Ten Random Facts
The word "yardstick" is derived in part from the Old English word "gird" for the word "yard," which translates to "stick." As a result of this melding, we're literally calling the measuring device a "stick-stick."
The Amish speak a dialect they call "Mudderschprooch" (Pennsylvania Dutch).
During the Renaissance period, laws were passed that prescribed which fashions could not be worn by the lower classes, so as to keep social distinctions intact. Queen Elizabeth of England would not allow the ruff to be worn by commoners; in Florence, women of the lower class were not allowed to use buttons of certain shapes and materials.
In 1964, Ray Bellisario became the first British paparazzo, and was dubbed "The Peeping Tom" by the press. He sold photographs of Princess Margaret in a swimsuit to the Sunday Express, which published them. The British monarchy instructed editors not to buy Bellisario's photos, and they agreed.
Pearl essence is the silvery substance in the skin of herring and other fishes. It is a lucrative by-product that is essential to the manufacture of lipstick, nail polish, paints, ceramics and costume jewelry.
Reportedly, Virginia Woolf wrote all her books while standing.
One paradoxical fact about pristine Santa Catalina Island is that, unlike the rest of car-crazy Southern California, the number of cars on the island is strictly limited. Waiting time to get a permit for a car is eight to ten years. Most residents drive electric-powered golf carts.
Ancient Greeks used sea sponges to pad their helmets and leg armor.
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