By Samantha Weaver - Weekender Wire Service

Strange but true: Exploring in a fire-breathing serpent

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• It was 19th-century Russian playwright and short story writer Anton Chekhov who made the following sage observation: “Love, friendship, respect, do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something.”

• If you suffer from galeophobia you’re certainly not alone; Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film “Jaws” may have popularized the fear of sharks, but it certainly didn’t start it. Logically, though, swinophobia makes more sense — pigs kill more people every year than sharks do.

• You might be surprised to learn that Harriet Tubman — famous for her work as a conductor on the Underground Railroad — also served as a Union spy during the Civil War, providing key intelligence that aided in the capture of Jacksonville, Florida. She also was the first woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War; the Combahee River Raid freed 750 South Carolina slaves. She even continued her humanitarian work after the war, opening the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged and Indigent in Albany, New York.

• According to the nuns who worked with her, Mother Teresa’s last words were, “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you.” According to her doctor, the last thing she said was actually, “I can’t breathe.”

• If you wanted to erect a building in Colonial times, you’d go to an undertaker; that’s what building contractors were called back then.

• Ancient Romans recognized three distinct forms of kissing: The word “basium” denoted a kiss between acquaintances, “osculum” was used for a kiss between close friends, and “suavium” described a kiss between lovers.


Thought for the Day: “Catch-and-release — that’s like running down pedestrians in your car and then, when they get up and limp away, saying, ‘Off you go! That’s fine. I just wanted to see if I could hit you.’” — Ellen DeGeneres

Reach Weekender at [email protected]

By Samantha Weaver

Weekender Wire Service

Reach Weekender at [email protected]