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.