Best Facts of the Week - Page 6

The first coin minted by the U.S. had "Mind your business" on one side and "We are one" on the other, and was designed by Benjamin Franklin.

A new nation needs a new form of currency.

When the United States won its independence, they had to move away from British currency and form their own.

On April 21, 1787, the Congress of the Confederation of the United States authorized a design for an official copper penny.

This penny became known as the Fugio cent, deriving from the image of a sun shining down on a sundial with the caption "fugio," Latin for "I flee/fly."

The penny was designed by Benjamin Franklin. The bottom has the message "Mind your business," a reminder to its holders. The image and words combine for a meaning of "time flies, do your work."

Some people think that the word "business" should be taken as a literal business as Franklin was a successful and prominent businessman himself. Either is possible, and some think that both meanings were intended.

The other side of the coin the motto "We Are One" surrounded by thirteen chain links, representing the original thirteen colonial states.


A 400 year-old Bonsai tree survived the Hiroshima bombing!

During the Second World War, a B-29 bomber dropped the first atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima, Japan, killing thousands of people there and then. However, a small Bonsai tree survived. At the time it was over 300 years old, having been planted in the 1600’s.

Japan actually gifted the tree to the United States for it's bi-centennial, along with 53 other bonsai trees. All of these trees now resides in the U.S. Capital, and are considered one of the most striking collections there. The Bonsai is now 400 years old and probably has tons of stories to tell.


Most of the Dwarf names in Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings' were sourced from the 'Dvergata' (The Catalog of Dwarfs) - a section of an Old Norse poem

It is a known fact that J.R.R. Tolkien structured 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy around the languages he developed himself.

They're accepted as 'real' languages as they each have their own unique structure and grammar.

Tolkien said this of his writing style: The invention of languages is the foundation. The 'stories' were made rather to provide a world for the languages than the reverse. To me a name comes first and the story follows."

Clearly names are very important to him and that is probably why a section of Vlusp (the first poem of a collection of Old Norse poems) appealed to him. The section is called the Dvergata and translated it means 'the Catalog of Dwarfs'.

Tolkien took almost all of the names of the Dwarfs of Middle Earth as well as Gandalf's name from the Dvergata. Tolkien's youngest son, Christopher, suggests that "those Dwarf-names in The Hobbit provided the whole starting-point for the Mannish languages in Middle-earth."

At least twenty five of Tolkien's Dwarfs were named after Dwarfs listed in this section of the poem contained in stanzas ten to sixteen of Vlusp.

When people asked Tolkien what 'The Lord of the Rings' is all about, he used to reply: "It is to me, anyway, largely an essay in 'linguistic aesthetic."


Some awesome lists!

During the Berlin Airlift of 1948, a French general blew up two Soviet radio towers. When the Russian general asked how he could do such a thing, he replied: "With dynamite, my dear colleague."

Brigadier General Jean Ganeval was the Commandant of the French Sector of Berlin during the time of the Berlin Airlift. French participation in the Airlift was limited compared to British and US participation, but when winter came, France played a major role.

Britain and the USA could not keep up with delivering the demand for coal by air, because supplies had to be more than doubled.

France stepped in and built a new airfield in the French sector, Tegel. They accomplished this in a mere 90 days!

There was a problem, though. Two Soviet-controlled radio towers made the approach to the Tegel airfield unacceptably dangerous. Brigadier General Jean Ganeval requested the Soviets to take it down or to move it. They refused.

Ganeval warned them that, if they did not remove the towers, he will remove it for them. They ignored him. He kept his word and on 16 December 1948, on Ganeval's orders, the towers were blown up using explosives.

The Soviets were outraged in their disbelief! Lieutenant General Alexej Kotikow called his French counterpart and asked him how he could possibly have done such a thing.

General Jean Ganeval responded in true French style: "With dynamite, my dear colleague." Unfortunately there is no recorded record of General Kotikow's reaction to this laconic reply.


Prince, the artist formerly known as Prince, Symbol...Dave Chappelle?

Prince has never been far from controversy over the course of his very colourful career, but his latest stint borders on the downright comical.

His latest single, Breakfast can Wait, features Dave Chappelle impersonating Prince, holding a tray of flapjacks.

Prince was apparently so impressed by Chappelle's impersonation of him on his his show, that he went as far as to use him for the cover art of his latest single.

At first glance, the picture is ridiculous enough, with Chappelle draped in a typically flamboyant Prince outfit.

You could be excused if you missed the tray of flapjacks that he's holding.

Fans of Prince will likely not be swayed by his latest move though, as the artist has always followed the road less travelled all throughout his career. The artwork for the single did draw positive media attention though, highlighting Prince's sense of humour.

The single features on the EP, 'The Breakfast Experience', which was released on 24 October 2104 on iTunes and Amazon.



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