Play Dough

Playboy Playmate of the Month modeling payouts:

1959-1960: $500
1961-1965: $1,000
1966-1967: $2,500
1968-1969: $3,000
1970-1977: $5,000
1978-1983: $10,000
1984-1989: $15,000
1990-today: $20,000

Just Do It

The Nike “swoosh” logo was created by Carolyn Davidson, a freelance graphic design student, in 1971.

She was paid $35.

The Foarest City
Image: Wikimedia Commons

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 1831, the editor found that its title was too long by one letter — so he unceremoniously dropped an A.

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.

Snow Miser

The world’s tallest snowman was Angus, King of the Mountain, built in Maine in 1999. He stood 113 feet 7 inches tall.

In Lithuania, a snowman is called “a man without brains.” Last winter, protesters made 141 snowmen in their capital — one for each member of parliament.

The Power of Community

Francis A. Johnson of Darwin, Minn., started a ball of twine in March 1950 and kept going for 29 years. The ball is 12 feet in diameter and weighs 17,500 pounds.

That’s impressive, but it’s also inspiring. Frank Stoeber of Cawker City, Kan., heard about Johnson’s achievement and started his own ball. Sadly, when he died in 1974, Stoeber’s ball measured 11 feet — just short of his goal.

But, in fine Frank Capra style, Cawker City built an open-air gazebo over the ball and began holding a “Twine-a-Thon” every August to increase it.

They’ve succeeded. The Cawker City ball now incorporates 1,325 miles of twine … and weighs 17,554 pounds.