Archive for the ‘Regular Features’ Category

I'm Not





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Quotes o’ the Day

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

— Eleanor Roosevelt


War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.

— Ambrose Bierce


Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.

— George Gordon, Lord Byron


By the time a man realizes his father was right, he has a son who thinks he is wrong.

— Charles Wadsworth

Roosevelt E


Wadsworth C



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This Just In

NAIROBI, KENYA — In April, the officers on duty at a police post in western Kenya locked up the station and went in search of a place to watch the European soccer championships on television.

They took radios with them to receive emergency calls and ended up at a shopping mall, where they watched two quarter-final matches.

When they returned to the station, they discovered that thieves had broken in and stolen three rifles and several boxes of ammunition. Disciplinary action is pending.

Kenyan police

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — As the growing season began in Southeast Asia, Cambodia’s two royal oxen predicted a plentiful harvest.

In an annual ritual presided over by King Norodom Sihamoni, the royal oxen, dressed in ornate robes and headdresses, plowed a field and then were given offerings in ceremonial bowls.

A Hindu priest said the oxen ate 85 percent of the rice and beans and 90 percent of the corn offered to them, indicating that a bountiful harvest will ensue.

Royal oxen

SHANGHAI, CHINA — A China Southern Airlines flight departing Shanghai was delayed five hours after one of the passengers threw coins into the air intake duct of one of the engines.

As the passengers boarded, an 80-year-old woman tossed a handful of coins at one of the engines, which was not running. The woman told police she threw the coins as a prayerful gesture for a safe flight.

The passengers disembarked while the ground crew inspected the engine and retrieved the coins.

Police later said the woman, who was traveling with family members, had no criminal record or known mental health issues. The airline hasn’t decided whether to file charges.



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Tune o’ the Day

The English poet George Gordon, Lord Byron popularized the phrase “time, the avenger” in the 1880s. If you’re like me, however, you probably think of Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders when you hear it.

Their song “Time the Avenger” is the story of a married businessman who has an affair, drinks to numb his feelings, eventually realizes that time is no longer on his side, and ends up on the street with his possessions in a briefcase.

The tune is from the 1984 album “Learning to Crawl,” the group’s first album after two of the four original Pretenders died of drug overdoses and Hynde had a baby.

The album, made with a new line-up, was a big success and, as you can imagine under the circumstances, heavy on retrospection. Chrissie had a lot on her mind.

Her daughter, by the way, was learning to crawl at the time.

Learning to Crawl

Time The Avenger

By the Pretenders, 1984
Written by Chrissie Hynde

Nobody’s perfect.
Not even a perfect stranger.
But, oh, what a gal.
She was such a perfect stranger.

And you’re the best in your field,
In your office with your girls
And desk and leather chair.
Thought that time was on your side.
But now it’s time the avenger.

Nobody’s permanent.
Everything’s on loan here.
Even your wife and kids
Could be gone next year.
And with what you have left,
You’ll be forever under pressure
To support her.
And a lover who looks strangely
Like time the avenger.

Time, time, hear the bells chime
Over the harbor and the city.
Time — one more vodka and lime
To help paralyze that tiny little tick, tick, tick, tick.

Nobody’s perfect.
Not even a perfect gent.
When your property took the A Train,
I wonder where your manners went.
You were standing at the station.
In your briefcase was your aftershave and underwear.
Can you hear the whistle blow?
Sounds like time the avenger.

Time, time, hear the bells chime
Over the harbor and the city.
Time to kill another bottle of wine
To help paralyze that tiny little tick, tick, tick, tick.


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The Questions…

1. What is the smallest planet in the solar system?

2. The four carvings on Mt. Rushmore depict Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. Why those four?

3. “Koala bear” is an inaccurate term because the animal isn’t a bear. What is a koala?

4. Milk is a source of calcium and protein, and cow’s milk is the most widely-consumed milk in North America. But another kind of milk is more popular in the rest of the world. What is it?

5. Lego bricks, the plastic construction toys, were created in 1932 by Ole Christiansen, a Danish carpenter. In 2015, Lego was named the “world’s most powerful brand.” Over 600 billion Lego bricks have been manufactured. What is the origin of the word “Lego”?

The Answers…

1. It depends. Of the eight big-league planets, Mercury is the smallest, being about 38 percent the size of Earth. Pluto was the smallest until it was demoted to “dwarf planet.” Of the five dwarf planets we officially recognize these days, the smallest is Ceres at 600 miles in diameter.

2. Gutzon Borglum, the monument’s creator, said Washington represented the birth of the nation, Jefferson the growth, Lincoln the preservation, and Roosevelt the development.

3. The koala is a marsupial. Specifically, an arboreal herbivorous marsupial whose closest relative is the wombat.

4. Goat’s milk.

5. Lego comes from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well.”

Mercury et al



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Shoot people

My state


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Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

— Seneca the Younger


There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.

— Jane Austen


I have steadily endeavoured to keep my mind free so as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved (and I cannot resist forming one on every subject) as soon as facts are shown to be opposed to it.

— Charles Darwin


People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts. No animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

« Portrait de Sénèque d'après l'antique » (le Pseudo-Sénèque), b


Dostoyevsky F



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