Monday, May 11, 2015


Flivver was a nickname for the Model T; it means ‘worthless headache.”

I went to Kingsford High School in Upper Michigan The nickname of our sports teams was the Flivvers because until the 1950’s, Ford had a plant in Kingsford. I wonder if whoever named the school’s mascot Flivvers knew what it meant.

Support your local butterflies: Place overripe fruit outside; it has nutrients that butterflies need.

Things I wouldn’t know were I not a reader: Julia Child helped the war department in World War II by developing an odd recipe. The ingredients included black dye, copper acetate, and water soluble wax. The purpose was not to eat, but to keep sharks from bumping into mines. This caused the mines to explode before their time. The concoction was used by the Navy for three decades and had the added advantage of keeping sharks away from sailors. From “Mental Floss. November 2014, page 47.

Thomas Jefferson was a smuggler. When he was minister to France, he went to Italy and smuggled out a type of rice that could be grown in dry upland regions. America needed this rice because up until then rice in the United States was planted in swamps where mosquitoes bred and made workers sick. The type of rice we needed in this country was only grown in Italy, and Italian law protected the rice seeds. The penalty for exporting the seeds from the country was death. Yet Jefferson filled his pockets, and then headed for the border. Same page in "Mental Floss"