• It was multi-talented Sir Francis Bacon — he was a statesman, lawyer, scientist, philosopher and author — who made the following sage observation: “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”
• One of the most highly praised actresses of our time, Meryl Streep, holds the record for Academy Award nominations; she’s been awarded the Oscar twice, but has been nominated an impressive 16 times.
• The highest known life insurance payout occurred in 1970, when the widow of a cattle rancher was awarded $18 million in benefits.
• Those who study such things say that Italians drink, on average, 26 gallons of wine every year.
• It’s just common sense that people tend to behave better when they’re being watched, but it may come as a surprise that it doesn’t seem to matter whether or not the watcher is real. Researchers made this discovery in an experiment conducted at the University of Newcastle in Australia. In a coffee lounge where paying for the beverage was optional, a picture of a pair of eyes was placed next to the price list at some times, and at other times a picture of flowers accompanied the list. On days when the eyes were posted, more than three times as much money was donated than on days when the flowers were in the same spot.
• People magazine reportedly paid $6 million for photos of Jennifer Lopez’s twin babies, Emme and Max.
• Between 1960 and 2006, the average American’s production of solid waste — including everything from paper packaging to lawn clippings — increased by 150 percent to 4.5 pounds every day.
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Thought for the Day: “People of small caliber like to sit on high horses.” — Magdalena Samozwaniec
(c) 2010 King Features Synd.