For the Record
This blog is hosted by the Idaho Press-Tribune; the opinions and content provided here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the Idaho Press-Tribune.
Eric Muhr
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 1:00 am

A sneeze travels out of your mouth at over 100 mph. Donna Griffiths from Worcestershire in the UK holds the record for sneezing. She sneezed for 978 days in a row, finally stopping on September 16, 1983.

Some ribbon worms will eat themselves if they can't find any food.

Pathologists often use animals for research, especially when that animal has specific human qualities. For instance, more

Eric Muhr
Monday, July 30, 2012 - 1:00 am

With an advanced sense of smell, cows can detect sodium from up to six miles away.

First introduced at the 1904 World's Fair, puffed rice was billed as an alternative to popcorn, not as a breakfast cereal.

William Painter, inventor of the bottle cap, suggested a number of tools for opening bottles: a knife, a screwdriver, a nail, an ice pick. He later created a bottle cap opener.

Visual more

Eric Muhr
Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 1:00 am

The Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio, is home to the graves of humor columnist Erma Bombeck as well as the first-in-flight Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur. But tourists usually visit Woodland in search of Johnny Morehouse. Morehouse, a 5-year-old boy, died in 1860 when he fell in a canal. His dog pulled him out, but the rescue came too late. He's buried under a sleeping stone boy, and more

Eric Muhr
Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 1:00 am

The best time to buy shoes is in the afternoon. That's because the more time you've spent on your feet, the more likely they are to swell. Buy shoes in the morning, and chances are that they will be tight and uncomfortable later in the day.

The word "can" as in "tin can" was first used in 1839 by bookkeepers at Underwood's, America's first cannery. The new more

Eric Muhr
Friday, July 27, 2012 - 1:00 am

In a 16th century effort to purify the English language, it was suggested that words with Latin or Greek origins be replaced with those that had Old English roots. John Cheke, the man behind the suggestion, wanted to replace centurion with hundreder, prophet with foresayer and resurrection with gainrising, among others.

There is enough concrete in the Hoover Dam to pave a two-lane highway from more

Eric Muhr
Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 1:00 am

Dian Fossey, who lived among gorillas for 18 years, found that the animals were so similar that it was sometimes difficult to differentiate young males from the females. But she worked out a system of identifying each animal by its nose. The system worked because each gorilla has a unique nostril shape and pattern of lines on its nose.

Arabic numerals were not invented by Arabs. Instead, they more

Eric Muhr
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 1:00 am

The West Australian Christmas tree takes the easy way out when it comes to finding food, attaching its roots to those of nearby trees in order to steal nourishment.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed 41 symphonies.

In colonial Connecticut, disobedient children faced stiff legal punishments. For instance, one law allowed for the death penalty if children "above 15 years old, and of more

Eric Muhr
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 1:00 am

A widely held 17th century superstition claimed that if a murderer touched his victim's corpse, the dead body would bleed.

Thick-tailed bushbabies, found in East and southern Africa, give birth to more males than females. About 57 percent of all live births are male offspring.

In zoos, adult female tigers receive 11 to 14 pounds of dressed meat each day.

The Florida strangling fig gets more

Eric Muhr
Monday, July 23, 2012 - 1:00 am

Flinders Petrie, known as the "Father of Egyptian Archeology," spent many of his years, investigating the Great Pyramid, wearing nothing but pink underwear. He claimed it made him appear strange and kept the tourists away so that he could get on with his work and avoid unnecessary distractions.

Tigers use every available piece of cover while stalking their prey: grass, brush, fallen more

Eric Muhr
Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 1:00 am

On measuring the three pyramids at Giza, Napoleon's surveyors were convinced that they could build a wall around the entire country of France - three feet thick and nine feet tall - with stones from the Egyptian monuments.

England's first Christian poet, Caedmon, got his start in the seventh century with one of the simplest chores. He worked as a stable-lad in a monastery.

Texas, when more

Eric Muhr
Saturday, July 21, 2012 - 1:00 am

Emergency room doctors say that if you could schedule a medical crisis, it would be best to aim for a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday morning. Emergency rooms are busiest from noon to midnight, and most surgeries and doctor's appointments are scheduled early in the week, making it more difficult to get quick service and quality care on short notice.

Although born in 1867, Frank Lloyd Wright more

Eric Muhr
Friday, July 20, 2012 - 1:00 am

London's 19th-century anatomy schools secretly paid full-time resurrectionists to dig up dead bodies for use in the classroom. The body snatchers earned about $1,000 a year, which was five to 10 times the earnings of the average, unskilled laborer.

Sleep researchers find that some mammals, like the giraffe or the roe deer, sleep for only three hours a day while others, such as the opossum more

Eric Muhr
Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 1:00 am

Teflon, the nonstick material that is often touted as a result of the space race, was actually created in 1938, years before the U.S. put a man on the moon. And its invention was a lucky mistake. Roy Plunkett had been attempting to make a nontoxic refrigerant. Plunkett's discovery was kept a military secret until 1946. The first nonstick cooking pans were produced by the Tefal Company in more

Eric Muhr
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 1:00 am

Ventriloquism literally means "belly-talking."

Plato, the well-known Greek philosopher, was born as Aristocles. And scholars have argued over the reason he took a new name, which when translated, means broad or flat. Some suggest it is because Plato had a broad forehead, indicating intelligence. Others claim Plato took the name because of his broad shoulders.

It has been estimated more

Eric Muhr
Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 1:00 am

When a dispute arose between the colonial towns of Lyme and New-London, Conn., over a certain piece of property, the citizens of both communities agreed to a unique solution. Each town selected two champions - Griswold and Ely for Lyme, and Ricket and Latimer for New-London. The men met on a designated field for a fistfight. Griswold and Ely won the slugfest, so the town of Lyme took possession more

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Eric Muhr's column, For the Record, appears daily in the Idaho Press-Tribune and other newspapers. Eric got his start in 2003 as an education reporter in Nampa. Back in junior high, he was nicknamed The Brain. You can e-mail him at
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