The Sunday Funnies & Factoids

by Keith Lennox, All-len-All –

07/06/14

Good morning, folks.  Happy Independence Day weekend to my friends south of the border.  We, up here, are just getting the hangover from last weekend taken care of.  I say we combine the two holidays and party the entire month of July…. we can call it Canusa month.

I hope this latest installment of the Sunday Funnies & Factoids finds you all happy, healthy, and fulfilled.  On with the show…..

bill-nye-tho1) Only two people remain who are fluent in Ayapaneco—but they refuse to talk to each other.  C’mon, I’ve heard of grudges but aren’t you two getting a little lonely and starved for some intellectual stimulation via speech?

2) Only one half of a dolphin’s brain sleeps at a time. The other half that’s awake signals the dolphin to come up for air to prevent drowning.  Haa !!!  I always knew Flipper was just playing dumb.

3) In real life, Phylicia Rashad from The Cosby Show is only ten years older than Sabrina Labeauf, who portrayed her eldest TV daughter, Sondra.

4) John Quincy Adams was elected the 6th President of the United States despite losing both the popular and electoral vote. No one won the majority, so the election went to the House of Representatives, where Adams had more friends than his competition.

5) Grand Duke Francesco I of Tuscany (1541-1587) promised his clever mistress, Bianca Cappello, that he would marry her—but only if she bore him a son. Not willing to let anything get in her way, the barren Bianca simply pretended to be pregnant for nine months. She then adopted the newborn son of an unmarried girl, smuggled the infant into her bedroom, and secured the crown.  Jeeebuzz, that was shrewd.

6) 19 Things You Might Not Know Were Invented in Canada by Amanda Green

IMAGE CREDIT:
GETTY IMAGES

The good people of Canada are responsible for many inventions you use every day. Especially if you’re someone who plays Trivial Pursuit in a Wonderbra while eating peanut butter smeared on McIntosh apples.

1. PEANUT BUTTER

Montreal pharmacist Marcellus Gilmore Edson envisioned his nutty ointment-like product, patented in 1884, as a food option for people who couldn’t chew. Or for, you know, everyone.

2. THE WONDERBRA

Leave it to our great neighbors to the north to invent one of the most popular push-up bras ever. Montreal’s Canadian Lady Corset Company first licensed the trademark “Wonder-bra” in 1939, and then renamed the company Wonderbra in 1961.

3. TRIVIAL PURSUIT

Here’s one for the orange category: What board game was invented in 1979 by Scott Abbott, a Montreal sports editor, and Chris Haney, a photo editor, when they couldn’t find all their Scrabble tiles? [And yes, that’s Rudy Giuliani and the Pets.com sock puppet in the photo.]

4. THE ODOMETER

Road trips were never the same after 1854, when Nova Scotia inventor Samuel McKeen created a device that measured distance with every revolution of a carriage wheel. Though to be fair, everyone from Vitruvius to Ben Franklin was also working on this one.

5. THE ROTARY SNOWPLOW

A Toronto dentist named Dr. J.W. Elliot first conceived the idea of a snowplow to clean up train tracks. The snowmobile and snowblower were also born in Canada. But the Zamboni ice resurfacer? California, man.

6. THE EGG CARTON

Newspaper editor Joseph Coyle of Smithers, British Columbia, found an egg-cellent new use for paper in 1911.

7. IMAX

Filmmakers Graeme Ferguson, Roman Kroiter, and Robert Kerr and engineer Robert C. Shaw founded IMAX in 1967. Kroiter produced the first IMAX film in 1970. Star Wars creator George Lucas later credited him with originating the idea of “The Force.”

8. MCINTOSH APPLES

McIntosh apples didn’t just grow on trees back in the day. In 1811, farmer John McIntosh began grafting a wild apple tree at his South Dundas farm. People began enjoying the fruits of his labor in 1835.

9. THE WALKIE-TALKIE

Don Hings invented what he called the “packset” in 1937. When Canada declared war on Germany two years later, he went to Ottawa to redevelop the device for military use. Over and out.

10. INSULIN

Toronto scientists Frederick Banting, Charles Best (pictured), and James Collip didn’t actually invent insulin in 1922 — it’s a hormone naturally produced by the pancreas. Instead, they discovered it and learned how it could treat diabetes.

11. INSTANT REPLAY

CBC Television producer George Retzlaff used a kinescope when he created the first-ever Instant Replay in 1955. Not surprisingly, it was during a broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada.

12. THE FOGHORN

Robert Foulis invented a steam-powered foghorn in 1854, but died penniless because he didn’t patent it. Argh!

13. GREEN CURRENCY INK

Got a dollar? In 1862, Thomas Sterry Hunt invented the ink that makes U.S. bills green.

14. THE BAGGAGE TAG

John Michael Lyons of New Brunswick changed travel when he invented the first baggage tag in 1882. The revolutionary document contained information about the bag’s point of departure, destination, and owner.

15. THE PAINT ROLLER

The paint roller has a messy history. Canadian Norman Breakey invented it in 1940, but an American inventor named Richards C. Adams tweaked the design and filed the first patent.

16. STANDARD TIME

Engineer Sandford Fleming brought standard time to U.S. and Canadian railways in 1883. Time zones became U.S. law in 1918 and were accepted worldwide by 1929. It was about time.

17. THE WHEELCHAIR-ACCESSIBLE BUS

Walter Harris Callow, a blind, quadriplegic veteran, invented the first wheelchair-accessible bus in 1947. He took his first and only ride after death, when his body was transported for his funeral.

18. THE ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR

In 1952, engineer George Klein made the world more accessible with a motorized wheelchair

19. GARBAGE BAGS

With stretchy, waterproof polyethylene at their disposal, Harry Wasylyk of Manitoba and Larry Hansen of Ontario invented the first plastic garbage bag for commercial use in 1950. Union Carbide Company bought the idea and brought Glad trash bags into homes.

I knew we were brilliant but, c’mon, how did you guys ever manage without us?

7) Publisher Harlequin prints a line of romance novels set in the world of NASCAR.  Now, now, yokels need stuff to read too.

Funny-City-Image

8) Bill Clinton reportedly only ever sent two emails as president, one of which was a test message to see if he was doing it correctly.

9) The launching mechanism of a carrier ship that assists planes in taking off could throw a pickup truck over a mile.  That should definitely be a ride at the midway.

10) The winning word at the 1940 National Spelling Bee was “therapy.”  Really ????  Therapy ????  Really ????  Even Forrest Gump could spell ‘therapy’.

11) Horses can’t vomit.  Good to know……. I guess.

12) Frank Sinatra was frustrated with his record company in 1960, so he formed his own label, Reprise Records. Many of his buddies (Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.) released records on Reprise, which is why they often referred to Frank as the Chairman of the Board.

13) Mark Twain was born in 1835, a year in which Halley’s comet was visible from earth. In 1909, he wrote, “I came in with Halley’s comet…and I expect to go out with it.” When he died on April 21, 1910, the comet was again visible in the night sky.

14) My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We’ll see about that.

Enjoy your last day of the long weekend and don’t forget to pay it forward at some point this week.

Be safe and stay healthy.

Keith