When she died in 1991, German born Countess Karlotta Liebenstein, left her entire fortune to her pet German shepherd, Gunther III. The amount she left was sufficiently eye-watering to be reported confusingly in amounts ranging from $106 million to $145 million.
Posts by Max Cryer
As far back as ancient Egypt, garlic has been credited as a protection against a wide range of problems – and not just for its notable flavour. At least two versions of its origin ignore that it is just a plant, allium sativum, a tasty and aromatic member of the onion family. Early Egyptians perceived garlic as a gift from the gods, but post-biblical mythology decreed that it grew where Satan’s left foot trod as he was evicted from the Garden of Eden (the print of his right foot gave rise to ordinary onions).
From Max Cryer’s CURIOUS English words and phrases – the truth behind the expressions we use:
(Out for a) duck
Cricket usually has a visual scoreboard and if a player leaves the field having made no runs, a great big zero stands next to his or her name on the scoreboard. A practice arose many years ago of referring to this zero – because of its shape- as a duck’s egg, and this was shortened to just a duck. So if he or she was out for a duck, it means there was no score.
Richard Wagner was devoted to his King Charles spaniel named Peps, who actually participated in his master’s composing.
Wagner’s biographer H.T. Finck records that Peps constantly sat near Wagner when the composer was at the piano. Sometimes Peps would leap on to the table and peer into Wagner’s face, howling piteously.
From Max Cryer‘s book ‘Is It True?’
The distress call ‘mayday’ is English for the French term m’aidez.
Using the word ‘mayday’ dates from 1923, when a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport was asked to think of an easily understood word which could indicate distress.