Mullet Over

BY JAMES K. WHITE  | MAY 16, 2012

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I shall be of absolutely no help

james k whiteAs of March 6, 2012, the world famous Oreo had been available to the public for 100 years. Current data indicates the chocolate wafers with “white stuffing” combination is by far the #1 selling cookie in the world.

In 1900 the renowned mathematician David Hilbert presented twenty-three math problems for world scholars to solve. Twenty-two of the mind-testers have been unraveled and explained. Here is your opportunity to dazzle the academic world if you can be the first to successfully elucidate the enigmas of Bernhard Riemann’s 1859 hypothesis. I can assure the reader I shall be of absolutely no help with this endeavor.

Thus far, astronomers have located more than 700 planets orbiting outside our solar system. I understand that Washington (D.C.) seems especially interested as the distant spheres are viewed as possible sources of additional tax revenue.

For reasons I cannot comprehend, a vandal recently burned and destroyed a 3,500 year old cypress tree (named “The Senator”) in Longwood, Florida. While the mother tree has been declared dead, botanists were able to clone and successfully transplant shoots – so in a sense, the ancient cypress still lives.

The Pentagon has begun the testing of aircraft designs that are intended to overcome a physics obstacle known as “wing flutter.” The vibration phenomenon has long been a danger to aircraft wings. While the conventional method of overcoming the flutter problem has been to make the wings stronger, that solution adds weight to the planes which in turn increases fuel consumption and decreases flight ranges. The new strategy is aimed at using systems of sensors that allow constant wing and flap positions to be altered in order to minimize or eliminate wing flutter. If effective, the new technology could significantly alter the domestic flight industry as fuel consumption has become an increasingly costly factor.

Recent excavations in Peru indicate that our species has been eating popcorn for more than 6,000 years. One wonders if the ancients used salt and butter.

Scientists are constantly amazed at the complexity and efficiency of nature. Entomologists in New Zealand have discovered gnat larvae that team up to form sticky lines that glow in the dark and ensnare small insects to be used as food. Snared bugs do not appeal to my appetite, but I must admit that the larvae maneuver seems to be a clever strategy for some nearly blind worm-like creatures.

Well, you might take a stab at unraveling the Riemann hypothesis as I understand that whoever solves the thing will receive $1,000,000. 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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Ole's car accident

A Minnesota farmer named Ole had a car accident. He was hit by a truck owned by the Eversweet Company.

In court, the Eversweet Company's hot-shot attorney questioned him thus:

"Didn't you say to the state trooper at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine?"

Ole responded: 'Vell, I'lla tell you vot happened dere. I'd yust loaded my fav'rit cow, Bessie, into da... '

'I didn't ask for any details', the lawyer interrupted. 'Just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine!'?'

Ole said, 'Vell, I'd yust got Bessie into da trailer and I vas drivin' down da road.... '

The lawyer interrupted again and said, 'Your Honor, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the police on the scene that he was fine. Now several weeks after the accident, he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question. '

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Ole’s answer and said to the attorney: 'I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite cow, Bessie'.

Ole said: 'Tank you' and proceeded. 'Vell as I vas saying, I had yust loaded Bessie, my fav'rit cow, into de trailer and was drivin' her down de road ven dis huge Eversweet truck and trailer came tundering tru a stop sign and hit me trailer right in da side by golly. I was trown into one ditch and Bessie was trown into da udder ditch. By yimminy yahosaphat I vas hurt, purty durn bad, and didn't want to move. An even vurse dan dat, I could hear old Bessie a moanin' and a groanin'. I knew she vas in terrible pain yust by her groans.

Shortly after da accident, a policeman on a motorbike turned up. He could hear Bessie a moanin' and a groanin' too, so he vent over to her. After he looked at her, and saw her condition, he took out his gun and shot her right between the eyes.

Den da policeman came across de road, gun still in hand, looked at me, and said, 'How are you feelin'?'

'Now wot vud you say?'

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