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The Quick 10: 10 Facts About Clark Gable

So, if you've stuck with me and the Quick 10s all week, you're in on the Clark Gable joke. Otherwise, here's what happened: Monday's post about martini preferences just happened to include the preference of the character Clark Gable played in the movie Teacher's Pet - turn a bottle of vermouth upside down to wet the cork, then run the damp cork around the rim of a martini glass and fill it with gin. No big deal.

Tuesday, to celebrate Veterans Day, we looked at 10 celebrities who left their fame to go serve the country. Guess who did that? Clark Gable. I thought it was funny that I randomly mentioned Clark Gable two days in a row (or maybe I have Clark Gable on the brain?) and decided to work him into the Q10s for the rest of the week. Now, Wednesday and Thursday may have been a stretch, but I did it. So, to finish out the week (and the joke), today's Q10 is all about Rhett Butler himself. Happy Friday "“ see you next week, when we return to our regularly-scheduled, un-Clark Gable-related posts.

1. He was accidentally listed as a female on his birth certificate.

2. His mom died of a brain tumor when he was less than a year old.

3. When he was first in Hollywood (1924), he went by W.C. Gable (his full name was William Clark Gable). By 1925, he had changed it to Clark Gable.

4. He had almost a full set of dentures when he was only 32.

Because of a bad gum infection in 1933, he had to have most of his teeth removed and replaced by dentures, which caused him to suffer from halitosis. During the filming of Gone with the Wind, Vivien Leigh complained about how foul the stench was... but they got along really well other than that.

5. He was a bit obsessed with cleanliness. He showered several times a day and never took a bath because he was disgusted by the thought of sitting in dirty water. He also had his sheets changed every single day.

6. He had an affair with Loretta Young while they were making The Call of the Wild. It resulted in a daughter, Judy Lewis. Loretta disappeared for a while to have the baby and denied that it was Gable's - she said she had adopted. It wasn't much of a secret, though - Judy grew up looking exactly like him (big ears and all) and the ruse was blown, even though Loretta Young didn't admit it until well after Judy was an adult. Judy actually had surgery at the age of seven to make her ears less prominent. In a strange coincidence, Gable and Young's daughter was very good friends with Cammie King, the girl who played Bonnie Blue in Gone with the Wind

7. He won an Academy Award for his role in It Happened One Night, but gave it away to a little kid who thought it was pretty. He figured winning it was more important than owning it. The Oscar was given back to Clark Gable's widow after he died in 1960.

shirt8. Clark Gable single-handedly made the sales of men's undershirts drop"¦ maybe. During It Happened One Night, he takes off his shirt and has nothing on underneath "“ keep in mind, this was a time when men always wore undershirts. Supposedly, the fad swept the nation and men's undershirts collected dust at the stores. Snopes classifies it as an unverified story, but it's interesting nonetheless.
9.He was so angry that his co-star Hattie McDaniel wasn't allowed to attend the premiere of Gone with the Wind, he was planning on boycotting it. He only ended up going because Hattie convinced him that it was OK. They were good friends and he enjoyed pranking her on the set of the movie - he once slipped alcohol into the teapot she was supposed to pour herself a drink out of; she didn't realize he had made the switch until she tasted it.
10. His movie Red Dust with Jean Harlow and Mary Astor from 1932 was remade in 1951 as Mogambo with Grace Kelly and Ava Gardner. He played the same role in both movies.

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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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