The Austin Chronicle

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

By Mr. Smarty Pants, November 9, 2018, Columns

Queen Victoria popularized freshwater pearls from Scotland's Tay River, but Scottish river pearls have been coveted since the time of Julius Caesar. Today it's illegal to gather pearls from the Tay and other Scottish rivers; the mussel that produces the Scottish pearl has had protected status since 1998.

According to Axios, fossil fuels accounted for 81% of the world's energy consumption in 1987. Thirty years later it's still 81%.

According to The New Yorker, termites practice trophallaxis – transferring feces, microbes, and plant matter among themselves mouth to mouth and mouth to anus. This allows a communal pooling of digestive capacity that can be passed from generation to generation. If scientists can crack their DNA, they could produce biofuels and drug precursors.

Larry Geller, who supplied Elvis Presley with books and reading materials, estimated the king of rock & roll read over 1,000 books about philosophy and esoteric and spiritual teachings.

Back in the 19th century, the Linguistic Society of Paris and Philological Society of London banned linguists from speculating about the origin of language because they found the speculation too ridiculous.

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