I was once again cleaning out my bookcase and files, and came across a book I had forgotten I owned. It is a fine book – really a classic – and it has been a constant source of my entertainment and my lifelong desire for what they might call “the knowledge of the arcane.” Written by the chair and founding member of The Useless Information Society, Noel Botham has spent a great deal of time collating and discovering thousands of things that are actually interesting, but worthless pieces of information. Just the kind of stuff I love.
So, with your permission, or even if not, I’d like to share a few with you, just as a way of quick starting your day and your imagination:
Giraffes have no vocal chords.
A person’s skin weighs twice as much as the brain (not sure how they measured that one).
In the 19th century, a company sold McCoy Sewing Machines. Their advertisement gave us “The Real McCoy.”
The term “passing the buck” came from having a buck horned handled knife placed in front of the one who was the dealer in a card game. If someone didn’t want to deal, they would “pass the buck.”
The highest wave ever recorded happened in 1933. It was ten stories high – 112 feet, and happened in the North Pacific.
The teaspoon of a neutron star weighs 110 MILLION tons.
The average housefly lives for one month – unless it happens to come into our house, with three cats…
Even when they dined without guests, King George V insisted his sons wear full evening dress – white tie, tails, decorations, including the garter star and sash. Kind of tough is you just ordered pizza…
The original Batmobile only got four miles to the gallon.
Lucille Ball became a redhead when she was thirty. She was born a brunette, and then dyed her hair as a platinum blonde at age 18.
The Muppet Show was banned in Saudi Arabia – because of Miss Piggy. Pigs are forbidden to Muslims.
The first person to refer to a coward as a chicken was William Shakespeare.
St. Paul, Minnesota, was originally named “Pig’s Eye,” after a saloon.
Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon with his left foot first. (See how interesting all this is?)
At President Andrew Jackson’s funeral, they had to remove his pet parrot, because he wouldn’t stop swearing…
Jimmy Carter was the first US President to be born in a hospital.
Women’s hearts beat faster and they blink more often than men.
Men get hiccups more often than women do.
CDs, or compact discs, read from the inside to the outside – the opposite of how records are played.
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
When you sneeze, all your bodily functions stop – even your heart. And…even on the hottest day, your skin temperature rarely goes above 95 degrees F.
Now – right now you are asking yourself one of two questions, which will give you a great insight into your brain’s processing. It will be either, “Why would I ever want to know any of this stuff?” or “How did I not know all of this before now?” Neither one is better than the other, but it does betray our interest in an ever expanding knowledge in this world. Perhaps you have heard that 90% of all knowledge that exists today has been created in the last two years alone. That is astounding to me, and should be a call to each of us to continue to grow and expand our own knowledge base. You never know when you will need to know that the real Butch Cassidy did not die in Bolivia, but came home without Sundance and became an adding-machine manufacturer. Or something like that…
Word for the day: lemniscate. Pronounced lem-NIS-skit. It comes from the Latin, and possibly even the Greek, meaning “decorated with ribbons.” Now, you have to use your imagination to get where it has arrived today. Those of you math majors, or astronomers will recognize that a “lemniscate” is really the symbol for infinity. Don’t ask me why – although I guess it does look a little like a couple of ribbons…
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.