Strange But True: October 10, 2019
October 10, 2019
* It was multitalented Robert Anton Wilson -- he was, at various times in his life, a novelist, essayist, psychologist, editor, philosopher, playwright and mystic -- who made the following observation: "It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea."
* It took between 75,000 and 80,000 workers to build the Panama Canal, linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans across the Isthmus of Panama.
* When the Barbie doll was first introduced in 1959, it was described in The New York Times as a "crushing bomb." So much for early reviews. Since then, more than a billion Barbies have been sold in more than 150 countries. Mattel, the doll's maker, claims that more than 100 dolls are sold every minute of every day.
* William Howard Taft, the 18th president of the United States, was quite a large man. Quite a large man, indeed. In fact, he was so large that his 300-pound bulk got stuck in a White House bathtub, and he had to summon help to extricate himself.
* Pope Benedict IX held the office three different times.
* There are lots of sports fans out there, and a lot of sports to enjoy: football, basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey ... olive oil wrestling? OK, maybe there aren't a lot of oiled wrestling events here in America, but in Turkey it's the national sport. Kirkpinar, as it's known there, has been popular since the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish town of Edirne has been hosting the annual tournament since 1361.
Thought for the Day: "Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance." -- Vaclav Havel
(c) 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.