The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read ®

Issue 974

By Lucie Winborne

* Ever wondered why those athletic lace-ups on your feet are called sneakers? The moniker came about in the late 1800s, from their rubber soles that allowed people to walk or “sneak” around without a sound.

* Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books were once used as post-World War II propaganda. Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s occupation headquarters chose “The Long Winter” as one of the first American books to be translated into Japanese, in an effort to boost the morale of defeated, starving citizens. German translations soon followed, with a similar goal.

* During the mid-1970s, author Anne Fine walked by a shop selling jewelry and old furs, the proprietor of which was a Madame Doubtfire. Fine recalled the name in 1986 when she wrote her novel “Madame Doubtfire.” Her one request to makers of the film starring Robin Williams and Sally Field was that they “not make the children bratty, and they did indulge me in that.”

* Believing he had been cursed for killing two canines, a man in India married a third as an act of atonement.

* Michelangelo, renowned painter of the Sistine Chapel and brilliant sculptor to boot, was surprisingly averse to personal hygiene. He also rarely changed his clothes. One of his servants remarked that the artist would spend so much time in his shoes that when he finally did take them off, “the skin came away, like a snake’s, with the boots.”

* You might experience “optophobia” while watching a terrifying scene in a horror flick — it’s the fear of opening one’s eyes!

* Zebras are responsible for more injuries to U.S. zookeepers than any other animal.

* Your left lung is smaller than your right to make room for your heart.


Thought for the Day: “Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life.’” — Helen Exley

(c) 2020 King Features Synd., Inc.