Mullet Over


First U.S. president certified as a licensed pilot

JAMES K WHITE MULLET OVERPeople and markets are peculiar and unpredictable. Shortly after “Etch-A-Sketch” was mentioned during a 2012 political commentary, sales for Etch-A-Sketch jumped 3,000 percent.

Another item under business: What was once Philip Morris International (with affiliates) has become Altria.

Dwight David Eisenhower was the first U.S. president certified as a licensed pilot.

We may be alone, but our Earth has lots of planetary kin. In January of 2012, a group of astronomers announced their opinion that there exist at least 10,000,000,000 stars in our galaxy (Milky Way) which are orbited by planets. I expect the Intergalactic Tourism Industry will boom just as soon as a few transportation glitches are worked out. One targeted attraction might be a planet known as Kepler-16b because this planet orbits two stars, likely making for some spectacular sunsets.

In 1822, the president of Yale College banned (for all Yale students) participation in what he considered to be a primitive sport disposed to dreadful injuries – football. Violators were to be fined fifty cents and reported to the campus dean.

The year was 1853 when New York City became the site of the first World’s Fair to be hosted inside the United States. There were only 31 states back then and all of those states were to be involved in a dreadful conflict a short 8 years later.

The world petroleum industry collectively reports that jets consume approximately 320 million gallons of fuel every day.

Medical researchers have discovered an oddity: People who are carriers of sickle-cell disease but do not contract the disease appear to be immune to malaria. This trait is thought to have protected millions from malaria-induced deaths.

Traditionally, the first Christian martyr was a man who would become St. Stephen. In circa 35 A.D., Stephen was stoned to death as Saul (who became St. Paul) looked on.

The famous Plymouth Rock is presumably (i.e. we don’t know) a stone that folks stepped onto as they disembarked from the “Mayflower” in 1620. However, there are no contemporary accounts to validate the claim and the earliest mention of such a rock seems to have been written in 1742, some 121 years after the arrival of the famous Pilgrim Vessel.

The Rock has been moved a few times – and split in two – and chipped (by hordes of souvenir hunters) so Plymouth Rock is thought to be about one-half its 1620 size. The Dedham granodiorite (a type of granite) American symbol is now protected 24-7.

Well, enjoy your Etch-A-Sketch and have a great week.

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

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If God wanted us to vote

The problem with political jokes is they get elected. ~Henry Cate, VII

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~Aesop

If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these acceptance speeches there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven. ~Will Rogers

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ~Nikita Khrushchev

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. ~Author Unknown

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. ~Jay Leno

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. ~ John Quinton

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~ Oscar Ameringer

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it. ~ P.J. O'Rourke

I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. ~ Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country. ~Texas Guinan

Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so. ~Gore Vidal

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. ~Charles de Gaulle

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. ~Doug Larson

Don't vote, it only encourages them. ~Author Unknown

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