By Samantha Weaver
• In this season of bitter partisan rivalries, it would be well to remember the following sage observation: Do not trust to the cheering, for those persons would cheer just as much if you and I were going to be hanged. The man who first made that observation was Lord Protector of England Oliver Cromwell, considered by some to be a hero of liberty, by others to be a regicidal dictator. He died in 1658, probably from septicemia. He was so reviled that, three years later, he body was exhumed so that he could be posthumously executed, his body thrown into a pit and his head displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall.
• Those who study such things say that if all the gold in the world were combined in one lump, it would result in a cube that measures 20 yards on each side.
• If you're planning a trip to Lima, Peru, you might want to add Puente de Piedra to your sightseeing list. Though the Spanish name means Bridge of Stone, the span is popularly known as the Bridge of Eggs. Legend has it that in 1608, the builders the used the whites of 10,000 seabird eggs in the mortar that holds the stones together.
• Pumpkins are native to the Americas, not Europe. This is why the original jack-o'-lantern was a turnip.
• What do the words obscene, tranquil, mediate, catastrophe, dire, critical, vast and apostrophe have in common? All of them appeared in print for the first time in the works of William Shakespeare.
• If you're contemplating a move to Corpus Christi, Texas, be sure to keep in mind that in that town, it's illegal to raise alligators in your home