Little-known Tid-bits

Better than trivia!   Amaze your friends!

[1/05]   [1/03]    [9/99]    [3/99]    [3/98]
[Turkey Trivia]   [St. Patrick's Day]
[Misc. Tid-bits, '99]    [Misc. Tid-bits, '98]
[Ernest T. Bass' Medical Terms]    [Life Before the Computer]


Before 1/05

Turkey Trivia

Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national symbol, and was upset when the bald eagle was chosen.  He felt the turkey was a more respectable bird and a true original native of America.

Domesticated turkeys cannot fly, but wild turkeys can.  Itís only for a short distance, but at speeds of around 55 miles per hour.  Theyíre also fast on their feet, running at speeds up to 25 miles per hour!

Only the male turkey (called a tom) can "gobble"? The females (called hens) make a clicking noise.

Turkeys have great hearing, a poor sense of smell, an excellent sense of taste, they see in color, and have excellent visual acuity and a wide filed of vision Ė about 270 degrees.  Thatís why itís so hard to sneak up on them!

North Carolina produces the most turkeys each year, with Minnesota and Arkansas right behind them.

Californians eat the most turkey in the country each year, eating 3 pounds more than the average American consumer.

More than 46 million turkeys are cooked each Thanksgiving (average weight of about 15 pounds), and the most popular way of eating turkey, is the good old turkey sandwich.

June is National Turkey Loverís Month, not November. Go figure.

The average life span of a domestic turkey is about 26 weeks, during which time it will eat about 75 pounds of turkey feed.  The average life span of a wild turkey is 3-4 years, and it feeds on seeds, nuts, insects and berries.

The American Poultry Association recognizes 8 types of turkeys Ė the bronze, Narragansett, bourbon red, black, slate, royal palm, Beltsville small white, and white Holland, which by the way, is the most commonly raised turkey.


Before 1/03

"The international morse code distress signal, S.O.S., is another 'word' with a false acronymic origin.  S.O.S. does not stand for Save Our Souls, Save Our Ship, Stop Other Signals, Sure Of Sinking, or any other phrase.  S.O.S. was chosen as the universal distress signal by the International Radio Telegraph Convention of July 1908 because this combination of letters, three dots followed by three dashes followed by three dots (...---...), was easy to send and easily recognized.  The letters themselves are meaningless. The first recorded mention of the false acronymic origin is in reference to the Titanic sinking of 1912, which may account for its wide-spread and endurance.  Prior to 1908, the high seas distress signal consisted of the letters C.Q.D., another nonsensical string, although many took it to mean Come Quickly, Danger.  Use of C.Q.D. continued past 1908, and the Titanic's initial distress calls used this older signal.  It was not until that ship was near sinking did the radiomen send out the new signal."
(submitted by Elliot, 3/02)

St. Patrick's Day

The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385. His given name was Maewyn, and he almost didn't get the job of bishop of Ireland because he lacked the required scholarship.   Far from being a saint, until he was 16, he considered himself a pagan.  At that age, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village.  During his captivity, he became closer to God. 

He escaped from slavery after six years and went to Gaul where he studied in the monastery under St.  Germain, bishop of Auxerre for a period of twelve years.  During his training he became aware that his calling was to convert the pagans to Christianity. 

His wishes were to return to Ireland, to convert the native pagans to Christianity.  But his superiors instead appointed St. Palladius.  But two years later, Palladius transferred to Scotland. Patrick, having adopted that Christian name earlier, was then appointed as second bishop to Ireland. 

Patrick was quite successful at winning converts.  And this fact upset the Celtic Druids.  Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time.  He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country.  He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion of the Irish country to Christianity.  His mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years.  After that time, Patrick retired to County Down.  He died on March 17 in AD 461.  That day has been commemorated as St.  Patrick's Day ever since. 

Much Irish folklore surrounds St. Patrick's Day.  Not much of it is actually substantiated.  Some of this lore includes the belief that Patrick raised people from the dead.  He also is said to have given a sermon from a hilltop that drove all the snakes from Ireland.  Of course, no snakes were ever native to Ireland, and some people think this is a metaphor for the conversion of the pagans.  Though originally a Catholic holy day, St. Patrick's Day has evolved into more of a secular holiday. 

One traditional icon of the day is the shamrock.  And this stems from a more bona fide Irish tale that tells how Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity.  He used it in his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity.  His followers adopted the custom of wearing a shamrock on his feast day. 

The St. Patrick's Day custom came to America in 1737.  That was the first year St.  Patrick's Day was publicly celebrated in the United States, in Boston.  The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385.  His given name was Maewyn, and he almost didn't get the job of bishop of Ireland because he lacked the required scholarship. 

Far from being a saint, until he was 16, he considered himself a pagan.  At that age, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village.  During his captivity, he became closer to God.

He escaped from slavery after six years and went to Gaul where he studied in the monastery under St.  Germain, bishop of Auxerre for a period of twelve years.  During his training he became aware that his calling was to convert the pagans to Christianity. 

His wishes were to return to Ireland, to convert the native pagans to Christianity.  But his superiors instead appointed St. Palladius.  But two years later, Palladius transferred to Scotland.  Patrick, having adopted that Christian name earlier, was then appointed as second bishop to Ireland. 

Patrick was quite successful at winning converts.  And this fact upset the Celtic Druids.  Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time.  He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country.  He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion of the Irish country to Christianity.  His mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years.  After that time, Patrick retired to County Down.  He died on March 17 in AD 461.  That day has been commemorated as St.  Patrick's Day ever since. 
(submitted by Elliot, 3/02)

 

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ERNEST T. BASS' MEDICAL TERMS

Benin...

What you be after you be eight.
Bacteria... Back door to cafeteria.
Barium... What doctors do when patients die.
Cesarean Section... A neighborhood in Rome.
Catscan... Searching for Kitty.
Cauterize... Made eye contact with her.
Colic... A sheep dog.
Coma... A punctuation mark.
D&C... Where Washington is.
Dilate... To live long.
Dilate... When you dial a phone number.
Enema... Not a friend.
Fester... Quicker than someone else.
Fibula... A small lie.
G. I. Series... World Series of military baseball.
Hangnail... What you hang your coat on.
Impotent... Distinguished, well known.
Labor Pain... Getting hurt at work.
Medical Staff... A Doctor's cane.
Morbid... A higher offer than I bid.
Nitrates... Cheaper than day rates.
Node... I knew it.
Outpatient... A person who has fainted.
Pap Smear... A fatherhood test.
Pelvis... Second cousin to Elvis.
Post Operative... A letter carrier.
Recovery Room... Place to do upholstery.
Rectum... Purt near killed him.
Secretion... Hiding something.
Seizure... Roman emperor.
Tablet... A small table.
Terminal Illness... Getting sick at the airport.
Tumor... More than once.
Urine... Opposite of mine.
Varicose... Near by, close by.

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Before 9/99

LIFE BEFORE THE COMPUTER (a poem)


An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
A cursor used profanity
A keyboard was a piano.

Memory was something that you lost with age
A CD was a bank account
And if you had a 3 1/2 floppy
You hoped nobody found out!

Compress was something you did to the garbage
Not something you did to a file
And if you unzipped anything in public
You'd be in jail for a while!

Log on was adding wood to the fire
Hard drive was a long trip on the road
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived
And a backup happened to your commode!

Cut - you did with a pocket knife
Paste you did with glue
A web was a spider's home
And a virus was the flu!

I guess I'll stick to my pad and paper
And the memory in my head
I hear nobody's been killed in a computer crash
But when it happens they wish they were dead!

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Before 3/99


The sentence, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," uses every letter in the alphabet. (Developed by Western Union to Test telex/twx communications)

In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

Average life span of a major league baseball: 7 pitches.

A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is "copyrightable."

Did you know that there are coffee flavored PEZ?

The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

The airplane Buddy Holly died in was the "American Pie." (Thus the name of the Don McLean song.)

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them used to burn their houses down - hence the expression "to get fired."

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

The term "the whole 9 yards" came from WWII fighter pilots in the Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."

The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.

The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

The name Jeep came from the abbreviation used in the army for the "General Purpose" Vehicle, G.P.

The Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, has twice as many bathrooms as is necessary. When it was built in the 1940s, the state of Virginia still had segregation laws requiring separate toilet facilities for blacks and whites.

The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.

Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.

If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19, you also have the largest amount of money in coins without being able to make change for a dollar.

No NFL team which plays its home games in a domed stadium has ever won a Superbowl.

The first toilet ever seen on television was on "Leave It To Beaver".

The only two days of the year in which there are no professional sports games (MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL) are the day before and the day after the Major League All-Star Game.

Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.

The name Wendy was made up for the book "Peter Pan."

In Cleveland, Ohio, it's illegal to catch mice without a hunting license.

It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year's supply of footballs.

Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.

Pound for pound, hamburgers cost more than new cars.

The 3 most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca-Cola and Budweiser, in that order.

It's possible to lead a cow upstairs...but not downstairs.

Humans are the only primates that don't have pigment in the palms of their hands.

Ten percent of the Russian government's income comes from the sale of vodka.

The cigarette lighter was invented before the match.

On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year.

In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all the world's nuclear weapons combined.

Reno, Nevada is WEST of Los Angeles, California.

Average age of top GM executives in 1994: 49.8 years. Average age of the Rolling Stones: 50.6.

Elephants can't jump. Every other mammal can.

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Before 3/98

A dragonfly has a lifespan of 24 hours.

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.

On an American one dollar bill, there is an owl in the upper left-hand corner of the "1" encased in the "shield" and a spider hidden in the front upper right-hand corner.

It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world.

Who's that playing the piano on the "Mad About You" theme? Paul Reiser himself.

The male gypsy moth can "smell" the virgin female gypsy moth from 1.8 miles away.

In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.

The name for Oz in the "Wizard of Oz" was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N, and O-Z, "Oz."

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

John Lennon's first girlfriend was named Thelma Pickles.

The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.

'Stewardesses' is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.

To "testify" was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles.

       If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the world's great literary works in Braille.

       Why Yawning Is Contagious: You yawn to equalize the pressure on your eardrums. This pressure change outside your eardrums unbalances other people's ear pressures, so they must yawn to even it out.

       Communist China is technologically underdeveloped because they have no alphabet and therefore cannot use acronyms to communicate ideas at a faster rate.

       The earth may spin faster on its axis due to deforestation.

       Just as a figure skater's rate of spin increases when the arms are brought in close to the body, the cutting of tall trees may cause our planet to spin dangerously fast.

       Birds take off at sunrise. On the opposite side of the world, they are landing at sunset. This causes the earth to spin on its axis.

       The reason hot-rod owners raise the backs of their cars is that it's easier to go faster when you're always going downhill.

       The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant.

       If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian "pahks" his "cah," the lost r's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells."

No words in the English language rhyme with month, orange, silver, or purple.

Certain frogs can be frozen solid then thawed, and continue living.

Hershey's Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it's kissing the conveyor belt.

Steve Young, the San Francisco 49'ers quarterback, is the great-great-grandson of Mormon leader Brigham Young.

Money isn't made out of paper, it's made out of linen.

Rene Descartes came up with the theory of coordinate geometry by looking at a fly walk across a tiled ceiling.

Ballroom dancing is a major at Brigham Young University.

If you are locked in a completely sealed room, you will die of carbon dioxide poisoning before you will die of oxygen deprivation.

Some biblical scholars believe that Aramaic (the language of the ancient Bible) did not contain an easy way to say "many things" and used a term which has come down to us as 40. This means that when the bible -- in many places -- refers to "40 days," they meant many days.

Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them used to burn their houses down - hence the expression "to get fired."

Canada is an Indian word meaning "Big Village".

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There are two credit cards for every person in the United States.

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

"I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

The term "the whole 9 yards" came from WW II fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."

The original story from Tales of 1001 Arabian Nights begins, "Aladdin was a little Chinese boy."

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

The most common name in the world is Mohammed.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard's fish was named Livingston.

The 'y' in signs reading "ye olde.." is properly pronounced with a 'th' sound, not 'y'. The "th" sound does not exist in Latin, so ancient Roman occupied (present day) England use the rune "thorn" to represent "th" sounds. With the advent of the printing press the character from the Roman alphabet which closest resembled thorn was the lower case "y".

The word "samba" means "to rub navels together."

The international telephone dialing code for Antarctica is 672.

The little bags of netting for gas lanterns (called 'mantles') are radioactive--so much so that they will set off an alarm at a nuclear reactor.

Each unit on the Richter Scale is equivalent to a power factor of about 32. So a 6 is 32 times more powerful than a 5! Though it goes to 10, 9 is estimated to be the point of total tectonic destruction (2 is the smallest that can be felt unaided.)

Cinderella's slippers were originally made out of fur. The story was changed in the 1600s by a translator.

It was the left shoe that Cinderella lost at the stairway, when the prince tried to follow her.

Until 1965, driving was done on the left-hand side on roads in Sweden. The conversion to right-hand was done on a weekday at 5 p.m. All traffic stopped as people switched sides. This time and day were chosen to prevent accidents where drivers would have gotten up in the morning and been too sleepy to realize this was the day of the changeover.

Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy.

The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

Dr. Seuss pronounced "Seuss" such that it rhymed with "rejoice."

In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart never said "Play it again, Sam." Sherlock Holmes never said "Elementary, my dear Watson." Captain Kirk never said "Beam me up, Scotty," but he did say, "Beam me up, Mr. Scott".

More people are killed annually by donkeys than die in air crashes.

The flag of the Philippines is the only national flag that is flown differently during times of peace or war. A portion of the flag is blue, while the other is red. The blue portion is flown on top in time of peace and the red portion is flown in war time.

The "huddle" in football was formed due a deaf football player who used sign language to communicate and his team didn't want the opposition to see the signals he used and in turn huddled around him.

Carnivorous animals will not eat another animal that has been hit by a lightning strike.

The term, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" is from Ancient Rome. The only rule during wrestling matches was, "No eye gouging." Everything else was allowed, but the only way to be disqualified is to poke someone's eye out.

Mr. Rogers is an ordained minister.  Sir Isaac Newton was an ordained priest in the Church of England.

A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

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