Sun, Feb 25, 2018 03:58 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-08-27 life & times
Strange but True
by Samantha Weaver

• Think you can type fast? If so, here's a humbling piece of information: Back in 1896, Professor J. Cornelius Freund touch-typed a record-breaking 256 words in one minute. And this on the old-style typewriter that required a good deal more effort than the easy-typing computer keyboards of today.

• Ambrose Bierce's definition of Man: "An animal [whose] ... chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada." Of course, Bierce believed in equal opportunity when it came to his biting wit. Here's his definition of Woman: "An animal ... having rudimentary susceptibility to domestication ... The species is the most widely distributed of all beasts of prey ... The woman is omnivorous and can be taught not to talk."

• The TV show "Dallas" was originally named "Houston," "Charlie's Angels" was "The Alley Cats," and "The Brady Bunch" was "The Brady Brood."

• Ever wonder why a glitch in a computer is called a "bug"? In the early days of computing, a moth got into a supercomputer and shorted it out.

• When awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Jack Nicholson said, "I guess this proves there are as many nuts in the Academy as anywhere else."

•The ancient Greeks believed that unhealthy mental conditions were caused largely by bile, or "kholos," from the liver or gall bladder. Bile that was black, or "melan," was thought to trigger dark thoughts and sadness; hence our modern word "melancholy," meaning "depressed."


Thought for the Day: "What this country needs is more unemployed politicians." — Edward Langley

(c) 2003 King Features Synd., Inc.

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