Things you wonder, but are too lazy to find out

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Ever wish you new the answers to some of life’s great mysteries? Well, I recently came across “The Book of Answers,” by Barbara Berliner, which did just that. This book did the trick in answering some of the most unusual and interesting questions you’ve always wondered about but never looked into.

So, let me outline a few that I found entertaining. You may find these useful the next time you feel the need to impress someone with useless information or break the ice during those dreaded awkward silences.

They call Chicago the windy city, but is it the windiest city in the United States?

It actually ranks 16th in the list of windy cities with Great Falls, Montana in the number one spot.

What do Americans fear most?

Public speaking was the number one fear for 41 percent of people in a sample of 3000 Americans. Heights came in second and bugs and insects fell into the third spot.

Are there any words in the English language that use all five vowels?

Sequoia and facetious are only two words to use all five vowels but there are several more. Can you think of any?

What is the largest number of fingers and toes any one person has ever had?

In 1921, a baby boy in England, was reported to have been born with 14 fingers and 15 toes. Why do people cross their fingers for good luck?

It is said that the practice came from the sign of the cross and was believed to ward off the devil.

What was the highest magnitude earthquake in American History?

9.5 in Chile

How many muscles does it take to frown and smile?

Apparently, it takes more effort to frown with the use of 43 muscles. Smiling only takes 17.

What’s the smallest country on earth?

Vatican City, the home of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome.

What do you call the covering on the end of a shoelace?

An aglet. I didn’t even know it had a name.

How deep is a fathom?

Six feet

What was the greatest number of kisses in one single film?

In the movie Don Juan in 1926, there were 127.

Who was the youngest person to win an Oscar?

Shirley Temple at age 5.

What is the most violent film on record?

The 1984 film, Red Dawn, which contained 134 acts of violence per hour.

Who came up with the phrase “survival of the fittest”?

It was not Charles Darwin who came up with this phrase. Charles Darwin came up with a theory of natural selection, which Herbert Spencer, a British philosopher, described as “survival of the fittest.”

What does M’M stand for?

It stands for Mars and Merrie, the two people who developed the candy in 1941,

How long does it take to walk around the world?

In 1970, it took one man a little over four years.

Why do men button their shirts from the right and women button their blouses from the left?

It has been a custom for years mainly because women were often dressed by maids. The maids found that it was easier to button from their right. Men usually dressed themselves.

Diana Gutierrez can be reached at spotlight@sundial.csun.edu.