Archive for the ‘odd’ Tag

08/04/2022 “More Historical Oddities”   Leave a comment

I’ll be the history fanatic today offering you a few facts that most people haven’t heard or read about. So, no run-of-the-mill stuff today. I hope you enjoy them.

1900

In Brussels, a young anarchist made an assassination attempt on the Prince of Wales. (Future King Edward VII). His Royal Highness reputedly explained, “Fuck it, I’ve taken a bullet.”, although he was in fact untouched.

1902

So numerous were the mistresses of Edward VII that at his coronation a special pew, known as the “loose box” was reserved for them.

1904

The French physician and psychiatrist, Madeleine Pelletier, A cross-dressing celibate feminist, became a Freemason, joining the Novell Jerusalem lodge.

1905

The 25-stone Chelsea goalkeeper, William “Fatty” Folkes, lifted a Port Vale forward off the ground and hurled him into his own goal. The penalty was awarded against Chelsea.

1905

Maurice Garin won the Tour de France, but four months later it was shown that he had traveled some of the route by train rather than by bicycle.

1909

On 12 December, King Leopold II of the Belgians married Caroline Lacroix, a prostitute who had borne him two sons. He died five days later.

1912

As soon as the Titanic went down, the White Star Line, the ship’s owners, stopped the wages of the crew.

1914

On November 4, a British attempt to capture the port of Tanga in German East Africa was repelled when the invaders were attacked by swarms of bees and were obliged to retreat into the sea.

1915

In New York, the French artist Marcel Duchamp submitted a work entitled Fountain to the Salon des Independents, which rejected it. The work comprised a porcelain urinal, signed by “R. Mutt”

03/23/2022 “Time for Lunch”   2 comments

I thought today we might talk a little bit about food and drink. Just a little bit of trivia concerning some of our favorite consumables and some not so favorite. Don’t read this before you eat your lunch, it might put you off a little bit.

  • To make 1 pound of honey, bees must tap an average of 2 million flowers and fly more than 50,000 miles.
  • In ancient times oranges, not apples, were known as the” Fruits of the Gods”.
  • Some fast-food hamburgers are made of only 12% meat.
  • More than 45% of Americans eat fast food once a week.
  • To burn the calories consumed while eating a McDonald’s Big Mac, large fries, and a large soda, you must walk briskly for seven straight hours.
  • The US FDA allows pizza sauce at fast food restaurants to contain a maximum of 30 fly eggs per 100 grams, or 15 fly eggs and one maggot per 100 grams.
  • Each day McDonald’s feeds more people than the entire population of Spain.
  • Worcestershire sauce is created by dissolving the whole anchovies in vinegar, until the bones melt.
  • Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.
  • Honey is the only natural food that does not rot. Theoretically honey could sit for 1 million years and remain completely edible.
  • On average there are more than 1200 calories in movie theater popcorn if you include the butter topping. That’s the equivalent of the calories in one pound of baby back ribs or two McDonald’s Big Macs.
  • M&Ms are the top-selling candy in the United States. Second is Reese’s peanut butter cups and third is the Snickers bar.
  • In China, the most popular use of ketchup is as a condiment for fried chicken.
  • The French government banned ketchup in its primary schools in 2011, fearing it would encourage children to develop Americanized taste preferences.
  • No more than two rodent hairs, or 29 gnawed kernels, can be shipped in a pound of popcorn.

ENJOY YOUR MEALS AND SNACKS (LOL)

03/08/2022 “Oddities”   Leave a comment

I am a constant collector of weird and unusual facts and information. During my travels if I see something that even looks a little bit interesting, I collected it. I have many books in my archives that I’ve not read as thoroughly as I’d like and information your see here is from one of those books. Hope you enjoy it.

  • As the great Chicago fire of 1871 killed 300 people, an even deadlier fire was under way 200 miles to the north. It devastated Peshtigo, Wisconsin, killing 600 people; but somehow it never got the same attention.
  • All of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, is heated by underground hot springs. Reykjavík is probably the cleanest capital city in the world.
  • The first hydrogen bomb, tested in 1952, was as powerful as the total of all the bombs dropped on Germany and Japan during World War II, including both of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • The African climate is not always warm. The Nile River has frozen over at least twice, in 829 A.D. and in 1010.
  • For amusement, it was agreed by four friends holidaying in Switzerland that each would write a ghost story. Percy B Shelley, George Byron, and Dr. John William Polidori never finished theirs. Only 18-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin did. She published it anonymously two years later, in 1818, with a preface by her husband, Shelley. Mary Shelley’s novel about Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his monstrous creation became a classic.
  • Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norkay deservedly received much praise when they were the first to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. Less known is the fact that they had a roster of 12 climbers, 40 Sherpa guides, and 700 porters.
  • Three pairs of common English rabbits were let loose in Australia, in the middle of the 19th century. Within a decade, the six rabbits had multiplied into millions, menacing the country’s agriculture.
  • Japan did not send an ambassador to another nation until it sent Niimi Masaoki to the US for a few weeks in 1860.
  • The daughters of a mother who is colorblind and a father who has normal vision will have normal vision. The sons will be colorblind, however.
  • Up to 150 tons of meteorite fragments slammed into the Earth each year. As far as is known, only seven people have been struck by such rocks from space.
  • By “deciphering” the Book of Revelations, a minister in Lochau in East Germany proclaimed that the world would end on October 18, 1533. When it didn’t happen, the minister, Michael Stiftel, was given a thorough thrashing by the townspeople.

I certainly hope you enjoy reading these obscure facts. It’s almost as much fun as actually collecting them. More are certain to follow because I barely scratched the surface of books I haven’t thoroughly read yet.

WHEN IN DOUBT, READ A BOOK

12/02/2021 Synchronicity ???   Leave a comment

The subject of this posting is synchronicity which is just another fancy word for coincidence. Being a former criminal investigator I was trained to believe there is no such thing as coincidence. For quite a few years I truly believed that there weren’t but one midnight shift in the summer of 1974 change all that. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible but I tend to ramble so bear with me.

It was an extremely hot August night; it was Sunday which was one of the slowest days of the week for police business. My partner and I were bored out of our minds because due to the heat there was very little activity. Around 2:30 in the morning we drove back to the state police barracks to check on the desk man who was working alone in the building. We brought him some soft drinks and lunch and we settled down to kill a few minutes.

We walked into the desk area, and it was like a bomb went off in there. He had been given an assignment on a slow night to start purging old reports from the files. We’re talking reports going back for years or more and he had three large trash barrels completely filled with pink slips. The pink slips were slips where each call was recorded and then forwarded to the appropriate officers for follow-up and reports. While both of us felt really sorry for the desk man, we didn’t feel sorry enough to jump into that nightmare. After 20 minutes of whining, we were guilted into helping the poor guy.

I was standing over one of the trash barrels that must’ve contained at least 400 old pink slips. While I was talking to the desk man I randomly picked one up and quickly read the title. Now you got to go back with me a few minutes because an hour or so prior to our visit to the barracks we’d been on a call for a suspicious vehicle at a specific residence at a specific time in the northern part of our county. I looked down at the pink slip I’d picked out of the barrel, and it was dated exactly one year ago and concerned a suspicious vehicle at a specific residence at a specific time in the northern part of the county. It was identical to the call we just completed. Exactly the same residence at exactly the same time and for the same reason. Then it got really weird because the officers assigned to the original complaint were my partner and me. To say we were stunned is an understatement.

To this day I can hardly believe the whole thing happened but it did. I have absolutely no explanation as to how that could have come about which I suppose is what keeps it interesting to this day. It’s made me wonder upon occasion if some of the weird coincidences we hear about are absolutely true.

I just finished reading a book titled Incredible Coincidences, written by Alan Vaughan. He documents dozens and dozens of cases similar to this and of course can offer no explanation for his either. It seems to me that it happens way more than we think if his book is any indicator. I’m still not a big believer in all the weirdness that people alleged is out there, but this incident gave me pause.

WEIRD!

11/02/2021 PEOPLE .👨‍🦰. PEOPLE .👸. PEOPLE   2 comments

Like everyone else I spend an inordinate amount of my time people watching, listening, and wondering. We all do it and most of us find it enjoyable but even those that don’t do find it interesting and curious. As I surf the Net I’ve read thousands of articles that center most of their interests on people. Looking at it from my perspective, what else is there to write about that will capture an audience. People are by far the most interesting and disturbing characters to examine that I’ve found. Dogs? No way, Cats? Not so much, Trees? Boring . . .

Once I made the decision to write primarily about people is when I stumbled upon reams and reams of information that I found cute, somewhat interesting, and some that were just down-right stupid. With that in mind I thought I’d send along a few facts to amuse and inform you.

  • 40% of all people who come to a party in your home snoop in your medicine cabinet. (Remember this when you throw your next party)
  • Every day 200 million couples make love, 400,000 babies are born, and 140,000 people die. (Our three main interests)
  • Over the same period of time, women who read romance novels tend to have twice as many lovers as those who don’t. (Romance novels = motivation)
  • The frequency with which a woman has orgasms during her sleep actually increases as she ages during her childbearing years. (Is it any wonder they think they can do without man completely)
  • Mothers pregnant with boys are less forgetful than those carrying girls. (I don’t know what to make of this tidbit)
  • Girls have more taste buds than boys. (I can go off-color here but I won’t)

As I’ve stated many times before I want to meet the people who research these odd bits of information just out of sheer curiosity. I’d like to know if these facts are really as accurate as they say. I also want to submit my resume to them for their next job opening. This would have to be the best freaking job on the planet and I want in.

THE GREAT WIDE WONDERFUL WORLD OF PEOPLE

07-11-2016 Journal – Religious Trivia!   Leave a comment

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I am not now or ever have been considered a religious person. I’ve read as much information as I could find on almost every major religion over the years. It was my vain attempt to convince myself one way or the other that such a thing was necessary in my life.  I accomplished my goal but it left me with volumes of information on religions both interesting and some not so much.  Today I’ll post some strange but true religious trivia and you can do with it what you will.

  • The temple of all faiths: Birla Temple in New Delhi, India, includes separate areas for worship for every known religion.
  • It was not until the fourth century that the church (Christianity) began to celebrate the feast of Christmas.
  • The first Bible printed in America in 1663 was a translation into the Algonkian language.

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  • The word “and” appears 46,277 times in the King James version of the Bible.
  • Hijmar, a holy man of Benares, India, held his left arm in the same position for 12 years.
  • The first book digest: Dubash Meghji, of Zanzibar., ate one page of the Koran each day for thirty years.
  • Each year Shia Muslims in Ahmadabad, India, mourn the death of Imam Husain, a descendant of the prophet Mohammad, by whipping themselves with knife-tipped chains.
  • In 1993, Israel’s telephone company offered a service for people to fax messages to God, to be placed in the Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall.
  • Forty nuns at a convent in Stetyl, the Netherlands, have maintained a continuous prayer in their chapel for ninety-eight years.

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  • The people who worship a nail: The Maria Gonds of  Chandra, India, pray only to a 12 inch spike.
  • In 1685 a church bell from a Protestant chapel in France was whipped and burned after being charged with “inflaming the hearts of heretics”.
  • Prayer stones addressed to Egyptian god Ra and sold to worshippers in Ancient Egypt had large ears engraved on them – so Ra would be sure to hear their messages.
  • In 1992 a historic church in Melle, France, installed a juke box that plays Gregorian chants, Tibetan mantras, and Jewish liturgical music.

And last but not least:

  • Ancient Egyptian priests in 450 b.c. trained baboons to sweep out their temples.

CAN I GET AN AMEN?

12-12-2015 Journal–Christmas Weirdness!   1 comment

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It’s easy to get on a lengthy sentimental journey of sorts during the Christmas season but with this posting I hope to avoid that.  Christmas and all of it’s incarnations worldwide are interesting and strange to say the least. Here are a host of weird and strange Christmas factoids you may not be aware of but are true nonetheless.

  • Japanese people traditionally eat at KFC for Christmas dinner, thanks to a successful marketing campaign 40 years ago. KFC is so popular that customers must place their Christmas orders 2 months in advance.
  • Paul McCartney earns $400,000 a year off his Christmas song, which is widely regarded as the worst song he ever recorded. 
  • Mistletoe kissing originated with fertility rites. The hanging sprig is a very ancient symbol of virility and therefore anybody standing beneath it is signaling that he or she is sexually available.
  • About half of Sweden’s population watches Donald Duck cartoons every Christmas Eve since 1960 .
  • Mormon missionaries can only call home twice a year: once on Mother’s Day and again on Christmas.

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Don’t you feel bad for poor old Paul McCartney. He reaped only $400,000.00 a year for a crappy song. Keep the lucky bastard in your Christmas prayers.  And KFC for Christmas in Japan? That’s as weird as it gets.

  • Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is the only record to get the UK Christmas Singles Chart Number One twice, once in 1975 and again in 1991.
  • Engineers designing the Voyager Space mission planned it to avoid planetary encounters over Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • The US playing card company ‘Bicycle’ had manufactured a playing card in WW2. That, when the card was soaked, it would reveal an escape route for POWs. These cards were Christmas presents for all POWs in Germany. The Nazis were none the wiser.
  • The people of Oslo, Norway donate the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree every year in gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during WWII.
  • The Christmas Tree is a manufactured tradition. Victorian intellectuals  invented the tradition as part of a social movement to consciously reform Christmas away from its tradition of raucous drinking.

Hooray for Freddy Mercury and Queen. Their Christmas song just has to be better than McCartney’s.  The Victorians did us no favors so bring back  all that raucous drinking, please.

  • Christmas as a "day off" is a recent innovation. As late as 1850, December 25 was not a legal holiday in New England.
  • The Beatles hold the record for most Xmas number 1 singles, topping the charts in 1963, 65 and 67.
  • The highest-grossing holiday movie is 2000’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which has raked in $175m so far.
  • Hanging stockings comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas’s donkeys. He would leave small gifts in return.
  • There is no reference to angels singing anywhere in the Bible.

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No angels singing in the Bible. Isn’t that just a giant kick in the ass? Personally I don’t think there was much singing at all in the Bible. People were too busy begatting and killing to have time for singing.

  • Jesus was probably born in a cave and not a wooden stable, say Biblical scholars.
  • In 1999, residents of the state of Maine in America built the world’s biggest ever snowman. He stood at 113ft tall.
  • The holly in a wreath symbolizes Christ’s crown of thorns while the red berries are drops of his blood.
  • Jingle Bells was the first song broadcast from space when Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra sang it on December 16, 1965.
  • Astronomers believe the Star Of Bethlehem, which guided the wise men to Jesus, may have been a comet or the planet Uranus.

I’m glad to see the state of Maine making the list. Although how proud can you be about a giant snowman. Snow is about all we have to offer except for a few billion pine trees.

  • Santa Claus has different names around the world – Kriss Kringle in Germany, Le Befana in Italy, Pere Noel in France and Deushka Moroz (Grandfather Frost) in Russia.
  • In Britain, the best-selling holiday song is Band Aid’s 1984 track, Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which sold 3.5 million copies. Wham! is next in the same year with Last Christmas, selling 1.4 million.
  • US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.
  • Despite the tale of three wise men paying homage to baby Jesus, the Bible never gives a number. Matthew’s Gospel refers to merely "wise men".
  • There are 13 Santa’s in Iceland, each leaving a gift for children. They come down from the mountain one by one, starting on December 12 and have names like Spoon Licker, Door Sniffer and Meat Hook.

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Another misquote from the Bible. Are you shocked? Not me.  And thanks to all of those scientists for taking the time out of their busy work day to compute those figures.  Get a life guys.

TWELVE SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

09-13-2015 Journal–Rainy Day Projects!   Leave a comment

With the season change looming and with a few days of rain expected, it’s time to get back to work on some of my side projects. One in particular needs immediate attention because I’m running out of time to have it done by November 14th.  It’s a weird but special gift for my better-half the beer connoisseur.  On top of being a beer expert she’s also a collector of sorts. Over the last twenty-five years she’s religiously saved bottle caps from every type of beer she’s ever tasted.  We ended up with a garbage bag filled with hundreds of beer memories (bottle caps) but had no idea what to do with them. 

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It’s funny how things fall together at times. Just as I was cutting our ties with the Dish Network by removing their equipment from the side of our house, I had a revelation.  I took the dish and all of it’s component parts, reconstructed them into a sort of interesting but weird side table.

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As I was working on the table I looked over to the corner of the workshop and saw the bag of bottle caps.  It was then I decided to use the colorful and interesting bottle caps to create a mosaic top for my Dish Network Memorial Table. What better gift for a beer connoisseur than a one-of-a-kind table for her to sit her beer on.

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I used a floor-leveler compound to flatten out the dish interior a little and then got to work on the mosaic top. The wide range of bottle cap colors surprised me a bit but made the job much easier.

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Two coats of high gloss paint will make it pretty and mounting it  on a wooded base will keep it sturdy enough for everyday use.  Then it’s adhesive, bottle cap placement, and a decorative grout.  I’ll post my future progress  (if I have any) and hopefully this thing will be finished in time for the birthday celebration.

12-15-2013 Christmas Food Traditions   Leave a comment

I’m what you might consider a “foodie”.  I love to cook and above all I love to eat.  It might explain why I’m in the middle of a six month weight loss program.  As a kid I always looked forward to the holiday season primarily due to my grandmothers Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.  Every country and ethnic group has their own list of traditions for the holidays and compared to the United States they can be  just a bit strange and a few are a little disgusting.  Some are fun but they all accomplish the same basic things as ours.  Time with family, friends, and memories of past holidays and family members.

Here are a few I discovered while surfing which are very interesting.  I can guarantee one thing after reading them, I’ll never be attending Christmas dinners anywhere in Scandinavia.  I love  seafood but OMFG.

Japan

In Japan it’s customary to go out and eat Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas dinner from a nearby KFC of course. Thousands of people flock to KFC’s to enjoy some finger licking chicken and the Christmas rush has become so huge that some branches take table bookings.

Peru

In Peru, the big day is Noche Buena or “Good Night”, on December 24. On this night, after mass, everybody goes home to open gifts and feast on an elaborately prepared Christmas meal of traditional roasted turkey. At midnight, the adults toast with champagne and children raise their glasses of hot chocolate as fireworks shine in the night sky.

Bulgaria

In Bulgaria they cook 12 dishes to represent the 12 months of the year but they eat no meat. A typical feast consists of nuts, dried plums, cakes and banitza (a pastry). Walnuts are a necessary component of the meal as each family member cracks one in order to determine their fate for the next year.

France

Traditionally the French dine on a starter of fresh oysters served with rye bread and butter and lemon juice or shallot vinegar. Some households may also eat smoked salmon or escargots (snails). This dish is then followed by a second starter of Coquilles St Jacques (Scallops with mushrooms and white wine).

Italy

After the meatless day before Christmas, Italians often enjoy a delicious Christmas dinner that includes other meats. From lamb to roast beef, turkey or pork, Italians often include foods other than fish on their tables on Christmas day. Salads and antipasto are often the first course. Broccoli, eggplant, peppers and other vegetables are featured in side dishes. Pasta’s, a staple of Italian cooking, are also included on the big day, in baked dishes or as homemade vermicelli. Crostini, a dry toasted bread, is often included in the meal.  Fruits and nuts may also make an appearance as well as desserts and sweets. Try your hand at making belfanini an anise flavored cookie.

Puerto Rico

Popular dishes include roast pig, rice and pea dishes, coquito or eggnog made with rum and coconut milk, coconut custard, fried plantains, and nuts. Many families also celebrate with unique dishes only made during the holiday season.

Sweden

Swedish Julafton (Christmas Eve dinner) typically consists of a smorgasbord with julskinka (a type of Christmas ham), lutefisk (pickled pigs feet), dried codfish, sliced gravlax (raw salmon cured in salt, sugar and dill), pickled herring and an assortment of sweets.

Norway

They enjoy pinnekjøtt which is salted lamb ribs for the main course. To compliment the meat they tend to eat mashed rutabaga (also known as swede) which is kind of like our turnips.  Another favorite meat at Christmas is the lambs head to go along with the lamb ribs. This is boiled and salted (minus the brains) and the head is eaten from front to back with the tongue and eye muscles being particularly yummy cuts.

Czech Republic

Christmas is a very religious and peaceful time in the Czech Republic and everyone fasts for one day in the run up to the Christmas meal. They then start with a fish soup which is followed by the tradition of carp. This is often accompanied by a potato salad including onions, cooked carrots, pickled gherkins, cooked eggs and mayonnaise. This is prepared on Christmas Eve and allowed to ‘mellow’ for a day before eating. YUM?????

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You see what I mean about Scandinavia.  Truly some acquired tastes there.  I hope you’re finished with your shopping and are preparing to relax and enjoy the holiday.  I know, I know, who am I kidding.  You’re probable a bunch of Christmas Eve shoppers who get off on the big crowds and incidental body contact.  Another unusual Christmas tradition that started in NYC on the subways. LOL

08-30-2013   Leave a comment

Have you ever just been standing around people watching and wondering about things?  I have.  Do certain things you see and hear make you wonder what the hell is going on?  I thought it only right that I look into some of these matter because they bother the hell out of me.

Take a moment and come  up with a few of your own.  They are every where it seems and no one has any answers as to why.

  • Why is it that women show up at Walmart in a pink sweat-suit that’s two sizes too small with “Hot & Juicy” stitched across the butt?
  • Why does the sun lightens our hair, but darken our skin?
  • Why can’t women put on mascara without opening their mouths?
  • Why are they are called apartments when they are all stuck together?
  • If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of Progress?
  • Why must you click on "Start" to stop Windows 7?
  • Why is it that lemon juice is made with artificial flavor, while dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons?
  • Why haven’t we ever seen the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?
  • Why does a fiftyish man have a comb over more than 5 inches long and things no one notices?
  • Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?
  • What possesses a person to paint his house pink?
  • Why do doctors call what they do "practice"?
  • Why aren’t planes made from the same material used for the indestructible black boxes ?
  • Why did they ever decide to name the airport "The Terminal"?
  • What thought process occurs to cause an beautiful and intelligent young lady to streak her hair red and pierce her nose in three different places?
  • Why isn’t there a mouse-flavored cat food and what person tastes dog food when it has a "New & Improved" flavor?
  • Why do they bother to sterilize the needles used for lethal injections?

Who can answer these questions?  I need some answers and I need them now?  How can I be convinced that your basic average human being is intelligent and right-thinking when I see hundreds of these types of things every week. It just doesn’t fill me with much confidence that the human race can survive itself.  It’s just more than a little scary.

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