Monday, September 26, 2011


Before settling on the name of Tiny Tim for his character in "A Christmas Carol", three other alliterative names were considered by Charles Dickens. They were: Little Larry, Puny Pete and Small Sam

The first "Hello" badge used to identify guests and hosts at conventions, parties, etc. was traced back to September 1880. It was on that date that the first Telephone Operators Convention was held at Niagara Falls and the "Hello" badge was created for that event
Above is an example of a modern-day Hello badge, with the tag "Fresh"
The father of the Pink Flamingo (the plastic lawn ornament) is Don Featherstone of Massachusetts. Featherstone graduated from art school and went to work as a designer for Union Products, a Leominster, Mass., company that manufactures flat plastic lawn ornaments. He designed the pink flamingo in 1957 as a follow up project to his plastic duck. Today, Featherstone is president and part owner of the company that sells an average of 250,000 to 500,000 plastic pink flamingos a year
Zip code 12345 is assigned to General Electric in Schenectady, New York

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments

On average, there are 333 squares of toilet paper on a roll

Approximately sixty circus performers have been shot from cannons - according to the most recent data, thirty-one of these have been killed  

Most insects used in a film: 22 million bees in The Swarm

Asians are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States. There were close to 10 million Asians living in the U.S. in 1995. That number is expected to top 40 million by 2050 - Hispanics are a fast growing ethnic minority in the US and may outnumber other ethnic groups, but Asians are the fastest growing

The word "hurricane" is derived from the name of the West Indian god of storms, Huracan

The name "Crayola" is a combination of the French word for chalk ("craie") and "ola" from the "oleanginous," which means "oily" - the crayon company began in 1903 offering just eight colors and now offers 120 colors as well as a variety of products including marker pens that are erasable  (Pictured below is an original package of Crayola Crayons on the market in 1903)

Forty percent of child psychologists in the US advise parents of preschoolers to “confirm Santa’s existence” leaving the remaining 60 percent divided between "deny the existence" and "unsure"

No true mosses grow in salt water

With its intense, narcotic perfume, lilac, especially white lilac, is considered an unlucky plant in certain parts of the British Isles. It is among the least welcomed flowers for hospital patients, though some people believe that lilac blossoms with five petals brings luck to those who find them

In ancient Rome, wealthy Romans always drank from goblets made of quartz crystal. They believed the transparent mineral was a safeguard against their enemies, because legend had it that a cup carved from the transparent mineral would not hold poison

Electrical hearing aids were invented in 1901 by Miller R. Hutchinson   

Western Electric mass-produced color telephones for the first time in 1954 in North America (Pictured below is an early color model from 1955 that also introduced another innovation- the wall-mounted phone)

A "winkle" is an edible sea snail 

When a snail hatches from an egg, it is a miniature adult, shell and all. The shell grows with the snail, and the snail never leaves the shell

Bricks are the oldest manufactured building material still in use. Egyptians used them 7,000 years ago

Most Panama hats are manufactured in Ecuador

There are one-celled creatures that have the properties of both plants and animals. An example is the flagellate Euglena, which propels itself through the water like an animal by means of undulating snakelike appendages. Also, it contains chlorophyll, a substance as characteristic of plants as blood is of animals  

The word “struthious” refers to something that resembles or is related to ostriches

Chimpanzees have been trained to have recognition vocabularies of 100 to 200 words. They can distinguish among different grammatical patterns
Polyp, fish, worm, plant, crab, mollusk, and plankton in symbiotic relationship (the habitual living together of organisms of different species) make up a coral reef

A normal cow's stomach has four compartments: the rumen, the recticulum (storage area), the omasum (where water is absorbed), and the abomasum ( the only compartment with digestive juices)

The police officers' union in Scranton, Pennsylvania filed a state unfair labor practice complaint in April 2011 against Chief Dan Duffy because he arrested a man whom he caught violating a warrant and possessing marijuana. According to the union contract, only union members can "apprehend and arrest" lawbreakers, and since the chief is "management," he should have called an officer to make the arrest. The union president suggested that, with layoffs threatened, the chief doesn't need to be taking work away from officers 

Adam Yarbrough, 22, ticketed by a female police officer in Indianapolis in March 2011 after he was observed swerving in and out of traffic on an Interstate highway, allegedly compounded the problem first by offering the
cop "five dollars" to "get rid of this ticket" and then by "[H]ow about I give you a kiss?" Felony bribery charges were filed. (Bonus Fact: Yarbrough was riding a moped) 

The local board of health closed down the Wing Wah Chinese restaurant in South Dennis, Massachusetts briefly in August 1992 for various violations. The most serious, said officials, was the restaurant's practice of draining water from cabbage by putting it in cloth laundry bags, placing the bags between two pieces of plywood in the parking lot, and driving over them with a van. Said Health Director Ted Dumas, "I've seen everything now" 

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