In 1832 the Scottish surgeon Neil Arnott devised water beds as a way of improving patients' comfort.
The original American Pledge of Allegiance was published in the September 8, 1892, issue of "The Youth's Companion" in Boston. For years, the authorship was in dispute between James B. Upham and Francis Bellamy of the magazine's staff. In 1939, after studying the controversy, the United States Flag Association decided that authorship be credited...Read more
The word mantis derives from the Greek word Mantes for prophet or fortune teller. The preferred pluralization is mantids, though there is some usage of mantes or mantises. There are approximately 2,300 species in the order Mantodea world-wide; most are tropical or subtropical, but several species live in temperate climates such as that of the ...Read more
In Britain, the Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551, which has not yet been repealed, states that every citizen must attend a Christian church service on Christmas Day, and must not use any kind of vehicle to get to the service.
The P-38 can opener is a small device found in a C-ration, the field rations issued in the United States armed forces from World War II to the 1980s. Nicknamed the "John Wayne" in some branches of the armed forces, the can opener is keychain sized and consists of a short metal blade that serves as a handle (and also a screwdriver to the ...Read more
He was later able to retake the exams and entered the school in Delft. It was here that Professor R.N. Roland Holst encouraged him to try his hand at woodcuts and engraving versus architecture. The legendary art of MC Escher had achieved its planting.
The lungs of an average adult, unfolded and flattened out, would cover an area the size of a tennis court.
Over 40 percent of the women in the U.S. were in the Girl Scouts organization. Two-thirds of the women listed in "Who's Who of Women" were Girl Scouts.
Ants stretch when they wake up. They also appear to yawn in a very human manner before taking up the tasks of the day.
Thor's only worthy adversary was a serpent dragon known as Jormungand, or the Midgard Serpent. Jormungand was the son of Loki and Angerboda and was expelled by Odin, forcing it to encircle the earth and hold its tail in its mouth under the depths of the sea. Many ages passed before the "Day of the Last Battle," a war pitting gods against giants,...Read more
A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing or other representation of a face surrounded by (or made from) leaves. Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament, Green Men are frequently found on carvings in churches and other buildings (both secular and ecclesiastical). "The Green Man" is also a popular name for British public houses and various...Read more
Elephants are covered with hair. Although it is not apparent from a distance, at close range, one can discern a thin coat of light hairs covering practically every part of an elephant's body.
In 1889, the first coin-operated telephone, patented by Hartford, Connecticut inventor William Gray, was installed in the Hartford Bank. Soon, "pay phones" were installed in stores, hotels, saloons, and restaurants, and their use soared. Local calls using a coin-operated phone in the U.S. cost only 5 cents everywhere until 1951.
In Tuscany, olive oil and bread are sacred gifts and it is a grave sin to waste either of them. The Tuscans say you add years to your time in purgatory with the crumbs left on your plate.
Golden eagles hunt over a range of 100 square miles to feed their young.
Ritz crackers were introduced by National Biscuit Company in 1933, and became the world's largest selling crackers within three years.
The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache on a playing card.
Bald eagles are not bald. The top of their head is covered with slicked-down white feathers; from a distance, they appear hairless.
"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.
It is believed that 90 percent of all scientists who have ever lived are alive now, and that as many scientific paper have been published in the years since 1950 as were published in all the centuries before 1950.