– Only a small percentage of accomplished Flamenco guitarists can read music. Most begin to learn the basic rhythms as youths and develop their artistic abilities while maturing, sans sheet music.
– Perhaps the most famous comet ever is Halley’s Comet. It last visited the regions of earth in 1986. That comet is much larger than our planet. Its tail is roughly thirty-seven million miles long. Author Mark Twain felt his fate was somehow tied to Halley’s Comet. The comet was visible in our skies in 1835 when Samuel Clemens was born. On the comet’s next visit (1910), Twain died at the age of 74.
– Someone felt obligated to determine the size required for a stone to be a boulder. So now, “officially,” a stone must be at least ten inches in diameter to rightfully be called a boulder.
– More than eighty percent of all earthquakes on this planet occur along the Pacific Basin borders. This region is called “the ring of fire.” Johnny Cash sang about this zone, sort of.
– Someone smarter than I has figured out that the average curvature of our planet is eight inches per mile or sixty-six feet every hundred miles.
– In the 1780s, Thomas Jefferson spent considerable time overseas. While in France, Jefferson conversed with a self-proclaimed naturalist named Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon (I did not make that up) who declared there was no such ridiculous animal as a moose in the New World or anywhere else. Georges, etc. was shown sketches, but remained unconvinced. Finally, Jefferson had a full-grown stuffed moose shipped to the home of the doubter.
– The Suez Canal opened in 1869 and many people rejoiced. Others did not care at all. The Khedive of Egypt threw a celebration party. Back then, being the Khedive was a big deal. He invited more than 6,000 special guests, hired 500 chefs and thousands of waiters. He provided over $100,000 worth of fireworks and commissioned Giuseppe Verdi to write a special opera for the occasion. The opera was Aida.
– In 1976, a horrific earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale struck Guatemala and caused the loss of more than 17,000 lives. In one of fate’s ironic twists, on the day of the terrible quake, the feature film opening at Guatemala City’s largest movie house was “Earthquake!”
– The first tubes of toothpaste were made by Dr. Sheffield in 1886. Colgate began selling their tubed toothpaste products in the 1890s and now distributes their product world-wide. Well, be prepared to observe Halley’s Comet on its next visit near earth (July, 2061) – and have a splendid day.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.