Extracted from a meteorite

mullet over

There exists no widely accepted definition of “Bowie Knife.” Most historians agree that Jim Bowie did not design or make the original blade. Mr. Bowie did carry a large knife. One nineteenth century attempt at a definition/description: “It must be capable of holding a razor-sharp edge, have a blade at least 6 inches long, heavy enough to chop wood, sport a full-length tang (not the orange kind) and should be carried in a leather sheath that minimizes edge contact while the weapon is in waiting.” The Bowie Knife has been a basis for many legends including that the prototype consisted of forged metal extracted from a meteorite that fell in Arkansas circa 1820.

A painting by Leonardo Da Vinci entitled “The Salvador Mundi” (The Savior of the World) is scheduled to be auctioned on November 15 of this year (2017). The painting was once owned by Louis XII of France and later by Charles I of England. Last purchased in 1958 for 58 British pounds, the pre-sale estimate of the 18” X 26” painting is $100,000,000 or a little over $213,000 per square inch. Should one of our readers purchase this item, please let me know and I shall award recognition.

In 1927, researchers at Bell Laboratories discovered that electrified quartz crystals vibrate at a remarkably consistent rate. The discovery was quite significant and led to the introduction of quartz time devices which were initially accurate to 1/3 of a second per year– far more accurate than any other types of clocks or watches available in 1927.

Long ago, Greeks established an alphabet that was intended to be read left to right. That is likely the technique you are using to read this column. However, written Arabic words are to read right to left while Chinese characters are written and read top to bottom.

In 1947 near Centralia, Illinois, a mine explosion killed 111 miners. 142 men were working the doomed shift. Eight were dug out alive and 23 managed to escape through their own efforts. Everyone else working during that fated stint died. New safety regulations were promised by legislators and mine owners, but the townspeople collectively claimed that no effective action was taken until more mining disasters occurred. Woodie Guthrie recorded 3 songs about the Centralia tragedy.

Earliest known date for the use of the number “0” was found on a document carbon-dated to be written between the years 224-383 A.D. Prior to the use of zero, I wonder what the rating of my singing voice might have been. Perhaps “screech, crow-call or banshee shriek.” Have a great week. (jkwhite46@gmail.com)

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