MULLET OVER BY JAMES K. WHITE | JANUARY 29, 2014
Probably the loudest creature ever
In 2010, a group of zoologists in Suriname were watching their guide prepare a catfish for supper when a scientist specializing in fish species stopped the guide in mid-fillet as he noticed the long spines on el bagré. The specimen was a previously undiscovered species and the long spines were apparently an adaptation effective in warding off piranhas.
Researchers recently followed the fate of a mahogany log (1000 board feet) legally harvested in Peru. A native logger was paid $170 for the trimmed trunk delivered to his boss. After the boss, collector merchant, sawmill owner, exporter and importer added their fees, the $170 log arrived in a U.S. port with a price tag of $8,750.
The blue whale is likely the largest animal to ever inhabit the earth. No known dinosaur, land or sea dwelling, is thought to be nearly as heavy or long. The Balaenoptera musculus is also very probably the loudest creature ever as “calls” registering 188 decibels have been verified by scientists. In comparison, the loudest rock band was measured at 137 decibels. The fans at Seattle Seahawks’ home stadium, CenturyLink Field, set a record volume at 137.6 decibels in December of 2013.
In February of 44 B.C., Julius Caesar declared himself to be dictator (of the Roman Empire) in perpetuity. Ostensibly perpetuity ended about 30 days later as Julius was permanently assassinated in March.
Advice for American mothers in an 1832 publication: “Do not make children cross-eyed by having hair hang about their foreheads where they see it continually.”
American football fans should know that the word “punter” is recognized in Great Britain as a synonym for “gambler.” One wonders if there is a folk song in the UK entitled “I Am a Roving Punter.” Maybe not.
Obvious geniuses from our U.S. government allotted Colchester, Vermont $58,000, said amount designated for the purchase of a machine that could drill holes in concrete buildings in order to rescue anyone trapped inside. There are no concrete buildings in Colchester, Vermont. And so it goes – have a great week.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.