- Which 16th century Italian painter was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the greatest poets of all time?
- Which of Shakespeare’s close friends and fellow authors is buried in a standing position in Westminster Abbey?
- Which 20th century French Journalist wrote an entire book one letter at a time — indicating the next correct letter by blinking only his left eye?
- Which is the shortest stage play on record?
- Who coined the term “Beat” — a slang term to symbolize the literary movement created by writers such as Ginsberg and Burroughs?
Last Week's Answers
Which was the first novel ever sold through a vending machine?
Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express was sold from a vending machine for the first time in 1989 at the Paris Metro. Interestingly enough, the first vending machine was invented in Alexandria, Egypt around 215 BC. When a coin was dropped into a slot, its weight would pull a cork out of a spigot and the machine would dispense a trickle of water.
The oldest surviving daily newspaper is the Wiener Zeitung of Austria. When was it first printed?
It was first printed in 1703.
Where does the “Hey Diddle Diddle” nursery rhyme come from?
This Nursery Rhyme originated in the court of Queen Elizabeth I. The queen is said to have teased her courtiers (not unlike a cat teases mice) and was very fond of dancing to fiddle music. One of her courtiers was called "Moon" and another "Dog," and there was also a gentleman of the court called "Dish" who eloped with Mistress “Spoon.”
And thus the rhyme was born: “Hey diddle, diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon, The little dog laughed to see such sport, And the dish ran away with the spoon.”
There are 10 million books in the Russian Public Library in Leningrad — enough to supply every person in the city with two books. If the books housed in the United States Library of Congress were doled out to those living in the city of Washington, D.C., how many books would each person receive?
If the 72,466,926 books housed in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. were doled out to the 591,833 people living in the city, there would be approximately 122 volumes for each person.
Why was part of Lewis Carroll's classic, Through the Looking Glass, featuring a giant wasp wearing a wig omitted from the original publication and only made known to the general public 107 years later?
The section, which featured a giant wasp wearing a wig, was left out because Carroll's illustrator, John Tenniel, refused to illustrate it. "A wasp in a wig," said Tenniel, "is altogether beyond the appliances of art."