Friday, December 16, 2011

Kel's Fun Facts: Overstuffed Edition

I haven't given you fun facts in a week (I was out of town!), so you need an overstuffed edition of fun facts. Also, I went to a work holiday party and I am overstuffed with food. So... with all that, fun facts! You will be overstuffed with them!

Today is the 238th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.

The Tea Act of 1773, which the Boston Tea Party was protesting, lowered the price of tea.

After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world.

The earliest records of tea consumption are in the 10th century BC in China.

Tea became popular during the Tang Dynasty, which is when it spread from China to Korea and Japan.

Chang'an (present day Xi'an) was the capital during the time of the Tang Dynasty and was the most populous city in the world at that time.

The Tang Dynasty developed woodblock printing.

Block printing was used in 15th century Europe as a cheaper alternative to movable type. Entire pages of books were cut into a block and then were printed by rubbing onto one side of paper.

Block printing was also used for creating playing cards.

The 52 card deck, with 4 suits of 13 cards is known as the French Deck.

The Jack is also known as the Knave, but the name was changed by Samuel Hart when he printed a J instead of a Kn on the card.

In traditional French decks, the Jack of Diamonds is the only card to show only one eye. The Jack of Diamonds is historically designed to be based on Hector, the Trojan prince and greatest Trojan fighter in the Trojan War.

The Trojan War was started by the stealing/elopement of Helen by Paris.

Helen is usually said to be the daughter of Leda and Zeus, who seduced/raped Leda in the form of a swan.

A group of swans is called a bevy. A group of flying swans is called a wedge.

The Queen of England retains the right of ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water.

Catherine of Braganza, wife of King Charles II of England, introduced the custom of drinking tea to Britain.

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