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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Who owns the most U.S. patents?

Samantha Weaver King Features Syndicate

• Actress Sharon Stone, of “Basic Instinct” fame, is a member of Mensa, the most famous high-IQ society in the world.

• It’s been reported that when Mexican revolutionary Gen. Pancho Villa was assassinated in 1923, his final words were, “Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.”

• In 2007, Americans mailed more than 2 billion postcards.

• Ever wonder where the term “cocktail” for an alcoholic beverage came from? One possible explanation is that a barmaid was fed up with the plain, dull appearance of the tavern she worked in, so she decided to add some color by putting up roosters’ tail feathers. Taking his cue from the decorations, one of the patrons asked for a cocktail, and the barmaid served him a drink with feathers in it.

• If you happened to be in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park on April 19 of this year, you probably ran across the Grilled Cheese Invitational, an annual event since 2003. Winners included sandwiches with such names as the Moon Unit, the Fresh Quez, Yo Mamma’s Special, Cake and Mivens and the Short Rib and Tallegio Grilled Cheese w/Apricot Caper Puree.

• You’ve probably heard the word “zeitgeist” used to describe the spirit of a particular time. You may not realize, though, that the word, which comes from the German, translates directly as “time ghost.”

• The company that holds the most U.S. patents is, perhaps unsurprisingly, IBM. Following Big Blue on the list are Canon, HP, Panasonic, Samsung, Micron, Hitachi, Toshiba and Fujitsu.