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Saturday, July 30, 2005
It's estimated that 10 percent of the world's population is left-handed. Since the dom,inant area of a lef-hander's brain is the right side, W.C. Fields quipped that means southpaws are the only ones in their right minds. How well do you know your let-handed trivia?

Answer the following multiple-choice questions.....

1. In which countries are cars drive on the left side of the road?
...a). Great Briatain and the Bahamas.
...b). Great Britain, India, and Australia.
...c). Great Britain, Japan, and South Africa.
...d). all of the above.

2. In what sport is it illegal to play left-handed?
...a). Tennis.
...b). Fencing.
...c). Polo.
...d). Cricket.

3. When was the left-handed monkey wrench invented?
...a). 1896
...b). 1904
...c). 1953
...d). never

4. What famous left-handed author used mirror writing?
...a). Edgar Allan Poe
...b). Lewis Carroll
...c). Virginia Woolf
...d). Arthur Conan Doyle

5. America's first left-handed president was
...a. John Adams
...b. Abraham Lincoln
...c. Gerald Ford
...d. James Garfield

6. Which baseball player was teh first southpaw inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
...a. Mickey Mantle
...b. Babe Ruth
...c. Reggie Jackson
...d. Honus Wagner

7. Which of the following performers were left-handed?
...a. Harpo Marx
...b. Marcel Marceau
...c. Shirley Maclaine
...d. Judy Garland

8. The left hand contains 27 bones. How many does the right hand contain?
...a. 26
...b. 27
...c. 28
...d. 29

9. The first left-handed astronaut to walk on the moon was....
...a. John Glenn
...b. Buzz Aldrin
...c. Neil Armstrong
...d. Donald Slayton

10.A left-handed compliments is...
...a. high praise indeed
...b. a derogatory description
...c. one in which everyone agrees
...d. one in which the majority agree

If you answered seven or more correct, you're sinestral (left-handed) or just very smart for a right-handed.

If you are interested,you can answer the quiz in my comment box, and I will reply your comment how many of your answers are correct.

(abstracted from HEMISPHERE MAG/august issue)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:31 PM   0 comments
Friday, July 29, 2005
Offered Bill Clinton 40 goats, 20 cows, but never heard back.

NAIROBI,Kenya --- A Kenyan says he offered Bill Clinton 40 goats and 20 cows for his daughter's hand in marriage five years ago -- and is still waiting for an answer.

Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor told the East Africa Standard newspaper last week that he wrote Clinton asking for chelsea's hand in 2000 during the then president's visit to Kenya.

Chepkurgor, a 36-year old elected city councilor in Nakuru, recounted writing to the U.S. president through the Kenyan government.

He described his plans for a grand wedding presided over by South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He named then President Daniel arp Moi and the president of his university as references.

"Had I succeeded in wooing Chelsea, I would have had a grand wedding," he told the Standard in an interview published during Clinton's recent visit to Kenya.

But first, a background check

Chepkurgpr said his letter praised Clinton's leadership and commended his wife, Se. Hilary Rodham Clinton, for standing by her husband "like an African woman", in the face of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The electrical engineering granted said he promised to pay his would be father in law 20 cows and 40 goats a=in dowry in accordance with African traditions.

But he said the letter prompted security check -- on him, his family and his classmates, and he was summoned to the foreign Ministry in Nairobi for a meeting that he missed because of his graduation from university.

A National Security Intelligence Service officer told the Standard the letter probably never made it out of the office.

"We gathered that this man was a teetotaler and a staunch Christian who seemed to have been struck by Chelsea, and I thought maybe he just took the joke too far', he said.

Chepkurger vowed to remain single until he gets and answer to his proposal to marry Chelsea, 25.

(Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:46 AM   0 comments
1. Seattle; median home price: $321,000

2. New York; median home price: $435,200

3. Portland, Ore; median home price: $243,100

4. Chicago; median home price: $243,800

5. San Jose, Calif; median home price: $575,000

6. Bergen-Passaic, N.J.; median home price: $448,100

7. San Francisco,Calif; median home price: $689,200

8. Middlesex, N.J.; median home price: $381,400

9. Denver, Co.; median home price: $236,000

10.Los Angeles, Calif,; median home price: $474,700

(taken from the Forbes Magazine)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:37 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Last Sunday, when I woke up at around noon time, because I work nights, I went out at the back yard to check if the car of my boys are at the garage, I was heat by an enormous heat, from the ground and the atmosphere. I did not check the weather report the night I went to work and I did not feel the heat outside, because the entire house is fully air conditioned. The temperature reading was 104 degrees Fahrenheit outside. It was so damn hot and even if there is wind blowing, the temperature is still humid. I was reading an article about heat on this summer.


When summer heat waves last days or weeks, they may kill thousands of people, most of whom are over 50 and/or especially vulnerable to hyperthermia -- a "hot" body. Hot weather has caused significantly more deaths in the U.S. over the last 10 years than cold, floods, tornados or any other natural phenomenon.

Your Body's Natural Thermostat.
Most healthy adults can cope with the heat. Their bodies are able to maintain a normal temperature -- up to a point. They do so mainly by sweating. One of your brain's many functions is to act as a thermostat. When the weather is too hot, the brain sends signals that dilate the blood vessels in the skin, delivering much more blood to the surface of the body and providing the fluid to make you sweat. As the perspiration dries, it cools the surface of the body and lowers body temperature.

However, when it's not hot but also very humid, sweat doesn't evaporate as quickly, and that slows down the cooling process. This is why heat is better tolerated when the humidity is low. Still, failing to deal promptly with prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures can lead to problems even in dry climates, such as in the Southwest.

Who Is At Risk?

Those most likely to become sick from hyperthermia are:

* Infants and children up to four years of age.

* Men and women over 65 who has a problem with their hearts, kidneys or lungs.

* Individuals who are overweight.

* Anyone who is taking diuretic, sedatives, tanquilizers,antihistamines or other medications that interfere with their ability to perspire.

* Anyone who overworks or exercises too much in the heat.

* people who are dehydrated or have poor circulation, so that extra blood can't reach the surface of the body quickly enough.

If you fall into any of these categories, you're better off staying indoor where it's cooler.

The Stages of Overheating.

Prolonged exposure to excessive heat leads to symptoms that become progressively worse unless you get out of the heat and do what is necessary to protect yourself.

At first, if you're exercising in the hot weather and not drinking enough water, you may develop cramps -- painful spasms that occur most commonly in the legs but also in the abdomen and arms. When that happens, stop whatever you're doing, rest in a cool area and drink clear juice or a sports beverage. If the symptoms persists for more than an hour, see your doctor.

The next stage is heat fatigue --: You feel faint, your skin is cool and moist, your pulse is weak. This is followed by heat syncope: You're dizzy, pale and sweaty, and your heart rate may be rapid.

Heat exhaustion comes next. Although your body temperature is still normal, your skin is cold and clammy; you're thirsty, not well -coordinated, nauseated. You may have a headache and feel dizzy. You must immediately be rehydrated with water, salt and minerals. If these symptoms persist even after you've cooled off, see a doctor.

Finally, there is heat stroke. If you've let matters go this far, you're in trouble. The body temperature is above 103 degree F, your skin is dry and flushed, your pulse is strong and rapid, your mental stare is impaired, and you're on your way to a coma. You may die unless you're treated immediately.

The key is prevention exercise in the heat, drink plenty of water (don't depend on your thirst to signal your need for fluids, it's not reliable) and eat lightly salted foods to replace the salt lost in perspiration. If you're indoors, make sure the ventilation is adequate.

Hot-Weather Safety Tips:
** Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose fitting clothing.

** Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to exposed area of the body.

** Wear a wide-brimmed hat. It will provide some shade and keep your head cool.

** Use air-conditioning. Fans are OK, but they're not enough to prevent heat-related symptoms.

** Avoid hot foods, and keep your meals light.

** If you're execising, drink 2 to 4 glasses of water an hour. Check with your doctor if for any reason (such as heart problems) your fluid needs to be restricted or you're taking diuretics.

If You Overheat.......
When you sweat profusely, you lose salt, minerals and water. I don't encourage my patients to take salt tablets. If you find you are perspiring heavily:

* Stop what you are doing and go to someplace cool.

* Drink fluids-- water, fruit juice or a sports drinks. Whatever you drink should not be ice cold, because that can give you stomach cramps. And "fluid" definitely does not include alcohol, which actually causes dehydration.

(HEALTH ON PARADE by: Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld or visit www.parade.com and click on "Health").
posted by infraternam meam @ 10:50 PM   0 comments
Although you may have heard that the letters SOS stand for "Save Our Souls", "Save Our Ship", or "Save Our Succor", none of these is true. The letters stand for absolutely nothing.

Samuel F.B. Morse invented the telegraph, which allowed messages to be transmitted over wires. The concept of his invention was that when electricity flows in a wire, it can be detected and converted to sound; when there is no flow of electricity, there had to be a method of making sense out of the sound/no sound feature.

Morse devised a code consisting of dots and dashes, which today is known as the Morse code. If the transmitter is turned on for an instant, the result is a dot,. It is is turned on for a longer time, the result is a dash. Each letter of of the alphabet had a code, such as "dot,dash" for the letter. A and "dot,dot.dot" for the letter S When transmitting the code, each letter is separated by a time interval equal to three dots, and each word is separated by a time interval equal to seven dots.

During its day, Morse's system was praised as "the instantaneous highway of thought".

Some time later, Guglielmo Marconi invented wireless telegraphy to our modern radio communications. Because it transmitted a single tone, it required far less power than voice transmission and so could be sent over much greater distances. The signal was simply turned off or on to follow the cite invented by Morse.

Although most authorities credit Marconi as the inventor of the radio, in 1943 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Marconi's patents were invalid due to Nikola Tesla's previous descriptions.

In the early 1900s many wireless telegraphy operators on ships were former railroad or postal telegraphers. If an operator wanted to send out one message and make sure that all stations heard it, he would begin the message with the letters, CQ, which meant "all stations". The operator would do this when sending out time signals or other general notices.

In 1904 it was suggested that CQD should be used as a distress signal. In other words, "all stations, distress". A few years later, the Berlin Radiotelegraphic Conference brought up the subject of an international distress signal. After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed SOS would be the news distress signal. Parricipants thought that if three dots, three dashes, and three dashes, and three dots were sent as single string, it could not be misunderstood.

The first recorded use of the SOS distress signal by an American ship was in August 1909, when the SS Arapahoe radioed for help after losing its screw off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. A few months later, the Arapahoe's radio operator picked up an SOS signal from the SS Iroquois. The Arapahoe's radio operator was thus the first person to both send out an SOS from an American sip and to receive an SOS from an American ship.

Even after the invention of the telephone in 1864, the telegraph was the world's primary forms of telecomunications for over 50 years.

When the Titanic sent out its first distress signal, it was CQD followed by MGY, which were the Titanic's call letters. After sending out CQD a numbner of times, the radio operator then sent an SOS. Subsequent calls were CQD's interspersed with SOS's.

Morse code could be considered the percursor of modern computer codes. The telegraph signal was either on or off. A modern computer in the same way, using a binary code consisting of a "1" (on) or "O" (off).

The inventor of the Morse code, Samuel Morse, was not an engineer. He was a Massachusetts portrait painter.

If you ever visit the U.S. Capitol building, be sure to look at the Rotunda. One of the figures in the center of the Italian artists Constatino Brumide's beautiful fresco is none other Than Samuel F.B. Morse.


The code that Morse created in 1832 died a quiet death 165 years later. In 1997 Morse code ceased to be the official internationl language of distress, being replaced by much more sophisticated satellite-based "Mayday" electronic systems. (Mayday is derived from the French word m'iadez which means "help me")

Morse code may be dead, but it's not buried yet. Amateur radio operators use it quite often, especially in times of disaster when either forms of communications are not available.

The military also maintains a Morse code capability. Billion dollar satellites can malfunctions or be jammed and sophisticated round network can break down during a battle. As a contingency, every year the U.S. army trains 2,800 soldiers to become proficient in Morse code. Every U.S. merchant ship must have onboard a radio officer who can transmit and receive Morse code. In fact, while at sea the officer must spend eight hours a day monitoring the radio for Morse code distress calls.

Many military messages end with the phrase "Over and out".

(abstracted from the compilation of Bill McClain from his book: WHAT MAKES FLAMINGOS PINK)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:32 AM   3 comments

Raising your voice in song can improve your spirits, found a recent study from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, in Frankfurt, Germany. People who sang for an hour in a choir felt happy, realxed and satisfied. "Singing and well-being go hand in hand", says study co-author Sonja Rohrmann, Ph.D., a professor of psychology. That's because singing increase your production of secretory inmunoglobin A, a protein associated with happiness and relaxation.Its presence also bodes well for your immunity.So next time you're down in the dumps, sing out: You don't have to sound like Faith Hill to feel like a million bucks. (Marie Karns)


You're at the mega size hardware store when you realize your toddler had disappeared. Instant stress! Your heart pounds, your stomach knots and your mind starts racing. But this emotional turmoil actually serves a positive purpose. "Physically stress responses force you to get moving and get focused", explains Sheila G. Jowsey, M.D. assistant professor of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, in Rochester, Minnesota. In a recent review, Dr. Jowsey found that acute stress (the kind that's caused by a crisis and subsides after it has passed) improves your ability to react react and meet challenges. Acute stress reps up your immune system to protect you from physical danger and ups your cortisol and adrenaline levels to help you respond quickly. But good stress goes bad when it's ongoing, Dr. Jowsey cautions. In such cases, your body keeps making stress hormones indefinitely, which leads to fatigue, depression and heart disease. She recommends being aware of your personal stress tolerance limits to help you extricate yourself from potential chronic stress situations. (Meredith Bodgas)



IQ tests may not be the only indicators of intelligence, suggests a study from university College, in London, England. Personality traits can signal particular kinds of smarts -- and also where a person's weaknesses lie.

Check the chart below to see what your characteristics may reveal about your mental abilities.

OPEN: You're full of questions, you like to learn new things.

Your inquiring mind has garnered you tons of knowledge.

You may not have a knack for numbers or out-of-the-box problem solving.


EXTROVERTED: You're outgoing and you will introduce yourself to just about any one..

Your confidence allows you to perform well and keep your wits about you under pressure.

If you're bored, your verbal numerical and abstract reasoning skills may suffer.


CONSCIENTIOUS:You're careful and you carry out your plans with precision.

Your organizational skills help you plow through any task.

You may have developed methodical ways to compensate for lower innate intelligence.


NEUROTIC: You're cautious and you worry about everything.

You're probably more intelligent than tests have told all these years.

Anxiety may prevent your smarts from shining through in high-pressure situations.
(Emily Lapkin)

If you or a loved one has consistently experienced several of the following problems for more than two weeks and the symptoms represent a marked change from usual behavior, talk to a doctor:

** Prolonged sadness and feelings of hopelessness.

** Loss of interest in activities that once provided pleasure.

** Poor appetite or overeating.

** Trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much.

** Feelings of agitation, difficulty concentrating, indecisiveness.

** Fatigue or loss of energy.

** Feeling worthless, or that others have been let down.

** Thoughts of death or suicide.

(abstracted from : WWW.LHJ.COM)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:43 AM   0 comments
Thursday, July 21, 2005
You perspire to regulate the heat in your body (we're reminded of a grade school teacher who always insisted that pigs sweat but people perspire). If you become too hot, sweat glands in your body produce water droplets on the surface of your skin. As the water evaporates, it provides a cooling effect to your body. It's the same principle used by evaporative water air conditioners.

The majority of the roughly 5 million sweat glands in your body are concentrated on the palms of your hands., the soles of your feet and, to some extent, your armpits. About two-thirds of the glands are in your hands and are controlled by your sympathetic nervous system. So if it's hot and yourhands, feet, and armpits sweat, this is normal.

However, if you are in a stressful situation and are nervous, and angry , embarrassed, or anxious, your entire nervouse system reacts and produces an immediate response called "flight or fight". Your nervous system has sensed danger and must prepare you for one of two options: combat the danger (fight) or run away from it (flight).

Your nervous system calls on all of your bodily functions to prepare you for this imminent danger. You start sweating, your heart beats faster, and you breathe more rapidly. This type of emotionally induced sweating is limited to your hands, feet, and armpits. Even if it's very cold, you will sweat if you are in "flight or fight" situation.

Your palms may sweat for other reasons, such as an affliction that causes your system to produce more perspiration than what is needed to cool your body. Excessive and unnatural sweating can also be caused by hyperthyroidism, psychiatric disorders, menopause, and obesity.

We don't all perspire in the same way because the number of location of sweat glands are unique to each person. Climate also affects how we respond to temperature changes. If you grow up in a hot and humid area, you probably won't sweat that much. However, if you move from that location to a very dry are, you will probably perspire profusely.

It's good to remember that if your body doesn't need cooling and you are sweating, then you are in some type of stressful situation.


Although we use antiperspirant to get rid of body odor, perspiration by itself don't have a bad smell. The foul odor is cause by bacteria eating the debris on our skin.

Some people claim they never perspire. That's because their bodily thermostat is functioning efficiently and the perspiration evaporates the moment their body creates it. If perspiration is running off you, then your thermostat isn't working very well.

Because we have no control over our sympathetic nervous system, which controls perspirations, perspiration can be a factor in polygraph, or lie detector tests. Along with heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, perspiration gives a good due as to whether the person is nervous or anxiuos and thus possibly lying.


Perspiration, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration are not the only bodily function we cannot control. When we communicate with other people, especially in emotional situations, we may have conscious control over our words but not our body movements. These movements, referred to as "body language"., are often more honest than what we say. Some authorities claim that body language accounts for 93 percent of our communication with others.

Suppose you are talking with a friend and you say, "Did you enjoy the ski trip with your boss?" He may say "It was fine". However, if he doesn't smile and tightens his grip on the paper he's holding, you can probably bet that he didn't have a good time and doesn't want to talk about it right bow. When people's body language contradicts their words, you're better off to go with the body language.

(abstracted from the book of Bill McClain entitled: What Makes Flamingos Pink
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:07 PM   1 comments
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
As far as we know, the ancient Egyptians were the first to place a ring on the third finger of the left hand to signify the marriage union. It was placed on that finger because the Egyptians believed that the "vein of love" ran from this finger to the heart. They used a ring because they believed that the circle was the symbol for eternity. It represented perfection because it has no beginning and no end.

Rings found in ancient Egyptian tombs were made of pure gold. The name or title of the owner was engraved on the ring in hieroglyps. The poorer citizens of Egypt wore rings of silver , bronze, amber,ivory, or simply glazed pottery.

Because gold was precious to the early Romans, a gold ring symbolized everlasting love and commitment.

King Edward VI of England decreed that the third finger on the left hand was to be the ring finger. In the 1549 Book of Common Prayer, the left hand was designated as the marriage hand.

From the earliest times in our history, people have always given advice to newly married couples such as "comfort each other", "respect one another", and "listen to each other".


The old wedding phrase "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" has a definite history. Something "old" referred to a personal gift from the bride's mother to provide a bond to the bride's old life and family. Something "new" signified hope for the future and was symbolic of the new family to be formed by the married couple. Something "borrowed" was to be a gift from a happily married woman. The gift was supposed to carry some of the married woman's happiness into the new marriage. Something "blue" had two different meanings. Ancient Roman maidens wore blue because it denoted modesty and fidelity, while for Christians the blue is associated with the purity of the Virgin Mary.

The origin of the wedding shower is based on the legend of a Dutch maiden who fell in love with a poor miller. Her family could not afford a dowry so their friends "showered" them with gifts so that they could be married without a dowry.

Hindus tie old shoes on vehicles leaving the wedding ceremony as a sign of good luck.

Because an Anglo-Saxon bride was often kidnapped before a wedding, she stood to the left of the groom so this sword hand would be free. The best warrior in the tribe stood next to the groom to help him defend his bride. That is why in today's weddings, the best man stands to the right of the groom.

Many cultures believe that loud noises scare away evil spirit. Today the tradition continues with our custom of the bridal party honking their horns when leaving the wedding.

In medieval times, Europeans believed that newly married couples were very vulnerable to evil spirits. If the groom carried the bride, she was protected from the floor and the evil spirits in the ground. That is the origin of the cutom of carrying the bride over the threshold.


Our wedding customs and traditions come from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Although most of us are familiar with our own wedding customs, there are many fascinating customs in other times and countries.

Because African-American slaves were not permitted to marry, they publicly declared their love by jumping over a broom to symbolize jumping through a doorway from single life to the life of domestic life. Couples had their hands bound together at the wrists a=so that they were symbolically linked. Although some people belive this is the origin of the phrase "tying the knot", may other cultures have a similar ceremony. For example, in a Hindu marriage ceremony, the bridegroom hangs a ribbon on the bride's neck and then ties it in a knot. The ancient Carthaginians bound the thumbs of the betrothed with leather thongs.

In small Italian villages, the newlyweds walk to the town plaza, where there is a sawhorse, a log, and a double-handle saw. With the crowd cheering them on, they must saw the log apart. This symbolizes that in all of life's trials and tribulations, the couple must always work together.

In the simple Moravian wedding ceremony, the bride and the groom together light one large candle. Every guest has a hand made beeswax candle. One gust lights his candle from the large candle and then uses his candle to light the candle of the guest next to him. This continues until everyone in the church has a lit candle, symbolic of the warmth of love from family and friends.

No matter what the country, a wedding is filled with love.

Abstracted from the collections of Customs from the book: WHAT MAKES FLAMINGOS PINK
By: Bill McClain)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:09 PM   0 comments
One theory of kissing prevalent among anthropologists contends that kissing originated from "premasctication". Although today we can buy soft baby food, this is not true in many cultures and especially in ancient primitive cultures. Premastication basically means "pre-chewing". A mother chews the food and then pushes the soft, pre-chewed food into her infant's mouth. This process involves mouth-to-mouth contact and is sometimes called "kiss-feeding". Many anthropologists think that is how kissing originated.

Another popular theory, and a less messy one, asserts that kissing originated from a custom symbolizing the union of souls. In many cultures, individuals put their faces together to symbolize a spiritual union. Because they believed that breath was part of a person's soul, by exchanging breaths, they were intermingling their souls. Some authorities believe that this practice eventually led to the Inuit (indian tribe) custom of rubbing noses together s a sign of affection and love, as well as to our custom of kissing.

Our culture recognizes many types of kisses. There is the kiss between parent and child, which represents love and affection. There are social kisses, which might be a quick kiss to the cheek when friends meet and occasionally when meeting someone fro the first time. The ceremonial kiss, as the kissing on both cheeks when heads of state meet, is not a social convention but a political symbol signifying the good intentions of both parties.

There is also the romantic kiss between lovers or spouses. There's no need to explain that to anyone.


In the 1941 film, You're in the Army Now, Jane Wyman and Regis Toomey kissed for three minutes and five seconds, the longest kiss in film history.

The practice of kissing virtually died out during the bubonic plague in the 1600s, because people were afraid of spreading the plague by direct contact with one another. Fortunately, once the plague ended, kissing came back into style.

It is believed that over 5 million women have kissed the armor clad statue of Italian soldier Guildarello Guidarellu in Ravenna, Italy, because they believe that so doing will guarantee a happy marriage.

In the 1926 film Don Juan, the hero kissed a variety of senoritas 191 times, or an average of one kiss every 53 seconds. Seven seconds more and he could have been a "Minute Man".

The first kiss ever recorded on film occurred in 1896, when John C. Rice kissed May Irwin in a film called, naturally "The KISS."

When someone in the military or industry uses the word kiss, they very often are using acronym for "Keep It Simple Stupid."


We must enjoy kissing because it always seems to be cropping up in our language and our music. We even eat chocolate "Kisses".

There are hundred of "Kiss" phrases such as "kiss and make up", kiss and tell", and "kiss of death".

Song titles are filled with the word: "KIss to Build a Dream On", "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me", "KIsses Sweeter Than Wine", "Then He Kissed Me", "Sealed with a Kiss", and many many more. There is even a rock group called "Kiss".

We even kiss rocks! In the small village of Blarney, Ireland, on the top story of a 90-foot high castle, is the famous Blarney Stone. Legend says that if you kiss the stone you will receive the gift of eloguence. Kissing the stone is not that easy, however. In order to reach the stone to kiss it, you have to lean over backward and downward while someone holds your feet.

The legend of the Blarney Stone says that on old woman cast a spell over the stone as a reward for a king who had saved her from drowning. When h kissed the stone, the king could speak sweetly and convincingly.

Another folk legend claims that many years ago the ruler of the castle was told he had to give his Fortress to Queen Elizabeth I to prove his loyalty. He said he would be more than happy to do that. However, whenever he was about to give up the castle, it seemed that at the last minute he had some excuse to prevent doing so. His excuses become frequent but quite plausible, and became a joke in the royal court. When the eloquent excuses of the castle owner were relayed to the queen, she replied, "Odds bodkins, more Blarney talk!" Today we use the term "blarney" so mean "an ability to influence without giving offense".

(abstracted from the book :WHAT MAKES FLAMINGO PINK by Bill McClain)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:14 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Yes. That's the answer. A zebra can be white with black stripes or it can be black with white stripes. In fact, there are zebras with dark brown stipes and zebras that are either all white or all black.

Scientists believe there are two reasons for a zebra's stripes. The first is camouflage. Zebra stripes break up the outline of it's body, making it difficult for a predator to identify it. When a zebra is alone, moving among the tall grasses of the plains, it looks like wind-blwon grass and is difficult for a predator to see. A group of zebra will all huddle togehter, making it diffulct for a predator to single out one zebra Amid the mass of a moving stripes.

The second reason is to cool the zebra in the hot African sun. Zebras have a shiny coat that can dissipate up to 70 percent of the sun's heat. The black stripes can get hot than than the white stripes by as much as 50 degrees F.

Although there are eight types of zebras in the world, the three most well-known types are in Africa. Each type has a different style of stripes. The Grevy's Zebra is considered the most beautiful, because is has thin and closely spaced stripes. The Plains Zebra has a very wide vertical stripes that bend to become horizontal on the zebra's rump. The Mountain Zebras have broad black stripes that extend down the legs but don't cover the off-white belly.

Every zebra in the world has a unique pattern of stripes. There are no two alike, just as no two human fingerprints are alike. Zebras recognize each other by looking at the patterns of stripes.

Although a zebra's stripes make it a strikingly beautiful animal, they are not there for decoration but are designed to provide camouflage, cooling and identification.


When Plain Zebras are frightened, they gather together in a cluster so that the myriad moving stripes confuse predators. On the other hand, Grevys Zebras primarily use speed and stamina to escape predators. They can run as fast as 40 mph over reasonably long distances.

Virtually all attempts to domesticate zebras so they can be ridden or used as draft animals have failed.

When zebras are first born, they are brown and white. Within an hour after birth, the newborn can run as fast as the herd and can recognize its mother by sight.

When a herd of zebras is sleeping, one always stays awake and alert for predators. In effect, it is doing sentry duty.

If a family member becomes separated or lost for some reason, the other zebras in the family will search for it. The family will also adjust the speed of its travel so that the old and weak can keep up with the group.

Zebras in captivity have been sucdessfully mated with other equine species. Of course, the names always begin with letter z. A Zorse is the off spring of a zebra and a stallion and a horse mare. A Zonkey, sometimes called Zebrass, or a Zedonk,is the offspring of a zebra stallion and a female donkey.

(from the book: WHAT MAKES FLAMINGOS PINK by: Bill McLain)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:44 AM   0 comments
We don't think it will shock you to discover that marsmallows are not a natural substance. No, marshmallows don't grow on trees, vines or underground.

But they weren't invented out of whole cloth, either. For there is a mallow plant. The first culture that we know to have eaten the mallow plant was in ancient Egypt, long before the reign of Cleopatra. Egyptians dried and pulverized the plant and considered it a delicacy.

But marshmallows as we know them weren't possible until someone came up without he idea of combining the mallow plant with sugar, and it was almost certainly an accident. Sugars first use was as a way of making medicines more palatable, but a recurring problem was the tendency of sugar to crystallize. In India, they solved the problem by using gum arabic, but some countries did not have access to this form of gum. When boiled in hot water, the ground roots of the mallow plant turned out to be an effective gum. Combined with sugar, the first marshmallow was born.

The French were the first to turn marshmallows into a confection for the masses. Kraft Foods supplied a report researched by the Marshmallow Research Foundation (there is a foundation or association for just about anything).

"The marshmallow in its present fluffy form originated in France and was known as "Pate de Guimauve" As made in the early nineteenth century, it contained the extract of the marshmallow root, dried and reduced to a powder. A light cream in color, the genuine marshmallow base contained starch, sugar, pectin, asparagine and a substance allied to lecithin."

"The original marshmallow formula called for the flowing proportions --- five pounds of powdered marshmallow root, 50 pounds ground sugar, 30 pounds ground gum arabic, 60 pounds orange flower water and 70 or more egg whites. European manufactures of medicinal confectionery still use this formula. However, because marshmallow root reputedly possessed medicinal properties, it was early abandoned by confectioners as a necessary marshmallow ingredient".

mallow trees were naturalized in the salt marshes of the United States not long after they were introduced in Europe. At first, mallow root was used, but later was abandoned in order to save money and replaced by a combination of gum arabic and egg white.

Today, you can buy big marshmallows, little marshmallows, chocolate marshmallos, and coconut marshmallows. But you cannot find a marshmallow with mallow in it. We are left in the strange situation of eating a product that named after an ingredient that is no longer in it.

(submitted by Deb Buschur of Indianapolis, Indiana on the book: WHY ARE HYENAS LAUGHING AT, ANYWAY by: David Feldman)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:13 AM   0 comments
Monday, July 18, 2005
Why are the caps flat and square?
What does the color of gowns signify?

The first organized institutions of higher learning appeared in Paris and Bologna in the early 12th century. In this era, virtually everyone, male and female, old and young, wore long flowing robes that didn't look too different from our graduation gowns of today. Rich people might have worn silk robes with ornamentation while the poor wore plain, corse wool robes, but the style varied little.

Robes were in vogue until around 1600, when gowns were generally worn only by older and professional men. By the end of the 17th century, only legal and other officials wore gowns. But by the time robes for men had become passe', they had long been prescribed for use as academic garb, especially by English universities and the tradition of wearing gowns at graduation had stuck.

In Roman law, a slave was freed when he was allowed to wear a cap. This symbol of emancipation might have been the inspiration for Oxford adopting the practice of placing a cap on the recipient of a Master's of Art when he graduated. The cap symbolized independence for the former bachelor.

Why was the hat square?
Square hats called Birettas were already in vogue in the time, they weren't totally flat like the mortarboard that Oxford established as the standard.

In her book The Story of Caps and Gowns, published by uniform giant E.R. Moore Company, Helen Walters offers three theories:

** 1). The shape was derived from the master workman's mortar board.
** 2). The cap was meant to resemble the quadrangular shape of the English university campus.
** 3). The shape symbolized the "squareness" of both the scholar and his books. In those days, we presume, squareness was a positive trait.

Early academic caps sported tufts where we now have tassels. Tassels appeared in the 19th century, and appear to be merely cosmetic additions.

Americans were quick to adopt English university customs in graduation garb all the way back to colonial times. Several Ivy League universities and prestigious small colleges used gowns and mortaboards from the start.

Only around 1885 did the practice extend to most colleges. In 1894, a commission was authorized to choose a standard for graduation uniforms. In conclusions have determined our uniforms for the last hundred years.

** BACHELORS -- wear black gowns with worsted material and long pointed sleeves.

** MASTERS -- wear black silk or black woven gowns with long closed sleeves that have an arc of a circle near the bottom and a slit for the arm opening.

** DOCTORS -- wear black silk gowns with full, round, open sleeves that are faced with velvet and have three bars of velvet on each sleeve.

All three graduates wear a mortarboard, but only doctors' caps may be velvet, and only doctors and presidents of universities were gold tassels.

English universities vary clothing and color schemes from school to school. The United States is one of the only countries to have a standard code.

(submitted to David Feldman by different contributors and published in his book: WHEN DID WILD POODLES ROAM THE EARTH?)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:41 PM   0 comments
Why do boxer shorts have straight frontal slits and briefs have complicated "trap doors"?

All that infrastructure on the briefs is what keeps you from indescent exposure charges. Even though most briefs and boxers sold in the U.S. are made out of the same material (cotton-polyester blends), briefs are knitted and boxers are woven. The two techniques yield different wear characteristics.

Boxers are built for comfort and won't stretch unless elasticized bands are added. But as Janet Rosati of Fruit of the Loom's Consumer Services told Imponderables, briefs are intended as support garments and are designed to stretch. Without all the reinforcements, or "trap doors", as our correspondent so elegantly put it, the opening on briefs would tend to gape open at embarrassing and unfortunate times.

(submitted by Josh Gibson of Silver Spring, Maryland for the book: When did Wild Poodles Roam the Earth by: David Feldman)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:42 AM   0 comments
We don't have the slightest idea. But we do know how the product got its name.

Ben-Gay was created by a French pharmacist, whose name was, conveniently enoug, Dr. Ben Gue. He introduced his product in France in 1898, and called it Baume Gue (baume means "balm" en francais)

When the anlgesic was launched in the United States, it was decided that the unawashed masses of North America could'nt contend with a French word like Baume or pronounce on of those nasty accent acutes. So marketers settled on naming their product after an Anglicization of it's creator's name.

(submitted by Linda Atwell of Matthews, North Carolina)

(compiled from the book WHEN DID WILD POODLES ROAM THE EARTH by: David Feldman)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:01 AM   0 comments
Thursday, July 14, 2005
To Meletis and Christakis:

I cannot get thru to your email address. It kepts on coming back to me and for some reason it won't take it. Since you are always visiting my blog, here are the translation on the proverbs that you have sent me. I have the volumes of the Mcmillan book and I don't know why you can't find it in Greece.


** "Heu quam difficile est, crimen non prodere vultu". ( How difficult it is for guilt not to show in the countenance.)

** "Conscius ipse sibi de se putat omnia dici".(The guilty think all men speak of them.)

** "Virum improbum vel mus mordeat."( Even a mouse frightens a guilty man.)

** "Se iudice, nemo nocens absolvitur."( By his own verdict, no guilty man was ever acquitted.)

** "Tam facile et pronum est superos comtemnere testes." (It is so natural and easy to despise heavenly witnesses of our guilt.)

** "Ingenia humana sunt ad suam cuique levandam culpam nimio plus." (Men's minds are too ready to excuse guilt in themselves.)

** "Fatetur facinus is qui iudicium fugit." (A man confesses guilt by avoiding trial.)

** "Legem nocens veretur, Fortunam innocens." (The guilty fear the law, the guiltless Fortune.)

** "Nocentem qui defendit sibi crimen parit." (He who defends the guilty brings an accusation against himself.)

** "Quam malus est culpam qui suam alterius facit!" (How evil is he who throws his own guilt upon another!)

** "Non ipse toto magnus Oceano pater! tantum expiari sceleris." (Not great Father Neptune himself, with the whole ocean, could wash away so much guilt.)

See also Innocence and Guilt. Mcmillan book section 3 to 13.
See also Philosphy.Macmillan book section 3 to 13.
See also RetributionMacmillan book section 1965 to 1972.

Both of you can email me at my office and send the rest for translation. Go find the book of Proverbs and Maxims by MacMillan. Please send me your correct email address. Don't send your email address using the blogspot if you need privacy!

Pax et vobis!
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:41 PM   0 comments
MONACO -- Prince Albert II acceded to the throne Tuesday of a 700 year old dynasty, coming into his own as a modern ruler who wants to clean up Monaco's image as a refuge for shady characters and has unblushingly acknowledged fathering a child out of a wedlock.

After a lifetime in the shadow of his father Prince Rainier III, who died in April, Albert emerged as an assured leader in his first speech, hours after a solemn mass to mark his ascension. He outlined plans to promote banking in the tiny principality of 30,000 people, and stressed that money laundering would not be tolerated.

"Money and virtue must be combined permanently", Albert told his subjects, thronged before him outside the royal palace, some sipping champagne.

Albert was proclaimed ruler of Monaco at a mass in the cathedral where his father and mother, Hollywood's Grace Kelly, are buried.

Cries of long Live Prince Albert" greeted the new ruler as he descended the cathedral's stair's after the service, flanked by his sisters, princesses Caroline and Stephanie. The he slipped on sunglasses and headed off for more festivities.

Prince Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre, Marquis of Baux, is a sporty 47-year old bobsled anthusiast who is concerned about the environment.

Second Ceremony on November.
Last week he confirmed reports he fathered a child with an African born Air France flight attendant.

In another surprise, the night before taking the throne Albert told France's TFI television there may be others with paternity claims, though he didn't offer details.

Albert's ascession to the throne is a two step event, with another ceremony set for Nov. 19.

(Associated Press by: Angela Doland)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:25 PM   0 comments
Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were particularly concerned with Civil Rights.
Both wives lost a child while living in the White House.

Both President was Shot on a Friday.
Both President was Shot in the Head.

Lincoln's Secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.

Both was assasinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Lyndon Johnson who succeeded Kennedy was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, who assasinated Lincoln was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assasinated Kennedy was born in 1939.

Both assasins were known by their three names.
Both names was composed of fifteen letters.

Lincoln was shot at the theatre named "Ford".
Kennedy was shot in a car called "Lincoln" made by "Ford".

Booth and Oswald was assasinated before their trails.

A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.
A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.

Lincoln was shot in a theatre and the assasin ran to a warehouse.
Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and ran to a theatre.

(see: scubalfred@yahoo.com)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:25 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
A sliver of good news from across the Atlantic: things could be much worse. Since the 2004 bombings in Madrid, authorities across the Continent have ramped up counterteroristm efforts, making hundreds of arrests and foiling several large-scale plots.

Here's a rundown of some notable successes.

1). BRITAIN -- British authorities charged eight citizen last August with conspiracy to launch chemical attacks. One suspect, Dhiren Barot, a purported senior al-Qaeda frontman in Britain, allegedly possessed reconnaissance plans of four U.S. financial institutions that were the forces of a U.S. terrorism alert earlier this month.

2). GERMANY -- An Iraqi suspected al-Qaeda member, identified only as Ibrahim Mohamed K. was arrested in the city of Mainz in January for allegedly planning a suicide attacks in Iraq. Authorities say he also tried to buy uranium in Luxembourg.

3). ITALY -- In June 2004 police arrested Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, a.k.a. Mohamed, the Egyptian, in Milan. Ahmed had made calls to radical contacts elsewhere in Europe, boasting he as the mastermind of the Madrid strikes.

4). TURKEY -- Sixteen suspected members of Ansar-al-Islam, a group of linked to al-Qaeda, were arrested by Turkish police is Bursa in April 2004 for allegedly preparing to bomb the June 2004 NATO meeting in Istanbul.

5). LEBANON -- In September 2004 a plot to blow up the Italian embassy in Beirut, was foiled when Lebanese authorities arrested 10 people, including al-Qaed operative Ismail Mohammed al_Khatib. Al-Khatib died of a heart attack in custody.

6). BELGIUM -- Belgian police detained Youssef Belhadj, on Feb. 1 for his alleged role in the Madrid bombings. Authorities say he could be the al-Qaeda spokesman who claimed responsibility for the attacks on video.

7). FRANCE -- In an effort to curb the flow of support for insurgents in Iraq, police swept the cities of Montpelier and Limogos in June, arresting Hamid Bach, a Moroccan who allegedly stockpiled bombmaking materials in his home and tried to enter Iraq a year ago. Police last month detained a 19-year old man, in Vemaison who possessed detonators, chemicals and pictures of Osama bin Laden in his flat.

8). SPAIN -- Some three dozen Madrid-bombing suspects are in custody. In October, 2004 Spanish authorities detained about 30 North Africans connected with a terrorist cell that was planning to attack Spain's national court in Madrid. This June, police arrested 11 terrorism suspects across Spain, including 11 who were allegedly recruited for suicide missions in Iraq and have ties to Iraq terrorism kingpin Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi.

(abstracted from TIME MAGAZINE by : Sean Gregory)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:43 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, July 12, 2005

My homeland is now becoming so crowded. The metropolitan Manila alone is so tightly packed with humanity that has given problems to pollution and prostitution, from crime and grimes. The surge of humanity when crossing the main thoroughfare is unbelievable.The government cannot even take care of the homeless and those people with homes in the provinces, wants to be homeless in the city by becoming squatters.

There is so many condo that came up like mushrooms and then suddenly stopped the construction, because of lack of fundings, even if the projectis already 85 percent finish. One can see the metal rebars already rusting, and the walls are already catching some mildew and wild grass already growing in the nave of the building facade.


In rural America, there are so much land and nobody wants to live on it. There are buildings that has been abandoned, except for the grain silo and a lone post office that is about to close and schools that is also loosing and dwindling with students. Lots of places in rural America needed some people to live and stay, to be become alive again.

In the great plains of America, lands are being given for free as long as you stay and raise a family there. The state of Kansas, is having this type of problem. They have even put up a website for people to see and visit so that they can be allured to come to Kansas and live. (kansasfreeland.com)

Here's some of the deals that is being offered:(Let's Make a Deal!)

--- Free Lots: Up to one-quarter acre.
--- Rules: You must be in contract to begin building within six months and must move in within a year of starting construction -- and agree to stay at least two years.

--- Free Lots: One-third of an acre; local lenders will also include the land's value as part of a down payment toward a new construction loan.
--- Rules: You must build within a year.

--- Free Lots: Up to one-third of an acre.
--- Rules: You must begin construction within 120 days and agree to live in the house for at least a year.

--- Free Lots: Up to one-third of an acre; extras include free membership at the golf and gun clubs, and movie passes.
--- Rules: You need a preapproved house plan and loan and must build within a year.

Check also: prairieopportunity.com

(some materials and info abstracted from the TIME magazine issue: Land of the Free July 11,2005)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:00 AM   1 comments
Monday, July 11, 2005
** The Kitchen Dishwasher was invented by the socialite wife of an Illinois politician, not because she was fed up with the ho-hum chore of dirty dishes but because she had had it with careless servants who too frequently broke her expensive china while washing it.

** According to the film's animators, you'll see 6,469,952 black spots every time you watch 101 Dalmatians.

** All of the still photos of Forrest Gump picture him with his eyes closed.

** The movie The Graduate, the parts of Benjamin Braddock and Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) were originally offered to Robert Redford and Doris Day.

** Burt Reynolds was cast as Han Solo in Star Wars, but dropped out before filming began.

** The title role in the movie Beetlejiuce was written for Sammy Davis Jr.

** In the movie, the Pulp Fiction, the word Fuck is used 257 times.

** 22 cigarettes are smoked in the movie Casablanca.

** Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones was the college roommate (Harvard class of 1969) of Vice President Al Gore.

** Annie Hall was originally written and shot as a murder mystery, but during postproduction Woody Allen realized that the strongest footage was of the relationship between the two main characters, so the film was paired down and redirected as a romantic comedy.

** A recording of a camel's moan was slowed down and used as the sound of the tornado in the movie Twister.

** In the early 1920s, taxicab company owner John Hertz (who would later go on to start a rental car business) funded a University of Chicago study to determine which color in the spectrum was most visible from a far distance. When the answer came back "yellow", he had all of the cars in his fleet painted exactly that, beginning a tradition that would catch on nationwide, and carry over to school buses and traffic signs.

** An unbelievable rude waiter at Oscar's Tavern in New York so unintentionally amused Muppet creator Jim Henson and Sesame Street director Jon Stone that he inspired the creation of Oscar the Grouch.

** The X-File's Detective Scully was named in honor of Vin Scully, the well-loved announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. "Mulder" for the record is show creator Chris Carter's mother maiden name.

** The smell of Crayola crayons is so familiar that it one of the twenty most recognizable scents ato American adults (ranking up there with coffee and peanut butter) and so soothing that sniffing them has been proven to lower blood pressure.

** In the 1970s, in order to stop kids from sniffing airplane glue, the manufacturers added an intense oil of mustard to the formula.

(abstracted from the book: WHO KNEW by David Hoffman)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:46 PM   0 comments
Saturday, July 09, 2005
** The Microwave was bornwhen an engineer testing a magnetron tube notices that the radiation leaking from it had caused the chocoltate bag in his pocket to melt.

** Following the sales success of his disposable ballpoint pen in Europe, French businessman Marcel Bich was ready to take on the international market. He had named the product after hmself, but realizing that Americans would incorrectly pronounce the name spelled Bich as Bitch, he smartly dropped the H and called his pen BIC.

** From Russia with Love was chosen as the second James Bond novel to be adapted as a film after President John Kennedy listed it as one of his ten favorite books of all time.

** In 1899, pharmacist George Bunting blended his own cold cream, which, in addition to removing makeup and relieving sunburn, gained popularity for its ability to cure eczema. The "No Eczema" claim not only became the product's major selling point, it also gave it its name: NOXZEMA.

** In 1903, s applaud of coffee consigned to European businessman Ludwig Roselius accidentally got drenched during a storm at sea. Since the beans were no longer fit for commercial sale, Roselius used the cargo for research purposes, eventually discovering that soaking coffee beans in water was the key to decaffeination. When further experimenting proved that he could remove practically all the caffeine, but not the flavor and aroma, he decided to market his invention. He called the product, Sanka, a derivation of the French phrase sans caffeine.

** Because the studio expected it to be bomb, the budget of Casablanca, was so low that the plane used in the background of the final scene was a small cardboard cutout. To give it the illusion of being full sized, the producers hired midgets to portray the crew prepairing it for takeoff.

** Tip is an acronym for "to insure promptness" -- and once upon a time was given in advance.

** X's symbolize kisses because in ancient days, when few people knew how to write, they would simply sign an "X" to show their agreement, then kiss the mark to emphasize their sincerity.

** 7UP included lithium carbonate in its original recipe.

** McDonald's milkshakes contain seaweeed -- in the form of an extract called "carrageenan", a thickener and emulsifier that keeps the butterfat in the shake from separating out.

** The biggest menu flops at McDonald's include Kolacky, a Bohemian pastry that had been founder Ray Kroc's mother's specialty, and the Hula Burger, which was aimed at vegetarians (as well as Catholics who didn't eat fish on Fridays) and consisted of two slices of cheese and a grilled pineapple ring on a toasted bun.

** McDonald's teaches its employees that the fastest way to put out a shortening fires is to dump frozen french fries on it.

** In 1853, George Crum, the head chef at Moon's Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York, was insulted when hotel guest Cornelius Vanderbilt, the well-known railroad tycoon, sent back his dish of French fries, demanding that they be cut thinner and friend longer. In anger, Crum decided to teach the commodore a lesson and shaved off paper thin slices of potatoes, threw them into a tub of ice water, let them soak, and dropped them into a vat of boiling grease. When they came out curled and fried crisp, he sprinkled salt on them and sent the potatoes back to the Vanderbilt table. Crum was bowled over when the guest sent back their compliments and requested another order. Soon, "Saratoga chips" (later to become simply "potato chips") were a featured item on the hotel's menu.

** In 1891, Philadelphia inventor James Henry Mitchell revolutionized the packaged-cookie business by building an apparatus that could combine a hollow cookie crust with a fruit filling. The machinery was quickly bought by the Kennedy Biscuit Works in Boston, which had established the tradition of naming their cookies and crackers after towns in the immediate area. Since the company already had the Beacon Hill and the Brighton, this fruit filled number was christened the Newton. And although it was originally manufactured with a range of jam centers, fig quickly proved to be the most popular, hence the cookie officially became known as the Fig Newton.

** In 1880, the flour produced by Wahsburn, Crosby and Co., a Minnesota miller, took first place at an international exhibition held in Cincinnati, Sensing the public relations potential in their victory, company officials decided to start marketing their award winning product under the name Gold Medal. But when an avalanche of mail poured in from housewives requesting recipes (or asking about baking problems), the men who ran Washburn, Crosby felt the responses they sent back should come from a woman. So Betty Crocker was born. The name "Betty" was picked because it was familiar and friendly; "Crocker" was chosen to honor William Crocker, a former director of the company.

** At the St.. Louis World's Fair in 1904, Ernest Hamwi opened up a concession to sell zalabia, a crisp, wafflelike Persian pastry baked on a flat waffle iron and topped with sugar, fruit, or other sweets. The stand next to Hamwi's offered ice cream in five and ten cent dishes. When one day business was extremely brisk and the ice cream vendor ran out of glass cups, the quick thinking Hamwi rolled one of his wagers into a cornucopia, let it cool, and then scooped the ice cream into its mouth....the first ice cream cone.

** Bank was commonly shaped like pigs because in the 18th century frugal people saved their money in earthenware jars made of dense range clay known as Pygg.

** The paper used to make money is composed of linen and several types of cotton, including denim -- which gives it its unique fabriclike feel and durability.

** When the gray exterior of the Presidential Mansion was painted white to cover the fire damaged by British Forces in the War of 1812, the change in color brought along change in the name: the White House.

** The Pentagon,one of the largest office building in the world, has twice as many bathrooms as is necessary, because when it was built Virginia laws still required separate toilet facilities for blacks and whites.

** While his wife spent long hours posing for the figure, the model for the face of the Statue of Liberty was Charlotte Bartholdi, mother of the French sculptor, Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, who designed it.

** Big Ben is not a clock, but the thirteen-ton bell inside the clock tower of England's House of Parliament.

** Sunglasses date back to 15th century China, where they were worn by judges to conceal their expressions while presiding over court.

** The idea of painting fingernails originated in China, where the color of someone's nails indicated their social rank.

(abstracted from the book: WHO KNEW??? by David Hoffman)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:28 AM   0 comments
Thursday, July 07, 2005
*** If Jell-O is hooked up to an EEG, it registers movements virtually identical to the brain waves of a healthy adult.

*** The Hershey's Kiss got its name from the puckering sound made by the manufacturing equipment as chocolate was dropped onto the conveyor belt during the production process.

*** Besieged by customer's requests, Cleveland restaurant owner (and former chef at New York's Plaza Hotel) Hector Boiardi decided to bottle his famous spaghetti and meat sauce. With local success came an offer for national distribution, but, fearing that Americans would have trouble pronouncing (not to mention remembering) hsi Italian surname, he marketed and sold his tasty treat under the phonetic spelling "Boy-ar-dee".

*** Despite its 216-minute running time, Lawrence of Arabia has no women in speaking roles.

*** Bulls are colored blind and cannot see red. It is the bright color and motion of the cape that causes them to charge.

*** The Ostrich's eye is bigger that its brain.

*** The original Volkswagen Beetle was commissioned by Adolf Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porsche.

*** The name Jeep is derivative of the expression "G.P.", military slang for General Purpose Vehicle.

*** Nike's signature design came when a former runner at the University of Oregon and his college coach, in an attempt to build a better, lighter sneakers, took a piece of rubber, stuck it into a waffle iron, and crafted a crisscross patterned sole that markedly increased traction.

*** The Female praying mantis chews her partner's head off during mating.

*** Each instance of dog poop that goes unscooped attracts approximately 144 flies.

*** Cats have two sets of vocal chords.

*** Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

*** Houseflies hum in the key of F.

*** The Jukebox got its name from jook,African-American slang for "dance".

*** No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.

*** Stewardesses is the longest word that is typed using only the left hand.

*** Big Bird(of Sesame Street) costume is made of turkey feathers, dyed yellow.

*** In terms of area, Juneau, Alaska is the largest city in the United States, yet it can only be reached by boat of plane.

*** Barbie's last name is Roberts.

*** Six eight-stud Lego pieces can be combined `102,981,500 ways.

*** Mexican jumping beans jump because there is an actual one-quarter-inc caterpillar trapped inside.

*** The Quija board got its name from the combination of the French and German word "yes" -- oui and ja.

*** On the average, we forget 80 percent of what we learn on any given day.

*** The Dollar sign is a combination of the letters P and S,PS being the abbreviation for pesos, the principal coin in circulatin in the United States until 1794 when US beagan marketing their own dollars.

*** The largest McDonald's is in Beijing,China. It measures more than twenty-eight thousand sqaure feet, seats seven hundred, and has two kitchens and twenty-nine registers.

(abstracted from the book: WHO KNEW by: David Hoffman)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:06 AM   1 comments
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
LUNCHEON -- in present usage the name given to a meal between breakfast and tea or dinner. When dinner was taken at an early hour, or when it is still the principal midday meal, Luncheon was and is still a light repast. The deprivation of the word has been obscurred, chiefly owing to the attempted connection with "nuncheon", with which the word has nothing to do etymologically, "Luncheon" is an extended form of "lunch" (another form of "lump", as "hunch" is of "hump") Lunch and Luncheon in the earliest meanings found are applied to a thick piece of bread, bacon, meat, etc.

The word "Nuncheon", or "Nunchion",, with which "Luncheon" has been frequently connected, appears as early as the 14th century in the form noneschenche. This meant refreshment or distribution, properly of drink, but also accompanied with soem small quantity of meat, taken in the early afternoon.

The word literally means, "Noondrink",from none or noon, ie nona hora, the ninth hour, , originally 3 o'clock P.M. but later "midday" -- the church office of "nones",and also the second meal of the day.

BACKSCRATCHER --, a long slender rod of wood, whalebone, tortoiseshell, horn or cane, with a carved human hand, usually if ivory, mounted at the extremity. Its name suggests the primary use of the implement, but little is known of its history, and it was unquestionably also employed as a kind of rake to keep in order the huge "heads" of powdered hair worn by ladies, during a considerable portion of the 18th and the early part of the 19th centuries. The Backscratcher vaies in legnth from 12 to 20 in., and the more elaborate examples, whcih were occasionally hung from the waist, are silver munted, and in rare instances the ivory fingers bear carved rings. The hand is sometimes outstreched, and sometimes the fingers are flexed; the modeling is frequently good, the fingers delicately formed and the nails well defined. As a rule the rod is fibsihed off with a knob. The hand was now and again replaced by a rake or a bird's claw. The hand was indifferently dexter or sinister, but the Chinese variety usually bears a right hand. Like most of the obsolete appliances of daily life, the Backscratcher, or scratch-back, as it is sometimes called, has become scarce, and it is one of the inumerable objects which attract the attention of the modern collector.

TOAST --, a slice of bread scorched brown on the two surfaces by the heatof a fire. The word was borrowed from the O, French Toste,Latin torrere, tostum, to scorch, to burn. It was formerly the custom to have pieces of toast floating in many kinds of liquor, especially when drunk hot. It is said to be from this custom that the word is used of the calling upon a company to drink the health of some person, institution or cause.

(abstracted from the book:ALL THERE IS TO KNOW by: Alexander Coleman and Charles Simmons)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:24 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
UMBRELLA -- a portable folding protector from rain (French,Parapluie) the name parasol being given to the smaller and more fanciful article carried by ladies as a sunshade, and the en-toutas being available for both purposes. Primarily the umbrella (ombrella,Italian. dim, Latin. umbra, shade) was a sunshade along -- its original home having been in hot, brilliant climates. In Eastern countries from the earliest times the Umbrella was one of the insignia of royalty and power. On the sculptured remains of ancient Nineveh and Egypt there are representations of kings and sometimes of lesser potentates going in procession with an Umbrella carried over their heads; and through Asia the umbrella had, and still has, something of the same significance. The Mahratta princes of India had among their titles "Lord of the Umbrella". In 1855 the king of Burma in addressing the government general of India termed himself "the Monarch who reigns over the great umbrella-wearing chiefs of the Eastern countries." The baldachims created over ecclesiastical chairs, altars and portals, and the copies of thrones and pulpits,are in their origin closely related to umbrellas, and have the same symbolic significance. In each of the basilican churches of Rome there still hangs a large umbrella.

Among the Greeks and Romans the umbrella (umbraculum,umbella) was used by ladies, while the carrying of it by men was regarded as a sign of effeminacy. Probably in these southern climes it never went out of use, and allusions by Montagine show that in his day its employment as a sunshade was quite common in Italy. The Umbrella, was not unknown in England in the 17th century, and was already used as a rain protector. Michael Drayton, writing about the beginning of the 17th century, says, speaking of doves --

..... And, like umbrellas, with their feathers,
..... Shield you in all sorts of weathers.

Although it was the practice to keep an umbrella in the coffee houses early in the 18th century, its use cannot have been very familiar, for in 1752 Colonel Wolfe, writing from Paris, mentions the carrying of them there as a defence against both rain and sun, and wonders that they are not introduced into England. The traveler Jonas Hanway, who died in 1786, is credited with having been the first Englishman who habitually carried an umbrella.

(abstracted from the book:ALL THERE IS TO KNOW by: Alexander Coleman and Charles Simmons)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:44 AM   0 comments
04July --U.S.Independence Day.
I took a day off for this special holiday. I have never taken a holiday on this day, because if i work, I get paid time and a half. So my wife and the two boys asked me to take this day off and do some backyard grilling and cooking. But it rained like hell for two hours and the backyard grilling ang family fun at my backyard was cancelled. I have to do it indoor, which is not fun. I wanted to do my grilling under my apple trees in my backyard and sit on my lounge chair and have some cold "Sago and Gulaman" (Tapioca and Gelatin)

So, instead of grilling some steak outside the gas grill, i have to wait for the rain to stop and grill afterwards, underneath the back door canopy, even the ground is wet and the sun was covered with rain clouds. Even the fireworks in my area was cancelled. First time,I took this particular day off and this is what happened.

I bought some Rancher's cut steak and pork chops and chicken. My wife bought this particular type of fish that I never eat. TILAPIA (Til-AH-pe-ah). I hate this fish, because back home in Pinas when I was growing up, my grandma cooks this for us and the taste and the semll is like mud. Yuckkkkk! My wife encouraged me to eat more fish and less meat. She said this is good for my gout problem. She was doing all her best to really make me eat TILAPIA. Being a good husband and showing that my wife WEARS THE PANTS AT HOME, I ate a piece of the meat of the fish. It does not smell and taste muddy to me. So I ate one side of the fish and started asking myself, why am I so prejudice about this fish. Then I did some reasearch.

Check : THE RAINFORST AQUA CULTURE and wmarshall@tilapia.com/

"TILAPIA" is hailed as THE FISH OF THE MILLENIUM, Tilapia has rapidly gained consumer recognition in the USA. Consumption in America is almost 145 million lbs of whole weight in 2000, and has been growing at 35 percent a year for the past 8 years.

TILAPIA traces its origin to the Nile River and has been raised for decades. It's culinary potential was appreciated by Ancient Egyptians and the epicurian Greeks.

Aristotle believed to have given the fish its name Tilapia Niloticus (fish of the Nile) in 300 B.C.

Legend says, that TILAPIA was the fish Christ multiplied a thousand fold to feed the masses (MATTHEW 14:15-19).

TILAPIA is also referred to as St. Peter's Fish, a member of CICHLID Family , these fish look much like a snapper and can live in either frsh or salt water."


"There are many TILAPIA. However, the two best suited for acquaculture are the Red Tilapia(OREOCHROMIS MOSSAMBICA) and the Black Tilapia (OREOCHROMIS NILOTICUS). Although both stains can be raised in either fresh or brackish water, Black Tilapia usually are the best suited to the fresh water than the Red Tilapia. The fillets are slightly different in color. Fillets of both red and black, when raised correctly, will have a similar mild taste."

"Since TILAPIA absorbs flavor from the water its raised in, wild TILAPIA can have a muddy or inconsistent flavor while acquacultured TILAPIA with reliable water sources, the right feed and carefully monitored growth will taste mild and sweet."


Now I know why some of the Tilapia, my grandma feeds us when I was a kid taste muddy and looks weired, especially after the strong typhoon, when all the streets in Metro Manila gets flooded and the wet market is selling Tilapia en masse.
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:09 AM   0 comments
Friday, July 01, 2005
Many of you probably don't realize you use Arabic Numerals. Some of you may think this explains why you have so much trouble with math -- the numbers are in a different language! How can you divide 73 by 13 when the numbers are'nt even English?

Actually, we don't use Arabic numerals. We use Hindu numerals. Western call them Arabic because Europe got the numerals from the Islamic world, which got them from the Hindus.(People use to pay attention to the subtleties of multiculturalism.)

The switch from Roman to Arabic numerals took place in the Middle Ages, propelled by a book in the 13th century by the mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci in which he discussed the merits of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system. Islamic mathematics was not a far off, exotic concept at that point because for much of the Middle Ages the Muslims had ruled Spain, Sicily, and North Africa, and when they were finally driven out by European they left behind mathematical treatiises. We tend to forget that Islam was a more powerful culture, and more scientifically advanced, that European civilization in the centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

"If you landed from Mars in teh year 800 A.D. and wanted to go to the center of mathematical learning on Earth, you'd go to Baghdad, says Bill Dunham, author fo a book, "The Mathematical Universe".

Many accountants in the middle Ages retained Roman numerals instead of switching. The reason is that addition and subtraction can often be quite easy in the Roman system. Let's say you want to subtract 16 from 68. In the Arabic system, you plop the 68 on top of the 16, subtract 6 from 8, and 1 from 6, to get your answer, 52. But in the Roman system you'd just whack an X and a V and I and LXVIII to get LII. It's subtraction by meat cleaver.

But Arabic numerals are more graceful in other ways. Their main advantage is that they have a "place" system, in which the value of a numeral is determined by its position. This is one reason why it's so much easier to write 1994 than MCMXCIV. In the Roman system, the numerals are intransigent. An X is always , 10, a C is always 100, and so on. (XC is 90, but the X still represents 10 and the C still represents 100).

The Hindus also invented a 0, one of the great inventions of all time. No one knows who came up with this idea. Originally the 0 was probably just a place holder, for use between, say, a 5 and a 7 in teh number 507. Eventually it grew to be the number we know and love so much now, one unti less than 1, the number that most perfectly represents the social skills of the average Why staffer.

Our advice to everyone is to revert, whenever possible, to cuneiform numerals. These were invented by the Sumerians and Chaldeans about 5000 years ago and where devised on a base 60 system (as opposed to our base 10 system). They used little wedges as symbols, and the direction the wedge pointed determined the number.

For extra credit you might want to try the Egyptian system in use about 4000 years ago, in which 100 was represented by a chain, 1,000 by a lotus flower, 10,000 by a pointed finger, 100,000 by a tadpole, and 1 million by a man with hsi arms outstreched.

(abstracted from from the book: WHY THINGS ARE AND WHY THINGS AREN'T by: Joel Achenbach)
posted by infraternam meam @ 4:17 PM   1 comments
Whom you live with and whether you're single, married, divroced or widowed can offer clues to you health decades later, research sugests.

Experts comparing the health and well being of varied states of pairing and singledom have found that living with aging parents or grandchildren takes a toll on adultsd health. And the research shows that any disruption to marriage, such as divorce or a spouse's death, can have repercussions years later.

"Talk about a scar on people's health", Linda Waite, a University of Chicago sociologist and author, told about 1,700 marital therapist, marriage educators and others at the ninth annual Smart Marriages conference in Dallas.


Waite says marriage's benefits derive from social connection, risk sharing, specialization of household tasks and economies of scale.

Waite is among researchers who offered new findings about relationships to an audience made up largely of those who help couples through trying times.

Her analysis is an update of research published five years ago in her book "The Case of Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financiallly." Now, she has re-analyzed data from more than 8,600 people ages 51 to 61 to look more deeply into physical and mental health, as well as physiological functioning.

Divorce or widowhood creates stress which is associated with chronic health problems, she says. Couples who live alone or with their own children have equal health advantages. But couples or singles living with parents or grandkids show damaging effects on physical, emotional and cognitive health. She says researchers presume the stress of caregiving is responsible for the effects, but more research is needed.

But a happy remarriage offers about the same health benefits as an undisrupted one, she says.

( Abstracted from :Gannett News Service by: Sharon Jayson)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:16 PM   0 comments
TRANSMIGRATION OF THE SOUL, the doctrine that at death the soul passes into another living creature, man,animal, or even plant. This doctrine, famous in antiquity and still held as a religious tenet by certain sects of the civilized world, has its roots far back in primitive culture. It is developed out of three unviersal savage beliefs:

1).. that man has a soul,connected in some vague way with the breath, which can be separated from his material body, temporarily in sleep, permanently at death;

2)..that animals and even plants have souls, and are possessed to a large extent of human powers and passions;

3).. that souls can be transferred from one organism to another.

Innumerable examples might be mentioned of the notion that a new born child is the reincarnation of someone departed, as in Tibet the soul of the Dalai Lama is supposed to pass into an infant born nine months after his decease.

Transmigration of humansouls into non-human bodies is implied in totemism, for, as Professor Frazer says, "it is an artcile of faith that as the clan sparng from the totem, so each clansman at death reassumes the totem form", All these savage notions are to be regarded as presuppositions of metempsychosis, rather than identified with that doctrine itslef as a reasoned theory.

Till full investigation of Egyptian records put us in possession of the facts, it was supposed that the Egyptians believed in Metempsychosis,, and Herodotus (ii,123) explicitly credits them with it. We now know that he was wrong. All that they believed was that certain priviledged souls might in other world be able to assume certain forms at pleasure, those of a sparrow-hawk, lily, etc. Herodotus misunderstood the Egyptians to hold beliefs indentical with those which were current in his day in Greece.

In India, on the contrary, the doctrine was thoroughly established from anceint times; not from the most ancient, as it is not in the Vedas; but onwards from the Upanishads. In them it is used for moral retribution, he who kills a Brahmanis, after a long progress through dreadful hells, to be reborn as a dog, pig, ass, camel, etc.

We do not know how the doctrine of Metempshychosis arose in Greece, it cannot, as once supposed, have been borrowed from Egypt and is not likely to hae come from India.It is easiest to assume that savage ideas which had never been extinguished were utilized fro religious and philosophic purposes. The Orphic religion, which held it, first appeared in Thrace upon the semi barbarous notheastern frontier,

Orpheus, its legendary founder, is saud tohave taught "soul and body are united by a compact unequally binding on either; the soul is divine, immortal and aspires to freedom, while the body holds it in fetters as a prisoner. Death dissolves this compact, but only to re-imprison the liberated sould after a short time: for the wheel of birth revolves inexorably. Thus the soul continues its journey, alternating between a separate unrestrained existence and fresh reincarnation, round the wide circle of necessity, as the companion of many bodies of men and animals.To these unfortunate prisoners Orpheus proclaims the message of liberation, that they stand in need of the grace of redeeming gods and of Dionysius in particular, and calls them t turn in God by ascetic piety of life and self purification:the purer their lives, the higher will be their next reincarnation, until the soul has completed the spiral ascent of destiny to live for ever as God from whom it comes.

(abstracted from the book:ALL THERE IS TO KNOW by: Alexander Coleman and Chalrese Simmons)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:54 AM   0 comments
About Me

Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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