New York Gothams

mullet over

Both poison oak and poison ivy are classified as members of the cashew family.

According to recent research, approximately 30% of all Americans are under-hydrated.

Angel Island Immigration Station in the San Francisco area once functioned in a capacity similar to that of Ellis Island (New York City). More than 1,000,000 immigrants were processed (1910 – 1940) at the West Coast facility.

A bit of ancient “wisdom” was long ago shared by the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras (510-428 B.C.): “All objects have natural explanations – the moon is not a god. It is a great big rock. The sun is a great big hot rock.” It is my understanding that Anaxagoras has lost much of his celebrity status since 428 B.C.

George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were the first persons (1847) commemorated on U.S. postage stamps. By an act of Congress, both founding fathers had their stamp images first issued on the same day: March 3.

In case simian uncertainty has been preventing you from sleeping well, I offer this statement released by the National Museum of Natural History’s Human Origins Program: “It appears that no monkeys native to North America have ever existed.” Duerma bien.

What is now the San Francisco Giants baseball team was founded in 1883 and was originally known as the New York Gothams. I might add that Gotham is a site in England (Nottinghamshire). Gotham translates from Old English to “homestead where goats are kept.” Many historians believe that Washington Irving was the first person to call NYC “Gotham” (1807).

A few years back, two women concocted a “foolproof, most clever plot” to bilk an insurance company. One Jean C. and a Faye S. from Los Angeles purchased a life insurance policy for a bogus J. Davis who later “passed away” after suffering a supposed heart attack. Fellow conspirators were paid to help pull off the bold scam. Various versions of faux certificates were prepared as documentation proving that poor J. Davis had died. The swindle-actors included mortuary workers and paid grievers that were boo-hooing at the fake funeral. The insurance company sent two representatives to inspect paper work and ask questions. The experienced investigators interviewed several “mourners.” The policy payout was to be $1.25 million. Both insurance employees observed all germane services, including the interment. They thought that “something” smelled fishy and continued to make pertinent inquiries. The agents attained a court order to disinter the casket. The mandate procurement was just in time because Faye and Jean had decided to have the casket and “body” cremated forthwith. Prior to the attempted destruction of evidence, one co-conspirator had agreed to confess. He exposed the entire scheme. I quote Ben Franklin “Two men can keep a secret if one of them is dead.” Have a splendiferous day.

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