“Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” – Abraham Lincoln, 1865 (the year of his death)
Jonathan Swift wrote a classic book called Gulliver’s Travels that borders on science fiction. It was written before ‘science fiction’ was what you called such books. In this book he wrote about two moons circling Mars. His descriptions of their size and orbital distance weren’t perfect but surprisingly accurate. He did this one hundred years before they were described by astronomers.
Phobos, on of Mars’ two moons
Phobos is roughly the diameter of San Francisco.
In one large city a phone operator traced the source of an emergency phone call because the caller would not speak. The phone only emitted unusual noises. When the ambulance crew arrived at the scene, they found a basset hound who had dialed 911 in the process of chewing up the phone.
Casimir Polemus of France survived three shipwrecks. In each case, he was the only survivor.
On December 5, 1664, a ship sank off the coast of Wales. The only survivor was a man named Hugh Williams. On December 5, 1785, another ship sank. One man survived, another Hugh Williams. On December 5, 1860, yet another ship went down with only one survivor – you guessed it – his name was Hugh Williams.
It is possible that a single pig caused the War of 1812. This pig was always getting into the neighbor’s yard and eating up prized shrubs and flowers. Finally the neighbor got mad and killed the pig with a pitchfork. The pig’s killer was a congressional candidate who lost the election by one vote. This was the vote cast against him by the late pig’s owner presumably because he was upset about the loss of his pig. When the matter of deciding about the war was voted upon, the issue passed by one vote. This was the vote of the candidate who had won the election by one vote.