by Diana Filer
1. We have seasons that change because of the direction of the earth’s orbit around the sun. The tilt of the earth never changes but it tilts toward the sun at the equinox, giving us longer and sunnier days. 2020 is the first year since 1896 that the equinox is appx 18 hours early, because this year the earth’s axis aligns perfectly perpendicular to the sun’s rays.
2. The main ingredient and flavour of the liqueur Sambuca is anise.
3. Georgia O’Keeffe is the highest-selling woman in art. Her ‘Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1’, painted in 1932, sold for $44.4 million at auction in 2014. The highest-selling living woman artist is Yayoi Kusama.
4. Las Vegas means ‘The Meadows’ in English.
5. In the Old Testament, rules existed for isolating lepers, but it was the Black Death in the 14th Century that quarantines really began as we know them. Apparently Venice established the first one, requiring that all ships lay at anchor in the harbour for 40 days before landing. Quarantine derives from quadraginta, the Latin word for 40.