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Last updated: February 20. 2014 10:45AM - 898 Views

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By Samantha Weaver


* It was Democratic governor and presidential hopeful Adlai Stevenson who made the following sage observation: “A free society is a place where it’s safe to be unpopular.”


* Those who study such things claim that 75 percent of people who deliberately choose to buy a kosher product are not, in fact, Jewish.


* Smart idea: Some fitness centers are now using the energy that clients expend on its exercise bikes to power the building’s lighting.


* You might not have heard of American inventor Walter Hunt, but he came up with the ideas for an ice plough, a streetcar bell, an early version of the repeating rifle, artificial stone, the lockstitch sewing machine and a nail-making machine, among other things. One of his smallest and most useful inventions was the safety pin. In the mid-1800s, Hunt owed a friend $15. In order to come up with the cash to settle the debt, he decided to invent something. He picked up an 8-inch piece of brass wire he had on hand and made a coil in the middle of it, creating the spring action to open it. He then devised a clasp at one end to shield the user from the sharp point. After the device was patented in 1849, Hunt sold the patent to W.R. Grace and Company for $400, leaving himself with $385 after he paid the initial $15 debt. Incidentally, W.R. Grace and Company made millions of dollars from sales of the safety pin.


* Are you afraid of rattlesnakes? Keep in mind that the venom of a black widow spider is 15 times more deadly than that of the rattler.


* Domestic diva Martha Stewart has been struck by lightning three times.


***


Thought for the day: “The luck of having talent is not enough; one must also have a talent for luck.” — Hector Berlioz


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