– The official flag of Paraguay is a bit unusual. That banner has different faces on each side. Speaking of flags – U.S. Navy vessels hoist a flag dubbed Blue Peter to indicate that the ship is prepared to set sail and all persons that should be aboard are to report ASAP.
– The first American novel was published in 1789. The book was titled The Power of Sympathy and was purportedly written by W.H. Brown. I say “purportedly” because there seems to be some controversy. The author used a rather unusual alias: “Philenia.”
– Do you play the violin? In order to prove your skill, you might want to perform Ravel’s sonata for violin and piano. During one section of that musical piece, the violinist is to play 158 consecutive measures of nothing but sixteenth notes. The violinist will be attempting to play 2,528 notes correctly and rapidly. Vaca sagrada!
– Eight enormous paintings embellish the rotunda of our Capitol dome in Washington, D.C. All eight of those paintings were executed by John Trumbull. One noteworthy fact about John Trumbull is, as a young man, he fought in the Revolutionary War.
– Applause is contagious. Often one or two people will burst out with enthusiastic clapping and soon most or all of the audience will join in the activity. In Paris in the 1800s, it was possible to earn money being a professional applauder at theater productions, making certain that the play was obviously “loved” by all present. I have been told that this same scheme is effective at American political rallies.
– Dating from 1219, Denmark’s national flag design is the oldest in the world.
– I should mention a guy named Endicott Peabody. I did not make up that name. He played football for Harvard, was the governor of Massachusetts, and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. I had never heard of him until today. I do not think we are kin, but it has been said that I have a pea-body.
– Big Bird of Sesame Street fame was designed to be a golden condor.
– That famous painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware, is the most well-known work of artist Emanuel Leutze. Experts have pointed out several errors by Emanuel. Among them: clothing is incorrect, the boat is inaccurately portrayed and the wrong flag is depicted. Still, the artistically captured bold action made this one of America’s most recognized oil paintings. Well, astound your folks and play that Ravel thingy at your next family gathering. 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.