It’s not over until the race has been won!
In 1923, horse jockey Frank Hayes suffered a heart attack in the middle of a race at Belmont Park, New York. His horse, a 20-1 outsider named ‘Sweet Kiss’ finished the race with Hayes body still in the saddle and, in the process, made Hayes the only jockey in history to win a race posthumously.
Hayes was thought to have died of a heart attack; indeed, it was only realised he was dead when officials and the horse’s owner, Miss A.M. Frayling rushed up to offer congratulations! The horse never raced again; it is alleged the mare was subsequently nicknamed ‘Sweet Kiss of Death’!
You can re-live the experience from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz by typing its name into the Google search bar?
If you don’t have a Google search bar on your regular internet home page, navigate to google.com.au first. In the search box type “The Wizard of Oz”. Over to the right you should find Dorothy’s sparkling ruby red slippers. Click on them and you will be whisked away…
If you then click on the spinning tornado, Dorothy’s Home (and all the colours on your page) will return safely.
Though Dorothy’s magic slippers appeared ruby red in the movie, they were originally described as silver in the book from which the film was adapted!
If you are going to show this one to the grandkids, make sure the sound is turned on ;-).
The phrase, “comparing apples and oranges” is well-known to describe comparing two items that are so dis-similar that any comparison is invalid. It is natural to assume the two very different fruits are iconic, well-known and as old as the Garden of Eden! (I presume the apple was certainly that old!)
Did you know the orange is not an original fruit at all? It turns out the orange (technically a “sweet orange”)arose as a hybrid between two original citrus species, the pomelo (a native of south-east Asia) and the mandarin. The first mention of sweet orange in literature was in China approximately 314 BC.
The orange has now become easily the most popular citrus fruit in the world.
On Friday April 18th 1930 the listeners of the BBC’s radio news service were treated to something a little bit different. The BBC simply announced that there was no news for the day and played piano music instead! Are there some moments during this troubled year when we might wish for a similar day?
Harry Selfridge pioneered the practice of placing perfume counters near the entrance to department stores….. way backin the 1900s?
He founded the iconic Selfridges Department Store on London’s Oxford Street in 1909 and the location of perfumery was partly to make the store attractive to customers, but more importantly to mask the smell of horse manure pervading London’s streets at the time!
By 1912 the number of motorised vehicles in London had surpassed the number of horse-drawn vehicles. The proliferation of motor cars over the next decade changed London streets, and the smell of them, completely. Yet the placement of perfume counters at department store entrances remains quite commonplace to this day, including in many Australian cities.
A bit of history this month. The royal crown of Romania is not made of precious metals as are the crowns of many countries’ royalty, but of steel harvested from a cannon captured from the Ottoman Empire during Romania’s War of Independence (1877-1878).
Do you make a distinction between typos and misspellings, or is that just me? For example, “regualr” is a typo while “redfridgerator” is a misspelling. The former is a mechanical error while the latter demonstrates a lack of specific knowledge. These days many of ususe word processing software that should identify possible errors. In Microsoft Word for example, common typos may beautomatically corrected, and misspellings are highlighted by a red underline. No excuses then!
Antarctica is the only land mass on our planet not owned by any country. Ninety percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica. This ice also represents 70% of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert; the average annual precipitation is only about two inches. Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of Antarctica is ice-covered), Antarctica is actually the driest place on our planet with an absolute humidity lower than that of the Gobi Desert.
Pen knives are diminutive pocketknives with small sharp blades. They derive their name from their original purpose: to slice through quill tips thus turning them into writing pens.
An initialism is a type of acronym where you pronounce the letters individually instead of pronouncing them as a word. ASIO, MALA and ABC are all acronyms, but only ABC is an initialism.
The month of January derives its name from the Roman god “Janus”, associated with transitions, the passage of time, duality, passages, doorways, gates, endings and new beginnings.The latter is particularly applicable as we launch this new MALA website.
'Did you Know' is contributed each month by David Thorne