Weekly Wire
Austin Chronicle Mr. Smarty Pants

By R.U. Steinberg

DECEMBER 28, 1998: 

Ravel and unravel mean the same thing.

Telegraphers once used Prince Albert cans wedged against the telegraph sounder to render a distinct pitch to an individual's dot-dash code.

When you eat a fig, you are eating a flower, not a fruit.

Big Bertha, the large German gun that fired on Paris in 1918, was nicknamed after the rather portly Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, whose husband owned the Krupp steel and munitions plant.

Count Basie's real first name was William.

The above is information which Mr. Smarty Pants read in a book, a magazine, or the newspaper; heard on the radio; saw on television; or overheard at a party. Got any facts? Write to Mr. Smarty Pants in care of the Chronicle, or e-mail tomrpants@auschron.com.

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