Wednesday, September 1, 2010


On October 17, 1949, Northwest Airlines became the first airlines in the United States to serve alcoholic beverages in flight

A bibliophile is a collector of rare books. A bibliopole is a seller of rare books

The ball on top of a typical flagpole is called the truck

Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them used to burn their houses down - hence the expression "to get fired"

OK is the most successful of all Americanisms. It has invaded hundreds of other languages and been adopted by them as a word. Mencken claims that US troops deployed overseas during WWII found it already in use by Bedouins in the Sahara to the Japanese in the Pacific. It was also the fourth word spoken on the surface of the moon. It stands for oll korrect, a misspelling of all correct

The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate

As observed by researchers, about 1 out of every 70 people who pick their nose also consume their mucus and "boogers"

Fifteen percent of Americans seek treatment from a psychiatrist each year, either as new or returning patients

A squirrel has no color vision, it sees only in black and white. Every part of its field of vision, however, is in perfect focus, not just straight ahead, as with humans

When a piece of glass cracks, the crack travels faster than 3,000 miles per hour

Candlepin bowling uses ten small pins and three balls, and is played primarily in the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island. The ball is only five inches in diameter, is made of hard rubber composition, and has no finger holes
The average airspeed of the common housefly is 4.5 miles per hour. A housefly beats its wings about 20,000 times per minute

The second national city is Port Angeles, Washington, designated by President Abraham Lincoln. That's where they would move the capital if a disaster occurred to Washington, D.C.

More than 63 million Star Trek books, in more than 15 languages, are in print; 13 were sold every minute in the U.S. in 1995

In 1904, May Sutton Brandy became the first American woman to win the ladies singles championship at Wimbledon

Thinking that its parents were a camel and a leopard, the Europeans once called the animal a "camelopard." Today, it is called the giraffe

Nyctitropism is the tendency of the leaves or petals of certain plants to assume a different position at night

Frederick Winthrop Thayer of Massachusetts, and the captain of the Harvard University Baseball Club, received a patent for his baseball catcher's mask on February 12, 1878
A professional game circa 1900 shows early additions of the catcher's and umpire's masks- note that the batter does not have any protective headgear at that time.  A batter's helmet wasn't invented until 1907 and didn't come into use until 1920
If you attempted to count the stars in a galaxy at a rate of one every second, it would take around 3,000 years to count them all 

Scapulamancy was a method of fortune telling involving the study of cracked shoulder bones in ancient China mainly of turtles and other animals

The national headquarters for Bat World Sanctuary is located at Mineral Wells, Texas. More than 150 bats from around the world have found permanent refuge in this indoor, natural habitat facility. These non-releasable bats include those that have been used in research, orphaned, permanently injured, or confiscated from the illegal pet trade
A recently-rescued baby bat suckles a nipple and snuggles in a blanket
Marilyn Michose, 46, was referred for medical evaluation in May after she was spotted roaming the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City wearing neon pink panties on top of her street clothes, with a .25 caliber Beretta visible in her jacket pocket, and speaking gibberish.  According to Michose's mother, Marilyn had overmedicated for her Lyme disease
A restraining order, to keep away from Sarah Palin and her family, was extended in May against Shawn Christy, 19, of McAdoo, Pennsylovania by a magistrate in Anchorage, Alaska. Christy has admitted to traveling to Alaska to meet Palin, to making numerous telephone calls to her, and to once threatening to sexually assault her. According to a 2009 psychiatric evaluation ordered by the Secret Service, Christy appeared to suffer from "latent onset" Lyme disease 

Erie County (New York) jail officials suspended guards Lawrence Mule, a 26-year veteran, and James Conlin, a 29-year veteran, after they scuffled at the County Correctional Facility on April 21st, reportedly over a bag of chips. An inmate had to break up the fight 

An anti-terrorism drill scheduled for Pottawattamie County, Iowa, in March, which was to practice community co-ordination after an attack by a hypothetical white supremacist group angry about illegal immigration, had to be canceled. The sheriff said callers claiming to be white supremacists were angry at being picked on as "terrorists" and had threatened a school in Treynor, Iowa, with an attack that closely resembled the kind of imagined attack that would have preceded the simulated drill 

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