Left Coast / Right Coast: Things that go bump in the night

Mike Gold living the dream in the Pacific Northwest. Photo credit: Scott Brown.
Mike Gold living the dream in the Pacific Northwest. Photo credit: Scott Brown.

By Mike Gold, A retired entrepreneur living the dream in the Pacific Northwest.

This week's column should be taken with a grain of salt, as I'm not sure everything I've written is absolutely true, but rather "things that go bump in the night."

It costs the US Mint more to make a penny and nickel than the coins are worth. So why do they still make them? Simple – if they didn't it would play havoc with our system of buying things with cash. Perhaps someday, we will eliminate all smaller denomination physical money.

Speaking of money, if you are a student of history, you may remember that Germany had run-away inflation, which actually led to WW II.

Printed money in Germany during that time decreased in value so rapidly, that workers were paid twice/day and rushed out to spend it before it decreased in value by the end of the day. I seem to remember that at one point, they were given their pay in printed money in wheelbarrows in order to be able to physically carry it out of work.

Venezuela currently has hyperinflation, sometimes running over 200% in a single day. Take a look at the photo in this web site. Note the amount of Bolivars (Venezuelan money) needed to buy a simple chicken. The country actually printed (for a while) a 100 trillion dollar note (worth about $30 at that time).

Gold: (no relation to my name and/or family): There is so much gold on our planet (most of which is buried way down near the core of our planet), that if you could extract it all, it could cover the entire earth with a layer of gold coming up to an average person’s knee. If you study simple economics, here’s what would happen if we found a way to extract it in an economic fashion. It would become practically worthless. Reason, with such a large supply, the price of gold would plummet until it would be worth just about what it cost to get it out of the ground.

Cockroaches: These insects can live up to two weeks after you cut off its head. I guess I immediately think: “Why would one want to cut the head off a cockroach?”

Lions can mate (when a female comes into its breeding season) up to 50 times/day! Can’t possibly add anything to this fact.

Do not ever sneeze with your eyes open. In fact, your body involuntarily shuts your eyes when you do sneeze. Reason our bodies do this: The pressure created by a sneeze on your eyes is sufficiently strong that it could pop your eyeball out of its socket.

The woman’s name Wendy did not exist before J.M. Barrie created it in his book “Peter Pan.” Before this book there was no one in the world named Wendy.

The French people call what the rest of the world calls a French Kiss an English Kiss. As French is considered the world’s romance language, it is difficult for me to imagine everyone else changing what they call a French Kiss to English.

There are more lifeforms living on your skin than there are people on planet earth.

OJ Simpson was the original choice to play “The Terminator.” It was rejected because the studio thought the general population would reject the idea of him as a remorseless killer.

Leonardo da Vinci could write with one hand while painting with the other at the same time. Gives new meaning to the description used to describe some politicians: “Cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.”

If you could remove all the empty space in the atoms that make up a human being, all the people on the earth could fit in the space of an apple.

A traffic jam (does not specify where) once lasted for ten days, with the average car moving 0.6 miles/day. (Sounds to me like I-5 heading south into Seattle every morning!)

There are more than 200 corpses on Mt. Everest. They do not decay due to the very cold climate. They are used as “marking points” for climbing groups. (Turn right at John Smith’s earlobe!)

There are about 1.6 million ants on earth for every human. (Interestingly, the combined weight of each of the two species is about equal, giving support for the principles of conservation of energy.)

Your chances of being killed by a vending machine are twice as high as being bitten by a shark. (In my youth a vending machine fell on my foot – causing me to lose a toenail.)

And my favorite: France was still executing people by guillotine when the movie “Star Wars – A new hope” was introduced to moviegoers.


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