- About 250 million years ago, the state of New York was part of a chain of volcanic islands, with an ocean on one side and a vast inland sea on the other.
- The word "dude" was coined by Oscar Wilde and his friends. It is a combination of the words duds and attitude.
- Natalie Wood rehearsed for her striptease in the film Gypsy (1962) for a month. She finally did so well, "Life" magazine reported, that Gypsy Rose Lee herself, watching Wood on the movie set, burst into tears of nostalgia.
- The musical term "honky tonk" comes from black slang for "gin mill" later it was used to describe spirited music that thrived in such places in the 1930s.
- In Brazil, Christmas is celebrated with fireworks.
- Death at an early age. Nearly half of deaths among Canadian children and teenagers aged 10 to 19 are due to external causes, most commonly, car accidents. Among teens 15 to 19, suicide is the second leading cause of death, accounting for about 25 percent of teenage deaths.
- According to the Recruitment Code of the U.S. Navy, anyone "bearing an obscene and indecent" tattoo will be rejected.
- Holiday Headaches: Nearly one in four people said they have more headaches during the Christmas season than any other time of the year. Of those surveyed, 75 percent said that not having enough time caused them to have headaches; 73 percent said crowds and traffic created their headaches; and 51 percent said skipping meals gave them headaches.
- An average toilet uses 5 - 7 gallons of water every time it is flushed. A single leaky toilet can waste more than 50 gallons a day, amounting to 18,000 gallons a year.
- On the TV sitcom The Addams Family, it took actress Carolyn Jones two hours every day to put on Morticia's vampish make-up. She also wore a full-length wig made of black human hair.
- President George Washington oversaw construction of the White House, but he never lived there. It was the second U.S. president, John Adams, elected in 1796, who first lived in the White House. His term was nearly over by the time he moved in, and only six rooms had been completed.
- The English scientist Isaac Newton and the German mathematician Gottfried W. Leibniz, working independently, both discovered calculus, the branch of mathematics that studies continuously changing quantities.
- Since 1978, at least 37 people have died as a result of shaking vending machines, in an attempt to get free merchandise. More than 100 have been injured.
- The more money a person makes, the less likely they are to buy lottery tickets.
- Barnard's star is approaching the Sun at a speed of 87 miles/second. By the year 11,800, it will be the closest star to us.
- If one identical twin grows up without a given tooth coming in, the second identical twin will usually also grow up without the tooth
- Arachibutyrophobia is fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.
- Federal regulations specify that 90 percent of peanut butter has to be peanuts.
- In 1940, silver coins fell from the skies on to the town of Gorky, Russia. A tornado had lifted up an old money chest and dropped the coins it contained as the wind carried it long.
- In ancient Rome, gold salves were used for the treatment of skin ulcers. Today, gold leaf plays an important role in the treatment of chronic ulcers.