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Odd Factoids I Find Amusing

September 20, 2014
Posted at 8:08 pm

I do a lot of research when I'm writing stories. For example, I have a large book open on my desk titled "The Science of Cooking" that explains why certain recipes work the way they do. For example, did you know that unless the recipe specifically states otherwise, you should measure the flour for a cake before you sift it? Sifting the flour first will result in 1/3 less flour in the batter and a very flat cake.

I also research the schools in Indiana, even if I rename them and make stuff up about them. Recently I found this on the website for "the oldest, free public high school in continuous operation west of the Allegheny Mountains." At the end of the same paragraph, I found this sentence: "There are also more than 40 athletic teams and clubs available for each student." With 1308 students, I make that out to be approximately 52,320 athletic teams and clubs in the school. Yes, of course I know what they meant. It just isn't what they said.

There has not been a statewide high school basketball champion of all schools in Indiana since 1987 when they changed to the popular Class A, Class AA, AAA, and AAAA schools and only let teams compete against schools of approximately the same size. In 1964, the tiny school I went to in Northern Indiana (65 in my graduating class and a school with less than 250 students) Won fourth place in the State Tournament against the three biggest schools in the state. Now those teams only play 4A schools. My alma mater won the state championship in 2007--for Class A. There will never again be a Cinderella team that competes against all the schools in the state.

The school system that I attended for my first nine years in school now has one of the three largest high schools in the state with over 3300 students. There are only 66 black students in the school. That's a big difference to the 0 who were in my class. The only Asian in the school when I went there was an exchange student from Thailand. Yep. 100% white bread Northern Europeans. And in the entire three townships the school system serves, that is representative of the fully integrated population.

Until 2006, Indiana was one of only two states in the country that did not go on Daylight Saving Time. Most of the state stayed on Eastern Standard Time year round. The counties near Cincinnati went on Daylight Saving Time when Ohio did. The Evansville area counties and those in the northwestern section of the state (12 of 92 counties) were on Central Time and changed to Daylight Saving Time when Illinois did. Now only Arizona stays on Standard Time year round.

Just a few things that make writing fiction so much harder when the truth is so strange.