Category Archives: Fun Facts

European Day of Languages

September 26th was the European Day of Languages, an event this country would never think to have.  But in Europe it’s an annual event which started in 2001. According to The Writer’s Almanac, it s purpose is  “to celebrate human language, encourage language learning, and bring attention to the importance of being multilingual in a

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A Halloween Story

During a recent trip to Los Angeles, I had stayed for three nights at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  It was an older hotel, but nice, and conveniently located on Hollywood Boulevard.  Everything was fine until the van ride to the airport Sunday night, when the van driver casually asked if I’d seen any ghosts. Excuse

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The Truth About State Flowers

What is you state flower?  Ours in Ohio is the scarlet carnation.  But maybe the more pertinent question is where did your state flower come from? I just ran across an article entitled “State Flowers’ Dirty Little Secret” in the October 19, 2015 issue of The Christian Science Monitor Weekly.  Most states  choose native species

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For the Advancement of Science

On September 20, 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science was founded in Philadelphia.  (http://www.aaas.org/)  Its purpose was to “procure for the labors of scientific men increased facilities and a wider usefulness.” This was actually a new concept, the term “scientist” having been used in England for the first time in 1833.  Of course,

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Can Dishwashing Improve Mental Health?

I receive a daily email from the publishers of Time magazine, and this article caught my eye.  It reports on a new study that claims dishwashing can improve mental health by lowering stress levels… if done “mindfully”.  According to the report —   In the study, researchers at Florida State University had 51 students wash

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Dental Giants

Next to dinosaurs, the saber-tooth tigers are the probably the most interesting prehistoric creatures.  I found some facts about them in the October 2015 issue of Smithsonian magazine. Young tigers grew their trademark fangs at the rate of six millimeters a month, almost twice as fast as human fignernails.  But it still took at least

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Happy Birthday to Airmail

As an Air Force veteran, I always like to keep up on aviation milestones, and September 8, 1920, was when transcontinental airmail service began.  From The Writer’s Almanac: The Wright Brothers had made their first flight in 1903, but it took a while for them to convince the U.S. government that airplanes were a technology worth

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Happy Labor Day!

Tomorrow we celebrate Labor Day.  This is a holiday with a generic sound, unlike Memorial Day, or President’s Day, where the purpose is clearer from the title.  So how did we get here? Labor Day was actually first celebrated on September 5th, 1882 in New York City.  According to The Writer’s Almanac — “Organizers were

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The Origin of Honeymoons

I was perusing my copy of An Uncommon History of Common Things and I stumbled upon the entry for honeymoons. As usual for these topics, it has quite a history. The term goes back to 1546, when “getting away from it all” had an entirely different connotation. In ancient Norse, a hjunottsmanathr was when a

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