BY JAMES K. WHITE | DECEMBER 22, 2010
Much to see in outer space
September 13 in the year 622 is the recognized date of the Hegira of Muhammad (flight from Mecca to Medina). The Moslem calendar begins with this day.
If you have not visited Las Vegas recently, you may not be aware that a rather stunning addition has been constructed that altered the city’s skyline. The Veer Towers are 37 stories in height and each building “tilts” more than does the famous tower in Pisa. The Vegas architects claim they purposely designed the structures to lean.
Scientists estimate there is enough salt in our oceans to cover all the continents with a salt layer more than 400 feet thick.
Portuguese is the official language of Brazil and a likely cause was Geoffrey Chaucer’s fascination with 14th century navigation. Perhaps I should explain. Chaucer often met with King Edward III’s granddaughter Philippa. Mr. Chaucer nurtured Philippa’s interest in navigation and taught her various course-plotting skills. Later, Philippa became queen of Portugal and passed on her passion and knowledge of navigation to her son, Prince Henry the Navigator. The prince sponsored several explorations which led to Portugal being an early settler of the area in the Americas that became known as Brazil.
Geologists in Alaska claim to have located gold deposits that dwarf the discoveries in the 1890s Klondike era. Apparently the newly discovered gold reserves in our northernmost state could total $500 billion on today’s markets. However, there are significant environmental concerns related to removal of the precious metal.
There is much to see in “outer space.” Traveling the speed of light, a journey to span our galaxy (Milky Way) would require 120,000 years. Our galaxy is by no means the largest known and scientists are aware of billions of other galaxies. My mind is boggled (again).
Not long ago, a man was fishing in Dixon Lake (California) and hooked a world record largemouth bass. It weighed more than 25 pounds. However, some fish-record officials refuse to recognize the catch because the finny creature was “improperly” hooked.
If you have been tormented for lack of Christmas gift ideas – I may have the solution you seek. I share this information because I have already bought my wife her present (fancy mop): A Patek Philippe watch was purchased for slightly more than $11,000,000. It is thought to be the most valuable watch on earth, but the new owner might be willing to part with the timepiece – for a profit. Well, Happy 2011 (or 1389).
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bob and the Blonde
Bob walked into a sports bar around 9:58 p.m. He sat down next to a blonde at the bar and stared up at the TV.
The 10 p.m. news was coming on. The news crew was covering the story of a man on the ledge of a large building preparing to jump.
The blonde looked at Bob and said, "Do you think he'll jump?"
Bob said, "You know, I bet he'll jump."
The blonde replied, "Well, I bet he won't."
Bob placed a $20 bill on the bar and said, "You're on!"
Just as the blonde placed her money on the bar, the guy on the ledge did a swan dive off the building, falling to his death.
The blonde was very upset, but willingly handed her $20 to Bob. "Fair's fair. Here's your money."
Bob replied, "I can't take your money. I saw this earlier on the 5 p.m. news, so I knew he would jump."
The blonde replied, "I did, too, but I didn't think he'd do it again."
Bob took the money.
Your Horoscope by Madame Bournard
ARIES (MAR. 21 - APRIL 19)
Your intuition is very “on” this week. Use some of the exceptional ideas to you gain some insight into your future. Your great attitude will help this holiday season.
TAURUS (APR. 20 – MAY 20)
New friendships may be more exciting to you than your current ones because of where you found the people. You may receive a business deal or job recognition.
GEMINI (MAY 21 –JUNE 20)
Your mind and emotions are in sync, which doesn’t happen all that often. The strong magnetism in your aura this week, draws others near. Make the most of it.
CANCER (JUN 21 – JULY 22)
Local travel may be a pleasant experience. It’s a good time to reach and connect with others. You get good vibes from the people who surround you.
LEO (JULY 23- SEPT. 22)
Speak up at work; don’t be shy, like Leo’s ever are! Enjoy new friendships by spending time with people you really want to be with. Live in the present.
VIRGO (AUG. 23 –AUG 22)
Enjoy accolades at work. Your efforts are finally appreciated. Make plans for your professional future. You will want to change direction and focus to remain fulfilled.
LIBRA (SEPT.23 – OCT 22)
Happy, peaceful pursuits are yours over Christmas. Money concerns may be challenging, but spend the holiday season as if they aren’t.
SCORPIO (OCT. 23- NOV. 21)
Steer away from sensitive topics with family; keep it light and don’t press issues. Do something creative that makes you happy.
SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22- DEC. 21)
Your brilliant ideas will help you and your family forge a better future. Spend as much time as possible in “sit back and enjoy” mode.
CAPRICORN (DEC. 22- JAN 19)
New and exciting things are in the wind, giving you renewed hopes for your future. An existing relationship may enter a new phase.
AQUARIUS (JAN. 20- FEB. 18)
Your snap decisions may be to your benefit this time. The holiday is mellow, but just the way you really want it so you can enjoy it. Be ready for 2011.
PISCES (FEB. 19- MAR. 20)
Your social life will be hopping. You are very pleasing to others. Jealousy exists about your lifestyle because it is never mundane or dull.