– Early prayer books and many almanacs often contained calendars with saints’ holidays and religious holidays printed in red ink because they were so special. This tradition gave us the phrase “red letter days.”
– As I read various sources, I encounter new words. I read that a woman was struck in her popliteal. I cautiously looked up popliteal and discovered that is the area in back of a knee.
– Dixon Lewis (1802 – 1848) was a U.S. senator from Alabama. I mention this particular legislator because he weighed more than 500 pounds. He had a special chair built and placed at his senatorial desk in order to accommodate his immense girth and bulk.
– In 1881, President Chester A. Arthur held a garage sale on the White House Lawn. He raised about $8,000 which was used to finance refurnishing and refurbishing the White House.
– The year was 1946 when zoologists introduced beavers to southern regions of Argentina where none of the Castor Canadensis had previously existed. The program was a super success. Twenty beavers were initially released and the 2018 count was estimated to be 100,000.
– A really spooky “musical” instrument was invented by a cellist/physicist Léon Theremin in 1919. He immodestly dubbed the newfangled instrument the Theremin. One “plays” the instrument by never touching it, but by moving one’s hand or fingers between two electrically charged antennae. Spooky sounds result. That “ooo-eee” noises one hears in science fiction movies and TV shows are most likely resonations from a Theremin.
– Meanwhile farther north, warmer temperatures have caused large quantities of methane gas to bubble up in hundreds of small and large lakes within the Arctic Circle. Scientists have drilled holes in the ice at selected sites and ignited the natural gas. The resulting flares make quite a show across regions near Fairbanks. Smoking on lakes is discouraged.
– Giant Indian squirrels (Ratufa indica) are neither Apache nor Navajo rodents. They are squirrels native to India. The brilliantly colored leapers can weigh more than four pounds and jump distances exceeding twenty feet from branch to branch. Those are some impressive squirrels.
– ZIP Code is the abbreviation for Zoning Improvement Plan Code. In an unrelated vein: a group of pheasants is called a nide while a group of mules is said to be a span.
– Rattlesnakes are immune to rattlesnake venom. Most likely, you are not.
– May you experience a truly wonderful day. Ooo-eee.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.