BY JAMES K. WHITE | SEPTEMBER 22, 2010
A bookie in Ireland
In Germany, a person who benefits from another’s work is known as a “Trittbrettfahrer.” Literally, the word means “running-board rider.”
Anyone talking about your integumentary system is making reference to your hair, skin, and nails (and feathers, should you have such).
I know not what you have been planning, but in Massachusetts it is illegal to sell fewer than 24 ducklings at a time prior to May 1st of each calendar year.
Less than 1 percent of the residents of Hawaii can validly claim to be of 100 percent Polynesian heritage. If one were to measure the Big Island (Hawaii) from its base to its highest peak, the total span would exceed the height of Mount Everest (measured in the same manner) by several hundred feet.
The very first aircraft carrier built to accommodate planes taking off and landing on deck was the H.M.S. Argus (Royal Navy) commissioned in 1918.
Scientists believe that our entire solar system orbits about the center of our galaxy and requires approximately 200 million years per trip. I suppose we shall obtain improved accuracy after we time a few orbits.
For those who recall the devastating blast from Mt. St. Helens in 1980, I have good news. In what was then a 200 square mile wasteland of ashes and leveled firs, there is now a forest with thriving trees that are at least 60 feet tall. Amazing.
Speaking of volcanoes, a bookie in Ireland has established odds on whether various craters will “blow” during the upcoming year. The recent odds for Mt. Vesuvius were 12:1 (against).
The study of “the end of the world” is termed “eschatology.”
Who is your favorite singer? Some singers are so outstanding that they are well known even after they are long deceased. For instance, Hans Sachs was so good that he was called Der Meistersänger (the master singer). As one may have never heard of Hans, he/she might assume that he couldn’t have been all that great. However, I found mention of Sachs in reference books and he died more than four hundred years ago (1576). Hans also made shoes and wrote poems.
Some thieves are quite bold. Not too long ago a group in Baltimore set up business by stealing 30 foot tall 250 pound aluminum light poles. The bandits would dress as utility workers and place orange cones to safely secure areas as they absconded with 130 poles.
It is estimated that it will cost the city a minimum of $150,000 to replace each light pole.
Well, beware of Trittbrettfahrers and have a pleasant week.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The photo shoot
The Smiths were unable to conceive children and decided to use a surrogate father to start their family. On the day the proxy father was to arrive, Mr. Smith kissed his wife goodbye and said, 'Well, I'm off now. The man should be here soon.'
Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer happened to ring the doorbell, hoping to make a sale. 'Good morning, Ma'am', he said, 'I've come to ...'
'Oh, no need to explain,' Mrs. Smith cut in, embarrassed, 'I've been expecting you.'
'Have you really?' said the photographer. 'Well, that's good. Did you know babies are my specialty?'
'Well that's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat!'
After a moment she asked, blushing, 'Well, where do we start?'
'Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch, and perhaps a couple on the bed. And sometimes the living room floor is fun. You can really spread out there.'
'Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work out for Harry and me!'
'Well, Ma'am, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results.'
‘My, that's a lot!' gasped Mrs. Smith.
'Ma'am, in my line of work a man has to take his time. I'd love to be in and out in five minutes, but I'm sure you'd be disappointed with that.'
'Don't I know it,' said Mrs. Smith quietly.
The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures. 'This was done on the top of a bus,' he said.
'Oh, my God!' Mrs. Smith exclaimed, grasping at her throat.
'And these twins turned out exceptionally well - when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with.'
'She was difficult?' asked Mrs. Smith.
'Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to the park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep to get a good look.'
'Four and five deep?' said Mrs. Smith, her eyes wide with amazement.
'Yes,' the photographer replied. 'And for more than three hours, too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling - I could hardly concentrate, and when darkness approached I had to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just had to pack it all in.'
Mrs. Smith leaned forward. 'Do you mean they actually chewed on your, uh ... equipment?'
'It's true, Ma'am, yes. Well, if you're ready, I'll set-up my tripod and we can get to work right away.'
'Oh yes, Ma'am. I need to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big to be held in the hand very long.'
Mrs. Smith fainted.
Despite a thorough search in an effort to identify the author, we were unsuccessful. If informed, we will publish attribution.
Your Horoscope by Madame Bournard
ARIES (MAR. 21 - APRIL 19)
It is a good time to improve relationships with friends and family. You never know when you might need their help in the future. Spend time this weekend trying a new recipe for your loved ones.
TAURUS (APR. 20 – MAY 20)
Your home sector is brightening up with friends and family enjoying much hospitality. Your love life gets a kick-start and goes into high gear this month.
GEMINI (MAY 21 –JUNE 20)
You will be in the limelight for a time this month, so enjoy it; you may show something to your superiors at work and your reputation will flourish.
CANCER (JUN 21 – JULY 22)
You have trouble shooting to deal with this month and issues to resolve with respect to the next life path you will take. Travel plans may be in the works for later this year.
LEO (JULY 23- SEPT. 22)
You may come into a little extra money this month; splurge a little and put the rest in savings. Spend some extra time with family before too many changes happen.
VIRGO (AUG. 23 –AUG 22)
You had some good R&R this last month, now you have to step up to the plate and make some money. You need to get out there and start beating the streets. Use your charisma.
LIBRA (SEPT. 24- OCT.23)
You have an extra jolt of energy this month and it makes you feel better than usual. If you are looking for a job wish to change jobs, this month may offer a good opportunity.
SCORPIO (OCT. 23- NOV. 21)
You have a busy month between meetings and out of town possibilities at work. At home, keep up your good spirits and the home fires burning.
SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22- DEC. 21)
You will soon have a good chance to further your career in some way. You may have some luck in an upcoming real estate matter. Read all of the fine print.
CAPRICORN (DEC. 22- JAN 19)
Check out some community college courses to fulfill a need for news knowledge. You need to spend more quality time with a significant other or one of your good friends.
AQUARIUS (JAN. 20- FEB. 18)
You may be upset over an animal and want to see about adopting another pet. Despite the tough times, you feel you need some enjoyment.
PISCES (FEB. 19- MAR. 20)
The planets are in line with your love zone. It is a good time to heal wounds or expand your current relationship. Projects at home need to be completed amidst the fun around you.