Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

Mr. Smarty Pants Knows

"Straitlaced," meaning "rigidly narrow in moral matters," referred originally to a tightly laced corset – "strait" meaning "tight" or "close-fitting." Over time, writers have forgotten the etymology and confused "strait" with "straight."

According to a study recently published in Current Biology, pandas turned to a bamboo-only diet just 5,000 to 7,000 years ago, possibly due to humans intruding on their territory.

Joseph Stalin's daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, defected to the U.S. in 1967 and became a U.S. citizen in 1978. But in 1984, she returned to the Soviet Union and had her citizenship there returned.

An old cure for sprains involved bathing the affected area in hot water, then in a solution of 1-2 tablespoons salt in vinegar, water, and alcohol, for a total volume of one pint.

Some believe photographer Astrid Kirchherr is responsible for the Beatles adopting their early hairstyle. One night, she saw the band playing Hamburg and soon after fell in love with Stu Sutcliffe, then the band's bassist. Kirchherr washed his hair and combed his locks straight down over his forehead (a haircut she saw among many German boys at her college).

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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