BenTha'er-Horizons

Trivia

1901 World's Fair

The World's Fair that was part of the book, Devil in the White City, is pretty well known in history. Details about the 1901 World's Fair is less known but it is where President McKinley was shot and he died several days later as the result of the bullet remaining in his abdomen. More details can be found in this article.
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Blue Sky

I read a book a number of years ago called "The Cuckoo's Egg" which was about a physicist finding the trail of a major computer hacker/bad guy. The physicist worked at UC-Berkeley and described how one test he took for his advanced degree was a question of "Why is the Sky Blue?". Well, hundreds of years ago, a scientist invented the cyanometer just to measure the blueness of the sky. Read about it here.
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First Synthesized Human Speech

We have Siri and Alexa talking to us through our phones, tablets and other devices. Where did the original debut occur for synthetic speech? It can be found here.

"Today, machine-made voices talk to us all the time. They act as personal assistants for our cell phones, manage our smart homes, and, occasionally, call from unrecognizable phone numbers to tell us we are final contenders in big-money sweepstakes.

Electronic voices may be commonplace now, but the road to speech synthesis is littered with the remains of devices that promised to bring us the voice of the future—but didn’t last beyond their novelty value.

One of the most fascinating relics of this quest for electric speech is Bell Labs’ Voder, the first device to bring us wholly synthetic speech. Even if it sounded like a robot demon."

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New Thought On DB Cooper

Is this a new lead about DB Cooper and who he was? I remember the saga of DB parachuting out of the airplane between Seattle and Portland with money. See what the story and the new theory is. Is he dead or did he survive? The mystery is what fascinates people.
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Zombies and Humans 100 Days

I do like Zombies and Zombie trivia. I came across this article where some people decided to game out the Zombie Apocalypse. Well, Zombies would have us down to about 287 humans in 100 days. Not good news.

Read about how it happens here.
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Marilyn and the Dress

Was there really more detail and film behind the skirt blowing scene of Marilyn Monroe's for the movie "The Seven Year Itch"? Shooting this scene led to the break up and divorce of Marilyn and Joe Di Maggio. This article tells more about a fellow who liked to shoot home movies and that his family found many years later film of what happened during the shooting of this scene. Fascinating.

"It happened one night in the late summer of 1954…

In the famous street scene, the two are leaving the movies as Ms. Monroe pauses over a grate to enjoy the breeze from the subway as it blows up her dress on a hot summer night. “Isn’t it delicious?” she purrs. The breeze came from a large fan under the grate operated by the film’s special effects chief. The night — Sept. 15 — was actually quite chilly. But the stunt worked. It became known as “the shot seen around the world.”"

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Most Addictive Songs

In a scientific study, the most addictive song is "We will rock you" by Queen. The second one is more recent which is "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. See the rest of the list which I would agree with a number of them.
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Annie Oakley

We have all heard the legends and myths from the Wild West days. One name that stands out on the female side as a sharp shooter is Annie Oakley. A figure in Wild Bill's Wild West Show but little known of her life. This trivia piece gives nice coverage to the person behind the legend, Annie Oakley.
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Piranha

Can piranha strip a human to a skeletal carcass in no time? It looks like another Urban Myth is down the drain. While they could do this, it appears from this story description that they are unlikely to since they really are more shy than we think they are and usually bite and nip on people.
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Rubber Duckies

Where did the Rubber Duckie come from? How is it our bath time buddy?
Here is the story of our favorite duckies, or chickens or chickens like kitties…
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The Hellfire Club

I like to read quick romantic historical novels for tension relief (though not much time lately for this). A number of the novels set in England have referred to the Hellfire Club. I tended to think this was more Urban Legend but it appears this was a real club of English notables and possibly even Benjamin Franklin in part. This piece lends the thought these men were just naughty boys though I suspect there were some truly illegal and possibly evils deeds done at the time.
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Nielsen Ratings

TV shows live or die by their ratings, Niesen ratings. The information tells advertisers which shows and which demographics are watching what show so they can purchase ads. Buyers and viewers drive input and then TV based on the ratings drives output, a bit of a circle. It is more complex than that and here is a history of Nielsen ratings.
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The World's Ugliest Color

I have had to work with colors with my work with Winn. I also have had to deal with Pantone color which we have a color for Winn materials. Some researchers in Australia believe Pantone 448C is the ugliest color. If you are curious and want to know what that color is, check it out here.
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Punctuation

I am known to overdo the punctuation or often not use it as appropriately as it should. Where did it come from and why is it important? You mean you did not read "Eats Shoots and Leaves"? Check out this bit about punctuation and learn your grammar!
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Women Can Do It-The Barclay Challenge

Do you think you could walk 1000 miles in 1000 hours? This is the Barclay Challenge. A man did it first, Captain Robert Barclay Allardice. Women back in the day were considered not to be able to do this sort of physical activity or at least "win" at it. See how the challenge was met, when and by whom.
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A Big Baseball Card Find

David and Bob at times in their lives had a baseball card collection interest. Bob's mom, Dorothy, likely tossed out his cards and maybe some worth money………a Mickey Mantle card? Here is a story about one person who lucked out and found some very valuable Ty Cobb baseball cards which are the most desired in such collecting circles.
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Bob.com

Well there is evidently a Bob.com and here is the story behind it. One of the biggies, Microsoft, was behind this bit of trivia.
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A New Blue Color

Well, for all of its not as wonderful things politically, Oregon does have some wonderful scenery and things it has invented. Cool story in the news where one of the departments over at Oregon State University developed a new intense blue color. It has also been patented. Way to go and it is a new color where Indigo Blue was developed many, many years ago.
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The Real Dude

Before Bill and Ted or even Napoleon Dynamite there was a real King of the Dudes. His name was Evander Berry Wall. He was a fashion dandy for several decades. More about this Dude here….
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Mc or Mac

Enjoying Scottish history, It is fun to read about where the prefix Mc or Mac comes from for Scottish names. The terms means "son of" and one is just an abbreviation of the other. This has not relationship to one being derived from Scottish roots over Irish. Read more about this here.
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A Swan Son

So why is the term Swan Song associated with a final performance? Read more about it here.

"This expression is generally thought to have its genesis in the over two thousand year old idea that swans sing a beautiful song just before death. Although this is technically not accurate, there is a hint of truth to it in select instances. For instance, the Whooper Swan, which as its name suggests is known for making a bizarre honking sound, has been observed to sometimes make a noise as it expires."
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Why Are Barns Painted Red?

I asked this question of our friends in Norway once. All their barns are painted red. There is no other color noted. No blue, no yellow, no brown or ? Well, it appears our trivia site has provided an answer to why barns were painted red in earlier times. Now it is just habit I suppose.

"When such paint became cheaply available via mass production in the late 1800s, farmers often stuck with the color red because, thanks to the abundance of iron oxide, red paint was still generally the cheapest paint on the shelf (although this is certainly not the case today)."

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A Knight's Tale Had Some Truth

I do like reading about Medieval times. The times of chivalry and knighthood. I also have seen the movie, The Knight's Tale, with Heath Ledger. A bit far fetched but the knight he claimed to be impersonating did really exist. This knight was Ulrich von Liechtenstein. One can read a bit more of this history on my trivia site, Today I Found Out.
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From Prison To Actor

Danny Trejo is one of those unforgettable actors. Some of it is because of his acting but most of it is due to his "looks". He was actually in prison in his early years, leading a bad life. He changed his life around and was able through lucky breaks to be "found" and develop a career as an actor. More about his story here.
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Question Of The Day

Do Zombies eat brains? Considering I do like to watch Zombie stuff or Zoobies as the inside joke is here, more Zombie trivia is worth checking out. Beyond the bit of content extracted, you can check out the theory here.

"In regards to why the zombies feed on brains, the closest we’ve ever come to an official explanation is a quote from Return of the Living Dead’s writer and director, Dan O’Bannon, who suggested that the undead felt the need to feed on the brains of the recently living because it somehow made them feel better by easing their pain. Avid fans of the zombie genre have tried to expand on this reasoning by asserting that zombies eat brains and guts because of the high levels of serotonin they contain, something that is kind of alluded to but by no means confirmed in the film’s official commentary where the production designer for the film, William Stout, notes that the idea of eating brains somehow alleviating the zombie’s pain “makes sense“."
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Coffin Births

So do women deliver babies after they die. Evidently they can and do. Here is some trivia information about this issue from Today I Found Out right here.

"Historical texts bear this gruesome curiosity out with clinical chill. In 1551, one of the earliest known documented cases of coffin birth was recorded: a victim of the Spanish Inquisition, swinging at the gallows, gave birth hours after her execution. In 1633, in Brussels, a woman who died in labor convulsions gave postmortem birth three days later. In 1650, a parish register noted, “April ye 20, 1650, was buried Emme, the wife of Thomas Toplace, who was found delivered of a child after she had lain two hours in the grave.” In 1677, another woman died in labor; six hours later abdominal movements were observed and still eighteen hours after that her deceased child was born. In 1861, sixty hours after a woman died in convulsions, she “gave birth” to her eight month old baby."
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Dating Years Trivia

How did we derive the year dating terms BC/AD and BCE/CE, the later I never seem to use. A lot of this reverts back to Roman times. Read more here.

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BCE (Before Common Era) and BC (Before Christ) mean the same thing- previous to year 1 CE (Common Era). This is the same as the year AD 1 (Anno Domini); the latter means “in the year of the lord,” often translated as “in the year of our lord.” (It was thought when the AD dating system was created that its year 1 was the year Jesus of Nazareth was born.)

Anno Domini was the first of these to appear."
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Phone Keypad Trivia

How did we get the star and pound symbols added to our phone keypads? What did they mean and now how do we use them? It is interesting how all of our everyday uses happen. Read more about this on The Straight Dope.
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Cats and Catnip

Here is more information on why cats (or at least some) cats love catnip and will respond quite goofily to it.

"Catnip, which is a perennial herb in the mint family, contains a chemical called “nepetalactone” that is released when catnip is crushed. When cats get a whiff of nepetalactone, most will start rubbing themselves against it, playing with it, sometimes eating it, and generally will act quite bizarrely."
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Why Hands in Jackets in Portraits

I guess I am going to have to do this for my next talk. Happy

"Conveying calm assurance, the practice of placing one hand inside of a top garment is ancient, dating back to before people even wore jackets, at least as we think of them.

In the 6th century B.C., it was considered rude in some Greek circles to speak with the hands outside of the clothing, especially when conducting matters of state. "

"Wishing to convey that the sitter was both of “good humor, and suitably elevated in character,” the pose of “hand-in” was soon adopted. Ironically, it became so popular among the English ruling class because (they thought) it conveyed them “in a manner deemed agreeable and without affectation.”

More detail is found here on how to be looking like Napoleon.
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Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra, one of the Yankee baseball greats, passed away today at the age of 90. He was great with baseball and also his "Yogi Berraisms". Here is a link to Powerline's tribute which also includes a link to 53 of his greatest lines. Another great story is at Time.com.
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The Thing

I think I have watched John Carpenter's movie, The Thing, probably 100 times or better. Just about every time it is on. I had it saved on our DISH hard drive until it crashed. Well, if you like to know 13 different fascinating facts about The Thing you can go here.
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William Wallace

Freedom!! We will never give up our Freedom. Or at least that was what Mel Gibson said when he played William Wallace in Braveheart. An interesting and short course of Scottish history involving Wallace can be found here.
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The Korean Peninsula

A fair amount of hostilities have occurred between North and South Korea over the last 60-70 years. Even currently, North Korea is making noise about trying to attack South Korea because "they exist". I came across this trivia story about how North Korea sent an assassination squad to South Korea in 1968 to kill President Park Chung Hee. They did not succeed but one member was captured. Shortly after the South Koreans tried training a group like the Dirty Dozen to do the same to Kim Il Sung. They were never deployed and were abandoned on the island they were sent to train on. An interesting story of skullduggery.
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Skeleton Lake

In 1942, Indian forest ranger H.K. Madhwal came across something rather disturbing: a lake filled with bones. Hundreds of people died in the lake, all at once. But what killed them?

Roopkund Lake is located in the state of Uttarakhand, India. The lake sits at over 16,000 feet in elevation, and it freezes over—so the skeletons are only visible during a brief thaw. Madhwal found it at just the right time to see the bones. But how old were they? And what were they doing hanging around in a lake?

For more info and video, go here at Atlas Obscura. Hear about how they died. Interesting!
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Meat From The Sky

Another strange tale from 1876. People in Bath County, Kentucky noticed what they termed chunks of meat falling from a perfectly clear sky. The first theory was that it was Nostoc. An interesting item, Nostoc, and how it comes about. In the long run, it was a different theory that was more likely. Reading about this strange phenomenon is best.
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Strange Story from World War I

One British soldier captured by the Germans was given leave by the German Kaiser to travel back to England to visit his dying mother, as long as he returned in 2 weeks. British honor being what it is, he did so, returning to the detention camp in Germany. The British were not so amenable to doing so for a German soldier with the same request. The story is here.
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SOS Distress

So what does SOS as a distress signal stand for?

It is commonly held that “SOS” is an acronym for “Save Our Ship” and thus often written “S.O.S.” In truth, SOS is not an acronym for anything.

So why was SOS chosen to signify a distress signal? The thought was that SOS- in Morse code signified by three dots, three dashes, then three dots- could not be misinterpreted as being a message for anything else. Further, being sent together as one string (with no stops), it could be sent very quickly and needed very little power to transmit.

So, despite what you might have read elsewhere, as the 1918 Marconi Yearbook of Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony notes, “This signal [SOS] was adopted simply on account of its easy radiation and its unmistakable character. There is no special significance in the letters themselves…”
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The Original Werewolf?

Was there an original werewolf long before Lon Chaney? Maybe the Werewolf of Bedbug in Germany, a man called Peter Stumpf. More here.

What he reportedly confessed under threat of torture was that at age 12, making him 37 at the time of his capture if these reports are accurate, he’d engaged in the art of black magic and succeeded in summoning the devil. Stumpf continued by explaining that Beelzebub had presented him with a magical belt that would allow him to assume “the likenes of a gréedy deuouring Woolf, strong and mighty, with eyes great and large, which in the night sparkeled like vnto brandes of fire, a mouth great and wide, with most sharpe and cruell teeth, A huge body, and mightye pawes…”
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Tartigrades, Tough Creatures

Cockroaches are said to be able to survive a nuclear war. Actually the toughest creature on Earth is a tardigrade, or Water Bear. More about them here.


"They are also the only life form known to be able to survive the near vacuum of space for extended periods. (Note: humans can actually survive the near vacuum of space for about 90 seconds without long term damage, but we have nothing on this creature.) They can lie dormant for 10-100 years and then come back to life with a drop of water. When it comes to durability, nothing on Earth can match the very real “Water Bear”- a tiny creature the size of a grain of sand (averaging about a millimeter long) that is often lauded as the toughest creature on planet Earth.

There are over 1000 known species of Water Bears (called such because when they walk, their gait loosely resembles plump little bears ambling along on eight legs). Also known as “tardigrades” (from the Latin “tardigradus” meaning ‘slow walker&rsquoWinking, they thrive in the most extreme environments on every corner of the Earth- from the Equator to the Polar regions- forests, swamps, deserts, tundras, mountains, glaciers, hot springs- from the highest point on Earth along the Himalayan mountain range, to the deepest parts of the sea, tardigrades are there. Less excitingly, they can also be found in your backyard where you can usually find them in common moss, lichens and ferns, feeding on natural detritus in the undergrowth."
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The Claque

We have heard of "laugh tracks". So throughout history, there have been people available for hire or use who offer clapping at performances. It is to help boost enthusiasm in the audience for the performance. Here is more info about what a claque means.

"…a theatre or individual could order anywhere from a handful of well-placed plants to a large audience full of enthusiastic supporters to fill out empty seats or bolster the desired reaction to a début play or performance in order to influence subsequent reviews."
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"We Have Worms"

As Bob and I were driving back home from having breakfast in town today, I saw a sign along Highway 20 in front of a small store that stated, "We Have Worms". Now I would have preferred it said, "We sell worms". It brought back memories of the days that my grandparents raised and sold earthworms to fishermen who went up into the mountains to fish along the Santiam River or were going over to Central Oregon to boat and fish on the lakes there. They had a lucrative business and their worms were big and lively, so therefore well sought after by people who drove by. At that time they lived also along Highway 20 (or S. Santiam Hwy) were the Citgo Gas Station is now located. With that said, do fish really like earthworms? Check out the facts here.
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Hello, Jello

Well, who would have thunk it? Gelatin has been around as a "delicacy" since the 15th century. Jello has itself as part of the mix, over a century. Jello is a mix of a name of gelatin and jelly. How cool is that? Learn a little more about the history of jello here.
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Baseball and Spring Training

While in Tampa, people were headed to the region to go to spring training games for the Grapefruit League. My cab driver said that Tampa was the center for a number of teams spring training camps - Yankees, Tiger, Blue Jays for some. So the trivia question of the day is why do baseball managers wear their team's uniform instead of a suit like in other sports? Well, you can find out about it here.
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Some History of Paper Making

Another trivia question is about why paper yellows and becomes more fragile. Paper came to be made out of wood pulp, a mix of cellulose and lignin. Both can oxidize a bit and therefore, discolor. Acid-free paper which lasts longer for more important documents has much less lignin in it. They do not deteriorate so quickly. To learn more about the history of how paper came to be and how it is made can be noted here.
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The Nature of Calico Cats

As a veterinarian, I know why calico cats are almost always female. I did come across early in my career a male calico cat. He was more black than white background with orange and white areas. He probably was fertile and I had to neuter him. It would have made him a better cat. Since I am much older, this kitty has long gone to use all of his nine lives. To learn more about calico cats, go here.
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The Unknown Soldier

I had to get up early today for a long day of travel to Tampa, Florida by way of Denver. I felt fortunate that the flights were on time and I had no problems getting there. The city seems interesting and I wish I had more time to explore.
One additional bit of trivia for the day is about how the concept for the Unknown Soldier came about. Sites are not just located in the United States where we are most familiar as Americans. Here is some background to read about how an unknown soldier is selected. We have visited the Tomb in Arlington Cemetery and it is solemn and inspiring.
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The Real Machiavelli

Machiavelli was the earlier form of cutthroat politician type. He wrote the blueprint for Saul Alinksy type tactics.
He wrote the book, The Prince, though some think it might have been meant to be a satire.

Entangled in Florentine politics during a tumultuous time at the height of the Renaissance, Niccolò Machiavelli became alternately a diplomat, a victim, a prisoner, an exile and, ultimately, the “father of modern political theory.” And although he remains famous today for his well-articulated methods for ruthlessly thriving in a corrupt world, he never said the phrase that is most often attributed to him: “the ends justify the means.”

Check him out here.
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Ketchup or Catsup

I wonder if my oldest son will still want to put ketchup on his scrambled eggs if he finds out that ketchup was first found in China and based on fermented fish guts. YUMM! It evolved over time into the version we use know as a condiment, though the British introduced the term, catsup, at one point. Catsup it was called in the U.S. for many years until the term ketchup took over more. So from fermented fish guts through mushroom and walnut mixed sauce to a tomato base. What a journey! More found here.
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How Sadie Hawkins Day Came To Be

Sadie Hawkins Day has become a bit of the cultural lexicon. It actually was thought up by Al Capp, the cartoonist of the Lil' Abner cartoon series set in Dogpatch. Lil'Abner had a 40 year run in the papers. I do remember the cartoon.

"The way Al tells it, Sadie was the daughter of Hekzebiah Hawkins, one of the town’s first settlers, who had the dubious distinction of being the “homeliest gal in all them hills.” After waiting not-so-patiently for 15 years for a suitor to show up at her door, not a single prospective husband arrived to court her. With each passing year, Sadie became more and more panicky, as did her father, who did not relish the idea of supporting a spinster daughter for the rest of her days."

"For today’s young women, Sadie Hawkins Day doesn’t seem all that relevant anymore. But for a few decades in the middle of the twentieth century, it served as a social bridge between the years when women rarely left the home and the sexual revolution."

More about how it all came about in between then and its status now, find it here.
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The Bold Into Space

Well before man projected himself into space, others pioneered the path they took so people could follow. Those other were animals, usually monkeys or dogs. To read more about their exploits, it can be found in this random thought column here. They led the way in our space race.
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Origin of Valentine's Day

Returning to my information trivia roots, there was a short informational email about the origin of Valentine's Day. A day where it seems everyone wants to dine out and the restaurants were full. Bob and I went to the movies for a change and for our Valentine's Day entertainment. We went to see the movie we had been anxious to get to see, American Sniper. A very good film and one that we both were glad we made it happen. The comments one would see about the movie of how the theatre was dead silent at the end were very correct. Our theatre was so quiet and solemn as we exited, plus a had a tear or two that wanted to clear a path down my face.
Well, on to the origin of Valentine's Day which can be found here.

"While not thought to be directly related to modern Valentine’s Day traditions, the beginnings of celebrating love (of a sort) in February date back to the Romans. The feast of Lupercalia was a pagan fertility and health festival, observed from February 13th through the 15th, that was celebrated at least as far back as 44 BCE (the year Julius Caesar was assassinated). Some historians believe it goes back even further, though with possibly a different name."
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The Heart Shape

Where did the heart symbol come from? We recognize it world-wide. With Valentine's Day tomorrow, it is worth taking a look and understanding where the symbol derives. Find it here.



"Something like the familiar heart symbol goes back many thousands of years. Specifically, several pieces of pottery going back as far as 3000BC clearly show the unmistakable symbol. However, in these instances, the symbol is noted to be a simplification of either a fig or ivy leaf, not a crude representation of the human heart, and seemingly, at least initially, not having anything to do with love. Fast-forwarding through history and we find many cultures using a similar symbol, such as depicted in Grecian, Cretian, Minoan, Mycean, Roman and Corinthian pottery, along with many others. In these instances, again, the symbol doesn’t appear to be representative of a heart, but of various leaves.

For example, the early vine leaf imagery in Greek culture was mostly used to represent Dionysus, the god of wine, fertility, and ecstasy, among other things. For a more straightforward example of the ivy leaf imagery having a double, suggestive meaning, in the city of Ephesus around fourth century A.D, the symbol was used to represent a brothel."
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Radio Signals

Bob is better at noting this since he would listen to the radio when he lived up in Quincy and he would be able to hear the powerful stations from San Francisco at night. Occasionally when we listen to AM radio while driving we can find certain stations on a night trip. So why does AM radio travel farther at night? Listen here.
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Cheez Whiz

With all the snacks with chips and dips, cheese whiz has to be among them. Certainly mixing some of this type of cheese with salsa and heating it in the microwave makes a nice nacho cheese dip for chips. Great for watching the big day of the Super Bowl and snacking. We won't be participating with other people so no socializing. Funny thing to read about Cheese Whiz being developed to use in Britain to make Welsh Rarebit (funny story behind the making of this dish).
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Singing and Brenda Lee

Brenda Lee was discovered around the age of 10. Her one biggest hit was "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree". She even sang with Elvis in her early career days. The song mentioned was a flop in early stages yet now has gone on to sell well over 25 million copies. Interesting story.
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The Internet Alexandria Library

History has described the immensity and loss of the library at Alexandria in Egypt. We lost so much when that library was burned. People think that everything that is on the internet is there for all time or certainly for a very long time. Often it is not and is purged in days, weeks, months, and maybe years. Now people have created the internet Archive and are saving webpages for posterity. They are the "go to" people for this effort. Read about it in detail here.
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A Funny Fish Habit

I came across one of the "Today I Found Out" trivia pieces and had a real chuckle at the title about fish that "Talk with Farts". I didn't realize that herring had such an interesting aspect to their makeup. Gee, I wonder what people would be like if they moved around in schools directed by how they passed gas.
Check it out here.
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Celsius and Fahrenheit

Growing up in the United States, you get used to using Fahrenheit for temperatures. Once you go outside the U.S., you will have to get used to Celsius for temperature and learn to convert it (if you don't have a conversion app on your Smartphone). I have had to learn to convert of to write medical information in a combination of Fahrenheit and Celsius. How did we get to this difference or where did the determination for the two different levels come from? Read on to learn about Daniel Fahrenheit and Anders Celsius.
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X-Mas

So how did Xmas come about in our vocabulary. It isn’t just an abbreviation that is non-religious. X is the letter in the Greek alphabet that stands for “Chi” which in Greek is short for Christ. This information has been found and used in different style guides. Fun to know more about the origination of words that we think are just trivial. They actually have a deeper meaning. Check it out here.
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PEZ and Instant Cake Mixes Related

What does PEZ and instant cake mixes have in common? They were invented by the same young man many years ago. The teenager felt the light baking powder his grandfather had to sell was better on a person’s digestion. Voila, it moved on to creating instant cake mixes. With the soul of an inventor, he went on to invent PEZ and hire someone to invent the dispenser which in different forms is very iconic. Read about it here.

“As a teenager, the inventor of the PEZ confectionery created one of the world’s first ready-made cake mixes, popularly selling it throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The teenager was Eduard Haas III. Haas III’s grandfather, Eduard Haas I, was a doctor who invented a type of “light” baking powder which he advocated over yeast in recipes as he felt it was easier on people’s digestive systems. As a teen, Haas III began selling and promoting his grandfather’s baking powder at his father’s wholesale grocery store.”
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Kamikaze Pilots

During World War ll, one of the most alarming aspects of the Asian/Pacific theatre was the development of the Japanese Kamikaze pilot. One bit of trivia is information about how the pilots were chosen. Ultimately, it came down to pressure and peer-pressure. A more extreme version of this scenario is the suicide bomber found World-wide though primarily in the Middle-East.
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The Big Apple

Another Trivia Day. Why is New York City referred to as The Big Apple. Read about it here.

The earliest documented reference to New York being referred to as “The Big Apple” comes from a 1909 book by Edward Martin, called The Wayfarer. In it, he uses the moniker in a metaphorical sense, rather than a proper name for the city:

"Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city… It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap…"
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Crowd Size

Trivia Day again. Today I Found Out recently covered how crowd size is determined. This can be a controversial issue because people use the numbers to boost the importance of their issue or message. Usually people of a leftist persuasion can get by with exaggeration while others cannot. It is interesting to read in this story about how a fairly simple mathematical look at determination was the basis for what is done today. Read about it.
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Where Bad Guys Go To Be Buried

Ever wondered where the bad guys, gangsters and outlaws are buried? Some people visit President’s gravesides, there are probably those who like to visit where the troubled have final resting places. Here is a story showing where to find 8 of these people. I don’t know if I would list Doc Holiday as an outlaw. Interestingly, he is related to Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone With The Wind”. Go here to learn more about these burial sites.
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Where Art Thou, T-Shirt?

T-shirts are everywhere. Under our outer wear shirts, a fashion item themselves, a public statement, or just an advertisement, we all wear them. We don’t give any thought to where they came from, how they were invented. Surprisingly they are a newer piece of clothing. Check out their history here.

“Relatively speaking, the t-shirt is a fairly new addition to our collective wardrobes and it has only been an acceptable piece of clothing in its own right for around half a century. While the garment itself has existed in a recognisable form (albeit with wider necks and shorter sleeves) since the early 20th century, it was almost universally considered to be underwear and it was rarely, if ever worn in public.

So where did the t-shirt come from? It’s thought that it evolved from a kind of all-in-one underwear made from red flannel known as the “union suit” which was popular with workers in the 19th century. The union suit was patented in 1868 in New York and was based on a similar kind of underwear that had been popular with Victorian women. While the Union Suit excelled at keeping men warm, it was all but useless at keeping them cool in hot weather, unless that is, it was cut in half, which many workers did. In so doing, they inadvertently created the top half of what many would recognise today as “Long Johns”, a similar garment which consisted of two pieces of long underwear.”
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The Origin of Blackmail

Another situation of “Did you know” and “Today I Found Out”. What is the origin of the word and concept Blackmail and the lesser known phrase “buttock mail”. You can check it out here.

“Blackmail” has its roots in the early 16th century, first used by English farmers living on the England/Scotland border. It derives from the Middle English word “male” which itself is thought to derive from the Old English word “mal”. In Old English “Mal” is described as thus: “lawsuit, terms, bargaining, agreement”.
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Today I Found Out

I recently came across a website that sends out daily trivia facts to your email. It is called Today I Found Out. It is quite interesting. One can learn about how the word “boycott” came about or how the maximum occupancy for a public room is determined.
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