Sam Peckinpah was nicknamed "Bloody Sam" for what was, at the time, a very gory way of filming violence, in such movies as "The Wild Bunch." His very last projects, though, weren't movies but music videos, and for Julian Lennon, of all people. Peckinpah directed the videos for "Valotte" and "Too Late For Goodbyes," which earned Lennon an MTV VMA...Read more
In 1838, composer Franz Liszt performed several concerts to aid Danube flood victims in Hungary. His philanthropy made him a celebrated figure in Hungary for a time. There was even talk of awarding him a Hungarian title, although nothing came of this. As time went on, Liszt's inflated ego and unabashed desire to be part of aristocratic society ...Read more
A donkey is an "ass", but an ass is not always a donkey. The word "ass" refers to several hoofed mammals of the genus Equus, including the Onager. More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes.
Compared with the auto-loading rifles used in World War II, the AK-47 was generally more compact, with a shorter range, a smaller 7.62 x 39 mm cartridge, and was capable of selective fire. It was one of the first true assault rifles and remains the most widely used. The AK-47 and its numerous variants and descendants have been produced in ...Read more
In 2008, Jdimytai Damour, a Long Island Walmart employee, was trampled to death when crazed shoppers pushed open the doors to get their hands on the goods. The paramedics who came to the rescue were also trampled and seriously injured by shoppers. In total, five shoppers at the store required hospitalization.
Rhubarb is named after the Volga River. In Greek, the name of the Volga is Rha, and barb means "uncultivated." Rhubarb is thus a wild plant that grows along the Volga.
Boot and shoemakers are often commonly called "cobblers." But the word cobbler is more properly applied to shoe repairmen. Those who actually make footwear are known as "cordwainers." This term has its antecedents in the word "cordovan," which was a reddish leather produced in Spain. Hence, one who worked in cordovan was a cordwainer. Shoemakers...Read more
Jerry Seinfeld's friend George Costanza had a fairly elaborate imaginary career, most of which revolved around the imaginary Art Vandelay. Sometimes he was an importer/exporter, sometimes the head of a latex corporation. He was also an author George claimed to have read. In fact, George held a series of jobs, most notably a gig with the New York...Read more
How to Win in Every ScenarioRom Gayoso
This book is about a business research technique called “Scenario Planning”. Scenarios were originally created in the 1960’s for defense purposes; later on they were adopted by private enterprise with exceptional results. Nowadays they are also used for public policy.
Though Continental Foods has never revealed how Twinkies are made, most people believe that they are baked, because the bottoms look brown. The Washington Post reported on April 15, 2005 that "the cakes are baked for 10 minutes, then the cream filling is injected through three holes in the top, which is browned from baking. The cake is flipped ...Read more
The Oregon Trail (1840-1860), the route used during the westward migrations of the United States, started in Missouri and ended in Oregon and was about 2,000 miles long.
Some lady beetle, or lady bug, colonies have been reported to contain as many as 500 gallons of beetles. A gallon of beetles contains from 72,000 to 80,000 adults.
Scottish housewife Helen Duncan was arrested in 1944 and appears to be the last person ever convicted in the U.K. of witchcraft. Some think it was to keep her from discovering D-Day secrets with magic. Happily, they didn't burn her. In fact, the 1735 Witchcraft Act had more to be with cracking down on con artists than on occult practitioners. It...Read more
Lions are the only truly social cat species, and usually every female in a pride, ranging from 5 to 30 individuals, is closely related.
One seeming constant about dragons is that they love to horde treasure. This tale seems to have started with the tale of Sigurd, the dwarf Regin, and the Dragon Fafnir. Fafnir and Sigurd were brothers, but Fafnir was filled with greed and killed their father to gain his fortune. On doing so, however, Fafnir was transformed into a mighty dragon ...Read more
St. Nicholas was bishop of the Turkish town of Myra in the early fourth century. It was the Dutch who first made him into a Christmas gift-giver, and Dutch settlers brought him to America where his name eventually became the familiar Santa Claus.
There are three sets of letters on the standard typewriter and computer keyboards which are in alphabetical order, reading left to right. They are f-g-h, j-k-l, and o-p.
When Napoleon wore black silk handkerchiefs around his neck during a battle, he always won. At Waterloo, he wore a white cravat and lost the battle.
In 2010, Archie Andrews got his first openly gay friend, when Kevin Keller came to Riverdale. The move was one of many the company took to keep "Archie" fresh and relevant. In fact, his debut in Veronica No. 202 was so popular that it became the first comic book the company had ever reprinted. Kevin also has an important role in the grown-up "...Read more
When Sir Walter Raleigh introduced tobacco into England in the early 1600s, King James I wrote a booklet arguing against its use. The early example of attempted government regulation of smoking failed.
Moths - at least in the form we know them - are not responsible for damaging woolen clothing. Our wearables are attacked only by moths in the larval state, and then only by one family of moths, the Tineidae.