• That word “hick” started out in the 1500s as a nickname for “Richard.” But it didn’t get around to mean “country bumpkin” until about 1920. During the several decades before 1920, an unsophisticated provincial person was called a “jay.” Whence “jaywalking.”

• The lamprey has teeth but no jaw. Its body architecture is a little tricky. The teeth are on its tongue.

• History records that some ancient Egyptians were sentenced to “the penalty of the peach.” What was that? asks a client. Death by cyanide poisoning. Pretty smart, those ancients. They knew enough to synthesize hydrocyanic acid from peach and cherry pits and bitter almonds.

• It’s always the first hill on a roller coaster ride that’s biggest.

• Pay attention, I want to tell you how to grunt for worms. You sharpen one end of a hickory stake and pound it into the ground. Take a piece of flat iron, such as the leaf from a car spring, and rub it hard across the top of the stake. The noise and vibration bring the worms to the surface for about 25 feet around. Go get them.

• It was the custom of women in ancient Egypt to pluck all the hair from their heads and then buff their scalps to a high shine.

• There’s a difference between “poultry” and “fowl.” Poultry is domesticated.

* Laws were enforced in the 15th century to ensure that nobody except the nobility would carry handkerchiefs.

• Some medicos still insist blushing is inherited.

• All houseflies are born fully grown.

• One supermarket study reports most men prefer paper bags, most women plastic

• How close to the ocean would you choose to live? Just close enough to get there and back for a day’s outing? More than half of all U.S. residents live within an hour’s drive of an ocean beach, according to the statisticians.

• In poker, don’t forget, if you’re dealt a pair, that increases odds your opponent is dealt a pair, too.

• A cat will let you know if it’s comfortable with you. It closes its eyes.

• In the Maryland of 1635, you needed a license to hunt buffalo.

• Do some mothers pretend to love babies simply because it’s expected of them? Undoubtedly, says a medical specialist. He cites the Queen Victoria case. She did not like babies, as you may have read. She said, “An ugly baby is a very nasty object...” She had nine.


• In Spades, Indiana, it’s illegal to open a can of food by shooting it with a revolver.


• If the sky watchers have it right, lightning hits ground somewhere in Alaska about

   3,000 times every June.


• When a river rises, the water in midstream is higher than the water along the banks.


• Eyes of the Mount Rush more Presidents are 11 feet wide


• Among people who say they’re “happily married,” that ailment called, “depression” is nearly four times more common in women than in men. But note, also: If divorced, men are more likely to experience profound depression, even though divorces usually hit women far harder financially. Says one expert: “Divorced women are likely to be injured, practically. Divorced men tend to be ruined, emotionally.”


• That sea animal known as the Portuguese man o’ war has no eyes, ears, skeleton or backbone, and practically no control over how it moves in the water.


• Seven out of 10 new hats in this country are caps of the baseball variety.


* Credit the left side of your brain for your choice of words, the right side for your tone of voice. So says an authority on the matter.


• If Russia’s medical records are correct, could be what made Ivan the Terrible so terrible was his cerebral syphilis.


• You know heat aggravates dogs. But do you know how I know? Because letter carriers reportedly are most likely to be bitten between July 3rd and Aug. 11th.


* Odds run only about one in eight now that you — you are an American, aren’t you? —have any English ancestors.


• What really scattered the game of baseball around the United States was the Union

    army during the Civil War.



Q. Who coined the term Third World?

A. Charles de Gaulle. He meant countries neutral in the Cold War. Later, it came to

      mean undeveloped countries.


Q. What was the greatest epidemic in human history?

A. The influenza sweep of 1918. It Killed 21 million people.

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