Beliefnet
O Me of Little Faith

Introducing a new occasional series here. It’s called “Did You Know?” It’s a brain-dump of things I know which you may not know. My dream is for it to be educational, fun, and entertaining all at the same time. My dream is also to be able to start a sentence with “My dream is…” and not start rolling my eyes and laughing at myself before I even get to the end of the sentence. Unless you’re an iconic civil rights leader, it’s hard to take a person seriously when they start talking about their “dream.” I always expect something about rainbows and unicorns to follow.

Anyway.

Did You Know?

According to the King James Version of Leviticus 11:29-30, these things are unclean to you: weasels, mice, tortoises, ferrets, chameleons, lizards, snails, and moles.

According to the New International Version of Leviticus 11:29-30, these things are unclean to you: weasels, rats, any kind of great lizard, geckos, monitor lizards, wall lizards, skinks, and chameleons. I think it’s clear that the NIV translators had some sort of crazy lizard-phobia.

An Englishman named John Wroe unsuccessfully predicted the end of the world in 1863. He also fancied himself something of a Messianic figure. He made two attempts (also unsuccessful) to walk on water, and once invited the public to no less than his own circumcision. Right. Ew. Even better? He was a hunchback.

A duck’s quack does not echo. The reason for this remains a mystery to scientists.

Speaking of ducks…In 1809, a fortuneteller named Mary Bateman in Yorkshire, England, started advertising the fact that she owned a magic chicken. The bird’s superpower included the ability to lay prophetic eggs — the chicken would grunt, squawk, and pop out eggs with prophetic writing on them. One of them seemed to indicate that the return of Jesus Christ was imminent. Mary spills the news, and suddenly the entire community shows up at her doorstep to get a gander at the Chicken of Doom. Unfortunately, someone peeks into the henhouse before Mary and the chicken are ready, and sees Mary furtively stuffing an egg up the chicken’s, um, egg-laying orifice. The apocalyptic poultry show is forced to close.

That last one had nothing to do with ducks at all. Sorry about that.

Butterflies taste with their feet. Ducks taste with their mouth and tongues, just like you and me.

Almonds and pistachios are the only nuts mentioned in the Bible. Unless you count guys like Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

Human beings are physically unable to touch their lips to their elbow.

You just tried to kiss your elbow.

In the 14th century, Saint Catherine of Siena had a famous vision in which Jesus placed his amputated foreskin on her finger as a wedding ring. And apparently this was considered a good dream.

Elephants’ feet are entirely flat on the bottom. This comes from jumping out of trees.

Not really. That last one was entirely untrue. Sorry.

You probably can’t think of an English word that rhymes with “month.”

That’s because there isn’t one.

You can type the word “stewardess” using only your left hand on the keyboard. And the word “typewriter” is the longest word you can type using only a single row on a keyboard.

I happen to be wearing black jeans, black socks, black shoes, and a black shirt today. But I am not depressed. I am not Steve Jobs either. I am, however, a mime. And I am freaking tired of being trapped in this glass box.

This list of random facts is now over. Have a nice day.

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