22 December 2007


(transferred from a Word document I've been compiling for ?10-15 years. Unfortunately I can't offer the original source for much of the information (and frankly can't guarantee the accuracy of the material - but it's still interesting...)

Catherine de Medici had the Palace of the Tuileries built as a future residence for her in the parish of Saint Germain in Paris from 1564-1566. During its construction an astrologer told her that her death would occur in the vicinity of Saint Germain. She therefore kept away from the palace and the parish for the next 23 years. At the time of her death in Blois, she was given extreme unction by the Bishop of Clamercy, whose name was Jean de Saint Germain.

The Nozon River in Switzerland flows in two directions. It divides at the town of Pampaples. One half of the river continues south to the Mediterranean. The other half reverses its course and flows north to the North Sea.

These twelve English words are pronounced alike:
are air ayr e’er ere eyre heir ayer eyr eir ear ayre
(curiously, err is not included in the list)

"Uncopyrightable" and "dermatoglyphics" are the longest English words (15 letters) in which no letter is repeated.

The head and the foot of an arrow are at the same end.

If you take a bushel of corncobs and remove the kernels from the cobs, the grains alone will fill the bushel.

The pretzel was invented by Charlemagne (742-814). When he subdued the Saxons he forced them to bake the sign of the cross into all their bread and pastries as a token of their conversion to Christianity. It received its name in Italy from its resemblance to a pair of crossed human arms (brachiatelli).

The Aruwimi River in the Belgian Congo was named by David Livingstone. He inquired of a native, “What is the name of this river?” The answer was “Aruwimi,” meaning “What is this fellow saying?”

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