– Nebraska holds the title as our windiest state. I suspect that may be possible because Washington D.C. is not a state. Mississippi has the lowest average wind speed of the eligible fifty.
– It was the practice aboard British Navy vessels centuries back to store animal fat, greases, uneaten food bits and various other wastes in a large vat or barrel. The yucky ingredients of the containers were called “slush.” Some enterprising seamen discovered a market for slush. The tradition developed that sailors got to keep all slush revenue to use for whatever and – the “slush fund” was born.
– A billion in America and France is one thousand million. In Great Britain and Germany, a billion is a million million. In U.S. Congress, a billion is a pittance. In our household, a thousand is an elusive goal.
– When our founding fathers were making plans to build a capitol, they sponsored a contest for building designs to be submitted to a committee for consideration. An amateur architect, Dr. William Thornton, had his proposal selected and was awarded $500. The structure was erected on Jenkins Hill. After the cornerstone was laid by George Washington, a barbecue party featuring various meats and sundry liquid refreshments was served at the joyously festive event (September 18, 1793).
– Not all flowers are considered to be “sweet-smelling.” A recent survey involved the sniffing of thousands of flower blooms. Roughly 10 percent were deemed to yield a fragrance that was pleasant to humans. One might keep in mind, the objective of most plants involves attracting insects and not people.
– Approximately 90 percent of Canada’s population lives within 100 miles of the U.S. Border.
– Gardens at The Vatican have been acclaimed to be among the most beautiful in the world. I might add these grounds were designed by the artist Raphael.
– A horned toad is a lizard. Pineapples and watermelons are berries. Banana oil does not come from bananas. Peanuts are beans.
– Those slanted lines that divide fractions (2/3), dates (8/25/1946), etc. are called virgules. I/my wife have never heard of virgules until now.
– “Eat, drink and be merry” is neither from Shakespeare nor a London pub tune. The phrase is actually in the Bible as part of Luke 12:19.
– Some services are much cheaper now than in 1915. Case in point: the cost of a three minute phone call from New York City to San Francisco in 1915 was listed on the phone charge chart to be $20.70. The cost is usually much cheaper today. I hope you have a groovy day.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at email@example.com.