For you Calvin and
Hobbes fans (several of my former students and my dad included), the tiger
Hobbes was named after philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679).
The laughing, cackling bird heard in the background of
hundreds of jungle movies supposedly on location in Africa, South America or
India is actually the kookaburra and is native only to Australia.
The oven concept has been around for millennia.
Archeologists speculate that some 6,000 years ago, almost every family dwelling
in the Indus Valley (India) had at least one small kiln for baking food (most
Would you be able to guess the continent that is home to
the world’s largest desert? Smile if you correctly answered “Antarctica.”
Speaking of deserts – scientists say that portions of the
famous Atacama Desert (Chile) have possibly had no rainfall in the last ten
million years. I suppose they checked newspapers from WAY back.
Approximately 4,000 purple autumn crocuses are consumed to
produce one ounce of the yellow dye powder saffron.
Ulysses Grant had several fine horses. One of his
favorites was a beautiful animal from Illinois named Egypt. This valuable horse
was never ridden in battle.
There have been some extremely destructive fires in
America – two of the most famous occurred in Chicago (1871) and San Francisco
(1906). However, there was a conflagration in Boston (1872) that history seems
to have largely forgotten. Twelve firefighters lost their lives battling the
blaze. More than 960 companies lost buildings including 300 warehouses full of
costly merchandise. Thousands of residents were left homeless during that
Massachusetts November. One of the ironies of the tragedy is that alarmed
insurance company representatives had inspected Boston shortly after the 1871 Chicago
fire and warned that the “City on a Hill” was very much in danger should even a
small blaze be ignited.
If you possess a book that is classified as Incunabula, you have a tome printed
before 1500 A.D. It is unlikely that you have such a prize, but maybe…
Prior to 1946, there were no “Canadian citizens.” Such
personages were simply “British subjects.” I found no mention of “British
predicates or pronouns.”
In early Mickey Mouse cartoons (1929-1942), Mickey often
shared screen time with a ridiculously drawn equine named Horace Horsecollar. Horace
walked on two legs and had three-fingered “hands.” He was even the featured
star of the 1934 cartoon “Camping Out.” Well, try to properly appreciate any
Incunabula you may encounter – and have a most pleasant weekend.