Sandwiched between articles on “A New Reason for Dehorning” and “Brown Coal” in the Kansas City Sun of May 6, 1921, one finds this little bit of whimsy – perhaps the editor was desperate for something to fill two column inches on a really slow news day.
Whatever the case, the text reads:
Really Not Important
An investigator claims to have discovered in some dusty archives that back in the days when the pilgrims landed each person coming to America from England was required to bring with them eight bushels of corn meal, two bushels of oatmeal, two gallons of vinegar and a gallon each of oil and brandy. In view of the fact that nothing of importance hinges on the truth or falsity of this statement, not much time need be consumed to ascertain whether this is truth or fiction.
I was pointed to this gem by the inimitable XKCD, which cites a grudging respect for the fact-checker of the Kansas City Sun that day.
The rest of the page is viewable as a free clip here; some of the articles are stolid and mundane, others exude a hint of humor – such as this ad for the Peerless Bowling and Billiard Parlors:
Perusing old newspapers can be just as entertaining as Netflix.
Yesterday’s XKCD provided readers with a plethora of questions scavenged from Google auto-complete suggestions. Some of them are really good questions, others are pretty mind-boggling in their obtuseness or obscurity. Click the image for a full-size rendition:
Not content to leave things at that, redditor /u/GeeJo took it upon him/herself to answer every one of these, which was a massive undertaking and made for an enjoyable read. Starred answers indicate researched questions, non-starred answers are GeeJo-isms. My hat is off to this individual.
Why do whales jump*? No-one knows exactly, though it’s theorised that socialising is part of it, as its a far more common behaviour in pods than with lone whales.
Why are witches green? There are theories floating around tht it’s to link them with death/putrefaction or plants/herbs. Personally, I think it’s mostly because of the popularity of the film version of The Wizard of Oz, where the green skin was chosen partly to indicate she’s a bad guy in a kid’s fantasy world, and partly because it helped demonstrate their new Technicolour technology.
Why are there mirrors above beds? Ask your parents when you’re older. Or don’t, since you’ll probably work it out by yourself by then. If you mean on the wall behind beds, I’ve never really seen this as common, but mirrors help to give the impression that the room is larger than it actually is.