Greek-Fire-making secret

mullet over

– Alaskan tree frogs freeze into a semi-solid state for about seven months each winter. When spring arrives, those amphibians slowly thaw and hop around looking for food. Experts say people should not try to replicate that feat. Actually, hopping might be okay, but not the freeze/thaw thingy.

– The earliest recorded use of acupuncture was by that fun-loving Chinese guy, Emperor Shen-Nung (circa 2700 B.C.). Accounts claim the treatment was a success.

– William Henry Harrison was the first U.S. president to die in office (1841). His term as president lasted only 32 days.

– For decades, the most popular color for men’s neckties has been blue.

– Manhattan is the smallest and most densely populated of NYC’s five boroughs. Covering a little less than 23 sq. miles, Manhattan is approximately one-half the size of Disney World.

– I have no clue as to why, but most of the Harry Potter books have been translated into Ancient Greek.

– Greek Fire was a devastating weapon used in the 7th century by the Byzantium Empire. Accounts describe the incendiary being squirted using siphon tubes. Large quantities were also delivered by flinging buckets of the blazing ooze. Enemy ships were the primary targets. Apparently, the effects were similar to 20th century napalm. When burning vessels were doused with water, the fire simply spread and was not easily extinguished. The Greek Fire recipe was a closely guarded secret. The intimidating weapon was certainly a major factor in repulsing an Arab attack on Constantinople. The Arab forces were vastly superior in numbers – when combat began. The Fire could also be dumped from heights and allowed to flow downhill onto advancing infantry. The Arabs soon lost much of their enthusiasm for overrunning Constantinople. They took what they had left in the way of armaments, ships and men and went home. The formula for Greek Fire has been lost. Historians conjecture that it was forbidden to write down the crucial ingredients and processes. Thusly, the Greek-Fire-making secret vanished when the last person knowing the essential information died.

– The ubiquitously popular square dance is the official Folk Dance of Utah. (Do-Si-Do) or (Dos-á-Dos?)

– Jeison Orlando Rodriguez Hernandez of Venezuela is worthy of at least a “footnote.” Currently the record holder for sporting the largest (human) feet, his foot size is 26. The right foot is 15.79 inches in length while the left foot measures 15.59 inches. His shoes are custom made. Rodriguez Hernandez is 7 feet 3 inches tall. The young man is 20 years old and doctors say that he is likely still growing. Yall have a great day.

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