– Prohibition in the United States (1920-1933) was the result of the 18th (Constitutional) Amendment ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages nationwide. FDR used repeal of prohibition as a key plank in his political platform during the presidential election of 1932. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in a landslide vote tally. Prohibition was repealed by the 21st Amendment in 1933.
– Use caution when gathering ingredients for your salads around Jericho, especially in the Dead Sea region. Therein grows an attractive shrub bearing orange fruit. It is locally known as “cow’s udder” and “Apple of Sodom.” The fruit is deadly poisonous to humans. Possible Biblical references are made of that plant in Deuteronomy 32:32 and 2 Kings 4:39.
– Historians generally agree that the following inventions were serendipitous (i.e., invented by “accident”): Superglue, Teflon, Velcro, X-Ray Machine, Microwave Oven and Slinky. There have been others.
– The Lake of the Woods is the largest freshwater lake in the United States that is not one of the Great Lakes. LOTW is quite large and much of it actually lies in Canada. The beautiful SJÖ (Swedish word for “lake”) contains in excess of 14,500 islands. Known for its “Fabulous Fishing,” that loch is bound by approximately 25,000 miles of clean shoreline – definitely “worth a look.”
– In Indochina and a few other places, there thrive many large carnivorous pitcher plants. One is the King Monkey Cup. The pitchers on the KMC’s can measure more than 14 inches in length and exceed 6 inches in width. Containing as much as two liters of digestive enzymatic fluid, the plants dine on scorpions, mice, rats, birds and other similarly-sized prey.
– A recent study indicates that Vermont is the “least religious” state of our 50. Surveys conducted in The Green Mountain State revealed that only 42% of those questioned declared that religion played any significant role in their lives.
– I cannot imagine how our 3rd president (1801-1809) managed to devour his gifted 1,235 pounds of cheddar cheese. However, the citizens of Chesire, Massachusetts did display their appreciation of Thomas Jefferson by delivering that quantity of wholesome food made from tons of pressed milk curds. I dare not suppose some of the cheddar yet remains at the White House.
– One of the very first “official” landfills was established in about 500 B.C. just outside Athens, Greece. A law was passed dictating that garbage was to be dumped at a site approximately two miles outside the city. Previously, the citizenry would deposit trash along the protective walls or simply drop the refuse over the top of any convenient wall – toward the outside. Those most clever among Athens’ leaders noticed that when the city was attacked, rude foes would pile up some of the provided trash and use the constructed incline to ascend the “shielding” walls. DOH! Well dispose wisely – and 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.