A room without books is like a body without a soul.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
The following list was sent to me by a friend, who occasionally sends me interesting and/or witty items. Each should find something surprising. I liked the with 111s.
Stuff you didn't know
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
Coca-Cola was originally green.
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska
The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28%
(now get this...)
The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $ 16,400
Average number of people airborne over U.S. in any given hour: 61,000
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.
The San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs - Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
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 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 Declaration of Independence on July 4: John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.
Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace
Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter 'A'?
A. One thousand
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common?
A. All were invented by women.
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
Q. Which day of the year, are more collect calls made than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day
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 new 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.' It's where we get the phrase 'mind your P's and Q's'
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.
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!
YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2014 when...
1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries...
7. Every commercial on television has a Web site at the bottom of the screen
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to get it!
10. You get up in the morning and go on-line before getting your coffee
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :)
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
I believe that Republicans have never thought that democracy
was anything but a tribal myth.
I learned something watching a BBC program on coffee, which I will share with equally dim wits. The journalist followed the trail from plant to coffee shops in London. I knew that much coffee is consumed in London, having observed the flowering of coffee shops in recent years. Tea is no longer the national drink, but 80% of the coffee is instant, made from robusta beans: the cheapest.
If asked, I would have said that the coffee is sourced in Africa or South America. It turns out that the biggest supplier of UK coffee is Vietnam and that country is one of the leading producers of coffee in the world. I did not know that coffee was grown in that country...and I assumed--wrongly--that I knew the country well. It seems that my knowledge is out of date, because the communist government forced the growth of coffee production in recent years, mostly the cheap robusta variety. The leading exporter has become a billionaire: a long way from Viet Cong fighter in rubber sandals or beetle-nut chewing mamasan in conical hat planting rice...
NB. I have taken +/- 50,000 photographs. This one, shot in Bangkok in February 1972 from a boat on a tour of the klongs, is one of my favorites.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity;
and I'm not sure about the universe.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.