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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 96 19:27:47 -0800
Subject: Suspiciously Fun_Facts
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Rene Descartes came up with the theory of coordinate geometry by looking at
a fly walk across a tiled ceiling.
Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
Ballroom dancing is a major at Brigham Young University.
Some biblical scholars believe that Aramaic (the language of the ancient
Bible) did not contain an easy way to say "many things" and used a term
which has come down to us as 40. This means that when the bible--in many
places--refers to "40 days," they meant many days.
Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of members without killing them
used to burn their houses down - hence the expression "to get fired."
Canada is an Indian word meaning "Big Village".
There are two credit cards for every person in the United States.
Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John
Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the
last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
The term "the whole 9 yards" came from WWII fighter pilots in the South
Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine
gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet before being loaded into the plane.
If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."
The original story from Tales of 1001 Arabian Nights begins, "Aladdin was
a little Chinese boy."
The most common name in the world is Mohammed.
The 'y' in signs reading "ye olde.." is properly pronounced with a 'th'
sound, not 'y'. The "th" sound does not exist in Latin, so ancient Roman
occupied (present day) England used the rune "thorn" to represent "th"
sounds. With the advent of the printing press the character from the Roman
alphabet which closest resembled thorn was the lower case "y".
The word "samba" means "to rub navels together."
The little bags of netting in gas lanterns (called 'mantles') are
radioactive--so much so that they will set of an alarm at a nuclear reactor.
Each unit on the Richter Scale is equivalent to a power factor of about 32.
So a 6 is 32 times more powerful than a 5! Though it goes to 10, 9 is
estimated to be the point of total tetonic destruction (2 is the smallest
that can be felt unaided.)
Cinderella's slippers were originally made out of fur. The story was changed
in the 1600s by a translator. It was the left shoe that Aschenputtel
(Cinderella) lost at the stairway, when the prince tried to follow her.
Until 1965, driving was done on the left-hand side on roads in Sweden. The
conversion to right-hand was done on a weekday at 5pm. All traffic stopped
as people switched sides. This time and day were chosen to prevent accidents
where drivers would have gotten up in the morning and been too sleepy to
realize *this* was the day of the changeover.
Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy.
Dr. Seuss pronounced "Seuss" such that it rhymed with "rejoice."
More people are killed annually by donkeys than die in air crashes.
The flag of the Philippines is the only national flag that is flown
differently during times of peace or war. A portion of the flag is blue,
while the other is red. The blue portion is flown on top in time of peace
and the red portion is flown on top in war time.
The "huddle" in football was formed due a deaf football player who used sign
language to communicate and his team didn't want the opposition to see the
signals he used and in turn huddled around him. Goethe couldn't stand the
sound of barking dogs and could only write if he had an apple rotting in
the drawer of his desk.
If you are locked in a completely sealed room, you will die of carbon
dioxide poisoning first before you will die of oxygen deprivation.
Carnivorous animals will not eat another animal that has been hit by a
The term, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" is from
Ancient Rome. The only rule during wrestling matches was, "No eye gouging."
Everything else was allowed, but the only way to be disqualified is to poke
someone's eye out.
Mr. Rogers is an ordained minister. Sir Isaac Newton was an ordained priest
in the Church of England.
A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
Certain frogs can be frozen solid then thawed, and continue living.
The Baby Ruth candy bar was named after Grover Cleveland's baby daughter,
Hershey's Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks
like it's kissing the conveyor belt.
Steve Young, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is the great-great-
grandson of Mormon leader Brigham Young.
Money isn't made out of paper, it's made out of linen.
© 1996 Peter Langston