Brief History of Dodging Taxes: Including McVities Jaffa Cakes and Walker’s Famous Scottish Shortbread

“Fun Facts Saturday” Taxes and Tax Dodging go hand in hand  “Taxes are forever.” Benjamin Franklin declared, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” Ronald Reagan observed, “The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if … Continue reading Brief History of Dodging Taxes: Including McVities Jaffa Cakes and Walker’s Famous Scottish Shortbread

We are traveling through space at 1.78 MILLION MPH! No wonder I feel tired.

"Fun Facts Saturday" I am fascinated by cosmology and issues of space-time.  (That's why I like science fiction and "Space Opera.") Unfortunately, my college didn’t offer “Cosmology for Dummies” for us English majors. I long wondered: “How fast are we travelling through space?”  The answer: about 1.78 million miles per hour! Speed of Earth’s Rotation … Continue reading We are traveling through space at 1.78 MILLION MPH! No wonder I feel tired.

Why does the Flag of Northern Ireland have a bloody red hand in the middle?

"Fun Facts Saturday" The Flags of Ulster and Northern Ireland are unique.  They have a bloody red hand in the center. Ulster Banner (Home of my Irish Ancestors) According to legend, there was a proclamation with a challenge. The first person to "touch" or “lay hand” on the ground of Ulster would have claim to … Continue reading Why does the Flag of Northern Ireland have a bloody red hand in the middle?

5 Popular Phrases and Their Origins

"Fun Facts Saturday" I have been intrigued by the origin of popular every-day phrases. We use these phrases all the time without giving them a second thought. Yet, their origins are interesting and memorable. 1. “Turning a blind eye” Meaning: to consciously ignore unwanted information Origin: The famous Admiral Lord Nelson, hero of the naval Battle … Continue reading 5 Popular Phrases and Their Origins

Teddy Roosevelt, An American Hero

"Fun Facts Saturday" "American History" Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919) is the latest entry into my personal Hall of Fame. He is now one of my dozen heroes.* From “sickly” to “manly” -the "strenuous life" Young Boxer Theodore (“Teddy” “T.R.”) Roosevelt has been called our “manliest president."  He championed the “strenuous life.” As a child, Teddy was … Continue reading Teddy Roosevelt, An American Hero

Did you know – the British flag combines the flags of England (St. George), Scotland (St. Andrew), and N. Ireland (St. Patrick)?

"Fun Facts Saturday"In Honor of the Recent Passing of Queen Elizabeth II Creation of the British "Union Jack" Flag The British "Union Jack" flag is a combination of the 3 flags of England (Saint George Cross), Scotland (Saint Andrew Cross), and Northern Ireland (Saint Patrick Cross). (When the Union Jack flag was created, Wales was … Continue reading Did you know – the British flag combines the flags of England (St. George), Scotland (St. Andrew), and N. Ireland (St. Patrick)?

Adorable Puffins and Baby “Pufflings”

"Fun Facts Saturday" Everybody's loves Puffins.  They are so adorable! Because of their color, Puffins are sometimes called the “Parrots of the Sea.”  Puffins fly up to 50 mph and flap their wings 300-400 times per minute. They can dive 200 feet under water, and stay down up to one minute. Atlantic Puffins spend 9 … Continue reading Adorable Puffins and Baby “Pufflings”

Where was his bodyguard when Lincoln was shot?

"American History" - "Fun Facts Saturday" Abraham Lincoln, our greatest president, was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth while watching a performance at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865. But what many people don’t know is that President Lincoln had a bodyguard assigned to protect him at the time.  The Pathetic Police Bodyguard … Continue reading Where was his bodyguard when Lincoln was shot?

M&M Candy Controversies

"Fun Facts Saturday" Everybody loves M&Ms - except for those who try to peel them. People argue over what the “M’s” stand for.  One suggestion is "Marvelous" and "Myself." Another is "Might" and "Magic." Here is the answer: “Mars” and “Murrie.”  In 1941, Forrest Mars, of the Mars candy company, and Bruce Murrie, of the … Continue reading M&M Candy Controversies

How Did Beethoven “Hear” and Compose His Music After He Went Deaf?

"Fun Facts Saturday" Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) is one of my favorite composers.  Tragically, he went completely deaf by 44. There could be no greater personal trial.  Yet, he persevered.  Years later he composed his Symphony No. 9 (Choral Symphony, “Ode to Joy”) This is considered Beethoven’s greatest work. I have long wondered, "How did … Continue reading How Did Beethoven “Hear” and Compose His Music After He Went Deaf?