By Samantha Weaver
• It was the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, who made the following observation: The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
• Those who study such things say that a rainbow can't be seen at midday; the optical phenomena are visible only in the morning or in the late afternoon.
• In 1982, a radio station in Allentown, Pa., thought its rating could use a bit of a boost, so it came up with a contest: Three contestants, selected at random, would live on top of one of the station's billboards (portable toilets and sleeping bags were provided). The last one to give up would be awarded a mobile home. The problem was, nobody wanted to give up. The three men who climbed to the top of the sign at the end of September were still there come March 1983. In that month, one of the contestants was arrested for dealing drugs, but the remaining two stayed aloft until May. Once the freezing winter was finally over, the radio station decided to declare both of the men winners.
• As the end of the year approaches, you might consider an old British tradition of fortune-telling. Light a candle, place it on the floor and jump over it. If the flame does not go out, you're likely to enjoy good luck during the coming year.
• If you're like the average American, you use between 75 and 100 gallons of water every day.
• The Sahara Desert is nearly as large as the continental United States.
Thought for the day: If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it. - W.C. Fields
(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.