- Asked to invent the perfect bestselling title, Bennett Cerf suggested Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog.
- The two most common birthdates for Nobel laureates are May 21 and February 28 (seven apiece).
- ALASKA is the only U.S. state name that can be typed on a single row of keys on a standard typewriter.
- 13177388 = 71 + 73 + 71 + 77 + 77 + 73 + 78 + 78
- “I don’t know much about medicine, but I know what I like.” — S.J. Perelman
- Kurt Vonnegut managed the country’s first Saab dealership.
- Max Born is Olivia Newton-John’s grandfather.
- 19683 = 1 × (9 – 6)8 × 3
- Before the advent of European settlers, it’s believed that no Native American had blood type B.
- “Good taste is the worst vice ever invented.” — Edith Sitwell
The first recorded performance of Hamlet took place at sea, aboard the East India ship Red Dragon off the coast of Africa in 1607. Capt. William Keeling’s diary entry for Sept. 5 reads: “I sent the interpreter according to his desier abord the Hector whear he brooke fast and after came abord me wher we gave the tragedie of Hamlett.”
- Most Muppets are left-handed.
- The largest prime number in the Bible is 22273 (Numbers 3:43).
- SEE, HE, and IS are spelled identically in Morse code (ignoring spaces).
- Maine is the only one-syllable state name.
- “In a dream you are never eighty.” — Anne Sexton
Fritz Zwicky referred to his colleagues at the Mount Wilson Observatory as “spherical bastards” because they were bastards whichever way one looked at them.
- Scranton, Pa., was formerly called Skunk’s Misery.
- Sweet’n Low was named for a Tennyson poem.
- STRAIGHT-GRAINED has 15 letters and 2 syllables.
- The average 2-year-old is already half his adult height.
- “The exit is usually where the entrance was.” — Stanislaw Lec
If a reincarnated person has no memory of her past life, then in what sense is she the same person?
- No point in Great Britain is more than 75 miles from the sea.
- MOONLIGHT = THIN GLOOM
- 2427 = 21 + 42 + 23 + 74
- Sweden had a Charles VII, but no Charleses I-VI.
- “If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he entitled to happiness?” — Stanislaw Lec
North East, Pennsylvania, is in northwest Pennsylvania.
Northwest, Virginia, is in southeast Virginia.
AM IN MARKET HARBOROUGH, G.K. Chesterton once telegraphed his wife. WHERE OUGHT I TO BE?
There is just one spot on earth from which, in an hour’s driving time or less, a motoring tourist can reach either Athens, Belfast, Belgrade, Bremen, China, Denmark, Dresden, Frankfort, Limerick, Lisbon, Madrid, Mexico, Naples, Norway, Oxford, Palermo, Paris, Peru, Poland or Vienna. The spot is situated at about 44° 9′ north latitude, 69° 51′ west longitude, in the county of Sagadahoc, state of Maine, U.S.A., and it is surrounded by towns bearing these names, no one of them more than fifty-five miles away.
– Gary Jennings, Personalities of Language, 1965
On a board in front of a stage-office in Buffalo, I once read, ‘Stages start from this house for China, Sardinia, Holland, Hamburg, Java, Sweden, Cuba, Havre, Italy, and Penn Yan.’
– James Freeman Clarke, On Giving Names to Towns and Streets, 1880
No building in Washington, D.C., is taller than the Washington Monument.
The city enacted a height restriction in 1899 to protect Thomas Jefferson’s vision of an “American Paris” with “low and convenient” buildings on “light and airy” streets.
- Canada’s coastline is six times as long as Australia’s.
- Rudyard Kipling invented snow golf.
- ENUMERATION = MOUNTAINEER
- Can you see your eyes move in a mirror?
- 26364 = 263 × 6/4
- “I want death to find me planting my cabbages.” — Montaigne
Weirton, W.Va., is the only town in the United States that borders two different states on opposite sides.
The town borders Ohio directly on the west and Pennsylvania on the east.
- Hastie Love was convicted of rape in Tennessee in 1968.
- Zebra stripes are white.
- 14641 = (1 + 4 + 6)4 × 1
- Spain’s national anthem has no words.
- LION + TIGER = LOITERING
- “Character is that which can do without success.” — Emerson
10 Downing Street has no keyhole.
Beetle Bailey and Lois Flagston, of Hi and Lois, are brother and sister.
Both comics were created by Mort Walker.
Between 1963 and 1987, a tortoiseshell cat named Towser caught an estimated 28,899 mice in Scotland’s Glenturret Distillery. (Mice like barley.) Her prowess earned her a bronze statue and a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
Her paw prints appeared on each bottle of Fairlie’s Light Highland Liqueur.
- Christopher Lee is Ian Fleming’s cousin.
- £12.12s.8d = 12128 farthings
- ii is real.
- Shouldn’t Juliet have asked, “Wherefore art thou Montague?”
- “Of soup and love, the first is the best.” — Thomas Fuller
Smokey Bear had his own zip code.
At the height of his fame at the National Zoo he received 5,000 letters a week.
- Tarzan’s yell is an aural palindrome.
- CONTAMINATED is an anagram of NO ADMITTANCE.
- The Swiss Family Robinson have no surname (“Robinson” refers to Robinson Crusoe).
- x2 – 2999x + 2248541 produces 80 primes from x = 1460 to 1539.
- “A great fortune is a great slavery.” — Seneca
The leaders of Russia have been alternately bald and hairy since 1881.
Lycurgus wrote, “A large head of hair adds beauty to a good face and terror to an ugly one.”
- EVIAN, SEIKO, and STROH’S are all English words spelled backward.
- Can “I apologize” be false?
- 165033 = 163 + 503 + 333
- Little Wymondley, in Hertfordshire, is bigger than Great Wymondley.
- “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?” — Satchel Paige
- The smallest number name that’s typed with eight fingers is ONE SEPTILLION ONE THOUSAND.
- Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus are all towns in Indiana.
- 2427 = 21 + 42 + 23 + 74
- SAN DIEGO is an anagram of DIAGNOSE.
- “It is not customary to love what one has.” — Anatole France
Ding Dong, Texas, is in Bell County.
Houston, Missouri, is in Texas County.
Java, Alabama, is in Coffee County.
- The sum of the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666.
- ANTITRINITARIANIST contains all 24 arrangements of the letters I, N, R, and T.
- The Empire State Building has its own zip code.
- 63945 = 63 × (-9 + 45)
- “Isn’t it strange that we talk least about the things we think about most!” — Charles Lindbergh
In 1964, two students at California’s Pomona College hypothesized that the number 47 appears with unusual frequency in the world. They began to amass examples, starting a campus tradition that continues to this day:
- The Declaration of Independence consists of 47 sentences.
- The New Testament credits Jesus with 47 miracles.
- Tolstoy’s novel The Kreutzer Sonata is named after Beethoven’s Opus 47.
- Pancho Villa was killed by a barrage of 47 bullets.
- The Pythagorean Theorem is Proposition 47 of Euclid’s Elements.
- The tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are located 47 degrees apart.
- Cesar proclaimed “Veni, vidi, vici” in 47 B.C.
Now the hypothesis has produced its own reality: Pomona graduate Joe Menosky became a writer for Star Trek and helped to build a universe where 47 appears oddly often:
- The Enterprise stops at Sub-Space Relay Station 47, a character shrinks to 47 centimeters, and the crew discovers element 247.
- On Voyager, the emergency medical holographic channel is 47.
- On Star Trek: Generations, Scotty beams up 47 El-Aurians before their ship is destroyed.
- According to the 2009 film, the Enterprise was built in Sector 47 of the Riverside Shipyards, and Nero’s ship, the Narada, is said to have destroyed 47 Klingon ships.
Trek producer Brannon Braga has confirmed that Voyager‘s Harry Kim lives in Apartment 4-G because G is the seventh letter in the alphabet.
Europe overlaps North America.
Reykjavík, Iceland (21°56′W), lies slightly west of Shannon Island (18°30′W) in eastern Greenland.