STRANGE BUT TRUE
• Among the Balonda people, an African tribe that dwells along the Zambezi River, it was once customary for a groom to promise that he’ll supply kindling wood to his mother-in-law for the rest of her life.
• Those who study such things – word mavens with a penchant for statistics, presumably – have determined that, on average, English-language text contains 56 e’s for every q. z A fisherman in the Philippines recently revealed a treasure that he’d been keeping under his bed for 10 years: a 34kg natural pearl with an estimated value of $100 million. Evidently, after finding the pearl in a giant clam, he decided to keep it as a goodluck charm. The “Pearl of Puerto”, as it’s known, blew the world record out of the water (pun intended). The previous record holder for largest natural pearl was the “Pearl of Lao-tsu” (sometimes called the “Pearl of Allah”), which weighs in at a mere 6.35kg.
• The female Jesus bird is the one in charge, it would seem. She controls her own territory, allowing several male birds to build nests within it. Then she lays eggs in all the nests, and the males incubate them.
• Before the Beach Boys were the Beach Boys, they considered naming their band the Pendletons. z The name “toadstool” actually has nothing to do with toads. The word is derived from the German words “tod”, which means “death”, and “stuhl”, which means “stool”.