The Weekly Vista
Strange BUT TRUE
• Research has shown that girls and women who watched the TV series “The X-Files” were more likely to believe in the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and to encourage their own daughters and granddaughters to pursue careers in those fields — something called “The Scully Effect” after the series’ female main character, Dana Scully.
• Pentheraphobia is the fear of your mother-in-law. There, folks, you now have an official name for it.
• In 2006, actor William Shatner, beloved by “Star Trek” fans as Captain James Tiberius Kirk, sold his kidney stone, complete with stent and string, to a casino for $25,000. While Shatner retained “visitation rights,” the complete proceeds were donated to Habitat for Humanity.
• Whack, zoom, out of the way! A table tennis ball can travel off the paddle at a speed of 105.6 mph.
• All of the world’s pandas are technically owned by China. The country leases them to zoos in an act called panda diplomacy.
• Ever dreamed of being a swashbuckling buccaneer? Try attending MIT, where after completing courses in pistol shooting, fencing, archery and sailing, undergraduates can earn a bona fide Pirate Certificate. (Note: For entertainment purposes only!)
• On Dec. 19, 1881, Sir William Payne Gallwey, a retired conservative member of the British Parliament, died while out shooting on his estate, Thirkleby Park — but not from a gunshot. Instead, Gallwey suffered a fall and landed on a turnip, sustaining serious internal injuries to which he succumbed a few days later.
• Bananas get their curves by turning skyward as they grow, to absorb sunlight.
••• Thought for the Day: “Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” — Samuel Ullman
(c) 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.