Joel Smith (W4APK)
A collection of useless facts that are interesting:
Rene Descartes came up with the theory of coordinate geometry by looking at a fly walk across a tiled ceiling.
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.
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.
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, and purple.
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."
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.
"I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
The term "the whole 9 yards" came from W.W.II 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 fuselage. 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.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard's fish was named Livingston.
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 international telephone dialing code for Antarctica is 672.
The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
The little bags of netting for gas lanterns (called 'mantles') are radioactive -- so much so that they will set of an alarm at a nuclear reactor.
Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny) was allergic to carrots
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.
The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.
Dr. Seuss pronounced "Seuss" such that it rhymed with "rejoice."
In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart never said "Play it again, Sam." Sherlock Holmes never said "Elementary, my dear Watson." Captain Kirk never said "Beam me up, Scotty," but he did say, "Beam me up, Mr. Scott".
Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
More people are killed annually by donkeys than die in air crashes.
The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life."
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 in war time.
Armored knights raised their visors to identify themselves when they rode past their king. This custom has become the modern military salute.
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 lightning strike.
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 actually named after Grover Cleveland's baby daughter, Ruth.
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.
Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.