Vatican City has the highest per capita crime rate of any nation on earth.
The King and I has never been performed in Thailand.
On the morning of Feb. 8, 1855, residents of Devon, England, awoke to find a series of prints in the snow. Resembling cloven hooves, the “devil’s footprints” ran through the countryside for more than 100 miles, largely along straight lines and seemingly unimpeded by rivers, haystacks and other obstacles.
Some attribute the prints to hopping mice, whose jumps can leave hooflike marks, but they’d have to be pretty ambitious mice — the tracks covered more than 100 miles, topping houses and high walls. On the other hand, no one has offered a better explanation.
Pearl Harbor as seen from a Japanese attack plane.
“I can run wild for six months,” Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto had predicted. “After that, I have no expectation of success.”
The elephant is the only animal with four knees.
Paul McCartney’s working lyrics for “Yesterday”:
Have an omelette with some Muenster cheese
Put your dishes in the wash bin please
So I can clean the scrambled eggs
Join me do
There’s a lot of eggs for me and you
I’ve got ham and cheese and bacon too
So go get two and join me do
Fried or sunny side
Just aren’t right
The mix-bowl begs
Quick, go get a pan, and we’ll scramble up some eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs
Good for breakfast, dinner time or brunch
Don’t buy six or twelve, buy a bunch
And we’ll have a lunch on scrambled eggs
“The song was around for months and months before we finally completed it,” John Lennon remembered. “We made up our minds that only a one-word title would suit; we just couldn’t find the right one. Then one morning Paul woke up and the song and the title were both there, completed. I was sorry in a way, we’d had so many laughs about it.”
What’s the largest living thing in the world? It depends:
- Savannah elephants get up to 26,400 pounds, and of course some land dinosaurs were far larger.
- In the ocean, the blue whale can reach 100 feet and weigh 150 tons. It’s thought to be the largest animal that’s ever lived.
- There’s a fungus in Oregon’s Malheur National Forest that fills 2,200 acres, but technically it’s not one individual organism.
- Likewise, there are some stands of aspens that grow from one gigantic root system. One covers 200 acres and weighs an estimated 6,600 tons.
- Australia’s Great Barrier Reef stretches for 2000 kilometers — it’s not a single creature, but it’s certainly the world’s largest “superorganism.”
- The overall winning candidate is probably this tree, California’s “General Sherman.” It’s 274 feet tall and 36 feet thick at the base, with a trunk volume of 1,487 cubic meters.
The largest bacterium ever discovered, by the way, is Thiomargarita namibiensis — it grows to 0.75 mm in diameter, which means you can see it with the naked eye. Eww.
adj. of the nature of furniture
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” — Douglas Adams
This is Eutyches, a young boy who died in Egypt during the Roman Empire. How do we know this? Because this portrait was stuffed inside his mummy.
This was actually a common practice in the Fayum region of ancient Egypt, and it’s given us some of the best-preserved paintings from ancient times.
Artists would paint the portraits on wooden panels, using hot, pigmented wax, and they’ve survived remarkably well in the region’s dry heat.
CAT scans show that the portraits match their mummies in age and sex, and they’re strikingly naturalistic, though reportedly a little formulaic.
Many, like Eutyches, were children, a sad mark of the era’s low life expectancy.