Interesting Tab


Just Stuff Q & A
Q: Why do lemurs take turns mouthing large millipedes?
A: Apparently, these psychedelic lemurs have discovered that the millipedes’ powerful defensive chemicals can plunge them into hallucinations.

Q: What is the name of the doomed boat on Gilligan's Island (1964-1967)?
A: The S.S. Minnow.

Q: What are the names of the two marble lions that stand in front of the New York Public Library?
A: in the 1930s, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia named them Patience and Fortitude.

Q: Provide the last names of these Desperate Housewives characters: (1) Susan. (2) Bree. (3) Lynette. (4) Gabrielle. (5) Edie. (6) Mary-Alice. (7) Mike. (8) Pharmacist George.
A: (1) Mayer. (2) Van De Camp. (3) Scavo. (4) Solis. (5) Britt. (6) Young. (7) Defino. (8) Williams.

Just Stuff
Q: Where did the rude Anglo-Saxon one fingered salute come from?
A: When the outnumbered English faced the French at the Battle of Agincourt, they were armed with a relatively new weapon, the Longbow. The French were so amused that they vowed to cut off the middle finger of each British archer. When the longbows won the day, the English jeered the retreating French by raising that middle finger in a gesture that still means, among other things, "in-your-face."

Q: Why do Christians place their hands together in prayer?
A: The original gesture of Christian prayer was spreading the arms and hands heavenward. There is no mention anywhere in the Bible of joining hands in prayer, and that custom didn't surface in the church until the ninth century. In Roman times, a man would place his hands together as an offer of submission that meant, "I surrender, here are my hands ready to be bound or shackled." Christianity accepted the gesture as a symbol of offering total obedience, or submission, to God.

Q: Why was grace originally a prayer said after a meal?
A: Today, we say grace before a meal in thanksgiving for an abundance of food, but in ancient times, food spoiled quickly, often causing illness or even death. Nomadic tribes experimenting with unfamiliar plants were very often poisoned. Before a meal, these people made a plea to the gods to deliver them from poisoning, but it wasn't until after the meal, if everyone was still standing, that they offered a prayer of thanksgiving, or "grace."

Q: Why at the end of a profound statement or prayer to Christians, Muslims, and Jews all say "amen"?
A: The word amen appears thirteen times in the Hebrew Bible and 119 times in the New Testament as well as in the earliest Muslim writings. The word originated in Egypt around 2500 BC as Amun, and meant the "Hidden One," the name of their highest deity. Hebrew scholars adopted the word as meaning "so it is" and passed it on to the Christians and Muslims.

It's a complete Dutch city, and it has everything: canals, railroads, ships that move, stores, and factories. But it's actually a miniature, scaled to 1/25 of actual size. And it can be seen in the park at Madurodam, just outside The Hague, in Holland.

Flower arranging is considered a great art by the Japanese. And flowers play an important role in Japanese social occasions. But you will never see orchids, gentian, daphnes, or azaleas at a happy event. These flowers are prohibited by custom from use at happy occasions.

In 1609, an English ship, the Sea Venture, under the command of Sir George Somers, set out on a voyage to the New World.
     Caught in a violent storm, the little vessel was wrecked on the coast of Bermuda. The crew managed to make shore safely. Then, from the wrecked timbers of their ship, they made two small boats and sailed across the water to Virginia, where they decided to settle.
     But the hard, primitive life on the Virginia coast disappointed these early settlers, and they decided to return to Bermuda.
     Shortly after their return, Sir George Somers died. His son buried his father's heart in Bermuda and then sailed back to England with the body.
     This very romantic story of the storm, the shipwreck, and the death of Somers proved a sensation in London, and a popular playwright decided to write about the adventure.
     The play became one of the most famous and enduring of all time, for the writer was William Shakespeare and the play was the Tempest.

Let's talk planets. Facts about Earth
Water is the main reason we can live on this planet. Without it, life as we know it would literally dry up and blow away.

It's a good thing, then, that water covers more than two thirds of our planet.

No other planet or moon in the entire solar system can support liquid water on its surface. Most are too cold or don't have enough atmosphere. Venus and Mercury are too hot.

Earth, however, is just right. Our planet lies at the perfect distance from the sun. It doesn't get too hot or too cold.

As a result, water can splash around freely, supporting life. It even allows Earth’s inhabitants to enjoy a good swim.

About the little piggies.
Walking across hot coals hurts less than running across hot coals. Quick, light steps to limit contact between the first and the hot surface; running thrusts the foot against the ground more forcefully.

Walking on your toes requires 83% more energy than walking normally

On average, 1.7 of every 1,000 babies are born with polydactyly – the presence of six or more toes on 1 foot, or six or more fingers on one hand.

Just Stuff Q & A
Q: Which star of The Munsters once ran for governor?
A: "Grandpa Munster" Al Lewis ran as a Green Party candidate in 1998 against New York Governor George Pataki. He didn't win, but he did garner 55,000 votes. The beloved actor/activist died in February 2006.

Q: In 1927, two "graduates" of Baltimore's St. Mary's Industrial School made history. Can you name these correctional school dropouts and their achievements?
A: During the 1927 baseball season, Babe Ruth whacked a record-setting sixty home runs. That same year, Al Jolson starred in The Jazz Singer, the first talking picture. Neither Ruth nor Jolson enjoyed their involuntary stay at the strict Catholic school for orphans; Ruth spent twelve years there, while Jolson was only there briefly.

Q: Who said, "Even Napoleon had his Watergate"?
A: Danny Ozark, the manager/history buff of baseball's Philadelphia Phillies.

Q: Where did Napoleon meet his Waterloo? And after his Waterloo, where did Napoleon go?
A: Napoleon Bonaparte fought and lost his last battle near the Belgian town of Waterloo. After being defeated by the British and the Prussians, the former French Emperor was exiled to St. Helena in 1815, where he died less than six years later.

Tying the Knot
Q: Why is June the most popular month for weddings?
A: The ancient Greeks and Romans both suggested marriage during a full moon because of its positive influence on fertility. The Romans favored June, a month they named after Juno, the goddess of marriage, because if the bride conceived right away, she wouldn't be too pregnant to help with the harvest. She also would probably have recovered from giving birth in time to help in the fields with the next year's harvest.

Q: Why does a groom carry his bride over the threshold?
A: The custom of carrying a bride over the threshold comes from the kidnapping practices of the Germanic Goths around 200 A.D. Generally, these men only married women from within their own communities, but when the supply ran short, they would raid neighboring villages and seize young girls to carry home as their wives. From this practice of abductions sprang the now symbolic act of carrying the bride over the threshold.

Q: Why are wedding banns announced before marriage?
A: The custom of proclaiming wedding banns began in 800 A.D. when Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne became alarmed by the high rate of interbreeding throughout his empire. He ordered that all marriages be publicly announced at least seven days prior to the ceremony and that anyone knowing that a bride and groom were related must come forward. The practice proved so successful that it was widely endorsed by all faiths.

Some Animal Facts
A single poison-arrow frog, found in the Amazon rain forest, has enough nerve toxin to kill about 2,500 people.

Certain species of frogs can survive subzero temperatures, even if they're completely encased in a block of ice.

Owls have tubular shaped eyeballs, which makes it impossible for them to move their eyes in their sockets.

The hollow bones of an owl weigh less than its feathers. Hollow bones are found in many bird species – including the pigeon – and help the birds fly with less effort.

Mockingbirds imitate any sound – from a squeaking door to a meowing cat. In urban areas, they can even mimic car alarms and cell phone rings.

Just Stuff Q & A
Q: What was the first computer bug?
A: The first computer was literally that: a moth that got stuck in the wiring at a computer at Harvard in August of 1945. The first recognized computer virus occurred much later: viral historian Robert Slade identified a relatively benign 1981 Apple II floppy disk incident that probably originated at Texas A&M.

Q: When was the carpet sweeper invented?
A: Anna and Melville Bissell owned a small crockery shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when Millville designed and patented a carpet sweeper in 1876. The first Bissell manufacturing plant was built in Grand Rapids in 1883.

Q: What significant discovery did the Norse make in 861 A.D.?
A: The Norse discovered Iceland in 861 A.D. The busy Norsemen also sacked Paris and Toulouse that same year.

Q: What did the writers Victor Hugo, Jack London, Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer and Hunter S. Thompson all do unsuccessfully?
A: Run for political office.

Q: Who wrote the first detective story?
A: The world's first detective story is generally believed to be "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," by American author Edgar Allen Poe. It appeared in Graham's Magazine in 1841.

The Human Body -- Scientifically Speaking
The cornea, or clear lens of the eye, is the only part of the human body that has no blood supply. It takes oxygen directly from the air.

The hard up little lump of flesh in front of your ear canal is called a tragus.

Every minute, 300 million cells die in the human body.

The human brain is about 85% water.

The brain consumes about one fifth of all the calories you take in. It burns more energy than any other organ in the body. Therefore, the "brain power" used in mathematical or linguistic problem solving can be as effective for losing weight as aerobic exercise.

Facts about Earth's moon. Who's been there?
Between 1968 and 1972, the Apollo missions sent a total of twenty-seven astronauts to the moon. Of those, twelve actually walked on its surface.

Apollo 8
Launch Date December 21, 1968
Arrival at Moon December 24, 1968
Return to Earth December 27, 1968
Apollo 8 took the first humans – Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders – to the moon. The spacecraft circled the moon ten times before returning to Earth.

Apollo 10
Launch Date May 18, 1969
Arrival at Moon May 21, 1969
Return to Earth May 26, 1969
While Apollo 10 astronauts Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Eugene Cernan orbited the moon, they test equipment and procedures for the upcoming moon landing.

Apollo 11
Launch Date July 16, 1969
Arrival at Moon July 20, 1969
Return to Earth July 24, 1969
Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin landed in the Sea of Tranquility, becoming the first humans to walk on the moon. Michael Collins orbited overhead in the command module.

Apollo 12
Launch Date November 14, 1969
Arrival at Moon November 19, 1969
Return to Earth November 24, 1969
Charles "Pete" Conrad and Alan Bean touched down in the Ocean of Storms, within walking distance of Surveyor 3, an unmanned spacecraft that had touched down on the moon 2.5 years earlier. Richard Gordon orbited overhead.

Apollo 13
Launch Date April 11, 1970
Arrival at Moon April 15, 1970
Return to Earth April 17, 1970
Originally aiming for the Fra Mauro highlands, the landing was canceled when an explosion rocked the spacecraft halfway to the moon. The crew, James Lovell, Fred Hayes, and John Swigert, return safely to Earth.

Apollo 14
Launch Date January 31, 1971
Arrival at Moon February 5, 1971
Return to Earth February 9, 1971
Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell touched down in the Fra Mauro highlands while Stuart Roosa orbited overhead.

Apollo 15
Launch Date July 26, 1971
Arrival at Moon July 30, 1971
Return to Earth August 7, 1971
David Scott and Alfred Worden landed in the Hadley Rille region with the first lunar rover. James Erwin orbited overhead.

Apollo 16
Launch Date April 16, 1972
Arrival at Moon April 21, 1972
Return to Earth April 27, 1972
John Young and Charles Duke landed in the heavily cratered lunar high lands of the Descartes region while Thomas Mattingly orbited overhead in the command module.

Apollo 17
Launch Date December 7, 1972
Arrival at Moon December 11, 1972
Return to Earth December 19, 1972
Eugene Cernan and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt landed in the Taurus=Littrow region while Ronald Evans orbited overhead. Cernan was the last man to walk on the moon – at least for now.

More Stuff
Why are golf assistants called "caddies"?
In medieval France the firstborn sons of mobility were known as the "caput," or head, of the family, while younger, less valuable boys were called "capdets," or little heads, and were often sent to the military to train as officers. In English, "capdets" became "cadets," which the Scots abbreviated to "cads" or "caddies," meaning any useless street kid who could be hired for the day to carry around a bag of golf clubs.

Why is it so difficult for a woman to join prestigious British golf clubs?
Exclusive men's country clubs were called golf clubs long before the game was invented. "GOLF" is an acronym derived from the phrase "gentlemen only, ladies forbidden." Men had formed these clubs to enjoy themselves without the politics of dealing with women. When they began chasing a small ball around the grounds they gave the name the same name as their club: golf.

Why are billiards played on a pool table?
During the nineteenth century, off-track gamblers would often play billiards while waiting to hear the results of a horse race. Sometimes, if they agreed on the merits of a particular horse, the gamblers would pool their money in an effort to win a greater amount on one bet or to soften the blow of a loss. The "pooled" money, both bet and won was counted out on the playing surface of the billiard table, which the gamblers came to call their "pool table."

Just Stuff
We sometimes say that certain animals, such as rabbits, are "born blind." That's not entirely accurate. Rabbits are born with the ability to see, but their eyelids are temporarily sealed shut – a baby rabbit typically opens its eyes a week after birth.

In the wild, a female cottontail rabbit may give birth to as many as six litters of four or more babies in one mating season. That's thirty plus babies for one female in one season, which might be all she gets: Typically, life expectancy for rabbit in the wild is about one year.

In the original 1962 film version of the Manchurian Candidate, Angela Lansbury played Laurence Harvey's mother. She was not quite three years older than he was.

In the 1963 film version of Bye-Bye Birdie, Maureen Stapleton played Dick Van Dyke's mother. She was six months older than he was.

Just Stuff Q & A
Q: Identify the literary work from the following first-line.
     a) "Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested."
     b) "Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road."
     c) "This is the saddest story I have ever heard."
     d) "124 was spiteful."
     e) "Mother died today."
A: a) The Trial by Franz Kafka. b) James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man c) The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford d) Toni Morrison's Beloved e) The Stranger by Albert Camus

Q: Who was the main snitch for Starsky and Hutch during their 1970s TV series?
A: Huggy Bear.

Q: One Starsky and Hutch star had two major record hits. Can you identify the performer and the songs?
A: David Soul (a.k.a. Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson) broke into the charts with "Don't Give up On Us Baby" and Silver Lady."

Q: Before Magnum P.I., Tom Selleck solved cases on which television drama?
A: Tom Selleck played Lance White, the perfect detective and Jim Rockford's nemesis, on the Rockford Files (1974-1980).

Interesting/Odd Facts About the Human Body.
Saying someone is bighearted is considered a compliment. Obviously, the size of the heart doesn't really have anything to do with one's generosity or kindness. The fact is that the heart of the average adult woman weighs about 9 ounces, while that of the average adult male weighs about 10 1/2 ounces.

Your ears tell you if you're standing up, leaning over, or lying down. Special cells in the tubes of liquid in your inner ear send messages about your movement to your brain. They help you to know what you are doing.

Are you shrinking yet? If you've reached the age of forty, your body is beginning to shrink. The cartilage in the joints and in the spinal column start to contract, and that causes the body to become about 4/10 of an inch shorter every ten years.

Some Animal Facts
Cranes fly as high as 5000 feet (1,500 m) during migration. But in Asia, migrating cranes on their way to India must cross the Himalayan Mountains and reach heights of 20,000 feet (6,000m) – four miles up!

The fastest speed ever recorded for a flying bird was 220 miles (352 km) per hour. The bird was the spine-tailed swift. The swift is such a speedy flyer that it has lost the ability to walk!

Hummingbirds are nature's smallest birds. They're so tiny that one of their enemies is an insect – the praying mantis.

Hummingbirds, loons, kingfishers, grebes, and swifts are all birds that cannot walk.

The Hummingbird is the only bird that can fly backwards.

Let's Talk Planets - Can we see footprints on the Moon?
While twelve astronauts walked on the moon and left plenty of footprints, there is no way we can see those footprints from Earth.

Why not? Because the astronauts didn't have big enough feet!

Even with the largest telescopes on Earth, the smallest feature we can see on the lunar surface is about 0.6 mile (1 km) across.

We can't see any of the flags they left behind or any of the other equipment, either. It's too small, and the moon is too far away.

Even though you can't see anything, it's still interesting to think about all the stuff the astronauts left behind. It's still up there. Remember that the next time you look at the moon.

On a personal note…I think it's sad that we litter every place we go.

DID YOU KNOW - These things are First Aid for:

Sunburn - empty a large jar of Nestea into your bath water.

Minor burn - Colgate or Crest toothpaste.

Burn your tongue? Put sugar on it!

Arthritis? WD-40 Spray and rub in, kills insect stings too.

Bee stings - meat tenderizer.

Chigger bite - Preparation H.

Paper cut - crazy glue or chap stick (glue is used instead of sutures at most hospitals)

Athletes feet – cornstarch.

Gatorade is good for Migraine Headaches (PowerAde won't work)

Puffy eyes - Preparation H.

Fungus on toenails or fingernails - Vicks vapor rub.

DID YOU KNOW these interesting uses for Kool Aid / Jello / Pam / Elmer’s Glue?

Stinky feet - Jello

Kool aid to clean dishwasher pipes. Just put in the detergent section and run a cycle, it will also clean a toilet. (Wow, and we drink this stuff)

Kool Aid can be used as a dye in paint also Kool Aid in Dannon plain yogurt as a finger paint, your kids will love it and it won't hurt them if they eat it!

Tie Dye T-shirt - mix a solution of Kool Aid in a container, tie a rubber band around a section of the T-shirt and soak.

Sticking bicycle chain - Pam no-stick cooking spray.

Pam will also remove paint, and grease from your hands! Keep a can in your garage for your hubby.

Elmer's Glue - paint on your face, allow it to dry, peel off and see the dead skin and blackheads if any.

Just Stuff Q & A
Q: We've all heard stories about the ability of dogs to hear noises that humans can't. But how sharp it is the canine’s sense of smell?
A: Dogs can discern odors at levels of 100,000 times fainter than humans can detect. According to Nicholas Dodman, D.V.D., author of If Only They Could Speak, dogs have been able to "smell out" a six week old human fingerprint.

Q: Whose annoyance led to the discovery of potato chips?
A: In the summer of 1853, Chef George Crum was working at a plush resort in Saratoga Springs, New York when a customer sent back an order of French fries because the potatoes were cut to stick. Annoyed by the demand, Crum cut the potatoes as thin as humanly possible and sent them back. His returned insult quickly became the popular item on the menu.

Q: The Spanish music group Los del Rio had a surprise hit in 1996. What was the name of this pop song?
A: The "Macarena," which was not only a transatlantic recording hit, but also a huge international dance craze. Originally recorded in 1993, this sing-along darted to the top of the charts in Spain, Latin American countries, and, three years later, the United States, where it resided fourteen straight weeks as number one on the Billboard charts. Macarena is also the name of a section of the Spanish City of Seville.

DID YOU KNOW these Miscellaneous Odds and Ends

When the doll clothes are hard to put on, sprinkle with corn starch and watch them slide on.

Body paint - Crisco mixed with food coloring. Heat the Crisco in the microwave, pour in to an empty film container and mix with the food color of your choice!

Preserving a newspaper clipping - large bottle of club soda and cup of milk of magnesia , soak for 20 min. and let dry, will last for many years!

A Slinky will hold toast and CD's!

To keep goggles and glasses from fogging, coat with Colgate toothpaste.

To keep FRESH FLOWERS longer Add a little Clorox , or 2 Bayer aspirin , or just use 7-up instead of water.

Interesting and Odd Food Facts
"Fiddlehead" is not an expression of contempt in Eastern Canada, it's the name of a green vegetable that is eaten there. The vegetable is actually a frond of the bracken family and is served in the same way as asparagus.

Sea moss makes quite a tasty dish, according to some cooks in New Hampshire. The moss is picked along the ocean beaches. Mixed with milk, salt, and vanilla, it is cooked until thick and called blancmange.

Have you ever tasted mama liga? It is a national dish and Romania and everybody loves it.
     Mama liga is a boiled cornmeal served as a bread substitute, or with stuffed cabbage or vine leave, or with poached eggs. Hot or cold, mama liga is quite delicious in melted butter or yogurt. And it can be garnished with salted herring and cottage cheese.

It's not quite a hamburger, but Chapli kebab is the Pakistani equivalent. It's a patty of ground lamb, with either green onion or diced pomegranate seed, and salt. In Pakistan you can get this fried meat cake from a street vendor everywhere you go.

Computer, Yuk! Hmm

Those happy, sad, or angry face is that sometimes accompany messages sent in chat rooms or posted on message boards are called "emoticons." The word combines "emotion" with "icon."

In the book 2001: A Space Odyssey, the supercomputer HAL was built in 1997.
The acronym TWAIN, an interface that's used to scan images, stands for "Technology Without An Interesting Name."

More software has been written for PCs than any other system on the market.
The word modem, the device that allows your computer to communicate with other computers, is a combination of the words "modulator" and "demodulator."

Let's Talk Planets. Facts about Earth
Sizewise, Earth is the fifth largest planet in the solar system. Only three planets are smaller.

Earth is the only planet to have liquid water on its surface. With more than two thirds of our planet covered by water, and alien crash landing on Earth would probably get wet.

Earth is the only planet that supports life as we know it.

Earth is the densest of all planets.

Earth is the only planet in the solar system with active volcanoes. (There are three moons with active geysers, and two other planets have dormant or extinct volcanoes.)

More Stuff

Why is a handshake considered to be a gesture of friendship?
     There seems to be many reasons. Here are a few more: The Egyptian hieroglyph for "to give" is an extended hand. That symbol was the inspiration for Michelangelo's famous fresco The Creation of Adam, which is found on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Babylonian kings confirmed their authority by annually grasping the hand of a statue of their chief god, Marduk. The handshake as we know it today evolved from a custom of Roman soldiers, who carried daggers in their right waistbands. They would extend and then grasp each other's weapon hand as a nonthreatening sign of goodwill.

Where did the two fingered peace sign come from?
     The gesture of two fingers spread and raised in peace, popularized in the 1960s, is a physical interpretation of the peace symbol, an inverted or upside down Y within a circle, which was designed in 1958 by members of the antinuclear Direct Action Committee. The inverted Y is a combination of the maritime semaphore signals for N and D, which stood for "nuclear disarmament.

Laser Fast
How fast is fast? You've probably heard of a nano second, which is 1 billionth of a second. Well that's just the beginning. One second can be divided into: a trillion picoseconds, a quadrillion femtoseconds, a quintillion attoseconds.

The fastest laser light pulses ever recorded measured eighty attoseconds – that's eighty quintillionths of the second.

"Laser" is an acronym created by one of the pioneers of laser technology, Gordon Gould. It stands for "Light Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation." The predecessor of the laser was the maser (Microwave Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation) developed by a team led by Columbia University physicists Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow. The two camps filed patents for their laser technology processes within nine months of each other, sparking one of the fiercest patent wars in history. Ironically, neither side can take credit for building the first working laser – that goes to Theodore Maiman of Hughes Research Labs, who successfully tested the ruby laser in May 1960.

Development of laser technology was instigated by the United States military, which envisioned lasers as "death ray" weapons. That's one task for which lasers have never proved useful.

In addition to lasers, a number of life enhancers were introduced in 1960. Some of which were: Etch-a-Sketch drawing toy, downy fabric softener, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) technique, Bubble Wrap cushioning material. 

Just Stuff Q&A
Q: Where did the expression "according to Hoyle" come from?
A :An English man named Edmund Hoyle wrote a rulebook for the card game whist, the ancestor of bridge, in 1742. Hoyle's rules were used to settle arguments during that one game until Robert Forster published Forster’s Hoyle in 1897, which included the rules for many other card games. Since then, "according to Hoyle" has meant according to the rules of any game, including those played in business and personal relationships.

Q:Why, when someone losing begins to win, do we say he's "turned the tables"?
A:The phrase "to turn the tables" is a chess term dating from 1634 that describes a set of recovery by a losing player. The switch imposition of each side's pieces makes it look as though they’d physically turned the table on the opponent to take over the winning side of the board.

Q:Why is a non-relevant statement during a debate or argument said to be "beside the point"?
A:The expression "beside the point" is from ancient archery and literally means your shot was wide of the target. Its figurative meaning, that your argument is irrelevant, entered the language about 1352, as did "You've missed the mark." Both suggest that regardless of your intentions, your invalid statement is outside the subject under discussion.

Q:Why is a marathon race exactly 26 miles and 385 yard long?
A:In 1908, the first modern Olympic marathon was designed to start at Windsor Castle and end in front of the Royal box in the London Stadium, a distance of exactly 26 miles, 385 yards, and that became the official distance. The race honored Pheidippedes, who in 490 B.C. had run 22 miles, 1470 yards to carry news to Athens that the Greeks had defeated the Persians on the plain of Marathon.

Just Stuff Q&A
Q: What is the best way to survive in quicksand?
A: Contrary to conventional wisdom (and countless popular movies), surviving a fall into quicksand is relatively easy. According to a recent Dutch study, the best advice is to grin and bear The calmer you are, the more quickly the gunky material will stabilize and you can float your way to safety. Struggling will only increase the suction and hence the danger.

Q: What fragrance did scientists discover was strongly seductive to female cheetahs?
A: Calvin Kline's Obsession for Men.

Q: What is the name of the first gorilla to learn sign language?
A: Koko. According to scientists at Stanford University, this gorilla prodigy can communicate more than 1000 signs based on standard American Sign Language.

Interesting & Odd Animal Kingdom Facts
Looking like a carved chessmen and propelling himself forward in an upright position by means of a fan like dorsal fin is the six-inch-long seahorse.
     Not content with his singular appearance and swimming style, the male seahorse further compounds his strangeness by actually giving birth to his offspring, a procedure considered highly unorthodox for any father, in or out of the water.
     A few weeks before the seahorse gives birth, the sea mare has a rendezvous with Papa and carefully deposits her eggs in a kangaroo-like pouch in his abdomen. (The female is pouchless.)     Within this protective pouch the eggs are fertilized and incubated.
     When his tiny, squirming progeny are finally ready to be hatched, birth pangs seize the seahorse. With delivery near, he fastens himself securely by his strong, prehensile tail to some convenient underwater plant and waits for his quarter-inch babies – the image of Daddy, of course – to leap violently out of his distended brood pouch.
     From the time the little sea colts emerge, they can swim and move completely on their own. For a moment, the little ones swarm over the body of the father and then off they go, striking out bravely to meet the hazards of the dangerous, watery world into which they have been so strangely brought forth.

Some More Stuff
After mating, the male midwife toad collects the female’s eggs, wraps them around his hind legs, and carries them around with him for a month or more before depositing them in shallow water where they hatch into tadpoles.

Beelzebufoampinga, the "devil frog," could be the largest frog that ever existed. It measured 16 inches long and weighed about 10 pounds; its mouth was enormous, and it was a predator. Fortunately, it became extinct about 65 million years ago.

The smallest snake known to science is the Leptotyphlopscarlae, the Barbados thread snake, native to the Caribbean island of Barbados. A full-grown snake measures just 4 inches long.

The world's smallest seahorse is Satomi’s pygmy seahorse, which measures only about half an inch.

Odd Stuff in History
During World War II, a young man entered an enlistment center and eagerly asked to join the service. He said his name was Kincaid, he was twenty-one years old, and he wanted to become a flyer.
He was accepted into the Air Force and after training in the United States he was assigned to a bomber squadron at the Benghazi airbase in North Africa.
     As a gunner on a B-24 bomber, Kincaid soon ran up a terrific record, was decorated, and was made a sergeant.
     Then one day his buddy was killed, and so deeply did his friend’s death affect the young airman that he asked for a transfer.
     The transfer was granted. The flyer returned to the United States and immediately went to see his commanding officer. His name, he told the astonished officer, was not Kincaid, it was Fletcher, and he was not twenty-one years old, as his military records stated, but sixteen. He had been only fifteen when he had enlisted the year before, and he had lied about both his name and age.
     Tom Fletcher was the youngest combat flyer in World War II. At the age of sixteen he was already a veteran. He had completed thirty-five combat missions, had flown 300 combat flying hours, had won the Distinguished Flying Cross, and had been given the Air Medal with one silver cluster and five bronze clusters.

The Pennsylvania Dutch – a community of religious people who live in a simple way in Eastern Pennsylvania – are not Dutch but German. The sect has been misnamed, perhaps because the German word Deutch, meaning "German," was confused with "Dutch" by people unfamiliar with the German language.

Did you know that the Nobel Peace Prize was named after Alfred B. Nobel? The irony of that is Mr. Nobel was the inventor of dynamite, which caused the death of millions of soldiers in wars all over the world.

Weather Facts About Lightning
Most lightning travels 10 miles (16 km) or less. But depending on other atmospheric conditions, some lightning can travel 20 miles (32 km) or more.

Within a lightning bolt, the air is heated to temperatures above 50,000°F (22,760°C) – that's many times hotter than the surface of the sun!

The ancient Greeks and Romans erected temples at sites where lightning struck. The idea was to worship the gods at these sites in order to appease their anger.

Lightning detection equipment works by sensing a brief but intense burst of radio energy that comes right before the actual lightning. This energy, called a sferic, is what causes the static on your radio immediately before the flash.

Depending on the conductivity of the soil or surface, lightning can spread out in a radius over 60 feet (18 m) from where it first struck.

Just Stuff Q& A
Q: What is a MacGuffin?
A: A MacGuffin is a plot device that motivates the characters and advances the plot, but is not ultimately important to the audience. In short, a MacGuffin is the papers, or the money, or the diamonds that set the story in motion. The term was coined by Angus McPhail, but owes its significance to Alfred Hitchcock who used the concept in many of his major films.

Q: Who killed Laura Palmer in the TV series Twin Peaks?
A: Her father Leland Palmer.

Q: Who did the creator of Twin Peaks originally want to be the killer?
A: Nobody. When writer/director David Lynch conceived the show, he did not plan to reveal the identity of the killer because he wanted to use the murder to explore the real story of the series: the steamy underside of small town America. In other words, the homicide investigation was meant to be a MacGuffin.

Q: Who was Carolyn Keene?
A: The pen name shared by numerous authors of books in the Nancy Drew mystery series. Mildred Wirt Benson, the first "Nancy Drew," wrote nearly 2 dozen of these best-selling teen mysteries, but still remained relatively unknown.

Let's talk planets. Facts about Mars
Average distance from the sun.
141,500,000 miles (227,900,000 km)

Equatorial Diameter
4219 miles (6794 km)

Hottest day: 70°F (20°C)
Coldest night: -220°F (-40°C)
Average: -60°F (-50°C)

Length of a Day
24 hours, 39 min.

Length of a Year
687 Earth-days

Atmospheric Composition
95% carbon dioxide
3% nitrogen
2% other gases

Number of Moons

Largest Moon

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