CHARLOTTE, NC: In baseball, August is known as “the dog days” because teams that were long ago eliminated from the pennant races must grind their way through several more weeks of the season, usually competing in the sweltering heat, with little or no motivation other than personal pride to drive them.
Today we offer some “Dog Days” trivia with a potpourri of unrelated but interesting facts to distract you from the heat and brighten your day. Who knows, perhaps we may even provide some good topics of conversation for that first post-Labor Day cocktail party.
And so we begin.
August Dog Days Myth Trivia
Authors Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis both died on the same day, but despite their fame, their deaths went almost unnoticed by the US and world media. Why? Because, they passed away on November 22, 1963, the day of the John F. Kennedy assassination.
Did you know that it is forbidden for aircraft to fly over the Taj Mahal?
Everyone knows that an island, no matter how large, is a piece of land surrounded by water, but were you aware that Lesotho, Vatican City and San Marino are the only countries in the world that are completely surrounded by one other country? Lesotho is surrounded by South Africa, while Vatican City and San Marino are both encapsulated by Italy.
All of the gondolas in Venice must be black unless they are the property of a high-ranking official. In addition, the front portion of a gondola, or bow, always bends to the right.
Believe it or not, the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia is so long, it crosses 3901 bridges on its route.
Until 2002 there was an agreement between Monaco and France that if the principality didn’t have a male heir, Monaco would lose its independence
The biggest pyramid in the world is not in Egypt but in Mexico. It is called Cholula and is currently covered with grass.
The FBI was created by Napoleon’s grand-nephew, Charles Joseph Bonaparte who was Teddy Roosevelt’s Attorney General.
Saudi Arabia doesn’t have a single river.
The Greek national anthem consists of 158 verses. Nobody knows if there is a Greek who can sing them all by heart or…..would want to.
Dust from Africa can reach as far as Florida.
Cuba is the only Caribbean country with a railway.
Myth Trivia and Measuring the MAR – the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Located along the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is the longest mountain chain on earth, but attempting to determine its true length is a conundrum that even puzzles scientists. The first problem is deciding where it begins and ends. The southern end is straightforward. It’s the Bouvet triple junction in the South Atlantic where the MAR meets two other ridges, the South West Indian Ridge and the American-Antarctic Ridge.
Since the MAR follows a snaky serpentine path which is with many by geological anomalies, getting an accurate measurement is both difficult and confusing.
Most estimates set the distance at approximately 12,500 miles based upon a general trend without taking into account specific oddities.
By adding more criteria, estimates could increase the length to 13,500 miles or reduce it to 9,000 miles.
Two things are clear, however. Iceland is the only place where the range is above water. Using 9,000 miles as the minimum length, the MAR is still more than twice as long as the Andes, the longest visible mountain range at 4,350 miles.
All of which concludes our weekly excursion into mindless minutia by making a mountain out of molehills.
About the Author:
Taylor is the founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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