• In Tikrit, Iraq, there’s a 6-foot-tall monument of a shoe that journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi threw at then-President George W. Bush.
• Speaking of shoes, a collector of same is called a Sneakerhead.
• Researchers were able to mimic the voice of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy by re-creating much of its vocal tract using medical scanners, 3D printing and an electronic larynx. The mummy had little to say, however, even after all that time, as they produced just a single sound somewhere between the vowels in “bed” and “bad.”
• Magnolia plants are so ancient that they’re pollinated by beetles, as they existed prior to the appearance of bees.
• A study by psychologists found that when 4- to 6-year-olds pretended to be Batman while doing a boring but important task, it helped them resist distraction and stay more focused. (We’re trying this the next time we wash the dishes.)
• Tootsie Rolls were added to soldiers’ rations in World War II due to their ability to withstand all weather conditions.
• In medieval games of chess, pawns that had been promoted to a queen were given the title of “adviser,” so as to not imply that the king had more than one queen or was guilty of adultery!
• Those tears you see in the Tin Man’s eyes in “The Wizard of Oz” were made of chocolate syrup, as machine oil didn’t photograph well.
• Ancient Egyptians loved their cats so much that household members would shave their eyebrows as a sign of mourning when the cat died. Mourning ended when their brows had grown back.
• • •
Thought for the Day: “I never thought in terms of being a leader. I thought very simply in terms of helping people.” — John Hume
(c) 2021 King Features