|FAX NIKITA: Strange But TRUE
Strange but True
Contributed by Bob Powers, Marietta, OH, USA
IT'S A LITTLE KNOWN FACT THAT...
1. In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. That's where the phrase, "goodnight, sleep tight" came from.
2. The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." uses every letter in the alphabet. (developed by Western Union to test telex/twx communications)
3. The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
4. When opossums are playing 'possum,' they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror.
5. The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.
6. The term "the whole 9 yards" came from W.W.II fighter pilots in the Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."
7. The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb. (What a shame)
8. The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for the "General Purpose" vehicle, G.P.
9. The cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth II, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
10. Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously. (don't you imagine that MOST things would be??)
11. The first toilet ever seen on television was on "Leave It To Beaver."
12. Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.
13. In Cleveland, Ohio, it's illegal to catch mice without a hunting license.
14. It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year's supply of footballs.
15. Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.
16. There are an average of 178 sesame seeds on a McDonald's Big Mac bun.
17. The world's termites outweigh the world's humans 10 to 1.
18. Ten percent of the Russian government's income comes from the sale of vodka.
19. On average, 100 people choke to death on ball-point pens every year. (Stress will do that.....you know.)
20. In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all the world's nuclear weapons combined.
21. It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month" or what we know today as the "honeymoon."
22. In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's."
23. Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle, " is the phrase inspired by this practice.
Strange but True
Contributed by Terry Terrian, Santa Rosa, CA
Benji, a frisky French poodle, killed his master by jumping on to his lap as he was demonstrating the safety catch of a handgun to his mother, who ws anxious about a spate of burglaries. The 30 lb. (14k) poodle caused the gun to fire into his heart and John Hwilka, a former Marine died within minutes of the accident.
Benji licked Hwilkas' face in a poignant effort to revive him. There were no plans to destroy the dog, which whined uncontrollably at his masters absence.
It was the second case in a fortnight of a dog killing it's owner. Michael Trevethan, 42, of California, died after he got out of his pickup to open a gate and his dog accidentally put the vehicle into gear, crushing him against a post.
The dog, a Rhodesian ridgeback, then died from dehydration because the truck's heater was set on full. From the cuts and bruises on Mr. Trevethan's body, police deduced that he had struggled in vain to free himself, and may have been pinned for up to 15 hours. -- Guardian,13 Sept., 1998. New York Post, 15 Oct., 1998
A man held at the state mental hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas, used either his fingers or sunglasses to pull out one of his eyes and flush it down a lavatory after being ruled competent to stand trial - his alleged offence is not revealed.
After being treated, he gouged out the other eye on 18 November. When he pulled out the first eye, his hands were chained to a belt at his waist, but he managed to lower his head enough to pull out the other eye. --- Salt Lake Tribune. 24 Nov., 1998
FAX NIKITA is looking for your STRANGE BUT TRUE facts. Send them in to G21 FAX NIKITA with the "Subject" line marked: "Nikita." We'll print them during the week.
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