Gutzon Borglum (March, 1867- March, 1941) was the primary architect and designer of the famous Mount Rushmore sculptures. He began carving the four faces out of South Dakota granite in 1927 when he was 60 years of age. Borglum worked on the project depicting presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt for the last 14 years of his life. Gutzon’s son Lincoln oversaw the works’ completion. The finished product was dedicated in October of 1941. More than 450,000 tons of stone were removed while sculpting the faces. I have visited the site and it is impressive. A park ranger conducting a tour claimed that at least once every day someone soberly inquires if the faces were a natural occurrence discovered by explorers, etc. His comment made me feel a bit silly for asking.
It is perhaps surprising to learn that 16 of the top 25 windiest cities in the U.S. are located in Massachusetts.
Look out New Guinea! Scientists claim that the continent of Australia has drifted 4.9 feet northward since 1994.
Radio carbon dating of tooth and bone samples indicates that Russia’s Wrangel Island (2,900 sq. mi.) in the Arctic Ocean was the last stronghold of the legendary wooly mammoth species. Apparently the isolated piece of land was home to the hairy elephant-like creatures as late as 2000 B.C. That would mean these huge mammals were migrating and grazing while the first pyramids of Egypt were being erected and quite possibly when the prophet Abraham (circa 2100 B.C.) was alive.
There is an old stone bridge in Greece called the Kazarma Bridge (I am not making this up). The structure is about 72 feet long, 18 feet wide and 13 feet high. Supposedly constructed in the 12th century B.C., the overpass is still used daily by the local populace. Three thousand years old – bridge builders don’t make them like they used to.
Being married is apparently good for some people. Statistics indicate married folk are approximately 14 percent less likely to have a fatal heart attack than are single citizens.
Speaking of citizens, several disturbed residents reported weirdly behaving starlings in Australia. Vast flocks of birds loudly screeched, squawked and even attacked cattle. They would wildly fly into the grills and windshields of motor vehicles to such an extent that miles-long traffic jams were created on the country’s National Highway (A2). Animal behaviorists were called in and were initially totally baffled. Finally one group of ornithologists discovered a huge patch of fermented berries in the region. The birds were drunk.
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.