POTPOURRI #150     Dec 12
	Featured Quote:  “Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he’s impotent.  Is he able but not willing?  Then he’s malevolent.  Is he both able and willing?  When then is evil?”  --David Hume

	BIG Q #62 :  	Two mothers each leave an infant in a locked car while they have coffee.  One infant dies, the other does not.  Why is one charged with murder and the other just negligence? Aren’t each equally guilty?

	FACTOID:  Michigan’s ‘Upper Peninsula’ is not connected to the rest of the state.  It was a ‘consolation prize’ by Congress taken from Wisconsin, for land Michigan lost to Ohio and Indiana.  --Mark Stein

	HUMOR [?]: A good looking man entered an agent's office in Hollywood and said 'I want to be a movie star.'  He had the right credentials, but his name was Penis van Lesbian. The agent said he must change his name, but the man refused and left.  FIVE YEARS LATER..... The agent received a letter with a $50,000 check. “Dear Sir, five years ago, you told me to change my name, you were right.  I had too much pride to return to you, so I hired another agent.  The enclosed check expresses my appreciation to you.”  signed:  Dick Van Dyke     --from Carl S.

	MUSICAL INTERLUDE: youtube.com/watch?v=ynaJ2R24zDU&feature=related
 	10-year-old yoon a in plays Scarlatti

	Now ya know: 	Seinfeld is on 5 times/day in NYC

	661.  Who first used the word ‘assassination’?
	662.  In 15th & early 16th century England, possession of an English-				language Bible meant what?
	663.  Where is the 6th largest pyramid in the world?
	664.  What were the last three words of LBJ’s last speech?
	665.  After her divorce she never mentioned her husband’s name again, but 			always had the good manners to set an extra place at the table.

	Billy Durant created General Motors in 1908 by consolidating Buick Oldsmobile, Cadillac and Pontiac.  He later founded Chevrolet.  His last job was manager of a bowling alley.  --Keith Naughton

	U.S. credit card debt is roughly $822 Billion.

	The noun vignette originally referred to a decorative design on the title page of a book or at the beginning or end of a chapter; later: 'an image gradually shaded off at the edges so as to leave no definite lines at the border' and 'a short, graceful sketch in a book, scene in a movie, etc.' First recorded in English in the 1750s, from French, meaning 'little vines,' so called from the vinelike decorations often used in books. 

	There are 1.6 Billion people in the world without electricity [that means no refrigeration, too].  --Adam Grosser

	Amercan GIs abandoned 40,000 Eurasian children.  --Rick Smolan

	Studies find that married couples with a rich vocabulary of teasing nicknames and formulaic insults are happier and more satisfied.  --Dasher Keltner

Do Not all that you can Do
Spend Not all that you Have
Believe Not all that you Hear
and Tell Not all that you Know.


1.  Petito Principle...circular reasoning, begging the question:  God exists because the Bible says so. The Bible is true because it’s God’s word, and God wouldn’t lie.

2.  Complex Question...presuming w/o evidence.  e.g. Have you stopped beating your wife?  Don’t you want to be a good boy and go to bed?

3.  Equivocation...exploiting ambiguity in words:  Were you good at the party?  Are you smoking [these days]?  No, I’m not [right now].

4.  Amphibole...exploiting ambiguity in syntax...”No Smoking Allowed” is it“forbidden” or “permitted”?

5  Accent...ambiquity of emphasis including selective data use.  Broccoli Rice Suprise.

6.  Category Mistake...ambiguity of classification,  confusing things w/systems.  If we have minds, where are they?

7.  Composition & Division...ambiguity between properties of elements and sets:  Everyone in class is tiny.

8.  False Dilemma...ambiguity of complementarity.  Red or dead;  With us or against us.

	In English we have words for 6,000 emotions, but most people experience fewer than 12/week--and half of them are bad.   -- Tony Robbins

	Everyone who works should be able to live...i.e., earn a living wage and have health care.

	GWB Poetry Corner:
		What good should follow this, if this were done?
		What harm, undone? deep harm to disobey,
		Seeing obedience is the bond of rule.
		Were it well to obey then, if a king demand
		An act unprofitable, against himself?
		The king is sick, and knows not what he does.
			--lines 92-97 from “Morte d’Arthur” by Tennyson
	KWIKWIZ answers:
	661.  The Crusaders thought the name of a vicious Arabic tribe sounded like 			‘assassin.’  The form ‘assassination’ was first used by Shakespeare in 			Hamlet in 1606.
	662.  Death
	663.  It is a vacant arena in Memphis, Tennessee
	664.  “We Shall Overcome!” --he died 6 weeks later at age 64
	665.  Etiquette Queen:  Emily Post

	CHALLENGE #149 was:  Since 1976 there have been 1,158 U.S. patents for specific sporting equipment that sells 1.5 billion globally, every year. Name it. Answer:  the golf tee.  [Jerry and Sue got it.]

	CHALLENGE #150:  What do the ancestors of these have in common:  rye, oats, turnips, radishes, beets, leeks and lettuce?
Potpourri  is ‘a mixture of things’ issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis.   [Don't focus on the early 17th c. origin of the word: ‘a stew of different meats,’ from the French, literally: 'rotten pot.'] Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.   wmmathews@mac.com

POTPOURRI #151    Dec 19
	Featured Quote:  “If you are not willing to lose, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to win.”  --Michael Josephson

	BIG Q #63 :  When facing a decision:  Which information is relevant?

	FACTOID:  In California the marijuana trade is larger than the wine industry.  It’s one of the largest cash crops in the U.S.  --National Geographic

	HUMOR [?]: The economic crisis appeared worse in Asia as Japanese banks are the latest to be hit. Apparently...Origami Bank has folded. Sumo Bank has gone belly-up. Karaoke Bank was sold for a song. The Bonsai Bank is cutting back its branches. Shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived. Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks. Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black. But, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop. Analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.  --from Jim S.

	MUSICAL INTERLUDE:    www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGdFHJXciAQ
	Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Winter

	Now ya know: 	In the Palace of Versailles, Marie Antoinette demanded a system of locks so she could bolt her bedroom doors from her bed, furthering rumors of infidelity.  --Tony Spawforth

	666.  What is the most widely read American autobiography?
	667.  Why are American children born in the latter part of the year under-			represented in college?
	668.  He was jailed by his mother for sexual scandals in his youth and 				sentenced to death in his 30s for sexual perversion--but he escaped.  
	669.  If a worm is cut in half will it grow into two worms?
	670.  Which American university has Indian Mounds on campus that were 			built 450 years before the first Egyptian pyramid?

	Capitalism cannot work w/o regulation.

	Inspiration from John E.:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=MslbhDZoniY

	Someone who is saturnine [SAT-ur-nyn] might be sad, gloomy, melancholy, sullen, morose, sour, surly, sardonic, and slow to shift moods. Such a personality is like that of someone born when the planet Saturn was rising, according to the ancient Romans. 

	Star Wars/Kill Bill Parody:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtwK-JCGUUA

	Women communicate face to face:  millions of years holding a baby and talking to it;  Men communicate side by side, one looking sideways, the other looking ahead:  millions of years behind a bush next to a friend waiting to hunt an animal.  --Helen Fisher

	Since the 1970s, the government of Bhutan bases decisions on Gross National Happiness rather than GNP.

	Christmas Light Show from Alan:  http://www.wxpnews.com/CNG0MK/081209-Christmas-Lights

	•  “His kind of music is deplorable, a rancid-smelling aphrodisiac.”  --Frank Sinatra
	•  “He knew that he was locked in this self-parody.”  --Robert Plant of Led Zepplelin

	“Sock & Awe”--ya gotta play it: http://www.sockandawe.com/--from Elizabeth G	

	SKYBOX?  Major League Baseball authorized use of team logos for caskets [selling at a 20% premium].

	After being home schooled, he started at the University of Glasgow at age 10 and was the top of his class in mathematics, logic and classics.  At 16 he published the first of 660 papers, and he’s buried in Westminster Abbey close to Newton and Darwin...but few know his name:  William Thompson [Lord Kelvin]....the absolute temperature scale is named for him as is an old brand of refrigerators.

	New State Motto: "Illinois, where our governors make our license plates." --from Alan

	Play the game and $ goes to fight breast cancer:  http://www.pepperidgefarm.com/pink/game.aspx    --from Elizabeth G.	
	“There are never any third acts in a nightmare.  They bring you to a climax of terror and then leave you there.  They are the work of poor dramatists.”  --critic Max Beerbohm

	Queen Victoria installed the first Christmas Tree in Windsor Castle in 1840;  the practice spread to the U.S. in 1848.

	GWB Poetry Corner:
		And on the pedestal these words appear:
		“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
		Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
		Nothing beside remains.  Round the decay
		Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
		The lone and level sands stretch far away.
			--Percy Bysshe Shelley

	If you've ever invented a new word, you've created a neologism  [nee-ALL-uh-jiz-um] and you are a neologist. A neologism is a new word, expression, or usage. The word has two parts: neo-, from the Greek neos (new), and -logism, from the Greek logos (word, speech). 

	In 1824, after a series of financial embarrassments, his family moved to a “mean, small tenement,” and he dropped out of school, at 12, for 10-hour days at a shoe-blacking factory.  A week later his father was imprisoned over a bill to a baker.  He was Charles Dickens.

	KWIKWIZ answers:
	666.  Benjamin Franklin’s Works of 1794
	667.  They enjoy many months of developmental advantage because of 			arbitrary school entrance cut-off dates and are often tracked into 			“gifted” programs.  --Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey
	668.  Marquis de Sade  --Patrick Grim
	669.  Not true.
	670.  Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge

	CHALLENGE #150 was:  What do the ancestors of these have in common:  rye, oats, turnips, radishes, beets, leeks and lettuce?  Answer:  They initially were weeds in fields of intentionally cultivated crops.  --Jared Diamond

	CHALLENGE #151:  In 1970 in NYC, 127 people started something that has become a major attraction to foreigners.  750,000 people have participated. What is it? 
Potpourri  is ‘a mixture of things’ issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis.   [Don't focus on the early 17th c. origin of the word: ‘a stew of different meats,’ from the French, literally: 'rotten pot.'] Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.   wmmathews@mac.com

POTPOURRI#152   Dec 26
	Featured Quote:  “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”  --Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad

	BIG Q #64 :  Who more influenced the practice of Christmas:  Jesus Christ or Washington Irving/Clement Clarke Moore/Charles Dickens/Coca Cola/Madison Avenue?

	FACTOID:  Equality of people and natural resources was the reason so many western states look rectangular.   --Mark Stein

	HUMOR [?]: Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, 'How old was your husband?' '98,' she replied.  'Two years older than me' 'So you're 96,' the undertaker commented.She responded, 'Hardly worth going home, is it?  --from Jim H.

	MUSICAL INTERLUDE:   “...Over the Rainbow” 

	Now ya know: 	1/4 of employees who use the I’net visit porn sites at work.  --Nielson Online
	671.  Which state governor built a mansion as an exact replica of the White House so he would not have to learn where the light switches were when he became president?
	672.  What is entomophagy?
	673.  Which movie was made at the cost of $25K and grossed over $600 million [all to go to the mob that financed it].
	674.  Why/when did Holland start to reclaim land from the sea?
	675.  Which U.S. President could simultaneously write Greek with one hand and Latin with the other?

	“In any culture where a proportion of people can obtain protein from animal sources, beans will be reviled as food fit only for peasants.”  --Ken Albala

	Three months ago, Ecuador became the first country to extend constitutional rights to nature:  “the right to the maintenance and regeneration of its vital cycles, structure, functions and evolutionary processes.”  70% of voters agreed.

	Presidential Quote of the Week:  “Natural gas is hemispheric.  I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.”

 	What is the biggest health-care breakthrough in the last 40 years?
Cigarette tax:  every 10% increase in price reduced sales 3% overall & 7% among teens.  The 1983 Federal tax saved 40,000 lives/year.  Is sugar next?  --”Prescription for a Healthy Nation”

	If a fish could think, the last thing it would think about is water.

	In 2006 Goldman Sachs paid more than $20 million dollars apiece to more than 50 people.

	In the 70s CA set the first efficiency standards for refrigerators.  Manufacturers said they couldn’t be met w/o big price increases.  By the 80s the size of refrigerators was 10% larger, sold at half the cost in adjusted $, and used 2/3 the energy.  --Steven Chu

	Save a CEO:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDC0qcf0kzE--from Fred B

	“The desire to hold money as a store of wealth is a barometer of the degree of our distrust of our own calculations and conventions concerning the future...The possession of actual money lulls our disquietude; and the premium we require to make us part with money is a measure of the degree of our disquietude.” --John Maynard Keynes

	Dancing Cockatoo:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7IZmRnAo6s

	GWB Poetry Corner:
		“All nations striving strong to make
		Red war yet redder.  Mad as hatters
		they do no more for Christe’s sake
		Than you who are helpless in such matters.
		.  .  .
		So down we lay again, “I wonder,
		Will the world ever saner be,”
		Said one, “than when He sent us under
		In our indifferent century!”
			--Thomas Hardy in “Channel Firing”

	Peculiarities:  Pikes Peak is spelled without an apostrophe by law, according to the CO legislature in 1978. The voters of Mullens, WV, voted to retain the spelling, rather than switch to "Mullins," which is how the person for whom the town is named spelled his name. According to Willis Johnson, the LA legislature enacted a law specifying that "crawfish" should not be spelled with a "y." Jim Lehmann claims that in Joliet, IL, it is illegal to pronounce the name of the town in any way other than "JOE-lee-et." 

	“Just remember that we are all in this alone.” --Lily Tomlin

	Ranking the countries on academic performance of school children:  U.S. is just below average, half a standard deviation below Canada and Belgium, e.g.  The gap could be closed by replacing the bottom 6-10% of public-school teachers with teachers of average quality.  --Eric Hanushek

	KWIKWIZ answers:
	671.  Huey Long in Louisiana [note: Eisenhower hated Truman and refused a pre-inauguration tour.  When he woke the first morning he couldn’t find his office.]
	672.  It is eating insects and is a regular culinary practice in some parts of the world.
	673.  “Deep Throat”
	674.  Food shortages after WWI, so they wanted food independence.
	675.  James Garfield

	CHALLENGE #151 was:  In 1970 in NYC, 127 people started something that has become a major attraction to foreigners.  750,000 people have participated. What is it?  Answer:  The NYC Marathon  [Jerry, Lance and Carole got it.]

	CHALLENGE #152: He refused a seat at Ford’s Theater the night Lincoln was shot [1865], but was present at the assassination of Garfield [1881] and McKinley [1901].
Potpourri  is ‘a mixture of things’ issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis.   [Don't focus on the early 17th c. origin of the word: ‘a stew of different meats,’ from the French, literally: 'rotten pot.'] Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.   wmmathews@mac.com

POTPOURRI #153     Jan 2
	Featured Quote:  “Markets need certainty and predictability, and the administration’s actions have actually increased uncertainty and unpredictabilility.  Its measures have been ad hoc, its response to each institution has been different, its reasoning has been opaque--all this creates confusion, and that drives capital away.”  --Warren Buffett

	BIG Q #65 :  	An industrial farm with 5,000 hogs produces as much waste as a town with 20,000 people.  The town is required to have a sewage system, but the farm isn’t.  Why? -- Nicholas Kristof

	FACTOID:  At rest a person radiates the equivalent energy of a 100-watt bulb.

	HUMOR [?]: Three circus midgets decided to start a business in China. They bought a factory in Beijing and started manufacturing road-building materials. They shrewdly cornered the market on a black, sticky substance to cover the roads they were building. Thus, they became known as the three wee kings of Orient tar.  --from Jim S.

	MUSICAL INTERLUDE: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGPPDV8wBOQ
	Chopin’s Nocturne

	Now ya know: 	Skis predate the wheel.  The oldest are from 6,000 B.C.

	676.  How many commandments are their in Judaism?
	677.  Which state sends the most applications to Harvard, Penn and Julliard?
	678.  Which is larger:  The number of  Americans who die each year from lack of health insurance or from murder?
	679.  How was the salad, Green Goddess, named? 
	680.  How many U.S. Presidents has Queen Elizabeth II met?

	GIVING:  --Arthur Brooks
	•  Households headed by conservatives give 30% more to charity [mostly religious ones] than households headed by liberals.  
	•  People in red states are much more likely to volunteer for good causes and give blood more often
	•  One of the most generous groups is gays.  
	BUT:  Liberals are often more willing to pay higher taxes to support gov’t programs in health care & poverty alleviation.  Liberals may believe that centralized & well-financed gov’t initiatives will have a higher chance of working than diffuse efforts of uncoordinated charities.  So the major difference isn’t stinginess, but philosophy.  --Gina Kim

	1882: first electric-lit Christmas tree by Edison’s VP in NYC.
	1895: first electric-lit Christmas tree in White House: Grover Cleveland

	A sampling of ways the U.S. executive branch failed to perform from 2001-2008:  A more complete list is at:  www.publicintegrity.org/blog/entry/1076/ 
	•  Iraq:
	-  935 demonstrably false statements in lead-up to Iraq war by Bush and his administration
	-  190,000 U.S.-supplied weapons missing in Iraq
	-  $212.3 million in overcharges by Halliburton for Iraq oil reconstruction work
	•  American oil imports:
	-  34.8% during Nixon administration
	-  42.2% during first Gulf War
	-  59.9% in 2006
	•  Corporations:
	-  $100 Billion in federal tax lost annually to corporations using off-shore tax shelters
	-  275 largest U.S. corporations pay, on average, about 17% in taxes in 2007, half the standard corporate tax rate
	-  70% of corporations with $250 million in assets audited in 1990;
26% audited in 2006
	•  Other:
	-  60% of EPA scientists report political interference 
	-  At least $1/2 Billion for Hurricane Katrina FEMA trailers contaminated by formaldehyde 
	-  $455 Billion deficit for fiscal year 2008; estimated to reach up to $1 trillion in 2009
	-  $9.91 Billion for government secrecy in 2007 — a record 

	World Clock from Alan:  www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf

	In the second quarter of 2008, GM lost $181,000 per minute.  --George F. Will

	Did you hear about the stockbroker who’s been sleeping like a baby?  Every hour he wakes up and cries.

	In the mid 1960s, two buildings in Manhattan had as many psychoanalysts as MN, OR, DE, OK, VT, WI and TN combined.  --Jonathan Engel

	Sex with Robots:  By the middle of this century “love with robots will be as normal as love with other humans.”  “Reciprocal liking” can be programed into a robot’s behavior and polymers can be used as artificial skin. --artificial intelligence expert, David Levy

	Before the genocide in Rwanda, rape and marriage were the same word.  --Chris Abani

	Review of 2008 from Elizabeth G, Alan & John E:  www.impactlab.com/2008/12/31/uncle-jay-year-in-review/

	Children born in the Fall have a 30% higher risk of asthma.  --Amer. J. Resp. & Crit. Care Med.

	Bollywood America from Krishna:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnlMnf7t4t4

	Ornery is a dialect use of ordinary and has also been spelled awnry, o'nary, onery, onry, ornary, and ornry.  All of these spellings are written representations of the way people pronounced ordinary. What's interesting is that, instead of just remaining a dialect form of "ordinary," ornery developed a meaning of its own and became a completely new standard English word. 

	As children, we typically feel slightly older than we really are, but around age 25-30 we begin to think of ourselves as younger.  Studies have shown that people between 40-70 feel about 20% younger than they really are.  --Tara Parker-Pope

	"If tough love was good enough for troubled families cut off the public dole by Clinton’s welfare reform ... why have a poverty program for troubled corporations?" --Robert Scheer

	The central teaching of the Bhagavad-Gita is the Hindu practice of disinterested action, which requires renunciation of the fruits of any deed.  --Kenneth Woodward

	GWB Poetry Corner:
		At the water’s edge, where the smothering ferns lifted
		their arms, “Father!” I cried, “return! You know
		The way, I’ll wipe the mudstains from your clothes;
		No trace, I promise, will remain.  instruct
		Your son, whirling between two wars,
			--lines 23-27 in “Father and Son” by Stanley Kunitz [1905-?]

	KWIKWIZ answers:
	676.  613 --David B. Ruderman
	677.  California
	678.  22,000 die because they lack health insurance.   --Steve Coll
	679.  The play “The Green Goddess” was made into a silent film in 1923
	680.  ten

	CHALLENGE #152 was:  He refused a seat at Ford’s Theater the night Lincoln was shot [1865], but was present at the assassination of Garfield [1881] and McKinley [1901].  Answer:  Robert Todd Lincoln stayed home to study Spanish when his father was shot.  [Lance & Jerry got it.]

	CHALLENGE #153:  W.C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin, James Brown, Billie Martin and Nicolas Ceausescu have what in common? ________________________________________________________________________________
Potpourri  is ‘a mixture of things’ issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis.   [Don't focus on the early 17th c. origin of the word: ‘a stew of different meats,’ from the French, literally: 'rotten pot.'] Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.   wmmathews@mac.com

POTPOURRI #154     Jan 9
	Featured Quote:   “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”  --Henry Ford

	BIG Q #66:  Can we really understand our own religion without a deep and sympathetic understanding of at least one other?

	FACTOID:  We can feel a printed dot one micron high [1/400,000 of an inch, the diameter of a bacterial cell], but our eye can resolve only about 100 microns.  --Natalie Angier

	HUMOR [?]: Did you hear that Somali pirates were issuing a new ransom-backed security to buy Citigroup?  Moody’s rated it AAA, Henry Paulson deemed the pirates “fundamentally sound,” and Bernie Madoff will safeguard the returns.

	MUSICAL INTERLUDE:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQTTFUtMSvQ
	Fur Elise 

	Now ya know: 	Adults blink 10-15 times/minute; infants less than twice/minute.

	681. What do the following have in common:  Strawberry Fields, Solitaire, May Day, Tiffany Case and Jinx?
	682.  How many Commonwealth nations are there?
	683.  Which has more employees:  Ford + GM or UPS?
	684.  How many U.S. households do not have a bank account?
	685.  What is the color of the paint used on the White House?

	A recent survey found that 850,000 cellphones a year were flushed down British toilets.

	The U.S. has the most extreme income disparities since the years leading up to the Great Depression.  --Bob Herbert
	A new idea from ancient Rome:  “The more you acquire the more you desire.”  --Horace [Quintus Horatius Flaccus, 65 BC to 8 BC]

	etagere...[a’-ta-zhar]...open-shelved furniture for small ornaments

	Gore's Law:  As an online climate-change debate grows longer, the probability that denier arguments will descend into attacks on Al Gore approaches one.

	Heart-Attack Grill from Alan: www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4632991n

	Conservative Republican Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover [some of our worst until now] appointed eight Justices to the Supreme Court.  Taft appointed six and was himself put on the Court.

	Deuteronomy means ‘2nd laws’:  the 5th book of the Bible containing a recapitulation of the Ten Commandments and much of the Mosaic Law.  It emphasizes that goodness is rewarded; evil is punished

	Jim S. suggests STUMBLEUPON as a clever and useful site.

	Barbarian comes from the Greek...it is onomatopoetia:  “bar-bar-bar,” that is, someone who ‘babels’ and can’t speak Greek

	“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”  --Edmund Burke

	90,000 generations ago, Homo Erectus left Africa [1.8 million yrs ago]
	30,000 generations ago, early Homo Sapiens in Africa [600,000 yrs ago]
	10,000 generations ago, we evolve in Africa [200,000 yrs ago]
	3,500 generations ago, we leave Africa [70,000 yrs ago]
   	30,000 years ago, 3 upright walking apes shared the earth.
	Over those10,000 generations and 200,000 years, humans have grown to 6.5 billion; 80 million/year...and that might be a problem!
		--Louise Leakey

	How to answer Bell’s newly invented telephone?  Bell suggested “Ahoy!”  Edison, his competitor, offered the English call to hounds: “Halloo!”

	Economics 101:  Supply-side economics serves only those being supplied.  The rest of us are tired of being trickled down on. 

	Liquidity is looking at your investment portfolio and wetting your pants.  --Elizabeth G.

	During Apartheid in South Africa, there were no women’s toilets in public buildings.  --Chris Abani

	Wa is the oldest recorded name for Japan, and means peace, harmony, balance.

	GWB Poetry Corner:
	Forward, the Light Brigade!
	Was there a man dismay'd?
	Not tho' the soldier knew
	Someone had blunder'd:
	Their's not to make reply,
	Their's not to reason why,
	Their's but to do and die:
	Into the valley of Death
	Rode the six hundred.
		--Tennyson in "The Charge of the Light Brigade"

	KWIKWIZ answers:
	681.  They are all ‘James Bond’ girls.
	682.  53
	683.  UPS has 4 times the number of GM+Ford
	684.  10 million households
	685.  Whisper

	CHALLENGE #153 was:  W.C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin, James Brown, Billie Martin and Nicolas Ceausescu have what in common?  Answer: They each died on Christmas Day. [Jim S. and Jerry got it.]

	CHALLENGE #154:  What do the following have in common:  Eugene O’Neill, William Burroughs and his wife, Charles Mingus, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Charlie Parker and Sid Vicious?  ________________________________________________________________________________
Potpourri  is ‘a mixture of things’ issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis.   [Don't focus on the early 17th c. origin of the word: ‘a stew of different meats,’ from the French, literally: 'rotten pot.'] Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.   wmmathews@mac.com

POTPOURRI #155 Jan 16     
	Featured Quote:  “There is a beginning and an end for everything that is alive...in between is living.”  --unknown

	BIG Q #67 :  Are anxiety and alienation always symptoms to be treated or are they sometimes appropriate--even healthy--responses to the vicissitudes of late modernity:?  --Scott Stossel

	FACTOID:  In 1954 G.E. created the first industrial diamond.  Every year more are produced than all the natural diamonds ever found.

	HUMOR [?]: from Elizabeth G:  Judge Judy to prostitute, “So when did you realize you were raped?”   Prostitute, wiping away tears: “When the check bounced.”

	MUSICAL INTERLUDE: Classy Clips  www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-pXj3LHELA
	Now ya know: 	In the vernacular, a quantum leap is “a huge, often sudden, increase or change in something.”  Actually, in physics, it is the smallest movement, i.e., when an electron jumps to the next orbit of the atom.

	686.  How many white-tie dinners has GWB held over 8 years?
	687.  Which Ivy League university was built on the grounds of a former insane asylum?
	688.  What is the most popular bat & ball sport in the world?
	689.  Of 300 U.S. colleges, which provided the highest annual salary to graduates, at least 10 years after a bachelor’s degree--[excluding those with advanced degrees]?
	690.  Which U.S. President resigned executive positions thrice?

	Bonus Q:  How much new debt and new obligations were piled up in 8 years by the Bush administration?  [see below]

	EXTRA Bonus Q:  “I never felt that anxious any other time during my presidency, curiously enough.”   GWB said about what?

	New Ice Cream Flavor from Ben/Jerry’s:  Yes Pecan, dedicated to Obama.

	Words that sound like what they mean:  sarcastic, grisly, moist, esoteric, effervescent, awkward, delicious.  Got any more?

	Morphing Presidents from Alan:  www.flixxy.com/presidents-morphing.htm
	Unlike a politician, a statesman must have:  a bedrock of principles, a moral compass, a vision, ability to build a consensus to achieve that vision. [Apply the test to anyone who comes to mind.]

	Remember Bill Clinton’s farewell speech where he truthfully said he was leaving the country “on track to be debt-free” by the end of 2009?

	Ron P. sent ‘Dash’....www.dashpoemmovie.com/ 

	Hubris is excessive pride or outrageous arrogance...and comes from the Greek meaning abuse of power, especially over the weak and innocent, it also meant rape.

	45 million Americans smoke.  More than 400,000 die of related diseases each year. But, they are replaced with others since 45 million American smoked in 1990.  Tobacco companies have annual revenue of $40 Billion--and a profit margin of 30%.  Plently of money for advertising and recruiting new smokers.

	“I can easier teach 20 what were good to be done than to be one of the 20 to follow mine own teaching.”  --Portia in “The Merchant of Venice”

	Catholic confession from John E.: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgmQM9cDPHk

	Note the similarity:
	•  “Happy families are all alike;  every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” --Anna Karenina  by Leo Tolstoy
	•  “Domesticable animals are all alike; every undomesticable animal is undomesticable in its own way.”  --Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
	•  X Ys are all alike;  every un-X Y is un-X in its own way.
		--the generic statement, Jared Diamond

	Evolution is ’design out of chaos without the aid of mind.’  --Daniel Dennett,  1995

	True or False:
	1.  Eating turkey makes you drowsy.
	2.  Dim light can ruin your eyes.
	3.  Drink 8 glasses of water/day.
	4.  Suicide increases over the holidays.
		[all are myths  --British Medical Journal]
	POLISH is pronounced two ways, depending on whether or not the first letter is capitalized. Some other such words: JOB, LIMA, RAINIER, READING, NICE, NATAL, MALE, SAID, WORMS, EWE, and BAD. MAGDALEN uncapitalized means "a repentant prostitute"; capitalized, it is a college in Oxford and sounds like "maudlin."

	Athenian Democracy held that any citizen could handle any government position.  Most offices were filled at random: Pull a colored bean from a jar and you get that job for one year, and you were paid for your work.  Citizens had freedom of speech, expression, trial by jury, but not religion.

	KWIKWIZ answers:
	686.  One, with QEII in 2007
	687.  Much of Columbia University was built on the former Bloomingdale Insane Asylum
	688.  Cricket
	689.  Dartmouth:  $134,000
	690.  Thomas Jefferson

	Bonus Q answer:  In 8 years, Bush’s new debt is $10 Trillion as calculated by economists Linda Bilmes & Joseph Stiglitz in the current Harper’s Magazine

	EXTRA Bonus Q answer:  When asked by People magazine what moments from the last 8 years he revisited most often, W talked passionately about the pitch he threw out at the World Series in 2001.

	CHALLENGE #154 was:  What do the following have in common:  Eugene O’Neill, William Burroughs and his wife, Charles Mingus, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Charlie Parker and Sid Vicious?  Answer:  They all have been committed at Belleview Psychiatric Hospital  [Fred M was closest.]

	CHALLENGE #155:  What was the biggest employer of African-Americans in the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century?  
Potpourri  is ‘a mixture of things’ issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis.   [Don't focus on the early 17th c. origin of the word: ‘a stew of different meats,’ from the French, literally: 'rotten pot.'] Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.   wmmathews@mac.com

POTPOURRI #156    Jan 23
	Featured Quote:  Multiculturalism is having conversations of respect across significant differences.

	BIG Q #68 :  How can we explain:  Evil, Suffering and Death? 

	FACTOID:  > $35 million in merchandise is stolen each day nationwide, and about 1 in 11 people in America have shoplifted.  --Nat’l Assn for Shotlifting Prevention

	HUMOR [?]: Doctor Bob had sex with one of his patients and the guilt and sense of betrayal was overwhelming, but every once in a while he’d hear an internal, reassuring voice that said: “Bob, don’t worry about it. You aren’t the first doctor to sleep with one of his patients and you won’t be the last – and you’re single. Just let it go...”But invariably the other voice would bring him back to reality, whispering...“Bob, you’re a vet...”   --Jim S

	Now ya know: 	More than 90% of known chemicals contain carbon--and, therefore, are part of ‘organic’ chemistry.

	691.  Which city has the oldest public hospital in the U.S.?
	692.  How many battles did George Washington win?
	693.  In fiscal year 2008, how much money did NYC collect in parking fines? [in millions]
	694.  Aside from his family, no one ever saw this U.S. President laugh.
	695.  What does “The Big Ten” conference have in common with the new “pentathlon” in the Olympics?
	NYT readers:  2.8 million/day;  20 million/month online.

	PETA, will pay $1 Million for a commercially-viable lab-grown chicken process.  [It’s possible now, but expensive.]

	Words that don’t mean what most people think:
		•  Irregardless:  Regardless already means something isn’t worth regard.  It’s not a real word.
		•  Peruse means to read with thoroughness or care, but is improperly used to mean to skim over or browse.
		•  Ironic is not any kind of amusing coincidence, but an outcome that is the opposite of what you would expect.
		•  Pristine does not mean spotless or as good as new, rather ancient, primeval, unchanged from the original.

	Great historical pics from Fred B.:  www.openmyeyeslord.net/ALookBackInHistory.htm

	At the battle of Marathon against the Persians in 490 BC, Athenian soldiers carried 70 pounds and ran into battle...many were in their 50s and 60s. [And, of course, Pheidippides ran 26 miles back to Athens with news of victory.]

	Qs Still Unanswered.   --from Frank Rich:
	1.  Who put the bogus “uranium from Africa” into the crucial prewar State of the Union address after the C.I.A. removed it from previous Bush speeches?
	2.  How high up were the authorities who ordered and condoned torture and then let the “rotten apples” at the bottom of the military heap take the fall?
	3.  Who orchestrated the Pentagon’s elaborate P.R. efforts to cover up Pat Tillman’s death by “friendly fire” in Afghanistan?
	4.  Whatever did happen to Bush’s records from the Texas Air National Guard?

	True or False:
	1.  Sugar makes children hyperactive.
	2.  Hangovers can be cured.
	3.  You lose most of your body heat through your head.
	4.  Night eating makes you fat.
		[all are myths  --British Medical Journal]

	•  “1/4 of Federal budget is for Health Care and 1/3 of it is overspent.”   --McKinsey global Institute
	•  “Too much health care is unneeded & ineffective.” --Robert J. Samuelson

	•  Doctors need to make drug & test & surgical decisions based on the patient, not on their profits.

	•  15% of Americans lack health insurance

	•  To put pressure on ‘bad medical decisions’:  “Charge more for Medicare, and tax employer-provided health insurance as ordinary income.”  --Robert J. Samuelson

	•  Eli Lilly illegally marketed Zyprexa for patients particularly vulnerable to its risky side effects [children & elderly].  Zyprexa is Lilly’s biggest seller:  $4.8 Billion in 2007, even more in 2008, and they expect a fine of only $1.4 Billion.  AND, Zyprexa is not better than other, cheaper anti-psychotic drugs, AND it has more serious side effects!  Can you trust your doctor with what he/she prescribes?

	Peculiar--The origin of the word: from the Latin meaning ‘private property’ from pecu ‘cattle’ meaning cattle as private property.  The sense of ‘odd’ dates from the early 17th c.

	More than 1/4 of public school 4th graders are still below-level readers for their age.  --Marc Peyser

	In 1900 1/4 of cars produced in U.S. ran on batteries alone.  --Fareed Zakaria

	KWIKWIZ answers:
	691.  Bellevue in NYC was founded as a 6-bed almshouse in 1736.  Current plans are to turn the infamous Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital into a luxury hotel and conference center.
	692.  3 or 4
	693.  $624 million
	694.  Thomas Jefferson
	695.  The Big Ten has 11 teams; the new pentathlon will have 4 events.

	CHALLENGE #155 was:  What was the biggest employer of African-Americans in the U.S. at the turn of the 20th century?  Answer:  Pullman Company, whose president was Abe Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd. [Jerry and Michel got it.]

	CHALLENGE #156:  He had alcoholic parents, flunked kindergarden, was a poor student, stammered badly and was dyslexic, but excelled at sports and drama class. Psychiatrists described him with: “opportunistic defiant disorder,”  “narcissistic personality disorder,”  “oral fixation.”  He slept with lots of men and women.  His eldest son was hooked on drugs since his teens, and, attempting closeness, they pursued their HS degrees together at age 28 and 63.  BUT, he was a very successful godfather.
Potpourri  is ‘a mixture of things’ issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis.   [Don't focus on the early 17th c. origin of the word: ‘a stew of different meats,’ from the French, literally: 'rotten pot.'] Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.   wmmathews@mac.com

POTPOURRI #157  Jan 30     
	Featured Quote:  “Democracies die behind closed doors.”  --Judge Damon Keith, 2002

	BIG Q #69 :  Why were two of the greatest teachers [who never wrote a book], Socrates and Jesus, executed on trumped-up charges?

	FACTOID:  “Beam me up Scottie;” “Play it again, Sam;” “Elementary, my dear Watson.”  None were used where they are usually attributed.

	HUMOR [?]: A very elderly gentleman (mid 90s), well dressed, hair groomed, great looking suit, flower in his lapel, smelling slightly of a good after shave, presenting a great image, walks into an upscale cocktail lounge. Seated at the bar is an elderly looking lady (mid-eighties). The gentleman walks over, sits alongside of her, orders a drink, takes a sip, turns to her and says, "So tell me, do I come here often?"  --Fred B.

	MUSICAL INTERLUDE: 	www.youtube.com/watch?v=amXBUlgDwz0&feature=related

	Now ya know: 	Try It If You Need It:  Should the urge to defecate stike, take a pen, pencil or blunt object and trace a line, deeply and with pressure, in a clockwise direction on the left palm or counterclockwise on the right.  The urge will immediately cease.  --Dr. Park Jae Woo

	696.  They called their college town ‘Devilsburg’ because it was ‘sin city.’
	697.  Virtually all ads for timepieces show 8:10 to frame the logo.  But the iPhone showed 9:42 a.m. Pacific time...Why?
	698.  What is the age limit for potential parents to adopt a child?
	699.  Only two countries do not use the decimal system with their money.
	700.  Indonesia has the most Muslims;  which country is #2?

	Answer to “who is shown in the Jumbotron at the Inauguration:”  answers include:  J. Carter, dog, monkey, Anthony Hopkins and W escaping.  Harry, Lance, Linda A, Mary M and Sue got it correct:  Ted Kennedy.   

	Julius Caesar had a torrid love affair with the mother of Brutus, before Brutus was born.  When Caesar was stabbed by Caspar he said: “Caspar, you son of a bitch.”  When Brutus stabbed him, he said: “You, too, my son?”  Julius’ motto was ‘fast’...his chosen successor, and adopted son, Augustus’ motto was ‘make haste slowly.’  Augustus means ‘the one the gods sent’...today we would say ‘messiah.’ He began the concept of ‘divine right of kings.’--J. Rufus Fears

	About 20% of teens have posted or sent out nude cellphone pics of themself. --Nat’l Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy

	Born Again American from Jeanie:  www.bornagainamerican.org/

	MORE, Words that don’t mean what most people think:
		•  Nonplussed does not mean unperturbed or not worried.  It actually means utterly perplexed or confused.
		•  Bemused is not being mildly amused, but bewildered or confused,
		•  Enormity is not the same as enormous, but rather, outrageous or heinous on a grand scale.
		•  Plethera doesn’t mean a lot of something, but too much of it.

	Amazing football from Carl:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHH-6ZQktRQ

	The Classical View required 3 essential elements of government:
	-  Monarchy--strong executive leadership [our President]
	-  Aristocracy--small group of the best & most experienced citizens [our Senate]
	-  Democracy--broad base of popular support [our House of Representatives]

	Carla defines “liquidity” as “looking at your retirement account and wetting your pants.”

	By 2,000 BC, Mesopotamians were extracting tons of petroleum by heating rock asphalt.  Ancient Greeks used petroleum to make incendiary weapons delivered by catapults, arrows, firebombs and ships.  Medieval Islamic alchemists distilled petroleum to make more powerful explosives which was key to defeating the Crusaders.  --Jared Diamond

	The QWERTY keyboard was designed in 1873 to force typists to type as slowly as possible since typewriters at the time easily jammed.

	The Roman Empire was officially bilingual:  Greek and Latin.

	Duck in a Truck from Alan:  www.nbcchicago.com/news/weird/Trucking_Duck_All__National_.html

	Nearly a quarter of U.S. senators who have taken office since the 17th Amendment took effect were appointed.  More than 180 senators were named by governors since 1913.

	Merging Presidents from Philip:  www.flixxy.com/presidents-morphing.htm

	1/4 of the world’s languages are spoken only in Africa.  No other continent approaches this human diversity.

	The major killers of humanity throughout our recent history--smallpox, flu, TB, malaria, plague, measles, cholera and AIDS--are infectious diseases that evolved from diseases of animals.  

	Liberty v. Freedom.  The former comes from the Latin: libertas, meaning political liberty;  the latter comes from German: Freiheit, meaning individual freedom.

	KWIKWIZ answers:
	696.  The College of William and Mary at Williamsburg, VA. when Thomas Jefferson went there:  100 students with 7 professors.
	697.  That was the time Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in LA in 2007.
	698.  If the sum of the potential parents is over 100.
	699.  Mauritania [the ouguiya is divided into 5 khoums] and Madagascar [the ariary is divided into 5 iraimbilanja]
	700.  India

	CHALLENGE #156 was:  He had alcoholic parents, flunked kindergarden, was a poor student, stammered badly and was dyslexic, but excelled at sports and drama class. Psychiatrists described him with: “opportunistic defiant disorder,”  “narcissistic personality disorder,”  “oral fixation.”  He slept with lots of men and women.  His eldest son was hooked on drugs since his teens, and attempting closeness they pursued their HS degrees together at age 28 and 63.  BUT, he was a very successful Godfather.  Answer:  Marlon Brando [Elizabeth W. and Peggy H got it.]

	CHALLENGE #157:  Where is the oldest ‘eternal flame’? 
Potpourri  is ‘a mixture of things’ issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis.  It serves as ‘Poor Walter’s Almanack’ in the tradition of a phellow Philadelphian. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.   wmmathews@mac.com

POTPOURRI #158  Feb 7     
	Featured Quote:  “We are most certainly the only animal that makes conscious choices that are bad for our suvival as a species.”  --Richard Leakey, 2008

	BIG Q #70 :  Does an absolute morality exist; are some things always right or wrong in all times, places and circumstances?

	FACTOID:  There are 5,500 mammalian species, and we share 99% of our genes with bonobos.

	HUMOR [?]: What is the capital of Iceland?  Answer: $25

	MUSICAL INTERLUDE:	www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS1_AzjRNvI&feature=related
	Now ya know: 	The Athenian trial, of Socrates for example, lasted no more than one day, with 501 jurors--they were the rules in the democracy of Athens.

	701.  Everywhere Thomas Jefferson went, he had three portraits hung.  Which?
	702.  What was engraved on the belt buckles of the Nazi soldiers?
	703.  What is the longest running scientific theory?
	704.  The year one of the greatest artists died, another of the greatest artists was born.
	705.  Is there a temperature difference from the top to the bottom of a waterfall?

	NOTE:  Darwin Day is February 12. And, 150 years after publication of “Origin of Species,” the majority of Americans don’t believe we evolved. [Americans rank last in that belief among industrial nations--except for Turkey.]  Jim S. suggests this site for fun:  www.swarthmore.edu/NatSci/cpurrin1/textbookdisclaimers/

	Every time an animal eats a plant or another animal, the conversion of food biomass into the consumer’s biomass is typically 10% efficiency:  it takes 10,000 pounds of corn to grow a 1,000-pound cow.  Instead, if you want to grow 100 pounds of carnivore [like a person], you need to feed it 1,000 pounds of herbivore grown on 10,000 pounds of corn.  --Jared Diamond

	The word career is from the French, carriére, meaning road or racecourse.

	Medieval Islam had far higher literacy rates than contemporary Europe and assimilated the legacy of classical Greek civilization such that many classical Greek books are now known to us only through Arabic copies.  It was only around A.D. 1400 that the net direction of flow began to reverse.

	Free photo booth from Carla:  http://videos.komando.com:80/2008/06/27/ 

	Cost of a middle-class life in Houston:  $50,000;  in Manhattan:  $123,322.  --C. for an Urban Future

	Luxury corrodes.  --ancient maxim

	More Americans watched the Super Bowl than voted in the Bush/Kerry election.

	Eye-hand coordination test from Ken:  http://members.iinet.net.au/~pontipak/redsquare.html

	In 1914, the German mark was 4.2 to the dollar; by 1922 it was 190/dollar and by year end 7,600/dollar. By November 1923 a dollar was worth 630 billion marks, a loaf of bread cost 140 billion marks, and Germany was disintegrating under the strain..

	A grain is based on the notional weight of a grain of wheat: 1/7,000 of a pound.

	Separated at Birth?  On February 12, 1809 two baby boys were born within a few hours of each other on either side of the Atlantic:  one rich; one poor.  One became a 22-year-old dropout from med school who considered becoming a priest, but traveled 5 years on a 10-gun naval brig as a ‘gentleman dining companion’ to provide civilized banter with the captain.  The other was born of two uneducated farmers in a one-room log cabin.  Each changed the world:  Charles Darwin & Abraham Lincoln.

	In 2006, the FBI had 33 agents with ‘some proficiency’ in Arabic, while the NYC Police Dept. had more than twice as many officers who were fluent.

	Having six fingers is a dominant genetic trait in humans.

	Great entertainer from Carl:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNJ02rxaNrs&feature=related

	The sole foreign domesticated mammal adopted in Australia was the dog [from Asia around 1500 BC] and became the wild dingo.  They kept captive dingos as companions, watchdogs and living blankets, giving rise to the expression “five-dog night” to mean a very cold night.

	The earliest attested precursors of ceramics are fired clay figurines made in the area of modern Czechoslovakia, 27,000 years ago.

	KWIKWIZ answers:
	701.  Bacon, Newton and Hume
	702.  “God is With Us”
	703.  Ptolemy’s earth-centered universe lasted 1400 years until Copernicus
	704.  Michelangelo died and Shakespeare was born in 1564
	705.  It’s warmer at the bottom.

	Errata:  Jim S corrected the spelling of ‘plethora.’

	CHALLENGE #157 was:  Where is the oldest ‘eternal flame’?  Answer:  in Varanasi [Benares], India.  The fire is 3,500 years old and is used by members of the lowest caste to light funeral pyres on the Ganges.  The city is holy to Hindus, Buddists and Jains and one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. [runners up include several natural fires and a Buddhist temple flame from A.D. 806]

	CHALLENGE #158:  Carefully weigh 200 pounds of nutrient-rich soil and plant a sapling in it.  Water it regularly w/o adding any soil or nutrients.  After five years it has grown large with strong limbs.  How many pounds of the soil was turned into the wood and leaves of the tree?  __________________________________________________________________________________________
Potpourri  is ‘a mixture of things’ issued each week on an opt-in/opt-out basis.  It serves as ‘Poor Walter’s Almanack’ in the tradition of a phellow Philadelphian. Please respond if you would like to be added to, or deleted from, distribution.   wmmathews@mac.com