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The Quick 10: 10 Fun Facts About The Emmys

The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards will be handed out on Sunday. To get you in the award show mood, here are ten Emmy facts you might not know.

factsoflife.jpg1. The name "Emmy" was derived from the term "immy," which described the image orthicon tubes common in early TV cameras.

2. In 1987, The Facts of Life was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling. (Moonlighting won. Max Headroom was also nominated.)

3. Pee-Wee's Playhouse won 22 Emmy Awards (including Daytime Emmys). Paul Reubens was also nominated as a guest star on Murphy Brown.

4. In 1971, George C. Scott turned down his Oscar for the movie Patton, complaining the Oscars were a petty popularity contest. But that same year, he accepted an Emmy for his role in Hallmark Hall of Fame's The Price.

5. In 1992, NBC's Wings had nominees for Best Supporting Actor and Actress "“ for guest stars Tyne Daly and Kelsey Grammer (reaching to play psychiatrist Frasier Crane). Tony "Antonio Scarpacci" Shalhoub would grin and bear it for eleven more years before being recognized for Monk.

Frasier.jpg6. Speaking of Grammer, he's the only actor to be nominated for the same character on three different shows "“ Wings (once), Cheers (twice), and Frasier (ten nominations, four Best Actor wins). Speaking of Cheers, Sam Malone, Diane Chambers, Carla Tortelli, Lilith Sternin-Crane, Woody Boyd and Rebecca Howe were all winners. John Cleese also won an Outstanding Guest Actor statue for his brilliant Dr. Simon Finch-Royce.

7. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards both won for Seinfeld. Jason Alexander was nominated "“ and lost "“ seven consecutive times; Jerry himself lost five straight years.

8. Dynasty was nominated 24 times; Dynasty lost 24 times.

9. Cops has been nominated four times (Outstanding Informational Series, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994).

10. The very first Emmy was awarded in 1949 to Shirley Dinsdale, a 20-year-old ventriloquist. That year, she was the Most Outstanding Television Personality.

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Animals
Why Tiny 'Hedgehog Highways' Are Popping Up Around London
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Hedgehogs as pets have gained popularity in recent years, but in many parts of the world, they're still wild animals. That includes London, where close to a million of the creatures roam streets, parks, and gardens, seeking out wood and vegetation to take refuge in. Now, Atlas Obscura reports that animal activists are transforming the city into a more hospitable environment for hedgehogs.

Barnes Hedgehogs, a group founded by Michel Birkenwald in the London neighborhood of Barnes four years ago, is responsible for drilling tiny "hedgehog highways" through walls around London. The passages are just wide enough for the animals to climb through, making it easier for them to travel from one green space to the next.

London's wild hedgehog population has seen a sharp decline in recent decades. Though it's hard to pin down accurate numbers for the elusive animals, surveys have shown that the British population has dwindled by tens of millions since the 1950s. This is due to factors like human development and habitat destruction by farmers who aren't fond of the unattractive shrubs, hedges, and dead wood that hedgehogs use as their homes.

When such environments are left to grow, they can still be hard for hedgehogs to access. Carving hedgehog highways through the stone partitions and wooden fences bordering parks and gardens is one way Barnes Hedgehogs is making life in the big city a little easier for its most prickly residents.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
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Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.


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Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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