The pinball machine was one of the few successful industries that grew out of the Depression in the United States. The early models typically charged 5 cents for 10 balls, did not have side flippers, and the player had to add up his own score. Because it offered inexpensive and interactive entertainment value, the pinball machine remained ...Read more
Most of us learned in school that the Magna Charter was signed in 1215 by King John. But it was not – the monarch could not write his name. He granted the Magna Charter by placing his seal on it.
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!
In baseball, a "can of corn" refers to a fly ball that is easy to catch. This phrase reportedly came from an old practice of grocery store clerks, who used to knock unreachable cans off high shelves with a stick and catch them in their work aprons.
Cultured Christmas trees must be shaped as they grow to produce fuller foliage. To slow the upward growth and to encourage branching, they are hand-clipped in each spring. Trees grown in the wild have sparser branches, and are known in the industry as "Charlie Brown" trees.
In Mexico, Día de la Madre -- Mother's Day -- is celebrated the day before it's observed in the United States. It is a huge gala event, with mariachis starting at noon and family festivities throughout the day.
The song "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" was written by George Graff, a German who had never visited Ireland in his life.
For many years, the fig has been used as a coffee substitute. The fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme that is considered an aid to digestion and is used by the pharmaceutical industry.
In A Little Book of The Green Man Mike Harding gives some examples of similar figures in Borneo, Nepal and India: the earliest is a foliate head from an 8th century Jain temple in Rajasthan. He also notes that heads from Lebanon and Iraq can be dated to the 2nd century and that there are early Romanesque foliate heads in 11th century ...Read more
Texas is the only state that permits residents to cast absentee ballots from space. The first to exercise this right to vote while in orbit was astronaut David Wolf, who cast his vote for Houston mayor via e-mail from the Russian space station Mir in November 1997.
Mary Anne Nichols, Martha Turner, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, and Catherine Eddowes were London prostitutes who were murdered and dismembered by the notorious "Jack the Ripper" in the autumn of 1888. The perpetrator of these chilling atrocities was never found, although many theories as to his/her identity persist to this day.
Typically appearing in works on architecture as foliate heads or foliate masks, carvings of the Green Man may take many forms, naturalistic or decorative. Although the Green Man appears in many forms, the three most common types have been categorised as follows: the Foliate Head, completely covered in leaves; the Disgorging Head - spews ...Read more
Athens organized the first municipal dump in the western world, approximately 500 B.C. Scavengers had to dispose of waste at least one mile from the city walls.
In recent years, the term monokini has come into use for topless bathing by women: where the bikini has two parts, the monokini is the lower part. Where monokinis are in use, the word bikini may jokingly refer to a two-piece outfit consisting of a monokini and a sun hat. The tankini is a swimsuit combining a tank top and a bikini bottom.
As the official taste tester for Edy's Grand Ice Cream, John Harrison had his tastebuds insured for one million dollars.
Wolf packs could be found in all the forests of Europe, and in 1420 and 1438, wolves roamed the streets of Paris.
The rare metal gallium melts at 86 degrees Fahrenheit. It is safe to touch; if you hold a piece of it in your hand and wait, it will melt.
Joe's team has been an integrated one since the early 1980's, with members such as Scarlett and Lady Jaye being part of the anti-terrorist strike force of that era. Additionally, the 12-inch line, introduced in 1997, saw a few female team members including a helicopter pilot, a nurse (harkening back to 1967), and a member of the 101st Airborne.
The children's game Rock, Scissors, Paper is popular in Japan also. Called "Janken", the game is also played by some children using their feet. Closed feet equal stone (gu). Spread legs equal paper (pa). One foot behind the other equals scissors (choki).
The highest ordinary type cloud is the cirrus, which occurs at an average altitude of 27,000 feet.