Don’t dance with a mamba

Bookmark and Share


Black Mambas are the fastest land snakes in the world, reaching spurts that exceed 12 mph. These snakes grow to lengths of more than 14 feet, and it is generally conceded that untreated Black Mamba bites are 100 percent fatal to humans. The snakes are gray and tan, not black – which surprised me somewhat. One herpetologist asserted “Black Mambas do not make good pets.” That opinion packed no surprise.

In 1999, general commercial uses of the famous Morse Code ended in the U.S.A.      . . .    . __     __ . .

A neuroscientist at Washington State University avers that the huge increase in the number of school children in the United States who suffer from obesity and ADHD is due in part to the national trend to restrict and remove playtime from elementary school disciplines. He says recess periods with physical activities and class time with pursuits that do more than amuse the students are keys to essential developments of body movement, decision making, impulse control, language skills, social integration and teamwork. I recall recess was typically my best subject. Lunch was a close second.

Bogus research a few years back led to the claim that human sneezes can propel particles at speeds that approach the sound barrier (approx. 760 mph). That preposterous claim actually inspired some “serious” sneeze studies. Investigations conducted within a controlled scientific setting revealed that most sneezes project particles at speeds of no more than 30 mph. There were definitely no readings anywhere near sound barrier speeds.

Forks as common eating utensils did not debut until the 1600s in Europe and even then mostly on tables of the wealthy. As forks gained popularity, it was almost as if competitions arose as to who might display the most forks. Fourteen forks per setting became a familiar number. As elite colonial Americans obtained wealth, they also wanted forky prestige. Privileged hosts in America proudly presented a diner with as many as 30 forks, each intended for a special use. It was rumored that dishwashers and silver polishers hated the fourchette fad.

Scientists are recalculating how much water is on Mars. Using information recently gathered, computers indicate there is enough water on the Red Planet to fill two lakes the size of Lake Michigan. Well, it may benefit your heart to dance an occasional mambo but dancing with a mamba is probably not a salubrious undertaking (although an undertaker may become involved). Have a great week.

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