The English word "pajamas" has its origin in Persian. It is a combination of the Persian words pa (leg) and jamah (garment).
The first log cabins in North America were built in 1683 by Swedish immigrants in Delaware.
The Modern Prometheus is the novel's subtitle. Prometheus, in some versions of Greek mythology, was the Titan who created mankind, and Victor's work by creating man by new means obviously reflects that creative work. Prometheus was also the bringer of fire who took fire from heaven and gave it to man. Zeus then punished Prometheus by fixing him ...Read more
The Jardine River in Australia’s Cape York Peninsula is home to Crocodylus porosus, the saltwater or estuarine crocodile. It is the largest and perhaps most dangerous of all 23 species of crocodilians.
Many sharks lay soft-shelled eggs but hammerheads give birth to live young that look like miniature versions of their parents. Young hammerheads are often born headfirst, with the tip of their hammerhead folded backward to make them more streamlined for birth.
During the bubonic plague of London, the city was sealed off to avoid contamination. This meant no food was permitted in. The only people willing to trade with London were the Dutch, who left food on jetties and then would take the money left there. They used to steel their nerves with liquor before landing on the plague-infested shores, hence "...Read more
While Theodore Roosevelt was campaigning in Milwaukee in 1912, a would-be assassin fired a bullet into the right side of his chest. Much of the force of the slug was absorbed by the President's eyeglasses case and by the 50 page speech he was carrying double-folded in his breast pocket. Nevertheless, the bullet lodged itself just short of his ...Read more
Candy made from pieces of barrel cactus was outlawed in the U.S. in 1952 to protect the species.
More than half of school-age children in the U.S. have no cavities in their permanent teeth, compared with only 26 percent who were cavity-free in the early '70s, the American Dental Association has reported.
Fritos is the name of a brand of corn chips made by Frito-Lay. Elmer Doolin was so taken with the bag of corn chips served with his lunch in San Antonio, Texas that he paid $100 for the recipe. In 1932 he started the Frito Corporation. From 1967 until about 1971, the Frito Bandito was the mascot. In the mid-1970s, Fritos' mascot was a W. C. ...Read more
During a tornado in Ponca City, Oklahoma, a man and his wife were carried aloft in the house by a tornado. The walls and roof were blown away, but the floor remained intact and eventually glided downward, setting the couple safely back on the ground.
In 1871, Albert Jones of New York City received a patent on "an improvement in paper for packing," or, corrugated paper.
"Chopines" were platform shoes that became popular in Europe during the 16th century. Some chopines were over 20 inches tall. In the 1400's, a popular form of shoes called "crakows" sported extremely long toes. The length of the toes, which could be over 20 inches, was an indication of the social status of the person wearing them.
An average toilet uses 5 to 7 gallons of water every time it is flushed. A single leaky toilet can waste more than 50 gallons a day, amounting to 18,000 gallons a year.
Europe and the Soviet Union grow 75 percent of the world crop of potatoes. In a good year, the Russians, who call potatoes their "second bread," account for one-third of the world's crop.
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."
In many ways if it weren't for Catholic monks the world of beer would be a very different place. Monasteries were largely responsible for brewing innovations and keeping their local areas supplied with beer during the Middle Ages.
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is the third album by American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Band leader Billy Corgan described the album's title as "just another one of those pretentious Pumpkin album titles continuing the long line of pretension." When asked about other possible album titles that were considered, the band...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
Benjamin Franklin was America's first political cartoonist. His drawing of a snake divided into eight parts was published in Philadelphia in 1754.