STRANGE BUT TRUE


First Posted: 2/20/2014

By Samantha Weaver

* It was historian Barbara Tuchman who made the following sage observation: “War is the unfolding of miscalculations.”

* You might be surprised to learn that a polar bear’s skin is black and its fur is colorless. The transparent strands are so dense, though, that the fur takes on the color of the light around it.

* Unless you’re a literary scholar, you’ve probably never heard of the novel “Cup of Gold.” It was American author John Steinbeck’s first novel, and it was a flop. He was issued a $250 advance to write the book, and the sales didn’t even make that much money for the publishing house. Of course, early failure was no indication of talent; Steinbeck continued writing and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

* Domestic diva Martha Stewart once dated actor Sir Anthony Hopkins. After seeing “The Silence of the Lambs,” though, Stewart broke it off. She just couldn’t get past the image of him as Hannibal Lecter.

* You might think of glaciers as lifeless places, but that’s not true. In addition to the polar creatures that live on and around these sheets of ice, there is one that actually lives in the ice. Though they’re only found in glaciers in certain areas of North America, the ice worm actually spends its entire life within the ice. In fact, the worms are so well-adjusted to the cold that when they are exposed to temperatures even slightly above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, they will liquefy.

* The banana and the telephone were introduced to North America at the same time, at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.

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Thought for the day: “Progress always involves risk. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” — Frederick Wilcox

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