STRANGE BUT TRUE


First Posted: 6/12/2014

By Samantha Weaver

* It was novelist Tom Clancy who made the following sage observation: “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”

* Charlie Chan, the fictional Honolulu detective, was created in 1919 by novelist Earl Derr Biggers. The books featuring Chan became so popular that the character made the leap to radio, movies and television. Over the years, 13 actors have portrayed the detective, but not one of them has been of Chinese ancestry.

* Rattlesnakes can live up to 20 years.

* When the TV sitcom “The Addams Family” was being cast in the early 1960s, actor John Astin came in to audition for the role of Lurch, the cadaverous butler. He was immediately rejected for the part. As he was leaving the room, though, the producer spotted him, pulled him aside, and immediately offered him the role of Gomez — the lead. All he had to do was grow a mustache.

* The nation of France was still executing people with the guillotine until 1977.

* In 1973, The Who began a major U.S. tour with a show in San Francisco. As the show was starting, though, drummer Keith Moon collapsed. He was revived, but then collapsed once more. At that point, in an unprecedented move, Pete Townsend asked for volunteers from the audience. Scott Halprin, a 19-year-old aspiring drummer, jumped at the chance. He played three numbers with the band, and lead singer Roger Daltry later told Rolling Stone magazine, “That drummer was really good.”

* Milk produced by a hippopotamus mother is pink.

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Thought for the day: “In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.” — Paul Dirac

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