The Billion Oyster Project

mullet over

– A new generation of battery-powered bicycle is soon to be marketed with a $1500 price tag. The vehicle can be propelled forward by traditional leg power or … the rider can twist a handlebar-mounted throttle and activate the 750W motor that is designed to travel at 20 mph (on a smooth road) for a 20 mile jaunt. It is called the RadRover and riders should wear helmets.

–  Lockheed Martin is in the process of designing a super-sonic plane that includes technology enabling the jet to fly faster than the speed of sound, but without creating the 105 decibel sonic boom previously typical of such craft. Currently dubbed Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator (LBFD), its activities create a 75 decibel boom (which is barely audible from ground level). The new design allows cruising at speeds exceeding 1000 mph at 55,000 feet. Two hundred forty million dollars has been budgeted for the construction of a prototype.

– Under the auspices of marine biologists and high school science teachers, some seniors at New York Harbor School are busy distributing and monitoring structures intended to mimic reefs that can be used to grow healthy oysters. Individual oysters can filter more than 50 gallons of water every 24 hours. A billion active oysters could filter all the water in New York Harbor every 72 hours. More than 6,000 local students and other volunteers are actively advancing The Billion Oyster Project. Those folks involved are receiving a hearty HOORAY from The Mullet.

– I was never aware that I had evolved into a devotee of thixotropic nourishment. Foods that separate into at least two layers of different viscosities are thixotropic. Many salad dressings, ketchups (good on almost everything!), mustards and similar foods that are temporarily “better after shaking” are thixotropic. By Jove, I may have unwittingly become a vibrando connoisseur or something.

– Meteorologists aver that approximately 70% of the earth’s surface is under cloud cover at all times. Wear sunblock anyway. I might mention that cumulonimbus clouds often tower to 60,000 feet and contain enormous amounts of energy in such forms as wind, lightning and copious amounts of falling rain.

– Scientists claim that during a mass extinction near the end of the Permian Period, 96 percent of all species on earth ceased to exist. Researchers think that numerous volcanoes in what is now Siberia caused much of the destruction. Poisonous gasses were spewed into the oceans. Forests were burned to the ground. And the protective ozone layer was shredded, allowing deadly ultra violet radiation 50,000 years of uninterrupted access to our planet’s surface. Well, be joyous that you are here – and enjoy those delicious thixotropics.

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