Mullet Over

BY JAMES K. WHITE | MAY 30, 2012

Monitor your cow

james k white - mullet overHave you ever heard of Lyle Langlois? He is worth mentioning as he has completed a marathon (26 miles and 385 yards) in each of our 50 states. I sort of ran half a marathon once – 385 yards half.

For decades, the former Liberty ship "SS John W. Brown" was used as a special floating high school in New York City. The curriculum was primarily focused on maritime studies. In 1982, the ship lost its status as a high school. The vessel was then refurbished and moved to Baltimore, Maryland. The “John W. Brown” is exhibited as a living museum with some excursions at sea now available. Visit online at

Mankind has been using bronze for thousands of years. Bronze is made by mixing molten copper with either molten tin or molten arsenic. Arsenic is a metal, but it is also a deadly poison. Many of the blacksmiths who used arsenic became lame and died because arsenic often caused irreversible muscle (including heart muscle) atrophy. Good quality bronze (88 percent copper, 12 percent tin) is stronger than cast iron. Bells made of bronze are generally considered to render the highest quality musical tones.

On November 26, 2003, the final flight of the super-sonic transport Concorde was completed. The Concorde was super-noisy, super-polluting and super-inefficient, but it was FAST. Flight engineers at Lockheed Martin have been working to build a quiet, efficient FAST passenger plane that can cruise at Mach 1.6. In fact, the name of the plane is “Mach 1.6 Supersonic Green Machine.” When the aircraft becomes available, passenger flights across the continental United States can take less than 3 hours.

A special program was funded for GIs after World War II. Unemployed former military people were allotted $20 a week for up to 52 weeks. Recipients were known as the “52-20 Club.”

Legend has it that the Great Chicago Fire (1871) was started by Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. The legend is likely untrue, but the site address is famous in Chicago: 558 DeKoven Street.

Many James Bond fans are aware that Ian Fleming was the author who created the suave 007 character and penned several thrilling spy volumes which were made into movies. What some Fleming fans do not know is that the novelist also wrote the very fanciful book “Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang.”

In Genesis 6:14, the Bible states that Noah built his famous ark out of gopher wood. No one today seems to be certain what gopher wood is (or was). Guesses include cypress, pine, reed, fir, ebony, and acacia. Well, monitor your cow – and 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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The brick

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.

As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.

The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, 'What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?'

The young boy was apologetic. 'Please, mister ... please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do,' He pleaded. 'I threw the brick because no one else would stop ...'  With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. 'It's my brother, 'he said 'He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up.'

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, 'Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me.'

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat ... He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. 'Thank you and may God bless you,' the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy! push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home ...

It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: 'Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!' God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not.

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