What makes the Fontus Bottle unique

james k white

The popular urban legend that you likely swallow 8 spiders each year while sleeping was made up, totally unsupported by research.  One study indicates that you probably swallow zero spiders each year –snoozing or otherwise. Speaking of spiders, the black widow variety with the red hour-glass shape on its underside has two peculiarities: (1) The mark serves as a warning for birds to steer clear and (2) The red is almost invisible to yummy prey such as insects or silverfish.

The song “My Old Kentucky Home” was penned by Stephen Foster (who was from Pennsylvania) and was first published in 1853. The tradition of singing the composition at The Kentucky Derby began in 1921 after Behave Yourself won the race at Churchill Downs.

In May of 1939, hard throwing baseball pitcher Bob Feller’s mother was in the stands to watch her son perform against the Chicago White Sox. In the third inning a Chicago batsman clobbered a fastball that went foul into the stands and hit Bob’s mother on the bridge of her nose, blackening both eyes. It was Mother’s Day. Mom was hospitalized, but recovered. Her son finished the game and won.

President Andrew Jackson’s image first appeared on the $10 bill in 1914. His likeness is now on $20 currency, but may be replaced.

For a mere $225, one may soon purchase a water bottle that attaches to a bicycle frame. What makes the Fontus Bottle unique is that it refills itself by condensing water vapor as air traverses over a special surface inside the container. Anticipated refill rate is about one liter of water per two hours of exposure.

The Panda Conservation Movement in China has been remarkably successful. In spite of an encroaching human population and a shrinking panda home range, the number of pandas in the wild has increased 17% over the last 12 years.

In November of 1944, Japan launched thousands of balloons as much as 33 feet in diameter and carrying incendiary bombs aimed at America’s west coast. Called Fu-Go’s, a few of the balloon bombs did survive the ocean/air voyage. Timers were to set off the bombs, but most timers malfunctioned and those balloons that did detonate in North America did so in unpopulated areas. News of the bomb balloons was kept top secret in America and the Japanese apparently thought none of the balloons were successful. In 2015, an intact Fu-Go was discovered in a remote region of British Columbia. Well, worry not about gulping octets of arachnids —and have a great week.

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