Mullet Over


Fame is fleeting

JAMES K WHITEScientists claim that all alcohols and foods/beverages that contain alcohols are toxic to humans. Bummer.

A special group of scholarly folk focuses on lightning and its causes. These erudite are called fulminologists. The eruptions of large volcanos are frequently accompanied by spectacular displays of lightning and it seems fulminologists cannot agree on what causes volcanic lightning. One wonders whether “toxic” beverages might be somehow involved.

The word “babe” is thought to be derived from the Welsh word for baby, “baban.” Paul Bunyan’s blue ox was named Babe. The New York Yankees’ first baseball celebrity was named Babe. A movie pig that behaved as a sheep dog was named Babe. Coincidences? Likely, but some radio talk show hosts may suspect a conspiracy.

Almost every modern piano has 36 black keys and 52 white keys. Did I mention that I can play a portion of “Chopsticks” using just the white keys (if I get started right)?

The excellence of written work is not always indicated by the financial successes of the authors. Historians estimate that at the height of his popularity, William Shakespeare garnered about 20 pounds per year for his plays. Walt Whitman was dismissed from his government clerical post shortly after his boss read a portion of the poet’s “Leaves of Grass.” The supervisor said the poetry was “inferior and pernicious.”

King Henry VIII died on January 28, 1547. His last words (“Monks, monks, monks”) have been perplexing to both contemporaries and historians. A leg wound suffered in a 1536 jousting contest never healed and was the cause of much pain for the monarch. The continuously infected lesion eventually rendered Henry unable to walk and almost certainly hastened his death.

There were two Boer Wars. The first was 1880-1881 and the second 1899-1902. In both wars, the Boers were in conflict with the British Empire. “Boer” refers to Dutch settlers in Africa.

As I cite numerous references to historical events, I am haunted by a statement uttered by prominent historian Will Durant: “History is mostly guessing; the rest is prejudice.”

Fame is fleeting. For instance, when research was being done for the movie about William Wallace (“Braveheart”), the producer of the movie visited the William Wallace Memorial in Elderslie, Scotland. Some local teens were loitering near the huge Wallace statue and the producer asked what they thought of their world-famous hometown hero. Not one of the
youths had ever heard of William Wallace.

Well, I hope that your fame is continuous -- and that you have a great week.

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

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Grading papers and having fun ...

Can you imagine grading these Catholic elementary school test papers, all the while trying to keep a straight face and maintain composure!

1. In the first book of the bible, guinessis, God got tired of creating the world so he took the sabbath off.

2. Adam and eve were created from an apple tree. Noah's wife was joan of ark. Noah built and ark and the animals came on in pears.

3. Lots wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night.

4. The jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic genitals.

5. Sampson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a jezebel like delilah.

6. Samson slayed the philistines with the axe of the apostles.

7. Moses led the jews to the red sea where they made unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients.

8. The egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, moses went up to mount cyanide to get the ten commandments

9. The first commandments was when eve told adam to eat the apple.

10. The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.

11. Moses died before he ever reached canada then joshua led the hebrews in the battle of geritol.

12. The greatest miricle in the bible is when joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.

13. David was a hebrew king who was skilled at playing the liar. He fought the finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in biblical times.

14. Solomon, one of davids sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

15. When mary heard she was the mother of jesus, she sang the magna carta.

16. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived they found jesus in the manager.

17. Jesus was born because mary had an immaculate contraption.

18. St. John the blacksmith dumped water on his head.

19. Jesus enunciated the golden rule, which says to do unto others before they do one to you. He also explained a man doth not live by sweat alone.

20. It was a miricle when jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.

21. The people who followed the lord were called the 12 decibels.

22. The epistels were the wives of the apostles.

23. One of the oppossums was st. Matthew who was also a taximan.

24. St.. Paul cavorted to christianity, he preached holy acrimony which is another name for marraige.

25. Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony.

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