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Friday Fun: History Trivia & Comment – And Useless Information

May 11, 2007

On this day in . . .

– 1858, “Minnesota became the 32nd state in the United States,” . . . and St. Paul immediately claimed it was the largest city in the state. [This is totally an inside joke for all of my MN readers (I think I’m up to 3).]

– 1881, “Norwegian chemist Odd Hassel died.” . . . Normally I stick to U.S. history in these Friday posts, but I couldn’t help noting a guy named Odd Hassel. Having some training in that science, I can say with some authority that his name is a kind of metaphor for the profession. I mean what other field of study deals in moles? . . . For some reason I also thought of the Tim the Enchanter when I saw this entry. I can just picture the Norwegian chemist Odd Hassel randomly throwing fireballs in his lab.

– 1947, “The B.F. Goodrich Co. of Akron, Ohio, announced the development of a tubeless tire” . . . which resulted in the massive accumulation of useless tubes that fed the tube top boom of the 1970s.

– 1981, “Reggae musician Bob Marley died of cancer at age 36.” . . . I’m no reggae hater, but I still can’t think of Mr. Marley without thinking of the college dorm room poster of him with a giant, conically rolled stick of ganja in his mouth.

Useless Information Of The Day:

– Former MTV VJ Martha Quin turns 48 today. . . . Man, I think she’s still getting on my nerves.
– Today is the feast day for St. Mamertus, first of the Ice saints. Here’s how Wikipedia explains that grouping: “The Ice Saints is the name given to St. Mamertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatus in German, Austrian, and Swiss folklore. They are so named because their feast days fall on the days of May 11, May 12, and May 13 respectively. The period from May 12 to May 15 was noted to bring a brief spell of colder weather in the Northern Hemisphere under the Julian Calendar. With the change to the Gregorian Calendar, however, the equivalent days would be May 19–May 22.”
– In Spain, the tube top is called palabra de honor, or literally “word of honor” – referring to the implicit promise the manufacturer provides that the garment will not fall down. . . . How could I end a Friday Fun without returning to tube tops?! – TL

[Sources: NYT, LOC, Wikipedia]

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