MULLET OVER BY JAMES K. WHITE  |  January 27, 2016

Tiny tooth-mounted hearing aids for the American public

james k whiteQuarterback Drew Brees twice defeated future U.S. Open Champion Andy Roddick in tennis matches. Drew was 12 and Andy was 9.

Black fire beetles lead strange lives. This species thrives in regions of recently burned forests. The special insect has forest fire sensing pit organs that direct the bugs to locations that competitors and predators have abandoned. The black fire beetles can there mate and lay eggs in mostly undisturbed conditions.

Two biomechanics professors have recalculated the maximum biting force of the charming Tyrannosaurus Rex. The chomp was apparently closer to 12,800 pounds rather than the paltry 4,000 pounds previously credited. I understand these animals are mostly extinct now which makes the beasts depicted in movies likely to be stand-ins or cleverly used props. My opinion.

The U.S. military has available an unmanned tank named the Ripsaw. The vehicle weighs 9,000 pounds and can travel speeds in excess of 65 mph. Various attachment options are available including armaments and cameras. The primary intent is to deploy the Ripsaw in fields of battle in order to defend against IEDs and those who use IEDs.

In the 1820s, the famous composer Beethoven attempted to overcome his increasing deafness by tightly holding a short wooden rod between his teeth and placing the other end of the rod firmly against a piano being played. The effort was somewhat successful. I mention this episode as the FDA has approved the marketing of tiny tooth-mounted hearing aids for the American public. More than a few patients have declared their results to be astounding.

Some medical researchers will go to great lengths in order to make a point. I offer the case of Daniel Carrión. He insisted that chronic Peruvian wart illness and the always fatal Oroya fever were different stages of the same disease. Under closely monitored conditions, Daniel injected himself with wart lesion fluid and soon died of Oroya fever. In his honor, the disease is now called Carrión’s disease. Not worth it to me.

In the “OOPS” Department, we find that in 1978 workers were assigned to dredge and clean an area of the Chesterfield-Stockwith Canal (England). Apparently they unplugged a previously unknown hole that drained more than 1.5 miles of the waterway. Several dozen boaters were stranded hundreds of feet from shore amidst “despicable” sludge approximately 18 inches deep. Some of the stranded were described as “irate.” Well, use caution when testing wart diseases – and have a pleasant week.

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