• It was Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran who made the following sage observation: “I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.”
• In Japan, black cats are considered to be good luck.
• If you’re ever longing for the “good old days,” you might want to keep this tidbit in mind: In 19th-century America, one of the most popular cure-all remedies was “snail water,” which was made by pounding earthworms and snails together, adding the paste to beer and boiling the whole thing. Those in need of a tonic drank it.
• Sea turtles can breathe through their backsides.
• If you could leap over the St. Louis Arch unassisted, you would have jumping power equivalent to that of a flea.
• If you’re planning a trip to Oregon, you might want to stop off in Gold Hill to see the Oregon Vortex, where strange phenomena are said to occur. In the mid-20th century, a scientist and mining engineer named John Litser conducted experiments on the property and came to the conclusion that the site contains a spherical field of force and 15 crisscrossing magnetic fields. Before his death in 1959, he burned his notes, reportedly saying, “The world is not ready for this.” Those who tour the attraction today might see balls roll uphill or brooms stand on end. Some people appear to be much shorter and some much taller. There are even those who say visiting the Vortex eases back pain.
• Before he became famous, singer Rod Stewart briefly had a job as a grave digger.
(c) 2014 King Features Syndicate, Inc.