Moot is a bummer

mullet over

– During some bleak days of WWII, Nazi Germany occupied Paris from June 14, 1940 until August 25, 1944. Hitler ordered the general in charge of the City of Lights to destroy the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Palace at Versailles and anything else “of prominence” before withdrawing. The Nazi commander was General von Choltitz and he refused to obey the destruction order. Dietrich von Choltitz is considered to be a hero by several factions, even some French. The brave general survived the wrath of Hitler, passing away in 1966 while residing in Baden-Baden (Germany).

– The world’s largest (and heaviest) gold coin is the Australian One Tonne weighing in at 2204.6 pounds. Value estimates total about $50,000,000 for its gold and numismatic assessments.

– Tidbit for you Civil War buffs: There exists compelling evidence that Jefferson Davis was in serious negotiations to obtain sovereignty recognition from France for his Confederate States of America. In early 1865, one of the last offers submitted included freeing all slaves in the South in exchange for acknowledgement that the CSA was an independent nation. Lee surrendered to Grant before France replied to the proposal, making the overture moot. I can relate from personal experiences that being classified as moot is a bummer.

– The “Chelsea” is a variety of haircut uniformly suited to male, female and whatever. The style apparently began in London’s Chelsea District. The coiffure involves shaving most of one’s head, leaving bangs on the front with tufts on the sides that feature “feathered” layers. Various dye patterns are common with bright colors including pink, purple, green, white and red. I have the “shaved look” given to me by nature, but tufts could be a special challenge.

– Silly Putty was developed in 1943 as James Wright was attempting to produce a silicone-based rubber substitute. It was deemed to be a nice try, but unfortunately a failure. After WWII (1950), the “failure” made its marketing debut as a novelty toy. More than 300,000,000 Silly Putty eggs have since been sold.

– For decades, matches were commonly called “Lucifers” because they could suddenly burst into flames when rubbed, jostled or otherwise disturbed.

– Haute couture is a French phrase that means “high fashion.” A typical haute couture gown is expertly sewn by hand using hand-picked premium materials. Outfits will likely cost from $10,000 to more than $100,000 each. It is my understanding that retired teachers (and their spouses) purchase very few haute couture garments. Well, be careful with Lucifers and have a great week.

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