For you Downton Abbey fans: the setting for much of the action involving the Crawley family was recorded in a real castle, Highclere. The owner of the edifice in the early part of the 20th century was the 5th Earl of Canarvon and this nobleman financed none other than Howard Carter on his quest to discover ancient Egyptian tombs. Carter found King Tutankhamen’s secret burial site along with fantastic riches. While at the site, the Earl of Canarvon was bitten by an insect (likely a mosquito) and the tiny wound led to an infection which killed the unfortunate man. Thusly the legendary curse of the King Tut’s tomb was launched. Several others involved with excavation and looting met episodes of tragedy (including premature deaths). Rumor has it that presently ineffable treasures are kept uncatalogued and disorganized in underground vaults beneath Highclere Castle.
The largest cattle ranch in Texas is the fabled King Ranch which spans 6 counties and encompasses 825,000 acres. Worth mentioning are the Briscoe Ranches, a cattle-raising enterprise that includes land in 8 counties, but only 640,000 acres.
Jones County in Mississippi did something exceptional in the spring of 1864. The county seceded from the Confederacy. I understand that a movie drama/documentary is being made about this unusual event and some of the consequences which linger in the 21st century. I have buddies that nest at the local coffee shop and they threaten to secede after each presidential election, but the participants in the Jones County Rebellion really did, sort of.
By far, the most popular fruit in the world is the mango. Bananas are a distant second. There are at least 2,000 types of mangoes and the food has near universal appeal (and a peel).
An interesting legal case concerning poker involved a business on Staten Island. A Lawrence DiCristina unsuccessfully contended that his poker business should not be considered gambling and therefore not subject to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
DiCristina argued that poker was mostly a game of skill as evidenced by the same “good” players winning consistently and a like group of “poorly skilled” players constantly losing at online poker. He also insisted that he could supply names of players who were so adept that they made a living playing online at various poker establishments. On August 21, 2012 the earlier court decision was reversed and poker was declared to be predominantly a game of skill. That reversal has been appealed and the debate continues. Have a great week.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.