Truth or Consequences

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President Teddy Roosevelt’s famous line “Speak softly and carry a big stick” was apparently a re-phrased West African proverb Theodore thought to be apropos for him and his governing policies. I experienced a high school coach who had the very same philosophy (except for the walk softly part).

The Medal of Honor (often mistakenly called the Congressional Medal of Honor) was first awarded to six Union Army volunteers in 1863. One of the original six medals is on display at the Smithsonian Institution. There are three varieties of the award that vary slightly according to the military branches of the recipients.

In 1950, the populace of Hot Springs, New Mexico voted to change the town’s name to Truth or Consequences in order to receive nationwide publicity and a few prizes. A radio/television show named Truth or Consequences sponsored the name change. This show was Bob Barker’s first TV host engagement. The television program was cancelled in 1988. Every few years, there has been a local movement to change the town’s name back to Hot Springs. Be alert for news updates.

The earth and its atmosphere contain an estimated 326 million cubic miles of water. Except for tiny droplets that may have escaped aboard launched satellites or space probes, the totality of our precious liquid has remained constant for eons.

Are machines really taking over? Ford Motor Company has stated that more than 700 robots are involved in the construction of each Escape manufactured in its Louisville, Kentucky plant.

Noisy and excited people may be said to have a case of the screaming meemies. The expression is thought to have originated as a description of WWI artillery projectiles that emitted very loud high-pitched shrieks as they soared toward targets. I have observed contemporary versions of “screaming meemies” shortly after parents opened their teenager’s cell phone statement.

George Washington is recognized as the Father of Our Country, but George was father to no children of his own.

On April 15, 1912, the famous luxury liner Titanic sank. On April 20, 1912, the New York Giants and the New York Yankees played an exhibition baseball game to raise money for passengers that had survived the tragedy. Gate receipts totaled almost $10,000 – a tidy sum in 1912.

Through recorded history, Mount Kilauea (Hawaii) has been the world’s most active volcano. Legend has it that the spewing inferno is the permanent home of the short-tempered goddess Pelé.

Well, walk softly and carry a big smile.

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