Ten Random Facts
When she was a girl, former Radio City dancer Valerie Harper lived all over the U.S. because her father was a traveling salesman. When she was 18, she left upstate New York to be a member of the "Li'l Abner" chorus in 1958. A few years later, Harper contracted hepatitis. Her doctor prescribed loads of candy, and she ballooned to 155 pounds. In 1970, TV producers found her dumpy shape perfect for the part of Mary Tyler Moore's outspoken, overweight friend, Rhoda Morgenstern. Harper earned three Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Emmys for the role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (in 1971, she tied with Sally Struthers in All in the Family), and won a Best Actress in a Comedy Emmy in 1975 for her own spin-off, Rhoda. By this time, Harper had shed much of the weight.
Ancient Rome was divided into two empires by the emperor Diocletian in 286 A.D. Each empire, one in the west and one in the east, had its own emperor.
Southern charm likely accounts for Atlanta, Georgia, and Dallas, Texas, being cited the best U.S. cities for friendliness in a 1997 Gallup poll.
Jell-O is made of hydrolyzed collagen, which is partially decomposed protein taken from cow and pig hides, hooves, bones, and connective tissue. The protein in these animal materials is broken down with an alkaline solution and then extracted with hot water.
Madonna's mother died when she was five years old.
History's first recorded toothpaste was an Egyptian mixture of ground pumice and strong wine. But the early Romans brushed their teeth with human urine, and also used it as a mouthwash. Actually, urine was an active component in toothpaste and mouthwashes until well into the 18th century - the ammonia it contains gave them strong cleansing power.
The number of births in India each year is greater than the entire population of Australia.
In cooking, the term chiffonade means to slice into very thin strips or shreds. Literally translated from French, chiffonade means "made of rags."
The European eagle owl is the largest owl in the world. It can measure 28 inches (70 centimeters) tall with a wingspan of 5 feet (150 centimeters) wide.
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