January 2, 2001 |
From the Web site Oddities and Wonders on AOL: * Contrary to popular belief, the original Olympians did wear clothing. Then, one runner's loincloth fell off during a race in 720 BC. He kept right on going, and won the race handily. Like athletes of any era, the losers copied the techniques of the winners and subsequent competitions were held without clothes. * The first yo-yos were used as weapons in the Philippines. They had a weight of four pounds, and the strings were 20 feet long.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2002 |
A Metrolink commuter train slammed into a van at a busy Oxnard intersection early Tuesday, killing the vehicle's driver and snarling traffic for more than two hours. Archimedes Fernandez Fallejo, 66, of Oxnard died shortly after 6 a.m. when his Plymouth Voyager rolled under the lowering railroad crossing gates and was hit by a train at Gonzalez Road and Oxnard Boulevard, police said. Fallejo was pronounced dead at the scene.
July 31, 2006 |
A QUINTESSENTIALLY English literary device, the humble limerick falls somewhere between a bumper sticker and a sonnet. Best read aloud, the primary purpose of this five-line verse is to elicit immediate laughter by a deft blend of alliteration, incongruity and wordplay. This distinctive construct entered mid-Victorian England with the nonsense verses of Edward Lear of "The Owl and the Pussycat" fame. Since then, it has flourished in the halls of academe and beyond.
November 25, 1992 |
Judge Osvaldo Bonsangue's mugger was a smoker. The crime happened on Teocrito Street in the Sicilian city of Syracuse, hometown of the great mathematician Archimedes. The judge was smoking a cigarette when a young man snatched it from his mouth and--eureka!--ran off puffing madly. Strange things happen when a whole country is unconditionally sentenced to nicotine withdrawal.
September 28, 2002
A Texan has beaten California to the defining moment in the state's history. Every California schoolchild learns about James Marshall's discovery of gold while building a sawmill alongside the American River at Coloma on Jan. 24, 1848, exclaiming, "I have found it," or so he said later. A new book by Texas A&M professor H.W.
October 3, 2009 |
An inexpensive combination of one drug to lower cholesterol and one to lower blood pressure can reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes by as much as 60% -- but getting patients to begin the regimen and then to stay on it is an extremely difficult task, Kaiser Permanente researchers reported Thursday. Giving the drugs to nearly 70,000 people with cardiovascular disease or diabetes prevented an estimated 1,271 heart attacks and strokes in one year, Dr. James Dudl of Kaiser Permanente's Care Management Institute and his colleagues reported in the American Journal of Managed Care.
March 22, 1987 |
The following was one of several tributes delivered at the memorial on March 14 for screenwriter Waldo Salt ("Midnight Cowboy," "Coming Home"), who died March 7. Paul Jarrico is a veteran screenwriter and producer who produced "Salt of the Earth." In accepting the Laurel Award last year for a lifetime of achievement as a screenwriter, Waldo Salt said, "This could not have come at a more appropriate time. I'm months behind on a deadline. I've reduced the producers to being polite.
June 5, 1985 |
Secular Love by Michael Ondaatje (Norton: $14.95) Michael Ondaatje is a Canadian poet from a Ceylonese family; a Pacific sensibility tackling an Atlantic destiny. He invokes Rilke with reverence, and Yeats with exasperation, but his talent is not for the grand line, the racking emotion or the metaphysical bear-trap. His North Woods landscapes come out dark and rigid, as if his light values were set for dazzlement and tended to underexpose anything more subdued.
March 14, 2013 |
Happy Pi Day! March 14 -- a.k.a. 3.14 -- has become a day to appreciate the wonders of pi. This mathematical constant describes the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. It's also handy for calculating a circle's area, along with plenty of other uses in the fields of trigonometry, physics, statistics, cosmology and fluid dynamics, to name just a few. Humans have been contemplating pi for nearly 4,000 years. The ancient Babylonians figured out that pi's value was roughly 3 as far back as 1900 BC. The ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes figured out that pi was slightly bigger than 22/7.
May 20, 1985 |
It's not easy to take the temperature of this festival (or any other). But the weather outside has been cool and only intermittently sunny, and an observer with a keen eye for metaphors might well say that this largest and oldest continuously operating festival has been about the same. One veteran seller, Frank Moreno of Almi Pictures, guessed that the population of genuine buyers this time was off by as much as half.