STRANGE BUT TRUE


First Posted: 1/20/2014

By Samantha Weaver

* It was noted Irish author and wit Oscar Wilde who made the following sage observation: “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

* The very first CD of a musical recording was made in 1982. The album was “The Visitors” by Swedish pop superstars ABBA.

* Immigrants arriving at New York’s Ellis Island in the early years (1892-1920s) were given bananas to eat. Many had never seen a banana and didn’t know how to eat one — some ate the whole thing, peel and all.

* In the small African nation of Swaziland, the Civil Aviation Authority has set a ceiling of 500 feet on light aircraft. These aircraft, as well as kites and remote controlled toys, are not allowed to go above that limit. Also included in the category of light aircraft are broomsticks. Any witch who flies on a broomstick above that limit is subject to a fine of more than $50,000 and possible arrest.

* If you’re thinking about moving to another country, you might want to consider Finland. In that country, employees are offered, on average, 44 paid vacation days every year. Of course, you might want to consider that even in the warm southwestern part of the country, winters last about 100 days, with snow covering the ground from mid-October to early May.

* The name of the state of Iowa (unsurprisingly) comes from a Native American language. The original word, “ayuxba,” means “sleepy ones.”

* Early science-fiction author E.E. “Doc” Smith wasn’t just a writer; he also was an engineer. He’s the guy who figured out how to get powdered sugar to stick to doughnuts.

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Thought for the day: “To be capable of embarrassment is the beginning of moral consciousness. Honor grows from qualms.” — John Leonard

(c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

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