Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

Darwin's death, gorging on glutamates, and more

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows
Charles Darwin's last words were, "I am not the least afraid to die."

According to Dan Aykroyd, most blues harmonica players play notes not by blowing out, but by drawing in.

Rentokil, a company in the UK, has introduced its "mouse extermination system," which uses carbon dioxide to "quickly and humanely" end a rodent's life, then text messages its user when the task has been completed.

"Umami" is a Japanese word meaning "savory" – one of the five basic tastes sensed by specialized receptor cells present on the human tongue. In scientific terms, the word refers to the detection of glutamates, which are especially ­common in meats, cheese, and other protein-heavy foods.

Some Australians believe that "noon" is a word that is used only in the movies, and that we don't really say it in the States. They prefer "midday."

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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