BY JAMES K. WHITE | JANUARY 9, 2013
Are you feeling brawny today?
In 1867 Frederick Maytag (age 10) moved to a farm near Laurel, Iowa. It was in 1893 when Frederick pooled some funds with two of his brothers-in-law and began to make and sell farm implements. Business was slow in the colder months, so Maytag began to use slack time designing and assembling washing machines in the winter of 1906-1907. By 1927, the Maytag Company was making more clothes washing machines than anyone else in America. Maytag had a reputation for striving to keep two groups happy – his employees and his customers.
The Caucasus Mountains are located between the Black and the Caspian Seas. In a region much smaller than Texas, at least 37 distinct languages are spoken. In some instances, only the inhabitants of a single village speak a particular tongue. In a few situations, about half of the occupants of a settlement speak one vernacular while the other half speaks an entirely different language. Many of the residents in villages cannot understand any language but their own. Researchers in the territories are sometimes accompanied by interpreters who cumulatively speak more than 30 of the regional languages and often find this preparation to be inadequate.
According to some expensive scientific research: Snakes, fish, chickens, lizards, hippos, me, etc. all yawn – and no one seems to know why anything yawns. Scientists have tested several hypotheses and thus far all explanations offered for yawning have not “stood up” when evaluated. I wonder if the effects of boring trivia columns have been examined.
Robert L. May authored the famous “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” story in 1939. Two other names he seriously considered for the famous deer were Rollo and Reginald. It is my opinion that he chose correctly.
Are you feeling brawny today? An 8 pound sledge hammer is now on the market for $80 and this tool is advertised as “indestructible.” The manufacturer is offering $1,000 to anyone who destroys one of their hammers with normal usage. I don’t know what “normal usage” is, but my high school had a lady cafeteria monitor that might have collected that thousand.
A California company took note that more than 82 million phones were destroyed by moisture last year and they are vending a permanent solution. For $59, the company claims to waterproof a phone (or a media player). The process takes 30 minutes and purportedly has no detectable effect on the phone’s looks or feel. Well, yawn when you must – and have a great week.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.