The Wright stuff

mullet over

– Did you ever play with Lincoln Logs? Those iconic toy building sticks were patented in 1920 by John Lloyd Wright. John had a father that was somewhat famous named Frank Lloyd.

– We have all experienced days wherein “things went poorly.” I can identify with a man I read about that had broken his right forearm and was wearing a newly hardened cast later that same afternoon. He tripped and broke his nose when the unfortunate’s face hit the arm cast. Dang it, dang it.

– A few years back, a book was published claiming that during the era of the Underground Railroad, a code was sewn into homemade quilts in order to relay messages clandestinely. Scholars are largely skeptical of this assertion. No valid documentation supporting the theory has been presented. Serious researchers suspect this is another example of intriguing, but false history.

– Every planet in our solar system has been named for a Roman or Greek deity — except one. Earth was dubbed Earth even before it was recognized as a planet. Earth is thought to be derived from an Old English word that means “dirt.”

– The phrase “low man on the totem pole” actually connotes the opposite of its commonly intended meaning. The lowest carving on most totem poles is the most observed and the figure first carved on the bottom indicates importance and significance.

– It was in 1898 when New York City first encompassed much of the area that comprises the metropolis today. That was the year that an assemblage of several municipalities joined the cities of Brooklyn and Manhattan to unite harbor facilities under one local government. I might add that of the five boroughs forming NYC, only one is not an island: The Bronx.

– In Colonial America bout three hundred years ago, people of age 35 had usually lost most of their teeth because of various dental maladies. It seemed strange to some that the truly wealthy lost their teeth sooner and in larger volume than did the middle classes or the impoverished. The main factor was sugar consumption. Only the rich could afford all the sugar they desired. Inferior dental hygiene plagued all classes. A person of age 50 who possessed a full set of his/her natural teeth was rare.

– Another urban legend bites the dust: Nowhere on earth does the sun heat pavement or rocks to a temperature hot enough to fry an egg. A temperature of at least 158 degrees Fahrenheit would be required to fry a typical chicken egg. The hottest surface temp yet detected with validation was 145° F and that was on blacktop pavement, not a sidewalk. Oh well, bon appetite and have a great week.

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at