The yokes on yoga

mullet over

– Every once in a while, it rains in Cherrapunji (aka Sohra), India. I mean it REALLY rains. During one 48 hour period in 2014, slightly more than 98 inches (in excess of 8 feet) of rain fell on the city. That is a world record. The region is approximately 4200 feet above sea level and special attention is paid to the monsoon season.

– From the advancing world of science, a laboratory in Emeryville, California is experimenting with combining yeast powder and spider DNA to produce silk-like proteins than can be spun into fabrics that are especially soft, stretchable and strong. This may be the next fad in haute couture?

– In 1859, French physicist Gaston Planté constructed the world’s first rechargeable battery. The device used lead and sulfuric acid in a reverse current process. The basic technology is still in use today inside most automobile batteries.

– There are millions of people that participate in the practice of yoga. Many inaccurately believe that yoga is an ancient art of philosophy and exercise. The philosophy and exercise parts are correct, but today’s yoga is not ancient. What we deem as yoga began in the late 19th century in India. The word “yoga” is ancient with origins as early as 15th century B.C. However, back then “yoga” referred to animal yokes and later on, war chariots.

– For decades, the word “dunk” had been used to describe the action of propelling a basketball through the hoop from above the rim. Later, Los Angeles Lakers sports announcer “Chick” Hearn coined the term “slam dunk.” Chick is also credited with originating the terms “air ball,” “triple double” and “charity stripe.” Hearn was the Lakers broadcaster from 1965-2002. He passed away in 2002 at age 85.

– The first New York City Marathon race was held in 1970 and featured 127 competitors. In the 2017 event: 16, 211 runners will receive numbered entrant bibs. However, another 50,000 (or so) are expected to run unofficially, including about 9,000 charity slots. The 2017 race is scheduled for November 5 of this year, should you be interested.

– It was in 1893 that Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition. It was there and then that engineer George Ferris introduced his soon to be iconic Ferris Wheel. The Wheel stood 264 feet high and had a diameter of 250 feet. Each of the structure’s 36 cars could hold 60-65 people. Folks stood in long lines to pay 50 cents each to ride on the slowly spinning marvel. I do not know if Columbia ever returned the event favor and hosted a World’s Chicago Exposition. Anyways, have a great week.

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