Mullet Over


One of nature’s most spectacular displays

James k whiteMore than 97 percent of Egypt is classified as desert. More than 98 percent of Antarctica is deemed to be desert. More than 99 percent of butter fudge brownies are considered to be dessert.

Approximately 8,000 miles from Chicago (in Thailand), a Cubs fan has financed the construction of a Wrigley Field replica, complete with a copy of the famous scoreboard. The fan (Steve Hirschtick) hoists a flag with a big “W” on it after each Cubs victory. Now that’s a fan.

A fabulous (but little known) Nile waterfall is located in Uganda. Since the 1860s, this cascade has been named Murchison Falls. I am told that when the sun shines through the fulsome (not to be confused with Folsom) white spray, one of nature’s most spectacular displays is provided for fortunate observers.

Some ad campaigns are not completely thought out. In the 1940s, a famous U.S. cough syrup company published in magazines and broadcast on radio “Use our cough remedy – you cannot get any better.” I understand the campaign was short-lived.

It was in 1933 that Francis Perkins was appointed as America’s first female cabinet secretary (Department of Labor).

George Clinton (1739-1812) was vice president under both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Mr. Clinton and John C. Calhoun are the only persons to have been vice presidents under two different presidents. I was once vice president of my homeroom (circa 1964).
The highest mountain in South America is Argentina’s Aconcagua topping out at 22,800 feet (694,944 cm).

Marguerite Johnson was born April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. Marguerite later became the famous poet Maya Angelou.

Some California millipedes have the ability (or peculiarity) to glow at night whenever they are agitated. It might be a spooky experience should one walk amidst hundreds of millipedes that simultaneously became distressed. There are at least 12,000 species of millipedes, but only eight of those species (all native to California) are known to glow.

The first International Olympics to be held in the U.S. was hosted by the city of St. Louis in 1904 (July 1 – November 23). Controversy surrounded the events. To start with, Chicago had been awarded the Olympic Games, but some high level political arm-twisting caused the Olympics to be moved. There were plenty of angry folks in Illinois. I must mention a remarkable athlete that competed in the 1904 Games: George Eyser won six Olympic medals. George Eyser had a wooden left leg. Well, do not panic if surrounded by radiant millipedes – and have great week.

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

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Hard-to-find conversions

1. Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi

2. 2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won Ton

3. 1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microscope

4. Time between slipping on a peel and hitting the pavement = 1 bananasecond

5. Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 billigram

6. Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour =   Knotfurlong

7. 16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Sterling

8. Half of a large intestine = 1 semicolon

9. 1,000,000 aches = 1 megahertz

10. Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 horsepower

11. Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line

12. 453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake

13. 1 million-million microphones = 1 megaphone

14. 1 million bicycles = 2 megacycles

15. 365/25 days = 1 unicycle

16. 2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbird

17. 52 cards = 1 decacards

18. 1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 Fig Newton

19. 1000 milliliters of wet socks = 1 literhosen

20. 1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche

21. 1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin

22. 10 rations = 1 decoration

23. 100 rations = 1 C-ration

24. 2 monograms = 1 diagram

25. 4 nickels = 2 paradigms

26. 2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Cornell University Hospital = 1 IV League

27. 100 Senators = Not 1 decision

Puzzle Solutions