Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How dumb do they think I am?

At 7:46PM tonight, I received the following (line formatting not in original):

The British Charity Lottery Promotion,
P O Box 1010
Liverpool, L70 1NL
(Customer Services)


We are pleased to inform you of the result of the British Charity
Lottery Promotion winners International programs held on 27 July 2007. Your e-mail
address was attached to ticket number 77547/445; with serial number,
5221-230-000 drew lucky numbers 56776/4499-444, which consequently won in the first category.

You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay of Four Hundred
and Fifty thousand Great British Pounds (£450,000GBP), in cash credited
to file No: 6325/44/455-43.
The promo was promoted and sponsored by British Government and Sports
Betting and Gambling Odds Online.

To file for your claim it is necessary that you make contact with
our claims officer with the information below:
NAME: Mr. Robert Hovey
EMAIL: robertovey@yahoo.co.uk

PHONE NUM: +44 70457 35026

Please note in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications; you
will be required to indicate your preferred mode of payment from the
two (2) options below.

1. Transfer of your Funds to you designated account
2. Certified cheque to be brought to you by Courier delivery.

Please attach your full name, phone number. Further more, should
there be any change of address do inform our agent as soon as possible.

1. FULL NAMES: _______________________
5.MARITAL STATUS: ___________________
7.E-MAIL ADDRESS: ____________________________
8.TICKET NUMBER: ________________________
9.AMOUNT WON: ____________________
11.Phone Number: __________________

Congratulations once more from our members of staff and thank you for
being part of our promotional program.

Sincerely yours,
Promo Co-ordinator.
Mrs. Scott Voke.

Then at 7:47PM tonight, I received it again... Then some seconds after 7:47PM tonight, I received it AGAIN. They were really anxious for me to GET IT... get TAKEN, that is.

Why do they need me to write in the "amount won" when they just told me it was almost $1,000,000? And I doubt if those twelve questions are all they need. Somehow the courier will be unable to deliver that certified check and they'll SUGGEST - perhaps even INSIST - that my checking account number be provided. Then I'm... you get the idea.

Denis Diderot died today – 223 years ago

French philosopher Denis Diderot was born on October 5, 1713 in Langres, France. He said, “Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control.” [Yep! That’s what it means.]... Mr. Diderot died in 1784 in Paris, France.

U.S. President (17th) Andrew Johnson was born on December 29, 1808 in Raleigh, North Carolina. He said, “I am sworn to uphold the Constitution as Andy Johnson understands it and interprets it.” [And that’s the problem: as I “understand” and “interpret” the Constitution.]... Mr. Johnson died in 1875 in Greeneville, Tennessee.

French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery was born as Jean-Baptiste Marie Roger de Saint-Exupéry on June 29, 1900 Lyon, France. He said, “Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.” [And that’s why I never grew up... so I could keep explaining things.]... Mr. de Saint-Exupery died in 1944.

U.S. writer Michael Harrington was born as Edward Michael Harrington on February 24, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a so-called “socialist”. He said, “Clothes make the poor invisible. America has the best-dressed poverty the world has ever known." [And now they've got TV and the internet and...]... Mr. Harrington died in 1989.

Monday, July 30, 2007

William Penn died today – 289 years ago

U.S. Quaker leader William Penn was born on October 14, 1644 in London, England. He said, “A good End cannot sanctify evil Means; nor must we ever do Evil, that Good may come of it.” [The end never justifies the means... period.]... Mr. Penn died in 1718 in Ruscombe, Berkshire, England.

German Chancellor (1871-1890) Otto von Bismarck was born on April 1, 1815 in Schönhausen, Prussia. He said, “Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made.” [Oh, I can handle it, can’t you?]... Mr. von Bismarck died in 1898 in Friedrichsruh, Germany.

U.S. writer Joyce Kilmer was born on December 6, 1886 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He said, “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.” [And I bet it doesn’t smell as nice either.]... Mr. Kilmer died in 1918 in near Seringes, France.

U.S. actor Howard Dietz was born on September 8, 1896 in New York City, New York. He said, “Composers shouldn't think too much—it interferes with their plagiarism." [Have to think about that one... but not too much.]... Mr. Dietz died in 1983 in New York City, New York.

U.S. actress Lynne Fontanne was born on December 6, 1887 in Woodford, Essex, England. She said, “We can be bought, but we can't be bored.” [Hmmmm!]... Ms. Fontanne died in 1983 in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin.

French actress Claudette Colbert was born as Lily Claudette Chauchoin on September 13, 1903 in Paris, France. She said, “I bet you think an egg is something you casually order for breakfast when you can't think of anything else. Well, so did I once, but that was before the egg and I.” [I guess you have to see it to appreciate it... the movie, that is, not the egg.]... Ms. Colbert died in 1996 in Speightstown, Barbados.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Vincent van Gogh died today – 117 years ago

Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in Zundert, Netherlands. He said, “When I have a terrible need of - shall I say the word - religion. Then I go out and paint the stars.” [So that explains “Starry Night”.]... Mr. van Gogh died in 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise (by Paris), France.

German composer Robert Schumann was born on June 8, 1810 in Zwickau, Saxony, Germany. He said, “People compose for many reasons: to become immortal; because the pianoforte happens to be open; because they want to become a millionaire; because of the praise of friends; because they have looked into a pair of beautiful eyes; for no reason whatsoever." [I guess he covered all the bases.]... Mr. Schumann died in 1856 in Endenich, Bonn, Germany.

U.S. writer Gertrude Stein was born on February 3, 1874 in Allegheny (now Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania. She said, “Everyone gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” [Perhaps now, with the internet, she would have said that they lose their sanity... occasionally.]... Ms. Stein died in 1946 in Paris, France.

U.S. singer (with the “Mamas and Papas”) "Mama" Cass Elliot was born as Ellen Naomi Cohen on September 19, 1941 in Baltimore, Maryland. She said, “I would say the world's in terrible shape, but I'm afraid the world would say, 'Look who's talking!’” [What would the world say about you?]... Ms. Elliot died in 1974 in London, England.

English actor David Niven was born as James David Graham Niven on March 1, 1910 in London, England. He said, “I have a face that is a cross between two pounds of halibut and an explosion in an old clothes cupboard." [Don’t be so hard on yourself.]... Mr. Niven died in 1983 in Château-d'Œx, Switzerland.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Johann Sebastian Bach died today – 257 years ago

German composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685 in Eisenach, Thuringia (now Germany). He said, “It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.” [Now why didn’t I think of that?]... Mr. Bach died in 1750 in Leipzig, Germany.

Canadian actress Marie Dressler was born as Leila Marie Koerber on November 9, 1868 (or, 1869) in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. She said, “If ants are such busy workers, how come they find time to go to all the picnics?” [Maybe they’re just on their way to work?]... Ms. Dressler died in 1934 in Santa Barbara, California.

U.S. doctor William James Mayo was born on June 29, 1861 in Le Sueur, Minnesota. He co-founded the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He said, “The examining physician often hesitates to make the necessary examination because it involves soiling the finger." [I don’t want to even think about it.]... Mr. Mayo died in 1939 in Rochester, Minnesota.

U.S. writer Don Carpenter was born on March 16, 1931 in Berkeley, California. He said, “Hollywood to me is a civilization easily as complex, fascinating, and mysterious as ancient Egypt." [There might even be a few pyramids there... but they don’t call them that.]... Mr. Carpenter died in 1995 in Mill Valley, California.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Water, Water, Everywhere.

Water, Water, Everywhere.
Bottle it right. Consumer beware.

I used to think that I just had to drink only bottled water. Then I was convinced that my city's tap water tasted good. (I do filter it through the refrigerator.) So I stopped buying that expensive stuff.

A while back "20-20" had a show where water, from a hose at the back of a restaurant, was put into pretty bottles and given a fancy name. Customers thought it was delicious and worth the $5-7 price... at least until they were told its source.

I now see that Aquafina (made by PepsiCo) must reveal that its water is from a "public water source". Of course, this was obvious if you knew what "P.W.S." on the label meant.

Apparently Dasani (made by Coca-Cola Co.) is also filtered local water. I don't know how this is indicated on the label, but this site says that it is stated on Dasani's web site.

So I guess we could all save a lot of money if we just got some filters and did our own thing. Or you could try to figure it all out from here.

Never Mow Again

On April 27, 2007, I wrote about "Where Have All The Honeybees Gone?" It seemed then that they were disappearing. Well, now, there may be a solution... and to implement it, I'll never have to mow again. What could be better than that?

According to this site, one should set aside a little path - oh, go for a lot - of wild area so that the bumblebees can graze to their heart's content on wild flowers and then build their nests naturally. I don't know if the neighbors or the city will approve of this, but, hey, just tell them that it's for the bee-st of nature.

Bob Hope died today – 4 years ago

U.S. comedic actor Bob Hope was born on May 29, 1903 in Eltham, London, England. He said, “You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake." [And the fire insurance keeps rising.]... Mr. Hope died in 2003 in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, California.

English scientist John Dalton was born on September 6, 1766 in Eaglesfield, Cumbria, England. He said, “The anti-tax groups, or those that are against it, put out partial information, and we wanted to find some way of getting accurate information out to all the people,” [Uh-huh!]... Mr. Dalton died in 1844 Manchester, England.

French director William Wyler was born on July 1, 1902 in Mülhausen, Alsace, Germany (now Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin, France). He said, “I made over forty Westerns. I used to lie awake nights trying to think up new ways of getting on and off a horse." [And how many did he devise?... See the movie.]... Mr. Wyler died in 1981 in Los Angeles, California.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

YouTube is bigger than ever... literally.

I really like YouTube.com... especially since I get to post my creations on it... for free... so far. But I didn't like that small viewing area. Then I read this story about Jon Stewart's comments on CNN's use of YouTube.com for the so-called presidential "debates". Voilà! There is a way to enhance my viewing: the video can be viewed full-screen.

Now I often hold my mouse pointer over the options on a toolbar to see what they do. But I guess I missed this one... perhaps because there is no text message. Instead, there is an expanding image. Where is this toolbar control? It's the last one on the right side. Click it. It's wonderful to see that video on the full screen. Enjoy.

Sam Houston died today – 144 years ago

Texas Governor (7th, 1859–1861) Sam Houston was born on March 2, 1793 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He said, “He [Thomas Jefferson Green] has all the characteristics of a dog except loyalty." [I wonderful which ones he had in mind: friendly or threatening, slow or rambunctious?]… Mr. Houston died in 1863 in Huntsville, Texas.

English writer George Borrow was born on July 5, 1803 in East Dereham, Norfolk, England. He said, “Smoking has a sedative effect upon the nerves, and enables a man to bear the sorrows of this life (of which every one has his share) not only decently, but dignifiedly.” [What? It can lead to lung cancer and emphysema and bronchitis. It can cause strokes and heart attacks. And it generally stinks up the place. I wouldn’t call these things very sedative... especially if one thinks about them.]... Mr. Borrow died in 1881 in Oulton, Suffolk, England.

U.S. Secretary of State (41st, 1913-1915) William Jennings Bryan was born on March 19, 1860 in Salem, Illinois. He said, “If the Bible had said that Jonah swallowed the whale, I would believe it.” [Now I’ve heard of some big mouths, but...]... Mr. Bryan died in 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee.

Argentinean Maria Eva Duarte de Perón, otherwise known as Eva Perón, was born on May 7, 1919 in Los Toldos, Argentina. She said, “Without fanaticism we cannot accomplish anything." [One woman’s determination is another woman’s fanaticism.]... Ms. Peron died in 1952 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

U.S. photographer Diane Arbus was born as Diane Nemerov on March 14, 1923 in New York City, New York. She said, “You see someone on the street, and essentially what you notice about them is the flaw.” [Actually it’s their distinguishing feature.]... Ms. Arbus died in 1971 in New York City, New York.

English critic Kenneth Peacock Tynan was born on April 2, 1927 in Birmingham, England. He said, “Pearl is a disease of oysters.” [Beautiful things can come from irritations... but it didn’t do much for the oyster.]... Mr. Tynan died in 1980 in Santa Monica, California.

U.S. pollster Dr. George Horace Gallup was born on November 18, 1901 in Jefferson, Iowa. He said, “Polling is merely an instrument for gauging public opinion. When a president or any other leader pays attention to poll results, he is, in effect, paying attention to the views of the people. Any other interpretation is nonsense.” [I guess they could be used to line the bird cage.]... Mr. Gallup died in 1984 in Tschingel, Switzerland.

U.S. writer Jim Alonzo Bishop was born on November 21, 1907 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He said, “It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future and impossible to live in the past. Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.” [Give or take an hour.]... Mr. Bishop died in 1987.

U.S. governor (43rd, Michigan, 1963-1969) George Romney was born on July 8, 1907 in Chihuahua, Mexico. He said, “The magnitude of our social problems will require that all citizens and institutions make a commitment to volunteering as a way of life and as a primary opportunity to create needed change..." [You mean we can’t just sit around and complain and wait for somebody else to do something about it ALL? Oh, my!]... Mr. Romney died in 1995 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Samuel Taylor Coleridge died today – 173 years ago

English writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born on October 21, 1772 in Ottery St Mary, Devon, England. He said, “Some men are like musical glasses; to produce their finest tones you must keep them wet.” [Wet with what? Does it matter?]... Mr. Coleridge died in 1834 in Highgate, England.

English director John Richard Schlesinger was born on February 16, 1926 in London, England. He said, “Making a film is like going down a mine—once you've started you bid a metaphorical goodbye to the daylight and the outside world for the duration.” [Talk about isolation.]... Mr. Schlesinger died in 2003 in Palm Springs, California.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Debates? Don't Think So!

I haven't seen the so-called "Democratic Debates" last night on CNN yet, but from one source I read, it wasn't such a big deal... although it could have been. The problem, to me, is that these are not truly debates - they are question-and-answer sessions, political posturing, and denunciations of other contenders. As such, there will inevitably be much repetition of everything we've heard before.

Now the idea of using videos from YouTube.com was a good one. But I think that it was just a political gimmick for TV. The same things could have been presented more efficiently in printed form. They could even have been given out before the show - like there's an unlimited number of issues on which to rehearse. Besides, don't we really want a person who really thinks about things, not just responds to emotional pleas?

Fraud on the Discovery Channel? It must be a show.

The Discovery Channel has been accused of misrepresenting events on its series "Man vs. Wild". Reuters says, "British television network Channel 4 ... confirmed that host Bear Grylls had partaken of indoor accommodations on at least two occasions when his series had depicted him spending the night in the wild." There are even other allegations.

Now I've never been a fan of so-called "reality shows". I've always figured that there was a lot of scripting and contriving going on. After all, they know the camera's rolling. I'm just surprised that people would deliberately fake things and think they wouldn't be "discovered". Well, I guess one could do almost anything to compete for television time - just witness "American Idol" and the latest one, "America's Got Talent (But We Won't Find It)".

Dead? No Problem for USDA

The DesMoinesRegister.com reported yesterday,

"A report by the Government Accountability Office says USDA paid $1.1 billion in subsidies to 172,801 dead people between 1999 through 2005. Forty percent of that money went to people who had been for at least three years, the report found.

"Nineteen percent went to individuals who had been dead for at least seven years.

"In a case involving an Illinois farm, USDA made $400,000 in payments from 1999 through 2005 in the name of someone who died in 1995, the report said."

Congress is now working on revising the farm program. You got any ideas for them?

P.S. Thanks to Reason for linking me to this story.

Peter Sellers died today – 27 years ago

English actor Peter Sellers was born on September 8, 1925 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. He said, “Conversation like television set on honeymoon...unnecessary.” {1} [That would make for some very quiet days and nights.]... Mr. Sellers died in 1980 in London, England.

U.S. President (8th) Martin Van Buren was born on December 5, 1782 in Kinderhook (village), New York. He said, “The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for general prosperity.” {1} [Amen. Amen!]... Mr. Van Buren died in 1862 in Kinderhook (village), New York.

U.S. actress Constance Campbell Bennett was born on October 22, 1904 in New York City, New York. She said, “I'm a lot more sartorial than thespian. They come to see me and go out humming the costumes.” {1} [Or was that “hemming” the costumes?] Ms. Bennett died in 1965 in Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Polish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer was born on November 24, 1902 in Leoncin, Congress Poland, Russian Empire. He said, “If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.” {2} [Well, let’s get prophesying.]... Mr. Singer died in 1991 in Miami, Florida.

Associate Justice of U.S. Supreme Court (1956-1990) William J. Brennan, Jr. was born on April 25, 1906 in Newark, New Jersey. He said, “We hold that the Constitution does not forbid the states minor intrusions into an individual's body under stringently limited conditions.” {2} [Give an inch, take a mile.]... Mr. Brennan died in 1997 Washington, D.C.

{1} Source: http://thinkexist.com
{2} Source: www.brainyquote.com

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jessica Freeman-Mitford died today – 11 years ago

English writer Jessica Lucy Freeman-Mitford was born on September 11, 1917 in Gloucestershire, England. She said, “You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty.” {1} [So get ‘em, girl.]... Ms. Freeman-Mitford died in 1996 in Oakland, California.

U.S. President (18th) Ulysses S. Grant was born on April 27, 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio. He said, “I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.” {1} [Yep! If they were applied to ALL, the politicians wouldn’t pass so many.]... Mr. Grant died in 1885 in Wilton, New York.

U.S. filmmaker Robert Joseph Flaherty was born on February 16, 1884 in Iron Mountain, Michigan. He said, “Sometimes you have to lie. One often has to distort a thing to catch its true spirit.” {1} [Is this statement an example?]... Mr. Flaherty died in 1951 in Dummerston, Vermont.

Italian writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa was born on December 23, 1896 in Palermo, Sicily, Italy. He said, “Every time one sees a relative one finds a thorn.” {1} [How many roses do you have?]... Mr. di Lampedusa died in 1957 in Rome, Italy.

U.S. actor Montgomery Clift was born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska. He said, “The only line that's wrong in Shakespeare is 'holding a mirror up to nature.' You hold a magnifying glass up to nature. As an actor you just enlarge it enough so that your audience can identify with the situation. If it were a mirror, we would have no art.” {1} [Hmmmmm. I didn't know he was so erudite.]... Mr. Clift died in 1966 in New York City, New York.

U.S. aviator Edward “Eddie” Vernon Rickenbacker was born on October 8, 1890 in Columbus, Ohio. He said, “The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality and Independence.” {2} [That’s the Four “I” Theory.]... Mr. Rickenbacker died in July 23, 1973 in Zürich, Switzerland.

U.S. writer Eudora Welty was born on April 13, 1909 in Jackson, Mississippi.. She said, “Never think you've seen the last of anything.” {1} [Is that like saying that history repeats itself?]... Ms. Welty died in 2001 in Jackson, Mississippi.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: http://en.thinkexist.com

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Carl Sandburg died today – 40 years ago

U.S. writer Carl August Sandburg was born on January 6, 1878 in Galesburg, Illinois. [I boarded an Amtrak train there years ago, in case you're interested.] He said, “Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come.” [Well, I won’t hold my breath.]... Mr. Sandburg died in 1967 in Flat Rock, North Carolina.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Robert G. Ingersoll died today – 108 years ago

U.S. speech writer Robert G. Ingersoll was born on August 11, 1833 in Dresden, New York. There is a statue of him in Peoria, Illinois. In his “Some Mistakes of Moses”, he said, “Churches are becoming political organizations... It probably will not be long until the churches will divide as sharply upon political, as upon theological questions.” {1} [And to realize that this was written in 1879.]... Mr. Ingersoll died in 1899 in Dobbs Ferry, New York.

Scottish poet Robert Burns was born on January 25, 1759 in Alloway, South Ayrshire, Scotland. He said, “The best plans of men and mice often go awry.” {1} [Those mice just need better plans.]... Mr. Burns died in 1796 in Dumfries, Scotland.

U.S. advertising executive David MacKenzie Ogilvy was born on June 23, 1911 in West Horsley, Surrey, England. He said, “Develop your eccentricities while you are young. That way, when you get old, people won't think you're going gaga.” {1} [I’ve been working on it for years. I may have it perfected.]... Mr. Ogilvy died in 1999 in Touffou, France.

U.S. composer Jerry Goldsmith was born on February 10, 1929 in Pasadena, California. He said, “I think, first, that there's too much music in films today." {2} [Perhaps the loud music helps to cover up for the lack of intelligent conversation.]... Mr. Goldsmith died in 2004 in Beverly Hills, California.

{1} Source: http://thinkexist.com
{2} Source: www.born-today.com

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bruce Lee died today – 34 years ago

U.S. martial artist and actor Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940 in San Francisco, California. He said, “It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” {1} [I assume that the "it" refers to "what brings happiness", so remove all that clutter in your life, unless you really need it.]... Mr. Lee died in 1973 in Hong Kong.

Scottish writer Andrew Lang was born on March 31, 1844 in Selkirk, Selkirkshire, Scotland. He said, “An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts - for support rather than for illumination.” {1} [At least one can’t lie with lamp-posts, can one?]... Mr. Lang died in 1912 in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

French poet and essayist Paul Valéry was born on October 30, 1871 in Sète, France. He said, “Politics is the art of preventing people from busying themselves with what is their own business.” {1} [Politicians meddle in everything.] He also said, “Politics is the art of preventing people from sticking their noses in things that are properly their business.” {1} [Politicians meddle in everything... It needed repeating!]... Mr. Valéry died in 1945 in Paris, France.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Margaret Fuller died today – 157 years ago

U.S. writer Margaret Fuller was born on May 23, 1810 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She said, “Two persons love in one another the future good which they aid one another to unfold.” {1} [Love is about mutual support.]... Ms. Fuller died in 1850 while on a boat that sunk off Fire Island, New York.

Italian scholar Francesco Petrarch was born on July 20, 1304 in Arezzo, Italy. He is considered the father of humanism. He said, “Man has no greater enemy than himself.” {2} [Except those darn mosquitoes.]... Mr. Petrarch died in 1374 in Arquà Petrarca, Italy.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: http://thinkexist.com

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jane Austen died today – 190 years ago

English writer Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, England. She said, “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.” {1} [Make mine sweet nothings.]... Ms. Austen died in 1817 in Winchester, Hampshire, England.

U.S. writer Carl van Doren was born on September 10, 1885 in Hope, Illinois. He said, “The race of man, while sheep in credulity, are wolves for conformity.” {1} [Maybe they’re wolves in sheep’s clothing?]... Mr. van Doren died in 1950 in Torrington, Connecticut.

U.S. psychiatrist Dr. Karl A. Menninger was born on July 23, 1893 in Topeka, Kansas. He said, “The voice of intelligence... is drowned out by the roar of fear. It is ignored by the voice of desire. It is contradicted by the voice of shame. It is biased by hate and extinguished by anger. Most of all it is silenced by ignorance." {2} [Wow! With all that, it’s surprising that there’s any intelligence left at all!]... Mr. Menninger died in 1990 in Topeka, Kansas.

French financier James Michael Goldsmith was born on February 26, 1933 in Paris, France. He said, “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” {1} [I’ve seen plenty of “monkeying” around.]... Mr. Goldsmith died in 1997 in Benahavís, Spain.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: www.born-today.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Read the Bills Act

An organization named Downsize DC is trying to "make Congress read the laws it passes!" It is sponsoring a Read the Bills Act. According to Steve Osborn, this act "ensures that all legislators be present at the reading of bills and that all discussions be open, and that all legislators certify that they have read and understood the bill before them including any amendments. Before they can bring it to a vote... There will be no more 'Gone With the Wind' sized bills introduced and voted on, unread by anybody but staff and lobbyists."

This sounds like a wonderful idea to me. If you agree, contact your senators and representatives.

Take the bathtub test

Are you ready for the bathtub test?

During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?"

The lesson is not to limit your thinking by accepting only the choices given to you. Think outside the multiple choices.

Adam Smith died today – 217 years ago

Scottish economist Adam Smith was born on June 5, 1723 in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. He said, “All money is a matter of belief.” {1} [I believe. I believe... Ain’t working.]... Mr. Smith died in 1790 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

French writer Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, usually known as Madame de Staël, was born on April 22, 1766 in Paris, France. She said, “One must choose in life between boredom and suffering.” {2} [Oh, my! Which should I choose? ... How about neither?]... Ms. de Staël died in 1817 in Paris, France.

French mathematician Henri Poincare was born on April 29, 1854 in Nancy, France. He said, “Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science.” {1} [Uh... Yeah!]... Mr. Poincare died in 1912 in Paris, France.

U.S. singer Billie Holiday was born as Eleanora Fagan on April 7, 1915 in Baltimore, Maryland. She said, “I never hurt nobody but myself and that's nobody's business but my own.” {1} [But they’ll make it theirs nonetheless.]... Ms. Holiday died in 1959 in New York.

U.S. jazz musician John Coltrane was born on September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina. He said, “You can play a shoestring if you're sincere.” {1} [But I wonder what it sounds like?]... Mr. Coltrane died in 1967 in Long Island, New York.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: www.born-today.com

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dihydrogen Monoxide Must Be Banned?

Alert! Alert!

According to "a student at Eagle Rock Junior High... at the Greater Idaho Falls Science Fair", these are some facts about dihydrogen monoxide:

"1. it can cause excessive sweating and vomiting"
"2. it is a major component in acid rain"
"3. it can cause severe burns in its gaseous state"
"4. accidental inhalation can kill you"
"5. it contributes to erosion"
"6. it decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes"
"7. it has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients"

It must be extremely dangerous, isn't it? We must do something about it, shouldn't we? You must petition Congress now, shouldn't you? Waiting any longer will be disastrous, won't it? What do we do?

Mary Ann Maddux died today – 4 years ago

Mary Ann Maddux was born on October 24, 1938 in Texas City, Texas. She had been a technical writer and partner at Swain-Maddux Enterprises. She was also a talented writer for the “Stingaree Tales”, the quarterly alumni newsletter of the Texas City high schools. Ms. Maddux died at her residence in 2003. Her memorial service was held on Saturday, July 19, 2003 at the First United Methodist Church of Texas City. It was attended by many friends and admirers. The following is believed to be one of her poems:

To Those I Love and Those Who Love Me

When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears.
Be happy that we had so many years.

I gave you my love. You can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown,
But now it’s time I traveled on alone.

So grieve a while for me if grieve you must,
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It’s only for a while that we must part,
So bless the memories within your heart.

I won’t be far away, for life goes on.
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near
And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear
All of my love around you soft and clear.

And then, when you must come this way alone,
I’ll great you with a smile and say “Welcome Home.”

Please pause for a few moments to remember this "lovely lady of the mainland."

Harry Chapin died today – 26 years ago

U.S. singer and songwriter Harry Chapin was born on December 7, 1942 in New York City, New York. You may remember his song "Cat's in the Cradle". He said, “But you can travel on for ten thousand miles, and still stay where you are.” {1} [Emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, financially, socially, ethically, and... anything else of which you can think, except physically.]... Mr. Chapin died in 1981 when his car was rear-ended by a tractor trailer truck on the Long Island Expressway in New York.

Mary Ann Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, was born on December 13, 1818 in Lexington, Kentucky. She said, “Beautiful, glorious Scotland, has spoilt me for every other country!” {1} [I know at least one person that might possibly perhaps maybe agree with this.]... Mrs. Lincoln died in 1882 in Springfield, Illinois.

French writer Joseph Hilaire Pierre René Belloc, otherwise known as Hilaire Belloc, was born on July 27, 1870 in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France. He said, “It is the best of all trades, to make songs, and the second best to sing them.” {1} [This man knows the truth... since I like to write songs.]... Mr. Belloc died in 1953 in Guildford, Surrey.

U.S. mayor (of Philadelphia, 1972-1980) Frank Rizzo was born on October 23, 1920 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He said, “A conservative is a liberal who got mugged the night before.” {1} [I’m just the messenger. But... I guess the inverse could be: A liberal is a conservative who... fill-in-the-blank.]... Mr. Rizzo died in 1991 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

{1} Source: http://thinkexist.com

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Антон Павлович Чехов died today – 103 years ago

Russian writer Антон Павлович Чехов, known to us as Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, was born on January 17, 1860 in Taganrog, Russia. He said, “Any idiot can face a crisis, it is this day-to-day living that wears you out.” {1} [Just as invisible wind can wear down a mountain.]... Mr. Chekhov died in 1904 in Badenweiler, Germany.

Austrian writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal was born on February 1, 1874 in Vienna, Austria. He said, “To grow mature is to separate more distinctly, to connect more closely." {2} [Sounds somewhat dialectical.]... Mr. von Hofmannsthal died in 1929 in Vienna, Austria.

Russian writer Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin was born on February 1, 1884 in Lebedyan, Russia. He said, “Heretics are the only bitter remedy against the entropy of human thought.” {1} [Three cheers for heretics!]... Mr. Zamyatin died in 1937 in Paris, France.

U.S. writer Eric Berne was born as Eric Lennard Bernstein on May 10, 1910 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He said, “The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.” {2} [Analyze that!]... Mr. Berne died in 1970 in California.

U.S. writer May Sarton was born on May 3, 1912 in Wondelgem, Belgium. She said, “The minute one utters a certainty, the opposite comes to mind." {2} [Ain’t that the truth... Oh, wait! Maybe that’s false.]... Ms. Sarton died in 1995 in York, Maine.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: www.born-today.com

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Adlai Stevenson died today – 42 years ago

U.S. politician and Governor of Illinois (1949-1953) Adlai Stevenson was born on February 5, 1900 in Los Angeles, California. He was raised in Bloomington, Illinois. He said, “I will make a bargain with the Republicans. If they will stop telling lies about Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.” {1} [I’m just the digital messenger.]... Mr. Stevenson died in 1965.

{1} Source: www.born-today.com

Friday, July 13, 2007

Frida Kahlo died today – 53 years ago

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacán, Mexico. She said, “There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.” {1} [Don’t tell Diego.]... Ms. Kahlo died in 1954 in Coyoacán, Mexico.

Armenian-Turkish-Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh was born on December 23, 1908 in Mardin, Turkey. He said, “I've also seen that great men are often lonely. This is understandable, because they have built such high standards for themselves that they often feel alone. But that same loneliness is part of their ability to create.” {1} [So if you’re lonely, perhaps it’s from your greatness inside.]... Mr. Karsh died in 2002 in Boston, Massachusetts.

U.S. comedian and actor Red Buttons was born as Aaron Chwatt on February 5, 1919 in New York City, New York. He said, “Dinah Shore? Wonderful woman. Dinah formed a foundation to locate missing senior citizens by putting their pictures on prune juice bottles.” {1} [I don’t get it... Just kidding.]... Mr. Buttons died in 2006 in Century City, Los Angeles, California.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Desiderius Erasmus died today – 471 years ago

Dutch writer Desiderius Erasmus was born on October 26, 1466 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He said, “Fortune favors the audacious.” {1} [And sometimes fortune favors other fortune.]... Mr. Erasmus died in 1536 in Basel, Switzerland.

U.S. painter Robert Henri was born as Robert Henry Cozad on June 25, 1865 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He said, “Genius is not a possession of the limited few, but exists in some degree in everyone. Where there is natural growth, a full and free play of faculties, genius will manifest itself.” {1} [And that’s why we need freedom.]... Mr. Henri died in 1929 in New York City, New York.

U.S. singer Minnie Riperton was born on November 8, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. She said, “Olivia Newton-John—Australia's gift to insomniacs. It's nothing but the blonde singing the bland." {2} [Don’t tell Olivia.]... Ms. Riperton died in 1979 in Los Angeles, California.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: www.born-today.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Alexander Hamilton died today – 203 years ago

U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1755 in Nevis, British West Indies. He said, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” {1} [That’s a good reason to keep standing.]... Mr. Hamilton died in 1804 in New York City, New York.

U.S. composer George Gershwin was born on September 26, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He said, “Life is a lot like jazz... it's best when you improvise.” {1} [Amen!]... Mr. Gershwin died in 1937 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

U.S. businessman Owen D. Young was born on October 27, 1874 in Stark, Herkimer County, New York. He said, “The man who can put himself in the place of other men, who can understand the workings of their minds, need never worry about what the future has in store for him.” {1} [Sounds good.]... Mr. Young died in 1962 in Saint Augustine, Florida.

U.S. writer Delmore Schwartz was born on December 8, 1913 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. He said, “Existentialism means that no one else can take a bath for you.” {1} [I never thought they could.]... Mr. Schwartz died in 1966 in New York City, New York.

U.S. writer Ross MacDonald (pseudonym of Kenneth Millar) was born on December 13, 1915 in Los Gatos, California. He said, “Money costs too much.” {1} [So government is trying to make it cheaper.]... Mr. MacDonald died in 1983 in Santa Barbara, California.

English actor Sir Laurence Olivier was born on May 22, 1907 in Dorking, Surrey, England. He said, “I take a simple view of life: keep your eyes open and get on with it.” {2} [So don’t complicate things unnecessarily.]... Mr. Olivier died in 1989 in Steyning, West Sussex, England.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: http://thinkexist.com

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

How Much Money Was in George Stephanopoulos' Pocket?

On Sunday's "This Week" on ABC, George Stephanopoulos interviewed Ron Paul. About Ron Paul's winning the Republican Presidential nomination, George said, "That's not going to happen!" Ron then said, "Do you want to bet every cent in your pocket for that?" George accepted.

What I want to know is how much money was in George's pocket? Did that include credit cards? Will George keep his promise if Ron Paul doesn't win the nomination?

I wish Ron Paul would have said that, if George had to pay up, Ron would donate the money to a worthwhile charity. But I suspect that George will try to weasel out of it by saying that he was just jesting. Besides, I doubt if we'll ever truly know how much money George had then.

Sholem Asch died today – 50 years ago

Polish-Yiddish writer Sholem Asch was born on November 1, 1880 in Kutno, Poland. He said, “To dream of the person you would like to be is to waste the person you are." {1} [But I love to dream.]... Mr. Asch died in 1957 in London, England.

U.S. voice artist Mel Blanc was born on May 30, 1908 in San Francisco, California. His epitaph was “That's All Folks!" {1} [And it was.]... Mr. Blanc died in 1989 in Los Angeles, California.

{1} Source: www.born-today.com

Monday, July 9, 2007

Edmund Burke died today – 210 years ago

English statesman Edmund Burke was born on January 12, 1729 in Dublin, Ireland. He said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” {1} [And women, too!]... Mr. Burke died in 1797 in Beaconsfield, England.

French writer Georges Bataille was born on September 16, 1897 in Billom, Puy-de-Dôme, France. He said, “To place oneself in the position of God is painful: being God is equivalent to being tortured. For being God means that one is in harmony with all that is, including the worst. The existence of the worst evils is unimaginable unless God willed them.” {1} [This ought to get your attention.]... Mr. Bataille died in 1962 in Paris, France.

California Governor (1943-1953) and U.S. Supreme Court member (1953-1969) Earl Warren was born on March 19, 1891 in Los Angeles, California. He said, “To get what you want, STOP doing what isn't working.” {1} [But what do I do?]... Mr. Warren died in 1974 in Washington, D.C.

U.S. writer Loren Corey Eiseley was born on September 3, 1907 in Lincoln, Nebraska. He said, “One could not pluck a flower without troubling a star.” {1} [Stars are just sooo touchy!]... Mr. Eiseley died in 1977 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

U.S. lawyer and suffragist Alice Paul was born on January 11, 1885 in Moorestown, New Jersey. She said, “Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at the end.” {1} [It may not be according to any particular plan, but it’s pretty none the less.]... Ms. Paul died in 1977 in Moorestown, New Jersey.

CBS news journalist Eric Sevareid was born on November 26, 1912 in Velva, North Dakota. He said, “The chief cause of problems is solutions.” {1} [Well, that ought to make all of our problems go away... not!]... Mr. Sevareid died in 1992 in Washington, D.C.

U.S. attorney Melvin Mouron Belli was born on July 29, 1907 in Sonora, California. He said, “There is never a deed so foul that something couldn't be said for the guy; that's why there are lawyers." {1} [So that explains it.]... Mr. Belli died in 1996 in San Francisco, California.

U.S. actor Rod Steiger was born on April 14, 1925 in Westhampton, New York. He said, “Man is a greater miracle than any god he ever invented.” {2} [Hmmmmm.]... Mr. Steiger died in 2002 in Los Angeles, California.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: www.born-today.com

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Percy Bysshe Shelley died today – 185 years ago

English writer Percy Bysshe Shelley was born on August 4, 1792 in Horsham, England. He said, “When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even.” {1} [Yep! Watch out for those cats. They have claws and sometimes they use them!]... Mr. Shelley died in 1822 in Livorno, Italy.

English writer Havelock Ellis was born on February 2, 1859 in Croydon, England. He said, “There is nothing that war has ever achieved that we could not better achieve without it.” {1} [Remember: there are always at least two ways to accomplish something.]... Mr. Ellis died in 1939 in Hintlesham, Suffolk, England.

English actor Michael Wilding was born on July 23, 1912 in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, England. He, among others, had at one time been married to U.S. actress Elizabeth Taylor. He said, “You can pick out actors by the glazed look that comes into their eyes when the conversation wanders away from them." {2} [You think they’re somewhat self-absorbed?]... Mr. Wilding died in 1979 in London, England.

Iranian conjoined twins Laden and Laleh Bijani were born on January 27, 1974. They died in 2003 shortly after separation.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: www.born-today.com

Saturday, July 7, 2007

You, You, You – That’s Who

I’m always leery (e.g. “Why is Dow advertising so much?”) when a company, about which you rarely think - in this case Johnson and Johnson (J and J) -, is advertising on TV. I usually suspect that it is being done to counteract some bad publicity somewhere. So I thought that perhaps the reason was that J and J had exclusive contracts with hospitals that it didn't want changed. So I “googled” it.

I discovered that in 2003 competitor Applied Medical Resources Corp. filed an antitrust suit against a J and J subsidiary for $54,000,000. In August 2006, J and J won the suit in California (see).

But I also discovered that, in November 2003 CONMED filed an antitrust suit against J and J and some of its subsidiaries (see). J and J lost this suit on March 31, 2007 and settled for $11,000,000 (see). Perhaps J and J is worried that some people are turning against it.

Now I understand the desire for exclusive contracts by companies. But the negative side is that hospitals get locked into prices and/or other products (that they might be able to buy less expensively elsewhere). And who pays those prices? As the song by the Ames Brothers in 1953 said, “You, You, You.”

Got Milk? Got Money!

Ever wonder why the price of milk is so high and keeps rising? Three guesses... No, the cows are not demanding more pay. No, people are not demanding more products. So what is the reason? Well, the U.S. government does not allow competition. Marketing orders “set minimum prices that dairy processors must pay to dairy farmers in 10 regions of the country.” Higher-cost regions in the U.S. are protected from lower-cost regions. “The government will purchase any amount of cheese, butter, and dry milk from processors at a set minimum price.” There is “an income support program for dairy farmers.” There are “import barriers on milk, butter, cheese, and other products.” They “are limited to about 5 percent or less of U.S. consumption.” “The Government Accountability Office compared U.S. dairy prices to world prices over the period 1998 to 2004. It found that U.S. prices for butter averaged twice the world price, cheese prices were about 50 percent higher, and dry milk prices were 24 percent or more higher.” Sooo, so much for lip-service to a free market. It doesn’t exist... because it’s not allowed to exist.

Source for all quotes: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8479

Richard Brinsley Sheridan died today – 191 years ago

Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan was born on October 30, 1751 in Dublin, Ireland. He said, “Fertilizer does no good in a heap, but a little spread around works miracles all over.” {1} [So spread it far and wide... far and wide, I say.]... Mr. Sheridan died in 1816 in London, England.

Swiss writer Johanna Spyri was born on June 12, 1827 in Hirzel, Switzerland. She wrote the story “Heidi.” She said, "Oh, I wish that God had not given me what I prayed for! It was not so good as I thought!" {2} [As the saying goes, be careful for what you wish, 'cause you just might get it!]... Ms. Spyri died in 1901 in Zürich, Switzerland.

Scottish writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He wrote stories about the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. He said, “I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children.” {1} [Children are quite reflective.]... Mr. Doyle died in 1930 in Crowborough, Sussex, England.

U.S. actress Veronica Lake was born as Constance Frances Marie Ockelman on November 14, 1922 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York. She said, “You could put all the talent I had into your left eye and still not suffer from impaired vision.” {1} [Oh, don’t be so hard on yourself.]... Ms. Lake died in 1973 in Burlington, Vermont.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: www.born-today.com

Friday, July 6, 2007

Sir Thomas More died today – 472 years ago

English writer Sir Thomas More was born on February 7, 1478 in London, England. He said, “One of the greatest problems of our time is that many are schooled but few are educated.” {1} [How times have changed... not!]... Mr. More died in 1535 in London, England.

Scottish writer Kenneth Grahame was born on March 8, 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He said, “It is the restrictions placed on vice by our social code which make its pursuit so peculiarly agreeable." {2} [Just too tempting, huh?]... Mr. Grahame died in 1932 in Pangbourne, Berkshire, England.

Welsh politician Aneurin Bevan was born on November 15, 1897 in Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Wales. He said, “Freedom is the by-product of economic surplus.” {1} [Wrong. Economic surplus is the by-product of liberty.]... Mr. Bevan died in 1960 in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England.

U.S. bandleader & singer Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He said, “All music is folk music, I ain't never heard no horse sing a song.” {1} [Guess he never saw Mr. Ed.]... Mr. Armstrong died in 1971 in Corona, Queens, New York City, New York.

U.S. dancer & actor Buddy Ebsen was born as Christian Rudolf Ebsen Jr. on April 2, 1908 in Belleville, Illinois. He said, “I had a mother who taught me there is no such thing as failure. It is just a temporary postponement of success.” {1} [Bless the mothers.]... Mr. Ebsen died in 2003 in Torrance, California.

{1} Source: http://thinkexist.com/
{2} Source: www.born-today.com

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Big Extra from Amusement Parks

I heard this morning about several tragedies at amusement parks. Two young people were killed in the last few years on rides. Recently a girl's feet were literally cut off at the ankle from a cable that broke. The report said that there were over a thousand injuries reported in 2005. I don't remember it saying how many there were in 2006. I guess it takes some time to figure out what an injury "is."

What's the problem? Well, guess who's checking on the "safety" of the rides. (I think you already know.) If the amusement parks' insurance companies had to insure for all injuries and deaths, the rides would be safer. They would have to certify them. Of course, some of the rides might have to be "slowed down." Yes, some of the "thrill" would be gone. (Oh, get over it: it happens.) But at least the young people - and the old people, too - would be safer.

Georges Bernanos died today – 59 years ago

French writer Georges Bernanos was born on February 20, 1888 in Paris, France. He said, “The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means.” {1} [Amen!]... Mr. Bernanos died in 1948 in Paris, France.

U.S. writer William Cuthbert Faulkner was born on September 25, 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi. He said, “The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” {1} [You gotta start somewhere.]... Mr. Faulkner died in 1962 in Byhalia, Mississippi.

German architect Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was born on May 18, 1883 in Berlin, Germany. He said, “Specialists are people who always repeat the same mistakes.” {1} [Perhaps it’s because they’re so focused.]... Mr. Gropius died in 1969 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Barry White died today – 4 years ago

U.S. singer Barry White was born as Barrence Eugene Carter on September 12, 1944 in Galveston, Texas. He said, “Disco deserved a better name, a beautiful name because it was a beautiful art form. It made the consumer beautiful. The consumer was the star.” {1} [Long live disco!]... Mr. White died in 2003 in Los Angeles, California.

U.S. President (2nd) John Adams was born on October 30, 1735 in Quincy, Massachusetts. He said, “Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” {1} [Remember that we’re a constitutional republic, not a democracy.]... Mr. Adams died in 1826 in Quincy, Massachusetts.

U.S. President (3rd) Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743 in Shadwell, Virginia. He said, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” {1} [Remember that we’re a constitutional republic, not a democracy... Didn’t I just say that?]... Mr. Jefferson died in 1826 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

U.S. President (5th) James Monroe was born on April 28, 1758 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He said, “In our domestic concerns we have ample cause of satisfaction. The receipts into the Treasury during the three first quarters of the year have exceeded $17M.” {1} [Oh, for the good old days!]... Mr. Monroe died in 1831 in New York City, New York.

Indian spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda was born on January 12, 1863 in Calcutta, West Bengal, India. He said, “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” {1} [There’s nothing quite like focusing.]... Mr. Vivekananda died in 1902 in Belur Math, Howrah, West Bengal, India.

French scientist Marie Curie was born as Maria Skłodowska on November 7, 1867 in Warsaw, Congress Poland. She said, “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” {2} [Well, she lived a long time ago.]... Ms. Curie died in 1934 in Sancellemoz, France.

Hungarian actress Eva Gabor was born on February 11, 1921 in Budapest, Hungary. She said, “I was the first actress in the family, and I am still the only actress in the family. I shouldn't be saying it, but it slipped out!” {2} [I won’t tell Zsa Zsa, will you?]... Ms. Gabor died in 1995 in Los Angeles, California.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: www.born-today.com

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Are Ron Paul's Supporters Just Internet-Savvy?

Much is being made of the fact that Ron Paul has a strong presence on the internet even though he "finish[ed] with less than one-half of 1-percent as the 1988 Libertarian candidate." AppScout repeated it from wired.com.

Well, that was 1988. This is 2007. I would hope that, in almost 2 decades, more people would have gotten a bit wiser about politicians and political parties and...

Wired.com also said that “Ron Paul has something money can't buy.” Yeah, maybe like principles? I’m not saying to vote for him in 2008, but he does seem to support the U.S. Constitution better than anyone else... just in case you’re interested in that document.

Jim Morrison died today – 36 years ago

U.S. singer (in “The Doors”) Jim Morrison was born as James Douglas Morrison on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida. He said, “A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” {1} [Bless your friends!]... Mr. Morrison died in 1971 in Paris, France.

U.S. actor Jim Backus was born as James Gilmore Backus on February 25, 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio. He said, “Many a man owes his success to his first wife and his second wife to his success.” {1} [What about his third and fourth and...?]... Mr. Backus died in 1989 in Los Angeles, California.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com

Monday, July 2, 2007

Jean-Jacques Rousseau died today – 229 years ago

French writer & political theorist Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born on June 28, 1712 in Geneve, Switzerland. He said, “Take the course opposite to custom and you will almost always do well.” {1} [Sounds like the theory of contrary thinking.]... Mr. Rousseau died in 1778 in Ermenonville, France.

English politician Joseph Chamberlain was born on July 8, 1836 in Camberwell, London, England. He said, “You cannot teach old dogs new tricks.” {1} [Speak… Speak for yourself.]... Mr. Chamberlain died in 1914.

U.S. pilot Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1898 in Atchison, Kansas. She said, “Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense.” {1} [Hmmmmm.]... Ms. Earhart died in 1937 over the western Pacific Ocean.

U.S. writer Gene Fowler was born as Eugene Devlan on March 8, 1890 in Denver, Colorado. He said, “He has a profound respect for old age. Especially when it's bottled.” {1} [Oh, my!]... Mr. Fowler died in 1960 in Los Angeles, California.

U.S. writer Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. He said, “Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.” {1} [So imagine being brave... then do it!]... Mr. Hemingway died in 1961 in Ketchum, Idaho.

U.S. writer William McFee was born on June 15, 1881 in London, England. He said, “A young man must let his ideas grow, not be continually rooting them up to see how they are getting on.” {1} [Is that why my plants have a difficult time?]... Mr. McFee died in 1966.

U.S. actress Betty Grable was born as Elizabeth Ruth Grable on December 18, 1916 in St. Louis, Missouri. She said, “I have got two reasons for success and I'm standing on both of them.” {1} [Stand up if you agree!]... Ms. Grable died in 1973 in Santa Monica, California.

Russian writer Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 22, 1899 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He said, “The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.” {1} [But some will try... and make a good living at it.]... Mr. Nabokov died in 1977 in Montreux, Switzerland.

U.S. actress Lee Remick was born on December 14, 1935 in Quincy, Massachusetts. She said, “You can compare me with Greta Garbo. I have big feet, too.” {1} [And Greta thanks you very much... not!]... Ms. Remick died in 1991 in Los Angeles, California.

U.S. actor James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania. He said, “Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.” {2} [So show respect.]... Mr. Stewart died in 1997 in Los Angeles, California.

U.S. writer Mario Puzo was born on October 15, 1921 in Manhattan, New York City, New York. He said, “A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns.” {1} [Oh, my, my, my!]... Mr. Puzo died in 1999 in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: http://thinkexist.com

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Михаил Александрович Бакунин died today – 131 years ago

Russian revolutionary Михаил Александрович Бакунин, or Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin, was born on May 30, 1814 in Pryamukhino, Russian Empire. He said, “People go to church for the same reasons they go to a tavern: to stupefy [mystify, amaze, or astonish] themselves, to forget their misery, to imagine themselves, for a few minutes anyway, free and happy.” {1} [Wonder which one he attended?]... Mr. Бакунин died in 1876 in Berne, Switzerland.

U.S. writer Harriet Beecher Stowe was born on June 14, 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut. She is best known for writing “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” She said, “Human nature is above all things lazy.” {1} [Well, I lay in my hammock to philosophize!]... Ms. Stowe died in 1896 in Hartford, Connecticut.

French composer Alfred Éric Leslie “Erik” Satie was born on May 17, 1866 in Honfleur, France. He said, “When I was young, I was told: 'You'll see, when you're fifty.' I am fifty and I haven't seen a thing.” {1} [Perhaps he needed glasses.]... Mr. Satie died in 1925 in Paris, France.

English writer Charles Percy Snow was born on October 15, 1905 in Leicester, England. He said, “Civilization is hideously fragile; there's not much between us and the horrors underneath, just about a coat of varnish.” {2} [Probably truer than we would like to think possible.]... Mr. Snow died in 1980 in London, England.

U.S. engineer & architect R. Buckminster Fuller was born on February 12, 1895 in Milton, Massachusetts. He said, “By 2000, politics will simply fade away. We will not see any political parties.” {1} [Hallelujah! Oh, wait... it didn’t happen, did it?]... Mr. Fuller died in 1983 in Los Angeles, California.

U.S. actor Robert Charles Durman Mitchum was born on August 6, 1917 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He said, “People think I have an interesting walk. Hell, I'm just trying to hold my gut in.” {1} [That story works for me, too.]... Mr. Mitchum died in 1997 in Santa Barbara, California.

U.S. actor Walter Matthau was born as Walter John Matthow on October 1, 1920 in New York City, New York. He said, “I never mind my wife having the last word. In fact, I'm delighted when she gets to it." {2} [No comment!]... Mr. Matthau died in 2000 in Santa Monica, California.

U.S. actor Marlon Brando was born on April 3, 1924 in Omaha, Nebraska. He said, “An actor's a guy who, if you ain't talking about him, ain't listening.” {1} [Is an actor a one-issue type of guy?]... Mr. Brando died in 2004 in Los Angeles, California.

{1} Source: www.brainyquote.com
{2} Source: www.born-today.com