Ten cool facts for a Thursday afternoon…

I found this cool tiny fact and thought, I might just share that today.  And so here are a few others I’ve been storing in my head for awhile that I thought you might enjoy as well.

7111)       7-11, that fun convenient store that gave us the big gulp before movie theaters and fast food joints started doing it, used to be called U-Tote’m.  In 1946 they changed their hours from (you guessed it) 7:00am to 11:00pm.  That’s how that store got its name.

15th_century_siren-book2)      As a coffee aficionado I feel it is important that everyone realizes where the name Starbucks came from.  Starbuck was the name of the coffee swilling first mate of the Pequod in Melville’s Moby Dick.  That would be the reason for the mermaid as the symbol for Starbucks.  But why such a name for a coffee shop? Well, the group that began the coffee roasting company in 1971 consisted of an English teacher, a history teacher and a writer.  What else could the name be?

walkie talkie3)      During World War II, Motorola developed the first 35lb two way radio that could be worn on the back and taken anywhere.  Hence the term walkie-talkie came about.

elephant

4)     Elephants prefer one tusk over the other, just as people are either left or right-handed.

sneezing5)      Why do we say ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes?  This is one of those facts I’ve known for a while and that make me glad I was a History major.  The first person to utter a ‘blessing’ when someone sneezed was Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century during a bubonic plague epidemic.  Sneezing became the first sign of illness, so when someone sneezed, it only seemed right someone offer the sneezer wishes of ‘health and blessings’.  Later, in history, those party animals the pious pilgrims thought that a sneeze causes the soul to escape the body through the nose. Saying “bless you” would stop the devil from claiming a person’s soul.

piggy bank6)      The Middle English term “pygg” referred to a type of clay. In the middle ages, people would often keep coins in jars or pots made of pygg – these were called “pygg jars”. By the 18th century, with the evolution of language, these came to be known as a “pig bank” or “piggy bank”.

medieval bells7)      Let’s talk superstitions.  Bells in particular.  Ringing bells has long been one of the ways to ward off spirits in many different cultures throughout time.  Specifically, ringing bells causes witches to crash while riding their broomsticks.  Ringing bells can also protect against fairies that aren’t as helpful as Tinker Bell.  In feng shui the practice of placing wind chimes by your back door is good chi, well, isn’t it obvious why?  Bells chase away evil spirits.

8)      At the MGM_Ident_1928jackiebeginning of an MGM movie, you see the lion that roars and a banner in Latin around the top that says “Ars Gratia Artis”. That is the motto of MGM which means “Art for the Sake of Art”.

hollywoodland

9)      You know that Hollywood sign in…Hollywood California?  From 1923-1949 it actually read Hollywoodland.  It was originally put up as an advertisement for local real estate development in the hills.  The sign took on notoriety and was left up, but by 1949 it was deteriorating.  So the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce stepped in and refurbished the sign but took off the ‘land’ part.  Over the years, various celebrities have raised money to restore the sign that gets pretty battered by the elements.

bread-tabs-and-twisty-ties10)   The color of the twist tie on your bread means something.  The color signifies what day of the week the bread was baked on.  It is meant to help grocery stockers so they can figure out what bread to pull off the shelves.  Each manufacture has their own color scheme.

There you go my friends.  Some cool things that you know and hopefully might help you one of these days when you’re playing some trivia game somewhere.

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