Unsinkable, unthinkable

mullet over

– Since 1889, Yale University has had a mascot bulldog named Handsome Dan. Upon the retirement of one school mascot, a new heir canine has been acquired. The next Roman numeral in sequence (not sequins) indicates where the contemporary sovereign ranks in lineage. Not all Handsome Dans have been male. Handsome Dan XVIII began his reign 2017. Each Yale mascot has had at least one special caretaker assigned to insure the cherished living symbol’s well-being, presence and groomed gravitas appropriate for special occasions.

– To keep the tootsies of that special someone pleasingly comfortable, one might consider purchasing custom-made silk house-shoes as a gift. Costs typically begin at approximately $100 (plus shipping). Costs may be slightly higher for grosֻsbeinig (large-footed) NBA players.

– Apiculturists claim that honey bees have to travel about 43,000 miles to gather and deliver one pound of honey to a hive.

– You likely have never heard of Carlo Buonaparte (1746-1785). Carlo was a lawyer of moderate renown from Ajaccio, Corsica (France). However, he has distinctions that few in the history of humankind shall ever match. He was the father of an emperor, three kings, one queen, and two duchesses. I modestly mention that I had an uncle that could sing and simultaneously drive a farm tractor. Most contemporary observers have asserted that tractor-driving was the better developed of his two talents.

– In 1898, one Morgan Robertson authored a novel entitled Wreck of the Titan. The storyline was about an “unsinkable” ship on its maiden voyage. Robertson’s make-believe ship was 800 feet long, weighed 75,000 tons, had three large propellers and carried too few lifeboats. The Titan transported passengers that were from 3 distinct classes: Luxury (for the extremely wealthy), middle class and poor. In April of 1898, the fictional Titan had a huge hole ripped in its hull. The doomed ship summarily sank after hitting an iceberg while cruising in the Northern Atlantic. Many passengers drowned because too few lifeboats were provided.

We move forward fourteen years: The “unsinkable” Titanic was on her maiden voyage in April of 1912. That vessel sustained a huge iceberg-ripped hole in its hull. The White Star Line’s prize ship sank. The fated Titanic was 882 feet long and weighed 66,000 tons. It had 3 large propellers and 3 distinct classes of passengers. More than half the passengers and crew perished, principally due to lack of lifeboats. The similarities between the fictional Titan and the real Titanic seem borderline spooky to me.

– Aristotle was a smart person. However, he was off-center a few times. For instance, it is recorded that he taught that flies had exactly 4 legs. Well, no one knows it all. Of course, I once thought that I was extremely close (age seventeen). Have a splendid day.

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