Who hasn't heard of some unpopular government action and entertained a stray thought about slapping the person who was responsible? In ancient Babylon, that stray thought was actually encouraged to be acted upon. The Babylonian New Year was celebrated each year with elaborate rituals. The ceremonies lasted for several days, with a special program prepared... Continue Reading →
World Standards Day commemorates international efforts to develop voluntary standardization among regulators, industries, and consumers. By using the same measurements and identical baselines, it promotes less waste and greater efficiency. The date to celebrate this international unity is October 14. The United States of America celebrates World Standards Day five days later, on October 19.
Under the law of the United Kingdom, the monarch owns all sturgeon and whales as part of the royal prerogative. The law was enacted in the 13th century under Edward II. It was decreed that the king owns the head and the queen owns the tail of every such sea creature. The Receiver of Wreck... Continue Reading →
Do you think you know which nation has the most time zones? Think again, because the answer may surprise you. Common sense tells us it should be Russia. The largest nation in the world should cover the most time zones, right? If your answer was Russia, you are incorrect. While Russia does boast an impressive... Continue Reading →
Anyone who has seen satellite photos of North Korea at night and noted the absence of electric lights might conclude it is a country that is operating behind the times, but would you guess 1,911 years behind the times? In 1997 North Korea officially adopted the Juche calendar. It marks the years from the birthday... Continue Reading →
Has anyone ever asked you if you have a frog in your throat? If you lived in Russia or Finland you might literally have had that affliction, simply from drinking a cup of milk. In the days before modern refrigeration, inhabitants of Russia and Finland kept milk fresh by dipping a frog in it. The... Continue Reading →
Scotland and mythological creatures seem to have a fondness for each other. Not only does Scotland boast ownership of the Loch Ness Monster, it has adopted the unicorn as its official animal. As far back as 1466, the unicorn appeared on the official coin of the realm, and the Royal Coat of Arms sports two... Continue Reading →
Where does the Tooth Fairy get all that money she leaves under children's pillows? The original source of that wealth remains a mystery, but the evidence suggests that she keeps it invested in the U.S. stock market. Delta Dental has tracked Tooth Fairy payouts since 1998. The results show an uncanny correlation with the S&P... Continue Reading →
Benjamin Franklin is credited with some of the greatest ideas of all time. Not only was he the inventor of bifocal glasses, the Franklin stove, and lightning rod, but as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, his ideas surpassed scientific inquiry and helped create a nation. In fact, so wide were his... Continue Reading →
You can tell a lot about what concerns people by looking at their language. Eskimos have many words for snow. The ancient Greeks had six words for love. It doesn't take a lot to conclude that these were important things for these cultures. Based on this, one can reasonably conclude that Scots are quite concerned... Continue Reading →
Going to Grandma's house in a one-horse open sleigh might be your ideal means of Christmas travel, but for residents of Caracas, Venezuela, the tradition is for the entire city to roller-skate to early morning Christmas Mass. source
When you view a nativity scene, there are certain elements you expect to be present. No nativity scene can be complete without baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Animals, angels, shepherds, and wise men are common, as well. When is the last time you expected to see a pooping man also present? If you live in... Continue Reading →
If fruitcake, Christmas cookies, or candy canes aren't your thing, you might consider trying the South African holiday tradition. Locals celebrate Christmas with a hearty plate of deep-fried caterpillars of the Emperor Moth. source
If you live in Russia or Ukraine, you probably celebrate Christmas on January 7, due to the different calendar kept by the Orthodox Church.
In 1956 anthropologist Horace Miner reported his findings of a study of a strange, curious grooming techniques of a group of people from Nacirema, a territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles. Among Miner's observations about this singular culture are the following: Each home tends to have at least one central shrine where... Continue Reading →