Little known facts

  • Thomas Edison got patents for a method of making concrete furniture and a cigar which was supposed to burn forever

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • When a giraffe’s baby is born it falls from a height of six feet, normally without being hurt.

  • To “testify” was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles.

  • A group of unicorns is called a blessing.

  • Twelve or more cows are known as a “flink.”

  • A group of frogs is called an army.

  • A group of rhinos is called a crash.

  • A group of kangaroos is called a mob.

  • A group of whales is called a pod.

  • A group of geese is called a gaggle.

  • A group of ravens is called a murder.

  • A group of officers is called a mess.

  • A group of larks is called an exaltation.

  • A group of owls is called a parliament.

  • The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

  • Dartboards are made out of horsehairs.

  • The nursery rhyme "Ring Around the Rosey" is a rhyme about the plague. Infected people with the plague would get red circular sores (”Ring around the rosey…”), these sores would smell very badly so common folks would put flowers on their bodies somewhere (inconspicuously), so that it would cover the smell of the sores (”…a pocket full of posies…”), People who died from the plague would be burned so as to reduce the possible spread of the disease (”…ashes, ashes, we all fall down!”)

  • The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time television were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

  • Barbie’s measurements if she were life size: 39-23-33. (Are those measurements worth diamond rings?)

  • In the 1983 film “JAWS 3D” the shark blows up. Some of the shark guts were stuffed animals (ET dolls) being sold at the time.

  • 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.

  • 111,111,111 multiplied by 111,111,111 equals 12,345,678,987,654,321.

  • Iguanas and Komodo dragons don’t have two penises. In fact, they have a single penis, but it is split in two (pretty much ‘Y’-shaped.) This organ is known as a hemipenes. Snakes also share this interesting feature. Apparently, the dual penis is for ease of left-handed or right-handed mating.

  • No animal, once frozen solid (i.e., water solidifies and turns to ice) survives when thawed, because the ice crystals formed inside cells would break open the cell membranes. However there are certain frogs that can survive the experience of being frozen. These frogs make special proteins which prevent the formation of ice (or at least keep the crystals from becoming very large), so that they actually never freeze even though their body temperature is below zero Celsius. The water in them remains liquid: a phenomenon known as ’supercooling.’ If you disturb one of these frogs (just touching them even), the water in them quickly freezes solid and they die.

  • 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. (Unfortunately progesterone wasn’t available in Ancient Rome, so if you lost the match, you were still prone to eye gouging from the wife.)

  • Jethro Tull is not the name of the rock singer/flautist responsible for such songs as “Aqualung” and “Thick as a Brick.” Jethro Tull is the name of the band. The singer is Ian Anderson. The original Jethro Tull was an English horticulturalist who invented the seed drill.

  • Studies show that if a cat falls off the seventh floor of a building it has about thirty percent less chance of surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor. It supposedly takes about eight floors for the cat to realize what is occurring, relax and correct itself. At about that height it hits maximum speed and when it hits the ground it’s rib cage absorbs most of the impact. (Don’t try this. Just take our word for it.)

  • Ivory bar soap floating was a mistake. They had been over-mixing the soap formula causing excess air bubbles that made it float. Customers wrote and told how much they loved that it floated, and it has floated ever since.

  • “Freelance” comes from a knight whose lance was free for hire, (i.e. not pledged to one master.)

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