Mullet Over

BY JAMES K. WHITE  | JUNE 29, 2011

Kanawha, Allegheny and the name that was ultimately chosen – West Virginia

James K. WhiteThe designation of “Oldest State University” in the United States is claimed by two different institutions. The University of Georgia was chartered in 1785 and The University of North Carolina was chartered in 1789. However, UNC (Chapel Hill) opened its doors to students in 1795 while The University of Georgia (Athens) first admitted students in 1801. The debate rages.

When the state of Virginia seceded from the union in 1861, several counties in the northwestern region of the state did not support the action. Representatives from those counties met and made attempts to “un-secede.” This endeavor led to the formation of a new state whose name was variously proposed as Kanawha, Allegheny and the name that was ultimately chosen -- West Virginia.

Another item on the long list of mysteries in nature: cobra venom is extremely deadly to most animals, yet the toxin seems to have no effect on cobras. The rule of same-species-immunity does not always apply to other snake varieties. For instance, one agitated gaboon viper was witnessed fatally injecting itself with an aggressive strike.

This next item may not thrill everyone: some city governments have purchased parking meters that are programmed to alert the mobile phones of meter patrol people whenever a space is occupied and the relevant meter displays “time expired.” The locations of the parking spaces are transmitted and people employed to issue tickets are electronically summoned. Reports indicate that increased fine revenues have paid for the new meters many times over.

Climbing earth’s tallest peak does not place one’s name on an extremely exclusive list. The first recorded scaling of Mount Everest was achieved on May 29, 1953. However, thousands have since climbed the mountain. In 2010 at least 486 people ascended the 29,000 (plus) feet and stood “on top of the world.” One hundred forty-two people have died while challenging this highest of earthly mountains.

Experts in the medical field claim to be able to evaluate stress in many humans by measuring their levels of cortisol. Elevated quantities of cortisol have also been linked to impeded bone repair, inadequate food digestion, cardiac diseases, loss of sleep and excessive blood sugars. Mothers who experience high stress levels during pregnancies are apparently more likely to give birth to children that suffer from autism. It seems that stress is not good for people. Well, I recommend that you keep your stress levels low by staying off of Mount Everest – and by enjoying a most pleasant week.

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

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Hollywood Squares

These great questions and answers are from the days when ' Hollywood Squares' game show responses were spontaneous, not scripted, as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course.

Q. Paul, what is a good reason for pounding meat?
A. Paul Lynde: Loneliness!
(The audience laughed so long and so hard it took up almost 15 minutes of the show!)

Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.

Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.

Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years...
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A. Rose Marie: No wait until morning.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say 'I Love You'?
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.

Q. What are 'Do It,' 'I Can Help,' and 'I Can't Get Enough'?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.

Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.

Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?
A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.

Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?
A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.

Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?

Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.

Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.

Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.

Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?
Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him

Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
A. Charley Weaver: His feet.

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh

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