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     ..is made up of "US Highway" routes, was adopted in 1924. Generally, the roads follow these rules:

    • US highways are numbered sequentially from east to west and from north to south.
    • Principal routes end in "O" for east/west routes and "1" for north/south routes.
    • Highways with three digits are branch highways or spur routes.

    The interstatenumbering system was introduced in 1956, when President Eisenhower signed a bill creating the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways. With a few exceptions, interstates follow these numbering conventions:

    • Interstates are numbered sequentially from west to east and from south to north (the opposite of US highways).
    • Numbers that ended in "5" are typically major routes that cross the country.

    With Eisenhower's Interstate bill, the fate of the Route 66 Diner and the Mom and Pop store was sealed. According to Charles Kuralt, "Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything."

         Fear of Friday the 13th is rooted in ancient, separate bad-luck associations with the number 13 and the day Friday. The two unlucky entities combine to make one super unlucky day. 
         There is a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, their heaven. In walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Balder died and the Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. 
         There is a Biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.
         A particularly bad Friday the 13th occurred in the middle ages. On a Friday the 13th in 1306, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil.
         In ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil. 
         Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose. 
         It is traditionally believed that Eve tempted Adam with the apple on a Friday. Tradition also has it that the Flood in the Bible, the confusion at the Tower of Babel, and the death of Jesus Christ all took place on Friday. 
         Numerologists consider 12 a "complete" number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus. In exceeding 12 by 1, 13's association with bad luck has to do with just being a little beyond completeness.
     
    • More than 80 percent of high-rises lack a 13th floor. 
    • Many airports skip the 13th gate. 
    • Airplanes have no 13th aisle.
    • Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13. 
    • Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery. 
    • On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half.
    • Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue
    • In France, socialites known as the quatorziens (fourteeners) once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate. 
    • Many triskaidekaphobes, as those who fear the unlucky integer are known, point to the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13. 
    • If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck . Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names.

    The 11th Hour: The Date Behind Veterans Day by Claudine Zap

    While most know that Veterans Dayhonors those who have served in the military, the meaning behind its exact date (November 11) may not be so familiar. Here's the backstory:

    Back in 1918, in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a stop to hostilities was declared, ending World War I. An armistice to cease the fighting on the Western Front was signed by the Allied powers and Germany.

    President Woodrow Wilsonimmediately proclaimed the day "Armistice Day," kicking off the annual commemoration on November 11. But over the years, with veterans returning from World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day — a day reserved to honor veterans returning from all wars. But 11/11 still represented the end of the Great War in the public's mind, and the date stuck.

    In 1921, unidentified dead from the war were buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., Westminster Abbey in London, and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The tradition to honor those killed in the war but never identified continues every yearin the U.S. The ceremony is held at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Congress designated Veterans Day as a legal holiday in 1938.

    Zap, Claudine. The 11th hour: The date behind Veterans Day. Retrieved on November 11, 2009 from http://buzz.yahoo.com/buzzlog/93165?fp=1
    Did you know...
    • George Washington was the only American president to be unanimously elected.
    • John Quincy Adams was the first to be photographed.
    • Andrew Johnson had no formal education. His wife taught him reading, writing and math.
    • Woodrow Wilson raised a flock of sheep on the White House lawn and the wool was used to raise money for the Red Cross during World War I.
    • Herbert Hoover donated his salary to charity.
    • Harry S Truman was the first president to give a speech on television.
    • Ronald Reagan acted in 53 films before becoming president.
    • George W. Bush was the first managing general partner of a Major League baseball team (Texas Rangers) to become president.

     

     
     
    Celebrating the American Presidency in America's National Parks. Just for fun: Presidential Trivia. Retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/pres/trivia.htm on December 03, 2009.
     
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    • Why do you have to 'put your two cents in'... but it's only a 'penny for your thoughts'?  Where's that extra penny going to?
    • Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
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    • Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?
    • If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?
    • Why does Goofy stand on two feet while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!
    • If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME junk, why didn't he just buy dinner?
    • If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?
    • If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
    • Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune? 
    • Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?
    • Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
    • Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?
    • Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they know there is not enough money?
    • Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
    • Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
    • Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?
    • Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

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Last Modified on February 23, 2012