Encouraging news


The FDA has recently approved a pill-sized camera that can be swallowed. The device transmits images while wending through human digestive tracts. Understandably, fans of colonoscopy fear that cherished procedure may become less popular.

In 2012, 1.6 million Smartphones were reported stolen in this country. Crime experts estimate that electronic mobile devices are primary targets in at least half of all robberies committed in the U.S.

Whirlwinds are normally harmless oddities of nature. However, they have been observed sucking up glowing embers from forest fires that shortly fall to earth igniting detached expanses.

In 1851, Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola, Florida patented a process for manufacturing ice. Some Floridians claim that fact makes The Sunshine State a contender for being the coolest state in the union. Seems like a stretch to me.

“Turk” means “strength” in Turkish.

Sign in a restaurant: OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK AND MOST WEEKENDS.

It is estimated that Americans lose more than $10,000,000,000 per year gambling. I wondered how resort owners paid for those large shiny buildings.

A total of 364 gifts were delivered by the lover in Twelve Days of Christmas.

Seward’s Folly was the name given to the 1867 purchase of Alaska arranged by Secretary of State William Seward. It was also called the Polar Bear Garden, Seward’s Ice Box, Billy’s Boo-Boo and a few names not fit for print. The $7 million acquisition procured vast lands for approximately 2 cents per acre which included considerable deposits of gold, oil, timber and other natural resources.

Some encouraging news: A recent study indicates that 59 percent of America’s teens did volunteer work within the last 12 months. I am both impressed and pleased. Often our youth receive considerable criticism while a blind eye is turned toward the kind deeds they perform.

Historical footnotes indicate that in 18th century England, it was possible to purchase insurance against going to hell. I believe that descendants of those venders now peddle rain pills, magical cures and lists of honest intelligent politicians.

The Island of Guam in the Western Pacific has been overrun with snakes not indigenous to the region. Getting rid of the slithery serpents had presented major problems until recently. Someone discovered that using low-flying planes to drop euthanized mice loaded with acetaminophen to be an exceptionally effective method of killing the intrusive serpents. The scaly invaders cannot resist those yummy dead rodents and acetaminophen is apparently 100% snake-deadly.

The contours of horses’ feet change daily. Most shoes made for race horses are comprised of aluminum. A big change is looming as the aluminum may soon be replaced by titanium. Titanium is lighter and stronger than aluminum; ergo titanium appears destined to become the new standard in the horseshoe industry. Professional farriers and design engineers are developing plans to utilize hoof scans and 3-D printers loaded with titanium to custom fit the hooves of prized animals mere hours before races are scheduled to start.

Well, guard your smartphone (mine is pretty much “notsmart”) – and have a great week.

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