• It was Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdos who made the following sage observation: “ Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by fighting back.”
• Board games date back at least 5,000 years, when people were playing on a board that looks like an ancestor to backgammon.
• It was in 1958 that the first stereo phonograph record went on sale.
• The soft drink 7-UP was originally called Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda — and it contained lithium, which is now prescribed to treat manic depression. That ingredient (which continued to be part of the formula until the 1940s) probably helped spur the drink’s success, since 7-UP was introduced just before the Great Depression. The new name was derived from the size of the soda bottle (7 ounces) and “bottoms up,” which is presumably what many people did during the difficult years of the Depression.
• A man in Orange County, California, stole a diamond worth $25,000 and, despite being arrested for the crime, was able to smuggle it into prison with him by swallowing it. He then managed to hide the gem in a shower drain in hopes of retrieving and swallowing it again before his release. All that effort was in vain, however; prison guards found the diamond and returned it to the jewelry shop.
• If you’re using an average brand-new pencil, you’ll be able to draw a line about 35 miles long before running out of lead (though you’ll have to stop for sharpening breaks, of course).
(c) 2014 King Features Synd.