The English say a hamlet is a village without a church. A village becomes a town when it gets a market. And for a town to be a city, it needs a cathedral. The City of London is therefore the square mile around Saint Paul's Cathedral. More recently, British law defines cities based on either population or significance, so when St. James Church in...Read more
Ann Franklin was the first woman to hold the title of newspaper editor at "The Newport Mercury" in Newport, Rhode Island in 1762.
Following his breakup with the Beatles in 1971, Paul McCartney formed his group Wings. The group was nameless until McCartney, awaiting the birth of his daughter Stella about a month later, prayed for her health. He came up with the group's name on the "wings of an angel."
A person who is lost in the woods and starving can obtain nourishment by chewing on his shoes. Leather has enough nutritional value to sustain life for a short time.
Wine tasters never drink the wine they taste. They sip it, swish it about, gargle it, and then spit it out. Swallowing wine is believed to dull the palate, not to mention the brain.
Wile E. Coyote has only caught the Road Runner once (May 21, 1980).
A new star is born in our galaxy is born every 18 days. About 20 new stars are born each year. For comparison, there are 100,000 million stars in our galaxy.
Absolutely -- The very first day it was for sale, most dealerships only had a single Mustang which customers clamored over, debating who was going to be the lucky one to drive it home. Ford took 22,000 orders for the Mustang on that initial day.
The Mongols were an unstoppable force, moving ever eastward, threatening Europe. But in 1241, Genghis's grandson Batu Khan destroyed Hungary at the Battle of Mohi and demanded that the Holy Roman Emperor resign. But then Ogedei Khan died, and the Mongols leaders had to return home for the succession. They were never able to regain their momentum...Read more
Lettuce and celery will keep longer if stored in the refrigerator in paper bags instead of cellophane ones. Do not remove the outside leaves of either until ready to use.
In 1889, Aunt Jemima pancake flour, invented at St. Joseph, Missouri, was the first self-rising flour for pancakes and the first ready-mix food ever to be introduced commercially.
One of the stranger albums of the 1980s was called "The Return of Bruno," a Motown cover album by, of all people, Bruce Willis, who had become a hot star thanks to the TV series "Moonlighting." Bruno was the name Willis used back when he was a bartender, because at one time, Bruce was considered a "gay" name (so much so, in fact, that Bruce ...Read more
Although Mary enjoyed tremendous popular support and sympathy for her mistreatment during the earliest parts of her reign, she lost almost all of it after marrying the Spanish prince Philip, the only son of her first cousin, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Many English viewed the marriage as a breach of English independence; they felt that it ...Read more
What do bats' wings, elephants' ears, flamingos' legs, rabbits' ears, goats' horns, and human skin all have in common? They radiate heat to providing cooling for the animal.
Absinthe, a distilled, highly alcoholic (45%-75% ABV) also called “wormwood" or “the Green Fairy,” is perhaps best known for its popularity in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among bohemian culture. Portrayed as a dangerously addictive, psychoactive drug it was banned in the United States and in most European ...Read more
The Sun produces more energy every minute than all the energy used on Earth in a whole year.
David Shulman's sonnet "Washington Crossing the Delaware" is remarkable piece of writing. Every line rhymes, but that isn't that hard. But every line is also an anagram of the poem's title. So, "A hard, howling, tossing water scene/ Strong tide was washing hero clean." Unsurprisingly, Shulman is a lexicographer who contributes Americanism to the...Read more
Each 2-ounce bottle of Tabasco Sauce contains at least 720 drops of sauce. The fiery pepper sauce is produced by the McIlhenny family, and the McIlhenny Company was founded back in 1868 at Avery Island, Louisiana.
A pig is a hog -- but a hog is not a pig. "Hog" is a generic name for all swine. Per hog-raising terminology, a pig is a baby hog less than ten weeks old.
The modern zipper, the Talon Slide Fastener, was invented in 1913 but didn't catch on until after World War I. The first dresses incorporating the zipper appeared in the 1930s.