As you ponder this assortment of miscellany, keep in mind that different sources have different versions of everything.
What’s fact from one source is contradicted by the next. It reminds me a lot of the medical news that frequently hits the media. On one day, something-or-other that we all eat or drink is deemed good for us. We’re elated, right? Then the very next day, a different study says exactly the opposite. Confusing? Keep in mind the phrase: “If in doubt, check it out.”
Anyway, according to some sources:
• The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime-time TV was Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
• Everyday, more money is printed for Monopoly than for the U.S. Treasury.
• Men can read smaller print than women can, while women can hear better.
• Coca-Cola was originally green.
• The U.S. State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work is Alaska.
• The percentage of Africa that is wilderness is 28 per cent.
• The percentage of North America that is wilderness is 38 per cent.
• Back in the 1400s, a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence, we have “the rule of thumb.”
• Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled, “Gentlemen Only. Ladies Forbidden.” Thus, the word golf entered into the English language. Could be true. Maybe not. It makes a good story, though.
• The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of 11 years is $16,400.
• Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
• The first novel ever written on a typewriter was Tom Sawyer.
• San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile U.S. National Monuments.
• Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a famous leader from history: Spades, King David; Hearts, Charlemagne; Clubs, Alexander the Great; and Diamonds, Julius Caesar.
• Intriguing math: 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
• If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs of the horse in the air, the person died in battle.
If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died because of wounds received in battle.
If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
• Only two people signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence on July 4: John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the others signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn’t added until five years later.
• Question: Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name?
• Question: If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter “A?”
Answer: One thousand.
• Question: What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers all have in common?
Answer: All were invented by women.
• Question: What is the only food that doesn’t spoil?
• In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase, “Goodnight, sleep tight.”
• It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and, because their calendar was lunar-based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
• In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them: “Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.”
That’s where we get the phrase: “Mind your Ps and Qs.”
• Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. “Wet your whistle” is the phrase inspired by this practice.