|The most played song on American radio during the twentieth
was You've Lost That Loving Feeling which was written by Barry
Phil Spector, and Cynthia Weil. Although recorded by different
the song is the only one in history to be played over 8 million times
the radio. That amounts to about 45 years if the song was played back
back! Three songs were played 7 million times: Never My Love,
and Stand By Me (in that order).
Source: The BMI Top 100 Songs (BMI)
|"Weird" Al Yankovic received a Bachelor's degree in
1981. He also served as valedictorian of his high school at age
Source: VH1's Behind the Music
|The oldest business in the United States of America is the
Zildjian which was founded in Constantinople in 1623.
Source: American Heritage of Invention & Technology, Winter 2000
|Every act that has had a Billboard Top 40 hit whose title
the name of a different recording act, that other act had at least one
Top 40 hit at the same exact time. Some examples (not a complete
Source: Chart Beat Chat, Billboard Online, April 28, 2000
|There are approximately ten million bricks in the Empire
Source: A&E Top 10 Architectural Wonders
|The lightning that we see actually goes from the ground to
in what is known as the "return stroke" at 1/3 the speed of
We can't see the initial "stepped leader" that passes from the sky to
Source: USA Today Weather Book by Jack Williams (1992, page 127)
|From space, the brightest man-made place is Las Vegas,
Source: Understanding Electricity, The Learning Channel, March 27, 2000
|Janis Joplin's will called for a party for 200 people at her
pub in San Alselmo, California at a cost of $2,500.00.
Source: The People's Almanac #2 by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace (1978, page 1200)
|Contrary to common belief, elephants are not afraid of
Go to any zoo and chances are that the mice are living in the same
as the elephants. The mice eat the grain and nest in the hay that
is so common to elephant habitats.
Source: National Geographic web site
|The Carpenters signature song, We've Only Just Begun,
part of a television commercial for a California bank. The music
played in the background of a scene in which a newlywed couple had, of
course, just begun their lives together. Richard Carpenter saw
commercial and sculpted it into the classic song that we know today.
Source: The liner notes of the Carpenters' album The Singles 1969-1973
|Actress Cheryl Ladd started her career as the singing voice
character Melody on the 1970's cartoon Josie and the Pussycats.
Source: Cheryl Ladd in an interview on Live with Regis & Kathy Lee (8/24/99)
|The most common invention of the 19th century was the washing
Between 1804 and 1873, at least 1676 patents were issued by the United
States Patent Office for various forms of this device.
Source: Household Wonders (The History Channel)
|The five most stolen items in a drugstore are batteries,
film, sunglasses, and, get this, Preparation H. Apparently people
are just too embarrassed to purchase the last item. And, just in
case you are curious, one of Preparation H's main ingredient is shark
oil. The oil not only helps shrink hemorrhoids, but will shrink
tissue. As a result, many older women in Florida use the stuff to
help reduce the appearance of wrinkles!
Source: Do Pharmacists Sell Farms? by Vince Staten (1998, Simon & Schuster)
|It's widely known that Alexander Graham Bell beat Elisha Gray
patent office by a mere two hours with his application to patent the
However, ten years after Bell's patent was issued, patent examiner
Wilber admitted in a sworn affadavit that he had taken a $100 bribe
Bell, had taken a loan from Bell's patent attorney, and had given Bell
the complete details of Gray's caveat. Hmmmm....
Source: Inventor's Digest, July/August 1998, pages 26-28.
|Why do ostriches bury their heads in the sand? They
don't. In a study of 200,000 ostriches over a period of eighty
no one reported a single case where an ostrich buried its head in the
(or attempted to do so).
Source: Reader's Digest Strange Stories, Amazing Facts, 1976, p. 324
|Charles Lindbergh achieved great fame for being the first man
nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. What most people don't know,
is that two men had achieved the same goal eight years
Flying for sixteen and a half hours from June 14 to June 15, 1919,
John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten-Brown had copiloted a
twin-engine plane nonstop from Newfoundland across the Atlantic to
Lindbergh was just the first person to do it alone.
Source: Fabulous Fallacies by Tad Tuleja (1982, The Stonesong Press, pages 4-5)
|Contrary to popular belief, only one alligator has ever been
in the New York City sewer system. The 125 pound (57 kilogram)
was pulled out by four boys way back in 1935.
Source: National Geographic's New York Underground
|A South Korean movie theater owner decided that the movie The
of Music was too long. His solution? He shortened the movie
by cutting out all of the musical scenes!
Source: Uncle John's Fourth Bathroom Reader, 1989, page 63
|In four separate instances between October 1987 and February
small pink frogs rained down from the sky on to various parts of Great
Britain. Scientists are still uncertain as to where these frogs
although some have traced them back to the Sahara desert.
Source: The World's Most Incredible Stories, 1998, page 66.
|The Malaysian government decided to solve their
problem by spraying the infested areas with DDT. This worked, but
the cockroaches then devoured the dead mosquitos. This was
followed by the region's gecko lizards consuming the roaches. The
geckos did not die from the residual poison (surprisingly), but their
nervous systems were greatly affected, causing the lizards to slow
Moving up the food chain, the cats ate the slow-moving lizards and
to die off in large quantities. Of course, fewer cats means more
rats, and the country's rat population soared. As a result, the
Health Organization was forced to step in and ban the DDT. In an
effort to restore the ecological balance, they flew in planeloads of
to kill the rats.
Source: The Best, Worst, & Most Unusual by Bruce Felton and Mark Fowler, 1994, p. 180, Galahad Books
|Two hundred and twenty six soldiers lost their lives way back
when they crossed a suspension bridge that spanned the Maine at Angers,
France. It turns out that they were all marching in step and had
caused an increased resonance (vibration) to the bridge. Ever
troops are ordered to rout step (march out of step) when
Source: Why Some Shoes Squeak by George W. Stimpson, 1984, p. 115
|The phrase "Often a bridesmaid but never a bride" actually
an advertisement for Listerine mouthwash. The text was written by
Milton Feasley and first appeared in 1925. The advertisement was
so successful that it ran for more than ten years.
Source: Our Times: The Illustrated History of the 20th Century, Turner Books, 1995, p. 187
|A man named Angus McDonald was a lookout man for an
in Johannesburg, South Africa. One April Fool's Day, he decided
pull the ultimate prank. He put on an oversized uniform and hid
head inside. To the casual passerby, it appeared that his head
been blown off. McDonald's joke blew up in his face,
The story (and photo) was picked up by the newswires and McDonald was
from his job.
Source: Weird Wonders and Bizarre Blunders by Brad Schreiber, 1989, Simon & Schuster, p. 43-44.
|Did you ever wonder what the WD in WD-40 stands for?
was lifted right out chemist Norm Larsen's laboratory notebook.
back in 1953, he was trying to concoct an anti-corrosion formula, which
worked on the basic principle of displacing water. On his 40th
Larsen finally got it right. Hence the name WD-40. It
means Water Displacer, 40th try.
Source: WD-40 website
|Back in 1956 recording artist Johnny Mathis was forced to
decision between trying out for the United States Olympic team (his
was track) or recording his first album for Columbia Records. He
chose the latter and went on to become the eighth biggest selling album
artist of all time. His 1958 album, Johnny’s Greatest Hits, was
first Greatest Hits album ever marketed, spending three weeks at #1 and
490 consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Pop Album chart (that’s almost 9
Source: The Music Of Johnny Mathis: A Personal Collection
|The Bank of Vernal, in Vernal, Utah (where else?) is the only
in the world that was built from bricks sent through the mail.
back in 1919 the builders realized that it was cheaper to send the
through the United States Postal System (seven bricks to a package)
to have them shipped commercially from Salt Lake City.
Source: The Best, Worst, & Most Unusual by Bruce Felton and Mark Fowler, 1994, Galahad Books
|Before the invention of anesthesia, speed was a highly
in a surgeon. Dr. Robert Liston of London was among the
But, speed comes with some cost. In one particular operation,
killed three people. The patient actually survived, but later
of gangrene. During the operation, Liston accidentally cut of the
fingers of his surgical assistant, who soon died from an
Liston even managed to slash through the coattails of a colleague who
observing the operation - he was so sure that his vital organs had been
punctured that he died of fright!
Source: Oops! by Paul Kirchner, 1996, Rhino Records
|Way back on August 13, 1903, police entered the Liverpool,
home of William and Emily Shortis. Worried friends had contacted
the authorities because the couple had not been seen for several days
There they found William near death. Oddly, he was pinned under
dead body of his 224 pound wife. Did she die during a moment of
Not at all. The coroner concluded that William was following
up the stairs of their home when she lost her balance and tumbled down
the steps, pulling him down with her. Emily immediately died from
a blow to the head, trapping William under her body for over three
Sadly, William did not survive his injuries, either.
Source: The 20th Century by David Wallechinsky, 1995, Little, Brown, & Co.
|Frenchman Michel Lotito has a very unusual diet. Born
15, 1950, he has been consuming large quantities of metal and glass
he was nine years old. To date, he has eaten supermarket carts,
sets, bicycles, chandeliers, razor blades, bullets, nuts and bolts,
of chain, phonograph records, computers, and an entire Cessna 150 light
aircraft (which took him nearly two years to consume). It seems
his body has adjusted to this unusual diet, as he eats nearly two
of metal every day. His technique includes lubricating his
tract with mineral oil, cutting the parts into bite-size pieces, and
consuming a large quantity of water while eating this junk. Most
people would prefer a nice glass of wine with their dinner.
Source: Reader's Digest Facts & Fallacies, 1988, Reader's Digest
|Madame Marie Curie was the first person ever to win two Nobel
Her first was in Physics (1903) and the second in Chemistry
So what did she do with the money? She used part of the prize to
both change the wallpaper and to put a modern bathroom into her Paris
Source: The People's Almanac by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace, 1975, Doubleday and Co.
|Marijuana was not illegal in the United States until October
when Congress passed the "Marijuana Tax Act". Total debate time
the House of Representatives floor concerning this issue: 90
This act did not actually ban the substance - it simply said that one
not sell marijuana without a license. Of course, Congress refused
to issue any licenses. Congress finally banned marijuana outright
Source: The Unbelievable Truth! by Jeff Rovin, 1994, Signet Books
|Everyone knows that spinach is loaded in iron and makes you
- Just look what it has done for Popeye's career. Well, Popeye
wrong. So were all of those parents that stuffed it down their
throats. In reality, spinach has no more iron in it than any
vegetable. This spinach misconception dates back to the 1950's
a food analyst made an error while calculating the iron in
His decimal place was off by one place, suggesting that spinach had ten
times as much iron content than it really did.
Source: Spinach (link no longer available)