Random Tidbits


Benjamin Franklin once wrote an essay about on the possibility of waterskiing.

What did Christopher Columbus look like? No one knows - his portrait was never painted.

P.T. Barnum staged the first international beauty contest.

Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein married their first cousins.

Though deaf and blind, Helen Keller learned English, French, and German. 

Sigmund Freud smoked 20 cigars a day.

The word crochet is derived from the Middle French word croc or croche, meaning hook.

Do you know why most crocheters in earlier eras held the crochet hook in their hand like a pencil? In the 1800s, this hand positioning was thought to be more feminine and graceful. Many crocheters now hold their hooks in the palms of their hands (often called the "knife hold") to reduce carpal tunnel.

The earliest written reference to crochet didn't appear until 1812. Crochet didn't become the widely popular craft we know today until the 1840s.

Crochet patterns have an underlying mathematical structure and have been used to illustrate shapes in hyperbolic geometry that are difficult to reproduce using other media or are difficult to understand when viewed two-dimensionally.

It is believed that the earliest forms of crochet were created using a bent finger instead of a hook.

The earliest known types of knitting by nomadic people in the desert places of North Africa actually used circular or narrow, oblong wooden frames. 

One of the earliest known examples of knitting (formed on two sticks by pulling loops through loops) were a pair of cotton socks found in Egypt from the first millennium A.D. 

The knitting machine was invented in 1589 (during the reign of Queen Elizabeth) by William Lee, a clergyman. After the invention of the knitting machine, knitting was gradually taken over by guild-organized cottage industries in the 17th and 18th centuries

Knitting first appeared in England during the 13th century in the form of felted caps that were worn by soldiers and sailors. However, knitting did not become a popular method for creating other garments due to the difficulty of producing quality steel needles

Early knitting needles were typically made from bone, ivory, or tortoise shell.

Changes in fashion in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as well as the huge influx of cheap imported knitwear, led to decreased interest in knitting. The cost of buying yarn compared unfavorably to buying ready-made clothes.

A rooster, duck and sheep were the first living creatures to fly in a hot-air balloon in 1783. The balloon flew on a tether, rising to 1,500 feet and traveling two miles before being brought back to the ground. The animals survived, though the rooster suffered a broken wing.

The tradition of serving champagne after a hot-air balloon flight originated in the 18th century as a way of appeasing French farmers who didn't much like balloons landing in their fields and crushing their crops.

In 1991 Per Lindstrand and Richard Branson become the first people to pilot a balloon across the Pacific. Traveling 6,700 miles in 46 hours at speeds of up to 245mph, they flew from Japan to Arctic Canada.

The first successful circumnavigation of the world in a balloon took place in 1999. Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones left from Switzerland and landed in Egypt just shy of 20 days later.

It was January 7, 1785 when the first English Channel balloon crossing took place. Frenchman Jean-Pierre Francois Blanchard and American John Jeffries completed the trip in a hydrogen balloon in two-and-a-half hours.

Vijaypat Singhania set the world altitude record for highest hot-air balloon flight in November when he reached 69,850ft.

The 1900 Olympic Games included croquet, fishing, billiards and checkers. Tug-of-war was an Olympic event between 1900 and 1920.

In a 1936 Ping-Pong tournament, the players volleyed for over two hours on the opening serve.

The first tennis balls were stuffed with human hair.

In the 1880s waterskiing was known as plankgliding.

Boxing rings are called rings because they used to be round.

Karate was invented in India. It was not introduced to Japan until about 1917.

It takes .05 seconds for a human muscle to respond to stimulus. 

It takes .06 seconds for an automotive air bag to fully inflate. 

It takes .2 seconds for the International Space Station to travel one mile. 

It takes .46 seconds for a 90-mph fastball to reach home plate. 

It takes one second for a hummingbird's wings to beat 70 times. 

It takes four seconds for 3,000,000 gallons of water to flow over Niagara Falls.

The tradition of sending Christmas cards originated in England in 1843.

Assuming Rudolph's in front, there are 40,320 ways to arrange the eight other reindeer. 

The traditional three colors of Christmas are green, red, and gold. Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth; red symbolizes the blood of Christ, and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.

Evergreens (from the Old English word aefie meaning "always" and gowan meaning "to grow") have been symbols of eternal life and rebirth since ancient times. The pagan use and worship of evergreen boughs and trees has evolved into the Christianized Christmas tree.

All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.

The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers.

Who still believes in Santa? Studies say more four-year-olds do than any other age group.

Only 10 percent of U.S. households put cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve.

U.S. kids leave an estimated 812 million cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve.

More than 25 million kids visit Santa in malls nationwide each year. 

Worldwide, Christmas has been celebrated on 135 different days of the year.

Americans send about two billion Christmas cards every year.

The first U.S. gold rush was in North Carolina in 1803. It started when a boy found a 17-pound nugget on his father's farm. It supplied all the gold for the nation's mints until 1829.

The word garnet comes from the Latin word for pomegranate. (Garnets were thought to resemble pomegranate seeds.)

From 330 B.C. to A.D. 1237, most of the world's emeralds came from Cleopatra's mine in Egypt.

The name "turquoise" comes from the fact that it was first brought to Europe from the Mediterranean by Levantine traders, also known as Turks.

Ancient Greeks named amber from the word electron, because rubbing amber gives off static electricity.

Legend says that one day Cupid cut Venus's fingernails while she was sleeping and left the clippings scattered on the ground. So that no part of Venus would ever disappear, the Fates turned them into stone. The stone: onyx, Greek for "fingernail."

In the 1600s the Dutch used to cover their mirrors with curtains when not in use, lest the reflectiveness be used up.

Ben Franklin mounted mirrors outside his second-story window so he could secretly see who was knocking at his front door.

The word mirror comes from the Latin mirari, meaning "to wonder at." It's also the root word for miracle and admire.

In ancient China reflective pieces of polished brass were placed over doorknobs so that evil spirits would scare themselves away.

In olden days some thought that the reflection of the body in a shiny surface or mirror was an expression of the spiritual self, and therefore if anything happened to disturb that reflection, injury would follow. This was the origin of the superstition that breaking a mirror would bring seven years of bad luck.

In 1994 Russian astronauts orbiting in the Mir spacecraft tried using mirrors to reflect sunlight into northern areas of their country, in an attempt to lengthen the short growing season. It didn't work.

Marcel Marceau's greatest-hits album consisted of 40 minutes of silence, followed by applause.

When he needed inspiration, Ludwig van Beethoven poured water on himself.

Mozart wrote a piano piece that required the player to use both hands and his nose.

The original jukeboxes came with earphones - only one person could listen at a time.

Singer Wayne Newton is a descendant of Pocahontas.

The musical Cats ran on Broadway for 18 years.

Superglue is so strong that a single square-inch bond can lift a ton of weight.

Superglue doesn't stick to the bottle because it needs moisture to set, and there is no moisture in the bottle.

Cyanoacrylate products are a $325-million-a-year industry. Approximately 90 percent of U.S. homes have at least one tube.

During the Vietnam War tubes of superglue were put in U.S. soldiers' first-aid kits to help seal wounds.

Special kinds of superglue are now used in hospitals worldwide, reducing the need for sutures, stitches, and staples.

Superglue is now used in forensic detection. When investigators open a foil packet of ethyl-gel cyanoacrylate, the fumes settle on skin oils left behind in human fingerprints, turning the invisible smears into visible marks.

Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

The ancient Egyptians worshiped a god called Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a blazing disk in his crown. At the solstice, when Ra began to recover from the illness, the Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes which symbolized for them the triumph of life over death.

Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called the Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To mark the occasion, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs.

Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. 

Most 19th-century Americans found Christmas trees an oddity. The first record of one being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania, although trees had been a tradition in many German homes much earlier. The Pennsylvania German settlements had community trees as early as 1747. But, as late as the 1840s Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and not accepted by most Americans.

By the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S. It was noted that Europeans used small trees about four feet in height, while Americans liked their Christmas trees to reach from floor to ceiling. 

Dr. Seuss coined the word nerd in his 1950 book If I Ran the Zoo.

How did grocers get their name? They sold goods by the gross.

How did hammocks get their name? They were first made from the fibers of the hamack tree.

Theater spotlights used to burn lime for light. Thus the term limelight.

The lollipop was named after Lolly Pop, one of the most famous racehorses of the early 1900s.

Police are sometimes called the fuzz because London police once wore fuzzy helmets.

One explanation for the origin of the turkey's name is that Christopher Columbus thought that the land he discovered was connected to India, and believed the bird he discovered (the turkey) was a type of peacock. He therefore called it 'tuka,' which is 'peacock' in Tamil, an Indian language.

The Native American name for turkey is 'firkee'; some say this is how turkeys got their name.

Turkeys have great hearing, but no external ears. They can also see in color, and have excellent visual acuity and a wide field of vision (about 270 degrees), which makes sneaking up on them difficult. However, turkeys have a poor sense of smell, but an excellent sense of taste.

A turkey under sixteen weeks of age is called a fryer, while a young roaster is five to seven months old.

Age is a determining factor in taste. Old, large males are preferable to young toms (males) as tom meat is stringy. The opposite is true for females: old hens are tougher birds.

At one time, the turkey and the bald eagle were each considered as the national symbol of America. Benjamin Franklin was one of those who argued passionately on behalf of the turkey. Franklin felt the turkey, although "vain and silly", was a better choice than the bald eagle, whom he felt was "a coward".

Cream cheese was invented in 1872; Philadelphia Cream Cheese hit the market in 1880. It wasn't until Joseph and Isaac Breakstone began selling their Breakstone Cream Cheese brand in 1920 that New York bagel eaters discovered it.

According to Guinness World Records, the world's largest bagel was made by Bruegger's in Syracuse, New York. It weighed 868 pounds, measured 6 feet in diameter and 20 inches thick, and was blueberry flavored.

During the 2002 American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels, Anaheim mayor Tom Daly bet New York mayor Michael Bloomberg a crate of oranges and chilies that the Angels would win. Bloomberg's bet: a crate of Nathan's hot dogs and 48 H&H bagels. Daly won.

Some historians credit a Viennese baker for creating the bagel to commemorate the victory of Polish King Jan III Sobieski over the Turks in 1683. The bread was formed into the shape of a buegel or stirrup, because the liberated Austrians had clung to the king's stirrups as he rode by. 

There are numerous etiologies of the word bagel. In Yiddish, it was beygel, from the Middle High German bouc and Old High German boug, both meaning a ring or bracelet. Another possible origin is from the German word bügel, for a round loaf of bread. 

In 1927, Polish baker Harry Lender came to New Haven, Connecticut, USA, and founded the first bagel factory outside New York City. His company is credited with being the nation's first frozen bagel manufacturer and the first to put bagels in supermarkets.

Saturday mail delivery in Canada was eliminated by Canada Post on February 1, 1969!


In Tokyo, a bicycle is faster than a car for most trips of less than 50 minutes!


There are 18 different animal shapes in the Animal Crackers cookie zoo!


Should there be a crash, Prince Charles and Prince William never travel on the same airplane as a precaution!


Your body is creating and killing 15 million red blood cells per second!


The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache on a standard playing card!


There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos!


There is one slot machine in Las Vegas for every eight inhabitants!


The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. It was the fashion in Renaissance Florence to shave them off!


Every day 20 banks are robbed. The average take is $2,500!


The most popular first name in the world is Muhammad!


Tablecloths were originally meant to be served as towels with which dinner guests could wipe their hands and faces after eating!


Tourists visiting Iceland should know that tipping at a restaurant is considered an insult!


One car out of every 230 made was stolen last year!


The names of Popeye's four nephews are Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye, and Poopeye!


Until the nineteenth century, solid blocks of tea were used as money in Siberia!


The Nobel Peace Prize medal depicts three naked men with their hands on each other's shoulders!


When glass breaks, the cracks move faster than 3,000 miles per hour. To photograph the event, a camera must shoot at a millionth of a second!


A Boeing 747 airliner holds 57,285 gallons of fuel!


A car uses 1.6 ounces of gas idling for one minute. Half an ounce is used to start the average automobile!


The Philadelphia mint produces 26 million pennies per day!


A lightning bolt generates temperatures five times hotter than those found at the sun's surface!


A violin contains about 70 separate pieces of wood!


It is estimated that 4 million "junk" telephone calls, phone solicitations by persons or programmed machine are made every day in the United States!


It takes glass one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times!


Forest fires move faster uphill than downhill!


Almost half the newspapers in the world are published in the United States and Canada!


The two-foot long bird called a Kea that lives in New Zealand likes to eat the strips of rubber around car windows!


Most lipstick contains fish scales!


Skepticisms is the longest word that alternates hands when typing!


One ragweed plant can release as many as one billion grains of pollen!


It's illegal to drink beer out of a bucket while you're sitting on a curb in St. Louis!


The first product to have a bar code was Wrigleys gum!


No piece of square dry paper can be folded more than 7 times in half!


A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, a group of geese in the air is a skein!


Over 2500 left handed people a year are killed from using products made for right handed people!


There are more than 10 million bricks in the Empire State Building!


If you counted 24 hours a day, it would take 31,688 years to reach one trillion!


Taphephobia is the fear of being buried alive!


A crocodile always grows new teeth to replace the old teeth!


The sun is 330,330 times larger than the earth!


Clinophobia is the fear of beds!


A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second!


Porcupines float in water!


Pinocchio is Italian for "pine eye"!


The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog." uses every letter of the alphabet!


The average life span of a major league baseball is 5-7 pitches!


The Mint once considered producing doughnut-shaped coins!


The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is "uncopyrightable"!


The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds!


The sloth (a mammal) moves so slowly that green algae can grow undisturbed on its fur!


Cat urine glows under a black-light!


The world's termites outweigh the world's humans 10 to 1!


The electric chair was invented by a dentist!


Windmills always turn counter-clockwise. Except for the windmills in Ireland!


A hedgehog's heart beats 300 times a minute on average!


Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand!


The placement of a donkey's eyes in its head enables it to see all four feet at all times!


Human teeth are almost as hard as rocks!


A mole can dig a tunnel 300 feet long in just one night!


Ancient Egyptians slept on pillows made of stone!


A hippo can open its mouth wide enough to fit a 4 foot tall child inside!


A quarter has 119 grooves on its edge, a dime has one less groove!


Hummingbirds can weigh less than a penny!!


Until 1796, there was a state in the United States called Franklin. Today it's known as Tennessee!


The Earth weighs around 6,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons (5,940 billion billion metric tons)!


A cockroach can live several weeks with its head cut off - it dies from starvation!


Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie!


The average person has over 1,460 dreams a year!


It's against the law to pawn your dentures in Las Vegas!


One in every 4 Americans has appeared on television!


The average American/Canadian will eat about 11.9 pounds of cereal per year!


It's against the law to burp, or sneeze in a certain church in Omaha, Nebraska!


you're born with 300 bones, but when you get to be an adult, you only have 206!


Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete!


Over 10,000 birds a year die from smashing into windows!


The state of Florida is bigger than England!


There are more than one million animal species on Earth!


In Natoma, Kansas, it's illegal to throw knives at men wearing striped suits


It was once against the law to have a pet dog in a city in Iceland!


Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day!


Thomas Edison, lightbulb inventor, was afraid of the dark!


During your lifetime, you'll eat about 60,000 pounds of food, that's the weight of about 6 elephants!


Some ribbon worms will eat themselves if they cant find any food!


Dolphins sleep with one eye open!


The worlds oldest piece of chewing gum is over 9000 years old!


In space, astronauts cannot cry properly, because there is no gravity, so the tears can't flow down their faces!


There are more plastic flamingos in the U.S, than real ones!


About 3000 years ago, most Egyptians died by the time they were 30!


More people use blue toothbrushes, than red ones!


A sneeze travels out your mouth at over 100 m.p.h.!


Your ribs move about 5 million times a year, every time you breathe!


In the White House, there are 13,092 knives, forks and spoons!


Slugs have 4 noses!


Recycling one glass jar, saves enough energy to watch T.V for 3 hours!


Lightning strikes about 6,000 times per minute on this planet!


Owls are one of the only birds who can see the color blue!


The average American/Canadian drinks about 600 sodas a year!


It was once against the law to slam your car door in a city in Switzerland!

There wasn't a single pony in the Pony Express, just horses!


Honeybees have a type of hair on their eyes!


The starfish is one of the few animals who can turn it's stomach inside-out!


Eskimo ice cream is neither icy, or creamy!


A jellyfish is 95 percent water!


In Bangladesh, kids as young as 15 can be jailed for cheating on their finals!


The katydid bug hears through holes in its hind legs!


A company in Taiwan makes dinnerware out of wheat, so you can eat your plate!


More Monopoly money is printed in a year, than real money printed throughout the world!


The elephant is one of the few mammals that can't jump!


The penguin is the only bird who can swim, but not fly!


Q is the only letter in the alphabet that does not appear in the name of any of the United States!


One quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet!


America once issued a 5-cent bill!


You'll eat about 35,000 cookies in a lifetime! Wow!


Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different!


There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with: orange, purple, and month! Interesting tries from our readers: orange: door hinge, melange (French for mix) purple: hurtle, durple?, turtle month: once, bunth?, hunch


Babe Ruth wore a cabbage leaf under his cap to keep him cool! He changed it every 2 innings!


Fortune cookies were actually invented in America, in 1918, by Charles Jung!


A man named Charles Osborne had the hiccups for 69 years! Wow!

A giraffe can clean its ears with its 21-inch tongue!


Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying!


Here are some interesting numbers to look at! (*1997)

166,875,000,000 pieces of mail are delivered each year in the U.S!

1,525,000,000 miles of telephone wire a strung across the U.S!

123,000,000 cars are being driven down the U.S's highways!

85,000,000 tons of paper are used each year in the U.S!

56,000,000 people go to Major League baseball each year!


Bats always turn left when exiting a cave!


The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head!


In Tokyo, they sell toupees for dogs!


There are over 58 million dogs in the U.S!


Dogs and cats consume over $11 billion worth of pet food a year!


Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails!


Humans blink over 10,000,000 times a year!


In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II was named an "Honorary Harlem Globetrotter."!


Every second, Americans collectively eat one hundred pounds of chocolate


A fetus develops fingerprints at eighteen weeks!


The fear of vegetables is called Lachanophobia!.. More fears...


There are approximately fifty Bibles sold each minute across the world!


Every year, kids in North America spend close to half a billion dollars on chewing gum!


An earthquake on Dec. 16, 1811 caused parts of the Mississippi River to flow backwards!


A person uses approximately fifty-seven sheets of toilet paper each day!


Honolulu is the only place in the United States that has a royal palace!


One gallon of used motor oil can ruin approximately one million gallons of fresh water!


More money is spent on gardening than on any other hobby!


In 32 years. there are about 1 billion seconds!


Rice paper does not have any rice in it!


Baby robins eat 14 feet of earthworms every day!


In England, in the 1880's, "Pants" was considered a dirty word!


Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin!


The blesbok, a South African antelope, is almost the same color as grapejuice!


The average person laughs 13 times a day!


Dogs can hear sounds that you cant!


Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women!


It is estimated that millions of trees in the world are accidentally planted by squirrels who bury nuts and then forget where they hid them!


Ernest Vincent Wright wrote a novel, "Gadsby", which contains over 50,000 words -- none of them with the letter E!


Of all the words in the English language, the word set has the most definitions!


A toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans!


Every 45 seconds, a house catches on fire in the United States!


The sun is 330,330 times larger than the earth!


The most used letter in the English alphabet is 'E', and 'Q' is the least used!


There are more than 50,000 earthquakes throughout the world every year!


The original name for the butterfly was 'flutterby'!


Dogs and cats, like humans, are either right or left handed... or is that paws?!


The opposite sides of a dice cube always add up to seven!


Nose prints are used to identify dogs, just like humans use fingerprints!


Bulls are colorblind, therefore will usually charge at a matador's waving cape no matter what color it is -- be it red or neon yellow!


Apples are more efficient than caffeine in keeping people awake in the mornings!


Smelling bananas and/or green apples (smelling, not eating) can help you lose weight!


A hard working adult sweats up to 4 gallons per day. Most of the sweat evaporates before a person realizes it's there, though!


The average ice berg weighs 20,000,000 tons!


The poison-arrow frog has enough poison to kill about 2,200 people!


A lump of pure gold the size of a matchbox can be flattened into a sheet the size of a tennis court!


After eating, a housefly regurgitates its food and then eats it again!

In the Middle Ages, having ants in the house was a sign of good luck.

Only pharaohs were allowed to eat mushrooms in ancient Egypt.

The Chinese used to scatter firecrackers around the house - as fire alarms.

In medieval England jurors weren't fed until they reached a decision.

In England in 1558, beards were taxed according to their length.

When a cat died in ancient Egypt, its owners shaved off their eyebrows as a sign of mourning.


How do you know when you're playing with an Italian deck of cards? There are no queens.

The ancient Greeks played cards. In those days aces were known as "dogs."

The spots on dice and dominoes are called pips.

The game Simon Says was originally called Do This, Do That.

In a standard deck of cards, the king of hearts is the only king without a mustache.

Most frequently landed-on squares in Monopoly: Illinois Ave., GO, B&O Railroad.


Al Capone's older brother Vince was a policeman in Nebraska.

Alexander Graham Bell refused to have a phone in his study - the ringing drove him nuts.

The day Judy Garland died, a tornado touched down in Kansas.

Buzz Aldrin's mother's maiden name was Moon.

Kodak founder George Eastman hated to have his picture taken.

P.J. Tierney, father of the modern diner, died of indigestion in 1917 after eating at a diner.


Cats cannot taste things that are sweet. The taste buds of a cat cannot detect sugar.

Originally kitty litter was made from sand, but in 1948 it was discovered that clay was more absorbent.

A cat's collarbone does not connect to any other bones but instead sits buried in muscle. This makes it easier for them to squeeze through tight spots.

Cats are able to see in the dark. They see at one-sixth the light level required for human vision.

Cats purr at the same frequency as an idling diesel engine. This is around 26 purrs per second.

Cats use whiskers to gauge whether or not they can fit through an opening.


The mask in Halloween is actually William Shatner's face. The production crew bought the cheapest mask they could find at a Halloween store, which so happened to be Shatner. The crew spray painted it white.

Psycho was the first movie to show a toilet flushing.

The movie Final Destination was actually based on a rejected X-Files episode.

Rachel Turner was almost 30 years old in the movie The Craft. She played a high schooler.

Church, the cat in Pet Sematary, was actually played by seven different cats.

Bosco Chocolate Syrup was used as blood in Night of the Living Dead.


In 1952, little Anne Odell's school restricted students to toys no bigger than a matchbox. So her dad, an engineer, made her a tiny die-cast steamroller-the first in a fleet of famous Matchbox cars.

Gumby wasn't originally meant as a toy. Illustrator Art Clokey conceived Gumby as a character for an animated jazz video, but studio heads knew his greatest fans would be kids.

The Frisbee got its name from a game popular with Yale University students, who threw pie tins from the Frisbie Pie Bakery.

Twister began as a promotion for shoe polish.

The inventor of the Slinky, Richard James, left his wife, six children and the Slinky fortune to join a cult in South America.

The game Operation began as a class project at the University of Illinois by inventor John Spinello.

When Alfonso Cuarón signed on to direct the third Harry Potter movie, he asked the trio to write a short essay on their characters. True to their roles, Emma Watson submitted a 16-page paper, Daniel submitted a one-page essay, and Rupert never turned his in.

At the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the credits say, "No dragons were harmed in the making of this movie."

Throughout all eight films, Daniel Radcliffe went through roughly 160 pairs of glasses.

Hedwig was played by three male owls in the movies. Their names were Gizmo, Ook, and Sprout.

Emma Watson auditioned for the role of Hermione at her school gym for fun. Casting agents went to several schools in search of actors, and Emma won the part.

The actress who played Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson) was 37 years old during the second film. She was the oldest actress to portray a Hogwarts student.

Wheel of Fortune's original name was "Shoppers Bazaar" and included a wheel that was much bigger and featured carnival sound effects.

When athletes or celebrities appear on Wheel of Fortune, their winnings are donated to a charity of their choice.

The Wheel is equipped with over 200 computerized lighting instruments capable of up to 2 million different color choices.

There are seventy-three stainless steel pins on the Wheel that fly past three hard rubber "flippers," giving it an unmistakable sound.

The price of a vowel hasn't changed in 30 years. It's still a bargain at $250.

On any given tape day in the studio, more than 100 staff and crew are hard at work behind the scenes. On remote, there are over 200 local staff and crew in addition to 160 staff and crew from Los Angeles and other cities.

Modern-day (legal) tattoos are applied with a needle, tube of ink, electric motor and foot pedal. Ancient methods involved chisels, rakes and picks or soot-covered thread.

Several U.S. presidents are rumored to have had tattoos, including Franklin Pierce and Dwight Eisenhower. Theodore Roosevelt, however, is confirmed to have had a family crest inked into his chest.

"Tattoo" derives from the Polynesian term "ta" meaning to strike. Joseph Banks (1742-1821) brought the word Tattoo to Europe. It quickly replaced other ways to describe a tattoo such as "pric" or "marks".

Throughout history, the government has inspired the use of tattoos. In 1936, after the introduction of social security cards, Americans tattooed their numbers on their arms. In 1955, the assistant secretary of defense recommended U.S. citizens to tattoo their blood type on their arms in case of war.

In order to achieve a tattoo, the second layer of skin (dermis) must be pierced 50 to 3,000 times a minute by a tattoo machine. Consequently, the cells in the dermis are more stable and less likely to change throughout a person's life.

The first tattooing machine (the precursor to today's tattoo gun) was patented by Samuel F. O'Reilley in 1891. It was actually just a modification of an invention designed for autographic printing, first patented by Thomas Edison 15 years earlier.

The first apple trees were planted by Pilgrims in Massachusetts Bay Colony.

An apple tree will start bearing fruit 8-10 years after it is planted. A dwarf tree starts bearing in 3-6 years.

Apples are not self pollinating. They need bees topollinate the flowers to form the fruit.

Most apple blossoms are pink when they open but gradually fade to white.

Apples are a member of the rose family of plants along with pears, peaches, plums and cherries.

Twenty five percent of an apple's volume is air; that is why they can float.

Ursula was based on Madame Medusa from "The Rescuers" and cinema drag-queen icon Divine.

The voice of Ursula was supposed to be Bea Arthur, but she dropped out of the film due to "Golden Girls" conflicts. Pat Carroll, the woman who voiced Ursula, played evil sister Prunella in the TV-movie adaptation of "Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella."

Ariel's actual body model for Ariel was "Tiny Toons Adventures" script writer Sherri Stoner, whose movements also were used for Belle in "Beauty and the Beast."

In deleted scenes from the film, it's strongly suggested that Ursula is King Triton's sister. In the "Little Mermaid" Broadway adaptation, this fact is included in the storyline.

Ariel's underwater hair animation was based on a video of astronaut Sally Ride's hair in space.

The film's famous storm sequence took a team of 10 animators an entire year to finish the 10-minute sequence.

The first flight attendant was actually a man. A German named Mr. Heinrich Kubis was the world's first flight attendant in 1912.

The first female attendant was a registered nurse named Ellen Church in 1930. Nurses were the preferred flight attendants in this time.

In the 1960s you could not just be a flight attendant. You had to pass the height, weight, marital status test and not forgetting the age limitation. In this order, you had to be at least 5-foot-2, weigh less than 130 pounds, be single and childless and retire at the ripe old age of 32 years.

Flight attendants can be viewed as under cover agents. Many flight attendants work in collaboration with the police to curtail human trafficking. Flight attendants are trained on what to look for in people they suspect and how to respond to such situations.

A newbie flight attendant is on six months probation and is limited to wearing slightly longer skirts than seniors. After probation, they can hem their skirts to the desired length.

A yearly training program does the world the benefit of trimming any flight attendants who cannot pass it. There is a possibility it might involve checking for height violators or emergency exit windows non-fits.

Any month that starts on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th in it.

The world's first speed limit regulation was in England in 1903. It was 20 mph.

The metal instrument used in shoe stores to measure feet is called the Brannock device.

The linen bandages that were used to wrap Egyptian mummies averaged 1,000 yards in length.

The base of the Great Pyramid of Egypt is large enough to cover 10 football fields.

"Fortnight" is a contraction of "fourteen nights." In the US "two weeks" is more commonly used.

The first Starbucks sold 8oz. cups of coffee. Over the years, they have dropped the 8oz. size and have added 12oz., 16oz., 24oz. and 30oz.

One Grande coffee (320 milligrams of caffeine) has four times the amount of caffeine than Red Bull.

Starbucks uses over 93 million gallons of milk per year, which is enough to fill 155 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Santa Fe Springs California wins the prize for the most stores within a 25-mile radius with a total of 560!

There are more calories in the Starbucks cinnamon chip scone than in a McDonald's Quarter Pounder.

There are 87,000 different drink combinations available at Starbucks.

It is estimated that one eighth of the world's population lives in mountainous zones, and that mountains cover a quarter of the world's surface.

More than half of the world's fresh water originates in mountains, and all the world's major rivers are fed from mountain sources.

The Andes, which runs more than 4,900 miles, is the longest mountain range in the world.

Fold mountains are the most common type of mountains. Examples of fold mountains are the Himalayas (Asia), the Alps (Europe). They are formed due to collision of two plates, causing folding of the Earth's crust.

Fault mountains or fault-block mountains are formed when blocks of rock materials slide along faults in the Earth's crust.

Volcanic mountains are formed due to volcanic eruptions, for e.g. Mount Fuji (Japan). They are formed when volcanic magma erupts and piles up on the surface of the Earth.

Istanbul, Turkey is the only city in the world located on two continents.

The second best selling game of all time is Jenga. Jenga is a Swahili word, meaning "to build."

The name Wendy was made up for the book "Peter Pan."

The Great Pyramids used to be as white as snow because they were encased in a bright limestone that has worn off over the years.

The word "moose" comes from the native Algonquian Indian word meaning "twig eater."

The sloth moves so slowly that green algae grows in the grooves of their hair.

Humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour. That works out to about 1.5 pounds each year, so the average person will lose around 105 pounds of skin by age 70.

Humans get a new stomach lining every three to four days. Otherwise, the strong acids your stomach uses to digest food would also digest your stomach.

The small intestine is about four times as long as the average adult is tall. If it weren't looped back and forth upon itself, its length of 18 to 23 feet wouldn't fit into the abdominal cavity.

A pair of feet have 500,000 sweat glands and can produce more than a pint of sweat a day.

Laid end to end, there are about 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body.

The nails that get the most exposure and are used most frequently grow the fastest. Fingernails grow fastest on the hand that you write with and on the longest fingers.

The name for the common cold began in the 1500s because the symptoms of this virus were so similar to what happened when people were out in cold weather for too long.

Benjamin Franklin was one of the first to realize that the virus was mostly transmitted person-to-person in his 1773 "Hints Concerning What is Called Catching Cold." Franklin's take on how to steer clear of the ever-pesky cold? Exercise, bathing, and moderation in food and drink consumption.

Perhaps the biggest push ever made to figure out the direct cause of the common cold-and defeat it-was made by a British doctor in 1946. Doctor David Tyrrell formed a "collection of huts" in Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK, recruiting volunteers to get infected with cold germs so that they could be studied.

In the United States alone, conservative estimates place the number of doctor's visits due to the common cold at between 75-100 million.

Common colds are definitely seasonal, happening much more often in the winter and much less in tropical areas.

Parents miss approximately 126 million work days to stay home and care for their children in recovery; add that to the 150 million workdays that employees miss from work for being sick themselves, and the common cold costs the US economy $20 billion per year.

The word "smurf" was created when the creator, Pierre Culliford (Peyo), couldn't remember the word for salt. Instead of asking 'Passez-moi le sel', he asked 'Passez-moi le schtroumpf', and the name was born! Schtroumpf became "smurf" in English.

The Smurfs are Belgian. They became very popular worldwide after Hanna-Barbera featured them in the 1980s.

The Smurfs are specifically "three apples" tall.

Karenna Gore's Secret Service code name was Smurfette, which she has apparently regretted ever since. In 1997, she said, "Ever since I was put on the spot and told 'two
syllables' and 'It has to start with an S,' I have been cringing in the back seat when identified as 'Smurfette'."

The cartoon series was created when an NBC executive spied his daughter playing with a plush Smurf doll. After observing how much she loved the doll, he decided that the Schtroumpfs might be a good fit for his Saturday morning cartoon-fest. It was; it aired for nine seasons.

The white hat the Smurfs all wear have been around for ages and are called Phrygian caps. They're often considered symbols of liberty and were once found on the tops of Liberty Poles. You can see one on the seal of the United States Senate as well.

The country of Bhutan issued a group of postage stamps in 1973 that were actually phonograph records. These stamps had native folk songs recorded on one side that could be played on a record player.

Around 1883, the U.S. witnessed early forms of product placement in the form of a stamp. Advertising for various products was printed on the back of the three-cent stamps.

During the Apollo 11 moon flight in 1969, the astronauts had a die of a postage stamp, which they pulled an impression of when they touched down on the moon. Once the die was returned to earth, it was used to produce the 10-cent airmail stamp issued in September of 1969.

As the first country to issue stamps, Britain is the only country to have stamps without its name printed on it.

The most popular U.S. postage stamp sold over 120 million copies. It was a 1993 stamp of rock singer Elvis Presley.

"Black on Magenta," the 1856 1 cent British Guiana stamp, is the most rare and expensive stamp in the world. It is valued at $3 million today, but it hasn't been sold since 1980 when it went for $1 million.

In the vacuum of space, a bubble wouldn't be able to form due to the lack of exterior air pressure to counteract the pressure from within.

Bubbles get their color due to a phenomenon known as iridescence. As waves of light pass through the bubble, it gets distorted by reflecting off different layers of soap film.

A bubble's shell is composed of a layer of water molecules surrounded by two thin layers of soap. Technically, a bubble will freeze below 32 degrees Fahrenheit like all water. The only problem is that bubbles tend to burst after a few seconds, so in order to see a bubble freeze, the temperature needs to fall to a temperature that will freeze water molecules more quickly.

Bubbles aren't usually thought of as weapons, but that is exactly how the snapping shrimp uses them. They create a cavitation bubble that immediately collapses creating a shock wave that, for a moment, is nearly as hot as the sun.

The liquid shell of a bubble is always pulling inward due to the phenomenon known as surface tension. The water molecules try to minimize the surface area of the bubble. A sphere is the shape with the least amount of surface area while containing volume.

Anything that fractures the tenuous layer of water molecules can cause a bubble to burst. For example, a gust of wind or an object (like your finger) will easily cause a bubble to burst.

A Hungarian by the name of Erno Rubik invented the Cube in the spring of 1974. He created it as a working model to help explain three-dimensional geometry, and this led to the creation of the world's best selling toy.

At the peak of the Rubik's Cube craze, an estimated one-fifth of the world's population had played the Cube.

Rubikcubism is an avant-garde artistic movement in which Rubik's cubes are used as a medium to create art.

In May 2007, Thibaut Jacquinot of France became the first person to complete the Cube in less than 10 seconds in open competition. Erik Akkersdijik set the current world record for a single solve at the 2008 Czech Open with a time of 7.08 seconds.

In 1981, a seven-year-old Norwegian boy named Lars-Erik Anderson was one of the youngest Cube solvers.

Initially, Rubik considered variations of a 2 x 2 x 2 in cube, but concluded that the simplest and most workable model was the 3 x 3 x 3 in cube.

Dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet, the only way they can discharge heat is by panting.

Dalmatians are born spotless: at first pure white, their spots develop as they age.

Contrary to popular belief, dogs aren't color blind; they can see shades of blue, yellow, green and gray. The color red registers on a grayscale in a dog's vision.

Most domestic dogs are capable of reaching speeds up to about nineteen miles per hour when running at full speed.

Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second.

Domesticated for more than 10,000 years, the dog was one of the first animals domesticated by humans.

Moonshine reached its popularity during the Prohibition era, but its origins are more than a century earlier during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 when the federal government tried to levy taxes on farmers who made and exchanged whiskey.

The term "moonshine" was actually brought to this country by British settlers who used it to describe various tasks that had to be done at night. It was adapted as a nickname for different types of illegal endeavors that were undertaken under the cover of darkness.

Sometimes, shine is called mountain dew or white lightning. White lightning came from the fact that real moonshine is colorless.

Mountain dew came from the fact that moonshiners would often drop their product off at night near a stump in the greenery alongside mountain roads.

The Moonshine jug is labeled with a large "XXX." The letters indicate that the shine has been run through the still three times, ensuring the alcohol is of an extra high proof (120 or so).

The fact that moonshine is so potent comes down to the fact that it neither cut nor aged. When it comes out of the still the final time it is crystal clear and anywhere between 150 and 170 proof.


In Texas, it's against the law for anyone to have a pair of pliers in his or her possession.


In Philadelphia, you can't put pretzels in bags based on an Act of 1760.


Alaska law says that you can't look at a moose from an airplane.


In Corpus Christie, Texas, it is illegal to raise alligators in your home.


In Miami, it is forbidden to imitate an animal.


It is against the law to mispronounce the name of the State of Arkansas in that State.


In Illinois, the law is that a car must be driven with the steering wheel.


California law prohibits a woman from driving a car while dressed in a housecoat.


In Memphis, Tennessee, a woman is not to drive a car unless a man warns approaching motorists or pedestrians by walking in front of the car that is being driven.


In Tennessee, it is against the law to drive a car while sleeping.


In New York, it is against the law for a blind person to drive an automobile.


In West Virginia, only babies can ride in a baby carriage.


In Georgia, it is against the law to slap a man on the back or front.


A barber is not to advertise prices in the State of Georgia.


In Louisiana, a bill was introduced years ago in the State House of Representatives that fixed a ceiling on haircuts for bald men of 25 cents.


In Oklahoma, no baseball team can hit the ball over the fence or out of a ballpark.


In Rochester, Michigan, the law is that anyone bathing in public must have the bathing suit inspected by a police officer !


In Kentucky, it's the law that a person must take a bath once a year.


In Utah, birds have the right of way on any public highway.


In Ohio, one must have a license to keep a bear.

In Tennessee, a law exists which prohibits the sale of bologna (sandwich meat) on Sunday.


In Virginia, the Code of 1930 has a statute which prohibits corrupt practices or bribery by any person other than political candidates.


In Providence, Rhode Island, it is against the law to jump off a bridge.


In the State of Kansas, you're not allowed to drive a buffalo through a street.


In Florida, it is against the law to put livestock on a school bus.


In New Jersey, cabbage can't be sold on Sunday.


In Galveston, Texas, it is illegal to have a camel run loose in the street!


In North Carolina, it is against the law for dogs and cats to fight.


In Singapore, it is illegal to chew gum.


In Cleveland, Ohio, it is unlawful to leave chewing gum in public places.


In Virginia, chickens cannot lay eggs before 8:00 a.m., and must be done before 4:00 p.m.


In New York, it is against the law for children to pick up or collect cigarette and cigar butts.


In Massachusetts, it is against the law to put tomatos in clam chowder.


In Washington State, you can't carry a concealed weapon that is over 6 feet in length.


In San Francisco, there is an ordinance, which bans the picking up and throwing of used confetti.


In Kentucky, it is illegal for a merchant to force a person into his place of business for the purpose of making a sale.


It is against the law in Connecticut for a man to write love letters to a girl whose mother or father has forbidden the relationship.


In Michigan, married couples must live together or be imprisoned.


In the state of Colorado, a pet cat, if loose, must have a tail-light !


In Phoenix, Arizona, you can't walk through a hotel lobby with spurs on.


In California, a law created in 1925 makes it illegal to wiggle while dancing.


In Utah, daylight must be visible between dancing couples.


In Michigan, it is against the law for a lady to lift her skirt more than 6 inches while walking through a mud puddle.


In North Carolina, it is against the law for a rabbit to race down the street.


In Georgia, it's against the law to spread a false rumor.


In West Virginia, one can't cook sauerkraut or cabbage due to the odors and the offence is subject to imprisonment.


In Missouri, a man must have a permit to shave.


The law states that more than 3000 sheep cannot be herded down Hollywood Blvd. at any one time.


In Texas, it is still a "hanging offense" to steal cattle.