It is nice to be king

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– After watching many video recordings involving accomplished weightlifters, athletes and coaches have discovered that the foot-ankle angle for efficient squats is crucial to successful lifts. Discovering an athlete’s most productive angle and consistently maintaining that incline is difficult. Enter the shoe manufacturers. A famous sport shoe company is currently marketing a special item with a ¾ inch raised heel that provides what is believed to be the most efficient foot-ankle slant for most competitors. If one is especially talented or rich, shoes can be (expensively) constructed to meet individual specifications. Distinctive heel-raised footwear designed to accommodate sprinters is said to be available in the near future. At my age, I doubt that extraordinary shoes will enable me to become suddenly and astonishingly swift or powerful.

– The Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Egyptian Empire were all huge and remain renowned with considerable influences lingering today. However, the largest domain of any ruled realm was the British Empire. In 1920, the BE encompassed more than 13 million square miles. Huge territorial losses occurred after WWII, especially the liberation of India (1947). Some claim the British Empire no longer exists, but Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch reigning over the UK and 16 additional countries. Canada, Australia and New Zealand are by far the largest satellite entities remaining under her rule.

– In about 1850, French author François Sudre made up a language and called it Solresol. Every word in his language was made up using syllables from the musical scale do,re,mi,fa,sol, la and ti. Some example words: ladoti (meaning “book”) and tilamido (“police”). His efforts temporarily drew a lot of attention. Sudre gave demonstrations to audiences wherein notes from sheet music were translated into Solresol. Paid violinists and choral groups played/sang various messages. Solresol was widely employed by no one. People thought of the language only as a joke or novelty. Some thought it great amusement to croon and mock the linguistic innovation at social gatherings and saloons.

– It is nice to be king. The established length of Olympic Marathons was set at 26 miles until London hosted The Games in 1908. A distance of 26 miles was marked from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium. Then 385 yards was added to the race in order that the finish line would be directly in front of King Edward VII’s royal box. To this day, all official full-length marathons measure 26 miles 385 yards. Well, have a great week – and latido (peace).

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

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