Harley Hay

Harley Hay: Isn’t meaningless knowledge fun?

Seeing that the intended personal mandate of this space in your Saturday paper, if indeed it had one, would be to attempt to explore a slightly happier worldview that can be a bit sarcastic, sardonic, cynical and/or downright silly, and it might be to elucidate, illuminate, and/or inculcate fairly useless infotainment content designed to lighten one’s day by at least a mini-milligram or two – or at the very least for a moment or three remove yourself, dear reader, from the trials, tribulations and trepidations of a life often characterized by the decidedly descriptive formal term: “bummer,” today I present scrounged scraps, snippets, specks and shreds of gathered garrulous fascinating factoids for your possible amusement and/or much-needed temporary distraction.

To wit: the question of the day is: “Did you know?” For example, did you know that Sylvan Lake’s original name was Snake Lake? I for one am glad they changed it in 1903.

Did you know that revered local historian Michael Dawe loved steak sandwiches at the former Black Knight Inn?

Did you know that Red Deer’s official cookie is the Caramel Surprise? You see, isn’t meaningless knowledge fun?

Okay, maybe not so much, but the point is, in my book it’s always time for some tantalizing trivia that you never knew you never needed to know about…

Did you know that a humongous vault in Atlanta, Georgia keeps the secret formula of Coca Cola? Yes, the world’s most popular beverage has a secret formula, just like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Donald Trump’s hair.

In a related bit of unconfirmed trivia, did you know that three people once stole the secret recipe of Coke and contacted big-time rival Pepsi to sell it. According to sources, Pepsi immediately informed Coke and the FBI about it. This is only one of the reasons I prefer Pepsi in any blind taste challenge. Also, in a bottle rather than a can, but that’s just me.

Did you know that only 25 people in the entire world are known to have “hyperthymesia”? It’s a condition that allows them to remember every single detail of their entire lives. I’m thinking that might be a living nightmare as opposed to a dream come true syndrome, although it would sure be nice to remember where I put my wallet back in 1975.

Did you know that according to psychologists, talking to yourself out loud is a good way to help maintain your focus whilst completing a task? It’s also a good way to have people stare at you in elevators, but I must admit to regularly having a good chat with myself. It’s always refreshing to have a good conversation with someone not nearly as smart as you are.

Did you know that it’s been proven that humans have more empathy for dogs than they do for other humans? This one is not a surprise to anyone who has had a beloved dog. Dogs don’t start wars, drive badly and refuse to wear masks during a pandemic. They like to lick you on your face when they’re happy, which is something humans hardly ever do.

And did you know that banana is known as a “happy fruit,” and supposedly, eating just one can help you relieve irritable emotions, anger or depression? Not sure how they figured that one out, but I do know that Disneyland always has fresh bananas on every corner, and good things at Disneyland are never a coincidence.

And finally do you know who the first non-human was to win an Oscar? Yep, Mickey Mouse. He probably eats a lot of bananas.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Ethan Rowland battles with Medicine Hat Tigers forward Brett Kemp during WHL action at the Centrium Saturday night. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers claw back, hand Rebels 11th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 The same old issues continue to plague the… Continue reading

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Ontario Premier Doug Ford points on a COVID-19 caseload projection model graph during a press conference at Queen's Park, in Toronto, Friday, April 16, 2021. Ontario was set to backtrack on controversial new police powers to enforce stay-at-home orders implemented in the battle against COVID-19.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ford backtracks on new police COVID-19 powers amid intense backlash

TORONTO — Furious criticism of new anti-pandemic powers that allow police in… Continue reading

The official program for the National Commemorative Ceremony in honour of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, sits on an empty pew prior to the ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa on Saturday, April 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prince Philip remembered as ‘a man of great service’ during Canada’s memorial service

Canada’s commemorative ceremony in honour of the late Prince Philip offered a… Continue reading

CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy speaks to his players during the team's practice Tuesday, March 16, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
CF Montreal puts on a show, defeating Toronto FC 4-2 in MLS season opener

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — CF Montreal, carving open Toronto FC’s defence, cruised… Continue reading

Demonstrators using umbrellas as shields approach a point in a perimeter security fence during a protest over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during traffic stop, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Journalists allege police harassment at Minnesota protests

Some journalists covering protests over the police fatal shooting of Daunte Wright,… Continue reading

A container ship is docked in the Port of Montreal, Wednesday, February 17, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Montreal dockworkers begin weekend strikes as talks drag on

MONTREAL — Dockworkers at the Port of Montreal kicked off a series… Continue reading

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Vials containing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 are seen at the San Marino State Hospital, in San Marino, Friday, April 9, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Antonio Calanni
China, Russia using their COVID-19 vaccines to gain political influence

OTTAWA — China and Russia have been using their locally produced COVID-19… Continue reading

Most Read