MULLET OVER BY JAMES K. WHITE  |  january 13, 2016

Yawning and gaped-mouth blowing of big-eyed animals called tarsiers

james k white The island of Great Britain is sinking – and rising. Geologists have defined a line that runs from Devon, through south Wales and then across the middle of England to north Yorkshire. Lingering effects of the last ice age are causing lands north and west of “the line” to rise and areas south and east to sink. In some regions, the results are striking, e.g. Harlech Castle was completed in 1289 (Edward I) with a gate opening directly into the Irish Sea. Now the structure sits more than a half mile from the sea with an elevation of approximately 150 feet.

In what is likely an unrelated matter: studies indicate approximately 80 percent of Caucasian men are affected by male-pattern baldness while only 18 percent of African American males and 2 percent of Native American men display this hair loss trait by the age of 70.

Engineers at the University of Pittsburgh are doing research in cooperation with Harvard (another college somewhere) to develop “intelligent clothing.” Special materials provide feedback to sensors that can alter attire to make the wearers comfortable through a wide range of environmental temperatures and can even color-coordinate clothing (for those who may be “taste-challenged”, i.e. “men”).

Four U.S. states are officially commonwealths: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Research has shown there is a definite correlation between a human population’s overall health and contact with the “outdoors.” Those patients having access to views of flowers, birds, trees, etc. from windows of hospitals appear to experience a boost in both physical and mental health. Visits to parks as well as simply sitting by streams or ponds can sometimes affect wonders. I think it likely many of you were already aware of this “discovery.”

For decades, animal behaviorists had been curious about the yawning and gaped-mouth blowing of big-eyed animals called tarsiers. A clever scientist from Texas A&M (Sharon Gursky-Doyen) set up special recording equipment and learned the “quiet” tarsiers were actually yawning and blowing some very loud sounds of communication in the 75 kilohertz range. Humans normally cannot hear any sounds beyond 20 kilohertz.

The hydrogen bomb that exploded over Bikini Atoll in 1956 was approximately 750 times as powerful as the bomb that was dropped over Hiroshima in 1945. It is fairly well documented the Bikini bomb had a photo of actress Rita Hayworth attached. I know not the “why” of the photo.

Well, enjoy some “outdoors” and have great week.

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