Death Tolls

  • 300 million – smallpox, worldwide, 20th century
  • 200 million – bubonic plague, worldwide, 1300s
  • 62 million – World War II
  • 60 million – Mongol conquests, 13th century
  • 19 million – AIDS, worldwide to date
  • 1 million – Irish potato famine, 1846-1849
  • 830,000 – Shaanxi earthquake, China, 1556
  • 650,000 – Deaths in the Roman Colosseum for public entertainment, 80-404
  • 36,000 – Krakatoa eruption, Indonesia, 1883
  • 15,000 – Holy Inquisition, 1184-1800
  • 1,517 – RMS Titanic, 1912
  • 300 – Great Chicago Fire, 1871
  • 270 – Pan Am Flight 103, Lockerbie, Scotland, 1988
  • 36 – Hindenburg disaster, Lakehurst, N.J., 1937
  • 7 – Space shuttle Challenger, Florida, 1986
  • 4 – Kent State shootings

Stature

Tallest U.S. presidents:

  • Abraham Lincoln 6’3.75″
  • Lyndon B. Johnson 6’3.5″
  • Thomas Jefferson 6’2.5″
  • Chester A. Arthur 6’2″
  • George H.W. Bush 6’2″
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt 6’2″

And shortest:

  • John Adams 5’7″
  • John Quincy Adams 5’7″
  • William McKinley 5’7″
  • Benjamin Harrison 5’6″
  • Martin Van Buren 5’6″
  • James Madison 5’4″

And 5,000 Visitors Per Day

The White House has:

  • Six stories and 55,000 square feet of floor space
  • 134 rooms, including 35 bathrooms
  • 412 doors and 147 windows
  • 28 fireplaces
  • Eight staircases
  • Three elevators
  • A tennis court
  • A bowling lane
  • A movie theater
  • A jogging track
  • A swimming pool

Harry Truman called it “the finest prison in the world.”

Prescription Abbreviations

Abbreviations used in prescriptions:

  • a.c. (ante cibum) – before meals
  • ad lib. (ad libitum) – use as much as one desires; freely
  • alt. h. (alternis horis) – every other hour
  • c (cibos) – food
  • D.A.W. – dispense as written
  • dc, D/C, disc – discontinue
  • e.m.p. (ex modo prescripto) – as directed
  • ex aq – in water
  • h.s. (hora somni) – at bedtime
  • L.A.S. – label as such
  • N.K.A. – no known allergies
  • noct. (nocte) – at night
  • NPO, n.p.o. (non per os) – nothing by mouth
  • p.c. (post cibum) – after meals
  • p.o. (per os) – by mouth or orally
  • s.a. (secundum artum) – use your judgement
  • sig – write on label
  • s.o.s., si op. sit (si opus sit) – if there is a need

Napoleon Bonaparte described medicine as “a collection of uncertain prescriptions the results of which, taken collectively, are more fatal than useful to mankind.”

Car Company Name Etymologies

Origins of car company names:

  • Cadillac: Named after the founder of Detroit, French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. Cadillac is a small town in the South of France.
  • Daewoo: “Great Universe” in Korean.
  • Mercedes: The first name of the daughter of Emil Jellinek, who worked for the early Daimler company around 1900.
  • Mitsubishi: “Water chestnut,” reflected as a stylized rhombus in the company’s logo.
  • Pontiac: A Native American Ottawa war leader.
  • Subaru: From the Japanese name for the Pleiades (Subaru was formed from a merger of seven other companies).
  • Volkswagen: The “people’s car.”
  • Volvo: Latin for “I roll.”

J.L. Hunter

The world’s oldest active bank robber was 91-year-old J.L. Hunter, who robbed the First American Bank in Abilene, Texas, of $2,000 in 2003. It was his third robbery in five years.

When asked why he did it, he said he hadn’t liked banks since they forced him into bankruptcy.