The Sunday Funnies & Factoids – The ‘You Don’t Have to be Irish to Get Smashed on Tuesday’ Edition
by Keith Lennox, All-len-All, 03/15/15 –
Happy Sunday, folks….. hope you’re having a great weekend and are doing your elbow exercises for the upcoming St. Patricks’ Day festivities.
Thanks for stopping by for your weekly fill of useless, yet sometimes informative, trivia.
1) Over 20% of all calories collectively consumed by humanity are from a single food: rice.
3) When U2 singer Bono was 14 years old, his mother died at her father’s funeral.
4) The average person in Argentina spends over 20 hours a week listening to the radio, the most of any country, a survey found.
5) The average wedding in the U.S. costs $31,231……. yeah, ’cause that makes sense…..
6) In 1975, Australia had a government shutdown, which ended with the Queen firing everyone and the government starting again.
8) American kids rank 25th in the world in math, 21st in science, and 1st in confidence in their own abilities…… ummmmm, no comment…….
9) Rain has never been recorded in parts of Chile’s Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth.
10) The Mormon Church baptized 380,000 Holocaust victims posthumously, offending and sparking controversy among many Jewish groups.
11) Half of your genes describe the complex design of your brain, with the other half describing the organization of the other 98% of your body…. I’ve met more than a few people where this finding DOES NOT apply…..
12) The word “bride” comes from an old proto-germanic word meaning “to cook”……. and I’m sure all the ladies out there are really diggin’ on that……
13) And just in time for St. Patrick’s Day….
8 Fun Facts About the Irish Language
You may hear an “Erin go bragh” and a “sláinte” or two this St. Patrick’s Day, but even on the most Irish of holidays, we don’t hear much of the Irish language—which is a shame! Irish is so different from English or any of the languages we usually study in school, and so much about it is rather interesting and cool. As we head towards St. Patrick’s Day, here are a few fun facts about Irish.
1. THE NAME OF THE LANGUAGE IS “IRISH.”
Gaeilge is the name of the language in Irish, and Irish is the name of the language in English. Sometimes people will call it Irish Gaelic in order to make sure they aren’t misunderstood to mean “Irish English” for Irish. They may also say Irish Gaelic to distinguish it from Gaelic, which means Scottish Gaelic, a related but different language.
2. THERE’S NO “YES” OR “NO” IN IRISH.
There are no words for “yes” or “no” in Irish, but that doesn’t mean there’s no way to answer a question. You communicate “yes” and “no” with a verb form. The answer to “did they sell the house?” would be “(they) sold ” or “(they) didn’t sell.” In Irish:
Ar dhíol sian an teach?
3. ITS WORD ORDER IS VERB SUBJECT OBJECT.
Sentences have Verb Subject Object order. So “I saw a bird” would be “Saw I a bird.” “I always speak Irish” would be “Speak I Irish always.” This word order is relatively rare—only 9 percent of the world’s languages use it.
4. THE WORDS FOR NUMBERS DEPEND ON WHETHER YOU’RE COUNTING HUMANS OR NON-HUMANS.
In addition to one set of numbers for doing arithmetic or referring to dates and times, Irish has a second set for counting humans and a third set for counting non-humans. Five children is “cúigear páiste,” but five horses is “cúig chapall.”
5. THE BEGINNING OF THE WORD CHANGES DEPENDING ON THE GRAMMATICAL ENVIRONMENT.
What’s the word for “woman”? Either “bean” (byan), “bhean” (vyan), or “mbean” (myan), depending whether it comes after certain possessive pronouns (my, your, his), or certain prepositions (under, before, on), or certain numbers, or a whole range of other conditions that determine which form of the word is correct. Most languages people study require them to learn different word endings, not beginnings. Irish requires…both. It’s a bit of a challenge!
6. IT ONLY HAS 11 IRREGULAR VERBS, THOUGH.
English has a lot more. More than 80, and that’s just counting the commonly used ones…
7. IT’S LEFT AN IMPRINT ON THE ENGLISH SPOKEN IN IRELAND.
English phrases in many parts of Ireland show a parallel structure with their counterparts in Irish. “I’m after eating my breakfast ” (I just ate my breakfast), “I gave out about the terrible service” (I complained/told them off about the terrible service), and in some places, “He does be working every day.”
8. IT’S POSSIBLE (BUT NOT EASY) TO TRAVEL AROUND IRELAND ONLY SPEAKING IRISH.
Filmmaker and native Irish speaker Manchán Magan made a documentary No Béarla (No English) in which he traveled through Ireland only speaking Irish, even when people demanded he switch to English. Shopkeepers told him to get lost, officials refused to help him, people on the street ignored him, but he kept at it and found willing speakers here and there. In any case, he survived the trip. Watch it here.
14) Qatar’s 2022 World Cup will take more lives than 9/11 due to horrible working conditions for migrant workers building stadiums and infrastructure.
16) Cuba has one of the highest literacy rates in the world: 99.8%.
17) Swearing on the Bible is forbidden by the Bible.
18) When Ashton Kutcher was 13 years old, he contemplated committing suicide in order to give his heart to his dying brother….. uh huh…. sure you did Ashton, sure you did…..
19) NYC homeowners can request that a tree be planted outside their homes for free.
20) Ancient Babylonians did math in base 60 instead of base 10. That’s why we have 60 seconds in a minute and 360 degrees in a circle.
21) In 2010 the Catholic Church had an income of US $97 billion.
22) Music triggers activity in the same brain structure that releases the “pleasure chemical” dopamine during sex and eating.
23) The beautiful symmetry of a total solar eclipse happens because —by pure chance— the sun is 400 times larger than the moon, but is also 400 times farther from Earth, making the two bodies appear the exact same size in the sky.
That’s a wrap for this week, boys and girls…. hope you enjoyed stopping by and you learned a little sumpin, sumpin that you were unaware of before.
Have a great week and don’t forget to pick up a drunk Irishman off of the floor if the opportunity presents itself. You’ll be glad you did.
See you next week. Stay safe.