Did You Know? 1 & 2

1.  Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?

A: Long ago, dishes and cookware in   Europe were made of a dense orange clay called 'pygg'. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as 'pygg banks.' When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a bank that resembled a pig. And it caught on.

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2.  Q: Did you ever wonder why dimes, quarters and half dollars have notches, while pennies and nickels do not?

A: The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals.  Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren't notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave.

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3.  Q: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?

A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right! Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left.  And that's where women's buttons have remained since.

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4.  Q. Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?

A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

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5.  Q: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called 'passing the buck'?

A: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility, he would 'pass the buck' to the next player.

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6.  Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?

A: Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and stage lighting by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, performers on stage 'in the limelight' were seen by the audience to be the center of attention.

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7.  Q: Why do ships and aircraft in trouble use 'mayday' as their call for help?

A: This comes from the French word m'aidez - meaning 'help me' – and is pronounced 'mayday.'

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8.  Q: Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?

A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

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9.  Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?

A: In   France , where tennis first became popular, a big, round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called  'l'oeuf,'  which is French for 'egg.'  When tennis was introduced in the US , Americans pronounced it   'love.'

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10.  Q: In golf, where did the term 'Caddie' come from?

A. When Mary, later Queen of Scots, went to France as a young girl (for education & survival), Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scot game 'golf.' So he had the first golf course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when she returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her.  In French, the word cadet is pronounced 'ca-day' and the Scots changed it into 'caddie.'

Now YOU know just about everything !
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Did You Know? 2
50 fun facts we’ve picked up over the years.


1. In 1943, Philip Morris ran an ad acknowledging “smokers’ cough.” They claimed it was caused by smoking brands other than Philip Morris.

2. In the 1970s, Mattel sold a doll called “Growing Up Skipper.” Her breasts grew when her arm was turned.

3. Michael Jackson’s 1988 autobiography Moonwalk was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

4. On the 2001 New Zealand census, 53,715 people listed their religion as “Jedi.”

5. Only female mosquitoes will bite you.

6. At the 2010 Grammy Awards, Taylor Swift won more Grammys (4) than Elvis did his entire career (3).

7. At Fatburger, you can order a “Hypocrite”—a veggie burger topped with crispy strips of bacon.

8. Dr. Ruth was trained as a sniper by the Israeli military.

9. In 1999, Furbies were banned from the National Security Agency’s Maryland headquarters because it was feared the toys might repeat national security secrets.

10. Roger Ebert and Oprah Winfrey went on a couple dates in the mid-1980s. It was Roger who convinced her to syndicate her talk show.

11. There was a long-lost fourth member of the Snap/Crackle/Pop gang. “Pow” represented Rice Krispies’ explosive nutritional value.

12. Kool-Aid was originally marketed as “Fruit Smack.”

13. In 2008, The Little Tikes Company sold 457,000 Cozy Coupes, making it the best-selling car in America.

14. Uncle Sam was based on Samuel Wilson, who worked as a meat inspector during the War of 1812.

15. The archerfish knocks its insect prey out of over-hanging branches with a stream of spit.

16. When Woodrow Wilson married Edith Galt, the real Chef Boyardee (Hector Boiardi) catered the event.

17. There really was a Captain Morgan. He was a Welsh pirate who later became the lieutenant governor of Jamaica.

18. The 3 Musketeers bar was originally split into three pieces with three different flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. When the other flavors became harder to come by during WWII, Mars decided to go all chocolate.

19. Bear Bryant was once asked to contribute $10 to help pay for a sportswriter’s funeral. According to legend, he said, “Here’s a twenty, bury two.”

20. In 1980, C-3PO and R2-D2 visited Sesame Street. They played games, sang songs, and R2-D2 fell in love with a fire hydrant.

21. Dr. Thomas Harvey removed Einstein’s brain during his autopsy. For 30 years, Harvey kept it in two mason jars in his Wichita home.

22. In 1961, Martha Stewart was selected as one of Glamour magazine’s “Ten Best-Dressed College Girls.”

23. It’s estimated that 95% of the world’s lab mice are descended from mice born in the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.

24. As part of David Hasselhoff’s divorce settlement, he kept possession of the nickname “Hoff” and the catchphrase “Don’t Hassle the Hoff.”

25. “Jay” used to be slang for “foolish person.” So when a pedestrian ignored street signs, he was referred to as a “jaywalker.”

26. Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell is also responsible for starting up the Chuck E. Cheese’s franchise.

27. The string on boxes of animal crackers was originally placed there so the container could be hung from a Christmas tree.

28. Duncan Hines was a real person. He was a popular restaurant critic who also wrote a book of hotel recommendations.

29. Green bean casserole dates back to 1955, when a chef named Dorcas Reilly created it for a cookbook designed to promote Campbell’s products.

30. Carly Simon’s dad is the “Simon” of Simon and Schuster. He co-founded the company.

31. In 2009, U.S. airlines collected $2.7 billion in baggage fees. Another $2.4 billion came from reservation change fees.

32. Alaska is the only state that can be typed on one row of keys. (Go ahead and try typing the other 49 states. We’ll wait.)

33. While they were in the White House, John & Abigail Adams had dogs named Satan & Juno.

34. Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” was penned by Shel Silverstein, the beloved children’s book author who wrote Where the Sidewalk Ends.

35. M&M’s actually stands for “Mars & Murrie’s,” the last names of the candy’s founders.

36. Perhaps our favorite school nickname is The Arkansas School for the Deaf Leopards.

37. In 1907, an ad campaign for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes offered a free box of cereal to any woman who would wink at her grocer.

38. Why did the FBI call Ted Kaczynski “The Unabomber”? Because his early mail bombs were sent to universities (UN) & airlines (A).

39. That thing you use to dot your lowercase “i” is called a tittle.

40. The only number whose letters are in alphabetical order is 40 (f-o-r-t-y).

41. The prolific Alan Thicke wrote the theme songs to The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes.

42. Bono was born Paul David Hewson, and The Edge’s name is David Howell Evans.

43. Male students at Brigham Young University need a doctor’s note to grow a beard.

44. In 1991, Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, married Russi Taylor—the voice of Minnie.

45. The sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666.

46. The Vatican Bank is the world’s only bank that allows ATM users to perform transactions in Latin.

47. Utah’s State Bird is the California Seagull.

48. At the Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajärvi, Finland, first prize is the wife’s weight in beer.

49. After leaving office, Ronald Reagan was offered a role in Back to the Future III. (He declined.)

50. Oscar the Grouch used to be orange. Jim Henson decided to make him green before the second season of Sesame Street. How did Oscar explain the color change? He said he went on vacation to the very damp Swamp Mushy Muddy and turned green overnight.

There will be a pop quiz on this material 3rd & 4th period on Friday.


 



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