It is illegal to gargle while in public

Bookmark and Share

MULLETT OVER BY JAMES WHITEThe second longest river in North America is the Mackenzie (named after Alexander Mackenzie in 1789). The waterway empties into Beaufort Bay. Oddities concerning the Mackenzie should include that the river is one of the few major North American watercourses that flows northward and that an arm of Beaufort Bay is MacKenzie Bay. I mention that last information because MacKenzie Bay was named after a person not even related to Alexander Mackenzie (Kenneth Norman MacKenzie) in 1931.

Alfonso XIII was king of Spain from 1886 until 1931.  Historians are not in complete agreement regarding the monarch’s capabilities as a ruler, but no one dissents when describing the sovereign’s “ear for music.” He was absolutely tone deaf. Despite years of conscientious tutoring, Alfonso could not recognize Spain’s national anthem. At least two attendants were usually present to signal the king when to stand at attention as bands played “Marcha Real.”

New York City has just over 722 miles of subway track.

Unless the local ordinance has recently changed, it is illegal to gargle while in public inside the city limits of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The killer whale can swim at speeds surpassing 35 mph. The orca is the fastest swimmer of all mammals (Olympic champions top out at 4.2 mph), but is far slower than the sailfish which has been repeatedly observed to exceed 65 mph. In a 200m race, the human champ would cover the distance in 1.42 minutes while the sailfish would need less than 10 seconds.

Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn in 1681. Mr. Penn was well known for being friendly and generous to local Indian tribes. His religion was based on equality for all people, which was in striking contrast to the prevailing attitudes of most Europeans of that era. He fervently opposed slavery and founded his colony as a refuge and permanent home for the Society of Friends (Quakers). The principal settlement in Pennsylvania was Philadelphia which means “brotherly love.” Pennsylvania translates as “Penn’s Woods.”

The engagement ring of the Duchess of Cambridge (Catherine, now wife of Prince William) was valued at $137,000 upon delivery to William. In what might be some one-upsmanship, Anna Kournikova’s engagement ring reportedly cost $2.5 million. I hope the guy (Enrique Iglesias) is serious.

Speaking of serious, I suggest you gargle prudently when in Hot Springs – and that you have a great week.

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