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Q. Is there any common denominator among successful people?

A. One only, it’s claimed: a large vocabulary.

Q. Didn’t most people native to the Western Hemisphere use tobacco before Christopher Columbus showed up?

A. They did. On the northern continent, they smoked it. On the southern continent, they chewed it.

Q. What was a typical week’s wages in the United States at the start of World War II?

A. About $20. Specifically, the 1941 annual median: $1,070.

Human blood contains iron. So it’s red. Octopus blood contains copper. So it’s blue.

Q. Is a “blimp” a “dirigible”?

A. Not unless it can be steered.

Before the ancient Egyptians kept cats to catch vermin, they tried out mongooses. But cats worked better.

What’s left of the Shakers have their own website now.

Q. Where’d the rock group called “The Doors” get that name?

A. From Aldous Huxley’s book “Doors of Perception.”

Q. Why did the Mongol fighters, as the historical footnotes say, wear silk shirts in battle?

A. Silk made it easier to pull the arrows out of their bodies.

Muskrats smell funny. That’s why they’re called muskrats.

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