Curiosity Corner: Food for Thought

A little food for thought

Curiosity Corner
Dr. Jerry D. Wilson
Emeritus Professor of Physics
Lander University

No questions this time. I want to pass on some tidbits for you to think about. (The Curious out there just love this.)
* The term “private eye” came from the logo of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Their 1800s logo was a wide-open eye, with the slogan “We never sleep.”
* Albert Einstein’s body was cremated, but his brain was preserved so it could be studied to see if one of the world’s smartest individual’s brain was different from the ordinary kind of we common folk.
* The word “vinegar” comes from the French “vin aigre,” meaning “sour wine.” Vinegar was probably first found accidentally, a long time ago, when some wine went bad.
* The first woman on a U.S. postage stamp was Martha Washington, on the 8-cent stamp issued in 1902.
* There’s nothing in the U.S. constitution that prohibits someone convicted of a crime to serve as president. The stipulations are:
?- Must be 35 years old
?- Must be a natural-born citizen
?- Must have resided in the U.S. for at least 14 years at the time of election.
(I guess I qualify, but I’d rather be curious than president.)
* You got an eel skin wallet? Nope, it is not from an electric eel that might mess up the magnetic strip on your debit or credit card. “Eel skin” comes from a Pacific hagfish, which is similar to an eel. (It’s OK to put your cards back your wallet. Just kidding about this.)
*And finally, what’s UP (source unknown)
?People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special. And this is confusing; a drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. Employees open UP a store in the morning, but close it UP at night.
?We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP.

C.P.S. (Curious Post Script): Which way is UP?

Curious about something? Send your questions to Dr. Jerry D. Wilson, College of Science and Mathematics, Lander University, Greenwood, SC 29649, or e-mail Selected questions will appear in the Curiosity Corner. For Curiosity Corner background, go to

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