It’s hard for me to accept that I have been on this planet almost 60 years. I consider myself to have lived a rather sheltered life compared to most. I’m no Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther King or even Richard Branson. No, I haven’t traveled the world nor have I done anything creative to create everlasting world peace. Heck, I haven’t even been in a hot air balloon, but I’ve learned a lot over the years and I have seen a lot as I am sure most of you have too.
But, it never fails that at least once a day I run across the simplest of life’s offerings only to scratch my head and wonder why something is the way it is. Does this happen to you?
Well, put your aging mind to rest because I am coming to your rescue. I ran across an incredibly cool website called “Today I Found Out.” that I am sharing with you. These wonderful folks have taken it upon themselves to try and answer the great mysteries of life, no matter how mundane or simple. So, I guess it’s not exactly me coming to your rescue but, hey, I’m doing my part by forwarding on this great information.
Women, have you ever wondered why the buttons on your blouse are on the left? Men, have you ever wondered who invented pole vaulting? Why is Home Plate shaped the way it is? Is there another word for “thesaurus?” Did Elvis really leave the building? So many pressing and important questions and so little time to find out. I really wish I had run across this website sooner…I might still have some hair on my head.
Below are a few of my favorite “facts.” I hope they help to ease your inquiring minds. Make sure to stop by”Today I Found Out” to find out how much there really is to know. These folks have also written an incredibly cool book called “The Wise Book of Whys.” Make sure to get yourself a copy and put it in your bathroom like I have.
All I can say is every time I “poop”, I come out of the bathroom a smarter man !!!
Why do men’s clothes have buttons on the right while women’s clothes have buttons on the left?
When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Since most people are right-handed, it is to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid’s right! And that’s where women’s buttons have remained since.
Why do ships and aircraft use “mayday” as their call for help?
This comes from the French word “m’aidez” – meaning “help me” – and is pronounced, approximately: “May Day.”
Why are zero scores in tennis called “love?”
In France, where tennis became popular, the round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called”l’oeuf”, which is French for “the egg.” When tennis was introduced in the US, Americans naturally, mispronounced it “love.”
Why do X’s at the end of a letter signify kisses?
In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.
Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called “passing the buck?”
In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility of dealing, he would “pass the buck” to the next player.
Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?
In earlier times it used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would only touch or clink the host’s glass with his own.
Why are people in the public eye said to be “in the limelight?”
Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and theaters by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theater, a performer “in the limelight” was the center of attention.
Why is someone who is feeling great “on cloud nine?”
Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.
In golf, where did the term “Caddie” come from?
When Mary Queen of Scots went to France as a young girl, Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scots game “golf.” He had the first course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when she returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced “âca-day” and the Scots changed it into “Caddie”.
Why are many coin collection jar banks shaped like pigs?
Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of dense orange clay called “pygg”. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as “pygg banks.” When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a container that resembled a pig. And it caught on.
What do you think? Do you feel incredibly smarter now? I feel like I am actually on an intellectual “Cloud Nine.”
Well, I’ll see you over at “Today I found Out” and next time we speak I’ll really know how much time you spend in the bathroom. Keep eating those bran flakes !!