I never knew that!

  • In 1939 President Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving. By moving the holiday a week earlier, he hoped to lengthen the Christmas shopping season and boost sales. He announced this in August and created a controversy especially among calender makers and football coaches. Twenty three states celebrated Thanksgiving on the old date, twenty three celebrated on the new date, and Texas and Colorado celebrated both. In 1940, Roosevelt returned Thanksgiving to its original date and Congress passed a law banning any future president from changing the date of Thanksgiving. Source
  • September 1914, German troops were close to taking Paris prompting French military officials to send 6,000 troops to the front. To transport the troops, they called on taxis. Six hundred cab drivers left their passengers and lined up for inspection, transporting the troops and saving Paris. Click here to see footage of the taxis in Windows Media Player. Source
  • In May 1902 on the island of Martinique, a nearby volcano started to act up near the city of Saint-Pierre. Worried about his party losing power in the upcoming election, the governor of Martinique set up roadblocks to contain the citizens and instructed the newspapers to minimize the danger. Pelee erupted anyway, killing the governor and 30,000 people in less than two minutes. One of the only two survivors was scheduled for execution the next day, and was protected in his underground cell. He later toured with Barnum & Bailey Circus in a copy of the cell. Source: The Greatest Stories Never Told: 100 tales from history to astonish, bewilder, and stupefy by Rick Beyer
  • While everyone knows about the Great Chicago Fire, hardly anyone knows about the deadliest fire in US history: the Great Peshtigo Fire. Killing between 1,200 to 2,400 people in northern Wisconsin, it had the misfortune of occurring the same night as the Great Chicago Fire. Source.

an eyeful

  • There are Christian Nudist Convocations. In their July retreat in Tennessee, one member said, "[S]ome people get sent to Africa, some people get sent to South America and the Lord was like, 'I want you to go to nudist resorts.' And I'm like, 'Wow, what an assignment.'" Source.
  • Judge Richard L. Williams ruled that at a nudist camp for youths, each camper must have a parent or guardian present. According to the New York Times, Williams suggested "[a]n eyeful of naked Mom or Dad. . . is a fair price for admission to nudist camp."

Odds and Ends

  • From the makers of the Beer Belly, comes the Winerack (pictured above). An excerpt from their site: "Turn an A cup in to double Ds AND sport your favorite beverage for yourself and your friends! Better than a Boob Job and Cheaper Too! Not to mention the savings on over priced drinks." And as you drink, simply fill the bra back up with air. Classy!
  • AJ's Cafe in Ferndale, Michigan set a Guinness world record by hosting 50 straight hours of the song Danny Boy. On March 16th, after 24 hours of Danny Boy, cafe owner AJ O'Neil said he wasn't sick of the song. "We had six church choirs in a row," he said, "And when the children sing, it just makes you cry." Source. Source.

Handy Products

  • Trouble getting up in the morning? Buy Clocky! If you keep hitting the snooze button, Clocky will drop off its stand, roll around the room, find a "safe hiding place" and start beeping. Or you could just buy the generic "Flying Alarm Clock" which launches a propeller into your room and does not stop beeping until you have returned the propeller to its base.
  • Ladies! Do you ever need to pee standing up? Buy a P-mate. A sample testimonial: "I am a woman that hunts/fishes and have shared my backside with TOO MANY OTHERS. Thanks for restoring my dignity in the woods."
  • This website asks: "Are you tired of the 'bobbing' effect on the busy metropolitan sidewalks?" If you too want a hand's-free umbrella, buy a Numbrella!

  • For $2, you can buy Holy Drinking Water. You can even get a job! Their website says they "are currently accepting applications for blessing [their] drinking water" from ordained clergy.
  • You may have to wait to buy this, but there is a US patent out for a life-expectancy timepiece. A description: "A timepiece for monitoring and displaying the approximate time remaining in a user's life. . . Buttons or switches are provided to enter and change the stored data so that the approximate time remaining in the user's life can be reset by the user." As to why: "Life expectancy has been a major concern of people throughout the ages. Insurance companies routinely develop and publish actuarial tables to indicate the average lifespans of certain people in specified groups. . . It would also be advantageous to monitor the probable remaining time left in one's life on a yearly, hourly, and even seconds basis." Sign me up!

Thankful yet?

  • aquagenic urticaria: allergy to water. If water touches Nineteen-year-old Ashleigh Morris's skin, she breaks out in "sore, itchy red lumps" that last for two hours. She can only take one minute showers, often crying from the pain. Even sweat will make her skin break out. Doctors believe that a heavy dose of penicillin at age 14, caused this. Source
  • Kleine-Levin Syndrome: a neurological disorder that causes the need to sleep. Arielle Farber, began sleeping 23 hours a day in 1994 at age 13. Approximately a year later, Arielle had "been sleeping a little less excessively than in her past bouts, but has yet to leave the second floor of her home, or see or speak to anyone beside her parents." However, as of March 2007, she has been "incident-free" for the past three years. There is no cure. Source. Source.
  • trimethylaMinuria: the person smells strongly of dead fish due to a faulty enzyme and build up of TMA, triggered by the majority of foods. Camille, a teacher and former model, grew up smelling like dead fish, no matter how much she showered or how much perfume she used. It led to a very painful life. While there is no cure, Camille manages the smell with a very strict diet, chlorophyll tablets and frequent showering. She says, "I wash with several different products, and I scrub very hard. I use two different kinds of deodorant and a lot of perfume. Before I actually leave the house, I spray all of my clothes with Febreze just all up and down, and I also spray my feet and my socks with the deodorant for my feet." Source.
  • chimerism: a person is their own twin. Lydia Fairchild's children were going to be taken away from her by the Department of Social Services when her DNA did not match theirs. Knowing her children to be hers, she fought a court battle, eventually discovering that she had chimerism. In essence, "in her blood, she [is] one person, but in other tissues, she ha[s] evidence of being a fusion of two individuals." This occurs when two fertilized eggs with unique DNA, fuse in the womb. She won the battle for her children. Source.
  • Human echolocation: Blind people using echolocation to "see." Ben Underwood and Daniel Kish both went blind from cancer at the age of two. However, both men learned to make a clicking sound every half second for echolocation. Kish explains: "I have mental images that are very rich, very complex. They simply do not possess the visual element." Underwood can ride his bike, play basketball and "hear" walls. Kish founded World Access for the Blind, a foundation to teach echolocation to other blind people. Source. Source

Speaking of Women. . .

Traditionally, the majority of drug testing on mice has been on male mice. This is due to the hormones of the female mice influencing test results. Sherry Martz, PhD is director of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences. She explains: "A mouse's menstrual cycle is just four to six days long. . . You have to test each mouse to see where she is." This process is delicately described as "a little like performing a tiny PAP smear."

Source: Now you will have to take this with a bit of faith in me because I could not find this article/information on the Internet. But I happened to stumble across this and could not pass it up. If you pick up "O The Opera Magazine" September 2007, Volume 8, Number 9 and turn to page 214, you will find this information in the article titled: "Of Mice and Women."

Speaking of babies. . .

Stacey Herald, aged 33, recently gave birth to a 18 inch baby girl. Stacey, who has osteogenesis imperfecta, is only 28.5 inches tall. She describes her pregnancy: "If I laid down, I looked like a snail. . .That's how big my belly was. I looked like an Idaho potato with arms and legs.” Source