10 Facts About (and Recipes Using) Shrimp

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1.  The term can be applied broadly to cover a wide range of stalk-eyed swimming crustaceans with long bodies (mostly tail) and thin little old legs, or more narrowly to just the Caridea infraorder of Crustaceans.  (But that narrow definition leaves out prawns, so forget it!)  (Try a Chipotle lime shrimp recipe at http://cookingwithjeffandcristina.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/chipotle-lime-shrimp/.)

2.  They’re not well represented in fossil records, but the oldest identified members go back to the Lower Jurassic and Cretaceous periods (roughly as far back as 200,000,000 years.  Not bad for a little feller!)  (Feel like shrimp tortillas?  Try this: http://1019litefm.cbslocal.com/2012/09/13/the-nite-lite-kitchen-70/)

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10 Facts About Medusa (of “The Fantastic Four”)

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1.  Medusa made her first appearance in Fantastic Four #36, way back in 1965.  (Looks darn good for someone who’s been kicking around for 47 years!)

2.  Named after the figure of Greek myth, Medusa is a Marvel superbeing whose long tresses can be used as a weapon to strike, entangle or overwhelm.  (Wonder what shampoo and conditioner she uses – and how long it takes to wash that hair!)

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10 Facts About Weeping Angels (Doctor Who)

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Don’t blink.

1.  First fact: this list will most likely be out of date after this Saturday night, when the Angels return to Doctor Who.  (Cannot wait.)

2.  Also known as the Lonely Assassins, they were created by Steven Moffat in the classic “Blink” episode (part of the Doctor 10 and Martha year of the show).

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10 Facts About the Black Death (Plague)

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1.  The Black Death was a horrible and devastating pandemic that reached its peak in Europe between 1348 and 1350.

2.  Recordkeeping in the 14th century wasn’t as thorough as it is today (and, of course, many records didn’t survive), so the exact extent of the Black Death’s damage isn’t known, but it’s estimated that it killed 30% – 60% of the people living in Europe, reducing the world population from 450,000,000 to between 350,000,000 and 375,000,000.

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10 Facts About Superman’s Bottle City of Kandor

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1.  Kandor was the capital city of Krypton (yes, the whole planet).

What to get the Superman who has everything?

2.  Kandor did not perish when Krypton went Ka-Blooey!  It wasn’t even there when the planet exploded, having already been shrunken by the villainous Brainiac and put in a nifty glass jug, and then spirited away on Brainiac’s spaceship.  (Hence, its designation as the bottle city, see?)  (BTW, this all refers to the original story of Kandor; various Superman reboots have altered it somewhat.)

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10 Facts About the Land of Oz

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1. L. (for “Lyman”) Frank Baum first took readers to the marvelous land of Oz in 1900, via The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  (And I am quite thankful that he did so.)

2.  Oz is divided into 5 major regions: The Emerald City in the center and the lands of the Winkies (to the west),  the Munchkins (to the east), the Quadlings (to the south) and the Gillikins (to the north).

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10 Facts About “Fiddler on the Roof”

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1.  The original production opened on Broadway on September 22, 1964.  (Happy anniversary, Tevye and Golde!)

2.  Fiddler on the Roof became the first Broadway musical to run 3,000 performances, finally closed with a total of 3,242 performances.  The West End production ran 2,030 performances.

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10 Facts About Schroeder of “Peanuts”

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Taken from Peanutsblog.tumblr.com

1.  Schroeder was introduced, as a baby, in the Peanuts strip of May 30, 1951.  (My, how quickly they grow up – to a point, at least.)

2.  Schroeder lives at 1770 James Street, “1770” being the year of his idol Beethoven’s birth; Schroeder’s birth year is unknown, but his birthday is January 18.

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10 Facts About Blood

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1.  Human blood is made up of four basic components: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma.  (That makes one little drop seem pretty crowded.)

2.  Plasma, the fluid part of blood, takes up the most “space,” making up about 55% of the blood; most of plasma (92% is water), with the other 8% mostly various proteins.

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10 Facts About ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”

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1.  As might be guessed by its title, Once Upon a Time deals with characters from children’s stories.  (Because bringing together characters from adult stories like  The Sound and the Fury, The World According to Garp, The Shining and The Grapes of Wrath would be too freaky.)

2.  The series, which premiered October 23, 2011, is set in (the fictional) Storybrooke, ME.  The characters have all been brought there because of a curse by an Evil Queen who doesn’t want anyone else to have a happy ending.

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