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z Science fic­tion au­thor Philip K. Dick once said: “Re­al­ity is that which, when you stop be­liev­ing in it, doesn’t go away.”

z When Her­nan Cortes reached the New World in the 1600s, he found the Aztecs drink­ing hot choco­late at their ban­quets.

z The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion does not in­clude cock­roaches on its list of in­sects haz­ardous to hu­man health.

z Char­ac­ters in old Amer­i­can Western movies were of­ten afraid of rat­tlesnakes? Those are cer­tainly dan­ger­ous crea­tures, but keep in mind that the venom of a black widow spi­der is 15 times dead­lier than that of the rat­tler – and the spi­der doesn’t pro­vide an early-warn­ing alarm like the rat­tler does.

z The name for that lovely laven­der stone, amethyst, is de­rived from the Greek term for “not drunk”.

z You prob­a­bly knew that cats were revered in an­cient Egypt, but did you know that when a do­mes­tic cat died, the fam­ily went into mourn­ing? Yep. Peo­ple would shave their eye­brows to demon­strate their grief over the pass­ing of their beloved pet.

z In 2015, 42 per cent of Aus­tralians ate potato chips ev­ery week, mak­ing them our favourite snack.

z Singer and song­writer Roger Miller, best known for his hit song “King of the Road”, had a pas­sion for mu­sic early, even though his fam­ily was poor. When he was in grade school, he spent his week­ends pick­ing cot­ton so he could save up enough money to buy a guitar. Af­ter eighth grade he quit school and went to work herd­ing cat­tle and rid­ing in rodeos.


z Ap­ply a strong mag­net to the side of small bas­ket to mount it on your fridge. It can hold a white­board pen and an eraser or even bot­tles of spices.

z Thanks to the Lyme Dis­ease As­so­ci­a­tion for set­ting us straight on home reme­dies for tick re­moval. Soap doesn’t work; nei­ther does pe­tro­leum jelly or a lit match. Ac­cord­ing to Aus­tralia’s Dept of Health, if you suf­fer from al­ler­gic re­ac­tions to ticks, only at­tempt to re­move a tick whilst at a med­i­cal fa­cil­ity. In non-al­ler­gic in­di­vid­u­als, re­move a tick with fine tipped for­ceps (so that you don’t squeeze its body), grasp the tick as close to the skin’s sur­face as pos­si­ble. Pull up­wards with steady pres­sure and avoid jerk­ing or twist­ing the tick. If you have dif­fi­culty re­mov­ing the tick or suf­fer any symp­toms af­ter re­moval, seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion ur­gently. Go to www.health.gov. au and search for “tick bites” for full de­tails. z Here’s a tip when spray paint­ing an item: Be sure you are spray­ing be­fore and af­ter the edges. Press down on the spray trig­ger so that the paint is com­ing out be­fore you ap­ply it with a back and forth mo­tion. This will en­sure that you have even cov­er­age. z “WD-40 works re­ally well at re­mov­ing ad­he­sive la­bels. I bought a few bot­tles of wine and the bot­tle shape was dec­o­ra­tive. I wanted to use it, but not with the la­bel on it. I tried soak­ing the bot­tle, and scrub­bing, but it was still a mess. I even tried al­co­hol, but noth­ing! I sprayed it with WD-40, let it sit about five min­utes, and it rubbed right off like magic.” – Y.L.

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