Oddities, backstories, and other weird things...
During the eighteenth century, books that were considered offensive were sometimes punished by being whipped.
Kellogg's Corn Flakes were invented by a Dr. Kellogg in hopes that they would masturbation.
From 1702 until 1709, the Governor of New York was a spendthrift transvestite. Queen Anne had a transvestite cousin, Lord Cornbury, whom she assigned to be governor of New York and New Jersey. The colonists were not amused.
In Vermont, USA, it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of their husbands.
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, then they died of natural causes.
In Baltimore, USA, it is illegal to wash or scrub a sink, regardless of how dirty it is.
Brian Molony, 24, gambled away $10.2 million obtained fraudulently from a bank in Toronto where he was Assistant Manager.
In seventeenth-century Massachusetts, smoking was legal only at a distance of five miles from any town.
In Los Angeles, there are fewer people than there are automobiles.
In 1990 there were about 15,000 vacuum cleaner related accidents in the US.
American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first class.
A 1992 study found that the type of item most often thrown away as trash by Americans is clippings and other yard waste.
According to the ceremonial customs of Orthodox Judaism, it is officially sundown when you cannot tell the difference between a black thread and a red one.
November 19 is Have a Bad Day Day.
In 1990, US college students spent $594 million on cocaine, High school students, however, only spent $276 million.
Robots in Japan pay union dues.
The design of a US coin cannot be changed more than once in 25 years without special legislation by Congress.
Fanta Orange is the third largest selling soft drink in the world.
Most of the little schoolhouses in the US of yesteryear were painted red because red was the least expensive paint colour.
Chrysler built B-29's that bombed Japan, Mitsubishi built Zeros that tried to shoot them down. Both companies now build cars in a joint plant call Diamond Star.
Each second, the US Postal Service delivers 200 pieces of junk mail.
When insurance on ships and their cargoes was introduced in 14th-century Europe, it met opposition on the grounds that it was an attempt to defeat financial disasters willed by God.
Runaway shopping carts do $100 million worth of damage to cars in supermarket parking lots in Canada every year.
In Boston, it is illegal to take a bath unless one has been ordered to by a physician.
There are more plastic flamingos in America than real ones.
The proper ratio of holes in a salt shaker to holes in a pepper shaker is five to three.
Until about 150 years ago, churchgoing was required by law in England.
In Kentucky, 50% of the people who get married for the first time are teenagers.
If you bring a raccoon's head to the Henniker, New Hampshire town hall, you are entitled to receive $10 from the town.
Acting was once considered to be evil, and the actors in the first English play to be performed in America were arrested.
Martha's Vineyard once had its own dialect of Sign Language.
It is recorded that Johann Heinrich Karl Thieme, Sexton of Aldenburg, Germany, dug 23,311 graves during his 50-year career. In 1826, his understudy dug his.
Soldiers from every country salute with their right hand.
It's illegal to buy ice cream after 6 pm in Newark, NJ. unless you have a written note from your
Placophobia is the fear of tombstones. It is related to a fear of cemeteries and, indirectly, to a fear of death.
The IRS would need at least 15 3/4 miles of shelves to store the tax forms they receive each year in the US.
Barbie's measurements if she were life size: 39-23-33.
American media mogul Ted Turner owns 1.5 percent of New Mexico.
Dr. Samuel A. Mudd was the physician who set the leg of Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth, and whose shame created the expression for ignominy, "His name is Mudd."
The top layer of a wedding cake, known as the groom's cake, is usually is a fruit cake so it will last until the couple's first anniversary, when they will eat it.
Spiral staircases in medieval castles are running clockwise. This is because all knights used to be right-handed. When the intruding army would climb the stairs they would not be able to use their right hand which was holding the sword because of the difficulties in climbing the stairs. Left-handed knights would have had no troubles except left-handed people could never become knights because it was assumed that they were descendants of the devil.
In 1995 the United States spent $27 billion in preparation to wage nuclear war. It spent $2.2 billion to prevent nuclear war.
The average time that a man lasts after penetration is two minutes.
The slogan on New Hampshire license plates is 'Live Free or Die'. These license plates are manufactured by prisoners in the state prison in Concord.
Americans spend an average of about $3 per person on Halloween candy.
A coward was originally a boy who took care of cows.
Americans pay over $30,500 in federal, state, and local taxes every second.
Al Capone's business card said that he was a furniture dealer.
As late as 1940, a candidate for the US Naval Academy was rejected if it was discovered that he masturbated.
More people in the US die failing to yield the right of way than driving to the left of center
Canadians spend $24 million on coffins and caskets every year.
Vietnamese currency consists only of paper money; no coins.
An American urologist once bought Napoleon's penis for $40,000.
In the 17th century, Spain boasted that it was free of sexual deviance. When referring to bestiality, Spanish nicknamed it "the Italian vice."
The largest funeral ever held was for C.N. Annadurai, Madras Chief Minister in 1969 with 15 million people attending
Lloyd's of London has issued insurance policies against seeing a ghost, and being struck by lighting or meteors
Vermiphobia and scoleciphobia both relate to a fear of worms and all things slimy.
A Saudi Arabian woman can get a divorce if her husband doesn't give her coffee.
Isopterophobia is the fear of termites. Individuals who fear termites may actually fear being buried alive should the termites cause the building in which they live to collapse.
When Gerber baby foods began to sell in parts of Africa, they continued to use their usual
packaging, with a baby on the front. They didn't realise until later that where they were selling it, it was a common practice to help illiterate people buy things by putting pictures on the wrapper of what was inside....
Canada's most prolific killer, Yves Apache Trudeau, former member of the Filthy Few (Inner Circle of Hell's Angels)-43 gangland slayings.
To have sex with donkeys, Mongol men would often tie their hind legs together.
St. Bernard is the patron saint of skiers.
At age 16 Confucius was a corn inspector.
St. Boniface is the saint that one should invoke in cases of sodomy.
The most common name in the world is Mohammed.
In the 10th century, it was ruled that a cleric who experienced a wet dream would have to sing 7
prescribed penitential psalms right after the fact and in the morning sing 30 more.
Studebaker was the only major car company to stop making cars while making a profit from them.
St. Stephen is the patron saint of bricklayers.
According to the Hite Report, candles are the artificial device used more frequently by women when masturbating.
Michael Tolotos, who died at the age of 80, never saw a woman.
In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.
The Inca enacted laws to prevent llama drivers from having sex with their animals and enforced the laws be requiring that the llama drivers be escorted by chaperones.
The most common name in Italy is Mario Rossi.
Americans spend $10 million each day on potato chips.
Hypnotism is banned by public schools in San Diego.
Chinese lovers, before the days of Mao, were most fond of sex with fowl.
Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
It was illegal to sell ET dolls in France because there is a law against selling dolls without human faces.
The average bank teller loses about $250 every year.
The young males of Sambia in New Guinea must perform a ritualised homosexual act with tribe
elders until they reach adulthood. When they get older, they have sex with women, during which
they hold their noses with clothespin like devices.
St. Tertullian called women "the devil's gateway ... on account of you, even the son of God had to die."
The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
The first Eagle Scout west of the Mississippi is buried in San Marcos, Texas.
Sigmund Freud had a morbid fear of ferns.
St. Augustine had a concubine to whom he was faithful for 15 years. He said that his youth "boiled over in fornication." He also epitomised a general feeling among church fathers that the act of intercourse was fundamentally disgusting.
In 1964, a jury awarded $50,000 to a woman who claimed a cable car accident in San Francisco had made her into a nymphomaniac.
In Michigan, USA, a man legally owns his wife's hair.
Pop Rocks, the hottest selling candy ever, sold on the black market in Louisiana for up to a dollar a packet (over 6 times the retail price). Five hundred million packets were sold between 1975 and 1980.
Everyday at least one passenger is caught smoking in the lavatory flying on a Canadian aircraft.
St. Jerome said that full grown virgin women should never bathe and should be ashamed of their bodies.
One punishment for an adulterous wife in medieval France was to make her chase a chicken through town naked.
In 1980, a Las Vegas hospital suspended workers for betting on when patients would die.
The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.
The Volkswagen was originally called the "Strength-Through-Joy-Wagon."
According to Archives of General Medicine, coffee drinkers have sex more frequently and enjoy it more than non-coffee drinkers.
A survey in Cosmopolitan magazine said that foreplay usually last 14 to 17 minutes for the average married couple.
There are over one hundred offences that carry the death penalty in Iran.
Anne Boleyn had six fingernails on one hand, but only five fingers on that hand. She had a small extra nail on the side of her finger that she kept hidden with long sleeves.
Payment for English trial lawyers is considered an honorarium—so there is no legal obligation for clients to pay them.
Aphallatosis is a mental disorder resulting from a lack of sex life.
1/3 of Taiwanese funeral processions includes a stripper.
Kerimski Church in Finland is world's biggest church made of wood.
The Dodge brothers Horace and John were Jewish, that's why the first Dodge emblem had a star of David in it.
M & M's were developed so that soldiers could eat candy without getting their fingers sticky.
Cranberry Jello is the only jello flavour that comes from real fruit, not artificial flavouring.
Students at US colleges and universities read about 60,000 pages in four years.
The 1st nuclear weapon `accident' occurred off the coast of British Columbia on Feb 13 1950 when a bomb was dropped 8000 feet into the water, the device presumably remains there still.
20 million Americans watch pornography annually.
The Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, has twice as many bathrooms as is necessary. When it was
built in the 1940s, the state of Virginia still had segregation laws requiring separate toilet facilities for blacks and whites.
Don't get caught chewing gum in Singapore. For this horrible offence, you could be fined $6,250 or spend a year in jail.
The original IBM punchcard is the same size as a Civil War era dollar bill.
Worldwide, there are more statues of Joan of Arc than of anyone else. France alone has about 40,000 of them.
The light bulbs in the New York Subway system screw in clockwise and screw out counter-clockwise, the reverse of traditional light bulbs. This is so that people who steal them can't use them.
50% of bank robberies take place on Friday's
There are two credit cards for every person in the United States.
Approximately 2,500 left-handed people die each year in accidents involving products designed for right-handed people.
95% of food-poisoning cases are never reported.
Only 55% of all Americans know that the sun is a star.
The tailless dinner jacket was invented in Tuxedo Park, New York. Thus it is called the "tuxedo dinner jacket" and is named after the town...not the other way around.
Kotex was first manufactured as bandages, during WWI.
Kentucky produces more whiskey than any other US state combined.
Neck ties were first worn in Croatia. That's why they were called cravats (CRO-vats).
Almost a quarter of the land area of Los Angeles is taken up by automobiles.
At McDonalds in New Zealand, they serve apricot pies instead of cherry ones.
The St. Louis Gateway Arch had a projected death toll while it was being built. No one died.
The royal house of Saudi Arabia may at present have as many as 5,000 princes and an equal number of princesses. King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, who ruled from 1932 until death in 1953, had
The last NASCAR driver to serve jail time for running moonshine was Buddy Arrington.
World's largest cheese - Perth Ontario, 1893. 28 ft. in circumference, 6 ft. tall, 11 tons.
The date of Easter is determined by taking the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox.
The oceans receive fourteen billion pounds of waste from merchant shipping every year.
The largest school in the world is a k-12 school in the Philippines, with an enrollment of about 25,000.
Polls show that 75% of American adults do not know that antibiotics kill bacteria but not viruses.
There are 18 doctors in the US called Dr. Doctor, and one called Dr. Surgeon. There is also a dermatologist named Dr. Rash, a psychiatrist called Dr. Couch and an anesthesiologist named Dr. Gass. And at least one dentist named Dr. Pain.
It's bad luck to get married when the fish aren't biting, according to the custom of some fisherfolk.
Every year, Americans dispose of 1.6 billion pens, 2 billion razors and blades, 18 billion diapers and 30 billion steel and tin cans. They are all sitting in landfills somewhere.
The "thumbs up" sign, signifying everything is ok, and used in many ads in the United States, has an offensive meaning in many eastern European countries.
Computer Crime adds up to more than 10 billion dollars per year.
Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno mag.
The word "girl" appears only once in the Bible.
According to author Tom Heymann, on an average day 1,924 businesses are incorporated, 168 businesses fail, 6,082 complaints are received by the Better Business Bureau, nine corporate mergers occur, and five companies change their names.
Before Prohibition, Shlitz Brewery own more property in Chicago than anyone else, except The Catholic Church.
The world's largest K-Mart is on the island of Guam.
Americans spend $300 million on clothes every day!
The Foreign Exchange market never closes - it simply follows the sun from Tokyo to London to New York, and back to Tokyo again.
One superstition to get rid of warts involves rubbing a peeled apple and giving it to a pig.
Amber (fossilized pine resin) was thought by some in ancient times to be solidified sunshine and by others to be the petrified tears of gods.
Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in Ireland.
A nursing home in Texas must comply with the rules and regulation of 15 agencies.
The new IRS employee manual includes provisions for collecting taxes in the aftermath of a nuclear war.
All gondolas in Venice, Italy must be painted black, unless they belong to a high official.
There's a temple in Sri Lanka dedicated to a tooth of the Buddha.
The real name of the "I've fallen and I can't get up" lady is Edith Fore.
The current market value of a pap smear from Marilyn Monroe is $200,000.
The scar on Al Capone's scar was the result a gash he received from the brother of a girl he had insulted.
If Americans reduced their meat intake by 10 percent, the savings in grains and soybeans would feed 60 million people, which is the number of people who starve worldwide each year.
The dunce cap of schoolhouse fame originates from a paper cone that was placed on the heads of accused witches during the Middle Ages. When Joan of Arc was martyred, she was wearing one of them.
The Twelve Days of Christmas represent the length of time that the three wise men from the East took to reach the manger of Jesus Christ after his birth. Their arrival on the twelfth day was celebrated in the form of the Feast of Epiphany in medieval France, and later in other countries.
According to Matt Groening, a dog with seven toes can see ghosts.
Homicide in the workplace is now the fastest growing form of murder. The increase in mass murders in offices in the last 10 years is about 200-300 percent. People to fear the most: middle aged, white males who are loners, angry, paranoid, and guarded.
In the Mass of the Independent Catholic Church of Malta, God is referred to as "Allah.".
Pizza is the number 2 entree in foodservice, outpacing the growth rate of all other food items. It represents more than 10% of all food sales and is expected to exceed the hamburger 1996.
The Aetherius Society believes Jesus is alive and well on the planet Venus.
130 million cups of coffee are consumed every day in the United States alone!
In the United States in 1995, KFC sold 11 pieces of chicken for every man, woman and child in the country.
An old custom in Holland explains why we have piggy banks. At the beginning of the year, children were given pigshaped earthenware containers (known as "feast pigs") to save their pennies in. The following Christmas, they got to open them up.
$627 billion is spent on food annually at shopping malls.
According to a market research survey done some time ago, 68% of consumers receiving junk mail actually open the envelopes.
There are almost 800 different brands of bottled water for sale in the United States.
Fresca, the soft drink, had problems when it was sold in Mexico. Fresca is slang for lesbian.
According to Mexican folk doctors or curanderismo, mal de ojo is an illness to which all children and adults with "light blood" are susceptible. Sweeping the patient with an unbroken egg in the sign of the cross is considered the treatment of choice.
One-sixth of all Americans, an estimated 43 million people, move each year. (U.S. Census Bureau)
According to The Wall Street Journal, more blonde hair dye is sold in Dallas than in any other U.S. city.
Head injuries occur about every 15 seconds in the United States.
Fifty percent of all marshmellows consumed in the U.S. have been toasted.
According to the National Association of Suggestion Systems, a company typically saves $7,663 for each employee suggestion that is enacted. The figure is based on data gathered from 900 companies that have suggestion boxes.
Every Swiss citizen is required by law to have a bomb shelter or access to a bomb shelter.
The first stall in a public bathroom is least often occupied and is the cleanest.
Lee Harvey Oswald's cadaver tag sold at an auction for $6,600 in 1992.
The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means "bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax" depending on the dialect.
The largest object ever found in the Los Angeles sewer system was a motorcycle.
In Germany, the parents of bad little boys and girls would receive whips and lumps of coal delivered by St. Nick's bud Knecht Ruprecht (Servant Rupert) at Christmas.
314 Americans had buttock lift surgery in 1994.
In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into Schweppes Toilet Water.
The written test for University of Texas at Austin campus police in the 1960s asked applicants the shape of their excrement to test their ability to be observant.
The Fijiian god Matawaloo has eight stomachs and is always eating.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, one person is killed annually painting stripes on the state's highways and roads.
Wyoming was the first state to allow women to vote, New Zealand was the first country.
Americans spent more than $18 billion on lottery tickets in fiscal year 1990.
Every day in the United States, people steal $20,000 from coin-operated machines.
The average U.S. high school graduate has a vocabulary of about 60,000 words.
According to an old tradition, men must carry women over the threshhold to protect them from getting possessed by evil spirits that hang around in doorways.
Belief in the existence of vacuums used to be punishable by death under church law.
William Blake, Winston Churchill, and John Lennon were all ordained druids.
The bat on the Bacardi symbol is there because the soil where the sugar cane grows is fertile from the excessive guano (bat droppings.)
For $150 you can become a licensed dead animal hauler in Texas.
One-third of black men in the US between 20 and 29 years old were in prison, on parole or on probation. The number increased from one-fourth five years ago. - The Key , April 1996
In Brazil, Pinto, the same name as the Ford car, is a slang term meaning a small male appendage.
There is no mention of Adam and Eve eating an apple in the Bible.
A golden razor removed from King Tut's Tomb was still sharp enough to be used.