- . A pen knife is so named because it was used for sharpening a quill to make a pen nib
- French gangsters in the early 1900s used a weapon that functioned as a revolver, a knife, and brass knuckles.
- In 2000, a Mexican woman successfully performed a C-section on herself with a kitchen knife and 3 glasses of hard liquor, while her husband was drinking at a bar.
- King Tutankhamun’s dagger was made of meteoric iron.
- A sharp knife actually causes less cuts. Since you don’t have to push down as hard, there’s less of a chance you let the blade slip.
- There’s no such thing as true stainless steel.
- Over 34,000 Swiss Army knives are made everyday!
- There are many places that end with “sex” in their name. (Sussex, Middlesex etc.) It comes from the Old English word seax meaning knife. Sexsmith used to be a common last name- meaning one who made knives.
- The most expensive knife is called “The Gem of The Orient”. It sold for $2.1 Million!! In total, it has 153 emeralds (10 carats) and nine diamonds (5 carats). The weight of the gold in the knife is 28 ounces. It took ten years to produce such knife.
- The Russians make knives out of sapphires with bone handles. It doesn’t show up on any metal detectors.
- There is a knife (the WASP knife) that once inside the victim, forces over 800 psi of CO2 inside the victim, creating a basketball sized air pocket and freezing the surrounding internal organs.
I love tea. I drink it hot and cold. My day is bookended by a hot, steaming mug of Tetley’s British Blend tea. Mmmmmm I’m sipping one right now.
But…did you know:
- Iced tea was invented at The 1904’s World’s Fair in St. Louis. It was so bloody hot, mugs of tea weren’t selling. Richard Blechynden decided to pour it over ice and BOOM, it was an instant success!
- Tea bags were invented by accident as well! In 1908, a salesman created small silk bags to give out samples of tea to customers. Some of them thought they were supposed to put the whole thing in the pot instead of emptying it out, like a metal diffuser. It worked so well, it became a thing.
- There are 4 major types of tea black, white, green, and oolong, but they all come from the same plant. It’s how the leaves are treated that make the difference.
- The art of reading tea leaves is called tasseography.
- There is a legend that tea was discovered, by accident again, by a chinese emperor. A leaf supposedly blew into his bowl of hot water and the rest is history. Hmm, urban legend?
- Another accident! Many people , like me, drink hot tea with milk. That practice was started because they used to pour milk into the delicate china cups to protect it from the boiling water. It’s no longer necessary, and they discovered it was yummy!
- For centuries, tea was only used as medicine. It took over 3000 years for it to become an everyday drink.
- Black teas are made from fermented leaves that have been allowed to dry.
- Tea bags are good for about 6 months before they lose their flavor and quality.
- In Tibet, Butter Tea is served. It is made from black tea, yak butter, and salt.
- Tea is believed to have arrived in Europe, thanks to a Jesuit priest.He visited China in 1590 and was allowed to bring some of the plants home with him.
- The most expensive tea in the world is grown in the mountains of Ya’An in the Sichuan province of China. Workers fertilize the tea bushes using the waste from local pandas whose bodies take in only a small amount of nutrients from the food they eat. The tea costs the equivalent of around $200 for a small cup.
If you haven’t heard about the HUGE Equifax breach which included personal information, like social security numbers, for almost half of the people in the United States, then you need to pay attention to these two items!
By the time you get up and read this, I will be on the road somewhere between the mountains of New Mexico and the sheer vastness of the state of Texas. Part of the way will be on the historic Route 66. Bet you didn’t know some of these facts!
- It is 2448 miles long and has been described as “The Mother of All Road Trips”. (8 states and 3 times zones)
- John Steinbeck used it as the inspiration of his novel The Grapes of Wrath. He left Chicago in 1937 heading west. He called it the great “concrete path” and in the book it was referred to as the “Mother Road”.
- The Great Depression paved Route 66. From 1933 to 1938 thousands of male youths looking for work became members of the “Road Gangs” and paved all the remaining dirt sections.
- Route 66 won’t be on any modern maps! It was decommissioned from the original 1926 grid. The route was considered irrelevant and was replaced by the interstate highway system.
- “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” was sung by Nat King Cole. It almost wasn’t to be because when the composer arrived in LA to pitch it, the song was only half completed. Mr. Cole helped finish it and then recorded the song.
- It is also nicknamed “Will Rogers Highway”. The beloved writer spent many years travelling the Route and writing about the people along the way. When he died in a plane crash, radio stations from coast to coast on the road went silent for 30 minutes in honor of the man who wrote about them.
- The Kansas section is the shortest- only measuring 13 miles!
- The highest point is on the Continental Divide in Gallup, New Mexico at 7245 ft. high!!
- One of the most famous motel chains along the Route was The Wigwam Motels. The rooms were designed to look like an Indian teepee. There are only 2 left located in San Bernadino and the other in Holbrook, AZ.
- Clark Gable and Carol Lombard spent their honeymoon in Oatman, AZ along the Route.
- Phillips Petroleum chose a spot on the Route as the location for their first gas station in 1927. It’s still standing in McLean, Texas!
- The first EVER McDonalds opened on Route 66 in California in 1948.
- A WWII prisoner of war camp was set up 2 miles east of 66 in McLean, Texas. It operated from 1943-1945 and housed up to 3000 German prisoners.
This summer has passed in a whirlwind of activity. I can’t believe we are already in August and Back To School is right around the corner. I hope your summer was a ton of fun!
I love biographies and I read Eric Clapton’s. Whew- what a life. Look what I found out about other rockers-
- Prince and Sinead O”Connor got into a fight. He used his fists and she spit on him multiple times. He wrote her massive hit “Nothing Compares To You” but was upset when she decided to cover it because he wanted to give it to one of his female protege. Discussion turns into him berating her for cussing during interviews and she calmly told him to go f— himself. The fight was on.
- Legendary producer and songwriter Phil Spector is off his rocker. Crazy. He put a loaded gun to Leonard Cohen’s head. He fired a shot in the studio while working with John Lennon. He also held the Ramones at gunpoint. He held the band captive in a locked room and while he sat at the piano, he made the band listen to him sing “Baby, I Love You”. Multiple times. Until 4:30 in the morning.
- Izzy Stradlin, guitarist for Guns N’ Roses, had to go pee on the plane. The bathrooms were occupied so he declared, “I’m not waiting any longer.” Sooooooo, he whipped it out and peed in the galley in front of stunned passengers and attendants. His attorney’s defense? He was expressing himself……
- Boy George behaved badly. Surprised? In 2007 a Norwegian escort arrived at Boy George’s house for a naked photo shoot. They had some cocaine and next thing you know, Boy George accuses him of hacking his computer, handcuffs him to the wall (Wait a minute, how do you do this unless you have rings screwed in the wall so you have something to handcuff it to?) Anyway, handcuffed him and pulled out chains and beat him! What?!?!
- In 2000, Slim Shady(Eminem) was arrested for 2 separate gun-related incidents just hours apart. Hmmm, not too smart. Each time was with an unloaded gun.
- Marilyn Manson. Sigh. He got in trouble because he thought rubbing his junk on the head of a security guard was a good idea. He said it wasn’t sexual misconduct. The lawsuit claims that Manson grabbed the guy from behind and improperly touched him. He tried to escape but Manson continued to gyrate his hips and pubic area against his head, neck, and face. Instead of being prosecuted as a sex offender, he got disorderly conduct. Manson’s response was, “It’s a victory for art.” Really?!?!?!?
- Foxy Brown loses it over hair glue. Brown was already on probation for assaulting 2 manicurists when she bought a bottle of hair glue and headed to the bathroom. After 15 minutes the owner knocked and said they were closing. Brown said, I bought this glue and I’ll do what I wanna do.” Then the door was flung open and Brown tried to squirt the glue into the owner’s eyes and knocked over a shelf of bottles while using every cuss word known to man. The cop had to use a takedown maneuver. Talk about anger management!
- Britney Spears has a few moments too. Her first marriage to a childhood friend lasted 55 hours. She had her first baby and promptly started teaching it to drive. She stopped wearing shoes in public bathrooms then shaved her head to feel normal. Outrageous behavior or just sad?
The weather has heated up. Schools are letting out. Life is a beach.
But, do you really know summer? Check out these tid-bits-
- The phrase ‘the dog days of summer’ has to do with the stars and not about sweltering heat. The dog star Sirius begins its rise just before the sun towards the end of July. The Romans believed the extra light gave off more heat heat to the sun and was responsible for the super hot days.
- More thunderstorms occur during summer than at any other time. It’s all that extra heat and moisture! Believe it or not, the most occur in the south of England. Hmmmm
- New York has a cool thing going on! Owing to the city’s design on a grid rotated 29 ° clockwise from true east-west, twice a year the sun sets directly at the end of the many New York’s major streets to create a spectacular sunset. The sun is slightly above the horizon and nestled between the rows of buildings.
- The first modern Olympic games were held in the summer of 1896 in Athens.
- The last day of summer is September 20th.
- The iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris grows every summer. With the heat, the metal expands and it grows up to 6 inches!
- The Roman general, Marc Anthony, named the month July after Julius Caesar.
- August was named after Julius Caesar’s nephew. He had received the title of “Augustus” which means “reverend”.
- Ice pops were invented by an 11 year old boy in 1905! THANK YOU!
- The first women’s bathing suit was created in the 1800’s. It had a pair of bloomers with it! ACK!!!
- Swimming nude used to be the norm. In ancient days, clothes were definitely pitched to the side. However, in the 17th century, laws were put into place about decent swimming attire…and nude wasn’t it!
- Watermelons are a vegetable! Who knew?!? It is a member of the squash, cucumber, and pumpkin family. Americans eat around 15 lbs. per year.
- In the United States, over 650 million long distance summer trips are made. Let’s hit the road!!
- Scientist argue that babies born in the summer will suffer from more mood swings than babies born at other times. Really?
- Jenn and I hope you have a terrific summer filled with lots of laughter and fun…and that’s a fact!
Most people know writers tend to live in their own little worlds. I can hear many of you laughing already because you know me! Yes, we are different…but some are even more interesting than you think!
- Stieg Larsson, who created The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, stated the heroine was based on what Pippi Longstocking would be like when she was grown. Hmmmm, not what I would have thought about Pippi.
- Alexander Dumas, The Three Musketeers, fought his first duel at the age of 23. He has the unusual distinction of having his trousers fall down during the event! I think it was better he wrote about fighting instead of participating!
- Before finding fame as a novelist, The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown was a pop singer. One of his solo albums was called Angels and Demons.
- Bram Stoker, Dracula, was a crazy conspiracy theorist! One of his best theories is that the Queen Elizabeth that we all studied about was really a man in drag! Supposedly, the real Elizabeth got sick and died when she was 10.
- Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, was kinda weird. For instance, he always positioned his bed northward- he said it sparked his creativity. He had a thing for the dead. One of his favorite past times was hanging out in the morgue- he even spent a few Christmas and New Years Days at the Paris morgue……
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, thought Houdini was magical. After his son died, he spent a great deal of time studying mysticism and trying to talk to the dead. Somehow along the way, he decided his friend, Houdini, had magical powers even though Houdini was constantly trying to prove to him otherwise.
- Norman Mailer, The Executioner’s Song, was a raging alcoholic who stabbed his wife and beat up actor Rip Torn. Many considered him to be a world renowned jerk! He also ran for mayor of New York City claiming he would outlaw private cars, have trial by jousting and turn the city into the 51st state. The stories only get better from there- I just don’t have space to write about so many!
- John Steinbeck used 300 pencils to write East of Eden and was known to use up to 60 pencils in a day.
- When Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham, was stuck writing his books, he would go to a secret closet filled with hundreds of hats and wear them till the words came. Something else to make you go hmmmmmm.
- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea, once took home the urinal from his favorite bar, arguing he’d ‘pissed away’ so much of his money into it that he owned it.
- Sting wrote the song ‘Every Breath You Take’ at the same desk which Ian Fleming used to write his James Bond novels. It was at the ‘Fleming Villa’ at GoldenEye on the island of Jamaica.
- D. H. Lawrence, Women In Love, liked to climb trees buck naked because he wanted to stimulate his creativity.