When the Krampus finds a particularly naughty child, it stuffs the child in its sack and carries the frightened thing away to its lair, presumably to devour for its Christmas dinner.
Soccer gave us the term "melee." It means a "confused mass," which was what the playing field looked like in Europe in the Middle Ages. Towns competed using teams of up to a hundred players, with the goals a half-mile or so apart.
The surface temperature of a neutron star is about 1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit.
When visiting Finland, Santa leaves his sleigh behind and rides on a goat named Ukko. Finnish folklore has it that Ukko is made of straw, but is strong enough to carry Santa Claus anyway.
The white elephant is the sacred animal of Thailand.
Historians report that the Roman Emporer Gaius (Caligula) (A.D. 37-41) was so proud of his horse that he gave the animal a place as a senate counsul before he died!
Cats are the only domestic animals that walk directly on their claws, not on their paws. This method of walking is called "digitigrade". When cats scratch furniture, it isn't an act of malice. They are actually tearing off the ragged edges of the sheaths of their talons to expose the new sharp ones beneath.
Most countries follow the established formats of TV game shows they import from the United States. Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! are the top games shows in most of the other countries where they air, but the French didn't take to Jeopardy!; the answer-question format "just didn't seem right to them," said president of King World International, ...Read more
Contrive: To Create or Bring About: Book 1 of the Altered SeriesJay Hope
A team of SEALS fight their way through genetic engineering while a crazy scientist tries to steal their secret by any means possible. Wil, the team's LPO, has been melded with animal DNA that will fight him for dominance. Can they learn to work more compatibly to win over the woman they ...
A dripping hot water faucet wastes an average of 40 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. This is the equivalent of running a color television 8 hours a day for about 31 days.
The state of Texas reportedly grows more roses than any foreign country.
Nyctitropism is the tendency of the leaves or petals of certain plants to assume a different position at night.
Mary Anning appears as a character in "The French Lieutenant's Woman." But she was also a real person, a working-class woman who found the first two plesiosaur skeletons. She was also the one who realized that coprolites are fossilized dino poo. There is also speculation that Anning is the "she" in the line, "She sells seashells on the seashore...Read more
Not really -- Two groups of whales, the Humpback Whale and the subspecies of Blue Whale found in the Indian Ocean, are known to produce the repetitious sounds at varying frequencies known as whale song. Male Humpback Whales perform these vocalizations only during the mating season, and so it is surmised the purpose of songs is to aid sexual ...Read more
Horse racing is one of the most ancient sports, originating in Central Asia among prehistoric nomadic tribesmen around 4500 B.C. When humans began keeping written records, horse racing was already an organized sport throughout the world.
Milk snakes lay about 13 eggs -- in piles of animal manure.
In ancient Rome, gold salves were used for the treatment of skin ulcers. Today, gold leaf plays an important role in the treatment of chronic ulcers.
Isaac Asimov wrote more than 500 books during his lifetime (1920-1992). He has the honor of being the only person who has authored a book in each of the Dewey Decimal System classifications.
Erykah Badu is called the First Lady of Neo Soul was cited for disorderly conduct in 2010, during the filming for her video for "Window Seat." She jumped from her car, walked around, removing clothing, until she was completely naked in public on a Saturday afternoon. Making things even weirder, she did this in Dealey Plaza, where JFK was shot, ...Read more
The average life span of London residents in the middle of the 19th century was 27 years. For members of the working class, that number dropped to 22 years.
On a bingo card of 90 numbers, there are approximately 44 million ways to make B-I-N-G-O.