The Weekly Vista

Strange BUT TRUE

- By Lucie Winborne

• Did you dislike Brussels sprouts in your youth? Turns out they don’t taste the same nowadays, thanks to Dutch scientist Hans van Doorn, who figured out which compounds in the sprouts made them bitter, then helped begin the work of selecting seeds that would produce more palatable results.

• The first gun was made in 1,000 AD in China.

• While ostriches can’t fly, no bird on Earth can match their speed on land, since they can not only sprint at up to 43 mph, but cover more than 10 feet in a single stride.

• A 50 by 50 foot area of healthy lawn generates enough oxygen to supply a family of four.

• Every year, 1.2 million students drop out of school. That’s 7,000 dropouts every day, or one every 26 seconds.

• Notorious gangster and bank robber Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd endeared himself to the American public by destroying mortgage papers at the banks he held up, freeing a lot of folks from their debts.

• The First Gulf War in 1991 technicall­y never ended. There was just a cease-fire. The U.K. used that legal loophole to justify entering the Second Gulf War in 2003.

• In 2000, Sony invented a movie critic named David Manning and used his fictional quotes to promote the company’s movies. The ruse backfired when Sony ended up paying over $1.5 million to moviegoers in a class action lawsuit and over $300,000 to the state of Connecticu­t, where “David Manning” supposedly worked at a small weekly paper.

• The throne of Denmark is made of narwhal tusks, which were claimed to be unicorn horns, and is flanked by three life-size silver lions, inspired by the legend of King Solomon’s throne.

••• Thought for the Day: “Go out on a limb — that’s where the fruit is.” — Will Rogers

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