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Fact of the Day - DUELLING

 

Did you know... that Surprisingly, duels were not usually begun with the intention of murder?  All over the world, main focus of duelling was generally gaining “satisfaction” for insulted honor.  The idea was that one’s honor was worth risking your life to avenge.  Because duelling was frequently forbidden throughout history (though that depended where and when), duels were often fought on a “field of honor,” which was usually a completely isolated area, to avoid witnesses.  In the West, they were usually fought at dawn for the same reason.  In the 19th century, the Ionian islands of Greece saw a tradition of duelling where the goal wasn’t actually to kill the other person.  First, sexually charged insults would be thrown at each other, and soon a knife fight would break out.  The first man to slash the other guy’s face and draw blood was the winner, and this earned him the right to spit on his beaten opponent or wipe his handkerchief in his opponent’s blood.  It was considered well worth the obligatory arrests and the slaps on the wrist by the local authorities.

 

In ancient Scandinavian culture, a duel was known as holmgang.  Traditionally, if a man insulted another, they would meet later for a battle either to death or incapacitation.  Because it was a duel, neither could be charged with murder in the aftermath.  In Norway, the winner of the duel could claim all of the loser’s possessions—add insult to injury why dontcha?  

 

Duels have been fought with all kinds of weapons throughout history.  The two most traditional weapons (at least in Europe and North America) were the pistol and the sword.  According to several duelling traditions, the person who was challenged to a duel was allowed to choose what kind of weapons would be used.

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Did you know... that around the time of the Revolutionary War , dueling occurred in every state of the nation ( U.S )  regularly , often for even relatively slight offenses , such as insults , or to resolve gambling disputes ? Few laws prohibited this tradition inherited from the Old World , which continued to evolve . Although no binding set of rules governed the proceedings of a duel in the United States largely , no doubt , because dueling was outside the law , U.S. citizens adopted the European rules from their ancestors .

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Fact of the Day - JINGLE DRESS DANCE

 

Did you know... that there are few pow wow dances as ebullient, or as symphonic, as the Jingle Dress Dance, especially when there are multiple female dancers moving together?  The rows of metal cones, called ziibaaska’iganan in the Ojibew language, dangle from the dresses and rattle and clink as the dancers move.  The traditional dance required the dancers to never cross their feet, never dance backward, and never complete circle.  They kept footwork light, nimble, and close to the ground.  Their dresses chirped as they moved.  Modern Jingle Dress Dance allows more fluidity, the dancers can cross their feet, can complete full circles, and can dance backwards.  The dresses are designed so they can move more freely, but the metal cones remain, singing along, while the dancer often carries a feather fan during the dance.  The Jingle Dress Dance grew in popularity, and cultural significance, from the 1920s to around the 1950s, only to decline, go back to the dream-state from which it sprang, and rise back to life in the 1980s with the advent of pow wow expansion and competition.

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Fact of the Day - DRINKING FOUNTAINS

 

Did you know... that Before potable water was provided in private homes, water for drinking was made available to citizens of cities through access to public fountains?  Many of these early public drinking fountains can still be seen (and used) in cities such as Rome, with its many fontanelle and nasoni (big noses).  In mid-19th century London, water provision from private water companies was generally inadequate for the rapidly growing population and was often contaminated. Legislation in the mid nineteenth century formed the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers, made water filtration compulsory, and moved water intakes on the Thames above the sewage outlets.  In this context, the public drinking fountain movement began. It built the first public baths and public drinking fountains.  In London, the Metropolitan Free Drinking Fountain Association was established in 1859.  The first fountain was built on Holborn Hill on the railings of the church of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate on Snow Hill, paid for by Samuel Gurney, and opened on 21 April 1859.  The fountain became immediately popular, used by 7,000 people a day. In the next six years 85 fountains were built, with much of the funding coming directly from the association.  The movement soon became associated with the temperance movementas they provided a substitute for alcohol and were purposely positioned outside public houses.

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Did you know... that drinking fountains in the United States were often subject to racial segregation , until all legally enforced public segregation ( segregation de jure  ) was abolished by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ?

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Fact of the Day - COFFEE

 

Did you know... that people surmise the word “coffee” entered the English language sometime in the 16th century?  Apparently, it was borrowed from the Italian word “caffe,” which comes from the Dutch word “koffie,” taken from the Ottoman Turkish “kahve,” which stemmed from Arabic “qahwah.”  

 

In North America and a lot of western European countries, Starbucks and other coffee chains have dominated the market because they are providing to the customers a complete experience around coffee.  Coffee and friends, coffee and work, coffee and snacks and coffee to go!  The Irish mix coffee with whiskey and they call it “Irish coffee”.  In Italy the espresso and espresso machine were born and made it the favorite whole-day beverage of Italians. In Greece, there is the “kafenio”, an old fashioned coffee shop for old gentlemen, where they drink Greek coffee and exchange political ideas or they play cards and a board game called “tavli”.  Then also, in some countries, like Colombia or Brazil, the whole economy is based in coffee.

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Did you know... that the Guinness World record holder for the " Oldest Cat Ever " , a 38-year-old cat named Creme Puff , drank coffee every morning her whole life ?

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Fact of the Day - JIGSAW PUZZLE

 

Did you know... that back in 1766, a cartographer (that’s a person who makes maps) glued a map to a piece of wood and cut it up into bits?  He then issued a challenge to everyone to try to put it back together — and a craze was born!  But jigsaws (the tool that’s used to cut the wood into fancy shapes) weren’t invented until 1873, so puzzles back then were called "dissections" or "dissected puzzles."  Most puzzles today are made from cardboard, not wood, because they are cheaper and easier to make, and they come in all shapes and sizes!  

 

Jigsaw puzzles can be more difficult for a lot of reasons.  When the first puzzles were invented, there was no picture to work from — so often people were guessing at where shapes would go just from the title on the box.  Do you think you could put a puzzle together if the title just said "building" or "tree"?  Puzzles that have no edge or corner pieces are also considered hard, along with ones that are all the same colour, or that have the pieces cut along colour line (so each piece is a solid colour, and no pieces have multiple colours).

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Fact of the Day - JUKEBOXES

 

Did you know... that In 1877, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, a coin-operated music machine that played music from a wax cylinder?  On November 23, 1889, Louis Glass installed a coin-operated phonograph in his Palais Royale Saloon located in San Francisco.  It was called "nickel-in-a-slot" because that was the amount of money needed to make a selection.  Later, the term was shortened to nickelodeon.  In 1906, John Gabel invented the "Automatic Entertainer," a music machine that replaced the wax cylinder with 78-rpm disc recordings and offered several selections of records that could be played. Gabel's Automatic Entertainer dominated the market until the mid-1920s.  The jukebox remained something of a novelty arcade item until the invention of the electric amplifier.  Without amplification, it was impossible for a large group of listeners to enjoy the music played by the jukebox.  When Automated Musical Instruments Inc. (AMI) developed an amplifier in 1927, the popularity of the jukebox surged. It was especially popular in the illegal speakeasies of the Prohibition Era because it provided a cheap form of entertainment.  AMI sold 50,000 of its amplified machines in one year, bringing to life the age of the jukebox.

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Did you know... that each jukebox is comprised of 700-800 different components ? That includes : wood cabinetry , injection-molded plastic pieces , electronic stereo equipment such as amplifiers , woofers and tweeters . Also turntable or disk player , lighting , mirrors , records or compact disks and the selection mechanism . In some cases , the bulk of the components are purchased from outside suppliers . Other manufacturers create everything in-house except the records or compact disks .

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Fact of the Day - KOMODO DRAGONS

 

Did you know... that Komodo dragons are venomous?  For a long time, it was believed that a Komodo dragon's bite was so dangerous because of the massive number of bacteria thriving in its mouth. As a scavenger beast, its bite must be filled with the deadly microorganisms of rotting flesh and would infect and kill any victim.  The truth, however, was discovered by Bryan Fry, a venom researcher at the University of Melbourne in Australia, who found that the Komodo dragon is indeed one of the few venomous lizards on the planet.  It wasn't until 2009 that the decades-long myth of how Komodo dragons kill was finally slayed, and replaced with the truth, thanks in great part to Fry's research.  According to National Geographic, "The team found that the dragon's venom rapidly decreases blood pressure, expedites blood loss, and sends a victim into shock, rendering it too weak to fight.  In the venom, some compounds that reduce blood pressure are as potent as those found in the word's most venomous snake, western Australia's inland Taipan."  Unlike a snake, however, which injects venom into a victim through its sharp fangs, a Komodo dragon's venom seeps into large wounds it makes on an animal it attacks.  The animal may escape the grip of the dragon, but it won't escape the venom that will eventually bring it down.  By then, the Komodo dragon will be not far behind, tracking down its fleeing victim with its keen sense of smell.

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Did you know... that the Komodo Dragons are as much as 8.5 feet long and weight as much as 200 pounds ? They can take down animals as large as wild boar , deer and water buffalo .

To catch their prey , they use an ambush strategy . Matching well with the dirt surroundings of their island home , they lie in wait for an unsuspecting animal to pass by . They then sprint into action , landing a venomous bite before the victim can escape .

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Fact of the Day - JUMPING JACKS

 

Did you know... that  jumping jack (Canada & US) or star jump (UK and other Commonwealth nations), also called side-straddle hop in the US military, is a physical jumping exercise performed by jumping to a position with the legs spread wide and the hands touching overhead, sometimes in a clap, and then returning to a position with the feet together and the arms at the sides?  The name origin for the jumping jack exercise has sometimes erroneously been identified as World War I U.S. General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, who is said to have developed the exercise, but in fact the name comes from the jumping jack children's toy, which makes similar arm swing and leg splay motions when the strings are tugged.  "Star jump" refers to the person's appearance with legs and arms spread.

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Fact of the Day - THE SUPER BOWL

 

Did you know... that in the very first Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 15, 1967?  Sixty million people tuned in for the first broadcast, a number that has since nearly doubled.  After their win, each player on the Packers team took home a $15,000 bonus.  In comparison, every Patriots player received a $107,000 bonus for their win in the 2017 Super Bowl.

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Did you know... that 111 million viewers watched the Super Bowl in 2011 , making it the most watched television program in American history ?

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Fact of the Day - STATUE OF LIBERTY

 

Did you know... that the Statue of Liberty was built by French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, with the help of tons of workers working ten hour days, seven days a week for nine years?  The statue was finally finished in 1884 and presented to America on July 4th. It didn't arrive in the United States until many months later though, because all 350 individual pieces of the statue had to be packed into 214 crates for the long boat ride from France to New York.  It was on Bedloe Island that the Statue of Liberty was reconstructed in America - the island is now called Liberty Island and is only accessible by ferry.  Auguste Bartholdi thought that the New York harbor was the perfect setting for his masterpiece because it was "where people get their first view of the New World."  The statue was to be a symbol of welcome for all immigrants coming to America, as well as a universal symbol of freedom.

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Fact of the Day - STAR TREK

 

Did you know... that the vulcan salute is actually a Hebrew blessing?  Leonard Nimoy did not create the Vulcan salute that means "Live Long and Prosper" out of thin air for the season two opener "Amok Time," which was the first time we got to see Spock among his people on Vulcan.  It was actually borrowed from something he had witnessed as a child when he was attending a service at an Orthodox Jewish synagogue with his family.  The hand gesture represents the Hebrew letter Shin, which represents the word Shaddai, a name for God. It looks like a lot of people have been blessing each other without knowing it.

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Fact of the Day - DUST PARTICLES

 

Did you know... that the average person creates 1/3 ounce of dead skin each week?  Which is about the weight of a car key.  This dead skin combines with other particles to create household dust.  While that 1/3 ounce doesn’t seem like much, the average home in the United States collects 40 pounds of dust each year.  Many people claim to be allergic to dust, but in many cases they are actually having an allergic reaction to dust mites.  These mites eat the dead skin and their dead bodies and fecal matter cause allergic reactions in people.  Up to 500 dust mites can survive on just 1 gram of dust.  Depending on how small the particle is, dust is capable of staying suspended in the air for up to 5 days.

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Did you know... that the Sahara desert is the largest source of dust in the entire world ? 770 million tons of dust from this desert blows across the Atlantic Ocean to South America , where it fertilizes the Ocean and the Amazon rainforest .

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Fact of the Day - KARMA

 

Did you know... that Karma is a word that's now globally acknowledged?  More than a word, it's a concept.  Karma is an action, word or deed that has cause and effect relationship in the spiritual dimension.  How is it said to work?  Say if you do good today, it will have a positive effect on your future.  In simple terms, do good to get good.  Otherwise, actions performed with bad motive will lead to "bad karma".  This ideology or concept is rooted in Buddhism.  Today, it has spread across the world, so much so that, in most Asian countries, karma is associated with rebirth.  It is believed that the karma in the past life has determined the quality and nature of present life.  This might not be acceptable to all.  But karma is not something that can be overlooked.  If you recap your life, then you will realize that karma is prevalent at times.  Your good actions generate good results, while your bad works follows dark days. 

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