Strange BUT TRUE

The Weekly Vista - - Fun & Games - By Sa­man­tha Weaver

• It was noted wit Am­brose Bierce who made the fol­low­ing sage ob­ser­va­tion: “All are lu­natics, but he who can an­a­lyze his delu­sion is called a philoso­pher.”

• You might be sur­prised to learn that in Jan­uary 2004, the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­proved the use of mag­gots as a med­i­cal de­vice for clean­ing wounds.

• Pres­i­den­tial se­cu­rity was not al­ways as for­mi­da­ble as it is to­day. In 1913, for­mer Pres­i­dent Theodore Roo­sevelt was walk­ing down a Mil­wau­kee street, head­ing to a speech he was sched­uled to give. A man named John Schrank pulled out a gun and shot toward Roo­sevelt, who stag­gered but did not fall. There was no blood ev­i­dent, and Roo­sevelt, who was cam­paign­ing for a sec­ond term, in­sisted on de­liv­er­ing his speech. When he pulled from a coat pocket the 100 pages on which his speech was writ­ten, he saw a bul­let hole through the sheets of pa­per. Still de­ter­mined to carry on, he gave his speech be­fore go­ing to the hospi­tal, where it was dis­cov­ered that the bul­let had pen­e­trated four inches into his body. After the per­pe­tra­tor was ar­rested, it be­came ev­i­dent that Schrank was in­sane; he claimed that Pres­i­dent Wil­liam McKin­ley had re­vealed to him in a dream that Roo­sevelt was re­spon­si­ble for McKin­ley’s as­sas­si­na­tion. Schrank spent the next 32 years in an in­sane asy­lum.

• If you see a group of flamin­goes to­gether in one place, it might be handy to know that the ap­pro­pri­ate col­lec­tive noun is a “flam­boy­ance.”

• The in­stru­ments used by pro­fes­sional flute play­ers are usu­ally made from pre­cious met­als — ei­ther ster­ling sil­ver, 14-carat gold or plat­inum.

•••

Thought for the Day:

“It is an ironic habit of hu­man be­ings to run faster when we have lost our way.” — Rollo May

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