Monday, August 25, 2008

Fun Monday - Useless Trivia

The crew over at Mama Drama are hosting Fun Monday this week and they have assigned us a fun little ditty:



Remember way back in elementary school when you had to do a report on James Garfield, the 20th President of the United States and you told the class all about how he was shot after only four months in office? You also remember that he recovered after a week, but doctor's continued to probe at the healed wound causing complications and resulting in his death almost three months later? Okay, we all knew that about Garfield, but you also remember that James Garfield could write with both hands at one time and in different languages.!!! Why do you remember that? Maybe for you it wasn't James Garfield, but somewhere in your past education, you picked-up some little bit of useless information that you've never forgotten.

Well, I am sure that I'll think of a bunch more stuff right after I hit "publish", but this is the one that came right to mind. One of my favorite subjects in school was always English, and in 8th grade we read Huck Finn and learned a bit about Mark Twain in the process. For some reason, that entire time is pretty clear in my memory. I really enjoyed Huck Finn, and became a big fan of Mark Twain. But, this is the useless bit of trivia I never forgot. Mark Twain was born exactly two weeks after Halley's Comet made an appearance, and then died the day after it's next appearance. The comet only appears every 75 or 76 years and Twain even said in his autobiography:

"I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: "Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together."- Mark Twain, a Biography

I don't know why, but that's always stuck with me as an interesting bit of trivia.

There you have it, that's mine. Go over to Mama Drama to learn some more fun stuff.

10 comments:

min said...

That is cool. I saw a Ken Burns documentary on Twain. What an interesting person. I wonder if anyone else famous has come in and gone out with that comet.

ChrisB said...

Well I never I didn't know that!

Sandy said...

and in that case, the reports of Twain's death were not greatly exaggerated!

Good one. Thanks.

Jeanna said...

I wonder if that had anything to do with him writing Connecticut Yankee.

iPost said...

What a great tidbit of literary history! Gotta love Mark Twain!

Beckie said...

Very interesting!

Karmyn R said...

Hey - I remember hearing this before too! I had forgotten it...thanks for the reminder.

lisaschaos said...

Interesting. I never knew that!

Pamela said...

a great piece of trivia. My dad always said he watched Haleys comet come through in 1910 and he expected to live to see it again in 1986. He did not.

I made a trip out and waved at it for him -- but it was nothing like the bright object of his childhood.

Mike said...

Very interesting. I have a blog just on useless trivia if you are interested.