BELLA LUGOSI, who made his mark in life playing a vampire, continued that path in death. He was buried in full Count Dracula costume, cape and all.
NORTH KOREA’S 105-story Ryugyong Hotel, nicknamed “The Hotel of Doom,” is the world’s tallest unoccupied building. Construction on the ambitious project began in 1987, but successive communist regimes were unable to complete it. The latest opening was scheduled for 2018, but was scrubbed at the last minute.
WHEN FEEDING, a hummingbird can flick its tongue 10 to 15 times per second.
A FACE with big eyes, a small nose, and a small chin exhibits kinderschema – the collection of traits humans have evolved to find adorable. Those facial markers trigger a primordial impulse to protect and nurture, thereby perpetuating the species.
CONTINENTAL PLATES drift as fast as fingernails grow.That’s faster than I would have guessed.
AT THE POISON GARDEN OF ALNWICK CASTLE in Northumberland, England, many of the plants are so deadly they’re grown in cages. Species on display include the sources of strychnine, hemlock, ricin, foxglove and belladonna. Also featured are plantings of cannabis, coca and opium poppy, for good measure.
WOMBAT POOP is cube-shaped. Not perfect cubes, mind you, but close enough.
THERE ARE BEACHES in the Maldive Islands that glow in the dark. As waves break on the sandy shore, or bare feet step into wet sand, a bright blue glow appears. This magical effect is caused by the bioluminescent plankton that often appear in warm coastal waters.
GIRAFFES have the highest blood pressure of any mammal, although their resting heart rate is about the same as humans.
WHEN Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Oscar in 1940, she had to make her way to the stage from a segregated table at the back of the room.
ACCORDING to a 2010 study, people fluent in multiple languages almost always swear in their native tongue.
IF YOU REMEMBER your high school French, or if you’ve ever strolled down the Rue de Rivoli in Paris, you may have the notion that the English word rue is somehow connected to the French word for street. In actuality, the French and English words are not related at all. The English rue is originally from the Old English word hreow, meaning sorrow. Used as both a noun and, more frequently, a verb, rue is very old, dating back to before the 12th century.
The DR. SEUSS CLASSIC Green Eggs and Ham was banned in China from 1965 to 1991 for its “portrayal of early Marxism.”
THE FIRST HERSHEY’S chocolate bars with almonds were produced in 1908 because they were cheap to make. The nuts took the place of some of the more expensive milk chocolate, which meant Hershey’s could keep the price of the candy at a nickel. In essence, the almonds were filler.
WHEN DISNEYLAND was opened in 1955, “Tomorrowland” was designed to look like a year in the distant future: 1986.
COYOTES outpace roadrunners by 23 mph.
THE DRAGON TREE of the Canary Islands is famous for its thick, deep-red sap. Called dragon’s blood, the resin is thought to be responsible for the intense hue of the famous Stradivarius violins built in the 17th and 18th centuries.
THE VATICAN’S BANK is the only one in existence that allows ATM users to perform transactions in Latin.
INTERESTING HOLIDAYS THIS WEEK: Nov. 2, Deviled Egg Day; Nov. 4, High Blood Pressure Day (appropriately the day after the election). Nov. 5, Gunpowder Day. Enjoy.
Bill Bouldin, a Virginian by birth and a Son of Texas by nature, is a former Air Force pilot and veteran journalist who has spent many tale-weaving years on the Texas-Mexico border