Archive for the ‘odd’ Tag

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.

06-28-2013   2 comments

I know all of you are just sitting there and waiting for the answers to yesterday’s celebrity quiz.  Here’s the complete list of celebrities with their aliases.  How did you really do?

Boris Karloff…..William Henry Pratt
Mary Pickford…..Gladys Smith
Audrey Hepburn…..Edda Van Heemsta
Samuel Goldwyn…..Sam Goldfish
W.C. fields…..William Claude Dunkenfield
Martin Sheen…..Ramon Esteves
Michael Keaton…..Michael Douglas
Roy Rogers…..Leonard Slye
Dale Evans…..Francis Octavia Smith
Mel Brooks…..Melvin Kominsky
Jane Wyman…..Sarah Jane Folks
Whooping Goldberg…..Caryn Johnson
Joan Crawford…..Lucille Le Sueur
Woody Allen…..Allen Stewart Kinigsberg
Charlie Sheen…..Carlos Esteves

On to the next subject.  As promised, another list of totally useless information I’ve collected from all sorts of sources both on the net and elsewhere.

  • Twenty-eight percent of Africa is wilderness while thirty eight percent of North America is wilderness.
  • A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
  • A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
  • The average person spends three years of his or her life on a toilet.
  • Take your height and divide by eight. That’s how tall your head is.
  • One in three male motorists picks their nose while driving.
  • More than ten people a year are killed by vending machines.
  • More Monopoly money is printed in a year, than real money printed throughout the world.
  • Famous billionaire Howard Hughes stored his own urine in large bottles.
  • Approximately $25 million is spent each year on lap dances in Las Vegas.
  • 23% of all photocopier faults worldwide are caused by people sitting on them and photocopying their butts.
  • Each year, there are more than 40,000 toilet related injuries in the United States.
  • Coca-cola was originally green.
  • The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra’s "It’s a Wonderful Life".

Are you feeling smarter now?  Slowly but surely I’m filling your heads with mind numbing information which you’ll probably never use in any conversation and will most likely forget by Monday.  It’s my insidious plot to takeover the world, one mind at a time.

03-08-2013   4 comments

As I promised a week or so ago, if I found any interesting tidbits of useless information and trivia, I would pass them along to you. I have a few here that are obscure, a little strange, but as best I can determine accurate. Read them and remember them because you never know when you might get caught up in a vicious game of Trivial Pursuit. A number of these items were researched by the late great Isaac Asimov. He was one of the smartest men alive in his day and had a habit of collecting and researching odd tidbits of information. Enjoy!

  • Drilling an oil well 5 miles deep requires drilling night and day, seven days a week, for as long as 500 days.
  • The total population of the earth at the time of Julius Caesar was 150 million. The total population increase in two years on earth today is 150 million.
  • During the next minute, 100 people will die 240 will be born. The world’s population problem increases by a 140 people per minute.
  • Many years ago a Harvard student on his way home to visit his parents fell between two railroad cars at the station in Jersey City, New Jersey, and was rescued by an actor on his way to visit his sister in Philadelphia. The student was Robert Lincoln, heading for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The actor was Edwin Booth the brother of the man who a few weeks later would murder the students father.
  • There are 2,500,000 rivets in the Eiffel Tower.
  • There is a salt mine in the Polish town of Wieliczka, near Cracow, that has been in operation for nearly 1000 years.
  • While Columbus was seeking new worlds to the West, Italian engineers were rebuilding the Kremlin in Moscow.
  • There are more than 100 distinct ethnic groups in the Soviet Union.
  • Every cubic mile of seawater holds over 150,000,000 tons of minerals. There are 350,000,000 cubic miles of seawater on the planet.
  • It was proposed in the Rhode Island legislature in the 1970’s that there be enacted a two dollar tax on every act of sexual intercourse.
  • Morocco was the first country to officially recognize the United States in 1789.
  • Some Eskimos use refrigerators to keep their food from freezing.
  • In 1978, more than 1000 deer were accidentally killed in Connecticut by automobile drivers. Only 948 were killed by hunters.

Well there you have it.  More useless information for you to cram into your brain so you can amaze your friends and family and possibly win a few bar bets.  More to come I’m sure.