Mullet Over #647

The Pieter Schelte ship at dock - Photo AllSeas

The Pieter Schelte at dock – Photo AllSeas

The world’s largest ship, Pieter Schelte, has been undergoing final trials just off the coast of South Korea. The craft is 407 feet wide and 1253 feet long. The Pieter Schelte includes an onboard heliport and requires a crew of 571 when fully manned. [For Photo gallery, click here.]

A Dutch corporation (Allseas) owns the vessel which is designed to efficiently remove oil-drilling rigs abandoned in our oceans and gulfs. Operations that had previously required months or years can now be completed in less than a week.

QuanahParkerIn 1884, Comanche Chief Quanah Parker ran an advertisement in several regional newspapers offering a reward for any photo of his mother, Cynthia Ann Parker, whom he had not seen since 1860. Amazingly, one A.F. Corning had such an item that he had taken in 1862. Mr. Corning contacted Quanah and collected a modest remuneration in exchange for a copy of the daguerreotype.

In circa 2600 B.C., the Harappan culture flourished in what is now India and Pakistan. I mention this society because of some remarkable achievements. In a Harappan city called Mohenjo-Daro, there were aqueducts for delivery of fresh water, a complex sewage-drainage system, a community furnace-heated water tank and a large granary for storing and distributing food to the populace. The Harappans had a written language that no modern scholar has been able to decipher. By 1700 B.C., the civilization disappeared and is now a profound mystery from our past.

Flamingos (the birds, not the dancer guys) eat most of their meals by swallowing with their heads upside down.

Former British Prime Minister (1997-2007) Tony Blair was once an active member of the rock band known as Ugly Rumours.

How fatuous have we become? On a baking pan, presented in large print: “Ovenware will get hot when used in oven.”

Ritz-Carlton Hotel, New York

Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Central Park, New York

That traditional French leek and potato soup vichyssoise (pronounced vi-she-swaz by learned folk) is actually an American creation. In 1917, the head chef at New York’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel concocted the cold potage to serve diners during one of NYC’s notorious heat waves.

A careful study has shown that there are approximately 1300 kernels in a pound of standard dried corn.

What is one to believe? “Chinese Checkers” was not invented in China nor is it a variation of checkers. Invented in Germany (1892), the game was originally called “Stern-Halma.” I have no idea who Halma was. Well, I cannot recommend swallowing like a flamingo, but I can recommend having a great week.