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Spooky House Syndrome

JAMES K WHITEThis year will mark the 60th anniversary of Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne of the United Kingdom. Eleven different Prime Ministers have served during her reign. The queen is only four years away from surpassing the throne time of Britain’s longest ruling monarch (Queen Victoria).

Number crunchers have reported that 43 percent of the citizens in Minneapolis, Minnesota live alone. Actually, solo-living has become a trend nationwide and vendors are taking note. Frozen dinner producers are offering an increased selection of one-person meals. Realtors are targeting smaller dwellings and furniture stores are assembling “bargain bundles” designed for limited-space lodgings.

Medical folk claim the first 60 minutes following the occurrence of severe injuries (including heart attacks) are extremely crucial for victims. Life or death can be in the balance. The time period is known as “the golden hour” among health care professionals.

The trademark name Inca Kola is owned by Coca-Cola everywhere but Peru, which is where the Inca Kola was created in 1935 by British immigrant José Lindley. The soft drink is sometimes described as tasting like liquid bubble gum and has a pale yellow color. Many first-time imbibers maintain that fondness of Inca Kola is not universal.

Wooden screws have been in use since the 1st century A.D. Metal bolts with metal nuts were first used in the 1400s. Gilbert F. Heublein may have invented the hexagon wrench and bolt (1890s). This claim is controversial, but many celebrate the accomplishments of Mr. Heublein because he did introduce both A-1 Steak Sauce and Smirnoff Vodka to American markets.

The last year U.S. automobile manufacturers offered a carburetor as an option was 1990. However, NASCAR has required competitors to use engines with carburetors for all sanctioned competitions – until this year (2012) when fuel injection systems will finally be allowed.

Reports of houses being haunted, spurred by eerie happenings such as toilets flushing with no persons nearby, empty floors creaking as if someone were walking, cabinet drawers (and doors) inexplicably opening, unpleasant odors, flickering lights, unexplained moans, etc. have become so common that the situation now has a name – Spooky House Syndrome (abbreviated SHS). An associate dean at Bucknell University (Pennsylvania) is considered to be somewhat of an SHS expert and occasionally delivers lectures concerning the subject to standing room only crowds. He avers that most of the happenings are the results of perfectly explainable circumstances. MOST?

Well, prepare your NASCAR entry for 2012 and have a groovy week.

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

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Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York: 
Born 1903 – Died 1942. 
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down. It was. 
In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery: 
Here lies an Atheist, all dressed up and no place to go. 
On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia: 
Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102. Only The Good Die Young.
In a London, England cemetery: 
Here lies Ann Mann, Who lived an old maid but died an old Mann. Dec. 8, 1767 
In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery: 
Anna Wallace
The children of Israel wanted bread, And the Lord sent them manna.
Clark Wallace wanted a wife, And the Devil sent him Anna. 
In a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery: 
Here lies Johnny Yeast.... Pardon him for not rising. 
In a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, cemetery: 
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake. Stepped on the gas instead of the brake. 
In a Silver City , Nevada , cemetery: 
Here lays The Kid. We planted him raw. 
He was quick on the trigger but slow on the draw. 
A lawyer's epitaph in England: 
Sir John Strange. 
Here lies an honest lawyer, and that is Strange. 
John Penny's epitaph in the Wimborne, England, cemetery: 
Reader, if cash thou art in want of any, dig 6 feet deep and thou wilt find a Penny. 
In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England: 
On the 22nd of June, Jonathan Fiddle went out of tune. 
Anna Hopewell's grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont: 
Here lies the body of our Anna, Done to death by a banana. 
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low, but the skin of the thing that made her go. 
On a grave from the 1880s in Nantucket, Massachusetts: 
Under the sod and under the trees, lies the body of Jonathan Pease. 
He is not here, there's only the pod. Pease shelled out and went to God. 
In a cemetery in England: 
Remember man, as you walk by, as you are now, so once was I 
As I am now, so shall you be. Remember this and follow me. 
To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone: 
To follow you I'll not consent. Until I know which way you went. 

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