CAN BELIEF CHANGE REALITY?


PART I.  Merck has a proven vaccine against the virus that causes the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US [more than half of Americans get it].  The virus also causes cervical cancer which kills 5,000 Americans/year.  But it is expected that the Bush administration will block it.  They prefer abstinence.


The failure of abstinence programs is many times higher than condom use.


88% of Columbia and Yale university students who took a voluntary virginity pledge had sex before the study ended [and before they got married.].


PART II.  Two years ago the Bush administration blocked the morning-after pill--Plan B.


PART III.  In the face of overwhelming consensus that burning fossil fuels is a principal cause of global warming, 160 countries accepted new limits on their use.  The U.S., by far the world’s most profligate consumer of energy, was one of only two industrialized nations to refuse, along w/Australia.


PART IV.  For the past two decades, polls have shown consistently that more than half of all Americans believe that humans were created directly by God.  A similar number don’t believe we share a common ancestor with apes.  And only 22% say that we evolved from an earlier species.


PART V.  The US now educates fewer scientists every year.  In 2005 seniors in American high schools performed below the average of 21 countries on a test of general knowledge of math and science--and in advanced courses the US was close to the bottom. 


China and South Korea are raising their basic research budgets by 10%/year.  This year the US’s is dropping by one half of a percent. 


In 2004, 600,000 engineers graduated in China, and 350,000 in India...in the US it was 70,000. 


For the first time the US imports more hight-tech products than it imports.


SEE:  Michael Specter’s article in The New Yorker, 3/13/6.



Things you need to know [?]: Part 3--SENT


ALCHEMY?  There is a Chicago company that will turn a loved one’s ashes into a synthetic diamond.


GOT BEER?  Under-17-year-olds rated SuperBowl Bud beer ads # 1, 2, 3 and 4.  “Without beer ads on TV underage drinking would drop significantly” said Amon Rappaport of the Marin Institute.


GOT INSURANCE?  Most of Wal-Mart’s 1.3 million U.S. employees do not have health insurance. 


GOT KIDS?  Because of the rise of type 2 diabetes, experts say that today’s children will probably die younger than their parents.  Type 2 diabetes is preventable by diet and exercize.


B.V.D. underwear for men was introduced in 1876 and were called “Babies’ Ventilated Diapers.”  Now BVD is a generic name.


NEWSFLASH:  In an attempt to thwart the spead of “Bird Flu,” George W. Bush has just bombed the Canary Islands.


UKULELE is Hawaiian for “jumping flea.”


BUMPER STICKER:  Dick Cheney before he dicks you.


CURVES.  Baseball’s curveball was invented in 1867 by Brooklyn pitcher William Arthur Cummings.


AN OLDER COUPLE go to the doctor for a check-up. The doctor tells them that they're physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember things.  Later that night while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair.  His wife asks, "Where are you going"?"To the kitchen," he replies.  "Will you get me a bowl of ice cream"?  "Sure."  "Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it"? she asks.  "No, I can remember it," he said.  "Well, I'd like some strawberries on top, too. You'd better write that down because you know you'll forget it."  He says, "I can remember that. You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries."  "I'd also like some whipped cream. I'm certain you'll forget that, so you'd better write it down," she retorts.  Irritated, he says, "I don't need to write it down, I can remember it. Leave me alone. Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream. I got it, for goodness sake." Then he grumbles into the kitchen.  After about 20 minutes the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs. She stares at the plate for a moment and says, "Where's my toast"?!!


When STARS are out they are visible;  when lights are out they are invisible.


VIRGINS WIN.  Ancient Roman philosophers and medieval theologians thought that loving your spouse too much was a form of “adultery,” a betrayal of one’s obligation to country or God.  Early Christians thought marriage was tainted by the presence of sex.  The Medieval Church ranked virgins highest in godliness, widows second and wives a distant third.


ALASKA receives $1.89 in federal spending for every $1 the state paid in federal taxes  [2nd behind NM].  They pay no state income tax and every year each man/woman/child receives a share of the oil wealth...last year: $845.76


DOUBTING?  The name Thomas is not a proper name.  It means “twin” in Aramaic, the language of the Gospels.


WHY do noses run and feet smell?


BAROQUE comes from a word meaning “misshapen pearl.”




Things you need to know [?]: Part 4 SENT


BALZAC:  “Behind every great fortune is a great crime.”


BUSH’S APPROVAL RATING is 35 points lower than Clinton’s when he was impeached.


“I have conquered an empire, but I have not been able to conquer myself.” PETER THE GREAT, Emperor of Russia


FOOTBALL.  In 1905, 19 collegiates died playing football and 154 were seriously injured.  By 1909 the numbers were 33 and 246.  The game was shortened from 70 to 60 minutes; the forward pass was made legal; 10 yards, not 5, was set for a first down; and leather helmets were required.


BRONCO ALERT.  National studies show that accidents involving police vehicles result in one death nearly every day.


TAX.  So far the Iraq Invasion cost each taxpayer $2,083...and Bush just asked for $63 billion more.


SUB ROSA.  “Under the rose” refers to the rose that Romans hung over meetings to indicate the meeting was confidential.


DIVORCE.  35% of born-again Christians in the U.S. have divorced, almost the same as the 37% of atheists and agnostics who have divorced.  23% of born-again Christians have divorced twice.  Among Pentecostals, the divorce rate is over 40%.  The Bible-Belt has the highest divorce rate.


JAMA reports that studies of autopsies show that doctors seriously misdiagnose fatal illness about 20% of the time.  So millions of people are being treated for the wrong disease.  And the rate has not changed since the 1930s.  Under the current medical system, doctors, nurses, lab techs and hospital execs are not actually paid to come up with the right diagnosis.  They are paid to perform tests, do surgery and dispense drugs.  There is no bonus for curing someone, and no penalty for failing, except when mistakes rise to the level of malpractice.  Unlike pilots, doctors don’t go down with their planes.  GOTO nytimes.com/leonhardt  to hear a fascinating story.


CHINA has such a huge stash of other countries’ money that it could hand out bonuses equling half a year’s wages to all 770 million of it’s workers.  But much of it is invested in US Treasuries and mortgages on American homes.  China sells us 6X as much as we sell to them.


WE’RE NOT #1.  The US won 9 fewer medals in Torino than in Salt Lake City.  The countries above and close to us in medals have a fraction of our population.   And the Swiss stole our snowboarding.  What’s next?


MEDICAL PATIENT.  The word “patient” comes from the Latin pati--to suffer.


TAX CUTS.  According to Citizens for Tax Justice, households with incomes of around $75,000 got an average tax cut of $400 from the GOP’s 2003 tax scheme;  those with $50,000 saved less than $200/year; those with $30,000 got almost nothing.  But those in the top 1%, with incomes around $1 million, got almost $25,000/year in cuts.  About 1/3 of American households LIVE on $25,000/year or less.  Millionaires got that much in tax cuts alone.  No wonder the rich were such enthusiastic Bush voters in 2004.


FROM TURKISH:  The words: caviar, cofee and tulip.


FROM CHINESE:  The words:  ketchup, tea and typhoon.


FROM PERSIAN: The words:  candy, magic and talcum.


PROFITS ARE UP!  Since the recession ended at the end of 2001, corporate profits are up 81%, while the wages that corporations pay their employees are up just 18%--a ration of 4 to 1.


Asia and the Middle-East LENDS;  America SPENDS. The U.S. Government does 2 to 3 billion dollars in fresh borrowing from abroad every business day. 


CASH BACK.    40% of rebate offers are never redeemed.


WIDE OPEN SPACES, 95% of American land is undeveloped.


BUSH’S LEGACY.  1. Iraq;  2.  Constitutional crisis:  President negating US laws;  3.  Ignoring climate change.


The Pot Keeps Pouring Over:  Potpourri #5  SENT


THE NEW-YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, in 1857, fired all but two of its foreign correspondents in an economy move.  One of the two retained was the German socialist Karl Marx.


ZIP.  A man walked into a supermarket with his zipper down. A lady cashier walked up to him and said, "Your barracks door is open."  Not a phrase that men normally use, he went on his way looking a bit puzzled. When he was about done shopping, a man came  up and said, "Your fly is open." He zipped up and  finished his shopping. At the checkout, he  intentionally got in the line where the lady was that told him about his "barracks door." He was planning to have a little fun with her,  so when he reached the counter he said, "When you  saw my barracks door open, did you see a soldier standing in there at attention?" The lady (naturally smarter than the  man) thought for a moment and said, "No, no I didn't. All I saw was a disabled veteran sitting on a couple of old duffel bags.


HMMM.  The early Fathers of the Church  said that only the Gospel of John says that Jesus is divine.


ANDREW CARNEGIE:  “The man who dies rich dies disgraced.”  The very rich, he said, should live without extravagance, provide moderately for their dependents, leave little to their male heirs, and give the rest away in their own lifetime, doing for the poor “better than they would or could do for themselves.”


GAIL BORDEN received a patent in 1856 for condensed milk. Consumers reject it since they are used to watered milk doctored with chalk to make it white and molasses to make it seem creamy.  Borden’s condensed milk contributed to rickets in young working-class children since it lacked certain necessary food factors of milk.


G.K. CHESTERTON:  “Confession without absolution is psychotherapy.”


A MAGICIAN worked on a cruise ship.  The audience was different each week so the magician did the same tricks over and over again.

There was only one problem: The captain's parrot saw the shows each week and

began to understand how the magician did every trick.  Once he understood, he started shouting in the middle of the show, "Look, it's not the same hat!" or, "Look, he's hiding the flowers under the table!" or "Hey, why are all the cards the ace of spades?"The magician was furious but couldn't do anything. It was, after all, the

captain's parrot.  Then one stormy night on the Pacific, the ship unfortunately sank, drowning almost all who were on board.  The magician luckily found himself on a piece of wood floating in the middle of the sea, as fate would have it ... with the parrot. They stared at each other with hatred, but did not utter a word.  This went on for a day... and then 2 days ... and then 3 days.  Finally on the 4th day, the parrot could not hold back any longer and said...... "OK, I give up. Where's the frickin' ship?"  [Ken]


SPINOZA believed the modern state had responsibility of looking after the common man, and the common man had the responsibilit of looking after himself.


WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS:  “Sex and the dead can be of the least interest to a serious and studious mind.” 


A BETTER BREED.  A 1907 Indiana law allowed scientists to use surgical methods to eradicate the unfit--the first law in human history allowing doctors to operate on otherwise healthy citizens against their will.  The 1924 U.S. Immigration Law kept out “inferior” people from Southern and Eastern Europe.  Hitler modeled Germany’s sterilization policies on California’s 1909 sterilization law.  More than 65,000 mentally ill and developmentally disabled people in 33 states were sterilized up til the mid-1960s.  [Harry Bruinius in “Better for All the World”]


TAX CUTS.  G.W. Bush is more of a taxcutter than was Reagan who signed tax increases in 1982 (twice), 1983 (twice), 1984, 1985 (twice), 1986, 1987 (twice) and 1988.


WHY WE SPLIT UP.  She told me we couldn't afford beer anymore and I'd have to quit. Then I caught her spending $65.00 on make-up. And I asked how come I had to give up stuff and not her. She said she needed the make-up to look pretty for me. I told her that was what the beer was for.  I don't think she's coming back.


IMITATION/FLATTERY.  National Lampoon mocked heavy metal band Megadeath 10 years before the real band MegaDeth in 1982;  Saturday Night Live spoofed “Triple Trac” razors 23 years before Gilette made Mach 3.


GOTO:  www.productinvasion.com  for a fun parody.


GONE SHOPPING?  After milk, eggs, bread and bananas, soda is the highest-volume item in grocery stores.


A WORLD BANK study shows that almost 1/3 of children in developing world are either underweight or stunted from malnutrition.


THE PEACE CORPS started in 1961 by JFK is in 75 countries and continues the tradition of seniors volunteering--6% are over 50. [Remember Lillian Carter served at age 68.)


GOT MONEY?  More americans go bankrupt each year than divorce. [Most bankruptcies are forced by medical bills and job loss.]


ONE of the key legal bases for isolating Saddam Hussein was that he had violated the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty which Iraq had signed.  The legal basis by which we are building a coalition against Iran’s going nuclear is the NPT.  Bush broke the NPT with his recent offer to allow India [a non-signer of NPT] to buy nuclear reactors and increase their production of nuclear WMDs.  --Thomas Friedman, NYT, 3/8/6, p. A23


More from the pot:  Potpourri  #6  SENT


WHO’S CALLING?  The AT&T data center in Kansas has electronic records of 1.92 trillion telephone calls going back decades.


BRUCE BARTLETT:  “The tendency of right-wing politicians is to declare Washington a cesspool and then go there and treat it like a hot tub.” 


If I must choose which I would elevate--

The people or the already lofty mountains,

I’d elevate the already lofty mountains.

--Robert Frost


On their HONEYMOON, the blonde bride slipped into a sexy nightie and, with great anticipation, crawled into bed, only to find that her new Catholic husband had settled down on the couch. When she asked him why he was apparently not going to make love to her, he replied, "It's Lent." In tears, she remarked, "Well, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard!  Who did you lend it to, and for how long?" [John E.]


SENATOR JOHN McCAIN’s spokesperson said that McCain would have signed South Dakota’s extremist new anti-abortion law...A statistical analysis of MrCain’s recent voting record, available at www.voteview.com, ranks him as the Senate’s third most conservative member.


RUSSIAN PROVERB.  “There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.”


CHRONOLOGY.  The story of Jesus disrupting the merchants in the Temple was His first public act according to John, but His last in the other three Gospels--who claim it drove the Chief  Priest to arrest Jesus.


WHAT HAPPENED?  47% of college students in 1920 were women;  35% in 1958.


SHARP Electronics got it’s name from its first product: the“ever sharp” pencil.


POLYGAMY.  It’s the form of marriage that has been approved by more societies than any other through the ages--one man/many women.  It is the most often cited in the first five books of the Bible.


HMMM.  Why don’t we pledge allegiance to the U.S. Constitution instead of to an arbitrary piece of cloth?


MACHIAVELLI:  “A great man can not be a good man.”


“How did we arrive at this day, with anti-American Islamist governments rising in the Mideast, bin Laden sneering at us, Qaeda lieutenants escaping from prison, Iran brazenly enriching uranium, and America as hated and mistrusted as it ever has been?  The answer, in a word, is incompetence.” --Michael Hirsh of Newsweek


DEBORAH SPAR:  “In almost every human society about 15% of the population is infertile.”


THE LONGEST SENTENCE for any member of the American military linked to known torture-related deaths of detainees in Iraq or Afghanistan has been 5 months.  And only 12 of the 98 cases have had punishment.


GENERICS.  The FDA has a backlog of 850 applications for generic drugs--more than twice that of 2002. It would cost $15 million/year to study them all...and save many $100s of millions of dollars/year in drug costs.


BASKET CASE:  The term came from the wicker coffins used by the US Army during the Spanish/American War


While the CRUSADERS failed to permanently recapture the Holy Land, they gained much from the Islamic world:  the local Arabs introduced Europeans to soap and taught them to take baths and to accord greater rights to women.  The Arabs also taught the Crusaders how to process sugar from the cane and provided luxury goods like silk, linen and flax.  Imported Arabic words include:  orange, lemon, alfalfa, cube, alchemy, alkali, algebra, amalgam, tariff, soda, admiral and checkmate.  Other Arabic words are alcohol, crimson and sofa. 


SAFFRON is obtained from crocuses.  To save on your spice bill you might invite each dinner guest to bring a crocus, but it would take 3,750 of the flowers to make one ounce.


MARYLAND’S SLOGAN:  “Fatti maschii, parole femine”--”Deeds are masculine, words are feminine.”


CHRISTIAN DIOR:  Nancy Reagan’s religion.


Since the war in Iraq began, March 2003, an average of nearly 16 U.S. soldiers have been wounded in action each day--97% of them after the end of “major combat.”


GOT ART?  The Art Loss Register lists 160,000 missing works of art, including 562 Picassos, 309 Chagalls, and 174 Rembrandts.


CROISSANT.  The crescent-shaped pastry was first made in Vienna in the 17th century to commemorate the Austrian empire’s victory over the Turks, whose national emblem is the crescent.


CALVIN TRILLIN:  “90% of the people walking the sidewalks of Manhattan would be interviewed in any other town, the other 10% arrested.”


ASBESTOS.  Over the past 30 years,  $70 billion has been spent on asbestos litigation, and more than 70 companies have been bankrupted, yet it’s far from certain that the guilty have been punished or the victims fairly compensated.  --James Surowiecki.


There are 17 million refugees in the world--and that doesn’t count those who are displaced within their own country.


LARGER LOBBY?  During the Bush administration the state with the greatest housing boom (+15.3%/year above inflation) has been Washington, D.C.


LET ME BE YOUR NEIGHBOR.  During the Revolutionary War the British occupied Long Island longer than any place in the Colonies.


GREY GARDENS.  A DVD and B’way show has a universal story about parents and children:  Our parents both wound us and administer the bandages.


GOT HEALTH INSURANCE?  17% of US citizens have no health insurance;  47% of non-citizens have no health insurance.  Urban Institute [2003 data]


The pot keeps pouring:  Potpourri  #7 SENT


Only two sitting senators have been elected president, and both died in office.


The Washington Post reported that the mountain pine beetle, a pest once kept in check by winter cold, has decimated huge swaths of forest in western Canada.  The Canadian Forest Service say the beetle crossed the Rockies and they fear will soon start eating its way east.  “People say climate change is something for our kids to worry about,” one official said.  “No.  It’s now.”


Where all labor was needed, women historically did whatever was needed.  Today in the Near East, typically, only middle-class women are veiled.


THE NICENE CREED [A.D. 312] includes the phrase “of one being with the father,”  although Jesus being equal to God the Father is not in scripture or in Christian tradition.  --Elaine Pagels.


GOT MALOMARS?  A Stop & Shop supermarket exec admitted possible partnership with “3 or 4” HMOs to use their “loyalty card” data re nutritional profiles of customers. --K. Albrect in Denver University Law Review


“[Medical doctors] who were more generously reimbursed [by drug companies] prescribed more costly chemotherapy regimens to metastatic breast, colorectal and lung cancer patients” wrote U of Michigan and Harvard researchers in the current issue of the journal Health Affairs.  One study found that the “profit” to the M.D. was as much as 86% of the drug’s cost.


87% of Iraqis favor a concrete timeline for U.S. withdrawal.

--NYT, 3/19/6, sect. 4, p12


The average American eats 35,000 COOKIES in his/her lifetime.


THE SUPREMES.  Justices Ginsburg and O’Connor have received death threats because they have cited decisions of foreign courts in the footnotes of their rulings.  NYT, 3/19/6, p. 22.


SCUTTLEBUTT was the shipboard water barrel.


The chances of being wounded by conflict:  Korean war 1.8%;  Vietnam 1.8%;   Persian Gulf War .02%;  Iraq War 3.1%.


ROOTS.  Carey H. Falwell [Jerry’s father] was a successful Lynchburg businessman who founded two bus companies.  He was also a hoodlum, who, in addition to moonshining, organized cock and dog fights and ran a notorious nightspot.  In 1931, he shot his brother Garland to death.  The killing was ruled self-defense, but it cemented Carey Falwell’s local reputation as a very bad man.  --NYT Magazine, 3/19/6, p54.


CARAL in Peru is the oldest city of America (3,000-1,500 year BC).


“The single word most frequently associated with G. W. Bush today is ‘incompetent,’ and close behind are two other increasingly mentioned descriptors: ‘idiot’ and ‘liar.’  So says the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, whose most recent poll found that only 33% of the public approves of the job President Bush is doing.


TAXES.  Americans spend 4.3 billion hours/year filing tax returns.  The last major tax reform was 20 years ago.  Since then Congress made 14,000 amendments [not for you or me]...i.e., almost 3/working day.  Sen Ron Wyden (D, OR) proposed a “fair/flat 1-page tax form” that closes loopholes for the rich and would reduce taxes for 70% and cut deficit by $100 B in 5 years...watch for it.


PLAYBOY.  The 1/1958 centerfold was only 16--but her mother let her do it.  Centerfold ‘shoots’ paid $500 in the ‘50s and $25,000 now.


A March 15 poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People and the Press shows what pollsters call the "two Americas." One is populated by Democrats and unaffiliated voters. The other by extremist Republicans. The moderates are nowhere to be found.


The risk of a heart attack is 20% greater on MONDAYS for adult men and 15% higher for adult women.


CONGRESS, just back from its Presidents Day recess, is now taking a weeklong St. Patrick's break. And the House, which plans to take off two weeks in April, one week each in May and July, and all of August, and then knock off early to go home and campaign for the midterm elections, is on schedule to be in session 97 days.


TIMES SQUARE:  In 1949 a movie cost $2; a theatre ticket was 89 cents.


The plane that hit the Pentagon isn’t seen in any photographs.


In 2000, 65% of black male HS dropouts in their 20s were jobless--i.e., unable to find work, not seeking it or incarcerated.  By 2004 it grew to 72%, compared with 34% with white and 19% of Hispanic dropouts.  In 1995 16% of black men in their 20s who did not attend college were in jail or prison;  by 2004 it was 21%.  By their mid-30s, 6 in 10 black men who had dropped out of school had spent time in prison.   NYT, 3/20/6, A18


The war in Iraq is costing the U.S.  over $200 million a day.  The total true cost will be a minimum of one trillion dollars--or $10,000 per household [probably closer to $2 trillion].--Nobel-laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz.


Some sweepings to form Potpourri  #8--SENT


SPRING in much of the United States has three start dates:  March 1, when the Weather Service says;  March 20 or so, the vernal equinox;  and today, when daylight-saving time begins.


POWELL Doctrine:  Overwhelming force to win.

RUMSFELD Doctrine:  Just enough troops to fail.

--Thomas L. Friedman


The word BELITTLE was invented by Thomas Jefferson.  He also went through the Gospels with a razor, excising anything that suggested the supernatural.


NO RHYME FOR:  orange, silver, purple, month.


BUSH ALERT:  The Founding Fathers said it is important to have a “decent respect for the opinions of mankind.”


HISTORIC U.S. POLICY:  Import 60% of oil...it it’s cut off, fight for it, sacrificing ours sons/daughters and money.


GEORGE FOX was moved by his encounter with the “inner light” to denounce the structure of Puritan authority and create the Society of Friends, the “Quakers.”


NASA scientists recently reported that 2005 was the hottest year on record.  Researchers studying the oldest core of Greenland ice yet extracted reported more heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now than at any other point in the past 650,000 years. The fast majority of climate scientists agree that if we continue pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere the world’s temperature will climb significantly,and new computer models project a grim scenario of droughts and rising sea levels.


WHOLE FOODS, the upscale natural foods grocery chain, stocks a cereal called Ezekiel 4:9.  Ezekiel’s box credits its inspiration to “the Holy Scriptures.”  “Take also unto thee Wheat and Barley and Beans and Lentils, and Millet and Spelt,” the label reads, quoting Ezekiel, “and put them in one vessel and make bread of it.”


TODYISM.  The word was coined in the Middle Ages when wizards’ assistants would swallow toads, then drink the wizards’ healing elixir so the bosses’ talents were admired.


MAN is the only animal able to count past four.


On TV shows, 2/3 of resuscitations succeed; in real life only 15% do. ---Jerome Groopman.


NEW YORKESE (mostly Brooklyn).  a  couple few (2 or 3), Whaddya, whaddya? (What are you crazy or something? or, I am dumbfounded by your audacity), Gawna noo yawk (going to Manhattan from Brooklyn), dint (didn’t), Fuggedaboudit (forget about it),  Geddoudahea (get out of here), cawna fish treat (corner of fifth street), Gnome sane? (Do you know what I’m saying?), huh (opposite of him), Mel pew? (May I help you?),  Reg yoo la caw fee (coffee with milk, no sugar), Washda closendaws (Warning from subway conductor), lawn guyland (where I live).  Note:  New Yorkers show they are listening by interrupting what you are saying and commenting on it.


National healthcare consumed 6% of GDP in 1965, and 16% today.  In 20 years it will consume 23% of GDP.    --Bill Gross of PIMCO.


Here’s Potpourri #9 early since I’m leaving town  SENT


Today, Wednesday, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00, the time and date was 01:02:03 04/05/06.  Did you notice?


THE CAMPUS CRUSADE FOR CHRIST, an evangelical student group, raised more money from private donors than the Boy Scouts of America, the Public Broadcasting Service and Easter Seals.


HOWARD COSELL is the only guy who ever “changed his name [from Cohen] and put on a toupee to ‘tell it like it is.’”--Jimmy Cannon


FAST FOOD.  Bistro is a Russian word for “fast” and was adopted by the French after hurried and hungry Cossack soldiers in 1914 grew impatient waiting for food in Paris and shouted:  “Bistro!  Bistro!”


The ELECTORAL COLLEGE is an anti-democratic relic that focuses presidential elections on a handful of battleground states and pushes the rest of the nation’s voters on the sidelines.


Foreign companies employ 17% of the workforce in INDIANA.


BAPTISTS were the original group in this country to promote the separation of church and state.  -- Gary Wills


15% of the people who lived in the flooded area of KATRINA were over 60 years old; but 64% of the dead were over 60.


A group of CHESS enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?"they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said, " I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."


MONEY MAGAZINE:  average chief executive’s salary increased 14.5% in 2004;  average worker’s salary increased 3.7%.


MALARIA infects 300-500 million/year.  A million of those die, mostly infants and children:  one child every 30 seconds.  $4 insecticide-treated mosquito nets could prevent most infections.  $2.50 in medicine can treat the deadliest form of the disease--according to the World Health Org.


NBC’s “The Contender” had 7,502 product placements last year; total screen time of all on-screen placements 11 hours 57 minutes:  107,839 in 2005.  ---Nielsen Media Research


JOY JONES wrote recently in The Washington Post: "I was stunned to learn that a black child was more likely to grow up living with both parents during slavery days than he or she is today."


TOUGH GUYS.  The meaning of assumed names of Bolsheviks:  Kamenev (man of stone),  Molotov ( the hammer), Stalin (man of steel).


SOUTH PHILLY TALK.  chimany (what Santa comes down), fluffya (the name of the city), iggles (the local football team), mayan (opposite of your), pork (a wooded recreational area), tail (used to dry off), widges (not against you all), sum eye giss (something like this), ak a me (local supermarket, Acme), fluffya inkwire (the Philadelphia Inquirer).


INDIANS invented so-called “Arabic numerals” around 500 BC;  they also invented “zero,” and knew that the earth revolved around the sun 1000 years before Copernicus.


ALTRUISM was coined by Auguste Comte to denote unselfish regard for the welfare of others.


In the past five years, private health insurance premiums have risen 73%. --Allan B. Hubbard.


She was in the kitchen doing the boiled eggs for breakfast.  He walks in and asks "What's for breakfast?"  She turns to him and says,"You've got to make love to me this very moment."  He, thinking it's his lucky day, stands her over the kitchen table  and they have sex.  Afterwards he says, "What was that all about?" She says "The egg timer's broken!"    [Krishna]