– I researched what the word “Vatican” meant. No one seems to know for certain. Some historians believe the famous Vatican of Catholic fame was likely named after an earlier Etruscan town called Vaticum that existed near the same site long ago.
– Have you noticed any large frogs lurking in your flower beds? The Goliath Frog can grow to lengths exceeding two and a half feet (stretched out). They eat small children and slow elderly like me. Okay, I made that up. However, the Conraua goliath can weigh seven pounds or more. It normally eats worms, locusts, flies and the like.
– A few, but not all, famous Italian paintings of The Last Supper show a cat at the feet of Judas. Opinions vary as to the symbolism – some views were quite callous towards cats. Nearly all expressed comments were harsh with regards to Judas.
– The first documented instance of an automobile being used by police while in pursuit involved one Sergeant McCloud of the Northamptonshire County Police Department in 1899. The Benz vehicle sped along streets at 12 mph. The fleeing pursued was afoot. He was easily outdistanced and nabbed.
– A once popular catch-phrase that you shall never again see in any advertisement: Men ask “Is she pretty”– NOT “Is she clever.” That was the very sexist effort from a “beauty” soap company that is still in business. The company currently advertises using a different slogan.
– In 1979, a Mr. Wallace Williams entered and competed in the Pan-American Games marathon competition. Williams was not as rapid as some in the race, but he had determination. He had fortitude. The man fully intended to complete that marathon. However, when competitor Williams reached the stadium that featured the marathon finish line, stadium gates were locked. The crowd, the other runners, the officials and the groundskeepers had all left for the day. DOH!
– Thousands claim to have seen a pale blue light that wafts across a duck pond located inside Lithia Park of Ashland, Oregon. Legend has it that the light is actually the ghost of a young girl murdered in 1875. Other tales identify the wraith as the spirit of a drunken logger who felled a large tree by himself. The chopped tree crushed the unfortunate inebriated axe man. Many Ashland natives say both yarns are fabricated tourist-luring devices and that they have personally never witnessed any spooky blue pond lights (while sober or otherwise). Have a great day.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.