This is a new type of post, which will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing. We can all appreciate some of the lesser known facts from around the world.
The ubiquitous piano ditty “Chopsticks” was written in 1877 by sixteen-year old Euphonia Allen. The name had nothing to do with Asian eating utensils, but came from the way she played her composition: with palms facing inward, the little fingers lowest, so that the movement of the hands hitting the keys mirrored a chopping motion.
The first folding game board was devised by a chess-loving priest in the twelfth century. At the time, the Church viewed chess as gambling and threatened to excommunicate any member of the clergy caught playing, so the priest cleverly created a special board that closed to resemble two books lying on top of each other.
These facts have been discovered in I NEVER KNEW THAT by David Hoffman (2009).