• It was the multitalented Pierre Beaumarchais — born in the 18th century, he was a revolutionary in both France and America as well as a watchmaker, diplomat, musician, spy, inventor, publisher and arms dealer — who made the following sage observation: “It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them.”
• If you live in Florida, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that there are more than 3,000 different species of mosquitoes.
• The experts claim that roses don’t really have thorns. Botanically speaking, thorns are considered to be modified branches and are difficult to break off the stem. What roses have are known as prickles, which are just outgrowths of the stem’s outer skin — and they are, fortunately, much easier to break off.
• Statistics show that after having her first child, a woman’s driving sees a measurable improvement.
• The name of the great state of Missouri comes from a Native American word meaning “town of large canoes.”
• A man named Henry Budd, before his death in 1862, directed in his will that if his sons, William and Edward, grew moustaches they would receive nothing from his estate. In further discrimination against facial hair, one Mr. Fleming, a British upholsterer, left 5 pounds in his will to each of his mustached employees, but double that to those who were cleanshaven.
• Those who study such things say that the Atlantic Ocean is getting 1.2 inches wider every year.
If you enjoy apricots, be sure you don’t accidentally swallow the pits — they contain substances called cyanogenetic glycosides, which, once they reach the digestive tract, are converted to cyanide.
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Thought for the Day: “Half of the modern drugs could well be thrown out of the window, except that the birds might eat them.” — Dr. Martin Henry Fischer (c) 2011 King Features Synd.,