10 Facts About MAD Magazine

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1.  Started  by Harvey Kurtzman (editor and contributor) and William Gaines (publisher), MAD Magazine has been corrupting the minds of America’s youth since 1952.  (And as contributor Al Jaffee said in 2010, “from what I’m gathering from the minds of people all over, we succeeded” in that corrupting goal.)

2.  Originally published in a familiar comic book format, MAD switched to its more familiar magazine-size format with issue #24, in 1955.  This had the benefit of removing MAD from the censorship of the Comics Code Authority.  (Not even Superduperman could have successfully fought the CCA.) More

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10 Facts About (and Recipes Using) Yogurt

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1.  Yogurt is produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk, which is sounds kind of gross.  Fortunately, it tastes better than it sounds.  (This recipe for lasagna primavera uses yogurt in place of ricotta cheese.)

2.  Sure, most of us are familiar with yogurt from cow’s milk, but it can be (and has been) made from the milk of goats, sheep, horses, camels, water buffaloes, and yaks.  (Hey, cow is exotic enough for me, thanks.) (Here’s a recipe for stuffed zucchini and yogurt suace. ) More

10 Facts About Author Shirley Jackson

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1.  Jackson, who was probably born Dec. 14, 1916 (some sources say 1919) and died August 8, 1965, is of course best known for her chilling short story “The Lottery.”

2.  Her six completed novels include the horror classic The Haunting of Hill House, as well as the rather sinister We Have Always Lived in the Castle and the end-of-the-world The Sundial.  (The first two are fairly easy to find; the last is worth searching out.) More

10 Facts About Quicksand

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1.  Quicksand, that most convenient of menaces in jungle-set fiction, is a mixture of fine granular materials (think silt or, d-uh, sand), clay and water.  (Sometimes the water can be replaced by air and form “dry quicksand.”)

Quicksand is almost never deep enough to completely submerge a person.

2.  Silt actually is a more common component of quicksand than is sand. (“Quicksilt” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.) More

10 Facts About Frank “Guys and Dolls” Loesser

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1.  Originally “just” a lyricist, Loesser branched out into composing as well during the War years (World War II war years, that is.)  (I should be so lucky to “just” such a lyricist!)

2.  He is credited with writing music and/or lyrics for over 700 published songs.  (Don’t you hate over-achievers?) More

10 Facts About October 22

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1.  On this date in 1784, Russia starts a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska.  (Kodiak Island eventually becomes the second largest island in the United States.)

Catherine Deneueve

2.  In 1797, Andre-Jacques Garnerin makes the first parachute jump.  (Couldn’t pay me to be the first to do that.  Or the ten millionth and first, for that matter.  Chicken?  Yes, but a live chicken.) More

10 Facts About Jonny Lee Miller of CBS’ “Elementary”

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1.  The actor, who was born November 15, 1972, plays an updated Sherlock Holmes in the CBS series Elementary, opposite Lucy Liu’s Dr. Joan Watson.

2.  Miller also played opposite Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Holmes in the BBC’s current Sherlock series, in a stage version of Frankenstein.  (Miller and Cumberbatch alternated as Dr. Frankenstein and the monster.  They were jointly awarded Best Actor trophies by the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and the Olivier Awards.) More

10 Facts About Marvel Comics’ Millie the Model

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1.  The titular comic which featured Millie was mostly a humor comic, although it spent several years in the sixties as a young romance style offering instead.

2.  Although initially drawn by Ruth Atkinson, Dan DeCarlo (known for his work on the Archie series of comics) solidified the Millie the Model “look” during his 10-year run.  (And what a look it was!) More

10 Facts About Meningitis

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(No jokes today.)

1.  Meningitis refers to an inflamed state in the meninges, the membranes that cover the spinal cord and the brain and help to protect them.

2.  Viruses, bacteria, fungal infection, parasites and some drugs can bring about meningitis; viral and bacterial meningitis are the more common forms. More

10 Facts About Australia

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1.  Although at 2,967,124 square miles, Australia is the smallest continent, it is the sixth largest country.  (Perspective is everything.)

2.  It also is the only continent with no glaciers.  (Who knew?) More

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