Mullet Over

Be careful when registering for things in Paraguay

By James K. White | September 2, 2009

The next time that you gaze upon the night skies, you might recall that astronomers acknowledge that they do not know the composition of more than 90 percent of the universe. Speaking of 90 percent: Out of the hundreds of mollusk species, approximately 10 percent are classified as “good tasting” (to humans) by shellfish experts.

In 1953 the World Meteorological Organization began naming hurricanes. Each year the organization goes down a prepared list of names (for both males and females). The names are on a six year rotation unless the names are retired for being storms of extreme destruction, e.g., “Camille” and “Katrina.”

Bolivia and Paraguay are the only South American nations with no coastlines. One wonders if this condition foments contentious relationships as dueling in Paraguay is legal if both participants are registered blood donors.

The reader likely often hears about stock prices on the NASDAQ. NASDAQ stands for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations.

According to those who study the behaviors of animals, humans and elephants are the only creatures that react emotionally to being exposed to the bones of their own species.

Candy corn, that popular sweet treat, was apparently a Midwest regional confection in the late nineteenth century. In 1898 an immigrant from Germany, Gustav Goelitz, began making the candy by hand in 45 pound batches using a three step process. He made the sweet treat seasonally, from March through November. Gustav founded the Goelitz Confectionery Company (Cincinnati) and soon discovered that he could easily sell all that he could produce. In 2001 various manufacturers sold more than 20 million pounds of candy corn.

A recent survey has revealed that 60 percent of Americans can name three of the Three Stooges while only 20 percent can correctly name three Supreme Court Justices.

The Eiffel Tower is scheduled to be completely repainted every seven years. The coats applied for each repainting weigh in excess of 100,000 pounds.

The Russian Imperial Necklace once belonged to Catherine the Great and contains 27 really nice diamonds. The necklace has been used as a prop in more than one hundred Hollywood films.

The very first NFL draft pick (1936) was Jay Berwanger. At press time, Mr. Berwanger has not signed to play professional football and there are those who say that he never will.
Well, be careful when registering for things in Paraguay and – have a tremendous week.

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

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Classy insults, Part II

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." – Paul Keating

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." – Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." – Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" – Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." – Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." – Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts ... for support rather than illumination." – Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge." – Thomas Brackett Reed

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." – Billy Wilder

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." – Groucho Marx

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure." – Jack E. Leonard

"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt." – Robert Redford

"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them." – James Reston (about Richard Nixon)

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any one I know." – Abraham Lincoln

“He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr