– Data from the year 2018 indicates the birth rate per couple in the USA is 1.76. Statistics indicate that a birth rate of at least 2.1 per couple is necessary to maintain a stable population for any nation.
– In 1929, a fad swept across Texas. Rather peculiar reptiles called horned toads became exceedingly popular as pets. Both boys and girls enjoyed the personable lizards. Some pet owners claimed to have taught their special wards to perform tricks such as “staring” and “ant eating.” The craze was short-lived except around TCU where the animals have become school mascots. Really.
– In case you ever have need of this amenity: there have been more than 18,000 people who participated in the United States Federal Witness Protection Program. According to the U.S. Marshals Service, “Not one participant following the list of guidelines has ever been harmed or killed.” The “list of guidelines” is not available to the general public.
– In July of 1960, Roger Woodward was seven years old when he fell from the motorboat in which he and some family members were riding. The poor lad, wearing only swim trunks and a life jacket, floated over Niagara (Horseshoe) Falls. He plunged an estimated 161 feet and somehow missed all rocks lurking at the bottom. He was quickly retrieved from the boiling rapids below and taken to a hospital. The seven year old suffered no broken bones, no cuts and various small bruises. As of 2017, Roger was reported to be alive and well.
– At one time, there was a city ordinance in Detroit that made it illegal to sleep in a bathtub. And while we are in the region — some time back, one unflattering sobriquet of Lake Michigan was “Lake of the Stinking Water.”
– Narwhals share a trait with me. We are both noticeably peculiar. Narwhals are whales that can attain weights of nearly two tons and feature lone singular tusks that can reach more than 8 feet in length. Throughout much of the world, a person in possession of a Monodon Monoceros tusk can be in peril of imprisonment or heavy fines. However, poachers often harvest the unusual whales because their tusks sell for as much as $15,000 each on the black market. It is often good to possess no attractive features attached to your body. Otherwise, poachers might consider aggressive pursuits directed towards you. I strive to look plain and unattractive. Have an unusually delightful day.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.