LITTLE KNOWN FACTS

Posted: May 23, 2012 in Wisdom Nook
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  • Thomas Edison got patents for a method of making concrete furniture and a cigar which was supposed to burn forever 
  • Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. Elton comes from Elton Dean, a Bluesology sax player. John comes from Long John Baldry, founder of Blues Inc. They were the first electric white blues band ever seen in England–1961 
  • Elton John’s uncle was a professional soccer player. He broke his leg playing for Nottingham Forest in the 1959 English FA Cup Final. 
  • The saying “it’s so cold out there it could freeze the balls off a brass monkey” came from when they had old cannons like ones used in the Civil War. The cannonballs were stacked in a pyramid formation, called a brass monkey. When it got extremely cold outside they would crack and break off… Thus the saying. 
  • S.O.S. doesn’t stand for “Save Our Ship” or “Save Our Souls” — It was just chosen by an 1908 international conference on Morse Code because the letters S and O were easy to remember and just about anyone could key it and read it, S = dot dot dot, O = dash dash dash.. 
  • Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks otherwise it will digest itself. 
  • When a female horse and male donkey mate, the offspring is called a mule, but when a male horse and female donkey mate, the offspring is called a hinny. 
  • A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won’t. 
  • Cyano-acrylate glues (Super glues) were invented by accident. The researcher was trying to make optical coating materials, and would test their properties by putting them between two prisms and shining light through them. When he tried the cyano-acrylate, he couldn’t get the prisms apart. 
  • A walla-walla scene is one where extras pretend to be talking in the background — when they say “walla-walla” it looks like they are actually talking. 
  • The “chapters” of the New Testament were not there originally. When monks in medieval times translated it from the Greek, they numbered the pages in each “book.” 
  • According to the ceremonial customs of Orthodox Judaism, it is officially sundown when you cannot tell the difference between a black thread and a red one. 
  • A ‘jiffy’ is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. 
  • The growth rate of some bamboo plants can reach three feet (91.44 cm) per day. 
  • Your left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart. 
  • U.S. Interstates which go north-south are numbered sequentially starting from the west with odd numbers, and Interstates which go east-west are numbered sequentially starting from the south with even numbers. 
  • 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. 
  • Cranberry Jell-O is the only Jell-O flavor that comes from real fruit, not artificial flavoring. 
  • The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper. 
  • ‘Stewardesses’ is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand. 
  • 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan (Wendy ) are the only two Disney cartoon features with both parents that are present and don’t die throughout the movie. 
  • One of the longest English words that can be typed using the top row of a typewriter (allowing multiple uses of letters) is ‘typewriter.’ 
  • The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continually held sports event in the United States (1875); the second oldest is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (1876.) 
  • AM and PM stand for “Ante-Meridian” and “Post-Meridian,” respectively, and A.D. actually stands for “Anno Domini” rather than “After Death.” 
  • During conscription for WWII, there were nine documented cases of men with three testicles. 
  • Ever think you’re hearing something in a song, but they’re really singing something else? The word for mis-heard lyrics is ‘mondegreen,’ and it comes from a folk song in the ’50’s. The singer was actually singing “They slew the Earl of Morray and laid him on the green,” but this came off sounding like ‘They slew the Earl of Morray and Lady Mondegreen.’ 
  • Impotence is legal grounds for divorce in 24 American states.


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