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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.”

• Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel, famed inventor of dynamite and originator of the Nobel Prizes, could speak five languages fluently by the time he was 17 years old.

• Most languages change dramatically over time. If we in modern America were to try to read, say, “Beowulf ” (which was written in Old English), only those who have spent time studying the language would be able to make out more than a word or two here and there. If you’re from Iceland, however, this isn’t the case; the written language there has remained virtually unchanged for more than 1,000 years. Modern Icelanders have no trouble reading sagas that were written in the 10th century.

• Those who study such things say that fully onethird of all your brainpower is used for vision.

• At some point in your life you’ve probably gotten your hands gooey with papier-mache, whether you were making crafts yourself or helping your kids. You may not have realized, though, that the term “ papier- mache” means “chewed-up paper” in French.

• You might be surprised to learn that there are people who study how air quality, humidity, the hardness of the water and pollution affect people’s hair. According to these researchers, the worst American cities for your tresses are Corpus Christi, Texas; Olympia, Washington; and Pittsburgh.

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Thought for the Day: “Jobs are like going to church: It’s nice once or twice a year to sing along and eat something and all that, but unless you really believe there’s something holy going on, it gets to be a drag going in every single week.” — Thomas Michael Disch (c) 2018 King Features

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