- Jim Cummings is the voice of Winnie the Pooh. He calls sick kids in hospitals and chats with them in character.
- In the mid-1960s, Slumber Party Barbie came with a book called “How to Lose Weight.” One of the tips was “Don’t eat.”
- The Constitution does not require the Speaker of the House to be a member of the House. Yesterday Colin Powell got a vote.
- The first webcam watched a coffee pot. It allowed researchers at Cambridge to monitor the coffee situation without leaving their desks.
- When asked if he knew the speed of sound, Einstein said he “didn’t carry such information in my mind since it’s readily available in books.”
- Marie Curie’s notebooks are still radioactive.
- Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins also wrote for Clarissa Explains It All.
- The last time a Republican was elected president without a Nixon or Bush on the ticket was 1928.
- When three-letter airport codes became standard, airports that had been using two letters simply added an X.
- There is a word that rhymes with orange! Sporange is a botany term that means “spore case.”
- The original Space Jam website still exists.
- In 1979, Japan offered new British PM Margaret Thatcher 20 “karate ladies” for protection at an economic summit. She declined.
- Before Google launched Gmail, “G-Mail” was the name of a free email service offered by Garfield’s website.
- During the Cold War, the U.S. considered airdropping enormous condoms labeled “Medium” on the Soviets.
- Nikola Tesla on Thomas Edison: “He had no hobby, cared for no amusement of any kind and lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene.”
- Kentucky tweaked its Wildcat logo in 1994 after people complained the tongue was too phallic.
- The final speech by Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird was done in one take.
- When New Jersey’s Action Park sent crash-test dummies down its looping waterslide, the dummies were dismembered.
- In 1980, Detroit presented Saddam Hussein with a key to the city.
- The “Where’s the Beef?” lady (Clara Peller) lost her job in 1985 after doing a Prego ad in which she “found the beef at somewhere other than Wendy’s.”
- Just before the Nazis invaded Paris, H.A. and Margret Rey fled on bicycles. They were carrying the manuscript for Curious George.
- In Super Mario Bros., the bushes are just clouds colored green.
- When fruit flies are infected with a parasite, they self-medicate with booze—they seek out food with higher alcohol content.
- In colonial America, lobster wasn’t exactly a delicacy. It was so cheap and plentiful it was often served to prisoners.
- Crayola means “oily chalk.” The name combines “craie” (French for “chalk”) and “ola” (short for “oleaginous,” or “oily”).
- The Pittsburgh Penguins made Mister Rogers an honorary captain in 1991.
- Ben & Jerry originally considered getting into the bagel business, but the equipment was too expensive.
- Liz Sheridan, who played Jerry’s mom on Seinfeld, wrote a book about her love affair with James Dean.
- Until coffee gained popularity, beer was the breakfast beverage of choice in some parts of the United States.
- In 1493, Columbus thought he saw mermaids. They were “not as pretty as they are depicted, for somehow in the face they look like men.” (Probably manatees.)
- When the Westboro Baptist Church protested a soldier’s funeral in Oklahoma, their tires were slashed. People in town refused to repair them.
- Taco Bell is named for its founder, Glen Bell.
- In a 1917 letter to Winston Churchill, Admiral John Fisher used the phrase “O.M.G.”
- In 2007, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said there was “no chance the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.”
- An early ATM was deemed a failure because its only users were “prostitutes and gamblers who didn’t want to deal with tellers face to face.”
- Even Fidel Castro hated New Coke, calling it “a sign of American capitalist decadence.”
- Bob Ross on his Air Force career: “I was the guy who makes you scrub the latrine…who screams at you for being late to work.”
- William McKinley was on the $500 bill, Grover Cleveland was on the $1,000, and James Madison was on the $5,000.
- Truman Show Delusion is a mental condition marked by a patient’s belief that he or she is the star of an imaginary reality show.
- In 1973, Mao Zedong told Henry Kissinger that China had an excess of females and offered the U.S. 10 million Chinese women.
- Judge Judy reportedly makes $45 million a year.
- During the first Super Bowl in 1967, NBC was still in commercial when the second half kicked off. Officials asked the Packers to kick off again.
- The male giraffe determines a female’s fertility by tasting her urine. If it passes the test, the courtship continues.
- Tenor Luciano Pavarotti’s standard contract required that there be no noise or “distinct smells” in the vicinity of the artist.
- Cookie Monster is not changing his name. In a 2012 episode he said, “We’ve got to stop this Veggie Monster rumor before me reputation ruined.”
The closing of Hostess is union-busting, pure and simple. The company is already bankrupt (and never believe a company that tells you that it is bankrupt because it paid its workers too well), and its workers weren’t going to accept more race-to-the-bottom cuts.
I wish I had time to dig into this more thoroughly, but for now, as someone said to me on Twitter, they’re going to sell off their assets, fire all those workers, and destroy another iconic American brand in pursuit of the bottom line.
Imagine the good press if Hostess said “We want to stay open, and we want to pay American workers good wages and benefits, and we are struggling right now but we want to keep this brand alive.”
Instead, they’ll go the way of so many other companies that have used bankruptcy to get out of taking care of the workers that made them run.
And don’t worry, folks, you’ll still get your Twinkies: someone will no doubt buy the rights to the name and the recipe for everlasting phallic snack cakes. It’s just that you won’t know they were made by well-paid union workers anymore.
Not that most of you ever cared.