Despite rumors that the slightest nibble on this Christmas flower will result in death, poinsettias are not poisonous to humans. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission determined in 1975 that the toxicity of poinsettias is a myth, though the flower is a nonfood substance and, if eaten, could cause some discomfort. You should, however, keep pets away from them.
No. In 1976, M&M/Mars responded to publicity about the carcinogenic effects of red dye number 2 by taking red M&M’s off the market. However, red M&M’s were not made with red dye number 2: The company acted because people wrongly believed that the dye was being used. Red M&M’s were reintroduced in 1987.
It could have been any kind — or none at all. Eve was tempted by a “serpent” — which, in Biblical times, could refer to any creeping animal, particularly if it was venomous. Thus, Eve could have been tempted by anything from a snake to a salamander to a crocodile.
Nowhere. It came from John Wesley (1703–1791), the British theologian who founded Methodism.
It was not Mark Twain! The quote first appeared in an editorial in the Hartford Courant of August 24, 1897, probably written by associate editor Charles Dudley Warner. Warner had collaborated with Twain on The Gilded Age (1873).
Legend claims that when sentenced to death in 1776 by the British for spying, he proclaimed, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” But British officer Captain Frederick Mackenzie reports in his diaries that Hale said, “It is the only duty of every good officer to obey any orders given him by his commander in chief.” [Read a Nathan Hale anecdote]
In none of them! In Hamlet, Act V, Scene 3, Hamlet says, “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio.” For some reason the incorrect version is the one most people remember.
Yes. The city in south central North Dakota — now the state capital — was founded in 1872 as Camp Hancock. A military post, it protected the crews working on the Northern Pacific Railway. In 1873, it was renamed in honor of then-chancellor Otto von Bismarck in hopes of attracting German railroad investors.
This basic element of tennis rackets and violins comes not from cats but from the intestines of sheep. The cat in the word may have derived from kit, an old word for a small violin. Valued for its toughness, catgut is also used for artificial limbs and in small machines like typewriters and clocks.
That’s what it sounds like on the tape that was recorded at 10:56 P.M. (EST) on July 20, 1969. But what he intended to say was, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” The a was somehow lost in the transmission.