Viking burial sites

mullet over

– For any fellow Beatle fans: Yoko Ono is 85 years old. Paul McCartney is 76. Egad I am OLD. A young boy asked me if I was sad when the dinosaurs died. I told him that I was.

– In the early and mid-1870’s, the James/Younger Gang was a notorious group of criminals. According to existing records, the larcenous assemblage robbed banks, trains, individuals, stores and stagecoaches. Sometimes victims were killed (e.g., train engineer, uncooperative bank teller). Many people residing within a large region extending from Missouri to Minnesota lived in fear. A gang member from Minnesota suggested that a certain rich bank in his home state should be “easy pickings.” However, that targeted bank in Northfield, Minnesota was not easily picked. On September 7, 1876, the infamous gang members rode into Northfield with bank robbery on their minds. The raid/theft did not go well for anyone involved on either side. At least one Northfield citizen was killed. Others were wounded. Of the 8-10 (accounts vary) gang members, all were shot and/or captured except Jesse and Frank James. Jesse was later killed by a member of his new gang (1882). Total take in the ill-conceived Northfield heist was $26.60. Frank James lived until 1915 and died at age 72 while residing in the town of his birth (Kearney, Missouri).

– Parasitic roundworms are nematodes that often infect dogs and cats. However, certain species select human hosts and can enter through one’s nose, mouth or skin pores. One female roundworm can deposit over 1,000 fertile eggs in a 24 hour period. I shall seek something upbeat for my next item.

– By employing Cantril’s Ladder (different from Jacob’s Ladder), the nations occupied by the happiest populaces are Norway, Finland and Denmark. Perhaps the cause for extreme glee is local foods? The national dish of Norway is Farikal, which is a mutton stew featuring cabbage and black peppercorns.

– There persists a myth that Vikings wore horns upon their helmets. This misinterpretation likely originated when untrained “archeologists” excavated some Viking burial sites. The excavators found drinking cups made from horns that were buried alongside battle helmets. The unqualified historical analysts assumed that the two items had once been attached to each other. Professional archeologists claim there is no evidence indicating that horn-bearing helmets were ever donned by the famous plundering Norsemen.

– Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs. I am not making this up. Long ago, there were several distinct species of monotremes. Now there are only two – the duck-billed platypus and the echidna. I shall now go listen to my 8-track Beatles tape. Groove on.

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