The first and last British soldiers to die in World War I, Private John Parr and Private George Ellison, are both buried in St. Symphorien Cemetery in France, and face each other only yards apart. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Eye-Popping Oddities)
Well, here’s some fun library news! Days of the Dead: A Year of True Ghost Stories, is now available on Biblioboard. What does this mean? It means that if you’ve got a library card, you can read Days of the Dead for free in ebook format. And you can skip the hold shelf — with Biblioboard, there’s no waiting, and you can order the ebook online. Just follow this link: https://library.biblioboard.com/…/c0a8deba-e4bf-4d3f… , have your library card handy, and with one click of a button, you can be enjoying a year’s worth of true ghost stories. Just be sure to keep the lights on!
A man tried to rob a convenience store in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in April 2012. His weapon of choice? A pair of hot dog tongs. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Eye-Popping Oddities)
On the day Judy Garland died, a tornado struck Kansas. Judy Garland was found dead at her London home late on the morning of June 22, 1969, twelve days after she had turned 47 years old. An F3 tornado touched down in Saline County, Kansas, on June 21. Sixty people were injured, but no one was killed. The tornado struck at 10:40 pm on the 21st … which, in London, was 4:40 am on the 22nd, at the presumed exact time of Garland’s death.
Great white sharks are 200 times heavier than domestic cats, but their brains weigh almost the same. (From 1,339 Quite Interesting Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop, by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin)
Coyotes can run faster than roadrunners. (From 1,339 Quite Interesting Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop, by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin)
Even when adjusted for inflation, the movie Titanic cost 50% more to make than the ship of the same name. (From 1,339 Quite Interesting Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop, by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin)
In Finnish an exclamation point is a “shout mark”; in Spanish it’s a “wonder symbol.” (From 1,339 Quite Interesting Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop, by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin)
So every month or so, I head on over to Ron’s Amazing Stories, and Ron Hood and I chat about the paranormal for a while. Ron was kind enough to get himself a copy of my brand-new book, and even better, he wrote up a glowing review of it. Here it is:
“I have had the chance to read this book and I can tell you there are stories that will blow your mind. Did you think that you knew it all about the Hamilton and Burr conflict? Sylvia tells a whole new chapter of that amazing saga. Or how about the early days of Abraham Lincoln and his encounter with cold blood killer Isaac Wyatt. You might want to leave the lights on for the story at The Haunted Crossroads where Tom Otter meets his maker in a most hideous way. These are just a few of 30 stories found in Sylvia’s new work.
This book reads like a dream and you can binge it or enjoy it at your leisure. Sylvia has taken the time to fully research each story and gives you the facts. But not in a cold dry manner. No, each story is told with passion and you will feel it deep in your bones.”
Thank you so much, Ron, for those kind words! If you’d like to check out this episode of Ghost Stories With Sylvia, where we chat about the book, and I read a story from its pages, please follow this link here.
The first country to ban foie gras on the grounds on animal cruelty was Nazi Germany. (From 1,339 Quite Interesting Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop, by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin)
How long does it take for a flower to replenish its nectar supply?
It all depends on the creature the flower evolved to attract, says Gary Krupnick of the Museum of Natural History. Nectar is a sugar-based substance that lures pollinators so their bodies transfer bits of fertilizing pollen from flower to flower. Plants adjust their nectar production to match the needs of their pollinators. Small blue borage flowers, which attract bees and butterflies, can replenish their nectar in two minutes. Agave plants, which attract needle-nosed bats, produce nectar only at night. A recent study found that evening primrose is even able to detect the specific sound frequencies of its bee pollinators. When it does, it produces fresh nectar in three minutes to attract them.
An octopus has horizontal pupils; whatever angle the octopus is at, its pupils always stay aligned with the horizon. (From 1,339 Quite Interesting Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop, by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin)
That’s right, the first volume of Grave Deeds and Dead Plots is now LIVE!
Welcome to the first volume of an exciting new series, Grave Deeds and Dead Plots. These collections feature spine-tingling tales of true crime … with added ghosts. Each story is a tale of murder, passion, or cold-blooded killing—and each case has resulted in an eerie haunting.
Do the victims of true crime remain to tell the tales of their untimely demise? Are the dead still crying out for justice? Do the departed have stories to share? Find out in the first installment of Grave Deeds and Dead Plots, a new series by award-winning* author Sylvia Shults.
You can find the book on Amazon, of course, but you might also want to try Bookshop.org. When you order from Bookshop, part of your money goes to support independent bookstores, which is just awesome.
*First Place in the Spring 2022 BookFest Awards, for Days of the Dead: A Year of True Ghost Stories
Handel and Jimi Hendrix lived at the same house in London 250 years apart. (From 1,339 Quite Interesting Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop, by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin)
The chemical company Bayer lost the trademark for aspirin as part of Germany’s reparations for the first World War. (From 1,339 Quite Interesting Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop, by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin)
Who’s ready for a brand-new episode of Lights Out? We’re going to wander the gloomy halls of Pennhurst Asylum. Take my hand … https://youtu.be/71Y8BaVDeac
America’s original national motto, “E pluribus unum”, was plagiarized from an ancient recipe for salad dressing. The Latin phrase meaning “From many, one” held great symbolism for the colonies that decided to get together to form their own nation. The term made its first appearance in a poem by the Roman poet Virgil called “Moretum” … and it described salad dressing. The ingredients in the recipe, Virgil wrote, would surrender their individuality, when mixed, to form one harmonious, tasty dish. (From Mental Floss)
Twins Samuel and Ronan Peterson were born in Cape Cod Hospital on November 6, 2016, to parents Emily and Seth, of West Barnstable, Massachusetts. Samuel was born at 1:39 am and Ronan arrived 31 minutes later, but by the time Emily had given birth to Ronan, the clocks had gone back one hour due to daylight savings time. So Ronan’s official time of birth became 1:10 am, making him the older brother even though he was born half an hour after Samuel. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
Twin brothers Jeremy and Nick Hart retired as British Airways pilots by landing their final flights thirty second apart at London’s Heathrow airport on September 28, 2017. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
In 2017, an 81-year-old man called the police to tell them he had found an unexploded World War II bomb in the garden of his home near Karlsruhe, Germany, but when the officers arrived, they found it was a 16-inch-long zucchini. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Beyond the Bizarre)
In 2017, a food bank in Cardiff, Wales, received a 46-year-old can of soup as a donation. The flavor — Heinz kidney soup — had been discontinued more than 35 years ago. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Beyond the Bizarre)
Francisco Rios, of Hartford, Connecticut, won $100,000 on the state lottery in 2018 by using numbers taken from a classic 1958 episode of the TV western series Bronco. He used the numbers 22, 2,18,12, and 28 because the episode was about a man who had been buried in a glacier for 22 years, 2 months, 18 days, 12 hours, and 28 minutes. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Beyond the Bizarre)
In the latter half of the eighth century, the Japanese began using incense to mark time by placing a stick of it horizontally in a wooden box with holes marked at specific intervals. You could tell how much time had passed by noting which hole the smoke was coming from. An incense stick could be made with a number of different scent blends, so that simply sniffing the air would indicate the time. (This scented method of keeping time was so efficient that until 1924, geishas were still paid by the number of incense sticks lit during their time with a client.) (From The Elements of a Home: Curious Histories Behind Everyday Household Objects, by Amy Azzarito)
During Hurricane Ophelia, tens of thousands of apples were blown off of the trees in an orchard in Clonmel, Ireland — but the fruits landed unbruised and ready for cider processing. The nearby River Suir flooded at the same time the apples were stripped from the trees, and when the water receded, the apples were laid to rest gently, blanketing the ground under the trees. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)
Shuttlecocks used in badminton games at the Summer Olympics are always made of feathers from one wing (left or right) of a goose or duck. (From Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: A Century of Strange)