• Have you ever noticed that men’s garments have buttons on the right side, while women’s clothes have buttons on the left? Considering the fact that 90 percent of all people – men and woman both – are right-handed, it seems strange, doesn’t it? As it turns out, there is a reason for the difference. Buttons were first used in Europe in the 13th century, and at that time, only the wealthy could afford them. Since most men dressed themselves, their buttons were placed on the right; since most women were dressed by their servants, their buttons were placed on the left.
• You might think that the inventor of the ubiquitous safety pin might have made a tidy profit. You’d be wrong, though; he sold the patent on the device for a paltry $400.
• Before he achieved fame as an actor, Danny DeVito worked as a hairdresser. It’s been reported, though, that he only took the job in order to meet girls.
• You hear a lot in the news about recent dry seasons in the American Southwest, and everyone knows that the Sahara Desert is rather lacking in water, but these places seem like oases when compared to the Atacama Desert, located in Chile, on the west coast of South America. It holds the dubious distinction of being the world’s driest place; some parts of this desert haven’t had a single drop of rain in hundreds of years. Perhaps unsurprisingly considering the harshness of this terrain, early versions of the Mars rover were tested there.
• It took 200 years to build Italy’s famed Leaning Tower of Pisa, while India’s main tourist attraction, the Taj Mahal, was built in only 22 years.
Thought for the Day: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” – Pericles
(c) 2007 King Features Synd., Inc.