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Strange Facts
The people of Kuskoy or Bird Village in Turkey communicate using an unusual whistle language. The birdlike whistling can be heard for miles, carrying news of births and deaths, love affairs, and all the latest gossip. To get the power to "transmit", the whistler curls his tongue around his teeth so that the air is forced through his lips. To amplify the sound, the palm is cupped around the mouth and the whistling "words" come out with a great blast.
If you had lived in the Middle Ages and suffered from bad headaches, doctors may have diagnosed that you were possessed by an evil spirit. To cure this complaint, they would perform an operation known as trepanning. This entailed drilling a hole in the skull to allow the evil spirit to escape. 

In all of history, there was never a people more humane than the Toltecs, and agricultural tribe that moved from northern Mexico down into the vicinity of Mexico City in the 7th century. When they had to go to war, they did so with wooden swords -- so that they would not kill their enemies.

It isn't really true that we all work work better when the weather is good. Studies show people accomplish more on dull days - despite how they grumble and complain about them. A bright clear day may inspire us, but apparently not to work. 

People think of cockroaches as filthy beacuse of their stinking odor, secreted by scent glands, much like a skunk's. The odor is a natural defence: the aroma discourages many potential predators. Actually, the cockroach is a fastidious little fellow, spending hours to wash his feet, legs, and antennae. Although known to carry pathogens of such diseases as typhoid and gastroenteritis, the cockrroach has not been firmly linked with spreading any of them - in the sense that lice spread typhus, mosquitoes malaria, and flies intestinal diseases. 
On December 5, 1664, a ship in the Menai Strait, off north Wales, sank with 81 passengers on board. There was one survivor - a man named Hugh Williams. On the same date in 1785, a ship sank in the same area with 60 people on board. There was one survivor - a man named Hugh Williams. On the very same date in 1860, a ship sank in the same are with 25 passengers on board. There was one survivor - a man named Hugh Williams. 

Pigs had to live by human laws in medieval France, where they were allowed to roam the streets. One was hanged in 1394, in Normandy, for injuring a child. A sow and her six piglets were accused of a similar crime in 1547. The sow was executed, but her family was spared because of what the judge said was their youth.

In 1979 a Spanish Air Force ace managed to shoot himself down: his bullets ricocheted off the practice target in the Iberian Hills, and then hit his jet, forcing him to eject to safety -- and ridicule.

Women are barred from entering the Greek monastery of Mount Athos, a piece of land jutting into the Aegean Sea. The monks forbade even female animals from the monastery since the 11th century, and it's only recently that hens and she-cats have been allowed inside to provide eggs and keep the mice population down, respectively. One monk, Mihailo Tolotos, is probably the only man in history never to have set eyes on a woman. His mother died when he was born, and the next day he was taken out to Mount Athos. There he spent the rest of his life without ever seeing a female, human or non-human.

Up to the age of six or seven months a baby can do something adults cannot: to breath and swallow at the same time. Wanna try? 

In Seoul, South Korea, in the late 1960's, a movie theater manager decided the running time of The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews, was too long. He shortened it by cutting out all of the songs. 
India ink is not from India - it never was. It actually originated in China and should thus be called China ink. 

If you want to restore a fresh flavor to frozen vegetables, pour boiling water over them, rinsing away all traces of the frozen water. 
Saudi Arabia is still the only country in the world where you won't find any theaters.

Horror film stars Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, and Peter Cushing were all born on May 27. 

Being bald is against the law among the Mu Venda tribe of Africa. Warriors are harshly punished if they fail to retain a tuft of hair on which to hang their regimental insignia. 

Karoly Takacs was a member of the Hungarian national pistol shooting team in 1938 when, while serving in the army, a grenade explosion shattered his right hand - his shooting hand. He taught himself to shoot with his left hand, and 10 years later, at the 1948 London Olympics, he won the gold in the rapid-fire pistol event. 

On his farm one day in June 1972, Lowell Elliot of Peru, Indiana, found $500,000 in cash. The money may have seemed to him to have dropped onto his land out of thin air - and we would have been right to think so. A skyjacker parachuting out of a plane flying over Indiana had dropped his unlawful gain of half a million dollars and watched helplessly as it plummeted to the ground. Elliot promptly returned the money over to authorities. The amount is believed to be the largest pile of cash ever found and returned to its rightful owners.

In 1950 at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, Nevada, an anonymous sailor made 27 straight wins with the dice at craps. The odds against such a feat are 12,467,890 to 1. Had he bet the house limit on each roll, he would have earned $268 million. As it was, he was so timid with his wages that he walked away from the table with only $750. The dice are today enshrined in the hotel on a velvet pillow under glass.

The folks of Yap Islands in the South Pacific use 12-foot-high stone rings as money. Called fe, these giant coins weigh up to a ton, which means that when somebody is paid in such currency, he goes to where the money is, not vice versa. A medium sized fe can buy an 18 foot canoe or a wife.
In 1763 the Clement family of Tourcoing, France was stunned at the sight of their new child,a daughter. The girl was born with one eye in the center of her forehead. She was indeed a replica of the giant Cyclops of Homer's Odyssey. Otherwise normal, the girl lived until the age of 15. 

The Royal name Jane has a jinx: Every queen named Jane has either been murdered, gone mad, imprisoned, died young, or been dethroned. 

At the 1920 Antwerp Games, Ugo Frigerio, the Italian 'maestro' of the walkathon, handed the conductor of the stadium band a list of selections he wanted played while he completed in the 3,000 meter walk. The conductor compiled, and Frigerio won the race, even though he paused periodically to direct the band. 

If you're lost in some wilderness and starving, you can obtain nourishment by chewing your shoes. Leather contains enough nutritional ingredients to sustain life for a short time. 

During the height of the Sino-Soviet Cold War in the late 1960's, an entire platoon of Chinese soldiers would march out daily, lower their trousers, and aim their buttocks toward the Soviet side of the border. This is the ultimate Chinese insult. 
It was a case of deadly coincidence. Two brothers in Bermuda were killed while riding the same motorcycle in the same street by the same taxi and by the same driver, carrying the same passenger - but exactly a year apart: 1962 and 1963.

Contrary to what most people would tend to think, not all mosquitoes bite - only the female does. Only she possesses the probostics designed for biting and blood-sucking. The male cannot bite no matter how hard he might try, and is content living on plant juices.

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Copyright 2000 Ron C. Velasco