Works of the devil

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The oldest known (thus far) recipe for brewing beer was recorded some 4,000 years ago in Sumer. Biomolecular archeologists (not many of those running around loose) conjecture that the brewed beer was actually safer for humans to drink than most of the amoeba/bacteria infested river and lake waters available in that era.

Ian Fleming (creator of the 007 spy character) named the debonair secret agent after a prominent Philadelphia ornithologist who was named “James Bond.”

In 860 A.D., Pope Nicholas I ordered that all engagement rings must be fashioned from gold. Pope Nick likely made goldsmiths wealthier and placed many suitors of fair maidens in some despair.

It was 75 years ago (June of 1938) that Superman made his debut in Action Comics #1.

I am so thankful that I did not buy that item: The 24.78 carat Graff Pink Diamond recently sold for $46,000,000. Presently, someone has discovered the jewel has a flaw – invisible to the naked eye, but a definite flaw.

I need to point out that Australian Adam Scott won the 2013 Master’s Golf Tournament – and not Scott Adams as some Doofus Column Writer (me) had listed in an embarrassing typo.

The name “Ping-Pong” was trademarked in 1901 by a manufacturer of table tennis equipment. Creative company owners invented and chose the name because they thought it mimicked the sounds of their bouncing white balls.

Grapefruit are a nutritious citrus delight with a caveat. Pharmacists warn that grapefruit can dangerously react with at least 43 distinct drug medications.

Do you know where your favorite towel is? May 25 is National Towel Day.

Sometimes you may read of a doormouse. That is a common misspelling of dormouse and the name has nothing to do with a rodent’s relationship with doors. The “dor” portion of the name is from the same root word as “dormant” and refers to the tiny mouse’s habit of sleeping major portions of most days.

From 1811 to 1818, a group of British folk actively campaigned against the advent of machines. They perceived the devices to be works of the devil that replaced common workers. Factories (and factory owners) were attacked and much equipment was destroyed. The group was dubbed the “Luddites” and occasionally one still finds the label applied to anyone perceived to be “against my project.” Well, if you converse with Adam Scott, please assure him my faux pas was most unintentional. Have a great week.

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