The FACT-tionary

ostrich-head 03/26/13 – Ostriches, contrary to popular belief and according to studies of 200 000+ ostriches over the course of 80+ years, do not bury their heads in the sand.  This myth was likely propagated by a Roman author/philosopher (Pliny the Elder) who wrote something similar to this in downplaying the large birds’ intelligence, suggesting they’d think their whole body was hidden when, in fact, it was just their heads and necks (stuck “into a bush,” as he put it).  This does not, however, downplay the fact the the bird can run a whopping 70km/h.  That’s faster than your grandparents drive!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 03/18/13 – Each St. Patrick’s Day the Chicago River is turned green by an orange vegetable-based dye that is harmless to the river and its inhabitants.  The tradition is estimated to cost more than $133 dollars a minute, and has been privately funded since it began 43 years ago!  Also, it’s St. Paddy’s day, if shortened – NOT “St. Patty” as ‘patty’ is derived from Patricia, or hamburger patty, while ‘Paddy’ is the shortened version of the Irish Pádraig. You’re welcome!

airline-food-412  o3/03/13 – In order to assure the safety of their guests and crew, most airlines require that their pilots and co-pilots eat separate meals in case of potential food-related illness!  Since airlines typically offer various meals on their longer flights, requiring pilots to eat different meals is the most effective way to ensure that both pilots would not be incapacitated should, say, the chicken in their pre-packed chicken divan wasn’t cooked properly.  The chances, after all, of two different meals being unsafe for consumption (considering only bacteria, etc., not quality of the meal obviously, it’s airplane food!) is next to none – so fly easy!

825c549c31fe9012152e29e106c36253 03/02/13 – English actor Tom Hardy starred in the movie Bronson, and bulked up for the role of Michael Gordon Peterson (better known as Charles Bronson), a high-profile British criminal and bare-knuckle boxer.  After meeting Peterson in preparation for the role, Hardy was given a special gift; Peterson was so impressed with Hardy’s physical transformation to play him that he shaved off his own trademark moustache for Tom to wear in the film!

02/27/12 – Tigers, over the course of their evolution, developed stripes to assist in their hunting capabilities. It wasn’t until veterinary surgery required a tiger be shaved that we found out something else: a tiger’s skin is striped as well. Makes sense though, right? Who’d want to lose their god-given predatory abilities just because some asshole took their clothes!

nm0000500 02/25/12 – Richard Linklater, creator of cult movie hits Before Sunrise/Before Sunset and A Scanner Darkly (amongst other things), is directing a film over the course of 12 years titled Boyhood. Filming began in 2002 and centres around a real life boy as he ages and progresses through school, concluding when he heads off the college. Filming occurs over a two-week period each year and the story is flexible enough to adapt to the central actor’s actual life and circumstances.

imgres 02/22/12 – The Statue of Liberty was ORIGINALLY meant to look like an Arab peasant and be destined for Egypt to celebrate the completion of the Suez Canal. The statue was to double as a lighthouse at the entrance of the canal but, because Egypt was too poor to pay for the work at the time, it had to go somewhere else – and NYC fit the bill perfectly.

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