Venus is the hottest

mullet over

Can you recognize all 5 different species of owls? I am joking. I was amazed to discover that there are at least 213 distinct species of owls. Whilst I’m sharing things that have recently amazed me – did you know that mosquito repellents are not designed to repel at all? These sprays and lotions veil the scent of those who normally become victims of the little buzzing vampires.

The next time you are playing bridge or gin rummy, you might notice that the king of hearts is the only depiction of a male monarch without a mustache. Perhaps this sovereign of hearts needed smoother lips for osculation (clean word)?

Have you ever wondered what surprises the future holds? Many events that would astound most folks occurred during the last century. For instance, not only did humans learn to fly, but the length of the wing spans on later large airplanes was greater than the distance of the first flights of the Wright brother’s “aeroplanes.”

Earth is much closer to Venus than to Mars. Venus is similar to earth in size, yet Venus has its own peculiarities. Venus is the hottest of the planets in our solar system and it is the only one of the planets to rotate clockwise.

Two items with names that aren’t widely known are the philtrim and the aglet. A philtrim is that little valley or set of ridges that runs between a person’s nose and upper lip. An aglet is not a small Aggie. It is the small plastic end on a shoelace.

Cows can easily walk up a stairway, but the bovine legs and body plan creates serious problems when the animals attempt to descend stairs. This situation led to numerous schoolboy pranks decades ago. A cow would be led up a set of stairs to the rooftop of a school building and the school faculty would inherit the puzzle of removing said animal.

Every U.S. president so far has worn eyeglasses.

Have you ever heard of Sawney Beane? If you are from Scotland, I’d wager the answer is “yes.” Sawney Beane used a coastal cave for a home in 15th century Scotland. Old Sawney supported his family by killing and robbing unfortunate travelers. The story gets worse. Mr. Beane and his family reportedly ate all available livestock and then resorted to cannibalism. This life pattern continued for decades until finally the soldiers of King James captured Sawney and most of his clan. King James had the family publicly burned to death. This policy pretty well eliminated difficulties with repeat offenders.

Sometimes an appropriate explanation for a conundrum is offered, but people will not accept facts because of the information source. Perhaps that was the situation in the 1800’s when an agriculturist named Bousingault theorized that lack of iodine in one’s diet was the cause of goiters. It was over fifty years before medical researchers confirmed that Bousy was “right on.”

Well, please be cautious to not damage your philtrim with an aglet — and enjoy this day.

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