– Since Graceland opened to the public in 1982, visitor attendance at the site has averaged just over 600,000 per annum. More than 80,000 fans turned out for Elvis’ funeral in August of 1977.
– The study of traffic flow in metropolitan areas has become a multifaceted (and lucrative) science. Hourly coordinating hundreds of traffic lights during various seasons and events has developed into a big business enterprise. Engineers, mathematicians and behavioral scientists attempt to harmonize movements involving hundreds of thousands of vehicles and “it ain’t easy.” Formulas for efficient traffic flow are constantly evolving and being refined. Experts from diverse fields even study the activities of fish schools in our oceans and the navigations of huge ant masses in South American jungles. Creatures in nature seem to have solved some problems enmeshed with group travel and have done so with remarkable efficiency.
– Dogs are typically far more capable of detecting odors than are any whiff-sniffing humans. A typical bloodhound may have 300 million olfactory receptor cells while the average human will feature only 5 million. Those hounds have the advantage by a factor of 60. Every human releases a unique set of scents clearly recognizable by bloodhounds.
– For those who simply must have fast cars: An American manufacturer will soon be offering its 2018 Demon that is capable of attaining a speed of 60 mph in 2.3 seconds. The driver of such a machine can experience g-forces exceeding 1.8 as the coupe blasts to a speed of 170 mph. Each tire is just over 12 inches wide. I do not own any such vehicle (Big Surprise) and have no intention of ever riding in one. MSRP (Millionaire’s Squandered Ridiculous Prices) start at $85,000. Few options are available. The spectrum of available exterior colors include only red and white.
– Something called the Vredefort Dome is in South Africa. I mention this particular V. Dome because it is the largest impact crater on earth. The cavity measures 186 miles at its widest. Scientists conclude that a colossal collision occurred at that site an estimated 2 billion years ago — so it is likely that only one-celled animals would have been around to celebrate the event.
– President Abraham Lincoln commented that a significant factor in his first presidential victory was a flattering photographic portrait taken by Matthew Brady. Many copies were distributed (especially in newspapers) throughout the Northern States. Never underestimate the power of the press (trivia columns excepted). Well, try to appreciate the efforts of traffic engineers the next time you while away a portion of your life during “rush” hour – and do 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.