Things you need to know

Someone posted this list in the lounge at work. While the list is titled “Things You Didn’t Need To Know, I suggest it could be called “Things You Might Want To Know.” Should you ever be on “Jeopardy,” these tidbits might just help you be a winner. If not, they may just help you fill one of those annoying little lulls in conversation. If nothing else, they may make someone go, “Hmm – I didn’t know that.” In any case, here’s hoping you find them interesting. (And a thank you to whomever posted these from www.wastesomuchtime.com)

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated. Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite. There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar. (Are you ready to list them all?) On a Canadian two-dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag. (You have to ask ‘Why?’ on that one.) All of the clocks in the movie Pulp Fiction are stuck on 4:20. In most advertisements, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10. In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.

The longest one-syllable word in the English language is “screeched.” No word in the English language rhymes with “month,” “orange,” “silver” or “purple.” “Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt.” There are only four words in the English language that end in “dous” – tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous.

The average person’s left hand does 56 percent of the typing. (Now, admit it, you stopped to think about this one!) “Stewardesses” is the longest word typed with only the left hand. (Yes, I checked.) ‘Typewriter” is the longest word that can be made using the letters on only one row of the keyboard. (Again, I checked.)

It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. The average person falls asleep in seven minutes. The average human eats eight spiders in their lifetime at night. More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes. Women blink nearly twice as much as men. Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people. No president of the United States was an only child. The average chocolate bar has eight insect legs in it. (Ew – glad I learned this after Easter!)

The electric chair was invented by a dentist. In 1987, American Airlines saved $40,000 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first class.

A snail can sleep for three years. (And you thought your teenager slept a long time!) If you keep a goldfish in a dark room, it will eventually turn white. A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes. A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours. A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. (Hello “Finding Nemo” fans – and Dory isn’t even a goldfish!) The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world. An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.

These aren’t the only items on the list, but this should be enough to break the ice in any conversation.

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Sue Sampson is a longtime columnist for the Parkersbgurg News & Sentinel.