Plagiarizing batwings

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Has the cost of renting residential property recently increased in your neighborhood? Some landlords in the beautiful Malibu Beach (California) region charge $75,000 for housing. That is $75,000 per month. Perhaps one might negotiate discounts for 10 year leases. I am just “perhapsing.”

Many of you have seen the animated character Shrek (a “lovable” ogre). The name Shrek was derived from a German word, schreck, which means “fear.”

Aeronautical engineers are consistently amazed by the flying proficiencies displayed by bats. No modern aircraft can come close to matching the flying mammals’ capacities for changing direction, ridiculous precision or slow speed stability. Research and development efforts are underway to copy batwing structures by using thin strong materials that can rapidly expand and contract. Thus far, human efforts at plagiarizing batwings have pretty much been a series of “flops.”

An American tire company has announced that it plans to soon market passenger tires that are capable of re-inflating themselves – while the vehicles are in motion. As sensors detect low pressures, the rotating motion of the tires will activate small internal pumps. Drivers may never be aware that their tires were under-inflated.

Numerous experienced farm folk have long claimed that free-ranging domestic chickens are more effective in controlling mice populations than are cats. I might add that chickens usually surpass felines in edible egg production.

Even American History buffs are sometimes unaware that 3 Northern States were actively invaded by Confederate troops during the Civil War – Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

In 1835, President Andrew Jackson hosted a banquet to celebrate the fact that our country was out of debt. No similar banquet is anticipated this year.

Have you ever suffered through a day that was “financially stressful?” A wine merchant named Sokolin invested $300,000 to purchase a bottle of wine owned by Thomas Jefferson. In 1989, Mr. Sokolin had made arrangements to participate in a special NYC gathering of wealthy wine connoisseurs where he had hoped to get as much as $500,000 for his well-documented historical prize. As he was displaying the item for bidders to appreciate, he bumped a metal tray with the bottom of the valuable container. The bottom shattered. After staring a moment, William Sokolin reportedly uttered “I am going home” and left the premises. Well, it is my wish that you experience negligible schreck and that you enjoy a most splendid week.

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