Thank God it’s Friday’s random facts

LET THERE BE TALK: The First Long-Distance Telegraph Message, Sent on May 24, 1844: ‘What Hath God Wrought?’  Sent from the Supreme Court chamber in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., to the B & O Railroad Depot in Baltimore, Maryland. Source:

WHILE ALASKA WAS DREAMING OF PASSING GAS: Last week, the Energy Department approved Freeport LNG terminal — in which ConocoPhillips has a 50 percent stake — to export domestic liquefied natural gas to countries without a free trade agreement.  It was the second LNG project to gain such approval. Nineteen other projects are in the waiting. Source: The Associated Press.

TALLEST PLAYER IN THE NHL: The Boston Bruins’ Zdeno Chara is the tallest player in the NHL standing at 6’9″. Source:

MOST EXPENSIVE US SENATE SEAT IN 2012: Massachusetts. The two candidates, Scott Brown (R) and Elizabeth Warren (D) spent a total of over $82 million. Source: Center for Responsive Politics,

NARROWEST MARGIN OF ELECTORAL VICTORY FOR A CURRENT SITTING MEMBER OF THE ALASKA LEGISLATURE : In 2006, Bryce Edgmon tied incumbent Representative Carl Moses after all ballots were counted and the race was decided by a coin toss that Edgmon won. Representative-Elect Edgmon asked for the coin as a souvenir and was told it was headed for safe keeping to the Alaska State Museum. Source: Alaska Division of Elections.

LATEST ABC NEWS/WASHINGTON POST POLL RESULTS: This week’s poll shows, despite growing criticism of the most recent IRS scandal and concerns surrounding Benghazi, President Obama’s approval ratings are stable at a tepid 51 percent. Obama’s support is aided by accelerating economic optimism and as well by comparison with a much less popular Republican Congress. Americans by a vast majority, 74 percent – 20 percent see the IRS’ recent behavior of investigating and auditing conservative groups as inappropriate. Further, on the attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Lybia, 55 percent of Americans feel suspicious of a cover-up. And only a third of those polled believe that the Obama administration is disclosing honestly what it knows about Benghazi. Despite these feelings of concern and ill-will, Hillary Clinton’s reputation appears to remain intact with 62 percent of the respondents approving of her job performance as Secretary of State. Source: ABC News.

IMPORTANT UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA STATISTICS:  Number of winning hockey season’s under UAA athletic director Steve Cobb’s 12 years of leadership – 0. Number of University leaders willing to take a stand against coach/player assaults – 0. Source: Me and members of the hockey community who have decided to befriend me.

DROWNING NOT WAVING: More Alaskans die in recreational boating accidents than die commercial fishing. Nine out of 10 involve boats under 26 feet in length. Three of four are power boats. Nine of 10 are adult males. Five of six experience sudden cold water immersion as the result of a capsize or fall overboard. Source :

DRILL BABY DRILL: BP has allocated $2.85 billion to develop Iraq’s Rumalia oilfield in 2013, up from $2.2 billion from last year, with plans to drill 300 more oil wells over the next five years. Source:

PRICE FIXING?  Last week, the European Commission raided offices of BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Statoil part of an investigation into alleged oil price fixing. Source: The Guardian.

COST OF OBAMACARE IN CALIFORNIA:  Numbers are out for how much insurance under Obamacare will cost residents of California next year. In Los Angeles, health insurers will charge 25-year-olds between $142 and $190 per month in premiums for a bare-bones health plan. For a “Cadillac plan,” a 40-year-old in San Francisco will pay anywhere from $451 and $525. Source:

MONTHLY PREMIUMS THE STATE OF ALASKA PAYS FOR STATE WORKERS: For each state employee, the state of Alaska pays $1389 in monthly premiums for health insurance. Source: Alaska Department of Administration.