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Miscellaneous

Bizarre Fact #91:
Did you know...
The Sarah Winchester house, in San Jose, CA, is a truly bizarre piece of architecture. Mrs. Winchester, after losing first a daughter and then her husband to disease, consulted a medium to find the reason for her terrible luck. The medium advised her that there was a curse on her family, brought about by her husband's manufacturing of rifles when he was alive. To escape the curse, the medium advised, she should move West and build, and perhaps would live forever. Mrs. Winchester did just that, using the fortune she had inherited to buy a house and just keep building—adding on room after room for 36 years. Each room had 13 windows (the number was considered spiritual rather than unlucky) and many of the windows contained precious jewels. Other odd features of the house—intended to confuse evil spirits—included a staircase that went straight to a ceiling, doors that open onto two-story drops, a room with a glass floor, and a room without windows that - once entered - a person cannot leave without a key. The house contains 160 rooms, 2000 doors, and 10,000 windows, some of which open onto blank walls. There are also secret passageways.

Bizarre Fact #92:
Did you know...
Elwood Edwards' voice is heard more than 27 million times a day (which comes to more than 18,000 times per minute). Edwards is the man behind those special 3 words (not "I love you") "You've got mail!".
Back in 1989, Edwards' wife, Karen, was working in customer service for a little-known outfit in Vienna, Virginia called Quantum Computer Services. Quantum had an online service called Q-Link. Karen overheard the company's CEO, a young guy by the name of Steve Case, describe how he wanted to add a voice to its user interface. Her advice: "I said, 'Hey, you ought to try Elwood.'" Her husband had spent his entire career in local radio and TV. Edwards agreed to record four simple phrases on a run-of-the-mill cassette player: "Welcome!"; "File's done"; "Goodbye"; and, of course, "You've got mail!". Quantum changed its name to AOL and Edwards's voice debuted on AOL 1.0 in October 1989.

Bizarre Fact #93:
Did you know...
1960 was the last model year for Edsel and Desoto.

Bizarre Fact #94:
Did you know...
20252 is Smokey the Bear's own zip code.

Bizarre Fact #95:
Did you know...
203 million dollars is spent on barbed wire each year in the U.S.

Bizarre Fact #96:
Did you know...
7.5 million toothpicks can be created from a cord of wood.

Bizarre Fact #97:
Did you know...
A "hairbreadth away" is 1/48 of an inch.

Bizarre Fact #98:
Did you know...
A 17th-century Swedish philologist claimed that in the Garden of Eden God spoke Swedish, Adam spoke Danish, and the serpent spoke French.

Bizarre Fact #99:
Did you know...
A 41-gun salute is the traditional salute to a royal birth in Great Britain.

Bizarre Fact #100:
Did you know...
A car operates at maximum economy, gas-wise, at speeds between 25 and 35 miles per hour.


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