31 cities have at least 10,000,000 inhabitants

mullet over

– North Korea is not using the same calendar as most of the world. Like most of the planet, the USA employs the Gregorian calendar. However, the official North Korean calendar starts with the birth of Kim Il-Sung (April 15, 1912 by our timeline).

A new world record for the heaviest single unit of fruit was established in Belgium last year with a 2,626.6 pound pumpkin. Yep, pumpkin is a fruit. Competitive growers in Britain, Switzerland and Belgium claim that a 3,000 pound pumpkin lurks in the near future. Smashing.

I might add that someone in Sevierville, Tennessee grew a 350 pound watermelon. Eine Grosse Wassermelone, ja?

At the Kennedy Space Center (Florida), visitors can touch an actual moonrock. Individuals cannot legally purchase an authentic moonrock at any price. But take heart – I have discovered online sites that will sell plots on Earth’s moon. One site vends entire moons from other planets. Be cautious as I am informed by people wiser than I that accompanying deeds may lack genuine value.

Ecuador, Eritrea (?), Kosovo, Nigeria and Singapore are all making their initial appearances at the Winter Olympics competitions this year. None are the favorite to win gold.

The bird that can swim the fastest is the Gentoo (I am not making this up) Penguin. Those Gentoos can zip-swim at speeds that exceed 22 mph. However, they are simply doleful when attempting to fly in air.

Unless you are of an especially hardy ilk, carefully plan your visits to Yakutsk (Sakha Republic). Although temperatures reach as high as 85°>Fahrenheit during brief summers, the municipality is recognized as the coldest city in the world. Certified lowest temp was – 83° F. Notice the “-”. National Geographic sent a reporter/photographer to complete a story about a Yakutsk (population 300,000) winter. The poor guy’s camera was almost instantly covered in frost as he stepped outside. The camera’s internal mechanisms froze — would not function. Likely went back indoors to shoot through windows or simply submitted charcoal sketches *(speculation on my part).

Has it seemed crowded where you reside? Official head counters from 2016 announced to the world that this planet was home to 31 cities that have at least 10,000,000 inhabitants. The claim is that 41 such metropolises will exist by the year 2030. Well, I advise that you avoid January skinny-dipping in the Lena River (Yakutsk’s seaport outlet) and I wish you a jovial, chirpy week.

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