Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

The first telegraphs came in the form of optical telegraphs, including the use of smoke signals, beacons, or reflected light. A semaphore network invented by Claude Chappe operated in France from 1792 through 1846 and was widely imitated throughout Europe and the U.S. The last commercial semaphore link ended in Sweden in 1880.

According to author Matthew Hart, a loaf of bread costs $12 on the black market in the gold mine tunnels of South Africa.

Since 1990, the proportion of women crossing the finish line in running events has more than doubled (25% in 1990, to 56% in 2012).

According to, this season's NFL kickers have made 99.6% of their extra points and 85.9% of their field goals, both records for any season to date.

According to writer Richard J. Miller, coca leaves are still used to flavor Coca Cola, after most of the cocaine content is removed.

The above is information that Mr. Smarty Pants read in a book, magazine, or newspaper; heard on the radio; saw on television; or overheard at a party. Got facts? Write to Mr. Smarty Pants. Why not visit
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