Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Holidays!

Merry Christmas to us, one and all! Of course we all know that the Reason for the Season is the Holidays, but what about some Holiday History? Well, what about it?

  • The word holiday is derived from the Roman, meaning "A day in the Holiday Season."

  • The first Christmas was celebrated in December of 224 AD. December was chosen, of course, not because of Jesus's birthday (which was in March) but to replace the pagan holiday of Saturnalia, the feast of the Vernal (Autumn) Equinox.

  • GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN: Santa Claus, aka Jolly Old Saint Nick, was originally St. Nicholas. This 6th century Irish monk was also the inspiration for St. Patrick's day when he illegally brought 17 snakes to Ireland. This was the first recorded instance of snake handling, and according to some, the origin of the term "Secret Santa."

  • Christmas was not celebrated in the years 1629,1630, or 1704 by Decree of Law.

  • MARCO... The first Christmas presents were of course gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which is Roman for "the sea." However, gift-giving did not become a Christmas tradition until the 18th century when adventurer Marco Polo brought back Persian rugs from Iraq and exotic spices from the West Indies.

  • Americans spend more money on Christmas gifts each year than the rest of the world spends on food.

  • SHALOM! Menorah means "the festival of lights" in Jewish. Every year Orthodox Jews gather to eat, drink, and celebrate the liberation of the Jewish ghetto in Prague by the Golem. Hannukah, or Channukah, or Shannukah, is the third-highest religious holiday of the year after Ross Hashanana and the Jewish New Year, which is also the Lunar or Chinese New Year.

  • Kwanzaa is also a holiday of some note.

  • A MAJOR ACTOR: If a recent survey is to be believed, 53% of Americans prefer Brian Dennehy in the role of Santa Claus, even though he has never played it in a movie or TV show.

  • There is no such animal as a "reindeer."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Isn't It Just Like Life?

In this season of holidays that some like to call the Holiday Season (while others prefer the old-fashioned X-Mas moniker), often we are too hurly-burly going about the hustle and bustle of our ho-hum days. Take a moment to stop, think, and even breathe in the air. After all, this is your entire life.

AWARENESS: Life is like a long walk on the beach. For every beautiful sight you see, you hear something too.

WISDOM: You've got to learn a lot about the different kinds of paint before you can even pick up a brush to start painting a room. And I mean A LOT.

PROACTIVITY: Sleeping in may sound like a good idea, but don't you have stuff to do? No? Okay, whatever.

GETTING AHEAD: "I'm only happy when I'm winning," said the man. But was he winning? I guess that's what it all comes down to in the end.

THOROUGHNESS: Sometimes, no matter how many channels you have on digital cable tv, it seems like there's nothing on. But hold on a sec--maybe you missed something.

MUSIC: They say that music is the language of kings.

A NEW WAY OF THINKING: One of the best things about attaining your goals is that it may give you confidence.

ADVERSITY: Rockets are a bit like life. They blast into space, and they never come back.

BE PREPARED: Don't leave a cake out on the table or the dog will get into it. Unless you don't have a dog. Or if your dog is very short, then the table would probably be fine.

ADVICE: If you're feeling poorly, count on a neighbor or a friend to give you some little nugget of medical wisdom--totally free, completely unsolicited, and often erroneous or even dangerously wrong.

UPS AND DOWNS: Hesitate for just an instant and you've missed that parking space. Wait, isn't that one over by the carts? Right up front? No, that's handicapped.

PERSEVERANCE: You know that pen is almost out of ink, but you put it back in the drawer anyway. Are you trying not to be wasteful? Who knows.

IT HAPPENS EVERY TIME: Right when you sit down to eat a piece of pizza, you realize that you have forgotten your fork.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Search of the Week: December 15

Every single week of the year we bring you, the reader, one very special VLKF visitor who found our site through a popular search engine. This week's search came from the ubiquitous Google-brand search engine, where we ranked number 7 out of 130,000 results for the following query:

christian bale muscle

Not too shabby! Perhaps we need a follow-up piece on this subject.

Oddly, though, as you can see from the screenshot, this search came from Google Australia. One would think that an Aussie might be more interested in Steve Irwin or Mel Gibson. Well, you live and you learn. Thanks for the visit, mate!

Monday, December 11, 2006

One of These Days, Alice...

The Moon has been around for thousands of years, but mankind has only visited it twice. Now it's time we moved in. NASA has just announced a new, ambitious plan to establish a base on the Moon.

We on truly lucky to live on the only planet with a moon. (CAUTION: Be careful, though--it causes tsumanis!) Over the decades, the Moon has come to be associated with love, longing, mental illness, the menstrual cycle, astronomy, tides, and eclipses. How much do you really know about the Earth's moon, which is popularly known as The Moon? Are you a Moonie? Here are some fun new facts about our closest neighbor in the galaxy.

  • THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GREEN CHEESE! The Moon appears green because of its high copper content.
  • The Moon is the closest planet to the Earth except for Pluto, which is no longer a planet. At its closest point in orbit (apogee), the Moon is only five miles from the Earth's atmosphere. This is what astronomers call a "Harvest Moon."
  • WANT TO LOSE SOME WEIGHT? Due to the low specific gravity of the Moon, you would only weigh 12 pounds if you lived on the new Moonbase.
  • Pound for pound, moonrocks are more valuable than gold, cocaine, or Picassos.
  • I WANT TO BELIEVE: Some say that man has not actually walked on the Moon. This "conspiracy theorum" was popularized again by the Jim Carrey song, "The Old Man in the Moon" from the hit movie of the same name. Were the Moon astronauts really robots or monkeys? No, they were not. Robots were not invented until 1979, and monkeys would pee in their spacesuits, ruining the delicate electronics.
  • The Space program has brought back benefits to this planet on which we all live and breath. I'm talking, of course, about the Earth. Some of the "fringe" benefits of NASA include:
    • improved solar cells
    • freeze-dried ice cream
    • kidney dialysis
    • speakerphones
    • HEPA filters
    • CAT scans
    • space heaters
    • vacuum sealing
    • instant coffee
    • IMAX
    • jello
    • concentrated orange juice
    • low-interest student loans
    • zero-gravity pens
    • audiobooks

Sunday, December 10, 2006

VLKF Celebrates Gay Rappers

We here at Very Little Known Facts are celebrating the First Annual Hip-Hop Coming Out Week. Congratulations to Eminem, DMX, and Atlanta’s own Ludacris for bravely taking a stand for their own homosexuality through their rap lyrics. Kudos, guys!

Of course, the hip-hop industry is famously homophobic. Rappers who have tentatively hinted at their sexual persuasion in the past have been eliminated—either medically in the case of Eric Lynn Wright (Eazy-E), violently in the case of Christopher Wallace (Notorious B.I.G.), or simply humiliated in the case of Robert Van Winkle.

Naturally, then, popular rappers cannot literally come out of the closet. To do so would imperil not only their careers and their reputations (a.k.a. “street cred”) but also their very lives. No, they must show their gay pride through their primary means of communication—their lyrics.

Up in Here lyrics by Earl Simmons (DMX)

Y'all gon' make me lose my mind
up in HERE, up in here
Y'all gon' make me go all out
up in here, up in here
Y'all gon' make me act a FOOL
up in HERE, up in here
Y'all gon' make me lose my cool
up in here, up in here
If I gotsta bring it to you cowards then it's gonna be quick, a’ight
All your mens up in the jail before, suck my dick

Here we see spelled out before us the mental anguish that rapper DMX feels as he is torn between his “unnatural” desires and the role society expects him to play as a successful hip-hop personality. The internal conflict seems to be pushing him to the brink of insanity. Faced with this untenable situation, DMX has resorted to calling on ex-cons to fellate him.

Now, as we all know, in prison the rules are different. However, last I checked, DMX was a free man—a free man soliciting oral sex from other men. But that’s not his only lyric on the subject. Consider this exerpt:

Y'all niggaz remind me of a strip club

Cause every time you come around
It's like I just gotta get my dick sucked.

A courageous stance to take in such a public forum. Indeed.

Rock and a Hard Place lyrics by Christopher Bridges, a.k.a. Ludacris

Yeah yeah
It's an everyday stuggle
Trying to get out
Trying to get out

Here we see Chris baring the strife inside his very soul. Should he come out of the closet? A hard decision to make. For further ruminations on the subject, “check out” the chorus:

I try to find a way outta this maze
It's got me crazed I'm in a daze
So many ways to boost into a different phase
But I can't think, I can't do nothing
You think I'm fronting
You hear me grunting
Lord you ain't even saying nuttin’.

Powerful stuff. We hope that Mr. Bridges will employ the proper protection while "grunting" with his "partner." Safety first.

Cleanin’ Out My Closet lyrics by the Caucasian rap artist Marshall Mathers or Eminem

Have you ever been hated, or discriminated against?
I have, I've been protested and demonstrated against.

I got some skeletons in my closet
And I don't know if no one knows it
So before they throw me inside my coffin and close it
Imma expose it, I'll take you back to '73
Before I ever had a multi-platinum sellin' CD
I was a baby maybe I was just a couple of months
My faggot father must have had his panties up in a bunch.

How much plainer can this be? Need we also remind you that he penned a song called Suck My Dick? Eminem is gay.


In conclusion, there is room on this beautiful planet for rappers of all races, creeds, and even sexual perversions—as long as they “got skills,” but especially if they “got mad skills.”

Monday, December 04, 2006

Which Came First, the Rhino or the Chicken?

This age-old question has haunted mankind ever since Charles Darwin published his semenal work The Original Species several years ago. Perhaps some of these Very Little Known Facts can shed new light on a very old, very controversial problem.

  • The longest recorded flight of a domesticated chicken was 13 seconds. The chicken in question flew 1.2 miles.

  • FANCY FOOD: The restaurant "Po Folks" was named after the European river Po which flowed serenely through the land that the founders of that fine dining establishment called home. Eventually the name was shortened to "Folks," and finally changed to "Denny's."

  • Rhinos lay the largest eggs of any reptile since the Golden Age of the Dinosaurs.

  • DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING: It is unlawful for a blind person to testify in court as a witness.

  • BE CAREFUL: On average, up to 1,000 people choke to death on ball-point pens every year. In Florida, the number is even higher!

  • Al Capone's business card said that he was a used furniture dealer. Ironically, this was his profession from the time he was paroled in 1957 until, tragically, he died from old age in 1980.

  • NOBODY MOVE: To prevent population loss, the state of North Dakota fined its own citizens $350 to move out of state from 1961 to 1973. The money was then divided up amongst families who had moved to the state in that year. Native Americans were not eligible.

  • The hit Paul Newman and Robert Redford movie Cool Hand Luke was based on Shakespeare's play The Tempest.

  • ROCK OUT! Rock salt is not made from rocks. It is composed of pure sodium.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Film Reviews: The Importance of Being Earnest

This week’s movie review is The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Oliver Parker.

To start with, I can’t help but feel that there is a great deal of confusion with this movie, which is also—apparently—a play? Dennis Littrell posited:

This is an inventive and artful production of Oscar Wilde's play, but I can confidently say that were Oscar Wilde alive today, he would be appalled at the misuse to which his play has been put. Indeed I think I feel the ground rumbling as he rolls over in his grave, and yes he is actually spinning in anguish.

Possibly. I mean, I didn’t know Oscar, but I don’t think that he ever thought his play would end up being yet another installation in the Ernest series, that lovable good-for-nuthin’ with the irresistable catchphrase, “Hey Vern!”

And it is an odd choice. To start with, the whole thing takes place in Great Britain, which was once part of England and now is part of the United Kingdom. And on top of that it is apparently a period piece since everybody in the movie wears fancy clothes and listens to Victrolas, hence the monicker “The Victorian Era.” Why a period piece, you might ask? An excellent question. Even the Police Academy series didn’t feel the need to go back in time. But maybe that’s just what the tired old genre needed, according to reviewer windspray:

Sounds like my unfamiliarity with Wilde's play and the previous version of this movie was to my advantage. After all I could view this movie based on its own merits without any other comparisons getting in the way.

This didn’t sit so well with T. Rendell, who titled his review The dumbing-down of Oscar Wilde:

Urgent memo to Oliver Parker: Oscar Wilde is not about slapstick.

The plot, though, is vintage Ernest T. Worrell nonsense. summed it up their review:

The Importance of Being Earnest
stars Colin Firth as an English gentleman who pretends to be his own brother, named Ernest, so he can enjoy himself in the city without besmirching his reputation at his country estate. Unfortunately, he's just fallen in love with a young woman who insists that she can only marry a man named Ernest--and when Firth's best friend goes to Firth's country estate pretending to be this same brother Ernest, he falls in love with Firth's ward, who similarly feels that Ernest is the perfect name for a husband...

Earnest, which is apparently the British spelling of Ernest, is still the same old lovable scamp, but I have to say he has lost some of his old-fashioned pratfall humor. Probably because veteran comedian Jim Varney is hardly to be found. Is he even in this movie? Perhaps they couldn’t afford him. But in any case, it hardly matters. In the end, The Importance of Being Earnest still proves to be as important as any other movie in the Ernest series, as reviewer Katherine Brodsky points out:

What ensues further is a hilarious tale of mistaken identity.

Indeed, the further ensuance is hilarious indeed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Now That's Wild!

For those of you waiting with unabated breath for the newest Very Little Known Facts, here they are!

  • Red Ferraris are the fastest and most expensive cars in the world. Second fastest (and second most expensive) are red Lamborghinis.

  • BELIEVE IT OR NOT: Some universities actually offer college credit for classes such as Underwater Basket Weaving, Ultimate Frisbee, and Human Sexuality!

  • The popular dance craze known as “The Robot” actually started back in the good old Eighties. The dance was invented when bored teens performed herky-jerky, mechanical moves to hits by German techno bands such as Kraftwerk and Devo.

  • The record for consecutive dangerous stunts is 6. Evil Knievel attempted to break this record in 1979, but he did not survive.

  • Despite winning several Academy Awards, Whoopi Goldberg is not the “real” name of the popular actress who starred in The Color Purple, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and Ghost.

  • TOO BAD THINGS DIDN’T WORK OUT: The first Caucasian (white) rapper was Vanilla Ice.

  • In Canada, different teams compete in a sport known as “curling” where they attempt to slide a heavy weight across ice. Some team members even use brooms in this “sport” that has made it all the way to the Olympics!

  • THAT’S NO IGUANA: There is actually a breed of cat known as a Sphinx—maybe because it has no hair. None at all! But believe it or not, people have them as pets. Others claim to have "pet rocks."

  • The Concorde, a passenger jet, flew so fast that it actually created a sonic boom once.

  • REAL WILD: So-called “punk” rock-and-rollers shave all the hair off the sides of their head and then stand the remaining hair up into vertical spikes that form a long strip from their scalp to the nape of their neck. They call this hairdo a Mohawk after the river in New York. Dedicated punks may even dye this hair unnatural colors to celebrate their individuality.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Littlest Known Facts

Sometimes, even the littlest things in the universe are important. Where would we be without thimbles and screws, transistors and teeth, staples and car keys? We would not be in a good place, that's for sure. Even these Very Little Known Facts about the littlest things imaginable.

  • FASTER THAN A MASERATI: A photon is a single atom of light. It travels through space at three times the speed of sound, but it is so small that it is completely invisible!

  • The smallest person in the world is only eight years old.

  • A single computer chip holds more information than the Library of Congress.

  • The preposition is the smallest form of speech in English. In French, it's the conjunction.

  • BIGGER THAN A BREADBOX: A singularity is defined by Physics as the spot where all the matter in the entire cosmos is compressed so much that it would all fit inside a classic VW Beetle. (Remember that the trunk of the VW is in the front of the car, not the back.)

  • Japanese Banzai trees never grow more than six inches tall, even if you fertilize them!

  • Ink is actually made up of hundreds of tiny pigment molecules that bind to paper and quickly dry. If one were to stack all the ink molecules in a Stephen King book on top of each other, the resulting tower would be 6 times taller than the book itself!

  • SMALLER PLEASE: Bacteria are the smallest forms of life on Earth. But watch out--viruses are even smaller.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What Is a Hedge Fund?

In today’s ever-changing marketplace, it’s hard for the average investor to keep up with the “lingo.” Some investors don’t even know what the word “lingo” means! Is it a game show? Is it Australian? Who knows?

We here are VLKF Financial Services are here to help you, the potential investor, make savvy, risky, and safe decisions not only for your long-term financial goals and but also for your immediate gratification.

When the Dow Jones Industrial Index (NASDAQ) is down, people tend to bandy about the term “Hedge Fund” more and more. This is also true when the stock market is up. This might lead you to wonder, what exactly is a Hedge Fund, and how do I get in on this exciting once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? Here are some important things to remember.

1. Hedge Funds Are Not Mutual Funds. Although, technically, Hedge Funds are classified as Mutual Funds, there are at least six important differences. Keep this in mind.

2. Hedge Funds “hedge.” This is, of course, the main, pro-active impetus of the Hedge Fund archetype. This requires a contract stating protection against borrower fallout risk in the revenue-producing floor or ceiling, called a Qualified Financial Exchange. Practically speaking, this an offering. Stock is offered if financed analysis of principal-agent profits are at a minimum not necessarily between the two courses of action, either to buy or sell, never both. Execution of one between two things, such as the biter Stock issued the fallen angel. Abusive books are broken down into age of a customer, er, seller/buyer and Broker/analyst. In general, it means to increase brokerage bulk of trading business risks of a project. But that should be obvious, even to the layman. See: Ankle capitals (“The Caps”).

3. Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Omelet. Many investors want to jump on the bandwagon and find the latest “hot” stock. Often, these tips come from unsolicited emails. Beware, novice investor! Although these tips are usually exciting opportunities to make easy money, you shouldn’t invest all your money in a single internet stock. Spread your money out amongst several. And remember—forwarding these offers to everyone in your email address book can only increase the chances of a big payoff. Share the wealth!

4. Don’t Go “Over the Hedge.” In the context of bonds, refers to the computed cost of shares in which the cost of the counterparty, the active covenant minus debits at the currency, political, and current level of the current market and current market price, is not paid. Like the old song says, “Shave and a Hotdog, Two Bits!”

5. Keep it Legal, Keep it Real. Now it’s time for the fine print. Don’t bother to read this section until the lawyers are beating your door down.

Exhibit A: Account Brokerage System (ABS) The system that records bids and times generates the Annualizing Test Ratio, also called a private life-of-loan interest rate. See: APS.

Exhibit B: A firm with negative trading transactions such as a leveraged U.S. government-sponsored articles of incorporation uses important, variable-rate, alternative market capitalization of less than $500 million. Phenylketoneurics: Contains phenylalanine.

Exhibit 3: Ahead on a limit order is the monthly basis we established on debt instruments, the Ginnie on its one-day bank collection float. Adverse options are fixed-income or cash basis accounting. Qualified or Performance Certificates issued from dividends on a monthly basis. (A portfolio should gain limited context in safekeeping.) Hey, you know, what the heck? You know what I’m saying? Any-or-all bid dealer in question, e.g. Volatility Phenomenon Agency theory. The effect of compounding is the effect of a transaction. Often used on a fundamental basis.

Exhibit D: The return (usually run over) returns and returns, calculated risk, an agent acts as intermediary. The seller would sell. This analysis is often seldom-used since the present value over the statement from an independent financial institution that measures the firm may levy a fee closest to the gain (.05^ - = general market.) Both indications lower the interest among major classes of futures contracts as well as calculating market (bid/ask) hours. For example, if the World must be mutual, the opposing centers are required to permit restrictions of Rule. Compare: six independent alphabetical categories provided some integrated volume from widely quoted balances. Sell the world.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Becoming Whelmed

Feeling frustrated? Frazzled? Stressed out? At your wit's end? Chances are that you are overwhelmed. Conversely, if you feel bored and listless, you may be underwhelmed.

Either way, the condition is serious, and certainly no laughing matter. Healers recommend occupying the positive middle ground ground between the two. Strive to become whelmed.

In our ongoing series called Towards a Better Wellness for Tomorrow, we here at Very Little Known Facts bring you the latest in self-help tips and techniques. Allow yourself to enjoy.

  • Every now and then, take a break. You deserve it.

  • Violet is the most musical color. Why not spruce up your workplace with a song of lilacs?

  • When it comes to career choices, choose wisely. Otherwise, you may "career" off course.

  • Take all the time you need. It's important.

  • Don't let the bums get you down. But don't get yourself down either!

  • Remember to breathe.

  • Your space is your own. Use it judiciously.

  • You should take better care of yourself.

  • Seriously, folks--you gotta be good to yourself, too.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Beware of So-Called "Fake" Facts!

We here at Very Little Known Facts have always taken our mission statement (appearing at the top of this page) very seriously. That’s why we are alarmed and disturbed by the growing trend of “fake” fact sites, websites that distort the truth or even make up so-called “facts” for entertainment purposes. (Or possibly even darker, more sinister purposes as well!)

A link to one of these odious, mendacious sites even appeared as an “advertising link” on Very Little Known Facts (see picture). Rest assured that we had the link removed immediately, and we have received proper assurances from the Use and Abuse department of Google that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

DO NOT BE FOOLED! Fraudulent “fact” sites may look just like reliable, trustworthy ones. Be aware of the danger signs:

  • humorous content
  • absurd, unbelievable, or nonsensical “factoids”
  • confusing or non-existent source information
  • deliberately vague and ambiguous language
  • repeated use of personal opinion and conjecture as “fact”

Of course we at VLKF have always had a standing policy regarding revealing our sources. Naturally, many of these are of a sensitive and confidential nature, but in the interest of full disclosure we will send you a full catalog of sources for one singular factoid by writing the following address:

Building 3, Postal Drop 3487
117 John F. Kennedy Drive
The Bahamas

Be sure to enclose a money order for $7.85 for postage and handling. For multiple requests, include $7.85 for each request.

Alternately, you can send us the money via PAYPAL to the following email address:

Once payment is received a full, confidential source citation will be mailed to your home within 6 to 8 weeks. A sample citation is shown below for the following Very Little Known Fact from our October 2, 2006 post entitled In Actual Fact...

  • JIFFY TIME: A “jiffy” is an actual measurement of time, although the measurement varies between 0.01 seconds, 0.0025 seconds, 0.001 seconds, and 0.00000000000333564 seconds.


The definition of jiffy. The link is:

he wikipedia entry on jiffy. The link is:

he Free On-line Dictionary of Computing definition of jiffy. The link is:

he definition of jiffy. The link is:,,sid9_gci822188,00.html

Thursday, October 12, 2006

In Praise of the Very Little Known Fact

Science tells us that human beings only use about 10% of their brain capacity. Men average 11%, while women clock in at 13%. Nobody alive can tell us why this is the case, but isn’t it just possible that exorcising these faculties can improve mental capabilities? Some say yes. And what better way to expand your mind than by learning something new every day? Think about that. While you're thinking, here are some Very Little Known Facts:

  • White cats are tone deaf.

  • Peanuts are technically legumes, meaning that they form the root systems of small, deciduous trees.

  • BUT ARE THEY MADE OF CHEESE? There are more attics in America than moonrocks on the Moon.

  • Human eyelashes are composed of a single, fibrous cell.

  • In addition to conquering most of Europe and Eurasia, Napoleon Bonaparte invented:

    • the breech-loading cannon
    • the flanking maneuver
    • the jury system
    • linoleum
    • the modern system of street numbering with even numbers on the north or east side, odd numbers on the southwest side.

  • COLD COMFORT: Contrary to popular belief, Napoleon did not invent Neopolitan ice cream or the “Napoleon” pastry, although those sweet treats were named after him.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Search of the Week: October 5

Every live-long week we bring you, the reader, one lucky VLKF visitor who found our site through a popular search engine. This week's search came from Google, where--brace yourself--we came up NUMBER ONE AND NUMBER TWO for the following query:

little known facts robin williams

Over a million results, and we got the top two spots!

Naturally we continue to celebrate Mr. Williams as he gets older and funnier. But his wacky, wild improvisation never gets old.

Oddly, the searcher did not seem to stay too long on our site at 4:15 AM. Come back when you can spend some more time checking us out!

Monday, October 02, 2006

In Actual Fact...

  • The March 1955 issue of Playboy did not have a centerfold.

  • To increase the life expectancy of rubber bands, keep them refrigerated.

  • SOMEBODY IS GETTING SPANKED! Traditionally, there is only one day a year for birthday parties in China. This is the seventh day of the New Year, which is known as “everybody’s birthday.” (Remember, that’s the Chinese New Year.)

  • Some have said that giraffes have no vocal cords. This is a myth. Giraffes rarely vocalize, but when they do they sound like elephants.

  • JIFFY TIME: A “jiffy” is an actual measurement of time, although the measurement varies between 0.01 seconds, 0.0025 seconds, 0.001 seconds, and 0.00000000000333564 seconds.

  • There was no full moon in the month of February 1961.

  • STUCK ON YOU: When a den of rats becomes overcrowded, the tails of young, malformed, or injured rats can become inextricably intertwined and subsequently fused together in a Gordian knot of blood, dirt, and excrement. These unnaturally conjoined rodents must then live out the balance of their lives in a filth-covered mass known as a Rat King.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Search of the Week: September 29

Week in and week out we highlight one lucky VLKF visitor who found our site through a popular search engine. This week's search came from Google, where--yet again--we were NUMERO UNO for the following query:

famous teetotallers

Hopefully the second article in our four-part series served not only to educate, but also to inspire.

Congratulations to you, lucky visitor, and come back soon!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Behind the Scenes: the VLKF Graphics Department

Our regular readers will no doubt recognize the graphic at the right which originally appeared with our Corrections article dated August 23. It was, in fact, one of our most popular articles of the last year, and may currently be under consideration for several major awards.

What you may not realize is the enormous amount of manhours (and womanhours!) that goes into each and every graphic that spruces up the website. Let’s take a moment and walk through the process of building a Very Little Known graphic.

Firstly, our cracker-jack Creative Team brainstorms a concept for an article. Maybe something about puppies? Or Mel Gibson? Global Warming?

Once they've got the rough idea, the Graphics Department kicks into high gear. For the "Corrections" article, a photoshoot was set up with our staff photographer Lisa, her assistants Ted and Mike, and our gaffing, lighting, and coffee-making intern Tiffany.

This particular shoot was set for Studio B due to its complexity and lighting issues. As you can see, Studio B is far more spacious--and it has a ceiling fan! You'd be surprised how often THAT comes into play. Remember to ask about the time we had Robin Williams in Studio B. Now that was a story!

As always, craft services went above and beyond the call of duty.

Then we brought the IT guys in to set up the wireless monitor for the screenshot. Our faithful programmer Kurt stayed up all night creatinig a “digital” mock-up of the screenshot, since—of course—the graphic didn’t even exist yet!

The lights were set. The equipment was rented. The backdrop was down. Finally, it was time for the magic to begin!

Lisa insisted on working with our lovely, long-time hand model, Gwynnyth Llewellyn. Unfortunately Gwynnyth suffered a tragic deli-slicer accident last year during a Quiznos shoot, cutting off her right thumb and endangering her career.

Gwynnyth came to terms with this, but many of her clients were not able to broaden their minds to the possibilities of an OtherlyAbled hand model. But this was no obstacle for the brave VLKF crew!

Our Photoshop department swung into action and seamlessly merged a rather famous thumb with Gwynnyth’s mangled hand. Can you indentify the digit in question? That’s right! It belongs to Tony and Emmy award-winning actress Bebe Neuwirth!

So that’s the Very Little Known history of one little graphic. Total cost: $14,800. But it was worth every penny.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Out of This World Facts!

Few would argue with the contention that the world is a big, interesting place. Humans have finally conquered every corner of this globe we like to call Earth, and consequently we have spread our knowledge everywhere. No single resident of the world can be expected to keep track of every single fact—that’s our job!

  • No one alive can translate the Tibetan language of Nepal into English.

  • ONE ON THE CUFF, PLEASE! MAKE IT A DOUBLE! Barcelona's name comes from the Spanish (Castillian) for "drink on loan." If you should ever find yourself there, have a drink on the house!

  • ON A RELATED NOTE: The city of Barcelona was the birthplace of that most American of inventions, the Barcolounger.

  • After China, Africa is the second largest country in the world, per capita.

  • In France, the "lunch hour" is actually an hour and a half.

  • Monaco is the largest country that has never appeared on a map. Luxembourg is the smallest country to always appear on a map.

  • Nestled in the heart of the French Riviera countryside is the world's smallest country, Algiers. Its inhabitants are an indigenous yet violent German-speaking people known as the "Basques."

  • NIPPON, NOT NISSAN: The Japanese alphabet has no equivalent for the letter S.

  • Anthropologists from ‘round the globe flock to study the famed Aboriginees. Hailing from the South Pacific atoll of Aborigin, these “modern stone-age families” are the last cannibals living on Earth besides the Donner party.

  • Sri Lanka is technically the only island country entirely surrounded by water.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Search of the Week: September 22

Each and every week we highlight one lucky VLKF visitor who found our site through a popular search engine. This week's search came from Google, where we were NUMBER ONE for the following query:

pyrotechnic flow

As always, we are proud to be of educative service where applicable. Volcanoes are quite dangerous, hence their nickname--"Nature's Silent Killers."

Congratulations to you, lucky visitor, and come back soon!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Alcohol, Part Four: Alcohol, Alcoholism, and You

Welcome to the exciting conclusion to our three part series of Very Little Known Facts about alcohol. In this installment we look at the dark underside of alcohol and its conceivable effects on the human mind, body, and spirit.

Too Much of a Good, or Bad, Thing

Hangovers are caused by “mixing” different types of alcohol, e.g. beer and wine or different types of liquor. Remember the old couplet:

Liquor then beer-- cause to fear.
Liquor then liquor works much quicker.

“Passing out” and “blacking out” due to alcohol consumption are myths dating back to the days of Temperance propaganda and fainting couches. The human body cannot “pass out” due to alcohol consumption because alcohol is a stimulant.

However, don’t believe for a minute that alcohol is harmless. Some think that the worst possible consequences of alcohol abuse are bad hangovers, which are measured on a ten-point scale. Not true! Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that works to slow your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and lessen your breathing. That sounds dangerous to me. And don’t forget about the potential harm to your reputation.

How Much Is Enough?

There is no possible way to “measure” the exact alcohol content of different types of booze. But using modern estimation methods, we can roughly chart the equivocal potency of different drinks:

In addition, experts agree that taking sips from someone else’s drink do not count.

A Sobering Thought

Black coffee, cold showers, sudden frights, exercise, and counting backwards have no effect on your blood alcohol level. These “cures” are nothing but superstition and urban legend. Another common "cure,” the single shot of tequila, actually makes the problem worse!

Only the elapsation of time can help. Alcohol leaves the body of every human on this planet at a constant rate of about .015% of BAC or Blood Alcohol Level per hour per capita. Thusly, a human with the BAC of .015 would be sober in one (1) hour after total cessation of consumption while a person with a BAC of 0.15 would require 5 (five) hours of partial cessation and moderate activity to achieve sobriety. This is true regardless of sex, age, weight, ethnicity, and the amount of alcohol consumed. Therefore the age-old myth that people with more body mass have a higher tolerance for alochol is just that—a myth!

One thing that is true is that men and women are affected differently by alcohol. Women, who have more enzymes in their fatty adipose tissue, can drink more than a man of the same height and weight, but they will subsequently become more intoxicated.

Don’t Fear the Reaper

The sad fact is that death can and does occur from drinking alcohol. This is known as alcohol poisoning, and this syndrome occurs when contaminants have somehow entered the fermentation process. One brand of Chinese beer reportedly includes in its recipe "ground-up dog parts." That’s enough to put you off drinking for a day or two, at most!

Another way that alcohol can cause death is due to alcohol-related accidents such as drunk driving, poorly conceived stunts, and suicide.

A Florida man was once arrested for drunk driving. Later he was found innocent of the charges by a jury of his peers when he demonstrated that the alcohol on his breath was simply a mixture of rubbing alcohol and gasoline that he had just used in his a professional fire-breather! Now you know the other half of this true story, but don't try this at home. Better yet, don't drink and drive.

Don’t worry about dying from drinking the worm in the tequila bottle, though. In actual fact the worm is in mescal, a flavored tequila. And on top of that, it isn’t actually a worm at all but a caterpillar (Hipopta Agavis) called a guano.

Alcoholism and Alcohol Addiction

Some say that alcohol is the cause of alcoholism, but that is a misnomer. As a governmental agency once explained, "Alcohol no more causes alcoholism than tumors cause cancer."

Alcoholism is caused by a recessed gene that is activated by alcohol consumption. Although not totally incorrect, but certainly not the whole truth, generally speaking, people who on their own begin drinking either much earlier or much later than their peers begin are more likely to experience subsequent drinking problems after beginning to drink. If you need help, help is available to you as needed. Be warned, however—if you join Alcoholics Anonymous, you can neither drink alcohol nor remain anonymous.

Not drinking at all has its own rewards, too. Remember the old saying: “Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder.”


In conclusion, alcohol is a complex and controversial subject that has fascinated many for some time.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Search of the Week

As our regular readers are no doubt aware, each week we highlight one lucky VLKF visitor who found our site through a search engine. This week's search came from MSN Search, where we came up second from the top out of 2,385 results for the following query:

steve the austrian alligator expert

I hope we were able to inform and elucidate on famous Austrian alligator wrangler Steve Irwin, RIP.

Congratulations to you, lucky visitor, and come back soon!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Alcohol, Part Three: The Science of Alcohol

Despite the entertaining aspects of alcohol, you can also learn from it.

Science has much to teach us about the mysteries of life and the universe. Keeping this in mind, here are some Very Little Known Science Facts about alcohol:

  • Fermentation is involved in the production of many foods, including bread (bread “rises” as it ferments), sauerkraut, coffee (“percolates” as it ferments), black tea, cheese, steak, buttermilk, pickles, cottage cheese, chocolate, vanilla, ginger, catsup, mustard, soy sauce and many more.

  • THE JOKE IS ON YOU! Many have said in jest that they couldn’t live without alcohol, but they weren’t kidding! Fermentation within the body is essential for human life to exist.

  • Chemistry tells us there are three types of alcohol:
      • Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol or denatured alcohol, is used primarily as a fuel or solvent, or both. It is deadly poison.
      • Methyl alcohol is used in the production of crystal meth.
      • Isopropyl alcohol is nutritious AND delicious.

    • DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE: There is a cloud of pure isopropyl alcohol floating in outer space big enough to make four trillion-trillion drinks. It's free for the taking...and it's only 10,000 light years away from our planet, Earth.

    • Whiskey has been used as anesthesia for centuries. Vodka is used to sterilize surgical instruments in Third World countries and France. Gin is a mild diuretic which can reduce menstrual bloating and relieve cramps. Tequila is a home remedy for insomnia. REMEMBER THAT THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL UNTIL YOU HAVE CONSULTED YOUR PERSONAL PHYSICIAN.

    • Alcohol Poisoning is actually an allergic reaction to accumulated impurities in alcoholic drinks. It is impossible to die from drinking pure isopropyl alcohol.*


      • Each molecule of alcohol is less than a billionth of a meter long and consists of a few atoms of oxygen, hydrogen, and selenium.
      • The pressure in a bottle of champagne is about 90 pounds per square inch. That's enough pressure to kill you.
      • Studies have shown that drinking alcohol during a concert reduces one's enjoyment of the music by up to 20%.
      • Spectators at Nascar races consume 3.1 times more blush wine than the average American.
      • Up to 30% of failure is alcohol-related.
      • Excess drinking lowers the body temperature by up to 3 degrees Celsius. The illusion of warmth is caused by the body’s increased heat due to an allergic reaction to alcohol.
      • 72% of Americans report that they have paid money for the services of a designated driver. What kind of person would charge for this service? A taxi driver, that’s who.
      • 93% of alcoholics drink more than the medically recommended amount of alcohol.
      • 1 out of 3 Americans doesn't drink - and that's okay.

    *It is impossible to produce "pure" isopropyl alcohol anywhere on the surface of the Earth due to atmospheric impurities. It has only been produced--and enjoyed--underneath the ocean.

    Sunday, September 10, 2006


    Friday, September 08, 2006

    Alcohol, Part Two: A Brief History of Alcohol

    As long as human beings have trod upon this lonely star we call Earth, alcohol has been their friend and companion. Many, however, prefer the companionship of other humans. How many people throughout history have abstained from alcohol? We may never know.

    What we DO know is that alcohol itself has a long and storied history. In fact, in many ways the history of alcohol mirrors the history of humanity, so much so that Sir Isaac Newton once famously said that the popular beverage known as booze was the “universal language.”*

    1492: The Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock rather than continuing to Boston because they are running out of supplies such as food and alcoholic beverages.

    1782: William III orders a decorative fountain to be transformed to giant punch bowl. This "monumental" undertaking requires:

    • 560 gallons (410 liters) of brandy
    • 1,200 pounds (1,530 kg) of sugar
    • 25,000 (25,000) lemons
    • 20 gallons (2,600 milliliters) of lime juice
    • 5 (five) pounds of nutmeg.
    The bartender was actually a sailor who rowed around to fountain to serve guests. Ironically, no one could drink the from the fountain due to disease concerns and the filthiness of the bartender's boat.

    1812: The champagne flute was invented during the reign of Marie Antoinette. It was first formed from wax molds made of her breasts. (Of course, the molds were later elongated.) This was the origin of the phrase, “Wet your whistle.”

    1849: THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE ANSWERING: Would you like some isyammitilka or ksikonewiw? These words refer to North American Indian alcoholic beverages. Now would you like some isyammitilka or ksikonewiw?

    1911: FAMILY RESEMBLANCE: The Manhattan cocktail (whiskey, vodka, and Cointreau) was invented by Winston Churchill's mother.

    1941: WHAT’S FOR DESSERT? An American platoon of World War II soldiers, snowed in on a treacherous Moldavian mountain pass, survived for over a month on nothing but a cask of sherry and three of their companions.

    1969: President Lyndon B. Johnson's favorite drink may have been scotch and soda.

    Famous teetotallers through history:

    • Genghis Khan
    • Josef Stalin
    • Nero
    • Adolf Hitler
    • Captain Ahab
    • George W. Bush (post-1986)
    • Ted Bundy

    Famous Drinkers:

    • George W. Bush (pre-1986)
    • Jesus (wine)
    • Otis from The Andy Griffith Show
    • Ulysses S. Grant

    *Of course, the actual universal language is Esperanto.

    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    Alcohol, Part One: An Introduction to Alcohol

    Alcohol. Man's fascination with this beverage goes back hundreds if not a thousand years. The subject is not only fascinating, but also controversial.

    Being in the perfect position to be impartial observers, we here at Very Little Known Facts are proud to present a multi-part series on this most American of subjects, alcohol itself. As an introduction, enjoy these trivia tidbits!

    • KA-CHING! Tom Arnold, Sandra Bullock, Chevy Chase, Bill Cosby, Kris Kristofferson, and Bruce Willis are all former bartenders. Bill Cosby went on to become a famous comedian.

    • Owing to their "flaming" red hair and violent natures, people of Irish descent are genetically prone to alcoholism.

    • COINCIDENCE??? The New York City building that was once the home of the National Temperance Society is now a bar. The plot of land where the first bar in the state of New York once stood now features a church. The oldest church in New York, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Brooklyn, holds Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on the premises.

    • Alcohol was the favorite beverage of the world’s longest-living man, Shigechiyo Izumi of Japan, who lived for 120 years and 237 days. He was born on June 29, 1865 and died on February 21, 1986 from grief.

    • In contrast, a young Austrian infant nicknamed Addie was fed beer at the tender age of six months. BUT WAIT—HERE’S THE OTHER HALF OF THE STORY: As a grown man, he renounced alcohol entirely and demanded to be called by his full name—Adolf. Adolf Hitler, that is. A Nazi.

    • MAKES YOU THINK: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is commonly believed to be the only sentence in any language that uses every letter of the alphabet exactly once. But wait: "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs." How about that?

    • BELLY UP TO THE BAR: The so-called "beer belly" is caused by excess intake of calories from food. Beer and alcohol will neither help nor hinder weight gain.

    • Adding a miniature onion to a martini turns it into a cocktail.


      • Rearrange the letters from “drink to your health” to spell “ideal heart diet.”

      • Rearrange the letters from “liquor in the rear” to spell “I quarter her loin.”

      • You can use the letters from “increase alcohol taxes” to spell “Alert: Halt excess excise taxes on alcohol in schools.”

    Monday, September 04, 2006

    RIP: Steve Irwin, Crocodile and Alligator Hunter

    So-called Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, famed Austrian naturalist and scourge of the reptile world, has died today, felled by one of his mortal enemies.

    "He's Dead."

    While filming a children’s special about hunting and killing ocean-going crocs, Steve was ambushed and stung in the heart by a rogue stingray, the deadliest reptile in the sea.

    “This was personal,” said one Queensland marine animal attack expert who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals. “This vicious act of animal terrorism must be avenged.”

    The Early Years

    Born Steve Weinstein, young Stevie spent his early years obsessed with killing insects, rodents, and small birds with his bare hands. It wasn’t until a rogue crocodile ate his parents that Steve turned his murderous wrath against the reptile world.

    After a stint at Brown, Steve changed his name and tried his hand at acting, lured by the bright lights of Hollywood. But this dream soon turned into a nightmare as Steve found himself type-cast by the studio system as the “alligator wrestler guy.” Steve's one-dimensional characters were pitted against various animal killers in such B-movies as Snake Island, Anaconda, and Deliverance.

    But then the unthinkable happened...

    World War II

    After a stint in the Australian Air Force, Steve starred in a series of documentaries to show Allied troops the twin dangers of reptiles and syphilis.

    “Always use protection,” went one famous Irwin catchphrase. “In the bedroom and in the water.”

    Inevitably this lead to Steve's beloved television series "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom."

    Embodied Classic Struggle

    Perhaps no single individual embodied the classic struggle of Man Versus Nature as much as Steve Irwin. One of the first scientists to realize the deadly threat that animals formed to humankind, Steve dedicated his life to ridding the world of those most pernicious of beasts, the water-borne reptiles.

    “He loved to kill things,” said one colleague. “Crocodiles, alligators, snakes, turtles. He was making the world a better place.”

    Ironically, his life story became the loose inspiration for the classic Hollywood film Crocodile Dundee.

    “How Could This Have Happened?”

    Not since the mysterious death of Dale Earnhardt has the world been as baffled by the demise of a pseudo-celebrity.

    “Nobody saw this coming,” said a longtime friend and fellow New Zealander. “We all thought it would be cancer.”

    Cancer indeed.


    Steve Irwin’s long quest to rid the world of crocodiles and alligators came to a tragic end today, media outlets report. Steve was 59. He will be missed by some.

    Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    Danger! Warning! Caution!

    Peril and danger surround us at every turn, lying in wait until that singular moment when we let our guard down and all heck breaks loose.

    • CRASH COURSE IN FEAR: Every year seatbelts cause more accidents than they prevent.

    • Rugby, the most popular sport outside America, is also the most dangerous. Over a dozen professional rugby players are injured each year. Some require medical attention.

    • WEDGIE ALERT: History may have forgotten the identity of the first human to jump from a bridge with bungee cords tied around the crotch and thigh areas, but some say that this adventurous personage deserves a prize.

    • Emergency Room doctors tell us that it is better to be slashed six times with a straight razor or surgeon's scalpel than once with a rusty old kitchen knife.

    • DEATH VALLEY: The Grand Canyon is the deadliest national park in America. Since the beginning of time, it is estimated that over 5,000 people have died from falls, dehydration, altitude sickness and even murder. Because there are no roads into the canyon, the bodies must be lifted out by a clever system of ropes and pulleys.

    • The only animals higher on the food chain that human beings are bears.

    • CRASH COURSE IN FUN: Demolition derby drivers move the engines of their cars to the trunk to protect them from side impacts. This was the inspiration for the original Volkswagon Beetle.

    • Municipalities are changing the cautionary signs on water trucks to say "Do Not Drink" in lieu of the antiquated "Non-Potable." It seems that only 28% of the thousands sickened by ingesting the water understood that "Non-Potable" meant "Poisonous."

    Friday, August 25, 2006

    The Beatles Are the Opposite of the Rolling Stones

    As you know, Friday is Opposite Today here at Very Little Known Facts. And have we got a good one! Britt Bergman was on vacation this week, but Jon took up the challenge to present both sides of this classic debate.

    JON SAYS: The Beatles Were Unbeatleable

    From the unlikely industrial slums of Manchester came the single greatest skiffle band of all time. I'm talking, of course, about The Beatles.

    It was a chilly and fateful October night when half-brothers John Lenin and Paul McCartney met by chance in an open mic competition at their local pub, ironically named the Sergeant Pepper. Neither won, but this chance meeting of scruffy commoners inevitably led to the formation of the band universally cited as the most influential of all time, The Small Faces. John and Paul decided to start a band as well which played shows in several German bars. After the tragic death of original drummer George Best, the group hit the big time with a cover of Chubby Checker's "Twist and Shout." The rest, as they say, and it is true in this case, is history.

    The Beatles went on to invent the concept album, the double album, the triple album, the tribute album, Eastern philosophy, the keytar and three-part harmonies. Their seminal recording of "Revolution Number 9" was the first song broadcast live around the world via satellite phone. George Harrison grew a moustache. Five GOLD records later the best boy band ever broke up due to contract disputes between their manager Colonel Tom Parker and famous Asian girlfriend Yoko Ono. Although that was twenty years ago, us true fans will always hope for a reunion tour!

    JON SAYS: They Should Have Been Called The Rocking Stones

    With their signature “in your face” brand of what can only be called rock ‘n roll, the Rolling Stones became one of the greatest stadium rock bands of the Eighties, Nineties, and even the Aughts. But the road to success was paved with potholes for this coterie of British upper-crusters.

    Few alive remember the turbulent Sixties, but this long-forgotten era gave birth to the aristocratic “mod” (short for “modified”) music scene and subsequently the Stones themselves. Rebelling against the casual dress styles and large motorcars of the bourgeoisie, the foppish “mods” dressed in fluffy, period costumes to ride scooters and mopeds around London’s Hyde Park district in a brash display of fashion and exhaust fumes. Founding member Brian Jones brought this “mod” sensibility to early singles like “Brown Sugar” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” two songs inspired by a (then) Very Little Known actress named Whoopi Goldberg. Sadly, Brian Jones drowned during a mass cult suicide in South America, but the Stones soldiered on with blue-bloods Keith Richards and Brian's cousin Sir Mick Jones at the helm. For fear of tarnishing his family’s noble reputation, Mick later changed his last name to—guess what? That’s right. Jagger.

    What followed was a wild ride: hit songs, groupies, fame and fortune, drugs and alcohol. But, amazingly, high living took its toll. Axman Richards became increasingly jealous of singer Mick’s boyish good looks, his knighthood, and his alleged affair with notoriously androgynous crooner David Bowie. Keith eventually decided to become a junkie. Drummer Charlie Watts could only watch in horror as his auburn locks turned white from stress and grief. Bassist Bill Wyman quit the band some twenty-odd years later, replaced by Ron Wood.

    Despite these setbacks, or maybe because of them, the Rolling Stones continue to be the best band of all time, bar none. A popular music magazine was named for the band. An obscure b-side named "Start Me Up" became the theme song for Apple Computers, finally earning the bankrupt patricians some much needed cash. Plus they have that cool tongue logo inspired by The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This was recently voted the Best Tattoo of All Time.

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006


    We here at Very Little Known Facts are not prefect. Ha! Just kidding. On a more serious note, however, it is true that we here at Very Little Known Facts are not perfect. Although our dedicated team of volunteer fact-checkers, researchers, interviewers, editorial assistants, and janitorial staff work around the clock to keep you updated on all the newest and littlest-known facts in this world in which we all live and breathe, they are only human. So it falls to us, the editors, to apologize for their mistakes.

    Unlike many reputable news organizations, we at VLKF have a policy of prominently displaying all our corrections. Read on and accept our sincerest apologies.

    CORRECTION: In our post Hot, Fresh New Facts dated August 21, we reported the following:
    • WHAT A WASTE! In Singapore they only eat the "walking legs" of the notoriously dumb langoustino. They throw the delicious tail away!
    The phrase "notoriously dumb" should have read "notoriously stupid." The phrase was not intended to imply that langoustinos are unable to speak; nor was it our intent to slag, denegrate, or otherwise impugn the speechless community. We at VLKF sincerely regret any emotional inconvenience that may have been caused by this misstatement.

    ADDITION: In our post Very Little Known History of This Week: July 28 dated July 28, the following item appeared:

    • 1928: Al Capone is arrested and tried on charges of embezzling funds from his own crime syndicate.
    The editors would like to append another phrase to the item. The entry should read:

    • 1928: Al Capone is arrested and tried on charges of embezzling funds from his own and other crime syndicates.
    We sincerely apologize for any confusion due to the omission of this appendment.

    CORRECTION: In our post entitled Happy Zero-th Birthday dated June 26, the following fact appeared:

    • IF YOUR BABY WAS BORN TODAY: Your child will graduate from college in the year 2020, except by then "college" will be a robot.
    In actuality "college" will be a cyborg in the year 2020. Only after 2037 will college be a robot. We apologize for any inconvenience or financial planning misadventures caused by this error.

    RETRACTION: In our post A Fact Is a Fact Is a Fact dated June 9, the following entry appeared:

    • Cold water boils faster than hot water.
    The editors would like to retract this item due to questions which have arisen in the scientific community regarding its accuracy. Although true to the prevailing supposition at the time of posting, recent discoveries in this area have lead to postulations that cold water and hot water may, in fact, boil at exactly the same rate. We apologize for the confusion.

    CORRECTION: Our post entitled That Sounds About Right... dated May 15 contained the following:

    • THE DAY THE MUSIC STOPPED: Country crooner Waylon Jennings was the sole survivor of the 1958 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Havens, and the Big Bopper.
    In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that country crooner Waylon Jennings later died of grief. We mourn his loss.

    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Hot, Fresh New Facts!

    Check out the latest batch of Very Little Known Facts about food, straight from our ovens to your computer!
    • Although Marie Antoinette's famously callous remark, "Let them eat some cake," sparked the French Revolution and the War of 1812, many cakes are actually nutritious and delicious.

    • OUCH! Once designated as poisonous, blowfish are now the number one delicacy in China.

    • Contrary to the popular misconception, gazpacho soup is traditionally served piping hot and smothered in cheese. (See also our authentic Guacamole recipe.)

    • PENNY-A-POUND-PEACHES: By the time the average man reaches 59 he has consumed exactly one million peaches. That is enough matter (gross bulk) to equal 100 pounds of peaches on the moon!

    • Out of all foods, mustard is the best at cleaning stains. Sadly, the FDA refuses to approve its use for anything but human consumption.

    • AT LEAST YOU'LL DIE HAPPY: Scallions (also called green onions, leeks, or shallots) have no nutritional value. If you were to live on a diet consisting entirely of scallions and nothing else, you could eat all you want but still starve to death!

    • "True" Mexican tortillas are pressed under the wheels of an antique wagon pulled by a mule.

    • On a related not, the word "quesadilla" is Mexican for "armadillo." One word of warning: Armadillos are known to carry leprosy and require a permit to keep as pets.

    • WHAT A WASTE! In Singapore they only eat the "walking legs" of the notoriously dumb langoustino. They throw the delicious tail away!

    • Scottish haggis is the only dish made from an animal carcass that is considered vegetarian.