A Change Of Pace

Mullet Over
When was the last time you ate a scolymus?

By James K. White | December 10, 2008

On August 31, 2000 a 19 year old college freshman took a vow of silence in order to raise funds for a favorite cause. On September 5, 2001 on television at Times Square he finally broke his silence. His first words in more than a year were “To thine own self be true …” I do not recall any freshman that I taught taking vows of silence.

On the old MGM logo the words “Ars Gratia Artis” appear above the lion’s head. The words mean “Art for Art’s Sake.”

In Greek mythology there was a character named Argus. While I do not know whether Argus winked at any fair young maidens, I do know that he was supposedly a giant with 100 eyes. I’ll wager that fitting him with glasses would have been a challenge.

In 1881 Clara Barton was the principal person involved in founding the American Red Cross Society. Other people helped, but C.B. supplied the ideals and impetus.

Rounded off to the nearest minute, it takes the earth 23 hours and 56 minutes to rotate once.

When was the last time you knowingly ate a scolymus? The scolymus is a yellow-flowering thistle that grows in parts of Europe and is an ingredient in some culinary efforts. It is also sometimes used as a medicinal plant. Yum.

The state of Rhode Island actually consists of 35 islands. R.I. was the first of the 13 Colonies to declare independence, yet the last of the 13 to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Rhode Island is likely named after the Greek island of Rhodes, but some historians claim that is not the case. I have no opinion concerning the dispute. Rhode Island is the second most densely populated state (after New Jersey) and is our smallest state in area with a total of only 1212 square miles.

The famous Bowie knife (sometimes called the Arkansas toothpick) was supposedly designed by James Bowie and made by the renowned Arkansas knife maker James Black.

Bowie bragged openly about the “finest” knife and James Black mostly filled orders for replicas the rest of his productive life. It is thought that the original knife was still with Bowie when he died at the Alamo and the fate of the special blade is not known. Some think that it was taken as a trophy by one of Santa Anna’s men and could still exist somewhere.
The sports stadium with the largest fan capacity is in Pyongyang, North Korea and will accommodate 150,000 people at one event. That one event is always soccer. Kolkata, India has the second largest stadium with a capacity of 120,000. Soccer and cricket are both played in the stadium, but not at the same time.

The next time you assemble a group of bug scientists (entomologists) and you desire to initiate a lively discussion – simply ask whether or not insects sleep. This seems to be a matter of some division. Some participants say that sleep has not been adequately defined and others declare that bugs can’t even close their eyes because they have no eyelids. I’ll likely sleep well without knowing how this issue was resolved.

Well, to thine own self be true and … have a pleasant week.


It’s tough getting old

An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed the gentleman to hear 100 percent.
The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, 'Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.'
The gentleman replied, 'Oh, I haven't told my family yet.
I just sit around and listen to the conversations. I've changed my will three times!'

Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turns to the other and says: 'Slim, I'm 83 years old now and I'm just full of aches and pains. I know you're about my age. How do you feel?'
Slim says, 'I feel just like a newborn baby.'
'Really!? Like a newborn baby!?'
'Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.'

Hospital regulations require a wheel chair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn't need my help to leave the hospital.
After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator.
On the way down I asked him if his wife was meeting him.
'I don't know,' he said. 'She's still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.'

A senior citizen goes in for his yearly physical with his wife tagging along. When the doctor enters the examination room he says, “I will need a urine sample, a stool sample and a sperm sample.”
The man, being hard of hearing, turns to his wife and asks, “What did he say?”
His wife yells back to him, “Give him your underwear!”

Couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things. During a checkup, the doctor tells them that they're physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember.
Later that night, while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair. 'Want anything while I'm in the kitchen?' he asks.
'Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?'
'Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?' she asks.
'No, I can remember it.'
'Well, I'd like some strawberries on top, too. Maybe you should write it down, so's not to forget it?'
He says, 'I can remember that. You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries.'
'I'd also like whipped cream. I'm certain you'll forget that, write it down?' she asks.
Irritated, he says, 'I don't need to write it down, I can remember it! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream – I got it, for goodness sake!'
Then he toddles into the kitchen. After about 20 minutes the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the plate for a moment.
'Where's my toast?'

A man was telling his neighbor, 'I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but it's state of the art. It's perfect.'
'Really,' answered the neighbor. 'What kind is it?'
'Twelve thirty.'