“He called Bill Smith a liar”

mullet over

– Explanatory inscription on “Boothill” tombstone erected in 19th century Colorado – “He called Bill Smith a liar.”

–  Many readers know that both Marie and Pierre Curie were famous scientists. Marie was awarded a Nobel Prize in Science – twice (1903 and 1911). Pierre also won a Nobel Prize (1903). Scientists of today say that the notebooks used by the brilliant pair to record experimental data for their research are still radioactive.

– The word “salary” comes from the word “salt.” Ancient Roman soldiers often received a quantity of salt as a portion of their pay.

– Leaving a candle burning late into the night was once a common way of expressing strong feelings in America. Some groups of disgruntled citizens in the early United States burned lights in windows all night to show disgust and to protest the ratification of treaties. Young ladies might leave lights glowing to display affection for an absent beau. It was also a custom to make the comment “We will leave a light burning in the window” to show that an expected guest was welcome.

–  During WWII, a dentist suggested to some U.S. Army brass that bats carrying tiny time-fused incendiary bombs could be released over Japanese and German cities. The objective was to set fire wherever the especially-equipped Chiroptera nested. For months, our military actually conducted experiments with intentions to implement a widespread conflagration nightmare on Axis Powers. The scheme was a bust. Mostly the bats fell to the ground fatigued from bomb toting. However, some fires were set – seemingly always in unpredictable locations and frequently igniting facilities near experiment headquarters.

– Scientific researchers have revealed some interesting observations while studying the efficacies of fire ants. Maximum ant work was finished in the shortest time when about 30% of the work force was involved in tunnel construction and food gathering. When the other 70% pitched in, ants often got in each other’s way. Paths and tunnels were frequently clogged. Confusion and chaos appeared to hinder progress. I presume it is unlikely that there exist any analogous situations at your workplace.

– Like most people, I have been distressed by the property destruction and loss of life resulting from wildfires. I find it peculiar that some trees (e.g., lodgepole pines) require the heat generated by wildfires in order to efficiently open their cones and disperse viable seeds. The fires are believed to be a significant factor in the survival of certain plant species. Well, I hope that you receive adequate salt and salary as you enjoy a great day.

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