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Strange But True



• It was French Enlightenment writer Voltaire who made the following sage observation: “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”

• If Niagara Falls emptied into the Grand Canyon, the giant chasm would be filled within 6 months.

• Next time you’re rolling the dice, pick up a die and take a closer look. The opposite sides of each gaming cube always add up to 7.

• You might think of Uncle Sam as a fictional character, but he’s actually based in fact. The original Uncle Sam was one Samuel Wilson, born in Massachusetts in 1766. When he was 14 years old, he joined the army to fight in the American Revolution. Once the war was over, he moved to Troy, N.Y., started working in the meat-packing industry, and became known locally as “Uncle Sam” due to his jovial manner and ethical business practices. During the War of 1812, Sam won a contract to provide meat to troops stationed nearby. To keep track of which crates of meat were destined for the troops, he stamped “U.S.” on them, even though that abbreviation for United States was not yet in common use. When his packing plant was inspected in October of 1812, a government inspector asked a nearby worker what “U.S.” stood for. Unsure of the abbreviation himself, the worker replied that it must stand for the name of the owner, Uncle Sam. Though the answer was in error, it took hold, and soldiers soon began calling military rations “bounty of Uncle Sam.”

• If you remember the early-1960s TV series “Route 66,” you might be surprised to learn that the show was actually shot in Florida and Oregon, nowhere near the fabled highway.

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Thought for the Day: “Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.” — H.G. Wells

(c) 2013 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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