– Approximately 60% of the world’s coffee comes from Brazil. However, coffee did not originate there. Botanists/historians generally believe that “Coffea” was first brewed in Abyssinia or Ethiopia about 600 years ago.
– One hardy plant many homeowners despise is the dandelion. Taraxacum officinale is an herb bearing yellow flowers and its leaves are used in fresh salads. Some folks use the leaves to feed silkworms when mulberry leaves are in short supply. I have no preference between mulberry or dandelion leaf salads. However, I do prefer romaine lettuce in place of either dandelion or mulberry las hojas.
– Another plant in the spotlight today is grapefruit. This citrus produce derives its name from observations that the popular yellow and sometimes pink fruits tend to grow in bunches, which reminded some people of large grape clusters.
– In Mexico, local distillers make an intoxicating drink derived from fermented pulque (a native plant sap). Foreigners need to exercise caution and not order pulga when the pulque beverage is desired. Pulga means flea.
– License plates predate automobiles in America. In 1879, the San Antonio City Council required that all horse-drawn vehicles used for public conveyance display a city-issued metal license tag.
– In 1912, a tailor named Franz Reichelt invented an overcoat that was to double as a life-saving parachute in an emergency. He sought permission from officials of the Eiffel Tower in Paris to test his invention by leaping from the tower while donning a coat/parachute of his making. Officials conditionally granted permission with the stipulation that the first test be conducted using a man-sized dummy. Reichelt agreed to the test demands. Unknown to Parisian authorities, sneaky Franz was to play the role of test dummy. The tailor jumped. The parachute never opened. Tragic results were fatal.
– A Nebuchadnezzar is the name for a 15 liter bottle of wine, most especially champagne.
– Domenico Theotocopoulus was a famous and talented artist. If Domenico Theotocopoulus were your name, you might have signed your paintings as he did: El Greco.
– Popular recording artist Engelbert Humperdinck sort of made up that name and sort of stole it. There was a prior Engelbert Humperdinck active in the late 1800s. This guy apparently truly did make up the name. That Humperdinck worked for Richard Wagner as a copyist and composed one somewhat famous opera entitled Hӓnsel and Gretel. I sound a bit like an opera singer when I’m in the shower, I think.