Late-night e-mail reveals bizarre facts

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 20, 2000

I made it to my hotel room about 11:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. It had been a long and productive day, and I was tired.

The Hyatt Dulles is a 25-story hotel about 3 miles east of Dulles Airport in Reston, Va., my home for several days, as I attended a newspaper publishing seminar at The American Press Institute last week.

Days at API were completely filled: breakfast at 7 a.m., work through the day, dinner at 9 p.m.

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It was Wednesday night, and I had found a routine.

I walked into the room, quickly changed into gym shorts and a T-shirt and flipped on CNN Headline News. Good background noise for catching up on what’s going on back home.

In the corner of the room was a nice desk and chair, complete with telephone and data port connection. I opened my portable computer, and it buzzed to life, the green screen casting an eerie light around a dark room, previously lit only by the television.

I pointed my Internet browser to, read the editorial, the front-page stories, skimmed sports and read a new forum post. Then I switched gears and began checking e-mail. A lively day, 123 messages in all.

I began deleting all the messages I knew I would never read, mostly jokes I judged by reading the sender name and subject line.

As I prepared to delete the final &uot;joke&uot; I noticed the subject line read &uot;fun facts.&uot; And, I noticed the message was from an old friend who rarely sends e-mail messages. Must be pretty good, I thought.

As I started reading, I realized why my friend had sent the message. It was interesting, not funny or particularly insightful, but definitely interesting. That’s why I am passing it along to you. Here it is.

— The citrus soda 7-UP was created in 1929; &uot;7&uot; was selected because the original containers were 7 ounces. &uot;UP&uot; indicated the direction of the bubbles.

— Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

— The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as substitute for blood plasma.

— American car horns beep in the musical key of F.

— Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes.

— One in every four Americans has appeared on television.

— You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching television.

— Oak trees do not produce acorns until they are 50 years of age or older.

— The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley’s gum.

— The king of hearts is the only king without a mustache.

— American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first-class.

— Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.

— The first CD pressed in the U.S. was Bruce Springsteen’s &uot;Born in the USA.&uot;

— Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

— The 57 on the Heinz ketchup bottle represents the number of varieties of pickles the company once had.

— The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.

— Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin.

— Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.

— Betsy Ross is the only real person ever to have been the head on a Pez dispenser.

— Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined.

— Adolf Hitler’s mother seriously considered having an abortion but was talked out of it by her doctor.

— Marilyn Monroe had six toes.

— All U.S. Presidents have worn glasses. Some just didn’t like being seen wearing them in public.

— Walt Disney was afraid of mice.

Todd Carpenter is publisher of The Democrat. He can be reached at 446-5172, ext. 218 or by e-mail at