Monday, November 1, 2010


The only U.S. president to have been the head of a union was Ronald Reagan, who became US President in 1980 and had president of the Screen Actors Guild when he was still an actor

Invented in the 1940s in Tennessee, Mountain Dew was meant to be mixed with whiskey. In fact, its bottles were designed to look like moonshine, and the original Mountain Dew labels featured outhouses, stills, and hay-chewing yokels

While Antarctica is very cold, it’s not all ice and snow - About 1,200 square miles of the continent are made up of “dry valleys,” where mountains and ridges keep out any precipitation

The celery stick garnish became a staple of the Bloody Mary only after an impatient patron at Chicago’s Pump Room couldn’t wait for his server to bring him a swizzle stick. He took matters into his own hands and snatched a celery stalk from a nearby relish tray

In the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, Ariel and her sassy crab friend, Sebastian, overcome the wicked sea witch, and Ariel swims off to marry the man of her dreams. In the original tale, however, the mermaid’s fins-for-feet exchange comes at a price- namely, that every step on her new legs causes her excruciating pain - And in the end, the prince marries someone else

Queen Victoria used a tincture of marijuana to relieve menstrual pains

Contrary to popular belief, a camel’s hump does not store water. Instead, it’s filled with fat, which allows the animal to go for a month without food. If the hump becomes depleted, it will shrink, flop over, and hang at the camel’s side

Every diamond above ground is very, very slowly altering into graphite, another form of pure carbon

William Wrigley originally started in the baking powder business. With his powder, he gave a free pack of his gum. He later abandoned the baking powder business when he learned that people were buying it just to get the gum

Although the word “earthling” today conjures visions of science-fiction stories, it is actually the Old English word for a farmer

Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines, owned more than 3,000 of shoes

Near the event horizon of a black hole (the boundary in spacetime surrounding said black hole), ’spaghettification’ will occur, stretching matter into thin strips

Two of America’s greatest national symbols were made overseas: The Liberty Bell was cast in England, and the Statue of Liberty was crafted in France

If an Oscar winner has any inklings about selling his/her statue, it must first be offered to the Academy who can purchase it for $1

In 1944, as a WWII war correspondent, Ernest Hemingway led Free French resistance fighters in the defense of the town of Rambouillet, an act for which he was almost tried under the Geneva Conventions

In the classic movie-musical, The Wizard of Oz, the many-hued Horse of a Different Color that leads Dorothy and gang through the Emerald City wasn’t actually painted. Instead, animal rights activists advocated that the white horse be sponged with different flavors (and colors) of gelatin and then physically restrained from licking it off

The North Pole is not considered a continent like the South Pole because the ice of the North Pole floats on the ocean, while the ice of the South Pole sits on actual ground – the continent of Antarctica

About 39,000 gallons of water are used to produce the average car

Cheesecake was invented in Ancient Greece and served to athletes at the very first Olympic Games

The first plastic-bodied car was manufactured in 1941 by Ford

In Ireland, Jack O’Lanterns were once carved from turnips

When table tennis was originally created in 1889, it was called gossima - in the US, it is commonly known as "ping-pong"

Chimpanzees are excellent tool makers and have been documented to make very primitive spears to kill bush babies hiding in the trees during the night

Only one breed of dog is mentioned by name in the Bible: the Greyhound. (Proverbs 30:29-31, King James Version)

Sleeping through the winter is called hibernation, while sleeping through hot and dry periods like summer is called estivation

The song “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash was actually written by Shel Silverstein who also wrote “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “The Giving Tree” children’s books. The song was recorded at San Quentin Prison in California and became Cash’s biggest hit

Billiards was once a lawn game played outdoors, which is why today’s pool tables have a green felt cover

Each year, about 450 men die of breast cancer in the US

In Paris, there are more dogs than there are children

Fish can taste with their fins and tail as well as their mouth

Eugene Palmer, 40, wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun, was arrested in Brunswick, Georgia, in March as he tried to rush into a SunTrust bank during business hours but became frustrated by the locked doors--in that it was a drive-thru-only branch 

After surveying 374 waitresses, Professor Michael Lynn, who teaches marketing and tourism at Cornell University, concluded that customers left larger tips to those with certain physical characteristics such as being slender, being blond, or having big breasts. Lynn told the Cornell Daily Sun in May that his study was important in helping potential waitresses gauge their "prospects in the industry"

University of Central Lancashire (England) researchers writing in a recent Archives of Sexual Behavior reported that women achieve orgasm more often during foreplay than intercourse but that they more frequently emit orgasm-signaling "vocalizations" just before, or simultaneously with, male ejaculation 

To most, the toilet is a functional appliance, but to thoughtful people, it can be an instrument upon which creativity blossoms. Thus, the price tags were high this summer when commodes belonging to two literary giants of the 20th century went on sale. In August, a gaudily designed toilet from John Lennon's 1969-71 residence in Berkshire, England, fetched 9,500 pounds (about $14,740) at a Liverpool auction, and a North Carolina collectibles dealer opened bids on the toilet that long served reclusive author J.D. Salinger at his home in Cornish, N.H. The dealer's initial price was $1 million because, "Who knows how many of Salinger's stories were thought up and written while [he] sat on this throne!"

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