Arrow-right Camera



Sat., May 17, 1997

Q. When did dolphins have hooves?

A. If ever their predecessors did, it was about 60 million years ago. So scientists now believe. That goes for whales, too.

You remember Brandy Brandon, that coiner of curious words. He defined “cyclamates” as “Twin Schwinns.” And he listed a “courier” as “an East Indian chef” and a “crowbar” as a “bird saloon.”

In its 19th-century heyday, most of the people in the Tennessee town of Rugby were graduates of Oxford and Cambridge. Sons but not first sons of the British aristocracy. They didn’t inherit. So they went to a short-lived settlement school in Tennessee to learn some way to make a living.

Why the old legislatures of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia tried to outlaw bathing is not clear. But to take a bath was once an offense in some places. Benjamin Franklin, who bathed regularly, tried to argue down the notion and became controversial. Bath haters sardonically tagged him “The Father of American Bathing.”

A bullfrog closes its eyes when it jumps.

Q. What are Chinese acupuncture needles made of?

A. Steel, mostly. Today. Needles of bronze, gold, silver, even gemstone, dating back 4,000 years, have been found there.


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