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Who is Henny Youngman - but, yes, take our sinkholes, please!

We are going to pause in our discussion of sinkholes in New Jersey to explain who Henny Youngman was. We realize that our baby boomer is showing around the edges.

Henny Youngman was a stand-up comedian who perfected the one-liner. If you thought Joan Rivers was quick, just wander over to You Tube for a few minutes of Youngman. His obituary in the New York Times -- he was 91 years old when he died in 1998 -- reported that he could tell eight jokes in a minute, as many as 50 jokes in an eight-minute monologue. He was a staple of the Catskills and the talk shows for 60 years. His most famous quip was, "Take my wife! Please!"

Back to our discussion of sinkholes occurring outside of Florida's Sinkhole Alley. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, "Sinkholes form in karst terrain principally from the collapse of surface sediments into underground voids and cavities in the limestone bedrock." Much of central Florida sits on vast limestone deposits, and, over time, water -- rainwater, in fact -- wears away the limestone.

Eventually, the weight of the rock and earth and houses and trucks sitting on top of that limestone cavity or void will cause a collapse. Everything sinks into what was once solid limestone.

All of this happens even without human meddling. You may have heard about the massive sinkhole in Louisiana's Ascension Parish. And underground cave weakened by salt mining collapsed and took about 32 acres of land with it. There are webcams set up to watch the sinkhole swallow trees whole. This was not a natural occurrence. The mining company helped it along.

But what about those sinkholes in New Jersey? We have some ideas. We'll share them in our next post.

Source: NJ.com, "N.J. snowplow sinkhole: 'Surprise' of tow truck owner's life," Emily Cummins, Feb. 18, 2015

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