– I observed lightning striking once on Texas gulf waters and once on a Texas lake. I wondered why hundreds of electrocuted fish did not suddenly appear floating for easy apprehension (I hoped to scoop up my limit and return, boasting of angling prowess). Scientists claim that nearly all the electricity released in a surface strike is dissipated within a depth of 3 inches and within a radius of 10 feet. Ergo, never will a solitary lightning bolt kill all fish in Lake Superior or the Bering Sea or Coleto Creek Reservoir (bass place in my neck of the woods.)
– I read that 23 of our American states have designated square dancing as their official state dance. Swing your partner, dos-y-dos (doe si doe?).
– In an effort to offer true marksmen a challenge, one Vermont shooting club proffers a competition that includes firing at a target that is out of sight, around a corner. I kid you not: The intended objective is to deflect a bullet off an angled piece of steel 2 feet by 2 feet and bang a metal bull’s eye suspended several feet to the right of the initial line of fire. Witnesses aver that some of the marksmen actually hit the thing. It is generally recommended that one refrain from disputing the claims of people who aver and possess loaded rifles.
– The long battle against polio is being won. In 2016, only three countries reported new cases of the dreaded disease: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
– Until 1862, all currencies issued by the U.S. Mint were coins. To help pay for the ongoing war effort, our U.S. Congress first authorized the Treasury to print paper money.
– A raisin dropped into a carbonated drink will traverse from the surface to the bottom of the drink and back continuously for several minutes. Be the hit of your next party.
– Along the northern coast of Australia, there exists a species of jelly fish that is not well known outside the region. Dubbed the Irukandji, the thumbnail-sized creature can sting with a toxin that is 100 times more lethal than venom from a king cobra. What makes the poison particularly menacing is that victims initially feel no pain and it normally takes 30 minutes before nerve damage and brain hemorrhaging onsets. Although swimmers are warned with posted signs and public announcements, Irukandji encounters cause approximately 5 human fatalities each year. Well, have a great week – perhaps go square dancing.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.