• 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.


  • 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

Low Profile


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.



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.