Aphabetic Pairs -- interesting facts

This will replace the previous “Aphabetic Pairs” thread, which exhausted itself through several variations.

The goal now is to go from AA to ZZ (and then repeat), using any binomial expression with the progressing initials ( AA, AB, AC, etc.), and add a short comment that lends an interesting and remarkworthy (trivia or significa) observation… The two-word expression need not be a proper name, just any two-word expression about which you can astound us with your knowledge or research skills. AA can be Alan Alda or Anniston, Alabama, or acute angle or authoritarian archbishop.

Here goes:

AA = American avocet, a wading bird whose brilliant cinnamon-colored head distinguishes it from three other speciesl of avocets.

AB = Ambrose “Bitter” Bierce, American author whose motto was “Nothing matters”, and who traveled to Mexico in 1913 to get a first-hand look at the Mexican Revolution, and was never seen again.

AC - Antelope Canyon. A few decades ago, a tour group was passing through the canyon, when an unexpected flash flood struck. All members of the group perished… except the tour leader, who was forced up through a skylight and into the air, naked. Since then, they’ve established better methods of predicting flash floods.

AD = Anno Domini, “the year of the Lord”, a dating system created in 525 A.D. by Dionysius Exiguus, to replace the Diocletian Era system. 247 D.E. (the last year of the old table) = 532 A.D. It didn’t really become popular until about 800 A.D.

AE = Arthur Eddington.

Aside from being one of the most noted astronomers of his time, Arthur Eddington is credited with devising a measure of a cyclist’s long-distance riding achievements. The Eddington number in the context of cycling is defined as the maximum number E such that the cyclist has cycled E miles on E days. For example, an Eddington number of 70 would imply that the cyclist has cycled at least 70 miles in a day on 70 occasions.

AF- Arthur Frampton was Monty Python’s “man with 3 buttocks.”

Ag is the chemical symbol for silver, from the Latin *argentum *(silver).

AH = Austria-Hungary

Austria-Hungary was a sprawling union of two kingdoms in central Europe, that lasted for 40 years, finally dissolving with its defeat in WWI in 1918. It included the entirety of seven modern countries, and parts of five more.

AI = Amy Irving, actress and ex-wife of Stephen Spielberg; she would have played Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark, but she and Stephen had a falling out over here affair with Willie Nelson.

AJ- Future President Andrew Jackson, at age 13, was a prisoner of the British during the Revolutionary War. He sassed a British soldier who’d ordered Jackson to shine his boots, and was rewarded with a blow to the face from a sword. It left a lasting scar.

AK - Abilene, Kansas, is home to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, and the Greyhound Hall of Fame. (That’s the dog breed, not the bus line.)

AL = Alf Landon

Kansas governor Alf Landon was defeated in a landslide by Franklin Roosevelt in the presidential election in 1936. Two years before, he was one of only two Republican governors to be re-elected. His daughter, Nancy Kassebaum, remained in the US Senate until sixty years later.

(She had the most beautiful eyes of any human being I have ever seen.)

(Connection with AK was coincidental. This thread does not required a link from one post to another.)

AM = Ante Meridian, literally “before noon”. This doesn’t actually work in practice, for if it did 1 a.m. would be one hour before noon, which is what we call 11 a.m.

AN- Anthony Newley, ex-husband of sex symbol Joan Collins, introduced the song “What Kind of Fool Am I?” in the musical Stop the World, I Want to Get Off, which he co-wrote with Leslie Briscusse.

AO = Akron, Oho

The word Akron is Greek for summit, or peak. Akron was named that as it would be at the summit of the proposed Ohio and Erie Canal, connecting the Ohio River with Lake Erie. Akron is in Summit County, although the flat area does not give any suggestion of any summits, peaks, or conspicuous akrons.

AP- Austin Powers, fictional British spy, was inspired in large part by Harry Palmer, the bespectacled agent played by Michael Caine in “The Ipcress File.” That’s why Mike Myers gave Caine the role of Powers’ father in “Goldmember.”

AQ = Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, Cornish author/editor of The Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900, who used the pseudonym of Q. He was knighted in 1910, and made a Bard of the Cornish society Gorseth Kernow, taking the Bardic name of Marghak Cough (The Red Knight). He died after being hit by a jeep in 1944.

AR = Alfa Romeo

The Italian car company started making competion cars in 1911 under the acronym for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, and four years later expanded the name to include the new owner, Nicola Romeo.

Another town in Summit County is “Peninsula”. It is nowhere near a peninsula.

AS = Arne Saknussemm, a fictional 16th Century scholar and alchemist, owner of an old Icelandic book that showed the way for one to Journey to the Center of the Earth. He was persecuted for heresy and his works were burned in 1573.