• Rose DeWitt Bukater’s fabulously expensive pendant, “The Heart of the Ocean,” featured in James Cameron’s “Titanic,” was not completely fictitious — it is believed that a rather large sapphire went down with the ship that fateful night.
• There is a company called Little Miss Matched that sells packs of mismatched socks.
• Syphilis was a major problem in the late 19th and early 20th century. Doctors found that the bacteria that caused it was sensitive to heat, so they thought giving a patient a fever could help get rid of it. How did they induce said fever? With malaria injections! While effective in curing syphilis, some patients unfortunately died from — you guessed it — malaria.
• Instant noodles topped a Japanese poll of the country’s greatest inventions of the 20th century.
• Freelancers originally referred to self-employed, sword-wielding mercenaries: literally, “free lancers.”
• In ancient Rome, having a crooked nose was considered a sign of leadership.
• Andrew Lawrence, ran two hours, 47 minutes and 41 seconds in a banana costume during a London marathon in order to secure the title of the fastest time to run a marathon while wearing a fruit costume.
• Before mercury, brandy was used to fill thermometers.
• Author William Faulkner refused a dinner invitation from JFK’s White House. “Why, that’s a hundred miles away,” he said. “That’s a long way to go just to eat.”
• Founded in 597 AD, The King’s School, in Canterbury, England, is the world’s oldest institution of learning.
• Polar bears have black skin. And their fur isn’t actually white! It’s see-through, so it appears white as it reflects light.
• It’s illegal in Vermont to prohibit anyone from putting up a clothesline.
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Thought for the Day: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill
(c) 2021 King Features Syndicate, Inc.