November 05, 2006
Originally published May 9, 2003
My friend Catfish strikes again with this email:
1. The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."
2. "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt."
3. Almonds are members of the peach family.
4. The symbol on the "pound" key (#) is called an octothorpe.
5. The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle.
6. Ingrown toenails are hereditary.
7. The word "set" has more definitions than any other word in the English
8. "Underground" is the only word in the English language that begins and
ends with the letters "und."
9. There are only four words in the English language which end in
"-dous":...tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
10. The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford
English Dictionary, is: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
11. The only other word with the same amount of letters
is:pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, its plural.
12. The longest place-name still in use is:
horonukupokaiwenuakitnatahu - a New Zealand hill.
13. Los Angeles's full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de
losAngeles de Porciuncula" and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size,
14. An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
15. Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
16. Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button. It was eliminated when he
was sewn up after surgery.
17. Telly Savalas and Louis Armstrong died on their birthdays.
18. Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy.
19. The muzzle of a lion is like a fingerprint - no two lions have the same
pattern of whiskers.
20. Steely Dan got their name from a sexual device depicted in the book
'The Naked Lunch.'
21. A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
22. The Ramses brand condom is named after the great pharaoh Ramses II, who fathered over 160 children.
23. There is a seven-letter word in the English language that contains ten
words without rearranging any of its letters, "therein": the, there, he, in,
rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.
24. Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
25. John Larroquette of "Night Court" and "The John Larroquette Show" was
the narrator of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
26. A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.( that is 1 second longer
than a blonde.....sorry dear).
27. It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
28. Cranberries are sorted for ripeness by bouncing them; a fully ripened
cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball.
29. The male gypsy moth can "smell" the virgin female gypsy moth from 1.8
miles away. (But does he CALL? NO-O-O-O-O-O...)
30. The letters KGB stand for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti.
31. 'Stewardesses' is the longest English word that is typed with only the left hand.
32. To "testify" was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement
made by swearing on their testicles.
33. The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways - the
following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced,
thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after
falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."
34. The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter
35. Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as
does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."
36. Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian
seal for that reason.
37. Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
38. The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat,"
which means "the king is dead."
Now you know.
The etymology of testify in your post is wrong.. it has nothing to do with testicles, but comes from the Latin "testis" meanining, "witness".
The following, however, is not trivia:
One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying "We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]". Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I've ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four "pilots" among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake "pilot" of the bunch. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports. These "hijackers" somehow managed to board all four airliners with their tickets, yet not even ONE got his name on any of the flight manifests. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn't work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn't work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won't let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you "aren't supposed to think about". Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name, more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn't respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn't happen, not even close. Somehow these "hijackers" must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn't have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were "supposed to see". Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these "hijackers" wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn't even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying "We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down" attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers' magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be "Muslim hijackers" the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don't laugh) one of their passports was "found" a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously "surviving" the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also "survived" the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be "indestructable" like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn't bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Further making themselves look guilty, the Bush administration steadfastly refused for over a year to allow a commission to investigate 9/11 to even be formed, only agreeing to it on the conditions that they get to dictate its scope, meaning it was based on the false pretense of the "official story" being true with no other alternatives allowed to be considered, handpicked all its members making sure the ones picked had vested interests in the truth remaining buried, and with Bush and Cheney only "testifying" together, only for an hour, behind closed doors, with their attorneys present and with their "testimonies" not being recorded by tape or even written down in notes. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastic far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the "nineteen hijackers" is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.