2018-01-03 / Columns

Strange but True

• The unknown soul who made the following sage observation must have been a keen observer of events: “A politician can appear to have his nose to the grindstone while straddling a fence and keeping both ears to the ground.”

• In the 17th century, a Frenchman opened a coffee shop in London and sold chocolate, newly imported from the Americas, for 10 to 15 shillings a pound. That may not sound like much until you learn that at the time, the going price of a pound gold was 20 to 30 shillings.

• Are you interested in pogonotrophy? If you’re a woman, the answer is probably no. The word, derived from the Greek word “pogon,” or “beard,” and the suffix “trophy,” or nourishment, refers to the growing of a beard.

• Most people realize that many places in the United States were once known by different names. Here’s a sampling: the Potomac River was originally called Conococheague Creek, Camp David was named Shangri-La, and the USA itself was once known as the United States of Congress Assembled.

Return to top