Monday, July 27, 2009

Inspirational Cravings

"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
Albert Einstein
"The first step is to find out what you love -- and don't be practical about it. The second step is to start doing what you love immediately, in any small way possible. I've seen what happens to people when they get to do what they love. They light up. They glow. They have a kind of energy that's wonderful."
Barbara Sher

Monday, July 20, 2009

History Cravings


In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are "limbs," therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the _expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg."

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October)! Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term "big wig." Today we often use the term "here comes the Big Wig" because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The "head of the household" always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the "chair man." Today in business, we use the expression or title "Chairman" or "Chairman of the Board."

Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, "mind your own bee's wax." Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term "crack a smile" In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt. Therefore, the expression "losing face."

Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in "straight laced" . . . wore a tightly tied lace.

Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the "Ace of Spades." To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead.
Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't "playing with a full deck."

Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to "go sip some ale" and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. "You go sip here" and "You go sip there." The two words "go sip" were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term "gossip."

At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in "pints" and who was drinking in "quarts," hence the term "minding your "P's and Q's."

One more: bet you didn't know this!
In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with 16 round indentations.

However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys" Few land lubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey." (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you.)

*No source was given for this information

Monday, July 13, 2009

Trivia Cravings

In Manilla during the 1940's prostitutes tattooed sex acts on their bodies. They would then proposition English speaking sailors by pointing at the pictures.

Women with a Ph.D. are twice as likely to be interested in a one-night stand than those with only a bachelor's degree.

During the 19th century there was no cure for V.D. By the end of the U.S. Civil War, a quarter of the Union Army was infected.

The typical lovemaking session averages 15 minutes in length.

The French tickler was invented by a Tibetan monk.

Timmie Jean Lindsey of Houston, TX became the first person to get silicone breast implants in 1962.

The average bra is designed to last for only 180 days of use.

A study of pet owners found that 66% claimed they allowed their pets to remain in the bedroom during intercourse.

In Lebanon, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals, but the animals must be female. Having sexual relations with a male animal is punishable by death.

Besides the genitals and the breasts, the inner nose is the only other body part that routinely swells during intercourse.

According to a recent survey, more Americans lose their virginity in June than any other month.

Semen contains small amounts of more than thirty elements, including fructose, ascorbic acid, cholesterol, creatine, citric acid, lactic acid, nitrogen, vitamin B12, and various salts and enzymes.

The first "official" vasectomy was performed in 1893.

It takes a sperm one hour to swim seven inches.

In earlier times, virginity on one's wedding night was of the greatest importance. To prove that the bride was a virgin, it was customary that the couple would display the bloodstained bedsheet for all to see once the wedding was consummated.

In Cali, Colombia, a woman may only have sex with her husband, and the first time this happens, her mother must be in the room to witness the act.

There are men in Guam whose full-time job is to travel the countryside and deflower young virgins, who pay them for the privilege of having sex for the first time... Reason: Under Guam law, it is expressly forbidden for virgins to marry.

The first known contraceptive was crocodile dung, used by the Egyptians in 2000 B.C. It was replaced with elephant droppings when they realized it wouldn't work.

In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, it is illegal for a man to have sex with a woman and her daughter at the same time.

Thank you to the website Odd facts that happen to be True
(as a disclaimer - I don't happen to know if all of these are true :))