Thread: Fun facts
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Evo
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Jan16-05, 02:30 PM
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Some fun tidbits.

A law passed in Nebraska in 1912 really set down some hard rules of the road. Drivers in the country at night were required to stop every 150 yards, send up a skyrocket, then wait eight minutes for the road to clear before proceeding cautiously, all the while blowing their horn and shooting off flares..

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Abraham Lincoln had no love for favor seekers, especially when they took his time away from the duties of the presidency during the Civil War. On one occasion, he gathered together a number of would- be-office holders and told them this story:
"There was once a King who wished to go out hunting, so he asked his minister if it was going to rain. The minister assured him that it would not. On the way to the woods, the King passed a farmer who was working the land with his donkey. The farmer warned the King that it would rain soon, but the King just laughed and continued on. A few minutes later it was pouring, and the King and his companions were soaked to their skin. Upon return to the castle, the King dismissed his minister and sent for the farmer. He asked the man how he knew it was going to rain.

""It was not me, your Majesty. It was my donkey. He always droops one ear when it is going to rain."

"So the King bought the donkey from the farmer and gave him the position of minister at court. This was where the King made his mistake."

"How was that," asked several people in the audience.

"Because ever since then," Lincoln continued, "every jackass wants an office. Gentlemen, leave your credentials and when the war is over you'll hear from me."

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One of the movie moguls the Marx Brothers had to deal with was Irving Thalberg of MGM. Purposefully or not, Thalberg had the annoying habit of making people wait outside his office for extended periods of time. One time he kept the Marx Brothers longer than they liked. When he finally got around to seeing them, he discovered they were stark naked outside his doorway, roasting potatoes in the lobby's fireplace. It was the last time he kept them waiting.

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According to many language experts, the most difficult kind of phrase to create is a palindrome, a sentence or group of sentences that reads the same backward and forward. A few examples:
Red rum, sir, is murder.

Ma is as selfless as I am.

Nurse, I spy gypsies. Run!

A man, a plan, a canal - Panama.

He lived as a devil, eh?

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In the memoirs of Catherine II of Russia, it is recorded that any Russian aristocrat who displeased the queen was forced to squat in the great antechamber of the palace and to remain in that position for several days, mewing like a cat, clucking like a hen, and pecking his food from the floor.

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An eighteenth-century German named Matthew Birchinger, known as "the little man of Nuremberg," played four musical instruments including the bagpipes, was an expert calligrapher, and was the most famous stage magician of his day. He performed tricks with the cup and balls that have never been explained. Yet Birchinger had no hands, legs, or thighs, and was less than 29 inches tall!

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The eccentric and paranoid American recluse Langley Collier met his untimely end in 1947. While he was bringing food to his equally odd brother Homer, who lived as a total hermit, Langley tripped on a wire to one of his own booby traps and was crushed beneath a suitcase filled with metal, a sewing machine, three breadboxes, and several bundles of newspapers. Homer starved to death, and their bodies were undiscovered for three weeks.

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When Leo Tolstoy and his brother were children, they created a club with a peculiar, almost impossible initiation ceremony. In order to become a member, one had to stand in a corner for a half an hour and not think of anything white.

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When the French Academy was preparing its first dictionary, it defined "crab" as, "A small red fish which walks backwards." This definition was sent with a number of others to the naturalist Cuvier for his approval. The scientist wrote back, "Your definition, gentlemen, would be perfect, only for three exceptions. The crab is not a fish, it is not red and it does not walk backwards."

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A person cannot taste food unless it is mixed with saliva. For example, if a strong-tasting substance like salt is placed on a dry tongue, the taste buds will not be able to taste it. As soon as a drop of saliva is added and the salt is dissolved, however, a definite taste sensation results. This is true for all foods. Try it!

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A rainbow can be seen only in the morning or late afternoon. It can occur only when the sun is 40 degrees or less above the horizon.

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It is illegal to hunt camels in the state of Arizona. (sorry tribdog, no camel hunting for you)

http://www.telacommunications.com/misc/facts.htm
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