BY JAMES K. WHITE | SEPTEMBER 12, 2012
Several years back (1972-1973) Carly Simon had a hit release entitled “You’re So Vain.” What many do not know is that Mick Jagger (yes, that Mick Jagger) sang backup on the song. Perhaps one can best hear Mick on the “don’t you.”
The Republic of Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Many of the land areas therein are no more than 20 feet above sea level. Recently rising seas have caused major concerns. The Maldivian government has teamed with a Dutch architectural firm to take soil and sand from existing islands, then combining the mixture with concrete and polystyrene foam to create floating islands tethered to the seafloor by telescoping columns. The ingenious solution seems to be working as initial efforts with human-generated isles intended for general housing have been deemed “pleasingly successful.”
Butterflies display many beautiful colors on their wings, but the technique used to create the wealth of hues and patterns is fascinating. Tones and tinges are not produced by simply mixing various pigments, but rather by utilizing assemblages of nanoscale shingles that reflect the sun’s light to produce a multitude of brilliant variations. A solitary flat scale might appear bland. However, when tilted and appropriately arranged in clusters, the effects can be both iridescent and dazzling.
Some objects that are large enough to be planets are labeled “free floaters” because they do not orbit any star. These strange worlds travel aimlessly through space at high speeds. NASA scientists estimate that there are likely billions of free floaters in our galaxy. I might add that scientists also estimate that our galaxy is of medium-small stature and that there are billions of other galaxies.
Some soda vending machines in Japan have built-in electronic games. If a customer is able to defeat a machine’s game, all monies are refunded and the drink is free.
Biologists claim that a polar bear can detect the odor of a seal from a distance of 20 miles.
The honey badger’s favorite food is (naturally) honey. The aggressive mammals tolerate the stings of thousands of bees in order to enjoy the sweet golden food.
Michigan newspaper after-Christmas headline: Lansing Residents Encouraged to Drop Off Trees.
The now ubiquitous hard hats were not commonly used on construction sites until 1933 while building the famous Hoover Dam. Well, be careful while dropping off trees – and I hope you have a magnificent week.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.