POTPOURRI #100     Special Edition:  NT part II

The New Testament: Historical & Literary Analysis  -- Part Two

Nota bene:  Following is a second set of my notes from 24 lectures by Bart Ehrman of UNC-Chapel Hill.  His study of the NT is NOT theological, but historical and literary.  Of course, like all student-notes, there may be errors in what I have recorded.

Featured Quote:  “The New Testament is the most widely read, quoted, studied, debated, maligned, and believed book in the history of Western civilization.” -- Bart Ehrman

BIG Q #12:  Did Jesus and Paul preach the same religion?


391.  What was Joseph’s work?

392.  Does the Lord’s Prayer contain: “Thy will be done” and “deliver us from evil”?

393.  Did Jesus have any brothers?

394.  Who determined the 27-book canonical New Testament we have today?

395.  When were the Gospels written?

396.  Did any Evangelists copy from another?

397.  Which of the original manuscripts do we have?

398.  He was a divine man who was miraculously born, could perform such divine miracles as healing the sick and raising the dead, delivered divine teachings to his followers and who at the end of his life ascended to heaven to live with god forever.

399.  Did Jesus sanction the 10 Commandments?

400.  5th c. Athens had the peak of literacy in the early Christian era.  What %?

JESUS & PAUL:  The two most important people in early Christianity.

•  Paul transferred religion OF Jesus to religion ABOUT Jesus.

•  Tertullian said in the 2nd c. that Paul’s epistle was a forgery. 

•  Three books are clearly pseudonymous:

•  2 Thessalonians

•  Colossians

•  Ephesians

Why? Paul wrote in short choppy sentences;  These 3 have long convoluted sentences, different vocabulary and self description;  Paul said:  You have not yet been raised to glory; Ephesians says : You have already been raised to glory.  2nd Thess. says ‘end is not near’....1st Thess. says ‘end is near.’

•  Pastoral letters are not by Paul:  1 & 2 Timothy [to the pastor of Ephesus] and Titus [pastor of Crete]

•  1 Timothy 2, 11-15: says women not to talk in church because Adam was formed first and Eve was deceived by the devil, but women can be saved if they bear children and live in modesty.  But 3 chapters earlier, women speak in church and lead.  Was this piece added later?  It appears in different places in different mss, and interrupts the discussion of another topic...maybe a marginal note inserted later.

•  Timothy 1, 2 and Titus presuppose a hierarchy of church: pastor/elders/deacon, but not in Paul, e.g., 1 Corinthians: Paul didn’t write to a pastor since the role didn’t exist...They had spirit-led communities with no leaders with authority [about 50 A.D.]...Structure in the church developed about the 2nd c.

•  The Epistle to Hebrews was not an epistle, and not to Jews;  1st sermon?  Jesus revoked the Jewish law [including the 10 commandments], and replaced it with the new law:  Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. This book is the strongest statement to supplant Judaism.  Salvation comes without Jewish law. The Jewish law is of no use for salvation.


•  According to ‘Matthew,’ Jesus was a new Moses:   A boy is born under a hostile regime [Egypt, Rome]; the ruling power wants to destroy him [Pharaoh, Herod]; he is divinely protected and sojourns in Egypt; he leaves Egypt; goes through the water [the Exodus or the Red Sea, the waters of baptism]; and goes up onto a mountain [Mount Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount] to deliver God’s law.

Apocalypse: A common genre in ancient world.  The characteristics:

•  Most written pseudonymously in the name of a famous person from past:  Adam, Moses, Elijah...e.g., the Book of Daniel;

•  Visit to heaven and view of the end;

•  Bizarre vision in metaphorical terms;

•  Violent repetition;

•  Cataclysmic movement;

•  The end is imminent;

•  Encouragement and hope.

•  Context of the Book of Revelation:  1st c. Rome was the enemy of Christianity, along with it’s emperor--Herod--who killed Christ.   [Gr:  Apocalypse--revealing, unveiling of spiritual truths of above with respect to our world below]

•  Anti-Christ  666  The number of  a word with respect to the numerical equivalent of its letters,  e.g.: A=1, B=2... First to persecute Christians was Nero, and in Hebrew his ‘number’ is 666.  Nero is considered to be the Anti-Christ.  The number 7 was used for perfection/God;  human, therefore, is imperfection and less than God: 6.

•  Gnostics:  They believed: matter is bad; spirit is good;  animals are pure matter, and some people are too;  some have a spark of the divine=the Gnostics.

The creator god created this prison, but is not GOD.  We escape only through acquiring knowledge necessary for salvation. Someone from divine world must come to teach the truth:  Jesus.

•  Non-canonical gospels--about 20 of them, written  2-8 c.;  2 types: narratives [Peter] and [114] sayings [Thomas].


•  Christ [Gr.]=messiah [Heb.] means annointed.  The term christ was a common term at that time. [It’s not Jesus’ family name.]

•  Disciple means follower;  apostle means one who is sent.

•  Thomas is Gr. for twin.

•  Synagogue [Fr.]--a gathering together:  10 adult men, no sacrifice, just prayer

•  Gospel--‘good news,’ and doesn’t claim to be an historically accurate biography in the modern sense.

•  Cult comes from cultis deorum, Latin for ‘care of the gods’...just as agriculture is ‘care of the fields’...care for gods so they would care for the people.

•  Greco-Roman Era: about 300 B.C. [Alexander the Great] to 300 A.D. [Constantine the Great]  {Alexander was the pupil of Aristotle and the son of Philip of Macedon}

•  Charismata=gifts

•  ‘anothen’ --the Greek term translated as ‘born again’  or ‘second time’ [see Nicodemus]. The original Greek means ‘from above’ or ‘birth from heaven’ and is consistently used that way in John.

KWIKWIZ answers:

391.  The Gospels don’t say Joseph was a carpenter, but a ‘tektone’...a construction worker.

392.  Matthew has the phrases, Luke lacks them, although they are sometimes added in later copies.

393.  Two Jewish sources:  Pliny the Younger and Flavius Josephus said Jesus had a brother, James.  Jesus had brothers according to Mark, John and Paul [Galatians]--and the epistle of James is attributed to his brother.

394.  In 367 A.D. the Bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius, who also set the date of Easter, proposed the 27 books of the New Testament--that were later confirmed by a Synod in 397 A.D.

395.  Mark ~65-70 A.D.; Matt/Luke ~80-85 A.D.; John ~90-95 A.D.

396.  Matt & Luke copied from Mark--their literary source;  John is different

397.  None of them. The only manuscripts available were copied hundreds of years after the originals was written. We have copies of copies of copies.

398.  E.g., Apollonius of Tyana.  The existence of such divine men was widely recognized throughout the Greco-Roman world.

399.  He revoked Jewish law--including the 10 Commandments.

400.  Less than 15%.


•  The New Testament is a literary text with religious motifs. 

•  The four gospels are legendary, late, biased, altered and inconsistent.

The Bible at the ‘click of a button’ from Philip S.:  www.biblegateway.com/versions/?action=getVersionInfo&vid=31

THE BOTTOM LINE:  Love God above all else and love your neighbor as yourself.

CHALLENGE #99 was:  What do the younger members of the three pairs of presidents share?  Bushes 41/43; Adamses 2/6 and Harrisons 9/23.  Answer: Winning the presidency while being defeated at the polls.

CHALLENGE #100:  France earned $15 million selling hundreds of millions of acres to the U.S.  Half that money was spent by whom and for what?


"Potpourri" is issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.  WMWMWMWM [wmmathews@mac.com]   No trees were destroyed to create this message.  However, a countless number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.


Featured Quote:  “Few of their children in the country learn English...The signs in our streets have inscriptions in both languages...Unless the stream of the importation could be turned they will soon so outnumber us that all the advantages we have will not be able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious.”  --Benjamin Franklin deploring the wave of Germans into Pennsylvania in the 1750s

BIG Q #13: Who would Jesus deport?

KWIKWIZ:  Match the language of origin for these words [repeats required]:  Arabic, African slaves, Anglo-Indian, Aztec, Chinese, Dutch [2x], French [3x], Italian, North American natives, South Africans, Spanish/Portugese, Turkish

401.  sash, sherbet, sofa

402.  coffee, caftan, kiosk

403.  ketchup

404.  raccoon, skunk, hickory

405.  tote, banjo, yam

406.  spoor, trek, veldt

407.  calico, juggernaut, bungalow, chintz, jungle

408.  alloy, bombast, entrance, essay,

409.  argosy, granite, volcano,balcony, violin

410.  cannibal, cocoa, embargo, potato, tobacco

411.  smuggler, cruise, jib, schooner, tatoo

412.  bigot, duel, equip, explore, talisman, tomato

413.  reef, walrus, knapsack

414.  mustache, progress, volunteer

415.  tomato, avocado [“tree testicle”]

Bonus:  potato [language not listed]

Teenage marriage is the best recipe for divorce.  --Christian Smith

Avg price of a wedding cake:  $543, but for $100 you can get a foam replica with the ‘first piece’ in a secret door in the back.  It is wheeled away and cheaper cake is brought back for distribution.

Anhedonia--inability to experience pleasure  [from Gr: ‘without hedonism’]

Petrified Forest from Mike W.: http://orerockon.com/petrified_forest_2.htm

Origin of Christmas giving to the poor: When St. Nicholas, 4th c. Anatolian bishop, heard that a man in debt was about to sell his surplus daughters into sexual slavery [common then and now], he dropped gold coins from church funds down the chimney to save face for the impoverished father.  --John Anthony McGuckin

Fascinating interview of Naomi Klein on “The Shock Doctrine”:  http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/122807J.shtml

Starbucks pays more for employee insurance than for coffee beans.  --Taylor Clark

“The Republican Party is more unpopular than at any point in the past 40 years.  Democrats have a 50 to 36 party identification advantage, the widest in a generation.  The general public prefers Democratic approaches on health care, corruption, the economy and Iraq by double-digit margins...independents are moving away from the G.O.P. on social issues, globalization and the roles of religion and government.”   --David Brooks

Suicide attempts at Gitmo are classified as “manipulative self-injurious behavior” to keep them off the books.  --Clive S. Smith

The creation of the hotel in the U.S. was inspired by the first presidential tours of the colonies from 1789-91.  To avoid favortism, George Washington stayed at inns and taverns from NH to GA, and they were dirty and uncomfortable:  typically guests shared beds swarming with insects.  Locals were so embarrassed that they began to finance the construction of large, lavish public accommodations. --A.K. Sandoval-Strauss

More than 200 Million handguns are in civilian hands in the U.S. --FBI

Metathasis: reversal of consonants:  ‘aks’ for ‘ask’....‘psisgetti’ for ‘spagetti’

25 things never to list on your resumé: http://www.hrworld.com/features/25-things-not-to-put-on-resume-121807/

“The sticker price for [the current] presidential and Congressional elections is rocketing toward $5 Billion.”   --NYT

New Yorkers give 7% of their income to charity;  the nat’l avg is 3.6%.  --Boston College

Saint Nicholas’s first ‘elf’ was a dark-skinned boy called Black Peter who was redeemed from the slave trade and became a loyal helper to St. Nick.  --John Anthony McGuckin

World Clock from John H.:  http://www.peterrussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php

Signs seen by Don/Lynne R. in China: 
















 •  PUBLIC PARKS' VISITORE ARE ADVISED TO OBSERVE THE FOLLOWING:  ...mental patients are admitted only under custody...Ehic and moral codes should be duly honored; visitors are expected not to urinate or x, post adds or posters, and write or carve around in the park, not to remove or harm any facility or equipment in the park, exposing one's top, lying about, washing and airing clothes, scavenging or begging from others is unallowable...

Last year, 1/3 of breast-augmentations patients were 40 or older, and the rate is rising.

New source for coupons on linehttp://www.redplum.com/

Joining:  CoolSavings.com, Coupons.com and ValPak.com.

Americans lose about $8 Billion annually by not redeeming gift cards.  --Harper’s

Rabinical wisdom from Alan D.:  A Jewish woman goes to see her Rabbi. "Abe and Sol are both in love with me," she says. "Who will be the lucky

one?"  The wise old Rabbi answers, "Abe will marry you. Sol will be the lucky one."

28% of homeless youth in NYC are gay.  --recent survey

In the Georgian language the meaning of the words ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ are reversed compared to English.

KWIKWIZ answers:  1 Arabic, 2 Turkish, 3 Chinese, 4 North American natives, 5 African slaves, 6 South Africans, 7 Anglo-Indian, 8 French, 9 Italian, 10 Spanish/Portugese, 11 Dutch, 12 French, 13 Dutch, 14 French,  15 Aztec;  Bonus: potato--the Taino language from the Andes[Peru/Bolivia]

CHALLENGE #100 was:   France earned $15 million selling hundreds of millions of acres to the U.S.  Half that money was spent by whom and for what?  Answer: Napoleon’s wife, Josephine, spent half the money on clothes in 10 years--Dana Thomas

CHALLENGE #101:  What did they have in common?  Author Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Tubman and Walt Whitman.


"Potpourri" is issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.  WMWMWMWM [wmmathews@mac.com]   No trees were destroyed to create this message.  However, a countless number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced. Namasté.

POTPOURRI #102  Fri Jan 11

Featured Quote:   “It does me no injury for my neighbors to say there are twenty gods, or no god.  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”  --Thomas Jefferson, 1781

BIG Q #14: Where do you want to die?


416.  Lotteries began as raffles in the 1700s to finance the Continental Army, bridges/roads and which university?

417.  19 of the 20 largest False Claims Act Recoveries of ‘whistle blowing’ involved what kind of companies? 

418.  What name has been in the“top 100” for both sexes since 1989?

419.  In explaining why he went to jail, he said that prison was “the only house in a slave-state in which a free man can abide with honor.”  When Emerson asked him why he had gone there, he said, “Why did you not?”

420. Which state has the most/least adult obesity?

I.Q.: Children with a white mother and a black father have an 8-point I.Q. advantage over those with a black mother and a white father.  The children fathered by black American G.I.s in post-war Germany and brought up by their German mothers have the same I.Q.s as the children of white American G.I.s and German mothers.  Conclusion:  I.Q. measures not just the quality of a person’s mind but  the quality of the world that person lives in.  --James Flynn, U. of Otago, NZ [see Gladwell in New Yorker, 12/17/07]

Fascinating interview of Craig Unger on ‘how True Believers seized the executive branch’: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/122607J.shtml

From Alan: "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."   -- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

Americans generated 24.6 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2005--69% more than 1980.  Most went to landfills--the equivalent of a fleet of 1,800 QE2 ships buried every year.  --Zachary Slobig

Frank Caliendo:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMxUXMQYzy0&NR=1

If you are a leader or trendsetter, then you could be called a bellwether.  Although the original meaning included a bell, it had nothing to do with the weather. In Anglo-Saxon times of England, the bellewether of a herd of sheep was the bell-wearing, castrated ram (wether), whom the rest of the flock would follow.

“Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.”  --The Vatican

A general in ancient Greece was known as strategos, [Latin, strategi] which, of course, gives us strategy.

In 1914 the U.S. produced 67% of the world’s oil.

German composer and piano virtuoso Ludwig van Beethoven was raised a Catholic, and composed several religious works, but he was rarely seen in church and harbored a suspicion of priests. Translations and adaptations of Hindu texts discovered in the Beethoven manuscripts reveal an interest in Eastern thought.

On Money and Youngsters: from Anya Kamenetz:

•  On average, “Americans under 35 spend 16% more than they earn.”

•  Average credit card debt for college seniors in 2005:  $2,864.

•  The median household income for those under 34 fell 6% from 2000 to 2005.  --Census Bureau

“More tears are shed over answered prayers than for those unanswered ones.”  --Truman Capote

A moving man/dog story from Mike W.:   http://www.sonnyradio.com/skidboot.htm

Antiques must be at least 100 years old, fossils must be at least 10,000.

Bonus Quiz:  Who are they talking about?

1.  “His goal in life is to spear people, destroy them, to go for the jugular.”

2.  “It’s like a cult he’s got there. You can’t work with the guy unless you’re willing to drink the Kool-Aid.”

3.  “There’s obviously a little problem that exists between me and his wife.”

4.  “He is not bound by the truth.  I have studied animal life, and their predtor/prey relations are more graceful than his.”

5.  “He is a small man in search of a balcony.”

6.  “[He] didn’t bring us together...We would have come together if Bozo was mayor.”

A standard iPod goes up to 120 decibels;  the European version is limited, by law, to 100.  --David Pogue

“It’s strange to reach a position where your friends [wmm, e.g.] have to be supplied with their own memories.”  --James Thurber

Alabama charges a sales tax on medicine.


16. Butt head

17. Military intelligence

18. Extinct life

19. Sweet sorrow

20. Childproof

Women in Film from Alan:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEc4YWICeXk

Wall Streeters earned an average weekly pretax paycheck of $16,918 in the first quarter of last year [that’s $879,736 annually]. That’s compared to $7,051/week four years ago [a rise of 140%].  Meanwhile, median U.S. household income is $48,000/year.  --Federal statistics

Karen A. sent:  “Here is a test to see if your mission on earth is complete:  If you’re alive, it isn’t.”  --Richard Bach

From Fred B.:  On March 6, 1836, Davy Crockett woke up and rose from his bunk on the main floor of the Alamo. He walked to the observation post along the west wall of the fort.  William B. Travis and Jim Bowie were already there, looking out over the top of the wall. These three great men gazed at the hordes of Mexicans moving steadily toward them. With a puzzled look on his face, Crockett turned to Bowie and said, "Jim, are we having some landscaping done today?"

Answer to Bonus Quiz:  Rudolph Guiliani.  Quotes from: 1. Former Mayor Ed Koch;  2. Police Commissioner William Bratton;  3. his son, Andrew;  4. School Chancellor Rudy Crew;  5. Columnist Jimmy Breslin;  6. Al Sharpton.

KWIKWIZ answers:

416.  Columbia University

417.  Health care --Ron Stodghill

418.  Jordan

419.  Henry David Thoreau in “Resistance to Civil Government.” aka “Civil Disobedience.”

420.  Mississippi has the most;  Colorado the least.

CHALLENGE #101 was:  What did they have in common?  Author Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Tubman and Walt Whitman.  Answer: They were nurses during the Civil War.  [Jerry got it.]

CHALLENGE #102:  At 19 he left his team to be with his 15-year-old wife.  Babe Ruth copied his hitting stance. Who?


"Potpourri" is issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.  WMWMWMWM [wmmathews@mac.com]   No trees were destroyed to create this message.  However, a countless number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.  Namasté.

POTPOURRI #103:  Fri Jan 18

Featured Quote:  The worst sin:  “All other sins are sins only against one virtue, whereas envy is against all virtue and all goodness.”  --Chaucer in “The Parson’s Tale”

BIG Q #15:  If “We Will Never Forget [9/11],” how is it we have forgotten “Osama Bin Laden--Dead or Alive”?


421.  Name a food preparation technique that’s older than cooking.

422.  How did the French explorers react when they first saw the Winnebago Indians smoking tobacco?

423.  Which professions were found to be happiest in their jobs:  actors, clergy, firefighters, teachers?

424.  What proportion of world box-office movie receipts are for Hollywood films?

425.  The initiation of capital punishment by electrocution was a test.  Of what?

New coins from Nancy K.: http://blip.tv/file/520347

Molly Ivins reported a beer-induced incident in 1983:  The Bush I administration built a ‘test fence’ along the Mexican border, which was the site of a renowned chili cook-off that Molly helped judge.  The barrier was 17’ high, topped w/barbed wire. A contest to get over/under/through the wall ensued.  Winning time:  30 seconds.  Recently, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano said:  “Show me a 50’ wall and I’ll show you a 51’ ladder.”

Ken P. re: ‘M-F Brains’:


Angeline Jolie’s Chinese belly tattoo:  “quod me nutruit me destruit” [what nourishes me destroys me]...a quote attributed to, but not originated by, John Donne

From Carla:  A young Alabama man goes to a drug store and says to the pharmact: "I got a hot date tonight, an' I need me some pertection. How much is a pack a' them rubbers gonna cost me?" The pharmacist responds: "A  three-pack of condoms is $4.99 with tax."  "TACKS!" the shocked redneck says. "Gawd a'mighty, don't they stay on by themselves?”

In 2001 the price of steel scrap was $75/ton, last year it was $300/ton. Copper has risen even more to $4/pound.

Koranic scholars agree that certain verses in the Koran (especially those regarding war) speak to specific situations that had arisen at the time of their revelation.-- Tariq Ramadan

The $3 million, post 9/11 campaign by the NY Transit Authority:  “If you see something, say something,” produced many thousands of calls--but only 18 arrests--none related to terrorism.

E-mail is not ‘writing,’ but ‘transcribed speech.’

Hispanics account for nearly 40% of the nation’s 65 million Catholics and 71% of new American Catholics since 1960.

Demure demurrers: if you will, so to speak, as it were, as they say, pardon the expression, or not to put too fine a point on it--all self-interruptions to apologize beforehand or just afterward for using a cliché, a colorful figure of speech or slang.   --William Safire

Nationally, 23% of teenagers smoke;  in NY it is 8.5% [taxes and education]

“I see so many ominous signs at every turn:  wars seemingly without end or clear purpose; a widening income gap between the financial elite and middle-class families who can no longer afford to own homes; the kowtowing of ambitious politicians in both major parties to special-interest groups; the loss of respect for America around the world.”  --Harry Hurt III

A New Way to Eat in the New Year: 1. Don’t eat anything your g’mother wouldn’t recognize as food. 2.  Avoid foods containing ingredients you can’t pronounce. 3.  Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot.  4.  Avoid food products that carry health claims.  5.  Shop the peripheries of the supermarket; stay out of the middle. [and 7 more from Michael Pollan]

The words most likely to be misspelled (ratio of incorrect to correct spellings): dumbbell, occurrence, memento, frustum, collectible, amateur, daiquiri, pastime accidentally, playwright, embarrass, acquit, harass and pronunciation.

The same study showed these words most frequently misspelled (by gross count): receive, a lot, amateur, separate, realize, their, definite, independent, weird, embarrass, argument, no one, acquire, accidentally, occurrence, collectible, ridiculous, maneuver, liaison, gauge, atheist, grammar, supersede, kernel and consensus.

About 70% of all e-mail is now spam, and the average I-net user spends 3 minutes/day deleting spam that eludes filters.

Raised in poverty and having only 10 weeks of yearly formal schooling, he became the “father of American education” by devouring volumes in his local library: Horace Mann

Annually, 80,000 U.S. drivers fall asleep at the wheel, and someone dies every hour because of it.  --Charles Czeisler

6 million American kids are on psychotropic prescription drugs.

From Joe O’:  Jake is 5 and learning to read. He points at a picture in a zoo book and says, "Look Mama!  It's a frickin' Elephant!" Deep breath ... "What did you call it?" "It's a frickin' Elephant, Mama! It says so on the picture!" and so it does ... "A f r i c a n Elephant " Hooked on phonics strikes again.

A gas range delivers only 35-40% of its heat energy to the pan;  a standard electrical element gives 70%;  induction cooktops are 90% efficient since they generate heat directly within the pan itself.  --U.S. Dept. of Energy

Discussing Mr. Imus, Chris Rock provided guidelines:  White pepople aren’t allowed to mock black people;  rich people can’t mock poor people;  skinny people can’t  mock fat people;  and so on.  The more stuff you have, the less stuff you’re allowed to say.

KWIKWIZ answers:

421.  Fermentation:  changes grapes into wine; grains into beer, wheat into bread.  It yields vinegar, yogurt, sauerkraut, cheese, prosciutto, vanilla and pickles.

422.  Doused him with water.

423.  Firefighters first, then clergy.  --NORC

424.  85

425.  Testing between AC [Westinghouse] and DC [Edison] current.

CHALLENGE #102 was:  At 19 he left his team to be with his 15-year-old wife.  Babe Ruth copied his hitting stance. Answer: “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, the only rookie to hit .400. He had 5 outfield assists and batted .375 in a world series.  Destroyed in the Black Sox scandal.  [Jerry and John D. got it.]

CHALLENGE #103:  What is the whitest place in a portrait, and what does it tell about “Rembrandts”?


"Potpourri" is issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.  WMWMWMWM [wmmathews@mac.com]   No trees were destroyed to create this message.  However, a countless number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.  Namasté.

POTPOURRI #104  Thurs Jan 24

Featured Quote:  "Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."  --Thomas Jefferson

BIG Q #16:  Which came first:  The universe or the laws of the universe [physics]?


426.  Who was the first Mormon to run for the presidency of the U.S.? 

427.  What was the largest organized act of civil disobedience in the U.S.?

428.  Lafayette was presented with two keys to the Bastille, and gave one to whom?

429. What were the prestige languages during the Roman Empire and England in the Middle Ages?

430.  What are the 3 English words ending in -ceed?

History teaches us that societies fail after overextending themselves abroad.


21. "Now, then..."

22. Synthetic natural gas

23. Christian scientists

24. Passive aggression

25. Taped live

From 2003 to 2005:  [Congressional Budget Office]:

-  Income for the top 1% of households rose $465,700, or 42.6%, adjusting for inflation.  The increase exceeded the total income of the poorest fifth by 37%.

-  Income for the poorest fifth rose by $200, or 1.3%

-  The middle fifth increased by $2,400, or 4.3%

Fiasco is 'a flask or bottle' as well as 'a failure, a complete mess.' How?  Both words can be traced to the Medieval Latin word flasco 'a small keg intended to carry wine.'  The practice of Venetian glassmakers was to aside imperfect glass to make a common bottle or flask.  In other words, they were making something much more difficult than a mere wine bottle, but if they made a mistake, they could always convert the error into a fiasco.

George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill:  "I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one."  Winston Churchill, in response:  "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second, if there is one."

In 1860 U.S.A., the value of all slaves was less than the value of all land, but greater than the value of all banks, RRs and manufacturing combined.  A reason to secede.

Between 1998 and 2002, 415 new drugs were approved by the F.D.A.; only 133 were ‘new molecular entities,’ and, of those, only 58 [14% over the 5 years] were considered likely by the F.D.A. to be ‘a significant improvement’ over existing products.  --Marcia Angell.   More recent data:  80/year approved, with only 20 as ‘new drugs’ and only 10 of them were ‘better.’

“80% of all displaced persons and refugees in the world are women and girls.” --Isabel Allende

Have you seen the product Gary Coleman plugs on TV that charges 99.2% interest?

“When Sitting Bull toured with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West circus, he gave his earnings to the street urchins he met, appalled that a society that could produce such wealth could permit such poverty.  He commented that white men were good at production but bad at distribution, a criticism of capitalism that’s still trenchant.” --Rebecca Solnit

Ten 25-year forecasts from the World Future Society:  www.wfs.org/foresight/

Leviticus bans gay sex, it also forbids touching anything made of pigskin [is playing football banned?].

When we paid attention: From 1977-85 U.S. oil use fell 17%;  imports fell 50% and oil imported from the Persian Gulf dropped 87%, AND, the U.S. economy grew 27%.

‘Catholics are mandated to oppose abortion, nuclear war, euthanasia and the death penalty, and press for social justice for the poor and powerless.’  Cardinal Joseph Bernardin 

NYC spent > $7 million for civil rights violations while Rudy was mayor.

Kidney Stones Grow Better With Coke: It’s well known that too much soda increases the risk of diabetes and obesity, and colas have high levels of phosphoric acid which leads to kidney stones and renal problems.  NIH researchers found that drinking two or more colas/day led to a twofold risk of chronic kidney disease.  --Anahad O’Connor

Air Force fighter pilot training from John H. Move the red block w/o touching blue blocks or walls. Pilots must go 2 mins.; 18 secs you you is phenomenol. [I’m up to 10.4]    http://members.iinet.net.au/~pontipak/redsquare.html

Philip Roth calls the present administration:  The Ministry of George Bush

Genealogy is a search for self-knowledge--not status.

There are more than a half Billion old phones in American drawers, i.e., more than $300 million worth of gold, palladium, silver, copper and platinum.  --U.S. Geological Survey  Goto www.epa.gov/cellphone/ for drop-off sites.

Augustus Caesar was furious about the high level of adultery in Rome, so he made a law that banished adulturers to different, remote, primitive islands. It is no surprise that legislating morality didn’t work.  In fact, he had to exile his own daughter, Julia, for adultery.

“Now it’s a race between ‘Iraq, Stupid,’ or ‘the Economy, Stupid,’ to see which one will usher out W.”  --Maureen Dowd

Language goes back 100-300,000 years ago; writing only 6,000 years.  80% of communication is body language.

“I’m here to tell you, if either of these two guys [Huckabee & McCain] get the nomination, it’s going to destroy the Republican Party.  It’s going to change it forever, be the end of it.”  --Rush Limbaugh

From Eliz G: Friendship between Women: A woman didn't come home one night. The next morning she told her husband that she had slept over at a friend's house. The man called his wife's 10 best friends. None of them knew anything about it.  Friendship between Men: A man didn't come home one night. The next morning he told his wife that he had slept over at a friend's house. The woman called her husband's10 best friends, eight of which confirmed that he had slept over, and two said that he was still there.

We could learn a lot from crayons: some are sharp, some are pretty,

some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors.... but they all have to learn to live in the same box.

KWIKWIZ answers:

426.  LDS founder:  Joseph Smith

427.  Resistence to the 1892 “Dog Tag Act” that required Chinese immigrants to carry an I.D. card proving they were legal, after almost 50 years of roundups, pogroms, expulsions and ethnic cleansing.

428.  George Washington

429.  Greek in the Roman Empire and French in England

430.  succeed, proceed, exceed

CHALLENGE #103 was:  What is the whitest place in a portrait, and what does it tell about “Rembrandts”? Answer: The reflection in the eyes.  Rembrandt usually didn’t have it, which made the eyes he painted look recessed. [Jerry and Jack H. got the first part.]

CHALLENGE #104:  Name a common food with all five fundamental tastes to the human palate.


"Potpourri" is issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.  WMWMWMWM [wmmathews@mac.com]   No trees were destroyed to create this message.  However, a countless number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced. Namasté.

POTPOURRI #105      Fri February 1

Featured Quote:  “The children now love luxury.  They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”  --Plato, 2,400 years ago.

BIG Q #17:  Why does the speedometer on my Honda Accord go up to 160 mph?


431.  What was the major language change made by Henry V in the 15th century?

432.  Which state has the most diners?

433.  This country provided crucial help to another during a war and bankrupted itself which led to the collapse of its regime.

434.  Which of the following is true about the use of printing in England?  It quickly spread literacy.  It democratized the population across classes.  Books looked like manuscripts with typefaces based on handwriting.

435.  Which evangelical Christian fast-food business is always closed on Sunday?

Early Gods: Mesopotamian gods were not immortal and could be killed.  Greek gods were immortal but not transcendent.  Neither were creators outside the universe, but were natural forces or elements of the universe. Gods were gendered w/sexual reproduction, and could reproduce w/humans. The gods made humans to be servants to do their work. Greeks believed that humans must strive to serve gods;  benevolence and justice from the gods were not assumed. --Elizabeth Vandiver

A little old lady was running up and down the halls in a nursing home. As she walked, she would flip up the hem of her nightgown and say "Supersex." She walked up to an elderly man in a wheelchair. Flipping her gown at him, she said, "Super sex." He sat silently for a moment or two and finally answered, "I'll take the soup."

Knight, knee, know, marriage, name and enough have ‘silent’ letters, but in Old English they were pronounced the way they are spelled;  we have changed the pronunciation, but kept the spelling due to official standards of writing in 16th & 17th century England.

Thousands of simple, user-submitted, rules:  www.rulesofthumb.org/

Hans Selye, a Czech physician and biochemist at U of Montreal, used the word “stress” (borrowed from metallurgy) to decribe the way trauma caused overactivity of the adrenal gland, and with it a disruption of bodily equilibrium. In the most extreme case, he said, stress could wear down the body’s adaptation mechanisms, resulting in death.

On-line shorthand from David Pogue:

* MBLO -- much better-looking online

* KYST -- knew you'd say that

* CTTC -- can't talk, teacher's coming

* TWD -- typing while driving

* WIWYA -- when I was your age

* NIWYM -- no idea what you mean

* AYD? -- are you drunk?

* LODH -- log off, do homework

* DYMK? -- does your mother know?

* 12OF -- twelve-o'clock flasher (someone less than competent with technology: every appliance flashes “12:00”)

A beautiful piece from Mohamed M.: www.dashpoemmovie.com 

Fearing being ‘dumped’ by his young lover, William Faulkner wrote to her:  “One of the nicest conveniences a woman can have is someone she can pick up when she needs or wants him; then when she doesn’t, she can drop him and know that he will still be right there when she does need or want him again.  Only she should remember this.  Sometimes when she drops him, he might break.  Sometimes, when she reaches down for him, he might not be there.”

Thinking is the dismissal of irrelevancy.  --Buckminster Fuller

Bush Seeks Medicare Cuts:  Robert Pear [NYT] reports: "in his new budget, to be unveiled Monday, President Bush will call for large cuts in the growth of Medicare, far exceeding what he proposed last year, and he will again seek major savings in Medicaid, according to administration officials and budget documents. Over all, the 2009 budget is likely to be the first $3 trillion spending request by a president.”  http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/013108P.shtml

Joe O’B saw a billboard that said, “Need Help, call Jesus. 800-005-3787” Curious, he called the number...and a Mexican showed up with a tow-truck.

Carla reports:  During a trial, the judge asked the prostitute, “So when did you realize you were raped?The prostitute replied, wiping her tears, “When the check bounced.”

The second largest and fastest-growing world religion has a majority population in 56 countries:  Islam.

From Fred B.:  An Indian Chief was asked: "You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done. Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?"  The Chief calmly replied. "When white man find land, Indians running it. No taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water; women did all the work, medicine man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex." Then the chief leaned back and smiled. "Only white man dumb enough think he improve system like that."

Prurient comes from the Latin prurio [to itch, to long for] and describes someone who is filled with great sexual curiosity, desire, etc.

Why drinkers get sick from Joe O’B: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7g0AJPqKybs

KWIKWIZ answers:

431.  He made English the official language of England.

432.  New Jersey has 625 of the 1,000 in the U.S.

433.  France helped us during the American Revolution.

434.  False, false, true

435.  Chick-fil-A

CHALLENGE #104 was:  Name a common food with all five fundamental tastes to the human palate. Answer: There are five known fundamental tastes:  salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami.  Umami [oh’-ma-mee]is the proteiny, full-bodied taste of chicken soup, cured meat, fish stock, aged cheese, mother’s milk, soy sauce, mushrooms, seaweed or cooked tomato. [In Japanese the word means ‘deliciousness.’] When Heinz increased the percentage of ripe tomatoes and tomato solids, he made ketchup a potent source of umami--then he doubled the acidity with vinegar, and doubled the sugar.  All along ketchup was salty and bitter.

CHALLENGE #105:  Which Brit who became an American was elected to political office in France and narrowly escaped being executed there?  


"Potpourri" is issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.  WMWMWMWM [wmmathews@mac.com]   No trees were destroyed to create this message.  However, a countless number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced. Namasté.

POTPOURRI #106  Fri Feb 8

Featured Quote:  “The ‘cataclysmic terrorism’ of 9/11 was an unpardonable atrocity but it was not unpredictable.  For terrorism is the price of an empire.  They were over here because we were over there.”  --Pat Buchanan

BIG Q #18:  How would you act if you knew your child was looking over your shoulder?


436.  Whose philosophy is: Be true to yourself!  Be grateful every day!  Transform your life! Help others!  Stay positive!

437.  What was the cargo on Captain Bleigh’s Bounty?

438.  What is the only food listed by itself in the Yellow Pages?

439.  How did hotels respond after Korea cracked down on prostititon in 2004?

440.  Who created the words “thwap” and “thoipoing”?

Faith-based voting: Using a paperless touch-screen electronic voting machines (Diebold, Inc.)

Travel game from John H.:  http://www.lufthansa-usa.com/useugame2007/html/play.html

Power of Suggestion. 18th c. Austrian physician Franz Mesmer, inspired by Newton’s ideas, moved mineral magnets around the bodies of patients to manipulate supposed invisible fluids that responded to gravitation.  The patients reported powerful sensations of energy coursing through their flesh and experienced involuntary movements, even violent convulsions; many were cured or much improved.  His name gave us the word.

Washington is about to pass a huge farm bill full of crop subsidies for large agribusiness--while 60% of family farmers get nothing.  Also included is $180 million for hog and cattle “manure lagoons.”  --Jim Hightower

Our word ‘candy’ comes from the Latin that means: white/pure/unvarnished. It also gives us ‘candidate’:  when standing for the Roman senate, candidates would sprinkle themselves with white chalk dust to stand out.

Global warming and GWB from Caroline F.: http://youtube.com/watch?v=4kVlu3kh7DU  and  http://youtube.com/watch?v=EkqrI3IibYI

If you want more re GWB, from Lisa F.: http://youtube.com/watch?v=BqLvBUSJucg&feature=related

Since 1776, half the wealth in the U.S. was created in the past 25 years. 

The Problems With Being Male:   [by Maggie Jones]

•  115 males are conceived for every 100 females, BUT:

•  They are at greater risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and SIDS and have a higher death rate if premature.

•  Boys are much more likely to be autistic, dyslexic, mentally retarded and have Tourette’s syndrome.

•  As teenagers, boys die twice the rate as girls [5x by homicide; 11x by drowning].

•  Men are colorblind 16x as women;  hearing loss: 2x.

•  Women attempt suicide 2-3x as often as men, but men succeed 4x as often.

•  By age 36 women outnumber men.

•  Men, 55-64, are twice as likely to die in car accidents.

•  Men, 55-74, are twice as likely to die of heart disease.

•  Among people 65+, men are 84% of suicides.

•  American men typically die almost 6 years before women do.

•  By age 100, women outnumber men 8:1.

•  The good news:  Men who live to be 100 tend to be in better shape than their centenarian female counterparts.

Virtually all G.W. Bush’s personal money came because of tax increases, gov’t subsidies and eminent domain laws.  --David Cay Johnston

“For marketing purposes, elderly consumers think they are 15 years younger than they actually are.”  --Tracy L. Frances

30 countries have more cell phone subscriptions than people, and most phones are retired in 18 months.

Longevity game from John E.: http://www.nmfn.com/tn/learnctr--lifeevents--longevity_game

Rumors.  An acquintance approached Socrates excitedly, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?"  "Before you talk to me about my student, take a moment and apply the Triple Filter Test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"  “No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and ..." "All right," said Socrates "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now try the second filter: Goodness.   Is what you are about to tell me something good?" "No, on the contrary ..." "So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?" "No, not really."   "Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"  This is the reason Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem. It also explains why he never found out that Plato was banging his wife.

I saw this guy in The Village last night:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9CK42oHnFo

Fred B. remembers only two Latin words:  macum and tecum,  make'm with me and take'm with you.

Two weeks ago, the Canadian government put the United States on their list of countries that torture.

“Today, in some neighborhoods, finding someone who doesn’t know the square footage of her house can be as hard as finding a Playboy centerfold who doesn’t know her bust size.”  Dankel McGinn

The Five Pillars of Islam: One God w/Muhammed His Messenger; Prayer; Charity; Fasting (Ramadan); Pilgrimage to Mecca, if possible.

Some of Wilfred Funk's list of the most beautiful words in English: asphodel, fawn, dawn, chalice, anemone, tranquil, hush, golden, halcyon, camellia, bobolink, thrush, chimes, murmuring, lullaby, luminous, damask, cerulean, melody, marigold, jonquil, oriole, tendril, myrrh, mignonette, gossamer, mist, oleander, amaryllis, rosemary.  However, according to James Joyce, cuspidor is the most beautiful word in English. Your favorites?

President Ronald Reagan, returning from a 1982 trip to Latin America, said:  “You’d be surprised.  They’re all individual countries.”

KWIKWIZ answers:

436.  Oprah Winfrey

437.  He was transferring breadfruit to Caribbean islands in the 1780s.

438.  Pizza

439.  Many hotels provided “doll experience rooms” @ $25/hour for simulated sex

440.  Don Martin in his Mad magazine cartoons

CHALLENGE #105 was:  Which Brit who became an American was elected to political office in France and narrowly escaped being executed there?   Answer:  Thomas Paine, who was then a political prisoner and narrowly escaped the guillotine.  His body was returned to England and refused a monument. His body is lost.

CHALLENGE #106:  He was beaten by a drunken father, who abandoned the family, then beaten by his mother. He was an avid reader with a beautiful singing voice who was very bright and wrote poetry.  His mother wanted him to be a priest. He became a labor organizer, bank robber, arsonist and killer who spent most of a decade in prison.  But he rose to international heights.


"Potpourri" is an omnium-gatherum issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.  WMWMWMWM [wmmathews@mac.com]   No trees were destroyed to create this message.  However, a countless number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced. Namasté.

POTPOURRI #107  Sat Feb  16

Featured Quote:  “...doctors in this country frequently have financial ties to the companies whose devices or drugs they recommend to patients.”  --Alex Berenson

BIG Q #19:  Where would American culture be today w/o the conributions of Hitler and Stalin--that is, w/o the thousands of creatively gifted refugees who fled these murderers?  --Phillip Lopate


441.  Which was the first Hollywood movie to say the word ‘abortion’?

442.  In her 70s, she made one of the greatest film cameos in “Airplane.”

443.  Who was the first female presidential candidate?

444.  What ‘stunning innovation’ was the only original part of the U.S. Constitution?

445.  After WWII, when were butter and cheese no longer rationed in the UK?

Latin America has undergone dramatic change since 1977, when all but 4 countries were dictatorships.  Today, save Cuba, each has evolved into a democracy [w/o us invading them]--though sometimes somewhat flawed.  --Carolyn Curiel

Frozen Grand Central from Marti:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwMj3PJDxuo

The Old English word flutterby was transposed in modern English into butterfly. Metathesis is reversing two sounds in a sequence.

Prison vs. Work

In Prisonyou spend the majority of your time in an 8x10 cell.

  At Workyou spend most of your time in a 6x8 cubicle.

In Prison    you get time off for good behavior.

  At Workyou get rewarded for good behavior with more work.

In Prison    a guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.

  At Workyou must carry around a security card  and unlock and open all the doors yourself.

In Prison    you can watch TV and play games.

  At Workyou get fired for watching TV and playing games.

In Prison    they allow your family and friends to visit.

  At Workyou cannot even speak to your family and friends.

In Prison    all expenses are paid by taxpayers with no work required.

  At Workyou get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.

In Prison    you spend most of your life looking through bars from the inside wanting to get out.

  At Workyou spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars.

This is entertainment from Alan D.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAFI1i5FIBc 

No one can go back and make a brand new start, but anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.   

It’s/its and your/you’re are used incorrectly more often than not.

Carla says that a man robs a bank and takes hostages. He asks the first hostage if he saw him rob the bank. Hostage answers yes. Robber shoots him in the head. Asks second hostage if he saw him rob the bank.  Hostage answers no, but my wife did.


“As much as 40% of [our] military budget can be attributed to protecting the oil trade.”  --FedEx founder Frederick Smith

Is Sales Tax a Fair Tax? The top 20% of U.S. households has 15x the income of the lowest 20%, and spends only 2.1x on consumption per person.  --W. Michael Cox

From Fred B.: An elderly man sits on a park bench crying. A cop asked what’s wrong.  He replied that his wife died a few weeks ago.....oh, I'm sorry for that, said the cop....the nurse who cared for her to the end, was young and beautiful.  She was so nice, lovely, caring and all that, that I married her. Now, she dresses me in the morning, feeds me a delicious breakfast, later lunch and a grand dinner...we have the best ever sex one to three times a day, and after the last sex, bathes me, and puts me to bed, next to her...he continues to bawl....Well, says the cop, seems like you hit the mother lode, why are you here so despondent....the old man lifts his head and says:  I forgot where I live.  

Secret deals at Target:  www.wisebread.com/tips-for-perimeter-perusing-at-target

Disappointments are like road bumps, they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterwards.  Don't stay on the bumps too long.  Move on!


26. Clearly misunderstood

27. Peace force

28. New classic

29. Plastic glasses

30. Terribly pleased

Made Toxic in China--for USA Only:  The problem is not with the Chinese, but with our corporate chieftans who moved manufacturing to China to get these kinds of low-cost shortcuts in production, while demanding that Washington cut back on regulations protecting consumers.  --Jim Hightower

Via, road, is the root of the word trivial.  Where three roads intersect, you are likely to find busy traffic, lots of people and a public place, so you won’t talk confidential matters, but rather whatever is unimportant or w/o great significance.

From Carla:  At a high school in Montana a group of high schoolers played a prank on the school. They let three goats loose in the school and painted numbers on their sides: 1,2,4. Local school administrators spent most of the day looking for #3.

“It is inconceivable that the whole Universe was merely created for us who live in this third-rate planet of a third-rate sun.”  --Alfred Lord Tennyson

The language of Shakespeare, 400 years old, is relatively comprehensible to us.  But the language of Chaucer, 150 years older than the language of Shakespeare, was almost incomprehensible to Shakespeare’s contemporaries.

More than half American soldiers/marines surveyed in Iraq said they would NOT turn in a fellow service member for mistreating an Iraqi civilian.  --Pentagon study

KWIKWIZ answers:

441.  Anatomy of a Murder

442.  Ethel Merman

443.  Victoria Woodhull in 1872, a prominent suffragette.

444.  The ‘disestablishment’ clause --Gary Wills

445.  1954

CHALLENGE #106 was:  He was beaten by a drunken father, who abandoned the family, then beaten by his mother. He was an avid reader with a beautiful singing voice who was very bright and wrote poetry.  His mother wanted him to be a priest. He became a labor organizer, bank robber, arsonist and killer who spent most of a decade in prison.  But he rose to international heights.  Answer: Joseph Stalin  [Fred M. and Lance got it.]

CHALLENGE #107:  What do “Leave It To Beaver” and Sputnik have in common?


"Potpourri" is an omnium-gatherum issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.  WMWMWMWM [wmmathews@mac.com]   No trees were destroyed to create this message.  However, a countless number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced. Namasté.

POTPOURRI #108  Fri Feb 22

Featured Quote:  “An adult’s political leanings can be predicted with eerie accuracy by how anxious he was in preschool:  the most anxious children grow into the most politically conservative adults.  Their temperament leads them to value predictabiity, protection and preserving what they have rather than taking a chance on change.”    --Sharon Begley

BIG Q #20:  Should a sports clubhouse be a chapel?


446.  Which was larger at its peak: the Roman or the Islamic Empire?

447.  Are there more Jews or Muslims in the U.S.?  In Europe?

448.  Which of today’s 3 great Abrahamic religious books is most like the original? [Old & New Testaments and the Koran]

449.  Why did Malcolm X choose that letter for his new name?

450.  What proportion of the African slaves brought to America were monotheistic?

Child prodigy from Mary M: http://www.tinyurl.com/yxewot

Many of our names for body parts come from Old English, while related medical terms come from Latin: lip/labial; tooth/dental; heart/cardiac; gall/choleric.  Other inheritances:  knee/genuflect; boot/pedal.

50% of children walked or rode bikes to school in 1969...only 15% did in 2001.

The Last Lecture from Carl S.:  The 44-minute full version:  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3115188410730134929

The 11-minute ‘Oprah’ version:  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8577255250907450469&pr=goog-sl

“When Hemingway killed himself, he put a period at the end of his life.  Old age is more like a semicolon.”  Kurt Vonnegut

A scourge since early man, the variola virus, or smallpox, killed 400,000 people each year in 18th-century Europe and blinded thousands. In 1796, English scientist Edward Jenner observed that milkmaids who had contracted cowpox did not contract smallpox, even when exposed. While many cultures in India, Turkey and North America had devised ad hoc inoculations, it was Jenner’s vaccine that ultimately eradicated it. Today, the virus exists in only a few laboratory test tubes.

37 million Americans ‘collected things’ in 2000;  just 11% were under 36; most were over 50. 

Inspiration from Alan D.: www.greatquotesmovie.com/

The average single-family home nearly doubled in size from 1970 to 2005, to 2,434 sq. ft.

Pain in the present is experienced as hurt.

Pain in the past is remembered as anger.

Pain in the future is perceived as anxiety.

Unexpressed anger, redirected against yourself and held within, in called guilt.

The depletion of energy that occurs when anger is redirected inward creates depression.

The new Yankee Stadium declined offfers of $50 million/year for naming rights.  At a cost of $1.2 billion for construction, that comes to $22,641 for each of the 53,000 seats.

Bet you can’t watch this only once, from Carl S.:  http://fc01.deviantart.com/fs13/f/2007/077/2/e/Animator_vs__Animation_by_alanbecker.swf

You can't make someone love you.  All you can do is be someone who can be loved; the rest is up to the person to realize your worth.

More Americans believe in angels than in evolution.


31. Computer security

32. Political science

33. Tight slacks

34. Definite maybe

35. Pretty ugly

“I’m a middle-aged woman” from Jean K.:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1TVOXdNkFo

If you oppose gay marriage now, you know how you felt about civil rights in 1961.

We spend too much time looking for the right person to love or finding fault with those we already love, when instead we should be perfecting the love we give.

The word cleric originally meant a literate man.

The NRA’s latest right to bear arms’ from Alan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4ebtj1jR7c

2006 National Geographic Poll: Nearly half 18 to 24-year-olds don’t think it necessary or important to know where countries in the news are located.

Fight the War on Greed:  http://warongreed.org/

Over the past decade, the Joint Commission, the nation’s leading health care accrediting agency, collected 550 reports of wrong-site, wrong-person and wrong-procedure surgeries. Lucian Leape says it is much higher since the reporting was voluntary.

Religion was considered the queen of sciences in the Middle Ages.

I’m a ‘bobcat,’ from Carl S.: http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/sheep/reaction_version5.swf 

KWIKWIZ answers:

446.  Islamic Empire was larger and only 100 years after Mohammed’s death; they lowered taxes and provided religious tolerance.

447.  Muslims are 3rd in the U.S. after Jews, and 2nd in Europe [15 million].  10% of the 5 million French are Muslim.

448.  Since it was always memorized and passed down orally and must always be written in the original Arabic [sometimes w/translation beside it], I say the Koran.

449.  Ex-smoker, ex-drinker, ex-Christian and ex-slave.

450.  14 to 20% were Muslim and forced to be Christian.

CHALLENGE #107 was:  What do “Leave It To Beaver” and Sputnik have in common?  Answer: They both premiered the same day:  October 4, 1957 [Jim S and Lance got it.]

CHALLENGE #108:  At 41 she gave birth to a child with a 60-year-old Senator, who was readily accepted by their respective, and older, spouses.


"Potpourri" is an omnium-gatherum issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.  WMWMWMWM [wmmathews@mac.com]   No trees were destroyed to create this message.  However, a countless number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced. Namasté.

POTPOURRI #109  Friday Feb 29

Featured Quote:  “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag followed by a cross.”  --Sinclair Lewis

BIG Q #21:  Why does an all-powerful God allow us to suffer?  --Bart Ehrman


451.  How is religion mentioned in the original Constitution?

452.  Which 3 presidential candidates of the last year have been treated for cancer?

453.  Who is the largest land-owner in the world?

454.  Which borough of NYC doesn’t have a Main Street?

455.  The answering machine at the Bronx High School of Science says:  “For English press 1; for ? press 2.”

Thomas Jefferson didn’t write about “separation of church and state”;  He wrote about “A wall of separation of church and state.”

Math art from Mohamed: http://www.bridgesmathart.org/art-exhibits/jmm08/

Flammable and inflammable mean the same thing but come from separate Latin words: inflammare and the rarer flammare, which both meant "to set on fire."  Latin had two prefixes in-, one meant "not"; the other, meaning "in," "into," or "upon," was the one used in inflammare.   "Inflammable" dates in English from 1605.

Other words where an apparently negative prefix has little effect on the meaning are:  "to (dis)annul," "to (de)bone," "to (un)bare," "to (un)loose" and "to (un)ravel."  Irregardless (which was a blend of "irrespective" and "regardless";  was first recorded in western Indiana in 1912) means the same as "regardless," but is not considered acceptable.

Nearly 2/3 of Americans want creationism to be taught along with evolution.  --Susan Jacoby

NASA pics from Joe O’:    http://www.texasjim.com/NASApix/NASA%20pix.htm

“You can choose your friends, but not your lovers.”  --Beebo Brinker [Ann Bannon]

Medical errors kill 44,000 to 98,000 people per year in the U.S.  --Nat’l Acad. of Sci.

Play ‘Close the Door’ and learn something:  http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/

38% of employers consider high school graduates deficient as readers.  --NEA

I Couldn’t Make This Up:  In 1970 Linwood Holton, Virginia’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction and a Nixon supporter, responded to court-ordered busing by voluntarily placing his own children in the largely black Richmond public schools--and was abandoned by his party and lost the next election to the previous governor who was a champion of “massive resistence” to desegregation.  Today Anne Holton, the young daughter he sent to a black school, is the wife of the Democratic governor, Tim Kaine.  --Frank Rich

Geek Trivia from Jim S.:  http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/geekend/?p=1173&page=2&tag=nl.e010

Cuttlefish quickly camouflage themselves with a rainbow of colors, but they are colorblind.  --Roger Hanlon

Toyota’s RAV-4 is pronounced “lah-bu” in Japanese, which is the same pronunciation as “love.”

The millennial generation [dating from 1982] is the largest in American history, boomers included, and roughly 40% of it is African-American, Latino, Asian or racially mixed.   --Michael D. Hais

The USA PATRIOT ACT is not a law, but modifies existing laws. The Bill of Rights has 482 words;  U.S. Constitution has 4,730 words;  the “Patriot Act” uses 56,881 words to dismantle them.  The clever acronymn:  United and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.  It was presented to Congress 14 hours before the vote.

Pennies cost 1.67¢ to make.  Nickels cost 9.5¢ to make, i.e., last year it took $120 million to make $65 million worth of nickels.

“I will make up my hair in the mirror of your eyes.” --Aphra Behn

Chinese alchemists in the 11th c., searching for the elusive potion of immortality, stumbled upon an explosive combination of carbon, nitrate and sulfur: gunpowder. Its initial use in China and other East Asian countries wasn’t for fireworks, but for military weapons such as grenades, mines and rockets.  By the 13th c., it appeared in Europe and by 1802, an entrepreneur named du Pont was manufacturing gunpowder in the U.S.

Classic quotes from Philip S.: http://www.motivationinaminute.com/great_quotes.php?MIAMSRC=W080227/

“To the corrupt, nothing is pure.”  Boccaccio said defending his ribald tales.

“Money is the root of all goodness.”  --Ayn Rand

Check local restraurant inspections: http://www.healthinspections.com/

KWIKWIZ answers:

451.  Only twice:  No “religious test” for officeholders, and the document is dated: “in the year of our Lord 1787.”

452.  Guiliani, McCain and Thompson

453.  Rev. Sun Young Moon of ‘the moonies,” and owner of the Washington Times newspaper and UPI.  He is a big contributor to Bush/Republicans and is anticipating a pardon from the President.

454.  Manhattan

455.  Mandarin

re: #448  Q: “Which of today’s 3 great Abrahamic religious books is most like the original? [Old & New Testaments and the Koran] Ans: Since it was always memorized and passed down orally and must always be written in the original Arabic [sometimes w/translation beside it], I say the Koran.”  Note from Philip S.

“There is a great debate about item # 448. Dots [to specify the vowels] were not used for Quran verses except 150 years after the Quran was written during the rule of the third successor (Uthman) when he ordered writing it using oral recitations which differed from one tribe to another. So, no one is exactly sure which verses were uttered by Muhammad himself.”

CHALLENGE #108 was:  At 41 she gave birth to a child with a 60-year-old Senator, who was readily accepted by their respective, and older, spouses.  Answer: TR’s daughter:  Alice Roosevelt Longworth

CHALLENGE #109:  Who were the early choices to play Mr. & Mrs. Robinson in the film “The Graduate”?


"Potpourri" is an omnium-gatherum issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.  WMWMWMWM [wmmathews@mac.com]   No trees were destroyed to create this message.  However, a countless number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced. Namasté.