During the famous Scopes trial in 1925, a Tennessee schoolteacher, John T. Scopes, was accused of breaking that state’s law by teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution rather than the Biblical origins of mankind. The trial was a sensation and astonished many who had never heard that humans might be related to the apes, and from this came the expression, “Well, I’ll be a monkeys uncle.”
Each calendar year is exactly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds. This is the amount of time between two successive crossings of the celestial equator by the Sun at the vernal equinox (the first day of spring). The fact that the year is not a whole number of days has affected the development of calendars, which over time generate an error.
The current calendar we use, called the Gregorian calendar, attempts to fix this by adding an extra day to the month of February every four years. These years are called “leap years.”
The number thirteen represents Judas, the thirteenth to arrive at the Last Supper. Friday by itself is unlucky because it was the day of Christ’s Crucifixion. Years ago, the British set out to disprove these superstitions. They named a new vessel HMS Friday, laid her keel on a Friday, and then sent her to sea on a Friday that fell on the thirteenth. The plan backfired: neither ship nor crew was ever heard from again. Then, of course, there’s Apollo 13.
The fastest growing hairs on the human body are men’s beard hairs. If the average male never trimmed his beard, it would grow to almost 30 feet (9 meters) long in his lifetime.
Oil Seed Production
Sam Flynn, a travelling Tennessee horse trader, often found a horse race planned in the same town as an auction. So he mixed a coal black racing stallion named Dusky Pete in with his workhorses, then quietly entered him in the local races and wagered heavily on Dusky Pete, who would invariably win. As word spread of Sam’s deception, so did the caution: “Beware the dark horse.”
If cared for properly, green iguanas can live more than 20 years. But they do indeed grow
and grow along the way. Although iguanas make popular pets, they need lots of time, attention, care, and room to grow. A healthy iguana will grow to be 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) in length, and will require a very large cage or an entire room to live in. Iguanas need tall cages because they are tree-dwelling (arboreal) creatures, and prefer to spend the majority of their time as high off the ground as possible. Iguanas also need a special diet, plenty of sun, places to climb, and human interaction and stimulation.
The human skeleton moves at its more than 230 joints, which are the places where bones connect. Those joints give you a basic range of motion. For example, everyone’s shoulder joints can rotate 360 degrees, and elbows can open and close to just under a 180 degree arc. The pull of ligaments—ropelike connective tissues that anchor one bone to the next around a joint—lengthen a bit to allow a joint to move, but keep the range of motion limited so that you don’t hurt yourself. So, the next time you are tempted to do a backbend or stretch your leg up to your ear, think of your joints and ligaments!
The original gesture of Christian prayer was spreading the arms and hands heavenward. There is no mention anywhere in the Bible of joining hands in prayer, and that custom didn’t surface in the church until the ninth century. In Roman times, a man would place his hands together as an offer of submission that meant, “I surrender, here are my hands ready to be bound or shackled.” Christianity accepted the gesture as a symbol of offering total obedience, or submission, to God.
A cord is a traditional unit of volume used to measure stacked firewood. In the United States, the cord is defined legally as the volume of a stack of firewood 4 feet (1.2 meter) wide, 8 feet (2.4 meter) long, and 4 feet (1.2 meter) high. (In Maryland, the law specifies that the wood be stacked “tight enough that a chipmunk cannot run through it.”) The name comes from an old method of measuring a stack of firewood using a cord or string.
In the U.S. timber industry, the cord is also used as a unit of weight for pulpwood. The weight varies with tree species, ranging from about 5,200 pounds (2,358 kilograms) for pine to about 5,800 pounds for hardwood.