Ostriches are such fast runners, they can outrun a horse. Male ostriches can roar like a lion.
Not in Australia -- When Burger King decided to expand its operations into Australia, it found that its business name was already trademarked by a man running a small takeaway food shop. Consequently, the first Australian franchise of the Burger King Corporation, established in Perth in 1971, was branded Hungry Jack's, echoing the name and ...Read more
Sylvan N. Goldman of Humpty Dumpty Stores and Standard Food Markets developed the shopping cart so that people could buy more in a single visit to the grocery store. He unveiled his creation in Oklahoma City on June 4, 1937.
More than 100 years ago, the felt hat makers of England used mercury to stabilize wool. Most of them eventually became poisoned by the fumes, as demonstrated by the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Breathing mercury's fumes over a long period of time will cause erethism, a disorder characterized by nervousness, irritability, ...Read more
In 1978, a poll showed that one French television program broadcast on August 14 was watched by no viewers at all. The show was an in-depth interview with an Armenian woman on her fortieth birthday. It covered how she met her husband, her illnesses, and her joy of living. According to the TV survey, 67 percent of viewers had watched a Napoleonic...Read more
California is the second-largest cheesemaking state after Wisconsin. It is the leader in producing Hispanic-style cheeses such as Monterey Jack.
Bell bottoms are trousers, worn by men and women, boys and girls that become wider from the knees downwards. If a person looks at a pair front or behind, they have the form of a bell or trumpet.
In the 17th and 18th centuries a number of pirates and freeloaders settled on the island of Santo Domingo in the Caribbean Sea, where they smoked meat and sold it to other pirates in exchange for booty. The Carib Indian verb for smoked meat was "boucan." Thus, pirates became known as buccaneers. And, just in case you were wondering, the word ...Read more
Muppets creator Jim Henson first created Kermit in 1955 -- as a lizard. He was made from Henson's mother's coat and two halfs of a Ping-Pong ball (no flipper feet or eleven-point collar). He didn't become a frog until 1968.
The dot on top of the letter "i" is called a "tittle." Tittle is Latin for something very small.
There were several Egyptian queens named Cleopatra, but the famous one we think of when we say "Cleopatra" was actually not of Egyptian blood. Her bloodlines were Greek, Persian, and Macedonian. Her Greek ancestors had ruled Greece since the death of Alexander the Great.
With only a four-week gestation period, a cottontail rabbit can produce 5 to 7 litters, and as many as 35 offspring per year.
Two life-threatening brain aneurysms in 1974 terminated Quincy Jones' horn-playing days, but not his musical talents. Jones went on to produce Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall," "Thriller," and "Bad," as well as the ambitious, all-star hit "We Are the World" in 1985. Jones has composed more than
Sugar Bear was the advertising cartoon mascot of Post Super Sugar Crisp (later Golden Crisp) cereal, appearing in commercials for the cereal. His consistent nemesis was an elderly woman called Granny Goodwitch; the two would engage in elaborate contests, often involving trickery, magic, and high technology (often one or more of these methods), ...Read more
St. Patrick's Day was celebrated for the first time in America on March 17, 1737, when the Charitable Irish Society, a Protestant group founded that same year, organized a non-religious celebration honoring St. Paddy. It originated in Ireland as a religious holiday honoring the arrival of St. Patrick in 432 A.D. and his death, on March 17, 464 A...Read more
In the state of Queensland, Australia, it is still constitutional law that all pubs (hotel/bar) must have a railing outside for patrons to tie up their horse.
A bird's eye takes up about 50 percent of its head, our eyes take up about 5 percent of our head. To be comparable to a bird's eyes, our eyes would have to be the size of baseballs.
The official term for the pincerlike claw of a crab, lobster, or scorpion is a "chela."
If all the water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere were condensed to liquid water at the same time, there would be enough water to cover the United States (including Hawaii and Alaska) with a 25-foot-deep layer of water.
According to a study for the University of Tennessee's Noise Laboratory, 60 percent of American college students suffer from some high-frequency hearing loss. The main cause of this premature deafness is noise. Hearing loss has long been linked to exposure to noise. Sustained loud noises -- from vehicles, jet aircraft, stereos, food processors -...Read more