This Must Be Belgium

Four days of the week are named for Norse gods (Tyr, Odin, Thor, and Freida for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday), one for a Roman god (Saturn), and two for celestial objects (sun and moon). But only in English. The days of the week have different and unrelated names in other languages.

Sam It Again

Humphrey Bogart never says, "play it again, Sam" in the movie Casablanca. He does say "play it, Sam" and later says "play it again," but he never utters the famous words.

 

The Big Game

It's illegal to use the term "Super Bowl" in advertisements or commercials without first obtaining a license from the NFL. Consequently, most ads use the phrase "the big game," which is not copyrighted.

Big Boats

There are more private super-yachts (i.e., over 100 feet) than there are warships in the British Royal Navy. Likewise, these vessels are so large and sophisticated that a workforce larger than the Royal Navy's is needed to man them.

 

What's to Eat?

There are approximately 945,000 restaurants in the United States. Most are independently owned.

Mmm, Nutty

Ralcorp (formerly Ralston Purina) produces 165,000 pounds of Grape Nuts cereal every day, seven days a week, from a single plant in central California. The recipe contains neither grapes nor nuts.

 

What's the Word?

English is the only language that has — or needs — books of synonyms (thesaurus). Speakers of other languages are not aware such books exist.

Country For Old Men

About 80 generations separate us from the time of Christ; humankind has been around for about 100,000 generations (at least 1000+ times longer).

 

Oh, No!

The Japanese, Malay, American Indian, and most Polynesian languages don't have swear words.

A Lot of... Paper

About 26 billion rolls of toilet paper, worth $2.4 billion, are sold each year in the United States.

 

The Other White Meat

Polar bears don't eat penguins. That's because polar bears live exclusively in the arctic (North Pole) and penguins live in the Antarctic (South Pole). Polar bears in the wild have never seen penguins.

Wonder Tortillas

Since 2004, tortillas have outsold white bread in the United States. Americans spend about $5.2 billion annually on tortillas.

 

Space Debris

More than 5,000 spacecraft have been launched into Earth orbit. About half remain (the rest have burned up) and about 500 still work.

A Lot of Magenta

Binney & Smith manufactures an average of 5 million Crayola crayons per day.

 

Stop Your Wining

Americans consume an average of 52 gallons of soda and 2.25 gallons of wine per year. In contrast, wine consumption in France averages 17 gallons, Italy 16 gallons, and Switzerland 12 gallons per capita annually.

Shift For Yourself

The percentage of new cars sold with manual transmissions has declined in the United States from 50% in 1950 to 8.7% in 2000, but has rebounded in recent years.

 

Now Boarding

Printed airline tickets have red "carbon" copies because the red ink is invisible to automated ticket-scanning machines.

A Bill's Life

A $5 bill has an average life span of just 16 months. A $100 bill lasts about nine years.

 

Bimmer Power

BMW, the world's 14th-largest car maker in 2005, generated more profit than GM, Ford, VW, and Renault combined.

Where Is It?

There are approximately 105 million parking spaces in the United States.

 

Sports Fans?

There are at least 10 American children named Espn.

Go North, Young Man

It's farther from the southern tip of Texas to the northern tip, than from Texas to Canada.

 

A Lemon Tree, Watson

Sherlock Holmes never said "elementary, my dear Watson" in any of the stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle.