Misc

  • Holmes and Watson never address one another by their first names.
  • Until 1990, the banknote factory at Debden, England, was heated by burning old banknotes.
  • The vowels AEIOUY can be arranged to spell the synonyms AYE and OUI.
  • 741602 + 437762 = 7416043776
  • “In all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.” — Mark Twain

Two trick questions:

Who played the title role in Bride of Frankenstein? Valerie Hobson — not Elsa Lanchester.

Did Adlai Stevenson ever win national office? Yes — Adlai Stevenson I served as vice president under Grover Cleveland in 1893.

Time and Chance

http://www.futilitycloset.com/2009/03/30/apropos-2/

A deck contains 52 cards, 12 court cards, 4 suits, and 13 ranks.

A year contains 52 weeks, 12 months, and 4 seasons of 13 weeks.

If A=1, J=11, Q=12, and K=13, then the values in a deck of cards total 364.

See Apropos.

Misc

  • It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.
  • More than half of Uganda’s population is under 15.
  • 176502 + 381252 = 1765038125
  • Uzbekistan is surrounded by “stans”: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan.
  • Great Britain never puts its name on postage stamps.

In June 2011, 49-year-old Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov of Russia woke up in a coffin surrounded by weeping relatives. Realizing she was at her own funeral, she began screaming and was rushed back to the hospital, which declared her dead of a heart attack. “I am very angry and want answers,” her husband, Fagili, told the Sun. “She wasn’t dead when they said she was, and they could have saved her.” (Thanks, Mark.)

Misc

  • 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

Misc

  • 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.”

Misc

  • 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.
  • “More things grow in the garden than the gardener sows.” — Spanish proverb

Fritz Zwicky referred to his colleagues at the Mount Wilson Observatory as “spherical bastards” because they were bastards whichever way one looked at them.

Misc

  • 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?

Small World

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