The Foarest City

Cleveland is misspelled. The Ohio city was named for Gen. Moses Cleaveland, the leader of the crew that surveyed the local territory. But when the town’s first newspaper, The Cleaveland Advertiser, was established in 1830, the editor found that its title was too long by one letter — so he unceremoniously dropped an A.

In a Word

pinguitude
n. fatness

Zuiyo Maru

On April 25, 1977, the Japanese trawler Zuiyo Maru was working off the coast of New Zealand when its nets caught a foul-smelling, decomposing corpse that measured about 10 meters long and weighed two tons.

To avoid spoiling the fish catch, the captain decided to dump the carcass back into the ocean, but the crew first took some photos and measurements. The creature had a neck 1.5 meters long, four large, reddish fins, and a tail about 2 meters long, and it lacked a dorsal fin.

The story made a sensation in Japan, and the shipping company belatedly ordered all its boats back to relocate the dumped corpse, without success.

Some scientists declared the creature to be a prehistoric plesiosaur; others thought it might have been an oversized basking shark. Fujiro Yasuda of Tokyo University said, “We can’t find any known species of fish that correspond with the animal caught outside New Zealand. If it is a shark, it is a species unknown to science.” We’ll never know.

Bright Idea

When Thomas Edison died in 1931, his last breath was caught in a test tube by his son Charles.

He was convinced to do it by Henry Ford, who believed that a person’s dying breath contained his soul.

You can see it for yourself — the test tube is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

Dorothy Arnold

On the morning of Dec. 12, 1910, American socialite Dorothy Arnold left her parents’ home in Manhattan to go shopping for a dress for a party. She met some friends on Fifth Avenue, who later described her as cheerful. She visited Park & Tilford’s store at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 27th Street and charged a pound of candy to her account, then went to Brentano’s on 26th Street, where she bought a book of epigrams and met a friend, who later reported that Dorothy had intended to walk home through Central Park.

That’s all anybody knows. She never came home that night, and her disappearance has never been explained. Friends searched hospitals, morgues and jails in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia for three weeks but found nothing. Police and Pinkerton detectives fared no better. Arnold’s fiance, George Griscom Jr., spent thousands of dollars searching for her and bought ads in major newspapers, without result.

When her father died in 1922, he had spent more than $100,000 trying to find Dorothy. In his will he stated that he had come to believe his daughter was dead, but no one knows what became of her.

Missing Square Puzzle

New York magician Paul Curry invented this puzzle in 1953. When the pieces of the triangle are rearranged as shown, suddenly a square is missing. How is this possible?

Click for Answer

“It’s a Great Advantage to Be Able to Hurdle With Both Legs”

Memorable sportscasting quotes:

  • “And here’s Moses Kiptanui, the 19-year-old Kenyan, who turned 20 a few weeks ago.” (David Coleman)
  • “Juantorena opens his legs and shows his class.” (Ron Pickering)
  • “With half of the race gone, there is half of the race still to go.” (Murray Walker)
  • “What I said to them at halftime would be unprintable on the radio.” (Gerry Francis)
  • “I was in Saint-Etienne two years ago. It’s much the same as it is now, although now it’s completely different.” (Kevin Keegan)
  • “I imagine that the conditions in those cars are totally unimaginable.” (Murray Walker)
  • “The Baggio brothers, of course, are not related.” (George Hamilton)
  • “For those of you watching in black and white, Spurs are in the all-yellow strip.” (John Motson)

“Real Madrid are like a rabbit in the glare of the headlights in the face of Manchester United’s attacks,” Hamilton once said. “But this rabbit comes with a suit of armor in the shape of two precious away goals …”

“The Man With the Seven-Second Memory”

Excerpt from Clive Wearing’s diary:

8:31 AM: Now I am really, completely awake.
9:06 AM: Now I am perfectly, overwhelmingly awake.

9:34 AM: Now I am superlatively, actually awake.

Due to a herpes simplex virus, the former BBC music expert is unable to encode new memories. He “wakes up” every few minutes and greets his wife joyously over and over again.

The diary entries are crossed out as “untrue” because he doesn’t remember writing them.

The Cuckoo’s Nest

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Rake%27s_Progress_8.jpg

“I must write something of myself today. I can look back and see plainly all my journey here. The day may come when I shall be laid away in the grave, and my boys — the dear boys I have loved so well — will look over my trunk and find this manuscript; they will then perhaps believe I am not crazy. I know Dr. Steeves tells them I am a lunatic yet. They will weep over this, as they think of the mother they have left here to die among strangers.”

— Mary Huestis Pengilly, Diary Written in the Provincial Lunatic Asylum, 1885

No Beach Vacations

Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan are doubly landlocked — each is surrounded entirely by other landlocked countries.

Starting in either place, you’d have to cross at least two borders to reach a coastline.