So, I’ve been listening to a podcast lately out of University of Detroit-Mercy called “Ask the Professor”.  It’s one of the longest-running radio shows in America, going on more than 50 seasons, and it’s really fun.  The gist is that 5-6 professors from different departments of the uni get on the show and for half an hour they try their best to answer random trivia questions sent in from listeners.  Depending on the grade set by the questioner, they might win or not win, at which time the questioner may or may not receive a prize for having stumped the professers.  I’m not quite smart enough to send in my own questions for them (at least, to send in questions that won’t have them annoyed by the end of the show), but here’s some of my favorite things that I’ve been learning lately:

George Washington was the only president to lead the troops into battle while in office – the Whiskey Rebellion.

Pigs have 20 blood types.  They are also considered to be the smartest animal ever by the Irish.  In fact, they claim that pigs can even see the wind.

Calvin Coolidge was known as “Silent Cal” because he didn’t like to give speeches or to talk much in general.  He was the first president to have a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the White House.  But back to the silent part, one time he was at a dinner party, and a friend’s wife was sitting next to him at the table.  She leaned over and said, “Mr. President, I have a bet going with my friends that I can get you to say more than two words in the course of the evening.”  He looked at her, smiled, and said, “You lose.”  He didn’t say one more word the entire night.

Teddy Roosevelt put a ban on Christmas trees in the White House while he was in office because he thought that it was damaging to the environment to cut them down.  His son, however, snuck one into the White House and hid it in a closet.  When Teddy found out he was angry and he had a forest ranger come in to speak with his son.  However, the ranger said that, if done properly, cutting down Christmas trees can be beneficial to a forest’s eco-system.  Teddy then changed his mind and allowed Christmas trees to be put back into the White House.

The Japanese airline, Air-Nippon, has big eyes painted onto the engines of the airplanes.  This is to give the appearance of the airplane being a giant bird or hawk so as to scare away the birds from the runways and while the airplanes are in flight.

James Dean evaded the draft by saying he was a homosexual.

Brad Pitt’s job before his big break was working at a chicken stall near the beach, dressed up as a chicken.

Cyndi Lauper worked at a dog kennel cleaning out cages before she made it (big???).

Ok…those are all the ones I can think of right now.  I really like trivia though and I thought these were pretty fun and interesting.  Oh, the longest one-syllable word in the English language is “screeched.”  Hope you enjoyed!

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