– Mobs of people can be extremely dangerous, especially when reason is replaced by fanaticism. In Calcutta on August 16 of 1980, tensions were already high when a soccer referee made an unpopular call. That official’s ruling triggered a riot that left 16 dead and more than 100 seriously injured.
– Some find the name a bit misleading: The Sea of Galilee is actually a freshwater lake (Israel).
– Savannah was once the largest city in what became the state of Georgia. That was the situation as Savannah was founded in 1733 and for years was the only city in Georgia.
– The planet Mars has two moons. Mercury and Venus have no moons. Earth’s moon has a name (no, not “Moon”): Luna.
– In case you are wondering, a 2” X 4” board in American lumberyards is actually 1.5” X 3.5”.
– In 1830, Louis XIX became king of France. He held the throne about 20 minutes prior to abdicating. I suppose the stress of reigning simply wore him down.
– A recent survey has revealed that 45% of men working as Mall Santas reported seeing “light spots” at least an hour after working. This affliction is thought to be caused by the hundreds (thousands?) of camera flashes aimed at the men in red.
– Artist Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola in 1928 (Pittsburgh). Mr. Warhol passed away in February of 1987.
– If one examines the presidents faces represented on American coins (excluding the newer Jefferson nickels), all images face left – except for Lincoln. Several rumors concerning hidden meanings circulated amongst historians and numismatists (clean word). An investigation finally led to an interview with Victor David Brenner (sculptor of the original Lincoln image) which revealed that Brenner copied his work from a photo that was a left-facing profile. No secret or mysterious message was intended.
– An almost related item is that American pennies have not been made of pure copper since 1864.
– Two unusual actual book titles: Across Europe by Kangaroo (Joseph R. Barry) and Be Bold with Bananas (Crescent Books).
– Scottish/English lore includes tales of a clan residing in Scotland that were cannibals. Led by a man named Sawney Bean (I am not making this up), the family band supposedly attacked and devoured scores of passersby over a 20 year period. Many historians believe the tales to be untrue and were likely tools of English propaganda aimed at making the Scots appear to be despicable and barbaric. Well, I cannot say that it is safe to drink water from the Sea of Galilee, but I say the beverage should not taste salty. Have a great week.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.