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Miscellaneous Trivia

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The Nike "swoosh" logo was designed by University of Oregon student Carolyn Davidson in 1964, four years after business undergraduate Phil Knight and track coach Bill Bowerman founded the company they originally called Blue Ribbon Sports. Ms. Davidson was paid $35 dollars for her design.

If you need to dial the telephone and your dial is disabled, you can tap the button in the cradle. If, for example, you need to dial 911, you can tap the button 9 times, then pause, then tap once, then again.

Turning a clock's hands counterclockwise while setting it is not necessarily harmful. It is only damaging when the timepiece contains a chiming mechanism.

On June 10, 1958, a tornado was crashing through El Dorado, Kansas. The storm pulled a woman out of her house and carried her sixty feet away. She landed, relatively unharmed, next to a phonograph record titled "Stormy Weather."

Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a spacesuit damages them.

The height and width of modern American battleships was originally determined by insuring they had to be able to go beneath the Brooklyn Bridge and through the Panama Canal.

Nobody knows where the body of Voltaire is. It was stolen in the nineteenth century and has never been recovered. The theft was discovered in 1864, when the tomb was opened and found empty.

Owing to a faulty cornerstone, the church of St. John in Barmouth, Wales, crashed in ruins a minute after it was finished. It was rebuilt, and the new edifice has endured to the present day.

A car operates at maximum economy, gas-wise, at speeds between 25 and 35 miles per hour.

A car that shifts manually gets 2 miles more per gallon of gas than a car with automatic shift.

A car uses 1.6 ounces of gas idling for one minute. Half an ounce is used to start the average automobile.

Many of us feel that we have at least one book in us. But the business of publishing and the process of creating and selling a book can be forbidding. In New York City, America's publishing capital, things have gotten so hectic that some agents are seeing several editors over the course of one lunch.

The Lord's Prayer appears twice in the Bible, in Matthew VI and Luke XI.

The Luxor Hotel (shaped like an Egyptian Pyramid) is 36 stories tall, required more than 150,000 cubic yards of concrete, six thousand construction workers and 18 months to build. It takes a specially designed window washing device 64 hours to clean the sides of the pyramid, which is covered by 13 acres of glass. The Luxor atrium is the world's largest and could comfortably hold nine Boeing 747 airplanes.

To prevent some numbers from occurring more frequently than others, dice used in crap games in Las Vegas are manufactured to a tolerance of 0.0002 inches, less than 1/17 the thickness of a human hair.

A 41-gun salute is the traditional salute to a royal birth in Great Britain.

At the height of the teddy bear's huge popularity in the early 1900s, there is record of one Michigan priest who publicly denounced the teddy as an insidious weapon. He claimed that the stuffed toy would lead to the destruction of the instincts of motherhood and eventual racial suicide.

Beatrix Potter created the first of her legendary "Peter Rabbit" children's stories in 1902.

The Sarah Winchester house, in San Jose, CA, is a truly bizarre piece of architecture. Mrs. Winchester, after losing first a daughter and then her husband to disease, consulted a medium to find the reason for her terrible luck. The medium advised her that there was a curse on her family, brought about by her husband's manufacturing of rifles when he was alive. To escape the curse, the medium advised, she should move West and build, and perhaps would live forever. Mrs. Winchester did just that, using the fortune she had inherited to buy a house and just keep building—adding on room after room for 36 years. Each room had 13 windows (the number was considered spiritual rather than unlucky) and many of the windows contained precious jewels. Other odd features of the house—intended to confuse evil spirits—included a staircase that went straight to a ceiling, doors that open onto two-story drops, a room with a glass floor, and a room without windows that - once entered - a person cannot leave without a key. The house contains 160 rooms, 2000 doors, and 10,000 windows, some of which open onto blank walls. There are also secret passageways.

If an object has no molecules, the concept of temperature is meaningless. That's why it's technically incorrect to speak of the "cold of outer space" - space has no temperature, and is known as a "temperature sink," meaning it drains heat out of things.

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