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Long-lingering mystery

james k whiteControversy exists as to what may be the oldest baseball in existence. Some claim a relic from an 1862 game between two towns in New York (Kingston and Newburgh) is the baseball with the best provenance. However, in Cooperstown at the Baseball Hall of Fame, a baseball ostensibly used in 1854 is on display. The debate rages.

A linguist informed me that when translated into English, all Japanese words end in a vowel, a “y” or an “n.” The plot is further complicated as “y” is sometimes a vowel.

Oklahoma City is extraordinary on several counts. One “count” is that the city had a population exceeding 10,000 its first day of settlement.

Barring the effects of clouds, the highest peak on Mt. Katahdin (Maine) is the first point in the United States to receive sunshine each morning.

The Rio Grande is the river that purportedly forms a natural boundary along a portion of the border between the United States and Mexico. However, an inherent problem arises with this concept because the Rio Grande has changed courses several times in the past and shall likely continue to alter its pathway. Surveyors and governmental authorities are often in states of confusion and conflict when determining who owns what along the whimsical waterway.

Footnote in reference to the American Civil War: Eleven states seceded from the union 1860-1861. All were readmitted by July 15, 1870. Georgia was readmitted twice (1868 and 1870).

A long-lingering mystery surrounds an island just off the coast of present-day North Carolina. It was there a group now known as the “Lost Colony of Roanoke Island” existed from 1587 until 1590(?). When people arrived from England with fresh supplies in August of 1590, not one person of the expected 117 was found – dead or alive. One strange clue was that someone had carved the word “CROATOAN” (possibly a reference to native tribes) on a doorway post. No indications of a large fire or even a struggle were discovered. In 2005 a Roanoke DNA project was launched with the intent to use historical records and DNA testing in order to trace the ancestry of some persons living in America that are possibly kin to those of The Lost Colony.

Deimos and Phobos are the two moons of the planet Mars. Phobos is the larger.
Well, I suggest you wear clothing sufficient to keep you warm while on Mt. Katahdin – and I hope you have a pleasant week.

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

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