STRANGE BUT TRUE

Dubbo Photo News - - The Play Pages. - By Sa­man­tha Weaver

It was 20th-cen­tury Amer­i­can his­to­rian, so­ci­ol­o­gist, philoso­pher and lit­er­ary critic Lewis Mum­ford who made the fol­low­ing sage ob­ser­va­tion: “A man of courage never needs weapons, but he may need bail.”

In the 1960s, Amer­i­can spies in the Soviet Union had a novel way to eaves­drop on con­ver­sa­tions: They used cats. The CIA agents placed lis­ten­ing devices on the fe­lines in or­der to hear con­ver­sa­tions that might take place on a park bench or near an open win­dow.

Po­lar bears and griz­zly bears are sim­i­lar enough ge­net­i­cally to suc­cess­fully mate. Any off­spring pro­duced from such a union is known as a “piz­zly”. If you’re a book lover who is for­tu­nate enough to be plan­ning a trip to Ja­pan’s cap­i­tal some­time soon, then Book and Bed Tokyo needs to be on your agenda. For a mere $30-$40 per night, you can sleep in a bunk sur­rounded by book­shelves and have ac­cess to free Wi-fi and a vend­ing ma­chine. The bath­rooms and a large seat­ing area (fur­nished, re­port­edly, with deep, comfy couches) will be shared with other guests – but that’s just an op­por­tu­nity to meet like-minded lit­er­ary trav­ellers! You can bring your own read­ing ma­te­rial, of course, but with 1700 ti­tles pro­vided in both English in Ja­panese, there’s no need.

It’s com­mon knowl­edge that the os­trich is a flight­less bird, but many peo­ple don’t re­alise that, even con­fined to land, the os­trich can out­run a race­horse.

If you use rats or mice to tell the fu­ture, you’re en­gag­ing in my­omancy; if you pre­fer to base your div­ina­tion on the flight or song of birds, you’re an or­nithomancer.

Thought for the Day: “I would like to see any­one – prophet, king or God – con­vince a thou­sand cats to do the same thing at the same time.” – Neil Gaiman

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