The logo on what automobiles has six stars

james k whiteWhat’s the hottest thing you’ve ever seen or felt? Nuclear physicists at the Brookhaven Lab smashed gold ions together and temporarily created a temperature estimated at 4,000,000,000,000 (4 trillion) degrees Celsius.

The logo on Subaru automobiles has six stars. Those six represent Pleiades, part of the constellation Taurus. The name Subaru is Japanese for the Pleiades star cluster. I had long thought the auto was named after one of the Baru sisters, but I was apparently incorrect.

The western border of South Dakota has an interesting history. It seems that two teams of professional surveyors were employed to determine a straight line north and south along the 27th meridian. When the two teams “met,” they were over a mile out of “straight.” After some accusing and arguing, officials refused to pay for another survey and simply drew the boundary by connecting the endpoint of each team’s survey. As one examines a detailed map, the peculiar kink can be plainly observed.

Are you anxious to see an active volcano but fear that the eruptions will cease just prior to your arrival? I offer for your consideration Iceland’s Helka. This volcano has reportedly erupted continuously since 1104 (A.D.). During some exceptional activities in 1947, an explosion blasted lava to heights exceeding 20 miles. Flying over Helka is not recommended by the Icelandic Tourist Bureau.

During the American Civil War (1864), the Confederacy had intercepted some of the Union Army’s encoded messages, but none of the southern military personnel had been able to crack the code. In desperation, an Atlanta newspaper published the messages and appealed to anyone who might be able to translate the communications. Someone saw the printed missives and solved the code. The dispatches were requests from General Sherman (Union Army) for extra torching materials to be used while burning Atlanta.

Owls cannot move their eyes without moving their heads.

Paris’ famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, is repainted every seven years. The weight of the paint applied is 60 tons. The structure is anchored 49 feet into the ground.

American scientist John Rinehart has spent several years studying the eruption timetables of hundreds of geysers in the Yellowstone regions of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. One somewhat surprising discovery was that the phases of our moon definitely influence the timing of geyser discharges, sometimes by more than an hour.

Well, use caution when handling gold ions from the Brookhaven Lab – and have a most pleasant week.

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