was to stabilize exchange rates and assist the reconstruction of the world’s international payment system. In addition, member countries contribute money to a pool through a quota system from which countries with payment imbalances can borrow money temporarily. The organization's stated objectives are to promote international economic cooperation, international trade, employment, and exchange rate stability. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.