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"Whence" means "from where," so "from whence" is redundant.

The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary is banned in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

A pencil will write in zero gravity, upside down and under water.

The typical pencil can draw a line 35 miles long.

The keyboard we use, developed in 1867, began with keys in alphabetical order. It was modified to prevent the jamming of keys, and evolved into the configuration we use today. Better ways of placing the alphabet have been developed, but no one can sell them.

In 1956, the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay went to "The Red Balloon" which contained no dialogue.

John Hughes wrote the screenplay for Weird Science in just two days.

Julius Epstein won an Oscar for co-writing Casablanca in 1942, and 31 years later won another Oscar for Reuben, Reuben.

The average U.S. high school graduate has a vocabulary of about 60,000 words.

The letters 'J', 'U', and 'W' were not used by the Romans.

"Typewriter" is the longest word that can be made using the letters on only one row of the keyboard.

The average human body contains enough carbon to make 900 pencils.

The first book of crosswords was introduced on April 10, 1924 for a steep $1.35 per book and each one came with a freshly sharpened pencil.

Goethe could only write if he had an apple rotting in the drawer of his desk.

In ancient Boustrophedon writing every alternate line in the text reads from right to left.

Rudyard Kipling only used black ink.

More than 400 films have been made based on the plays of Shakespeare.

The subject of the first printed book in England was chess.

Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood.

Bambi was originally published in 1929 in German.

The first crime mentioned in the first episode of Hill Street Blues was armed robbery.

George Bernard Shaw refused an Oscar in 1938, for the screenplay Pygmalion.

The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from British public libraries.

Turkey has a ban on kissing in films.

Allied bombers were issued with Biro pens as fountain pens leaked at high altitude.

The first xerographic copy (prelude to photocopy) was "10.22.38 Astoria."

The names of the two stone lions in front of the New York Public Library are Patience and Fortitude.

The letter J does not appear anywhere on the periodic table of the elements.

"Rhythms" and "syzygy" are the longest English words without vowels.

The metal part at the end of a pencil is 20 percent sulfur.

"Bookkeeper" and "bookkeeping" are the only words in the English language with three consecutive double letters.

The oldest word in the English language is "town."

When two words are combined to form a single word (breakfast + lunch = brunch) the new word is called a "portmanteau."

The letter "w" is the only letter in the alphabet that doesn't have one syllable, it has three.

For a short time in 1967, the American Typers Association made a new punctuation mark that was a combination of the question mark and an exclamation point called an "interrobang." It was rarely used and hasn't been seen since.

It is possible to extract aspirin from the bark of trees.

African witch doctors only send their patients a bill if they expect them to live.

Hockey pucks travel at speed of up to 100 miles an hour.

T.E. Lawrence, know as Lawence of Arabia, used a fleet of Rolls Royces to transport his unit when he led British forces against the Turks in Syria.

Dante, Christopher Marlow, Daniel Defoe, Andrew Marvell and Lord Byron all acted as government spies.

The sooty tern is on the wing for as long as three years before it returns to its nesting ground.

Queen bees can lay three thousand eggs in one day.

Louis XIV insisted that none of his courtiers sit in chairs with arms.

China claims to possess the world’s smallest town—Yumen. This town, in Tibet, has only three residents—an elderly man and his two daughters. The town has a local council, chief executive and an official seal.

Bela Lugosi was buried, as he requested, in his famous Dracula cape.

There are six million trees in the Forrest of Martyrs near Jerusalem, symbolizing the Jewish death toll in World War II.

Rubber is an important ingredient in the manufacture of bubble gum.

In Wales, sheep outnumber people two to one.

The Incas and the Aztecs were able to function without the wheel.

Sir William Backstone wrote perhaps the most influential book ever on English law, yet never practiced law himself.

The Arctic tern flies to the Antarctic and back every year.

The door to 10 Downing Street, home of Britian’s Prime Minister, only opens from the inside.

Seventy-five percent of the inhabitants of Norway live within 10 miles of the sea.

If a woman commits adultery in the Tupuri tribe of Africa, she is forced to wear a brass ring round her neck for the rest of her life.

Half the world exists on a basic diet of rice.

Most mammals are color blind.

The word "girl" appears only once in the Bible.

The American poet Emily Dickinson used to talk to visitors from a adjoining room, because she was so self-conscious about her appearance.

Some Kenyans live inside the trunks of the baobab tree.

When people first started sending letters in Britain, it was the recipient who paid the postage.

Turtles don't have any teeth.

Sir Winston Churchill was a prisoner-of-war during the Boer War.

Camel meat is a great delicacy in Egypt.

More than 20 million Africans were transported to America and the Caribbean during the 300 years of the slave trade.

Ostrich racing is a popular sport in South Africa.

Mammerfest in Norway is the most northerly town in the world.

Half of all the different types of flowers in the world can be found in South America.

King Louis XI of France once commanded one of his abbots to invent a new and ridiculous musical instrument for the amusement of the Court. The abbot gathered together a series of pigs, each with their own distinctive squeal, and proceeded to prick each one of them in turn to provide the desired tune.

Henry I decided that a yard should be the distance from his thumb to the end of his nose.

The color purple was a sign of great rank in Ancient Rome.

A butterfly has 12,000 eyes.

The game of tennis originated in the French monasteries of the 11th century.

Ice cream was invented in 1620.

To the Japanese, Santa Claus is a woman.

Louis XIV of France once had an unfortunate experience while putting on a sock—his toe fell off.

The human stomach can only hold about five pints.

The Icelandic Parliament is the oldest surviving parliament in the world. It was founded in A.D. 930.

Canada's coastline is six times longer than that of Australia.

A normal spider has about 600 silk glands on its body that it uses to spin its web.

During the Middle Ages, nearly a third of every year was given over to religious holidays.

One of the most efficient ways of cleaning your teeth is to chew on a stick.

Horses can sleep standing up.

George Gershwin suffered from chronic constipation for most of his life.

Though Switzerland is a neutral country, it has compulsory military service.

Even well educated people use only about one percent of the possible words in the English language when they talk to each other.

Gale warnings were first issued in 1861.

The Stanley Cup was donated in 1893 by Canada's then-Governor General, Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston. Lord Stanley never saw a Stanley Cup game.

During the 1918-1919 season, the Stanley Cup playoffs were halted by the worldwide influenza epidemic.

A hockey puck is three inches in diameter, one inch thick and weighs 5.5 to 6 ounces.

The first competition in the world's first Olympic games, 776 B.C., was a foot race. The participants were all males, and ran in the nude.

The term "rookie" comes from the military use of the word. It originated during the Civil War, when there was a huge influx of new soldiers, i.e., recruits or "reckies."

Hockey doesn't even make it onto the list of the top five most dangerous sports—they are football, skiing, baseball, swimming and basketball.

There is a sport called "purring" which enjoys popularity in Wales. Two opponents stand face-to-face, grasping each other firmly by the shoulders. At the starting signal, they begin kicking each other in the shins with shoes reinforced with metal toeplates. The first man to release his grip on his opponent's shoulders is the loser.

Grenade-throwing is an official sporting event in the People's Republic of China.

In Brazil, at the Maracaņa Stadium, a moat had to be built around the playing field to keep fans from assaulting the players and referees.

A sport practiced in ancient China consisted of placing two angry male quails in a large glass bowl and watching as the creatures clawed each other to death.

The Aztec and Maya Indians played a complicated game not unlike lacrosse. When the game was finished, the captain of the losing team was slaughtered before the onlookers and his body was torn limb from limb.

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