The only known edible orchid

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MULLETT OVER BY JAMES WHITEJupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. It is the fifth planet from the sun. More than 1,000 earths would be required to match the volume of Jupiter. None of this information is the basis of my mentioning Jupiter today. Our largest planet has an identifying huge red spot and that red spot is rapidly (by planet standards) disappearing. In 1979, the spot was 14,500 miles wide and in 2014 only 10,250 miles wide. Some astronomers seem frantic (if not hysterical) as to what can be done. No cause has been determined for the shrinkage nor any remedy offered to sensitive scientists as to how they might regain composure.

In July of 1862, David Glasgow Farragut was promoted to the rank of rear admiral. He was the first admiral of any sort in the U.S. Navy. In 1866, he became the first naval officer to attain the rank of full admiral. He died at age 69 (1870) subsequent to having served 60 years in the navy. Farragut had enlisted at age 9 as a midshipman.

Some of the world’s oldest existing written records came from Mesopotamia (now Iraq). Years of hard study have revealed that most of these written archives are inventories of wine stored in clay containers called amphorae. Typical amphorae would hold 12 to 125 gallons of wine each.

The eBay company was founded in 1995 by Pierre Omidyar.

Interpreting dating jargon: “I think that we should start seeing other people” means “I already am.”

Data indicates that hurricanes have an average life span of nine days.

A recent important study has revealed that almost exactly half of all marshmallows sold to consumers are roasted over a fire of some ilk. Some say it is the ilk that dramatically enhances taste.

When Germany invaded Belgium in 1914, there was a Vietnamese chef’s apprentice working at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in London. The head chef had commented on how impressed he was with the hard-working trainee. Shortly after the Germanic invasion, the apprentice abandoned his promising pursuit of a chef’s career and returned to Vietnam. That homecoming turned out to be very fateful for many people. The young Vietnamese was Ho Chi Minh.

Vanilla beans come from a plant that is a member of the orchid family. So far, the vanilla plant is the only known edible (for humans) orchid. Well, you might want to check to see what is in your amphorae – and have a great week.

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