• You may recall the character of Tarzan from movies and cartoons as somewhat lacking in language skills — “Me Tarzan, you Jane.” In the novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, however, Tarzan was quite a linguist, speaking French, Latin, English, German, Dutch, Portuguese, several dialects of Arabic and ancient Mayan.
• It was expatriate British novelist, poet, dramatist and travel writer Lawrence George Durrell who made the following observation: “There are only three things to be done with a woman. You can love her, suffer for her or turn her into literature.”
• Researchers have determined that infants tend to react strongly to the color red — and to no other color.
• If you suffer from entomophobia — the fear of insects — you might not want to read the following tidbit of information: Those who study such things say that there are more than a quarter of a million different species of beetle.
• In the mid-1990s, a Thai man who kept peacocks was killed by one of his pets when the sole male in the flock clawed him viciously. In retribution, the man’s family killed the bird and cooked it in curry.
• Four-time Pulitzerwinner and American poet laureate Robert Frost was named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
• The neck of the trumpeter swan is the same length as the rest of its body.
• You might be surprised to learn that air conditioning in private homes was available in the United States as early as 1929. Of course, that was the same year as the great stock market crash, so few people availed themselves of the newfangled — and expensive — convenience.
• • •
Thought for the Day: “A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.” — P.J. O’Rourke
(c) 2009 King Features Synd.