Mustache wearers in England of yore endured periods wherein their hairy lips were costly. In 1447 Parliament temporarily banned the wearing of mustaches in order to easily identify their “mustache-wearing Irish enemies.” About eighty-eight years hence (1535) Henry VIII thought it crafty to tax all English citizens (likely, women were excluded) bearing either beards or mustaches. Henry was exempt from the levy.
Let me assure the reader that many soccer fans take their sport seriously – sometimes too seriously. In Lima, Peru on May 24, 1964 teams representing Peru and Argentina played a match in which game officials disallowed an apparent goal scored by the Peruvian squad. A riot broke out amongst the fans in attendance. More than 300 people were killed and another 500 seriously injured before the madness ceased.
The famous Boston Marathon has been run annually since 1897. Originally spanning 24.5 miles, the distance was changed to 26.2 miles in 1927 to conform to Olympic standards. Although the contest indubitably places extreme demands on the bodies of competitors, marathon related deaths are rare. Only one death per 50,000 entrants is typical. This mortality rate is estimated to be similar to that of race spectators on event days.
Scientists are aware of more than 3,000 distinct species of lice – so far.
I am fairly certain that no weird folks read my columns, so this is likely news: There exists a product named DraCola that is “blood red.” This soft drink is said to taste like ordinary colas. Sales seem to peak around Halloween and near Count Dracula’s supposed birthday (some unverified date in December).
I was long informed that lobsters scream whenever boiled in water. Carcinologists have now assured the uninformed that lobster screaming is impossible on at least two levels. First of all lobsters possess no vocal cords. Secondly these invertebrates have simple nervous systems that totally lack receptors necessary for detecting pain. Experience has taught me to never squabble with a carcinologist.
Polygamy is illegal in all 50 of our United States, in case you were wondering. However, several countries permit polygamy including Australia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Pakistan.
Pope Formosus was not popular with everyone. He died in 896, but the unfortunate Pontiff was disinterred (dug up) in 897 and tried for perjury. Pope Formosus was found guilty. Well, freely show off any mustache you may have.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.