TIME FILLERS

No one knows who invented the disco ball but the spherical shaped mirrored ball has been celebrated in nightclubs since the 1920's.

Boy George, lead singer of UK band Culture Club was nearly killed by a 62 pound falling disco ball which fell from the ceiling of Bournemouth International Centre during his sound check, it struck him on the head.

From the book 'World Famous Strange Tales & Weird Mysteries by Colin & Damon Wilson

Does a place of worship have more intense thought fields than ordinary buildings?  Can this explain the incredible case of the doll with human hair that keeps on growing?

The story comes from northern Japan and started in 1938.  In that year Eikichi Suzuki took a ceramic doll to the temple in the village of Monji-Saiwai Cho for safe keeping.  It had been a treasured possession of his beloved sister Kiku, who had died nineteen years before at the age of three.  Suzuki kept it carefully in a box with the ashes of his dead sister.

Suzuki went off to World War II and didn't return for the doll until 1947.  When he opened the box in the presence of the priest, they discovered that the dolls hair had grown down to its shoulders.  A skin specialist from Hokkaido University medical faculty said it was human hair.

The doll was placed on the alter, and its hair continued to grow.  The temple has become a place of pilgrimage for worshipers who believe the doll is a spiritual link with Buddha.

The priest of Monji-Saiwai Cho thinks that the little girls soul somehow continues to live through the doll she loved so much.

wrexham.jpg

From the book 'World Famous Strange Tales & Weird Mysteries by Colin & Damon Wilson

People in the Welsh town of Wrexham and surrounding countryside were startled to see hay flying under its own power one ordinary summer day in the late nineteenth century.

 

According to an account carried in the newspaper, the event occurred at 2pm on a calm July day. 

 

Suddenly some haymakers on a farm saw about half a ton of hay sailing above them through the sky.  They said it was higher than they had ever seen a crow fly.

 

The flying hay moved in a northerly direction, which was somewhat surprising because it was going against the wind.  Although the mass separated slowly as it covered more distance, it travelled at least five miles from Wrexham and had flown over that town at some point in its flight.  As the article said "it caused much consternation while passing over town"

 

At the end of this flight of hay, wisps lay here and there along its route.  One large clump fell in the middle of a field some distance from the point at which the half-ton mass had first taken to the sky.

From the book 'World Famous Strange Tales & Weird Mysteries by Colin & Damon Wilson

Latvian Edward Leedskalnin built his house out of local Florida stone.  This stone is very hard and dense form of coral.  Leedskalnin worked without modern tools, using mainly timber and scrap metal to quarry and move the blocks of masonry he used, some of which weighed over thirty tons.  Not only did he build a house totally without help, he also quarried twelve stone rocking chairs, finely balanced upon their curved bases.  He built stone astronomical instruments and a stone map of Florida.  The door to his stone park was a nine ton coral slab so finely poised upon its centre of gravity that it could be swung backwards and forwards at the touch of a finger.

He eventually decided to move all of his objects to a more accessible site and open a children's playground.  He hired a lorry and moved it all himself.  No one knows how the slight

four-foot eight man achieved all this on his own.  No one saw him move the objects, but move they did.  Enquiries into Leedskalnin's secret brought a knowing look and oblique statements about having rediscovered the methods of the ancient pyramid architects.

He died in 1951, never having revealed his method.

From the book 'I Used to Know That.  Stuff you forgot from school' by Caroline Taggart

PHOTOSYNTHESIS

This is the process by which plants convert carbon dioxide and water into the carbohydrates they need for growth, using energy that they absorb from light (hence the photo element).

Light is absorbed into the plant by green pigment called chlorophyll, stored mainly in the leaves, which provides the green colour of so many plants.  In fact plants need only the hydrogen element from water (H2O), so photosynthesis releases oxygen back into the atmosphere, helping the rest of us breathe.

From the book 'I Used to Know That.  Stuff you forgot from school' by Caroline Taggart

Do you remember The Seven Wonders of the World?

  1. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon​

  2. The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

  3. The Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria

  4. The Colossus of Rhodes

  5. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

  6. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

  7. The Great Pyramid of Cheops (or Khufu)

 

Of the seven, only the pyramid is still in existence.

From the book 'I Used to Know That.  Stuff you forgot from school' by Caroline Taggart

Shakespeare.  Do you know the story Twelfth Night?  Subtitled What You Will.

Twins Viola and Sebastian are separated in a storm and each believes the other dead.  Viola disguises herself as a boy, Cesario, and enters the service of Duke Orsino, with whom she falls in love.  Orsino, however, is in love with Olivia and uses Cesario as a messenger to woo her.  Olivia - you guessed it - falls in love with Cesario, and it takes the reappearance of Sebastian to make everyone live happily ever after.  

The subplot concerns Olivia's pompous steward, Malvolio, who is conned by Olivia's uncle and his friends into believing that Olivia is in love with him and wishes to see him wearing yellow stockings and cross garters.  The bit about 'some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them' appears in the letter that Malvolio believes Olivia has written to him.

Animal Trivia from the book 'Unbelievable Facts' by Geoff Tibballs

  1. Rats cant vomit

  2. On average, a hedgehogs heart beats 300 times a minute.

  3. Porcupines float in water.

  4. Giraffes are the only animals born with horns.

  5. Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time.

  6. Giraffes have no vocal chords.

  7. The duck-billed platypus can store up to 600 worms in its cheek pouches.

  8. The skin of a polar bear is black.

  9. A mole can dig over 80 yards in a single night.

  10. Armadillos can walk underwater.

  11. Ignore the humps - a camels backbone is as straight as that of a horse.

  12. Skunks can squirt their vile scent over distances of up to 60ft but they wont bite and spray at the same time.

  13. The desert rat is the ultimate sex machine.  It mates up to 122 times an hour.

  14. A giraffe can clean its ears with its 21 inch tongue.  Giraffes and rats can both go without water longer than camels can.

  15. Despite having a 10ft long stomach, a hippopotamus can run faster than a man.

  16. Bulls don't see red - they are colour blind.

  17. Cows have four stomachs.

  18. A goats eyes have rectangular pupils.

  19. The placement of its eyes allows a donkey to see all four of its feet at the same time.

  20. Ducks only lay eggs early in the morning.  

Trains and Boats and Planes trivia from the book 'Unbelievable Facts' by Geoff Tibballs

  1. When the first London Underground escalators were installed at Earls Court in 1911, a man with a wooden leg, 'Bumper' Harris, was hired to ride up and down the escalators all day to reassure the public of their safety.

  2. There are almost four miles of platforms at Waterloo station.

  3. In the late 19th century, millions of human mummies were used as fuel for locomotives for Egypt.  Wood and coal were in short supply at the time, but mummies were plentiful.

  4. The famous liner the Queen Mary should have been called the Queen Victoria.  Prior to the launch in 1934, Sir Thomas Royden, a director of shipbuilders Cunard, asked King George V for permission to call the new liner the Queen Victoria.  But Royden made his request in a rather flowery language, asking whether the vessel could be named "after the greatest queen this country has ever known"  The king misunderstood and answered: "That is the greatest compliment ever paid to my wife.  I shall ask her"  The kings wife, Queen Mary, was suitably flattered, leaving Cunard with no choice but to amend its plans.

  5. A message in a bottle thrown from the SS Arawatta off Queensland, Australia, in 1910 was found washed ashore on nearby Moreton Island 73 years later.

  6. Captin Joshua Slocum, who in 1898, became the first person to sail solo around the world, was a non-swimmer.

  7. When Alcock and Brown flew across the Atlantic in 1919, their travelling companions were two stuffed cats.

  8. In 1910, escapologist Harry Houdini became the first person to fly a plane solo in Australia.  Houdini taught himself to drive a car so that he could get to the airfield, but after that trip he never drove again.

  9. The first cross Channel balloon flight was made by two men stripped to their underpants.  In 1785, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard persuaded wealthy American John Jeffries to join him in flight from England to France.  Six miles out from Dover, the balloon began to float perilously close to the sea so the duo jettisoned the flapping wings and rudder which were attached to the blanket.  Still struggling to gain height, they then decided to toss their coats into the sea.  As the balloon continued to hover alarmingly close to the water, they realised that more drastic measures were needed to lighten the load.  So they took off their trousers.  That did the trick and they landed safely in France, wearing only their pants.