This week’s … Strange But True trivia
• It was noted German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who made the following sage observation: “The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”
• A scorpion can live for an entire year without eating.
• If you lack a belief in ghosts, UFOs, telepathy or other paranormal phenomena, you are in rare company; only 7 percent of Americans share your lack of belief.
• If you traveled along Highway 50 east of Reno, Nev., in recent decades, you may have had the opportunity to see — and perhaps even contribute to — the world’s largest shoe tree. It’s claimed that the cottonwood got its start as a landmark when a quarreling couple, on their wedding night, threw each other’s shoes into the branches. This shoe-tossing (for reasons unclear) became a tradition, and the tree gradually became laden with the odd offerings. Travelers these days, though, miss out on the attraction; in late 2010, vandals cut down the tree. But take heart, seekers of the unusual! Shoe trees can be found in 18 other states, ranging from California to New York.
• During the entire presidency of Bill Clinton, he sent two emails.
• The Bronx Zoo is a well-respected institution these days, but some moments of its history show that it didn’t always deserve such respect. For instance, in 1906, a man named Oto Benga was placed as an exhibit in the monkey house. He was a pygmy from Congo.
• It seems that the Germans have a word for everything. For instance, “waldeinsamkeit” describes the feeling of being alone in the woods.
Thought for the Day: “Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was or what freedom really is.” — Margaret Mitchell
— 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.
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