Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 19th - Heather

At some point in middle school I remember hearing the slogan "Knowledge is Power" - this may or may not be why I was such an insufferable know-it all through high school....but as a lasting result, I value knowledge, even the trivial. 

When I was in debate (both in high school and college) one of the events I competed in was impromptu speaking, and while it seems slightly counter-intuitive that one has to prepare for an impromptu event....prepare we did.  To do so we read....Uncle John's Bathroom Readers!  The stories and factoids became great fodder for impromptu speeches.

It should surprise no one, then, that I have Uncle John's Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader in my collection.  I decided that I would share some of this knowledge today for my 5 things....

1.  "In Canada, it is illegal to board a flight while it's in flight." (pg 108)

2.  For as much as I love ice cream....I'm not eating it in Japan unless the flavor is marked CLEARLY in English.  These are some of the flavors that were introduced during record high temperatures in 2004: horseflesh, viper, eel, soy sauce, abalone....this list goes on.  (pg 162)

3.  "If a cow dies of heatstroke, the gases inside it can expand rapidly and cause the carcass to explode...[that same] gas released by cows' burping and farting is said to be one of the leading causes of holes in the ozone layer.  The world's cows produce about 100 million tons of it every year."  (pg 182)

4.   "Sales of KitKat bars surge in Japan around the time of college entrance exams.  'KitKat' sounds like the Japanese phrase kitto katsu, which means 'good luck.'  Parents buy the candy for their kids as a good luck charm."  (pg 277)

5.  Chewing gum and jelly beans are two things I don't choose to eat very often...and may never again.  "Most jelly beans get their hard, shiny surface from shellac - which is made from insect secretions.  The insects, Laccifer lacca, live in trees, and their secretions coat the branches.  The branches are cut and the shellac is refined from the coating...Some chewing gum still uses castoreum, which is used to enhance flavors.  Produced in the anal glands of beavers, it's also used in perfumes and incense."  (pg 245)

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