• It is recorded in historical notes of the 19th century that the Reverend Francis Henry Egerton, Earl of Bridgewater, made a habit during the last years of his life of sitting down to a formal dinner every evening with a dozen guests. This might not seem odd until you learn that the guests were all canines, seated in armchairs and with napkins tied around their necks.
• It was French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte who made the following sage observation: “In politics, absurdity is not a handicap.”
• After his death in 2005, the ashes of Hunter S. Thompson, pioneer of gonzo journalism and author of the infamous novel “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” were fired spaceward from a giant cannon to the accompaniment of fireworks and the Bob Dylan song “Mr. Tambourine Man.”
• It’s been reported that the average lifespan of a tree in the metropolis of New York City is only seven years.
• Evidently, it’s not just humans who associate a deeper voice with maturity (and desirability) in males. It seems that male owls try to appear more macho and attract females by lowering the tone of their hoots.
• Every year an organization known as the Diagram Group awards a prize to the person who submits the strangest title of an actual book that was published in that year. Here’s a sampling of previous winners: “Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Nude Mice,” “The Theory of Lengthwise Rolling,” “High-Performance Stiffened Structures,” “Living With Crazy Buttocks,” “Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers” and “Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service.”
• Records show that in England in 1552, William Shakespeare’s father had to pay a fine for littering.
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Thought for the Day: “Failure is not the only punishment for laziness; there is also the success of others.” — Jules Renard (c) 2009 King Features Synd.