MULLET OVER BY JAMES K. WHITE  |  september 23 , 2015

Eating bats

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james k white In some cultures, those flying mammals called bats are a common part of the diet. Inhabitants in places such as Ghana, China, Thailand, Guam and Australia not only consume bats but commonly see the Chiroptera featured on café menus. One caveat: medical research indicates people who eat bats suffer increased instances of SARS, Ebola and dementia. I do think that I would have to develop dementia prior to eating bats.

George the First was king of Great Britain from 1714 to 1727. He barely spoke English and he was a native of Hanover (Germany). This George Ludwig succeeded Queen Anne to the throne even though there were 50 living relatives more closely related to Anne. All those in line to inherit the crown before George were Catholic and thusly ineligible for kingship as a result of the Act of Settlement (1701). The whole jumbled disarray resulted in a distant second cousin living in Deutschland becoming the new English sovereign. This sequence of events likely seemed completely logical in the early 1700s.

Plans that sound great in the discussion stage can go completely sour during implementation. A man named Pete Pickett felt that too many out-of-towners were harvesting squirrels in his favorite “used-to-be-secret” woods area. A friend of Pete joined the frustrated hunter in a plot to scare people away by leaving dozens of huge fake gorilla tracks in the soft sands. Backfire City. For weeks droves of Bigfoot hunters and journalists flooded the forest, pretty much scattering and spooking all game for miles around. Dagnabbit.

The deepest canyon in the United States is Hell’s Canyon located along the Idaho/Oregon border. That magnificent chasm is more than 8,000 feet deep. The deepest portion of the Grand Canyon measures slightly less than 6,000 feet. Both coulees are likely to elicit a few WOWs or SHAZAAMs from sightseers.

In April of 1844, a little known writer (Edgar Allen Poe) working for the New York Sun newspaper authored a widely accepted hoax claiming that a Mr. Mason took off from Wales in a hot air balloon while attempting to cross the English Channel. Poe’s story continued to say that high winds blew the balloon off course and across the Atlantic Ocean before finally landing in South Carolina. That particular edition of the newspaper sold out so quickly Poe could not obtain a copy and fully enjoy his efforts. The hoax was acknowledged in print four days after the initial publication. Well, think it over before “munching out” on deep fried bats – and have a great week.

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