By Don Surber,  October 11, 2022

A reader in Mexico whose wife and children are descendants of Aztecs wrote to me about my Columbus Day piece.

He wrote, "Not many know it, but I think it was 1569, a new disease killed half (50%) of the surviving indigenous people in the entire nation. Spanish and Indians often lived in the same houses, and indigenous died while the whites, who often cared for them, were untouched.

"There were many doctors and scientists there, and there was extensive documentation of the illness, and it was NOT anything known in Europe. Among other differences, the dying person's blood turned green before death.

"There is a doctor in Mexico City, who is worried that it is a disease like the plague that went into remission among humans but is still existing below ground, and only comes out in certain climate conditions."

So I checked it out. He is right.

The National Library of Medicine reported, "Megadrought and Megadeath in 16th Century Mexico."

It said, "The native people of Mexico experienced an epidemic disease in the wake of European conquest, beginning with the smallpox epidemic of 1519 to 1520 when 5 million to 8 million people perished. The catastrophic epidemics that began in 1545 and 1576 subsequently killed an additional 7 million to 17 million people in the highlands of Mexico. Recent epidemiologic research suggests that the events in 1545 and 1576, associated with a high death rate and referred to as cocoliztli (Nahuatl for pest), may have been due to indigenous hemorrhagic fevers. Tree-ring evidence, allowing reconstructions of the levels precipitation, indicate that the worst drought to afflict North America in the past five centuries also occurred in the mid-16th century, when severe drought extended at times from Mexico to the boreal forest and from the Pacific to Atlantic coasts. These droughts appear to have interacted with ecologic and sociologic conditions, magnifying the human impact of infectious disease in 16th-century Mexico."

Smallpox, typhus and the measles had taken their toll.

This epidemic was different. Europeans and Africans seemingly were immune.

The report said, "Careful reanalysis of the 1545 and 1576 epidemics now indicates that they were probably hemorrhagic fevers, likely caused by an indigenous virus and carried by a rodent host. These infections appear to have been aggravated by the extreme climatic conditions of the time and by the poor living conditions and harsh treatment of the native people under the encomienda system of New Spain. The Mexican natives in the encomienda system were treated as virtual slaves, were poorly fed and clothed, and were greatly overworked as farm and mine laborers. This harsh treatment appears to have left them particularly vulnerable to epidemic disease."

The Europeans did conquer the Aztecs and they treated them as conquered people are treated everywhere: as dirt.

But disease killed much of the population off. And while modern revisionists blame Europeans for unknowingly bringing devastating disease, this one is a native American disease.

I reject any guilt trip for being an American. I have enough sins of my own. My people include some who came here on a little wooden ship called the Mayflower and some came aboard steerage in the late 19th century. They did not come here to make their great-grandson (and in some cases, many greats) apologize for deeds they did not commit.

Hail Columbus.

Reprinted with permission from Don Surber https://donsurber.blogspot.com/

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JULY 2021

From the Internet 

If a mentally-ill dude pretends to be a woman, you are required to pretend with him.
It’s un-American for the census to count how many Americans are in America.
Russians influencing our elections are bad, but Mexicans voting in our elections are good.
It was cool for Joe Biden to blackmail the President of Ukraine, but it’s an impeachable offense if Donald Trump inquires about it.
Twenty is too young to drink a beer, but eighteen is old enough to vote.
It’s wrong to steal, but it’s cool to demand that the government steal for you.
Sexualizing children is bad, but 11-year-old drag queens are good.
Illegals aren't required to show ID, but citizens can't buy cough medicine without it.
It’s okay for Iran to have nukes, but duck hunters should turn in their shotguns.
Citizens are fined if they don’t buy their own health insurance, and then they are forced to buy it for illegals.
People who have never owned slaves should pay slavery reparations to people who have never been slaves.
Inflammatory rhetoric is outrageous, but harassing people in restaurants is virtuous.
People who have never been to college should pay the debts of college students who took out huge loans for useless degrees.
Immigrants with tuberculosis and polio are welcome, but you’d better be able to prove your dog is vaccinated.
Irish doctors and German engineers who want to immigrate must go through a rigorous vetting process, but any illiterate Central-American gang-banger who jumps the southern fence is welcome.
We demand that the government be in control of our health care, but then we are outraged when the government makes our health care decisions.
$5 billion for border security is too expensive, but $1.5 trillion for “free” health care for illegals is not.
Men are evil misogynists, and a hooker named Stormy Daniels is a national treasure.
If you cheat to get into college you go to prison, but if you cheat to get into the country you go to college for free.
Politicians who say that the President is not above the law put illegal immigrants above the law.
Kids can’t bring peanut butter to school, but they can bring measles.
People who say there is no such thing as gender are demanding a female President.
It’s terrible when the President says that Puerto Rico’s politicians are corrupt, but it’s wonderful when Puerto Rico’s politicians are kicked out of office for corruption.
Illegals don’t pay taxes, but they get tax refunds.
We are $22 trillion dollars in debt, but we should throw money at every perceived problem like drunken sailors.
We see other countries going Socialist and collapsing, and it seems like a great plan to us.
We demand high minimum wages for unskilled labor, and we demand unlimited illegal immigration of people who will work for peanuts.
Voter suppression is bad, but not allowing the President to be on the ballot is good.
Fourth-of-July parades are bad, but parades of women dressed as vaginas are good.

This was published during President Trump's first term.

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From the Internet

1. AT&T fired President John Walter after nine months, saying he lacked intellectual leadership. He received a $26 million severance package. Perhaps it's not Walter who's lacking intelligence.

2. WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS: Police in Oakland, CA spent two hours attempting to subdue a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his home. After firing ten tear gas canisters, officers discovered that the man was standing beside them in the police line, shouting, 'Please come out and give yourself up.'

3. *WHAT WAS PLAN B? An Illinois man, pretending to have a gun, kidnapped a motorist and forced him to drive to two different automated teller machines, wherein the kidnapper proceeded to withdraw money from his own bank accounts.

4. *THE GETAWAY! A man walked into a Topeka, Kansas Kwik Stop and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small, so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.

5. *DID I SAY THAT? Police in Los Angeles had good luck with a robbery suspect who just couldn't control himself during a lineup. When detectives asked each man in the lineup to repeat the words: 'Give me all your money or I'll shoot', the man shouted, 'that's not what I said!'

6. *ARE WE COMMUNICATING? A man spoke frantically into the phone: 'My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart'. 'Is this her first child?' the doctor asked. 'No!' the man shouted, 'This is her husband!'

7. *NOT THE SHARPEST TOOL IN THE SHED! In Modesto, CA, Steven Richard King was arrested for trying to hold up a Bank of America branch without a weapon. King used a thumb and a finger to simulate a gun. Unfortunately, he failed to keep his hand in his pocket.

8. *THE GRAND FINALE! Last summer, down on Lake Isabella, located in the high desert an hour east of Bakersfield, CA, some folks, new to boating, were having a problem. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn't get their brand new 22 foot boat, going. It was very sluggish in almost every maneuver, no matter how much power they applied. After about an hour of trying to make it go, they putted into a nearby marina, thinking someone there may be able to tell them what was wrong. A thorough topside check revealed everything in perfect working condition. The engine ran fine, the out-drive went up and down, and the propeller was the correct size and pitch. So, one of the marina guys jumped in the water to check underneath. He came up choking on water, he was laughing so hard. Under the boat, still strapped securely in place, was the trailer!

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APRIL 2020

From the Internet

The Millennials are now traveling unsupervised, too bad they found their way back home to drive us nuts complaining about their vacations!!


1. "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food."
2. "They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax."
3. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish."
4. "The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.
5. "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers to siesta in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time -- this should be banned."
6. "No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared."
7. "The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun."
8. "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."
9. "I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller."
10. "When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners."
11. "We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning."
12. "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."
13. "I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes."
14. "My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you all responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."


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The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia. The navigator had just finished working out a star fix and brought Captain John DS. Phillips, the result. The Warrimoo's position was LAT 0º 31' N and LONG 179 30' W. The date was 31 December 1899. "Know what this means?" First Mate Payton broke in, "We're only a few miles from the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line". Captain Phillips was prankish enough to take full advantage of the opportunity for achieving the navigational freak of a lifetime. He called his navigators to the bridge to check & double check the ship's position. He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark. Then he adjusted the engine speed. The calm weather & clear night worked in his favor. At mid-night the SS Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point where it crossed the International Date Line!

The consequences of this bizarre position were many:

The forward part (bow) of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere & in the middle of summer.
The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere & in the middle of winter.
The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899.
In the bow (forward) part it was 1 January 1900.
This ship was therefore not only in:
Two different days,
Two different months,
Two different years,
Two different seasons
But in two different centuries - all at the same time!

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By John Holden


I was traveling though the north pole on long cold wintery night,

When I came upon a scene that was really quite a sight.

I spied a red suited fat man and a bunch of little elves,

They huddled around something and muttered to them selves.

a closer look revealed a big red bulging sack

and with a heidi-ho! the little elves hoisted it to his back

with a grunt and groan the fat man turned and walked away

and jumped up so agilily into a rickety old red sleigh

he sat there for a moment, then drank a cup of cheer

then elves suddenly appeared with 8 old scraggy reindeer

I rubbed my eyes in disbelief, you know how it goes

then the elves came up with another reindeer with a bright red shiny nose

The sleigh started forward and headed for a drift

and just before an impact, the sleigh began to lift

he circled twice around the place and then was on his way

I laughed in disbelief, there were no words to say

I turned to walk away, my lips still held their grin

then thunder came down from the sky as the afterburners kicked in

I raise my hands up to my face, a ringing in my head

that's when I awoke and found myself lying in my bed

my life has changed since that dream of adventures in the north

never again will I get drunk on December twenty-fourth!

We're Oh So... (a poem)

Russ Vaughn
We’re hip, we’re cool and oh so arty;
We’re Democrats, the smarter party.
We’re sophisticated unlike you;
We understand merci beaucoup.
We’re urbane while you’re provincial;
We’re worldly-wise, so existential.
We’re cultured, complex, so refined;
We’ve left you ignorant serfs behind.
We’re witty authors of clever puns,
While you clods cling to God and guns.
Were you not so closed and clannish,
We’d have you peons speaking Spanish.
We say all this with knowing smirks;
We’re Democrats, you red-state jerks.

Page reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/07/were_oh_so_a_poem.html at July 11, 2008



One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, "I'm not going."  
"Why not?" she asked.  
I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "(1), they don't like me, and (2), I don't like them."  
His mother replied, "I'll give YOU two good reasons why YOU SHOULD go to church.    (1) You're 59 years old, and (2) you're the pastor!"
The Picnic  
A Jewish Rabbi and a Catholic Priest met at the town's annual 4th of July picnic. Old friends, they began their usual banter.
"This baked ham is really delicious," the priest teased the rabbi. "You really ought to try it. I know it's against your religion, but I can't understand why such a wonderful food should be forbidden! You don't know what you're missing. You just haven't lived until you've tried Mrs. Hall's prized Virginia Baked Ham. Tell me, Rabbi, when are you going to break down and try it?"  
The rabbi looked at the priest with a big grin, and said, "At your wedding."

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JULY 2018


Thank God for the church ladies with typewriters. These sentences actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced at church services:

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.  
Scouts   are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.  
Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.  
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.  
Next Thursday there will be try-outs for the choir. They need all the help they can get.  
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.  
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered..
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
Pot-luck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM . Please use the back door.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM .. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
And this one just about sums them all up
The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday:
'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.'

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From  The Patriot Post, link to http://patriotpost.us

There was a very sweet old lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country.
"Is there anything breakable in here?" the postal clerk asked.
The old lady looked confused for a moment and answered, "The Ten Commandments?"
Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good morning, Lord," and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good Lord, it's morning."
A Rabbi parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn't find a space with a meter.
Then he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: "I have circled the block 10 times. If I don't park here, I'll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses."
When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note "I've circled this block for 10 years. If I don't give you a ticket I'll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation."
A pastor announced to his congregation: "I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets."
While driving in Pennsylvania, a family caught up to an Amish carriage owned by someone who obviously had a sense of humor. Attached to the back of the carriage was a hand printed sign that read:
"Energy efficient vehicle: Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust."
A Bible teacher began her lesson with a question, "Boys and girls, what do we know about God?"
A hand shot up in the air. "He is an artist!" said a kindergarten boy.
"Really? How do you know?" the teacher asked.
"You know," the boy replied, "Our Father, who does art in Heaven..."
A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump.
"Reverend," said the young man, "I'm so sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip." The minister chuckled, "I know what you mean. It's the same in my business."
Saturday after church, a mother asked her very young daughter what the lesson was about.
The daughter answered, "Don't be scared, you'll get your quilt."
Needless to say, the mother was perplexed. Later in the day, the pastor stopped by for tea and the woman asked him what that morning's Sunday school lesson had been about.
He replied, "Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming."
The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play.
"Here's a copy of the service," the pastor said impatiently. "But, you'll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances."
During the service, the minister paused and said, "Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up."
At that moment, the substitute organist played "The Star Spangled Banner."
And that is how the substitute became the regular organist!

A truly Happy Person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
And, one who can enjoy browsing old cemeteries ... some fascinating things on old tombstones!

Harry Edsel Smith of Albany , New York :
Born 1903--Died 1942.
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down. It was.
In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist, all dressed up and no place to go.
On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:
Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102. Only The Good Die Young.
In a London, England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann, Who lived an old maid but died an old Mann. Dec. 8, 1767
In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery:
Anna Wallace
The children of Israel wanted bread, And the Lord sent them manna.
Clark Wallace wanted a wife, And the Devil sent him Anna .
In a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery:
Here lies Johnny Yeast... Pardon me for not rising.
In a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, cemetery:
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake.
Stepped on the gas instead of the brake.
In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:
Here lays The Kid.
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger
But slow on the draw.
A lawyer's epitaph in England :
Sir John Strange.
Here lies an honest lawyer,
and that is Strange.
John Penny's epitaph in the Wimborne, England, cemetery:
Reader, if cash thou art in want of any,
Dig 6 feet deep and thou wilt find a Penny.
============================== ====
In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England :
On the 22nd of June,
Jonathan Fiddle went out of tune.
============================== ====
Anna Hopewell's grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont :
Here lies the body of our Anna,
Done to death by a banana.
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low,
But the skin of the thing that made her go.
============================== ====
On a grave from the 1880s in Nantucket, Massachusetts:
Under the sod and under the trees,
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod.
Pease shelled out and went to God.
============================== ====
In a cemetery in England:
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, so shall you be.
Remember this and follow me.
To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone:
To follow you I'll not consent ...
Until I know which way you went.

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JUNE 2017

From the internet

1. The nicest thing about the future is that It always starts tomorrow.
2. Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.
3. If you don't have a sense of humor, you probably don't have any sense at all.
4. Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.
5. A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water.
6. How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?
7. Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.
8. Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?
9. Scratch a cat and you will have a permanent job.
10. No one has more driving ambition than the teenage boy who wants to buy a car.
11. There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.  
12. There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4 a.m. - like, it could be the right number.
13. No one ever says 'It's only a game." when their team is winning.
14. I've reached the age where 'happy hour' is a nap.
15. Be careful about reading the fine print. There's no way you're going to like it.
16. The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket.
17. Do you realize that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos? (And rap music will be the Golden Oldies ! )
18. Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Cadillac than in a Yugo.
19. After 60, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you're probably dead...
20. Always be yourself because the people that matter don't mind and the ones that mind don't matter.
21. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

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APRIL 2017

From the Internet

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America .
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS: Maria.
TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.
TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'
TEACHER: No, that's wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
(I love this kid)
TEACHER: Donald , what is the chemical formula for water?
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.
TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.
TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.
TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with ' I... '
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie ..... Always say, 'I am.'
MILLIE: All right ... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'
TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.
TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.
TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No, sir. It's the same dog.
TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher.

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MARCH 2017

A lexophile of course!

Venison for dinner again? Oh deer!

How does Moses make tea? Hebrews it.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.

They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a typo.

I changed my iPod's name to Titanic. It's syncing now.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.

When chemists die, they barium.

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.

I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

Broken pencils are pointless.

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.

I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

Velcro - what a rip off!

Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last.

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MAY 2016

From the Internet

If I had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they'd eventually find me attractive.

I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom, until they're flashing behind you.

Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.

I changed my password to "incorrect" so whenever I forget it the computer will say, "Your password is incorrect."

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

I'm great at multi-tasking--I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

Never tell your problems to anyone, because 20 percent don't care and the other 80 percent are glad you have them.

Doesn't expecting the unexpected mean that the unexpected is actually expected?

Take my advice — I'm not using it.

My wife and I were happy for twenty years; then we met.

I hate it when people use big words just to make themselves sound perspicacious.

Hospitality is the art of making guests feel like they're at home when you wish they were.

Television may insult your intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer.

I bought a vacuum cleaner six months ago and so far all it's been doing is gathering dust.

Every time someone comes up with a foolproof solution, along comes a more-talented fool.

I'll bet you $4,567 you can't guess how much I owe my bookie.

Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.

If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you'll have trouble putting on your pants.

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

Ever stop to think and forget to start again?

When I married Mr. Right, I had no idea his first name was Always.

My wife got 8 out 10 on her driver's test--the other two guys managed to jump out of her way.

There may be no excuse for laziness, but I'm still looking.

Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

He who laughs last thinks slowest.

Is it wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly?

Women sometimes make fools of men, but most guys are the do-it-yourself type.

I was going to give him a nasty look, but he already had one.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

The grass may be greener on the other side but at least you don't have to mow it.

I like long walks, especially when they're taken by people who annoy me.

I was going to wear my camouflage shirt today, but I couldn't find it.

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let her sleep.

If tomatoes are technically a fruit, is ketchup a smoothie?

Money is the root of all wealth.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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 *I changed my car horn to gunshot sounds.  People move out of the way much faster now! *

 *You can tell a lot about a woman's mood just by her hands. If she is holding a gun, she's probably angry.*

 *Gone are the days when girls used to cook like their mothers.  Now they drink like their fathers.*

 *I don't like making plans for the day because then the word "premeditated" gets thrown around in the courtroom.*

 *I didn't make it to the gym today.  That makes five years in a row.*

 *Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven't met yet...*

 *I don't need anger management. I need people to stop irritating me!*

 *Old age is coming at a really bad time!*

 *The biggest lie I tell myself is... "I don't need to write that down, I'll remember it."*

 *Lord grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can & the friends to     post my bail when I finally snap!*

 *I don't have gray hair. I have "wisdom highlights".*

 *My people skills are just fine. It's my tolerance to idiots that needs work.*

 *Teach your daughter how to shoot, because a restraining order is just a piece of paper.*

 *If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would've put them on my knees.*

 *The kids text me "plz" which is shorter than please. I text back "no" which is shorter than "yes".*

 *I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.*

 *Even duct tape can't fix stupid... but it can muffle the sound!*

 *Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.*

 *At my age "Getting lucky" means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.*

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A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible. The little girl said, 'When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah'. The teacher asked, 'What if Jonah went to hell?' The little girl replied, 'Then you ask him'.

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, 'I'm drawing God.' The teacher paused and said, 'But no one knows what God looks like.' Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, 'They will in a minute.'

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to 'honour' thy Father and thy Mother, she asked, 'Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?' From the back, one little boy (the oldest of a family) answered, 'Thou shall not kill.'

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, 'Why are some of your hairs white, Mum?' Her mother replied, 'Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.' The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, 'Mummy, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?'  

The children had all been photographed, and the teacher was trying to persuade them each to buy a copy of the group picture. 'Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you are all grown up and say, 'There's Jennifer, she's a lawyer,' or 'That's Michael, He's a doctor.' A small voice at the back of the room rang out, 'And there's the teacher, she's dead.'
A   teacher was giving a lesson on the circulation of the blood. Trying to make the matter clearer, she said, 'Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face.' 'Yes,' the class said. 'Then why is it that while I am standing upright in the ordinary position the blood doesn't run into my feet?' A little fellow shouted, 'Cause your feet ain't empty.'

The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note, and posted on the apple tray: 'Take only one. God is watching.' Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, 'Take all you want. God is watching the apples... '

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A "paraprosdokian" (Winston Churchill loved them) is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect.

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
War does not determine who is right -- only who is left.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Evening news is where they begin with "Good evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. My desk is a work station.
How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.
I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted pay checks.
A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it.
Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR."
I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Where there's a will I want to be in it.
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.
A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.
Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.
When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they are sexy.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
Where there's a will there are relatives.
I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one.
I'm not arguing with you, I am explaining why you are wrong.

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MAY 2015

The following   questions were set in last year's GED examination
These are genuine answers (from 16 year olds).

Q. Name the four seasons
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar
Q. How is dew formed
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire
Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on
A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed
Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections
A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election
Q. What are steroids
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs (Shoot yourself now, there is little hope)
Q. What happens to your body as you age
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental
Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery (So true)
Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
A. Premature death
Q. What is artificial insemination
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow
Q. How can you delay milk turning sour
A. Keep it in the cow (Simple, but brilliant)
Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorized (e.g. The abdomen)
A. The body is consisted into 3 parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels: A,E,I,O,U  (?) 
Q. What is the fibula?
A. A small lie
Q. What does 'varicose' mean?
A. Nearby
Q. What is the most common form of birth control
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium (That would work)
Q. Give the meaning of the term 'Caesarean section'
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome
Q. What is a seizure?
A. A Roman Emperor. (Julius Seizure, I came, I saw, I had a fit)
Q. What is a terminal illness
A. When you are sick at the airport. (Irrefutable)
Q. What does the word 'benign' mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight (brilliant)
Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Shreik wears on his head. Once a Arab boy reaches puberty, he removes his diaper and wraps it around his head. (now we're getting somewhere)

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APRIL 2015

From the Internet

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It's too good not to Share!  From the internet

Everyone who has ever bought a house will enjoy this.

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client who lost his house in Hurricane Katrina and wanted to rebuild.. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to the parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the Lawyer three months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply:

(Actual letter):
"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin."

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows:

(Actual Letter):
"Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application. I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased, by the U.S., from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the Spanish monarch, Isabella.

The good queen, Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus ' expedition. Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world. Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it AND the FHA.

I hope you find God's original claim to be satisfactory. Now, may we have our damn loan?"

He got the loan.

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From the Internet






























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From the internet

1·I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

2·There are two kinds of pedestrians: the quick and the dead.

3·Life is sexually transmitted.

4·Healthy is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

5·The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

6·Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

7·Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to?

8·Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

9·All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

10·In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

11·How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

12·Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these dangly things and drink whatever comes out'?

13·If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?

14·Why does your OB-GYN leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look at you anyway?

15·If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

16·If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

17·Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

18·Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

19·Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

20·Do you ever wonder why you gave me your email address?

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APRIL 2014

From the Internet

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.  ~Jay Leno~

The problem with political jokes is they get elected.  ~Henry Cate. VII~

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.  ~Aesop~

If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these State of the Union speeches, there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven.  ~Will Rogers~

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.  ~Nikita Khrushchev~

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.  ~Clarence Darrow~

Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.  ~Author unknown~

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.  ~John Quinton~

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.  ~Oscar Ameringer~

I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.  ~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952~

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.  ~ Tex Guinan~

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.  ~Charles de Gaulle~

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.  ~Doug Larson~

There ought to be one day -- just one -- when there is open season on Congressmen.  ~Will Rogers~

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From the Internet

1. She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup, under the watchful eyes of her young granddaughter, as she'd done many times before. After she applied her lipstick and started to leave, the little one said, "But Grandma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!" I will probably never put lipstick on again without thinking about kissing the toilet paper good-bye.

2. My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, 80. My grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, "Did you start at 1?"

3. After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, "Who was THAT?"

4. A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like. "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this all in. At last she said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"

5. My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?" I mentally polished my halo and I said, "No, how are we alike?'' "You're both old," he replied.

6. A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's word processor. She told him she was writing a story.
"What's it about?" he asked.  "I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."

7. I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me and was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the door, saying, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these colors yourself!"

8. When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, "It's no use Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights."

9. When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, "I'm not sure." "Look in your underwear, Grandpa," he advised "Mine says I'm 4 to 6."

10. A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, "Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies today." The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her cool. "That's interesting." she said... "How do you make babies?" "It's simple," replied the girl. "You just change 'y' to 'i' and add 'es'."

11. Children's Logic: "Give me a sentence about a public servant," said a teacher. The small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder pregnant." The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. "Don't you know what pregnant means?" she asked.
"Sure," said the young boy confidently. 'It means carrying a child."

12. A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren to their home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog's duties.  "They use him to keep crowds back," said one child. "No," said another. "He's just for good luck..." A third child brought the argument to a close. "They use the dogs," she said firmly, "to find the fire hydrants."

13. A 6-year-old was asked where his grandma lived. "Oh," he said, "she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her. Then, when we're done having her visit, we take her back to the airport."

14. Grandpa is the smartest man on earth! He teaches me good things, but I don't get to see him enough to get as smart as him!

15. My Grandparents are funny, when they bend over, you hear gas leaks and they blame their dog.

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From the Internet (Too Good to Check)

These questions were posted on an Australian tourism website, and the answers are the actual responses by the Australian website officials.......who obviously have a great sense of humor, (not to mention a low tolerance threshold for cretins!)
Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK). 
A: We import all plants fully grown, and then just sit around watching them die. 

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA) 
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles. Take lots of water. 

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK ) 
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ? (USA) 
A: Af-ri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe.  Aust-ra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not ..
Oh, forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Australia ? (USA) 
A: Face south, and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions. 

Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia ? (UK) 
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is ..  
Oh, forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia ? (UK) 
A: You are a British politician, right?

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany) 
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can Dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA) 
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-mer-ica, which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled, and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA) 
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them.
You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA) 
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France) 
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA) 
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

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From the Internet

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?
Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?
Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
What disease did cured ham actually have?
How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up like every two hours?
Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?
Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?
Why do doctors leave the room while you change?  They're going to see you naked anyway...
Why is 'bra' singular and 'panties' plural?
Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?
If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?
Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!
If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?
Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
Why did you just try singing the two songs above?
Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?
Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they know there is not enough money?
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?
Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?
Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?
Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?
Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?
Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?
Why do people keep running over a thread a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?
Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?
How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?
Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?
In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?
How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?
And my FAVORITE.........
The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

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From the Internet

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".  In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c".. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f".. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. 

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords **kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi TU understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.

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From the Internet

A man wrote a letter to a small hotel in a Midwest town he planned to visit on his vacation. He wrote:

I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well-groomed.  And very well behaved.  Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?

An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who wrote:

SIR: I've been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I've never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes, silverware or pictures off the walls.
I've never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly.  And I've never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel.  And, if your dog will vouch for you, you're welcome to stay here, too.

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A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.

Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.

Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.

You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.

I never said most of the things I said.

It ain't over till it's over.

You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there.

It's like deja-vu, all over again.

Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.

If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be.

If you come to a fork in the road, take it.

I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.

Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question.

If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer.

The future ain't what it used to be.

You can observe a lot by just watching.

I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn't my fault that I'm not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?

I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.

There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em.

He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious.

The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.

You wouldn't have won if we'd beaten you.

Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.

All pitchers are liars or crybabies.

We made too many wrong mistakes.

If people don't want to come out to the ball park, nobody's gonna stop 'em.

It gets late early out there.

Slump? I ain't in no slump... I just ain't hitting.

Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

How can you think and hit at the same time?

It ain't the heat, it's the humility.

The other teams could make trouble for us if they win.

So I'm ugly. So what? I never saw anyone hit with his face.

It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

We have deep depth.

I'm a lucky guy and I'm happy to be with the Yankees. And I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.

It's pretty far, but it doesn't seem like it.

In baseball, you don't know nothing.

I don't like seeing myself on television. I don't like it.

I guess I've got a smart wife.

If you get a guy that can play a couple positions, it helps you out a real lot.

I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.

Almost every Monday I have a charity thing. I like that. I do.

I didn't know much about golf growing up.

I enjoy now doing what I do... playing golf, relaxing a little, enjoying life.

I was in the invasion of Normandy in southern France.

I'm glad I was in the Navy.

It's fun; baseball's fun.

I don't mean to be funny.

I don't blame the players today for the money. I blame the owners. They started it. They wanna give it to 'em? More power to 'em.

A lot of guys go, 'Hey, Yog, say a Yogi-ism.' I tell 'em, 'I don't know any.' They want me to make one up. I don't make 'em up. I don't even know when I say it. They're the truth. And it is the truth. I don't know.

I tell the kids, somebody's gotta win, somebody's gotta lose. Just don't fight about it. Just try to get better.

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JULY 2012

To all you Lexophiles .... (those who love playing on words) -- From the internet

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

The batteries were given out free of charge.

A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

A will is a dead giveaway.

If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

Acupuncture: a jab well done.

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MARCH 2012

From the Internet

* The problem with political jokes is they get elected. ~Henry Cate, VII 

* We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~Aesop 

* If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these acceptance speeches there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven. ~Will Rogers 

* Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato 

* Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ~Nikita Khrushchev 

* When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow 

* Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. ~Author Unknown 

* If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. ~Jay Leno 

* Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. ~John Quinton 

* Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer 

* The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it. ~P.J. O'Rourke 

* I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. ~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952 

* A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country. ~Texas Guinan 

* Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so. ~Gore Vidal 

* I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. ~Charles de Gaulle 

* Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. ~Doug Larson 

* Don't vote, it only encourages them. ~Author Unknown 

* There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

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From the Internet

The ushers will come forward and take our ties and offerings.

The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan Belzer, the sin of Reverend and Mrs. Julius Belzer.

Let us join David and Lisa in the celebration of their wedding and bring their happiness to a conclusion.

Helpers are needed! Please sign up on the information sheep.

Diana and Don request your presents at their wedding.

The concert held in Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister's daughter, who labored the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.

The outreach committee has enlisted 25 visitors to make calls on people who are not afflicted with any church.

The 1991 Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 10 and 11.

The audience is asked to remain seated until the end of the recession.

22 members were present at the church meeting held at the home of Mrs. Marsha Crutchfield last evening. Mrs. Crutchfield and Mrs. Rankin sang a duet, The Lord Knows Why.

The choir invites any member of the congregation who enjoys sinning to join the choir.

The third verse of Blessed Assurance will be sung without musical accomplishment.

The music for today's service was all composed by George Friedrich Handel in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.

A song fest was hell at the Methodist church Wednesday.

Today's Sermon: How Much Can a Man Drink? with hymns from a full choir.

Hymn: "I Love Thee My Ford."

Miss Charlene Mason sang "I will not pass this way again" giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

Women's Luncheon: Each member bring a sandwich. Polly Phillips will give the medication.

Announcement in the church bulletin for a National PRAYER & FASTING conference: "The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer conference includes meals."

Ushers will eat latecomers.

Tuesday at 4PM there will be an ice cream social. All ladies giving milk will please come early.

Weight Watchers will meet at 7 p.m. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

Potluck supper: prayer and medication to follow.

Next Friday we will be serving hot gods for lunch.

Mrs. Johnson will be entering the hospital this week for testes.

The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

Next Sunday is the family hayride and bonfire at the Fowlers'. Bring your own hot dogs and guns. Friends are welcome! Everyone come for a fun time.

Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

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From the Internet

I think a retired English teacher was bored.  THIS IS GREAT! Read all the way to the end.  This took a lot of work to put together!

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this.

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends.  And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.  We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. 

At other times the little word has real special meaning.  People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.  To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.  A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.  We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!  To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.  In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.  If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.
It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.  When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.  When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.  When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.  When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so........it is time to shut UP!

Now it's UP to you what you do with this email.

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APRIL 2011

From the Internet

1. The patient has no previous history of suicide.

2. Patient has left her white blood cells at another hospital.

3. Patient's medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.

4. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband  states she was very hot in bed last night.

5. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

6. On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.

7. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

8. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

9. Discharge status:- Alive, but without my permission.

10. Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert, but forgetful.

11. Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

12. She is numb from her toes down.

13. While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.

14. The skin was moist and dry.

15. Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.

16. Patient was alert and unresponsive.

17. Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid.

18. She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until she got a divorce.

19. I saw your patient today, who is still under our care for physical therapy.

20. Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

21. Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

22. The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

23. Skin: somewhat pale, but present.

24. The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.

25. Large brown stool ambulating in the hall.

26. Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

27. When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.

28. The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.

29. Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.

30. She slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.

31. Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Smith, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.

32. The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stock broker instead.

33. By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart had stopped, and he was feeling better.

For the sake of your health - stay away from hospital

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From the Internet

These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor: She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison." He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease." "That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.." - Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one." - George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill

"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second.... if there is one." - Winston Churchill, in response.

"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here." - Stephen Bishop

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." - John Bright

"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." - Irvin S. Cobb

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." - Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.." - Oscar Wilde

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx

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These are actual comments made by 16 Police Officers that were taken off police car videos around the country:

1. "You know, stop lights don't come any redder than the one you just went through."
2. "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them a while."
3. "If you take your hands off the car, I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document."
4. "If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."
5. "Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? Because that's the speed of the bullet that'll be chasing you."
6. "You don't know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?"
7. "Yes, sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I'm the shift supervisor?"
8. "Warning! You want a warning? O.K, I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."
9. "The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"
10. "Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs and step in monkey poop."
11. "Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."
12. "In God we trust; all others we run through NCIC.." ( National Crime Information Center )
13. "Just how big were those 'two beers' you say you had?"
14. "No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to, but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we can."
15. "I'm glad to hear that the Chief (of Police) is a personal friend of yours. So you know someone who can post your bail."


16. "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't.. Sign here."

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The Bulwer-Lytton contest, held every year since 1982 at San Jose University,  honors the memory of 19th English century writer Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, who opened his 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" with the much-quoted, "It was a dark and stormy night."

Contestants try to come up with the worst opening sentences for imaginary novels in different categories.

The grand prize winner, Molly Ringle of Seattle wrote:  "For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss -- a lengthy ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's fhirtiest gerbil."

Steve Lynch of San Marcos, California, won the detective category:  "She walked into my office wearing a body that would make a man write bad checks, but in this paperless age you first have to obtain her ABA Routing Transit Number and Account Number and then disable your own Overdraft Protection in order to do so."

Linda Boatright of Omaha won the Western category:  "He walked into the bar and bristled when all eyes fell upon him -- perhaps because his build was so short and so wide, or maybe it was the odor that lingered about him from so many days and nights spend in the wilds, but it may just have been because no one had ever seen a porcupine in a bar before."


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JUNE 2010

(From the Internet, Too Good to Check)

In case you need a laugh. Although it takes a college degree to fly a plane, only a high school degree is required to fix one.

After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a 'Gripe Sheet,' which tells mechanics of problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the Gripe Sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance problems (marked with a "P") submitted by Qantas' pilots and the solutions recorded (marked with an "S") by maintenance engineers.

By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny............
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.

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APRIL 2010


In the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia, Deborah Smith reported, on March 3, 2010, that an Indian fossil showed an ancient snake was caught in the act of getting ready to eat a baby dinosaur 67 million years ago.  The Titanosaurs were giant plant eaters that walked on all fours and weighed up to 100 tons.

A reconstruction of the skeletal remains and other snake and dinosaur eggs were found at the site in Gujarat, India by Dhananjay Mohabey, of the Geological Survey of India, was sculpted by Tyler Keillor. 

While the eggs and skeleton were originally found in the 1980s, it wasn't realized until a decade ago that the snake skeleton was present with the eggs and the baby.  The fact that other snake skeletons and eggs were found at the site suggested that the hatchlings were the snakes favored food.  It took the team with co-leader Jeff Wilson of the University of Michigan more than 6 years to prepare the specimens.

The results, which provide the first evidence found that snakes ate dinosaurs, are published in the journal PloS Biology.

The ancient snake, Sanajeh indicus, did not have a jaw that could open wide so it could eat a hard egg, but was big enough to swallow a soft baby.

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APRIL 2010


"If the enemy is in range, so are you." — Infantry Journal

"It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed." — US Air Force Manual

"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword, obviously never encountered automatic weapons." — General MacArthur

"You, you, and you ... Panic. The rest of you, come with me." — U.S. Marine Corp Gunnery Sgt.

"Tracers work both ways." — U.S. Army Ordnance Manual

"Five second fuses only last three seconds." — Infantry Journal

The three most useless things in aviation are: Fuel in the bowser; Runway behind you; and Air above you. — Basic Flight Training Manual

"Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once." — Maritime Ops Manual

"Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do." — Unknown Marine Recruit

"If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up with him." — USAF Ammo Troop

"You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3." — Paul F. Crickmore (SR71 test pilot)

"The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire." —Unknown Author

"If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage it has to be a helicopter — and therefore, unsafe." — Fixed Wing Pilot

"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane, you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash." — Multi-Engine Training  Manual

"Without ammunition, the USAF is just an expensive flying club." — Unknown Author

"If you hear me yell; 'Eject, Eject, Eject!,' the last two will be echos. If you stop to ask 'Why?' you"ll be talking to yourself, because you're the pilot." — Pre-flight Briefing from a 104 Pilot

"What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; but If ATC screws up, .... the pilot dies." — Sign over Control Tower Door

"Never trade luck for skill." — Author Unknown

"Airspeed, altitude and brains. Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight." — Basic Flight Training Manual

"Mankind has a perfect record in aviation — we have never left one up there!" — Unknown Author

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it." — Emergency Checklist

"The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you." — Attributed to Max Stanley (Northrop test pilot)

"There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime." — Sign over Squadron Ops Desk at Davis-Montham AFB, AZ

"If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to." — Sign over Carrier Group Operations Desk

"You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal." — Lead-in Fighter Training Manual

As the test pilot climbs out of the experimental aircraft, having torn off the wings and tail in the crash landing, the crash truck arrives. The rescuer sees a bloodied pilot and asks, "What happened?" The pilot's reply: "I don't know, I just got here myself!"

From The Patriot Humor, a service of The Patriot Post, the conservative journal of record. To subscribe to Patriot Humor and The Patriot Post, link to http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/.

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MARCH 2010

From  the Internet -- Who cares if it's true. . .

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays.

These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers throughout the land. Here are last year's winners.....

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are known to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

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On November 3, 2009, Lewis Rudel photographed this taxi in downtown East Tawas.  The fare schedule should keep you sober. . .

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On Sep. 16, 2009, News 9 from Australia, reported on story from the SINA Beijing news agency.

A 68 year-old Chinese woman woke in the middle of the night, hearing a strange scratching sound.  She saw a snake clinging to the wall of her bedroom and working its way along the wall using its claw.

She then grabbed a shoe and beat it to death, but preserved its body in a bottle of alcohol which she gave to the Life Sciences Department at China's West Normal University in Nanchang.

Snake expert Long Shuai said the discovery of the creature, which is about 16 inches long and the thickness of a little finger, was "truly shocking" but said they wouldn't know the cause until they conduct an autopsy.

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On August 7, 2009 NEWS.scotsman.com reported that researchers found that rooks, members of the crow family can use stones to raise the level of water in a container -- just like the bird in The Crow and the Pitcher, written thousands of years ago by the Ethiopian slave, Aesop.

Cambridge University zoologist, Christopher Bird, offered 4 rooks a juicy worm floating on the surface of water in a vertical tube.  To start with, the worm was out of reach.  Videos of the rooks seem to show them studying the problem by examining the tube from different angles.  The researchers then provided a pile of pebbles. 

Two of the rooks solved the problem right away, while the other 2 took two tries.  They added pebbles to raise the water level and bring the worm in reach.  They didn't try to get the worm with each pebble, but seemed to know when the level was right.  They also chose larger stones over smaller ones for greater effect.

The latest research is reported in the journal Current Biology.

The Fable

A CROW, half-dead with thirst, came upon a Pitcher which had once been full of water; but when the Crow put its beak into the mouth of the Pitcher he found that only very little water was left in it, and that he could not reach far enough down to get at it.

He tried, and he tried, but at last had to give up in despair.

Then a thought came to him, and he took a pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher.

Then he took another pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher.

Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher.

Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher.

Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher.

Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher.

At last, at last, he saw the water mount up near him, and after casting in a few more pebbles he was able to quench his thirst and save his life.

"Little by little does the trick."

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On June 26, 2009, the BBC News reported on a study by biologists Stanley Sessions and Brandon Ballengee of the University of Plymouth, UK on the cause of missing or deformed limbs on frogs and toads.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, some researchers feared that chemical pollution, UV-B radiation caused by the thinning of the ozone layer, was triggering the deformations. 

As is usual, the media focused on the speculation of man-made causes without the benefit of scientific evidence.  (See Environmentalism in the Archives, July 1999, where the science showed that the reason that toads and frogs were growing extra limbs was the presence of trematodes, a natural cause, rather than speculative man-made causes.)

Sessions, an amphibian specialist and professor of biology at Hartwick College, in Oneonta, New York, said that the most common deformity in frogs and toads were missing or truncated limbs almost never associated with trematodes.

Sessions and Ballengee studied a number of natural predators which they suspected might be to blame. 

It turns out that 3 species of dragonfly nymph have a real liking for tadpole hind limb buds.  They rarely ate the tadpoles whole, but more often than not, grab the tadpole and chew at a hind limb, often removing it altogether.

"Once they grab the tadpole, they use their front legs to turn it around, searching for the tender bits, in this case the hind limb buds, which they then snip off with their mandibles," says Sessions.

The tadpoles who survive the ordeal can regenerate their leg completely if they are very young, but this ability diminishes as they grow older.

I don't necessarily believe in  a media conspiracy to blame people for problems they do not cause.  I blame the school systems that do not teach enough science at grade and high school level to most students to allow them to understand how to test a hypothesis to determine if a theory is true.  Remember, if a scientific theory has merit, it is repeatable.  It can be tested again and again and produce the same results.  It will produce the same result if you test it against historic information and present-day data.  Only then can it be used to predict a future event. 

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JUNE 2009


Bill Hanna, in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on May 12, 2009, reported that researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M's AgriLife Extension Service say they have been testing the control of fire ants by using the tiny phorid fly native to a region of South America where the fire ants in Texas originated.

Four of the 23 phorid known species have pathogens which control the ant have been introduced in Texas.  The flies "dive-bomb" the fire ants and lay eggs.  The maggot that hatches inside the ant eats away at the brain, and the ant starts exhibiting what some might say is zombie-like behavior.  At some point, the ant gets up and starts wandering.  The maggot eventually migrates into the ant's head, and there is no brain left.  The wandering goes on for about two weeks.  About a month after the egg is laid, the ant's head falls off and the fly emerges ready to attack any foraging ants away from the mound and lays eggs.

The flies, which are USDA-approved, do not attack native ants or species and have been introduced in other Gulf Coast states.  Despite initial concerns, farmers and ranchers have been willing to let researchers use their property to establish colonies.

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Those of us who are "dish nuts" are stunned to learn from the guardian.co.uk on Jan. 5, 2009, that Waterford Wedgwood, the 250-year-old maker of luxury glassware and china was placed into bankruptcy. 

The mayor of Waterford, Ireland, Jack Walsh, has warned that if production ceased at the Waterford crystal factory, it would be a "national disaster."  The company is seeking new funding with the probability that it will have to turn over a controlling share of the company.

The Canada Free Press, on Monday, Jan. 5, 2009, noting that the liberal Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, trying to place the blame for the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fiascoes on the Bush Administration and Republicans in general, located a videotape from a Fox News program showing the true story.  Despite threats of a proprietary rights lawsuit if the videotape was run on You Tube, a video now appears on a conservative Canadian website, ProudToBeCanadian.CA clearly showing President Bush warning of the dangers in April 2001 and again in 2003.  These calls were met with resistance from the House Finance Committee Chairman, Barney Frank, who vehemently denied any problems with the two entitled saying there was "no crisis." The requested legislation for controls was blocked by House Democrats and killed.

In April of 2005, Charles Schumer, liberal Democrat senator from New York dismissed similar warnings from then-Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan, saying that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "did a very, very good job."  The video can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM&NR=1

The dailytech.com reported on Jan. 1, 2009 that satellite observations of the sea ice over the 30 years of observation show that the level is the same as it was in 1979.

The data is being reported by the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, and is derived from satellite observations of the Northern and Southern hemisphere polar regions. 

Sea ice is floating and doesn't affect ocean levels, but due to its transient nature responds much faster to changes in temperature or precipitation and is therefore a useful barometer of changing conditions.

The earlier predictions this year that the North pole ice could melt entirely in 2008 were so wrong was attributed to colder temperatures, weaker winds, the fact that the new thinner ice grew much faster than expected, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The TimesOnline from the United Kingdom reported on Jan. 4, 2009, that residents of a model housing estate bankrolled by Hollywood celebrities and hand-built by Jimmy Carter, are complaining that it is falling apart.

Fairway Oaks, built in northern Florida by 10,000 volunteers, including Carter, in a 17-day blitz, are known 8 years later for cockroaches, mildew and mysterious skin rashes. 

A lawyer representing many of the 85 homeowners said that Habitat for Humanity should have told people that part of the estate had been built on a rubbish dump.  One resident pulled up his floorboards to find rubbish 5 feet deep under his kitchen.  Others complain of cracking walls and rotting door frames.  The case claims the idea that using volunteers, rather than professional builders is causing as many problems as it solves.

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On Nov. 12, 2008, Katarina Kratovac from the Associated Press reported that archaeologists have discovered a new pyramid under the sands of Saqqara, an ancient burial site that remains largely unexplored.  Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said the 4,300-year-old monument most likely belonged to the queen mother of the founder of Egypt's 6th Dynasty, Queen Sesheshet, several hundred years after the building of the Great Pyramids of Giza.

Originally, the structure had sides about 72 feet long and was about 45 feet high.  All that remains is a square-shaped 16-foot tall structure that had been buried under 65 feet of sand.

While the Egyptian team is still digging trying to verify the information they now  believe, it is highly unlikely that anything other than a sarcophagus or and inscription of the queen will be found since the pyramid was looted in antiquity.

The find is important because it adds to the understanding of the 6th Dynasty, which lasted from 2,322 BC to 2,151 BC.  It was the last dynasty of the Old Kingdom, which spanned the 3rd millennium BC and was the first peak of pharaonic civilization.

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A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, 'Do you know how to catch wild pigs?'

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. 'You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming.

When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in The last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America . The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc.. While we continually lose our freedoms -- just a little at a time.

One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

Also, if you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America , you might want to send this on to your friends. If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life then you will probably delete this email, but God help you when the gate slams shut!

In this 'very important' election year, listen closely to what the candidates are promising you !!

Just maybe you will be able to tell who is about to slam the gate on America.

'A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.' - Thomas Jefferson

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MAY 2008


Due to the Rector's illness, Wednesday's healing services will be discontinued until further notice.

The Rev. Merriwether spoke briefly, much to the delight of the audience.

On a church bulletin during the minister's illness: GOD IS GOOD; Dr. Hargreaves is better.

Applications are now being accepted for 2 year-old nursery workers.

The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, "Break Forth Into Joy."

If you would like to make a donation, fill out a form, enclose a check, and drip in the collection basket.

Sermon Outline:
I. Delineate your fear
II. Disown your fear
III. Displace your rear

Next Sunday Mrs. Vinson will be soloist for the morning service. The pastor will then speak on "It's a Terrible Experience."

Don't miss this Saturday's exhibit by Christian Martian Arts.

We are grateful for the help of those who cleaned up the grounds around the church building and the rector.

A worm welcome to all who have come today.

Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Nelson's sermons.

During the absence of our pastor, we enjoyed the rare privilege of hearing a good sermon when J. F. Stubbs supplied our pulpit.

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APRIL 2008


Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it.

"Gravity still works." 

(28 July 2007, Czech Republic) A pack of thieves attempted to steal scrap metal from an abandoned factory in Kladno. Unfortunately for them, they selected the steel girders that supported the factory roof. When the roof supports were dismantled, the roof fell, fatally crushing two thieves and injuring three others.

(21 June 2007, Philippines) Three entrepreneurs planned to profit from stolen scrap metal. They entered a former US military complex and approached the prize: an abandoned water tank. Bedazzled by the potential upside, the three threw logic to the wind, and began to cut the metal legs out from under the tank. Guess where it fell? Straight onto the thieves. Their flattened bodies have not yet been identified.

(31 July 1997) Two teens were disassembling an electric tower with wrenches when it toppled to the ground. They apparently wanted to sell its aluminum supports for scrap, but they failed to realize the essential role the aptly named "support" plays in a 160-foot tower. One of the men was crushed by the collapse of the ten-thousand-pound tower, while the other dug himself out from under, a sadder but wiser man from his close brush with a Darwin Award. Reference: Associated Press

Darwin notes, "What are these thieves doing, playing a deadly game of Jenga?! This entire category may soon become too common, per the Rule of Excellence."

Elephants Press Back

(2007, India) Increased mining and recent rains in southeast India have unsettled the wildlife. In the past few months, migrating elephants have killed eleven people in southeast India. A team of four journalists decided to interview this herd of rogue elephants.
And they went into the forest in search of the rogues -- on foot.

Elephants are big, and elephants are fast. As the recent deaths illustrate, a person can't out-run an elephant. But these intrepid journalists apparently assumed that a press pass grants immunity.

With a nose for news, the journalists sniffed out the herd. Once located, it was only natural that they should capture the photogenic animals on film. Unfortunately, the elephants were camera shy. Angered by the flash, the irritated herd charged the paparazzi, miraculously killing only one of the four.

His remains could not be retrieved.

Mole Hunt

(10 January 2007, East Germany) A 63-year-old man's extraordinary effort to eradicate a mole from his property resulted in a probable victory for the mole. The man had pounded several metal rods into the ground and connected them to a high-voltage power line, with the intent of rendering the subterranean realm uninhabitable. 

Incidentally, the maneuver electrified the very ground he stood upon. He was found dead at his holiday property on the Baltic Sea. Police had to trip the main circuit breaker before venturing onto the property.

The precise date of the sexagenarian's demise could not be ascertained, but the electricity bill may provide a clue.

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MARCH 2008


Fox11AZ.com reported on a viewer who had the unbelievable good luck to obtain pictures of an albino moose near Whitefish, Montana.  A co-worker had seen the cow moose foraging for food in a thicket with two other moose. 

Albinos typically occur only once in 100,000 moose.

Sightings of albino moose go back for centuries.  Some Native American tribes regard these rare animals as spiritual and mystical or even a re-incarnation of a tribe member.

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MARCH 2008


The Canadian National Newspaper on Jan. 28, 2008, featured a story which raised the question of whether early humans existed during the Age of Reptiles, some 70 million years ago.

Cave paintings discovered in January 1970 in the Gorozamzi Hills in Rhodesia showed an accurate representation of a brontosaurus, the 67-foot, 30-ton behemoth that scientists insist became extinct millions of years before man appeared.  Experts agree that the paintings were done by bushmen who ruled Rhodesia from about 1500 BC until a few hundred years ago, and that they only painted from life, as shown by other paintings.

In 1968 Jose Diaz-Bolio publicized his discovery of an ancient Mayan relief sculpture of a peculiar serpent-bird found in the ruins of Tajin located in the northeastern section of Veracruz, Mexico.  He suggested that the serpent-bird was a realistic representation of an animal that lived during the period of the ancient Mayans, 1,000 to 5,000 years ago, even though creatures with such characteristics are believed to have disappeared 130 million years ago, during the Mesozoic age.

In 1968 William Meister, an amateur rockhound, found what appears to be a fossilized human sandal print with a trilobite, an extinct marine animal, imbedded in the impression made by the heel, at Antelope Springs, near Delta, Utah, on what once may have been a sandy beach of the Cambrian period of the Paelozoic Era -- 500 million years ago.

Dr. Clifford Burdick, investigating Meister's find, found a similar track, and said: "If these are verified as human tracks, the discovery will have far-reaching repercussions throughout the scientific world, and especially for stratigraphers and palaeontologists.  Cambrian fossils such as trilobites, are placed at the bottom of the Palaeozoic, some estimated 600 million years before man evolved, according to evolutionary geology.  This evidence, if verified, will practically collapse the geologic column."

Harold T. Wilkins found a primitive work of art in Supai Canyon, Arizona, a petroglyph depicting a mammoth attacking a man over 10 feet tall.  Amerindians in the vicinity stated that the drawings had been made by the "giants of long ago."

In the 1930s in Sayopa, Sonora (300 miles south of the Mexican border, El Boquin, Nicaragua, and on an uninhabited little island off South Florida, human skeletons were found that were 8 feet tall or taller.  At Tioga Point in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, an Indian mound was uncovered disclosing the bones of 68 men which were 7 feet tall, some of whom had protuberances of bone, evidently horns that had been there since birth.

Many of the Indian mounds located all over the country have yielded skeletons of "giants." 

The problem that is raised by all of these findings is that humans and dinosaurs are not supposed to have co-existed.  The tracks show that ancient man may have been much larger than today, and finding their tracks in the same geologic strata and location implies they did co-exist.

The Scotsman reported on Dec. 5, 2007 that archaeologists in Germany have found a 2,000-year-old glue Roman warriors used to repair helmets, shields and other accessories of battle.

Dubbed by the workers at Rhine State Museum in Bonn as "Caesar's Superglue," it is made from a mixture of bitumen, cattle fat and bark pitch.  It was found on a helmet at a site near Xanthen on the Rhine River where Romans settled before Christ.  After 2000 years, time and water have not diminished its bonding properties on the parade cavalry helmet.

On Jan. 23, 2008, China Daily reported on a human skull fossil that could date back 100,000 that was unearthed in Henan, according to Chinese archaeologists.  After two years of excavation, they have worked on only 1/100 of the Paleolithic site. 

The fossil consisted of 16 pieces of the skull with protruding eyebrows and a small forehead.  More astonishing than the completeness of the skull is that it still has a fossilized membrane on the inner side, so scientists can track the nerves of the Paleolithic ancestors.

The August 28, 2007, issue of Haaretz.com reported on a Galilee site called "Rosh Zayit Ruin" consisting of ruins from the 10th century BC.  Excavations at this site solved a mystery from the time of Solomon.

"The excavation Fr. Zvi Gal carried out at the beginning of the 1990s solved a very complex puzzle about King Solomon and Hiram, king of Phoenicia," says Mordechai Aviam, director of the Galilee Archeological Institute.

"A site of a Phoenician nature was built here, a kind of administrative and military center constructed on top of private dwellings from the 11th century.  The Phoenician nature of the site bears out the story of King Solomon giving King Hiram portions of the country in exchange for the cedars of Lebanon, with which he built the Temple," Aviam says, smiling in consideration of the implications the story has for the present-day debate over dividing the land.

Not far from that site is another, Beza Ruin where remains were found of an olive oil press and a private home from the Second Temple times and the period of the Mishnah, the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.

There is hope that these sites in Segev Forest in Western Galilee along with others can be preserved and developed into areas of archeological tourism and history.

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On Nov. 30, 2007, Reuters reported that Destination Truth, a US-based television channel that chronicles some of the world's notorious crypto-zoological creatures and unexplained phenomena, investigating the existence of the legendary Yeti in Nepal, has found footprints similar to those said to be that of the abominable snowman.

A team of 9 producers with infrared cameras spent a week in the icy Khumbu region where Mt. Everest is located and found the footprints on the bank of Manju River at a height of 9,350 feet.

The team found three footprints about one foot long on lumps of sandy soil which appeared to have been about 24 hours old.  They will be sent to experts in the US for analysis.

Some local sherpas believe that the Himalayas are abodes of strange creatures and consider the Yeti as a protector while others say it is a destroyer.

"There is a kind of mysterious creature that lives in the Himalayas" said Ang Tshering Sherpa, chief of Nepal Mountaineering Association in Kathmandu, who hails from the Khumbhu region where Mount Everest is located.

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Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.

I carry a gun, 'cause a cop is too heavy. (Gotta love this one!!)

America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war. America is at the mall.

When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away. (Yep, time it some time, but shoot first - then call 911).

A reporter did a human interest piece on the Texas Rangers. The reporter recognized the Colt Model 1911 the Ranger was carrying and asked him "Why do you carry a .45?". The Ranger responded with, "Because they don't make a .46."

An armed man will kill an unarmed man with monotonous regularity.

The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. "Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?" "No Ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle."

Beware the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it!

I would rather be your friend, but if you are not interested in that, I am prepared to be a capable and efficient enemy. - Jeff Cooper

This is the law: The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental." -- John Steinbeck

If you have a pulse, you have a purpose.

From the Internet.  Who knows where it came from.

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Nothing, other than they interest me.

The Scotsman reported that an octopus who was in a trap made of shells laid out by a fisherman was found clutching a plate over the entrance in an attempt to hide. 

It turns out that the octopus helped lead South Korean archaeologists to a cache of fine china buried under the sea for centuries.  In the 12th-century shipwreck were green and blue-green porcelain that are the highest quality artifacts ever discovered in South Korean seas.

Then, there is the story from Cannock Chase in England where it is suspected that a tribe of subterranean creatures could be behind a rash of "werewolf" and Big Foot sightings near Stafford, as well as the disappearances of pets.

The iccannock.co.uk website reported on May 14, 2007, that West Midlands Ghost Club, a top paranormal investigation group, say they have been contacted by numerous credible witnesses who have come face to face with a "hairy, wolf-type creature."  However, another paranormal expert puts forth the theory the sub-human beast is a Stone Age throwback.

These rumors have persisted for years in the area which has been mined for centuries.

And last, but not least. . .

An amateur paleontologist in Switzerland may have unearthed Europe's largest dinosaur mass grave after he dug up the remains of two Plateosaurus, according to Reuters, on August 9 2007. 

The peaceful herbivore - measuring up to 30 feet from head to tail - roamed river deltas in large herds some 210 million years ago, when most of Switzerland was covered with desert and its landscape may have looked much like the estuary of the Nile now.

It is estimated that the area extends for almost a mile and is the biggest site in Europe.

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On July 6, 2007, Alpha Galileo of the University of Leeds reported that some historians of communication believe that paper was more important in the promotion of literacy than the invention of the printing press.

Paper made from rags, from discarded clothes cost much less than the  very expensive parchment which was previously used for books, according to Dr. Marco Mostert, a historian at the Centre for Medieval Studies, Utrecht University, and one of the organizers of this year's International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds.

In the 13th century, as more people moved into urban centers, the use of underwear increased, which caused an increase in the number of rags available for paper-making.

Dr. Mostert said that literacy was more common in the Middle Ages than is popularly thought.  After about 1100, the need for literacy grew steadily, and from about 1200 onwards the number of literates increased dramatically along with the number of schools in urban areas.  Many people learned to read at home from their mothers.

Once the printing press was invented around the middle of the 15th century, the number of  books in print steadily grew.

One wonders if all that progress would have been sought if the scholars had known that there would be an annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.  This contest is named after the Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" famously begins "It was a dark and stormy night." The contest salutes bad writing.

According to Marcus Wohlsen of the Canadian Press, on July 30, the 2007 contest held at San Jose State University, Jim Gleeson, 47, of Madison, Wisconsin was the winner, with this convoluted opening sentence to a nonexistent novel:

"Gerald began - but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten per cent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them 'permanently' meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash - to pee."

Scott Rice, an English professor at San Jose, who has organized the contest since its founding in 1982, called Gleeson's entry a "syntactic atrocity" that displays "a peculiar set of standards or values."

Gleeson, who works at a Madison hospital setting up computer networks, submitted 20 entries to win the $250 prize.  He credited his time in college with preparing him well.  "There's a certain degree to which academia prepares you to write badly."

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On July 5, 2007, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported on the discovery of another strange creature which appears to be half-squid, half-octopus, dubbed an "octosquid".

It was found caught in a filter in one of Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority's deep-sea water pipelines. The pipeline runs 3,000 feet deep, and sucks up cold, deep-sea water for the tenants of the natural energy lab, a state agency that operates Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park in Kailua-Kona, adjacent to one of the steepest offshore slopes in the Hawaiian Islands.

The octosquid was about a foot long, with white suction cups, eight tentacles and an octopus head with a squidlike mantel.  It was pulled to the surface with 3 rattail fish and a half a dozen satellite jellyfish, and stayed alive for 3 days.  They were stored in a freezer and will be preserved for future study.

If it turns out to be a new species, the honor of naming it normally goes to whoever classifies it.

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JULY 2007


The Associated Press, in an article written by Giovanna Dell'Orto on May 25, 2007 about a drama onboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Germany to Atlanta.

A woman about 32 to 36 weeks pregnant went into labor when the plane was over the Washington area.

Two doctors happened to be on board the flight, a pediatric cardiologist and an adult cardiologist.

The woman was placed in front of the first seats after the first class, one of the roomiest aisles in a plane.  Using a stethoscope that was part of the medical equipment onboard, the doctors realized the baby had a very slow or arrested heartbeat as the woman was in labor.

The doctors, Robert Vincent, pediatric cardiologist and Dr. Dieter K. Gunkel, the adult cardiologist, noted that the baby wasn't breathing when he was born.  He was blue and not moving.  Vincent started chest compressions and Gunkel did mouth-to-mouth breathing until the boy "pinked up."

The flight made an emergency landing in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The mother and seven pound baby boy were taken to the hospital and did well.

Think of the odds against having not one, but two, cardiologists on a flight with a distressed baby, one of which was a pediatric specialist.

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JUNE 2007


In the May 21, 2007, edition of Khaleej Times OnLine, Reuters reported that an Indonesian fisherman caught a coelacanth, an ancient fish once thought to have become extinct at the time of the dinosaurs.

The fish's normal habitat is about 200 ft below the sea and normally lives only about 2 hours if it is removed from its habitat.  The fisherman, Yustinus Lahama and his son, after being told the fish was rare, took it back to the sea and kept it in a quarantine pool for about 17 hours until it died.

The fish was about 4 feet long and weighed 112 pounds.  It was turned over to the fisheries faculty as the Sam Ratulangi University for further study and to see if it could be determined how the fish survived that long.

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MAY 2007


In the April 21, 2007, editions of the TimesOnline from London, a new way of dealing with the hooded youths who roam the country’s streets and loiter outside the shops of their choice, was reported.

Compound Security Systems has developed a device that is called “Mosquito.” The device sells for 495 British pounds, but apparently can be well worth it.

It emits a high frequency, high-pitched whine that is inaudible to anyone over 25, but is intolerable to people under that age.

Simon Morris, commercial director of Compound Security said: “ As soon as the Mosquito goes in, theft goes down, trade increases and profits go up. One of the Co-ops said their trade went up 3000 pounds in the first week. They were amazed by it. If there are no kids hanging around, people feel more comfortable going into the shop and hence spend more money.”

Of course, there are dissenters. Some parents question whether it will affect babies and children.

While the manufacturer provides warning signs, there are not always posted. The devises have an effective range of 15 to 20 meters, and are legal and harmless.

Ninety per cent of people over 25 cannot hear the device because of natural age-related hearing loss.

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MAY 2007


The Daily Mail, from London, reported on a very unusual cat on April 9, 2007.  The cat has been nicknamed Macavity after the mystery cat in T.S. Elliot's poem by the bus drivers on the busy Walsall to Wolverhampton bus route.

The white cat, with a purple collar and one blue and one green eye, gets on a bus when it stops in front of a row of 1950s semi-detached houses and jumps off at a row of shops down the road which include a fish and chip shop.

The cat gets on alone when the bus stops to pick up passengers, travels about 400 meters down the road at the next stop.  Macavity has done this since January, and does it two to three mornings a week, always getting on and off at the same stops. 

One of the passengers, who catches the bus, said: "He sat at the front of the bus, waited patiently for the next stop and then got off.  It was quite strange at first, but now it just seem normal.  I suppose he is the perfect passenger really - he sits quietly, minds his own business and then gets off."

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MARCH 2007


On February 5, 2007, Nivedita Khandekar reported in the Hindustan Times, that three amateur explorers stumbled upon more than 100 fossilized dinosaur eggs in Madhya Pradesh, India.  The eggs, belonging to the Cretaceous Era (approximately 144 to 65 million years ago), have been discovered in Kukshi-Bagh area of Dhar district, some 150 kms southwest of Indore.

All the eggs were found in a single nesting site with as many as 6-8 eggs per nest.  They are from three types of soropaud dinosaurs, which were herbivorous.  They were 40-90 feet in length and came from far away areas to lay their eggs.

Along with the fossilized eggs, the team exploiting the amateurs' find also discovered footprints of the dinosaurs through which they could also trace the "track  way" of the heavy animals now extinct.

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On December 6, 2006, Reuters reported that the staff of an Irish riding school were forced to postpone their Christmas party festivities when Gus, the camel, chomped his way through 200 mince pies and several cans of Guinness intended for their party.

Gus, who was starring in the riding school's Santa's Magical Animal Kingdom show, helped himself to the feast while staff were getting changed for the party, and he managed to get out of his pen.

The 11-year old camel, originally from Morocco, cracked open the cans of stout with his teeth after the door to his stall was left open.

While the party suffered, Gus appeared just fine after the evening's feeding frenzy.

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On December 19, 2006, The Scotsman reported that a WWII veteran who was blinded in his right eye when he was hit by shrapnel can see again after being head-butted by a pedigree racehorse.

Don Karkos, an 82- year-old paddock security guard at the Monticello Raceway in New York state was attempting to put a collar around the chest of My Buddy Chimo when the horse head-butted him in exactly the same spot as the shrapnel gashed his forehead in combat.  The hit was extremely hard.

While doctors have tried to restore Karkos' sight for 64 years with no success, hours after the head-butt, it started to return.  Although his vision is not perfect, Karkos has been able to see about 15 feet with his damaged eye since the incident in October.

A doctor has speculated that the blow could have knocked a dislocated lens into place.

Karkos said he was eager to show his gratitude to My Buddy Chimo.

"I'm on very good terms with that horse now, and he gets special care from me," he said.

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According to The Scotsman, on November 2, 2006, Shan Ross reported that a Loch Ness Monster theory which suggests the creature is a living dinosaur has been dealt a blow by scientists.

Research by Dr. Leslie Noe, a paleontologist at Cambridge University's Sedgwick Museum, discovered that the long-necked marine reptile plesiosaur, which many believe sought refuge in Loch Ness, would have been unable to lift its head up, swan-like, out of the water.

While most scientists believe the creature became extinct with the other dinosaurs, some insist it is possible that some may have been stranded in the 23-mile long loch, which was connected to the sea.

Dr. Noe examined fossils of a plesiosaur and calculated the articulation of the neck bones and concluded the neck was flexible and could move most easily when pointing down.

These results did not surprise George Edwards, who took a picture of an unknown "creature" with a black hump in June of 1986.  He runs Loch Ness cruises on his boat, the Nessie Hunter, said: "Most people don't support the dinosaur theory.  The creature is some entirely new species.  When you consider that every year in the open seas thousands of new species are discovered, this is the most likely explanation.  But there's no doubt that a creature, one with a single hump, which most people report, does exist."

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Every year, English teachers from across the USA can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here are last year's winners.

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. Instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

(From the internet -- too good to check. . .)

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The Boston Herald reported on August 21, 2006, on a Brighton homeowner who is in trouble because of an attempted break-in at his home.

A break-in artist was attempting to enter through the second floor of the home when a rickety, wrought iron, spiral staircase gave way as the crook was attempting to kick in the door that led to the owner's entrance to his apartment on the second floor at 2:20 a.m.

When the stairs gave way, the intruder fell to his death.

The homeowner was cited for having an unsafe and dangerous structure at his home.

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A Lady libertarian wrote a lot of letters to the White House complaining about the treatment of a captive insurgent (terrorist) being held in Guantanamo Bay. She received the following reply:

The White House
600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20016

 Dear Concerned Citizen,

Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Quaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington.  You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday.

 Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers.

We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome these character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences.  We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling.

Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

 Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters (except sexually), since he views females as a subhuman form of property.  This is a particularly sensitive subject for him and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I'm sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the  burka -- over time. Just remember that it is all part of "respecting his culture and his religious beliefs" - wasn't that how you put it?

Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you keep us informed of the proper way to do our job. You take good care of Ahmed - and remember...we'll be watching.

Good luck!

Cordially, your friend,

Don Rumsfeld                                                          

(Would you believe this is from the internet?)

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JULY 2006


Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, "Why is the bride dressed in white?"
 "Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life."
The child thought about this for a moment, then said, "So why is the groom wearing black?"

Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50."
The second boy says, "That's nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100."
The third boy says, "I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!"

An elderly woman died last month.
Having never married, she requested no male pallbearers.
In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote, "They wouldn't take me out while I was alive, I don't want them to take me out when I'm dead."

A police recruit was asked during the exam, "What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?"
He answered "Call for backup."

A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem.
A small child replied: "They couldn't get babysitter."

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds.
After explaining the commandment to "honor thy father and thy mother," she asked "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?"
Without missing a beat one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."

At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam's ribs.
Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and she said, "Johnny, what is the matter?"
Little Johnny responded, "I have pain in my side. I think I'm going to have a wife."

Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong preaching on the devil.
One said to the other, "What do you think about this Satan stuff?"
The other boy replied, "Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It's probably just your Dad.

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JUNE 2006


Elliott Minor reported in the Associated Press on May 18, 2006, that a stand of American Chestnut trees that somehow escaped a blight that killed off nearly all their kind in the early 1900s has been discovered along a hiking trail not far from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Little White House at Warm Springs.

"There's something about this place that has allowed them to endure the blight," said Nathan Klaus, a biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources who spotted the trees.  "It's either that these trees are able to resist the blight, which is unlikely, or Pine Mountain has something unique that is giving these trees resistance."

The largest of the half-dozen or so trees is about 40 feet tall and 20 to 30 years old, and is believed to be the southernmost  American chestnut discovered so far that is capable of flowering and producing nuts.

The chestnut foundation, which has been working for about 15 years to develop a blight-resistant variety, and may use pollen from the tree in a breeding program aimed at restoring the population with blight-resistant trees.  They have been attempting to infuse the American chestnut with the blight-resistant genes of the Chinese chestnut.

American chestnuts, which can grow to a height of 100 feet and a diameter of 8 feet or more, once made up about 25% of the forests in the eastern United States, but were almost entirely wiped out by a fast-spreading fungus discovered in 1904.

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MAY 2006


An April 10, 2006, article from SPACE.COM says that the Happy Face on Mars, first noted in NASA's Viking Orbiter mission, has now been photographed from a different angle, disclose the features which create the face.

The photos were taken by the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter.

The smiling mountains sit within the Galle Crater, a hole in the ground dug by a space rock and whose rim forms the outline of the face.  It is located on the eastern rim of the Argyre Planitia impact basin.   Galle is 143 miles wide.

While many of the things humans "see" on Mars (the reigning winner of false sightings) don't exist, there is an explanation.  Spotting things that don't exist is called pareidolia.  A study last year found that humans are particularly susceptible to seeing human faces where there are none, because our knowledge of the human face is so ingrained in our brains.

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APRIL 2006


Forbes.com asked a panel of scientists, historians and engineers to looked at the devices that have most impacted human civilization and shaped the course of history.  As reported on March 22, 2006, critics of the final list, which included tools that have been around for ages: the knife, the abacus, the compass, but did not include duct tape.

Models use it to create cleavage.  Sled-dog drivers use it to prevent frostbite.  Athletes use it to support weak joints.  Veterinarians use it to repair horses' hooves.

It was invented in the early 1940's by scientists at Permacell, a division of the Johnson & Johnson Co., to fill the need for a strong, flexible, durable tape that could help the war effort.  Early versions consisted of medical tape laminated to a cloth backing, covered with polycoat adhesives and a polyethylene coating.  It was colored Army green and nicknamed "duck tape" because it repelled water.

After the war, civilians started using the tape in construction, typically to hold metal air ducts together.  So it was changed to a matching gray color and renamed "duct tape."

It's simple, easy, comes with no directions, and is totally self-contained.  It comes in many colors, including 2 kinds of camouflage. 

Astronauts on Apollo 13 used duct tape to help put together air scrubbers to keep themselves alive.  People make bags, wallets and clothing from it.  It even cures warts.  A group of patients applied small duct tape patches every day; the warts disappeared in 85% of those treated, making the therapy more effective than freezing with liquid nitrogen.  It's used as a temporary suture until proper treatment can be found.  One fellow in Florida, looking to take pictures of alligators got lost.  As night fell, he climbed a tree and taped himself to a branch so he wouldn't fall asleep and land in the gator-filled water.

The most interesting thing about duct tape is also the most ironic:  It's lousy for use on ducts.  In 1998, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory physicists Max Sherman and Lain Walker tested a variety of sealing materials on sheet metal ducting, then heated and cooled the ducts to simulate the aging process.  They soon found that duct tape leaked air so badly, much of the cooling and heating was wasted -- at that the tape frequently shrunk, dried up or separated.

"It failed reliably and often quite catastrophically," says Sherman.  "And nothing else except duct tape failed."

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The Dec. 17, 2005 edition of PostStar.com from Glen Falls, New York, tells about the latest efforts to combat deer poaching.  The Department of Environmental Conservation  have a motorized deer decoy which they set up in the woods to lure unsuspecting miscreants. 

The fake 6-pointer  whose head, tail and right front leg can be made to move via remote radio-control, is used in connection with a chase car which is ready to pursue any shooter who tries to drive off after taking a shot.  About 2/3 of the time the decoy is used, no one bites.  The other third produce some great stories.

His name was Timex.  The decoy used by the DEC in Washington County was shot so many times, those who took care of it were amazed its small motor and gears still worked. 

"He took quite a beating but kept on ticking.  That's how he got his name," said Tom Risse, a delegate to the Washington County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, which helps fund the decoy program.

On one of its last missions, Timex managed to snag a hunter who shot him even though the beat-up decoy's head fell off when the remote control device was used to move it.

The man who shot him ordered his son to run out and bring the deer back, and not to forget the head.

On another time out, a hunter kneeling in the roadway to shoot was confronted from behind by a conservation officer who tapped him on the shoulder as he aimed at the decoy.

"The officer was tapping him on the shoulder telling him not to shoot again and the guy said 'Quiet, there's a deer out there,'" said retired DEC officer Robert Henke.

DEC Capt. Scott Florence said a crew recently caught the same guy twice in two years in the same place. 

"The second year, when it was all said and done, he said, 'I knew I was going to miss that deer because it was really running,'" Florence recalled.

The deer wasn't moving, though, he said.  The shooter's vehicle was.  State law bars shooting from a vehicle or possessing a loaded gun in a vehicle.

"We don't call the guys shooting from their cars sportsmen.  They're deer jackers," Florence said.

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An article in the September 28, 2005 edition of news@nature.com, tells us that people cannot fully sink into and disappear in quicksand. 

Quicksand is simply ordinary sand that is so saturated with water that the friction between sand particles is reduced, making them unable to support any weight. It most frequently appears near the deltas of mighty rivers, can form after earthquakes release water from underground reservoirs, and can cause the collapse of bridges and buildings.

Daniel Bonn and his colleagues from the University of Amsterdam decided to analyze some of the quicksand after being warned about it in Iran.  They took it home and determined the proportions of fine sand, salt water and clay in the quicksand and mixed up larger batches.

They then placed aluminum beads, which had the same density as an average human, on top of their homemade quicksand.  The team shook the system, and watched as this action partially submerged the beads.

An object that falls into quicksand can cause the sand particles supported by water to lose their stability and flow downward in a liquid fashion.  Bonn likens the disturbance to the toppling of a stack of neatly arranged oranges.

An extremely small variation in stress can cause the complete collapse of this material.  Increasing the physical stress on the particles by just 1% can cause their flow speed to increase by a factor of a million, creating a downward pull,  Bonn says that getting out of the quicksand at this point is tough;  the force required to pull out a foot equals that needed to lift a medium-sized car.

"The real danger of quicksand is that you can get stuck in it when the high tides come up," says Bonn.  But patience can be a life-saving virtue.  If you wait long enough, the sand particles settle and the buoyancy of the mixture will cause you to rise up to the top.

As proof, the beads in the experiment did, in fact, float, and never became more than half submerged in sand.  Although each bead measured only four millimeters in diameter, Bonn says that the findings still apply to people, as they have the same density.

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The August 25, 2005 edition of NewScientist.com reported that small robotic spy-planes have been developed that use shape-shifting wings to switch from being stable gliders to ultra-maneuverable fliers.

The articulated wings were inspired by the way seagulls alter their wing-shape during flight, says Rick Lind, an aerospace engineer at the University of Florida, in Gainesville.

The drone has a joint halfway along the leading edge of both its wings.  Actuators at the "elbow" joint and at the "shoulder" joint of each wing, where it connects to the fuselage, allow the wing structure to shift from an "M" to a "W" configuration.   The "W" configuration produces a highly maneuverable aerodynamic shape, while the "M" shape is highly stable.  The change if flight performance comes partly from a shift in the aircraft's center of gravity.

The drones are being developed for use in an urban landscape.  Lind sees his planes being used for surveillance and security purposes.  The could carry sensors to the location of a suspected bioterrorism attack, for example.

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On July 7, 2005, LiveScience reported on an article from the July 8, 2005 issue of Science, about a newfound deep-sea relative of the jellyfish that flashes glowing red lights on twitching, stinging tentacles to lure fish to their deaths more than a mile below the surface.

Scientists had figured that deep-sea animals can't see red light, since they live where sunlight doesn't reach and have no evolutionary reason to detect the color. 

Steven Haddock of Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute used a robotic submarine to retrieve three of the fragile Erenna off the coast of California.

The red light is made by fluorescence, in which short-wavelength light such as blue is re-emitted as long-wavelength light (red).  The blue light is generated by a process called bioluminescence, in which a living thing converts chemicals into light much like the glow sticks sold to children.

Haddock and his colleagues speculate that the red light attracts the few fish which live at these depths and that, perhaps, the ability to see the light is more common in the deep sea than previously thought.

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JULY 2005


For years scientists have observed loads of life at the bottom of the ocean.  But they weren't able to find enough food -- carbon -- to support all that life.  Bjorn Carey, on June 10, 2005, on LiveScience, reported on a possible answer.

The June 9, 2005 issue of Science reported on some discoveries of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute which may help explain mystery.  The scientists have discovered giant sinking mucus "houses" that double the amount of food on the sea floor.

The mucus houses, or "sinkers," are produced by tadpole-like animals not much bigger than your index finger.  They are called giant larvaceans.  They spin a mucus web, about a yard in diameter.  They sit in the middle of the house and use it to filter food that is small enough for them to eat.  Larger particles get stuck to the outside of these filters, and after some amount of time the filters get plugged and the animal moves out.  The house deflates and begins to sink, picking up more particles. 

"It's a fast sinking carbon bomb," siad Rob Sherlock of Monterey Bay.  "A sinker is basically snot.  It's very fragile.  We have very skilled ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) pilots and special containers to collect these things.  We were only able to adequately collect one out of four."

Sherlock usually sees twice as many sinkers as active houses, and sometimes four to five times that amount.  The larvaceans build the houses very rapidly and probably go through about one house a day.

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MAY 2005


At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, AAFS President Dr. Don Harper Mills astounded his audience with the legal complications of a bizarre death.

Here is the story:

On March 23, 1994 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. Mr. Opus had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide. He left a note to the effect indicating his despondency. As he fell past the ninth floor his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window, which killed him instantly.

Neither the shooter nor the deceased was aware that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.

"Ordinarily," Dr Mills continued, "Someone who sets out to commit suicide and ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended, is still defined as committing suicide." That Mr. Opus was shot on the way to certain death, but probably would not have been successful because of the safety net, caused the medical examiner to feel that he had a homicide on his hands.

The room on the ninth floor, where the shotgun blast emanated, was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously and he was threatening her with a shotgun. The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger he completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the window striking Mr. Opus.

When one intends to kill subject "A" but kills subject "B" in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject "B."

When confronted with the murder charge the old man and his wife were both adamant and both said that they thought the shotgun was not loaded.

The old man said it was a long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her. Therefore the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, assuming the gun had been accidentally loaded.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident.

It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother.

Since the loader of the gun was aware of this, he was guilty of the murder even though he didn't actually pull the trigger. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

Now comes the exquisite twist.

Further investigation revealed that the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus.

He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother's murder. This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window. The son had actually murdered himself so the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

A true story from Associated Press, Reported by Kurt Westervelt

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APRIL 2005


On January 18, 2005 the Associated Press reported on a group of prospective jurors summoned to listen to a Memphis, Tennessee case of trailer park violence.  The defense attorney, Leslie Ballin called it "the jury pool from hell."  Right after jury selection began, one man got up and left, announcing, "I'm on morphine and I'm higher than a kite."

When the prosecutor asked if anyone had been convicted of a crime, a prospective juror said that he had been arrested and taken to a mental hospital after he almost shot his nephew.  He said he was provoked because his nephew just would not come out from under the bed.

Another would-be juror said he had had alcohol problems and was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover officer.  "I should have known something was up," he said.  "She had all her teeth."

Another prospect volunteered he probably should not be on the jury.  "In my neighborhood, everyone knows that if you get Mr. Ballin (as your lawyer) you're probably guilty."  He was not chosen.

The case involved a woman accused of hitting her brother's girlfriend in the face with a brick.  Ballin's client was found not guilty.

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MARCH 2005


The Associated Press reported on Jan. 28, 2005 that the McDonald's restaurant in Hermiston, Oregon appears to be "outsaucing" customers drive-thru meals -- at least the order-taking part. 

When a customer drives through, they are patched through to Grand Forks, North Dakota to place the order.  The minimum wage in North Dakota is $5.15, compared to Oregon's $7.25.

The head of Oregon AFLCIO, Tim Nesbit, says this undercuts Oregon's minimum wage by over $2.00.

At least he can do arithmetic.

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It is truly interesting that the Limosene Liberals who don't think that we are taxed enough, because we have to take care of the poor, have a very unusual way of showing it.  First, for all the rich people who don't think they pay enough taxes, write a check to the IRS. Next, start writing some other checks -- and not to politicians.

Laura Walsh, an Associated Press writer, on November 9, reported that while Connecticutt ranks first when it comes to making money, it joins New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in falling to the very bottom of the 2004 Generosity Index, according to the Catalogue for Philanthropy.

Mississippi is the most giving state for the 8th consecutive year, followed by Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee. 

The survey is based on the average adjusted income of residents and the value of itemized charitable donations reported on 2002 federal tax returns, the latest year available.

The results for the northeast are not new.  The states change rank, but consistently are the least generous.  Southern and Midwestern states top off the generosity index.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy, a Boston, Mass.-based nonprofit group, says the survey, which is 8 years old, is a way of comparison.  "Generosity is really what you give as a function of what you have," said spokesman Martin Cohn. www.catalogueforphilanthropy.org 

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People actually said these statements in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters. How did they keep from laughing while these were all taking place?

Judge: "Well, Sir, I have reviewed this case and I've decided to give your wife $775 a week."
Husband: "That's fair, your honor. I'll try to send her a few bucks myself."

Q: What is your date of birth?
A: July fifteenth.
Q: What year?
A: Every year

Q: What gear were you in at moment of the impact?
A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

Q: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
A: Yes.
Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
A: I forget.
Q: You forget. Can you give us an example of something
you've forgotten?

Q: How old is your son, the one living with you?
A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which! 
Q: How long has he lived with you?
A: Forty-five years.

Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning?
A: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"
Q: And why did that upset you?
A: My name is Susan.

Q: And where was the location of the accident?
A: Approximately milepost 499.
Q: And where is milepost 499?
A: Probably between milepost 498 and 500.

Q: Sir, what is your IQ?
A: Well, I can see pretty well, I think.

Q: Did you blow your horn or anything?
A: After the accident?
Q: Before the accident.
A: Sure, I played for 10 years. I even went to school for it.

Q: Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?
A: Yes.
Q: Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: What did she say?
A: What disco am I at?

Q: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
A: Would you repeat that question, please?

Q: The youngest son, the 20-year old, how old is he?

Q: Were you present when your picture was taken?

Q: So the date of conception of (the baby) was August 8th?
A: Yes.
Q: And what were you doing at that time?
A: I resent that question.

Q: She had three children, right?
A: Yes.
Q: How many were boys?
A: None.
Q: Were there any girls?

Q: You say the stairs went down to the basement?
A: Yes.
Q: And these stairs, did they go up also?

Q: How was your first marriage terminated?
A: By death.
Q: And by whose death was it terminated?

Q: Can you describe the individual?
A: He was about medium height and had a beard.
Q: Was this a male or a female?

Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition I sent to your attorney?
A: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?
A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.

Q: All your responses must be oral, OK?
A: OK.
Q: What school did you go to?
A: Oral.

Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
Q: And Mr. Pennington was dead at the time?
A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing
an autopsy on him.

Q: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for breathing?
A: No.
Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive
when you began the autopsy?
A: No.
Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Q: But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?
A: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and
practicing law somewhere.

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 The following questions and answers were collated from SAT tests given to 16 year old students!

Q: Name the four seasons.
A: Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Q: Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink.
A: Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants
like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

Q: How is dew formed?
A: The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.

Q: What is a planet?
A: A body of earth surrounded by sky.

Q: What causes the tides in the oceans?
A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon.  All water tends to
flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature
abhors a vacuum.  I forget where the sun joins in this fight.

Q: In a democratic society, how important are elections?
A: Very important.  Sex can only happen when a male gets an election.

Q: What are steroids?
A: Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.

Q: What happens to your body as you age?
A: When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental.

Q: What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty?
A: He says good-bye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery.

Q: Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.
A: Premature death.

Q: How can you delay milk turning sour?
A: Keep it in the cow.

Q: How are the main parts of the body categorized? (Eg., abdomen.)
A: The body is consisted into three parts -- the brainium, the borax and the
abdominal cavity. The branium contains the brain, the borax contains the
heart and lungs, and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels, A,E,I,O
and U.

Q: What is the Fibula?
A: A small lie.

Q: What does "varicose" mean?
A: Nearby.

Q: What is the most common form of birth control?
A: Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium.

Q: Give the meaning of the term "Cesarean Section."
A: The cesarean section is a district in Rome.

Q: What is a seizure?
A: A Roman emperor.

Q: What is a terminal illness?
A: When you are sick at the airport.

Q: Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A: Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and so they look like

Q: What does the word "benign" mean?
A: Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

Q: What is a turbine?
A: Something an Arab wears on his head.

Q: What is a Hindu?
A: It lays eggs.

From the internet.  As they say in the newsrooms about great stories: "It's too good to check."

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JULY 2004


The June 21, 2004 edition of The Sporting News, Dave Kindred told the story of the horse who couldn't run.  Allaboard Jules was a pacer owned by Dave Brandwine.  

Despite a wonderful personality, more like puppy-dog than race horse, Allaboard Jules could not win a race.  Horses cost a lot to feed whether they win or not, so Brandwine sought to sell him, hoping to recover the $4,000 he paid for him.  No such luck -- there were no buyers for Jules at any price.  What to do with him?  As Brandwine said: "I didn't want to send him to the glue factory."

"Nobody wanted him," the trainer said.  Everyone knew Allaboard Jules' problems.  He was small, no more than 15 hands high, and any horseman looking at him would agree with Brandwine's race-tracker summary of the horse's conformation: "He was bowlegged and cross-eyed." 

Meaning, he can't run, and he's ugly, too.

He could run, of course, just not fast.  But with his conformation, he was always going lame.  In January of 1996. the trainer said to Marie Dobrisky, a New Jersey state racing official, "Listen, I've got to stop running Jules.  He's trying so hard, he's going to kill himself."

Race horses no longer paying their way often are sent to auction and sold for various purposes, some of which keep them alive.  From the New Jersey tracks, Dobrisky even has helped horses find homes pulling Amish buggies.

On this day with Brandwine, though she had another idea.  "You want to send him to the Army?"

The trainer laughed.  "He'd be 4-F."

"No, no, he could do this."

Dobriskey's son is US Army Staff Sgt. Frank Dobrisky.  Raised with horses, Frank worked with the horses of the Army's honor guard near Washington, the Caisson Unit of the 3rd Infantry Division.  Marie know the Army used all-blacks, grays or dark bays for caisson duty.  In Brandwine's little black horse, she saw no bowed legs, no crossed eyes.  She saw majesty.

After a year at pasture, healing, the Army took him in for honor-guard training.  Frank said his buddies made fun of the new horse, how "small and scrawny he was."  Besides, the name Allaboard Jules didn't quite fit in a stable starring "Lee" and "Grant."

Jules became Sergeant York, named after Alvin York, the World War I Medal of Honor winner.  In 1998, Sergeant York rose to the position of the riderless horse, the central, haunting image of a presidential funeral procession in the nation's capital since Abraham Lincoln's death in 1865.

Now, in 2004, came an old athlete, Sergeant York, his coat shiny as black velvet.  He walked behind the caisson bearing the commander-in-chief's flag-draped casket.  In his steel stirrups, as always, were a pair of boots turned backwards, symbols of a fallen officer.  This time, they were Ronald Reagan's own high riding boots.

From near the White House and up Constitution Avenue a mile and a half to the Capitol, Sergeant York walked with his head high, prancing sideways at time, ears pricked.  At his new post in Hanau, Germany, Staff Sgt. Frank Dobrisky stayed up until 3 in the morning to watch his old friend do the work they once did together.

"He just did great all day," the sergeant said.  "And such a great story.  The horse has gone from worthless to priceless."

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MAY 2004


All too rarely, airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining.  Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

On a Southwest flight (SW has no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"

On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."

There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only4 ways out of this airplane"

"Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."

As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Ronald Reagan, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"

After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."

From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight 245 to Tampa. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."

"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."

Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."

"Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and, in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."

"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."

And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Delta Airlines is pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"

Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."

Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo.  Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"

Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the Passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline." He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no, Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"

After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Capt. Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we'll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."

Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of US Airways."

Heard on a Southwest Airline flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing and if you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."

A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOD!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap.  You should see the front of my pants!" A passenger in Coach yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!"

APRIL 2004


Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:

a. Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight at Calvary Methodist. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa. 

b. The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals."

c. The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water."  The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus."

d. Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

e. Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands.

f. The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

g. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "Hell" to someone who doesn't care much about you.

h. Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.

i. Miss Charlene Mason sang "I will not pass this way again," giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

j. For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

k. Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

l. Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack's sermons.

m. The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: "Break Forth Into Joy."

n. Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

o. A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

p. At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What Is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

q. Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

r. Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

s. Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

t. Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.

u. The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

v. Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.

w. The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

x. This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

y. Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done.

z. The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.

aa. Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.

ab. The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

ac. Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

ad. The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours."

Another anonymous e-mail contribution, courtesy of the internet.

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MARCH 2004


When I say to move, it means go someplace else, not switch positions with each other so there are still two of you in the way.

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food.. (Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate & food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.)

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king size bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue to sleep on the couch to ensure your comfort.  Look at videos of dogs and cats sleeping. They can actually curl up in a ball.  It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible.  (I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space used is nothing but sarcasm.)

My compact discs are not miniature Frisbees.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine meow, try to turn the knob, or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. (In addition, I have been using the bathroom for years...canine or feline attendance is not mandatory.)

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dogs or cats' butt. I cannot stress this enough. It would be such a simple change for you.


  Rules for Non-pet owners who visit and like to complain about our pets:

1. They live here; you don't.
2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.
3. I like my pet better than I like most people.
4. To you it's an animal. To me he and/or she is an adopted son and/or daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and is speech challenged.

Dogs and cats are better than kids.  They eat less, don't ask for money all the time, are easier to train, usually come when called, never drive your car, don't hang out with drug-using friends, don't drink or smoke, don't worry about buying the latest fashions, don't wear your clothes, don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and if they get pregnant, you can sell the results.

The chuckles above are brought to you by some unknown humorist whose work is on the internet.

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On December 8, 2003 The Washington Times carried an Associated Press story about Shalom Gelbman, 22, of New Square, New York.  

Gelbman, with a strobe light on his dashboard and his high beams flashing, pulled a car over on the Palisade Interstate Parkway.  Inside the car was state Trooper Seamus Lyons, who arrested Gelbman.  It was clear to Lyons that Gelbman wasn't a colleague, authorities said, because of his license plate number and the equipment he had in his car.

Gelbman was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal impersonation, and was cited for having unauthorized equipment in his car, a dark blue Mercury Grand Marquis with tinted windows.

Gelbman was also ticketed for driving without a registration or insurance.  He was released on $5000 bail after being arraigned in Clarkstown Justice Court.

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1. "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig."

2. "I would not allow this employee to breed."

3. "This employee is really not much of a has-been,  but more of a definite won't be."

4. "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."

5. "When she opens her mouth, it seems it is only to change feet."

6. "He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle." 

7. "This young lady has delusions of adequacy." 

8. "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."

9. "This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."

10. "This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts, the better."

11. "Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thing to hold it all together."

12. "A gross ignoramus --- 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus."

13. "He doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier."

14. "I would like to go hunting with him sometime."

15. "He's been working with glue too much."

16. "He would argue with a signpost."

17. "He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."

18. "When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."

19. "If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one."

20. "A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on." 

21. "A prime candidate for natural DE-selection."

22. "Donated his brain to science before he was done using it." 

23. "Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming."

24. "He's got two brains, one is lost and the other is out looking for it."

25. "If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week."

26. "If you gave him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change."

27. "If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean." 

28. "It's hard to believe he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm." 

29. "One neuron short of a synapse." 

30. "Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled."

31. "Takes him 2 hours to watch 60 minutes. 

32. "The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.

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Deutche Welle, on October 15, 2003 reported on the most stupid burglar the German police have ever encountered.

The man broke into the building of a lumber sales company in Bremen during the night and violently assaulted a coffee machine which contained only tokens, despite a sign on the door explaining it did not take cash.

He then stole a mobile phone, which only works in the grounds of the company, and a cordless screwdriver -- but forgot the batteries and charger.  Finally, he drank a can of Coke -- 12 months past its sell-by date that had been standing in one of the offices.

A police spokesman said that the authorities are looking for a man "stranded with a load of useless junk, looks tired, is sick to his stomach and is probably the laughing stock of all his mates."

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The Deseret Morning News reported on July 9, 2003 on Corinne Turner who walked out of an Ogden liquidation store with 5 rolls of what she thought to be canvas wallpaper for the low price of 99 cents each.

One roll  contained five fine-art reproductions of works by Italian artist Pino Daeni, renowned for his use of color in painting of women and figure studies.  The value was about $6000. One of the replicas of "Ester" is shown at left.

After confirming their value, she contacted the store to tell them of her find and offering to return them.  The owner declined happy that the customer got a good deal.

The gallery where the works came from confirmed their authenticity and sent her the authentications.

Turner has found buyers for the paintings and said her good fortune could not have come at a better time, since her family was having financial problems.

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JULY 2003


On June 23, 2003, THE AGE (Australia, www.theage.com.au ) reported that researchers trawling the Tasman Sea have dredged up a veritable freak show of bizarre deep-sea creatures.

Deep-sea sharks, stingrays, rattail fishes and invertebrates (creatures without backbones) are among species discovered, while blobfish, prickly dogfish, giant sea spiders and other things not on a fish 'n' chip menu were also caught in the nets.

The scientists, on a month-long voyage on the research ship Tangaroa, also found extinct volcanoes as they mapped the sea floor during the 10,000-kilometer trip.

One creature, the fangtooth has teeth longer than its head.  To avoid piercing its own brain when it shuts its mouth, the teeth fit into opposing sockets.  The viperfish has a hinged head so it can cram in food, and the jowl-cheeked coffinfish has a glowing lure on its head to attract prey.

Living conditions beneath kilometers of water are brutal -- the water pressure is hundred of times greater than at the surface, and it is very dark.  Many of the creatures' features had evolved as ways of avoiding predators and attracting prey.

The researchers also found a huge fossilized tooth of an extinct shark known as a megalodon, which was twice the size of a white pointer.  The tooth had been lying on the sea floor for millions of years before a deep-sea bottom sled found it.

In total, 500 species of fish and 1300 of invertebrates were found.  Categorization, including that of more than 100 new species and the rare finds, will take until the end of the year.

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JUNE 2003


A robotics laboratory at Stanford University is building robots that will replicate the cockroach's remarkable speed and agility.  The Seattle-Post Intelligencer reported on May 20, 2003 that the scientists working on this project believe that the robots of tomorrow will scurry and jump like insects.  

One major goal of designing insectlike robots is overcoming the drawbacks of conventional robotic locomotion.  Wheeled robots, though versatile and easy to build, falter on anything other than relatively flat, smooth surfaces.  For example, the Mars Sojourner worked well until it got stuck on a rock while rolling across the planet's surface in 1997.  That wouldn't have happened with a legged robot.

The reasons for using the cockroach as a model is its speed and toughness.  Some cockroaches can move 50 times their body length in one second.  On a human scale, that's about 200 mph, which explains why cockroaches disappear when the lights go on.

The scientists working on the project spent a lot of time studying animal locomotion by putting live specimens on treadmills and using high-speed cameras to record their movements.

One of the scientists working on the project said: "We picked the cockroach because it's a good all-around athlete.  It can run very fast.  It can climb over things.  It can walk up walls.  It's the decathlete of the insect world."

They have also built a robotic cricket that measures about 3 inches long and runs and jumps just like the real thing.  Jumping gives the robot added mobility by allowing it to clear obstacles, such as stairs, that are otherwise insurmountable.

One of the great problems with legs, however, is that they don't move as quickly as wheels. The lab got around that problem with the "wheg", a robot that uses Y-shaped legs that turn like a wheel.  For their size, they're the fastest legged robots.  They are not that fast when compared to wheeled robots, but they are able to climb over things.  It's a good compromise.

Robots such as these can go into the world without causing harm or being harmed, exploring other planets, exploring undersea volcanoes, or conducting land-mine retrieval.  The possibilities are endless.

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MAY 2003


Flipper the dolphin has been exposed as a fraud, reported The Advertiser from Australia on February 8, 2003.

The chattering noise the heroic mammal made when he opened his snout was, in fact, the doctored sound of Australia's kookaburra.

This information is being revealed by tour guides at the Baltimore National Aquarium.  Dolphins don't have any vocal chords.  Nothing comes out of the mouth at all.

The "squawking and squeaking" noises dolphins really make comes through the blowhole, which has a muscular flap to manipulate the air flow.

Flipper was actually a female dolphin called Mitzi, although a male stunt dolphin, Mr. Gipper, did all the tail-walking scenes.  Mitzi did the other stuff like knocking guns out of poachers' hands and nudging wayward boats to safety.

The kookaburra, native only to Australia, is one of the most misrepresented birds in Hollywood.  Hollywood sound editors like the sound of the bird and decided that it went with movies that depict jungle scenery.

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MAY 2003


Agence France-Presse reported on February 5, 2003 about a Moroccan woman who awoke last August to find -- to her surprise and horror -- a newborn foal lying at the feet of her tethered, 14-year old female mule.

Superstition links a mule giving birth to the end of the world, so the woman was understandably distressed, New Scientist magazine reported.

Not knowing what to do, she contacted a British mule welfare society, the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad, which arranged for DNA tests.   They established that the foal was the offspring of the mule and a donkey.

This is only the fourth recorded case of a mule giving birth.  The others occurred in Nebraska and twice in China.  Since mules are a hybrid mix of a horse, with 64 chromosomes, and a donkey, with 62, the mule has 63.  Since an odd number cannot divide into chromosome pairs, a mule should not be able to reproduce.

Mule fertility is so exceptional that the Romans had a saying, "cum mula peperit," meaning "when a mule foals," which was the ancient equivalent to once in a blue moon."

The rare offspring is genetically one quarter horse and three-quarters donkey.

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MARCH 2003


On January 31, 2003, Ananova reported on a Norwegian who received an offer from local authorities for free bus rides to the school where she is supposed to attend next autumn.

The computers in Os township near Bergen noted her birth year of '97 and concluded she would be starting the first grade next autumn.

The 106-year-old Ingeborg, born in 1897, when the Klondyke gold rush was going strong, said she welcomed the free ride, saying that the last time she started school in 1903, she had to walk an hour every morning.

"Since I can already read, maybe I should skip a couple grades," she joked.

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My mother dropped off the old rhyme:

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace;
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go;
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for its living;
But those born on the Sabbath Day are the best in every way!

The original last line was: "But the child that is born on the Sabbath day is bonny and blithe, and good and gay."

If you don't know what day you were born on, go to: www.i-star.com/users/lrudel/java/scripts/daycalc.htm 

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The Associated Press reported on January 16, 2002, that the San Francisco Zoo keepers are perplexed.  

Until recently, the zoo had 46 penguins.  It wasn't unusual to see a few of them swimming leisurely, but now dozens of them are doing laps in unison for hours.

"We've lost complete control," said Jane Tollini, the zoo's penguin keeper.  "It's a free-for-all in here.  After 18 years of doing this job, these birds are making mincemeat of me."

It all started in November when 6 newcomer Megallanic penguins, formerly of Sea World, in Aurora, Ohio were brought in.  

Since then, they, along with the other 46, start swimming in circles early in the day and rarely stop until they stagger out of the pool at dusk. 

 Some experts think that the highly social animals are open to new ideas.  When the six new penguins came to the zoo to stay at Penguin Island, they somehow convinced the others to join them in their watery daily circuit.

Aquatic biologist, Pam Schaller, of the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco described it in more matter-of-fact terms.

"Genetically, they're designed to swim," Schaller said.  "I'd be more amazed if the six had learned to do something not in penguin nature and showed the other 46 how to do it -- like if the birds were trained to jump through a hoop."

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DallasNews.com reported on 4/17/2001, that the immigration records for people who came through Ellis Island can be found within minutes.  

More that 12,000 volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have worked about 5.5 million hours since 1993 to extract the records from microfilm and enter them into the database, according to officials with the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.

The database is accessible through 41 computer workstations at the Ellis Island American Family Immigration History Center.  Access can also be obtained free on the Internet at www.ellisislandrecords.org

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MSNBC reported on October 14, 2002 that a mummified dinosaur from Montana shows how the duckbill dinosaur looked and lived 77 million years ago -- down to the texture of its skin and the contents of its stomach.

The specimen, called "Leonardo" turned to minerals in such a way that it preserves the look of the skin and internal tissue.  Geologist Mark Thompson of the Judith River Dinosaur Institute (who took this picture) said "a very rare sequence of events was necessary for this type of preservation to occur. . . .It is a once-in-a-lifetime find."

Volunteer fossil hunter Dan Stephenson spotted the first exposed traces of the two-ton, 23-foot-long brachylophosaurus -- a type of duckbill dinosaur, or hadroosaur in the summer of 2000.  Leonardo was found in sandstone layers dating back 77 million years.  Near its location, the name "Leonard" and the date 1916 were carved into the sandstone.

An analysis of the fossilized bone structure led researchers to concluded that Leonardo was a subadult that died when it was about 3 or 4 years old.  "It still had what we call the 'cute factor,'" he said.

The skin had scales that vary from the size of a BB to the size of a dime.  Leonardo's last lunch was ferns, conifers and a magnolia-type plant.

I wonder if the Democrats are going to run Leonardo for an office. . . .

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Seacoastonline.com reported on June 14, 2002 on the appearance of tens of thousands of round Brillo pad-like balls which washed up with the incoming tide along the coast off Hampton, NH.

The soft spong balls, the size of golf or tennis balls (photographed by Emily Reily) appeared along a 300-yard stretch of sandy beach just north of Plaice Cove on the previous weekend.

Ellen Goethel, a marine biologist was unsure of the origin of the balls.  The stuff, whether manmade, probably wasn't balled up at first.  It was washed up into balls, most likely because of wave action close to the shore that carried the material along the bottom of the ocean floor off the beach.

Though Goethel couldn't find anything in any marine biology books that corresponds to the balls, after visiting with some local fishermen, she decided the balls could be some kind of sea grass.

Kevin Twombly, a marine digital production engineer with Maptech of Andover Mass., looked at strands through a magnifying glass.  "My guess is it's some type of (bundled up) phytoplankton."

Another investigator, Jonathon Pennock, director of the marine program at the the University of New Hampshire, asked for a sample of the balls, and said he would try to ascertain what the material is, manmade or natural.

One fisherman working at the Yankee Fisherman's Cooperative had his own idea of their identity and a solution for their disposal.  "This thing looks like a Brillo pad.  Thousands, eh?  Yea, natural Brillo.  Pack 'em up.  Ten for a buck."

P.S.  On June 18, 2002, the same publication noted that while these balls were foreign to beachgoers, fishermen and scientists, they were well known to lobstermen.  They get it in their traps every time there is a storm.  The sea grass from which they are made is so tough they have to cut the filaments off with a knife.

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JULY 2002


In Weymouth, Dorset, a bottlenose dolphin, nicknamed Georges, arrived off the coast about 2-3 months ago, after following a trawler across the Channel.  He has become a major attraction at the seaside resort, Reuters reported on June 3, 2002.

However, swimmers have been warned to stay away from the 400 pound male because it has tried to lure unwary humans out to sea in a bid to mate with them.

"This dolphin does get very sexually aggressive.  He has already attempted to mate with some divers," US marine mammal expert Ric O'Barry said.  "When dolphins get sexually excited, they try to isolate a swimmer, normally female.  They do this by circling around the individual and gradually move them away form the beach, boat or crowd of people."

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JUNE 2002


On May 3, 2002, the Associated Press reported on a story from Kingsley, Michigan which had appeared the previous Friday in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

It seems that Beulah Conroy and her husband raise Araucana chickens which are known for producing exquisitely colored, turquoise-shelled eggs that usually weigh just 1.75 to 2 ounces.

Every afternoon Conroy's husband goes out to the henhouse to gather eggs.  Among the small blue, green and brown eggs laid by their Araucana hens was a mammoth wrinkled specimen that weighed a whopping quarter-pound.  It's about twice the size of the extra large eggs in the supermarket.

"I've never seen an egg like this in my life," Conroy said.  "I can't tell which of them did it.  To tell the truth, I don't know how the poor thing survived.  But they all look fine."

Conroy plans to keep the egg, which weighs more than 4 ounces, as a souvenir.

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MAY 2002


The Elks Magazine for April 2002, told the story of a man who did his job as promised.  It reads as follows:

"In December 1915, the San Diego City Council snapped up Charlie Hatfield's offer to end a dry-as-dust drought.  If he was unable to make it rain, the city council would owe him nothing.  But, if it rained, Hatfield would get $500 per inch for twenty inches.

"On New Year's Day, Charlie and his brother Paul set up shop on a hill overlooking the Morena Reservoir, one of two belonging to the city that were almost dry.  A few day later, nearby residents reported puffs of smoke and occasional explosions.  On the ninth of January, light rain fell and continued sporadically for a couple of days.  It rained steadily from January 14 to the 18th.  The water level rose 12.73 inches in the Morena Reservoir, and 4.3 inches in Otay, the second reservoir.  Clearly, the drought was broken.  Everybody was happy, but not for long.

"Within days the rains resumed.  Rain-soaked land could absorb no more.  Rivers and streams surged over their banks, smashing whatever stood in their way.  Floodwaters ripped up rail tracks and tossed telephone poles aside like sticks.  It was not over yet.  The weather bureau reported later, 'The most serious storm in years struck . . . rainfall was the greatest twenty-four hour amount since January 12, 1882.

"Disaster was inevitable.  Water crept higher behind Otay's dam, then rolled over the top.  Suddenly the dam burst with a roar.  The dam's rupture unleashed a forty-foot wall of water, and an estimated 13 billion gallons of water smashed into San Diego.  

"Charlie Hatfield sent a bill for his $10,000 fee to the city council.  It was rejected with an offer to pay him if Hatfield would accept responsibility for $3.5 million in damage suits filed against the city by residents.  Hatfield refused and soon retired from the rainmaking business."

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APRIL 2002


Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, are conducting basic research on a new breed of rovers.  These "bulldozer" rovers have a tiny scoop to dig up and dump soil into an overhead bucket.  Unlike a life-size bulldozer and dump truck, which can weigh several thousand pounds, these rovers are lightweight, intelligent and can work without an operator at the wheel.  Yet they have the same capabilities, relative to their size, as their heavy-duty counterparts.  Many years into the future, rovers like these may be used to look for life and/or build a Mars outpost to sustain a human presence.  (NASA, October 30, 2001)

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On December 21, 2001, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have photographed one of the most bizarre families of creatures they have ever seen. 

They are mysterious squid of an unknown species, more than 20 feet long with small heads, ten 12-foot-long tentacles and thick fleshy mantles that flap like wings to propel them slowly through their environment as they seek the tiny marine organisms that nourish them.

They have been detected all around the world and were photographed in Hawaiian waters last spring by an unmanned deep-sea submersible at a depth of more than 11,000 feet.  They have been seen at depths between 6,000 and 15,000.

While most squids have eight arms with suckers throughout and two longer tentacles, these have 10 indistinguishable appendages with a sort of weird elbow which is believed to help the keep the thin tentacles from entangling.

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The Associated Press reported on December 19, 2001, that Rev. Wesley Marcle of Salem, Oregon, was surprised to find Christ show up in his dinner.  

Marcles found a small gold crucifix -- believed to be the setting of a man's ring -- in the cabbage cooked by his wife.  The pastor nearly ate the piece of jewelry.

"This is something you read about in the National Enquirer or the Star," said his wife, Carol.  "This doesn't happen in real life."

The crucifix apparently fell into the cabbage while it was growing on a farm in California.  The produce manager of the store where the cabbage was purchased said that once in a while, a piece of machinery or harvesting equipment will fall into a crate, but this was the first time he ever heard of a foreign object being found inside some produce.

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Reuters reported on August 8, 2001, that townspeople and weather experts were scratching their heads in puzzlement after large quantities of corn husks fell from the skies on Wichita, Kansas, the previous weekend.

According to reports, thousands of foot-long and larger leaves from corn stalks fell like rain across the eastern edge of the city.  While in cases of high winds, tornadoes, thunderstorms and other extreme weather events it is not unusual for objects to fall from the sky after being blown long distances, no unusual weather had occurred.

No explanation was found.

The Associated Press reported on September 4, 2001 of an applicant for a job as a police officer who found himself on the wrong side of the law.

When asked on the job application if he had ever committed a crime, he check the box and marked yes.  When questioned, the told officers he had carjacked a woman and robbed 5 people in Texas.  He was promptly arrested.

Police in Killeen, Texas, confirmed that the woman who was carjacked reported the carjacker had taken 2 items which were later found in a search of his mother's house.  The robbery charges are pending further investigation.

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In Vancouver, British Columbia, police officer Ray Peterson was not sure what to do when a duck grabbed him by the pantleg while he was on foot patrol near the city's downtown, Reuters reported on July 13, 2001.

"I thought it was a bit goofy, so I shoved it away," Peterson told the Vancouver Sun newspaper.

The mother duck persisted, grabbing Peterson's leg again when he tried to leave, and then waddling to a nearby sewer grate where she sat down and waited for him to follow and investigate.

"I went up to where the duck was lying and saw eight little babies in the water below," he said.

Police said they removed the heavy metal grate with the help of a two truck and used a vegetable strainer to lift the ducklings to safety.

Mother and offspring then departed for a nearby pond.

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State Farm Insurance recently did a survey to determine America's most dangerous intersections.  However, in the process, it also came up with the funniest names, Reuters reported on July 2, 2001.

The overall winner was where Grinn Drive intersects Barret Road in West Chester, Ohio.  

The next four chosen by State Farm by rank include:

Bland Street and Gore Road in Pueblo, Colorado
Ho Road and Hum Road in Carefree, Arizona
Antonio and Banderas in Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Hickory Avenue and Dickory Avenue where they intersect with Dock Street in Harahan, Louisiana.

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JULY 2001


The Associated Press reported on May 22, 2001 that the Yakama Indian tribe performed two ritual rain ceremonies aimed at ending the drought in the Northwest and then sent a $32,000 bill to the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which operated 29 hydroelectric dams along the Columbia and Snake rivers.  

A spokesman for the BPA, after declining to recognize the claim said, "We're not paying even though it was well-intended.  The Yakama tribe basically went off and did something on their own and sent us the bill."

In March, several tribal members held two events in the mountains, bringing traditional foods such as roots and berries.  The BPA Administrator and a tribal council member discussed traditional tribal methods for dealing with drought in March.  The BPA representatives indicated they would listen to tribal proposals and possibly provide some resources, which the tribe took as approval to move forward.

At the Yakima airport, 1.86 inches of precipitation has been recorded since the first of the year, with more than half of that -- .98 inches occurring since March 1.  The year-to-date total is 1.47 inches below normal, while the amount since March 1 is .40 inches less than  normal.

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JUNE 2001


In a concrete bunker on a mothballed Air Force base in Plattsburgh, New York, two Nigerian dwarf goats named Mille and Muscade joyfully munch grass and slurp water.  They are protected from intruders by security guards and razor wire, Forbes Global reported on February 19, 2001.

The goat sisters have had their chromosomes manipulated to include a gene from the orb weaver, a palm-sized spider that spins the world's toughest natural material.  Researchers are "growing" the spider's silk inside Mille and Muscade's mammary glands.  

Nexia Biotechnologies, a publicly held company, has great hopes for these strands of silk, just 3 microns thick.  They are 3 times as tough as DuPont's bulletproof Kevlar.  A woven cable as thick as your thumb can bear the weight of a jumbo jet.  Once perfected, the silk will be used for featherweight ballistic vests, medical sutures and artificial ligaments.

The goats' milk looks and tastes like the real thing, but once its proteins are filtered and purified into a fine white powder, they can be spun into tough thread.  What's next? Spidercows.

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MAY 2001


The website of the Morning Call, www.mcall.com, featured a story on January 24, 2001, about a Lehighton , Pennsylvania man who was doing remodeling work at a Bethlehem home.  He cut off his hand with a power saw, and then, hoping to end his pain, shot himself in the head at least twelve times with a nail gun.  

The homeowners found him on the floor of the basement and called for help.  When he was admitted to the trauma unit at the hospital, at least a dozen 1 1/2 inch nails were removed.  The injured man said he had shot several nails into his head with a pneumatic nail gun "because he could not stand the pain from the amputation."

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APRIL 2001


Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico has developed robots which are only about 1/4 cubic inch in size and fit comfortably on a coin, the Albuquerque Tribune  reported on Feb. 3, 2001.  

The minibots run on mobile tracks, a tiny version of those used by military tanks, which allow the robots to negotiate terrain-like carpet and avoid the problem of getting bogged down on the smallest of obstacles and allow for better traction than wheels.

At the present time, the minibots are only outfitted with temperature sensors, but the scientists are working on equipping them with minature microphones, radio transmitters and microcameras.

The lab sees the devices as potential environmental monitors or anti-terrorist agents -- capable of silently scampering under a door, quietly rolling into a corner and eavesdropping on whatever is going on inside.

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APRIL 2001


Your editor is a board member of the Michigan Forest Association, a group of private landowners and foresters who promote responsible management of forests to maximize the wise use of the resource.  At the Feb. 16, 2001 board meeting, one of the board members who is a DNR forester in the Upper Peninsula told us "the rest of the story."

This year's National Christmas Tree will be cut from the Ottawa National Forest in the Upper Peninsula.  Five trees have been marked as possibilities.  The Architect of the Capital will come to the forest and make the final selection.  (The prohibition against cutting old growth trees must be waived or the Christmas Tree will be 8 feet high. . . .)

One of the foresters was sitting in a local restaurant in Bessemer and was having a cup of coffee with his friend, the local UPS driver.  The forester recounted how Mack Truck, which has volunteered to transport the tree for years, decided against doing so in 2001.  The UPS driver told his boss, who told his boss, up the chain until it reached the highest ears and UPS has volunteered to sponsor the transport of the tree.

All as a result of a cup of coffee among friends.  Who says you can't make a difference?

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John Hanson


Given by Maryland to the National Statuary Hall Collection


Bronze by Richard E. Brooks.
Given in 1903; located in Senate connecting corridor.

Born in Charles County, Maryland, on April 3, 1715, John Hanson became one of the strongest colonial advocates of independence. While serving in the Maryland Assembly from 1757 to 1773 he was active in raising troops and providing arms. Hanson served as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1779, where he helped to resolve the western lands issue, thereby facilitating the ratification of the Articles of Confederation.

From 1781 to 1782 he was "President of the United States in Congress Assembled" under the Articles of Confederation. As the presiding officer of Congress, Hanson was responsible for initiating a number of programs that helped American gain a world position. During his tenure the first consular service was established, a post office department was initiated, a national bank was chartered, progress was made towards taking the first census, and a uniform system of coinage was adopted. As "President," Hanson also signed a treaty with Holland affirming the indebtedness of the United States for a loan from that country. In addition, he signed all laws, regulations, official papers, and letters.

Hanson died on November 15, 1783, at the age of 68. His contributions to the government under the Articles of Confederation were absorbed by the new federal government.

Office of the Curator, January 1997

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The Associated Press on June 7, 2000 reported on a Howard, Pennsylvania couple who awoke to strange noises in their home.  While at first they thought high winds were rattling their home, they were quite surprised to find the real cause of the noise was a deer taking a bubble bath in their tub.

The deer burst through the front door early Saturday, June 3, ran past the couple's bedroom and into the bathroom, somehow managing to turn on the water in the tub and knocking over a bottle of bubble bath.  He then submerged himself in the frothy water.

The state Game Commission officials arrived with laughter and tranquilizers and subdued the animal, removed it from the house and released it.

The deer had a little cut above the eye.  The home suffered damage to the front door, storm door, some marks in the tub and a few hoof prints in the linoleum. 

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At midnight, December 31, 1999 a clock-work miracle will occur at the Chateau de Versailles, according to The Independent (UK), 3/12/99.

A clock built 253 years ago, to show days, months and years as well as hours and minutes, will tick-tock its way without fuss or fanfare into a new millennium. The first digit on the year counter, which has been stuck on "one for two and a half centuries, will move smoothly and silently on" to two.

The clock was bought by Louis XV in 1749, three years after Monsieur Passemont (whose first name is not known) constructed it. It has stood ever since in the "clock room" at Versailles, a few yards from the rooms occupied by Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette at the time of the Revolution; and only one room away from the Hall of Mirrors where the peace treaty to end the First World War was signed in 1919.

The clock is wound once a month by the chief clock-keeper who owns a shop in town. It loses one minute a month. The mechanism, including more than a thousand interconnecting brass and steel wheels, was constructed to take account of the differing numbers of days in each month and adjusted, in advance, for leap years. It records, accurately, the phases of the moon, and beautifully but less accurately, (using Copernicus calculations) the movements of the planets. It is capable of counting the years up to 9999, but it only expected to last another 500 years.

Y2K, anyone?

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