Famous Teetotalers

Famous teetotalers:

  • John Ashcroft
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson
  • Penn Jillette
  • Franz Kafka
  • Osama bin Laden
  • David Letterman
  • T.E. Lawrence
  • Bill O’Reilly
  • Vladimir Putin
  • Fred Rogers
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Henry Thoreau
  • Donald Trump

Robert Benchley wrote, “Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it’s compounding a felony.”

Useful Knots

http://www.mspong.org/cyclopedia/

THE TWENTY MOST USEFUL KNOTS.

  1. Thumb or over-hand knot, tied at the end of a rope to prevent it from opening out, &c.
  2. Right or reef-knot, for securing all lashings where the ends of the rope meet together.
  3. Draw-knot, which offers great facility in undoing.
  4. Running-knot, used to bind or draw anything close.
  5. Sheepshank, serving to shorten a rope without cutting it or unfastening the ends.
  6. Clove-hitch, which binds with excessive force, and by which alone a weight can be hung to a smooth pole.
  7. Timber-hitch, very useful in hauling to move a weight.
  8. Single bowline-knot, difficult to undo, useful to throw over a post &c., to haul on, used for the draw-loop of a slip noose.
  9. Double bowline-knot, for slinging a cask.
  10. Running bowline-knot.
  11. Woolding or packing-stick hitch, used to tighten ropes.
  12. Men’s harness hitch, passing over the shoulder and under the opposite arm of men drawing a carriage, &c.
  13. Stopper hitch, for stoppering the fall of a tackle, &c.
  14. Inside clinch, for fastening a cable to the anchor ring, &c.
  15. Common or sheet bend, a very secure method of joining two ropes, or fastening a rope to a loop.
  16. Hawser bend, for joining two ropes, easily undone.
  17. Cat’s paw, the turn in the bight of a rope, for hooking a tackle to it.
  18. Dragrope or lever-hitch, used for fixing hand-spikes or capstanbars to the ropes attached to heavy carriages, &c., which have to be moved by men.
  19. Half-hitch, cast on the bight of a rope.
  20. Carrick bend. A wall-knot is a knot made at the end of a rope to prevent it from passing through a hole.

The Household Cyclopedia of General Information, 1881

Lifelong Virgins

Lifelong virgins:

  • Hans Christian Andersen, author
  • J.M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan
  • Lewis Carroll, author and logician
  • Emily Dickinson, poet
  • Immanuel Kant
  • Søren Kierkegaard
  • Nikola Tesla, inventor
  • Ed Gein, serial killer

Mark Twain kept his virginity until age 34; Goethe until 39. Voltaire wrote, “It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.”

Seven Summits

http://sxc.hu

The “Seven Summits” — the highest peak on each continent:

  1. Everest (Asia), 29,035 feet
  2. Aconcagua (South America), 22,834 feet
  3. McKinley (North America), 20,320 feet
  4. Kilimanjaro (Africa), 19,340 feet
  5. Elbrus (Europe), 18,510 feet
  6. Vinson Massif (Antarctica), 16,066 feet
  7. Kosciusko (Australia), 7,310 feet

About 80 mountaineers have climbed all seven.

Yikes

Unusual phobias:

  • albuminurophobia: fear of kidney disease
  • alliumphobia: fear of garlic
  • allodoxaphobia: fear of opinions
  • ancraophobia: fear of wind
  • anuptaphobia: fear of staying single
  • arachibutyrophobia: fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth
  • atomosophobia: fear of atomic explosions
  • aulophobia: fear of flutes
  • aurophobia: fear of gold
  • barophobia: fear of gravity
  • caligynephobia: fear of beautiful women
  • cherophobia: fear of gaiety
  • deipnophobia: fear of dining or dinner conversations
  • euphobia: fear of hearing good news
  • geniophobia: fear of chins
  • genuphobia: fear of knees
  • hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: fear of long words
  • linonophobia: fear of string
  • lutraphobia: fear of otters
  • mottephobia: fear of moths
  • porphyrophobia: fear of the color purple
  • pteronophobia: fear of being tickled by feathers
  • scriptophobia: fear of writing in public
  • spheksophobia: fear of wasps
  • zemmiphobia: fear of the great mole rat

Politicophobia is defined as “abnormal” dislike of politicians.

Highest-Grossing Films

Highest-grossing films worldwide, to date:

  1. Titanic (1997)
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
  4. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
  6. Jurassic Park (1993)
  7. Shrek 2 (2004)
  8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
  9. Finding Nemo (2003)
  10. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

At first that looks like a triumph of modern marketing — all of these films were made in the last 12 years. But here are the top ten when receipts are adjusted for inflation:

  1. Gone With the Wind (1939)
  2. Star Wars (1977)
  3. The Sound of Music (1965)
  4. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  5. The Ten Commandments (1956)
  6. Titanic (1997)
  7. Jaws (1975)
  8. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
  9. The Exorcist (1973)
  10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Titanic has made $1.8 billion worldwide to date, and it’s only number 6 on the all-time list. Gone With the Wind has made $3.8 billion, more than twice as much.

“The Flour City”

Cities with dubious epithets:

  • Eau Claire, Mich.: Cherry Pit Spitting Capital of the World
  • Burlington, Iowa: Loader/Backhoe Capital of the World
  • Sturgis, Mich.: Curtain Rod Capital of the World
  • Beaver, Okla.: Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World
  • La Crosse, Kan.: Barbed Wire Capital of the World
  • Clearwater, Fla.: Lightning Capital of the World
  • Gallup, N.M.: Drunk Driving Capital of the World

Wichita, Kan., calls itself the “Air Capital of the World.” Touché.