007 on the fly

mullet over

– Russia is still occupies the most land area of any nation in the world. With 6.6 million square miles, Russia spans eleven time zones.

– Automotive engineers in Japan have teamed with various other experts to create a James Bond type vehicle than is capable of speeding down highways and can become airborne to fly like a conventional airplane. The mechanical marvel has been dubbed Skydrive. Plans are being finalized to use the vehicle to fulfill a featured role in lighting the Olympic torch at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

– 8 ½ inches by 11 inches is the standard size for letter paper, pretty much all over the world. It is sort of strange how these customary dimensions gained acceptance. In the seventeenth century paper makers tried different sized molds seeking what proportions could best utilize contemporary manufacturing methods to make paper sheets of quality appearance and practical durability. Various dimensions of paper molds were tried. In by the 1920’s, 8 ½ by 11 had predominantly become the most popular size. Once the major paper makers used the same measurements, almost everyone fell in step and followed suit. However, our U.S. government folks employing reasoning only they possessed decreed that all of their official issues would be on sheets measuring 8 by 10 ½ inches. This questionable decision was the authoritative standard until 1980 when our progressive leaders adopted 8 ½ by 11 as its paper standard. Congress is rumored to be aggravatingly slow. Gossip has it that the eminent group does not recognize June Bugs until August.

– In 1962 the pesticide DDT was banned almost world-wide. Environmentalists hailed the ban, but not so all health officials. Some disease experts claim that the ban led directly to the deaths of tens of millions of people. Previously controlled populations of mosquitos and tsetse flies spread deadly infections among humans in plague-like numbers. This information garnered from a respected science publication (June 2017) was news to me.

– The baseball bats used by major leaguers typically cost $300 to $800 each. When I was much younger, I owned a Hank Aaron model Louisville Slugger. I think it cost about $5. I know it was a piece of lumber identical to Hank’s because “Official” was stamped on the bat barrel. Try as I might, Aaron’s “numbers” dwarfed mine in every judicious aspect. Some insightful person explained “When you can’t dance, don’t blame the floor.” Have a great week.

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at jkwhite46@gmail.com.