BY JAMES K. WHITE  |  SEPTEMBER 26, 2012

MULLETT OVER BY JAMES WHITECheese chompers

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For centuries battleships ruled the seas. However, the development of airplanes, submarines, floating mines, etc. collectively rendered the once mighty war vessels more vulnerable and less effective. In 1992 the U.S. Navy decommissioned its last battleship – the USS Missouri.

Researchers in the Netherlands have been frenetically seeking the reason that cheese seems to taste better if it is freshly melted. Their findings imply that as cheeses are heated, the matrices of the milk proteins are altered while the pressed curds become creamy. That creamy altered state apparently excites human taste buds which promptly send “happy messages” to the brains of contented cheese chompers worldwide.

A man in the Basque regions of Spain has developed some boudoir furniture that could eliminate large measures of stress (and nagging) for many teenagers and their frazzled moms. One Ascencio Zubeldia hopes to market his special bed which realigns the covers each time the mattress senses no weight pressure for a set time limit. Robotic arms straighten and fluff the pillows, tighten (and tuck) the sheets, then snugly center and arrange the bedspread which is neatly fitted underneath the pillows. The entire process takes less than one minute.

For whatever reasons, no one in the first few hundred photographs (and daguerreotypes) smiled. It is believed that a child named William Mansel Llewelyn (circa 1848) was the first person to be photographed while smiling.

The famous horse rider and silversmith, Paul Revere, was the son of Apollos Rivoire. Apollos changed the family name to Revere shortly after emigrating from France to Guernsey Island (located in the English Channel) to Boston.

“Designer salts” have become popular with a certain global coterie. Some saline crystals drawing particular attention include the Himalayan mineral salts (said to have a silvery pink glow) and Hawaii’s black variety. The granules can vary in shape from tiny grains to BB-sized thin flakes. The upscale choices are considerably more expensive than “ordinary salt” and all have been described as tasting “salty.” Bon Appétit.

On a salt-related topic:  Numerous otherwise-educated folk are affected by a misconception that the Bonneville Salt Flats located in Utah are the largest (160 sq. miles) salt flats in the world. Not even close. The Salar de Uyuni (4086 sq. miles) in southwestern Bolivia is the site of the world’s largest salt flats. Long used as a source of common salt; much, much more valuable deposits of lithium have recently been discovered in the Salar de Uyuni regions. Well, enjoy your melted cheeses and have a delectable week.

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at jkwhite46@gmail.com.