Green is good, at least when it comes to the environment and to the dyeing of the Chicago River this weekend. So enjoy St. Patrick's Day with a green beer, but don't get too green around the gills.
1. The green card, a permanent residency card for immigrants, hasn't been green for decades. It's mostly white and looks like a driver's license.
2. The left-field wall at Boston's Fenway Park is known as the Green Monster, but it wasn't always green. Until 1947, it was covered with advertisements. Another baseball icon, the scoreboard at Chicago's Wrigley Field, is green now but was a reddish-brown until the mid-'40s.
3. One of Dr. Seuss' classics is called "Green Eggs and Ham," but an early draft had the dish reversed as green ham and eggs. Author Ted Geisel soon came to his senses -- or nonsenses. By switching the order, he created a nifty phrase that rhymed with the name of his character Sam-I-am.
4. When military helicopter pilots use night-vision goggles, they travel through a world that glows green. Little wonder that they sometimes say they are flying through "green air."
5. On New Year's Day 1965, Soupy Sales had extra time at the end of his children's TV show. So he asked his young fans to go find their parents' wallets, take out those "little green pieces of paper" and mail them to him. The TV comedian didn't get much money out of it -- he hadn't announced his mailing address -- but he did receive a lot of grief from parents and a suspension from his boss.
6. Fear of the color green is known as chlorophobia.
7. Only 3 percent of North Americans say green is their favorite car color. And in U.S. auto racing, the color is sometimes considered bad luck, perhaps dating to a 1911 crash of a green Knox racer in Syracuse, N.Y., that killed 11 spectators. Joe Weatherly, NASCAR's champ in 1962 and '63, was famously afraid of the color green. But the feeling isn't universal. " English racing green" is a popular color for cars sponsored by British automakers. And the very green Mountain Dew is a NASCAR sponsor.
8. According to a magazine-industry myth, green covers are lousy sellers. Glamour Editor Cindi Leive told Slate in 2006 about an "almost physical fight" she had when she was at Self magazine over a cover featuring model Stephanie Seymour in a dark green sweater. The art director "was screaming in a thick and impassioned Finnish accent and telling me that dark green was the color of death."
9. The Green Hornet, a super-serious superhero, will get a comedic reinterpretation when filming begins in June for a movie with Seth Rogen, star of "Knocked Up."
10 Research in December revealed that men's faces are more red than women's, while women's faces are more green than men's. The study was done at Brown University, which trumpeted the news on its Web site by announcing, "Men Are Red, Women Are Green, Brown Researcher Finds."
Sources: "Dr. Seuss: American Icon" by Philip Nel, "The Color of Life" By Arthur G. Abbott, Stars and Stripes, snopes.com, doubletongued.org, cars.com, frontstretch.com, www.internationalhero.co.uk, slate.com, Tampa Tribune and brown.edu.
Mark Jacob is a deputy metro editor at the Tribune.
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