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The Questions…

1. Who led the first team of explorers that claimed to reach the North Pole?

2. How many ribs do you have?

3. What kind of rock floats in water?

4. What are the only mammals born with horns?

5. Currently, the highest-denomination bill in US currency is the $100 bill. What is the highest denomination ever printed?

The Answers…

1. American explorer Robert E. Peary led a team that claimed to have done the deed on April 6, 1909. However, many experts say he was short by about 50 miles. The first undisputed trip to the pole was a flyover in a dirigible by Roald Amundsen in 1926.

2. As a human, you have 24 ribs.

3. Pumice.

4. Giraffes.

5. In 1934, the Federal Reserve printed a series of $100,000 “gold certificates” used only for internal transactions among its dozen regional banks. The notes featured an image of Woodrow Wilson, who was President from 1913 to 1921. For its own reasons, the Fed stopped printing the notes in 1935.

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Tune o’ the Day

The expression “somewhere over the rainbow” means, in effect, you believe something better lies ahead. In 1939, that thought became a song by Judy Garland in the film “The Wizard of Oz” and thereafter gained considerable fame.

Over the years, numerous singers have released versions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” But none did it better than the late Hawaiian singer-songwriter-activist Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.

His name is pronounced “Kah-me-ka-vee-voll-olay.” In Hawaiian, it means “the fearless eye, the bold face.” Israel was known to fans by the nicknames Bruddah and Iz.

In 1988, Iz reportedly went to a studio at 3AM, where he sang and played a medley of “Rainbow” and Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” recording it in one take. In 1990, the song was released on his debut album.

Iz became wildly popular, and NPR dubbed him “the voice of Hawaii.” Sadly, he died in 1997 at age 38 from respiratory failure due to the obesity that had plagued him since childhood. At his funeral, 10,000 people watched as his ashes were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World

By Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, 1988
Written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg / Written by Bob Thiele and George Weiss

Okay, this one’s for Gabby

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh,
Ooh-ooh-ooh.
Ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh,
Ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh.

Somewhere over the rainbow,
Way up high.
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby.

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow,
Blue birds fly.
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true, ooh-ooh,
Ooh-ooh-ooh.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star,
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where trouble melts like lemon drops,
High above the chimney tops,
That’s where you’ll find me.

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow,
Blue birds fly.
And the dream that you dare to —
Oh, why, oh, why can’t I? I? I?
I? I? I?

Well, I see trees of green, and
Red roses, too.
I’ll watch them bloom for
Me and you.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Well, I see skies of blue,
And I see clouds of white.
And the brightness of day
Highlight the dark.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people passing by.
I see friends shaking hands,
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying, “I, I love you.”

I hear babies cry and I watch them grow.
They’ll learn much more
Than we’ll know.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world, world.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star,
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where trouble melts like lemon drops,
High above the chimney tops,
That’s where you’ll find me.

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow,
Way up high.
And the dream that you dare to,
Why, oh, why can’t I? I? I? I?
I? I? I?

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh,
Ooh-ooh-ooh.
Ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh-ooh,
Ooh, ah-ah, yeah, ah-ah, ah-ah, ah, ah.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2022/02/somewhere-over-the-rainbow-its-a-wonderful-world.mp3

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Success is the child of audacity.

Benjamin Disraeli

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Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.

Alan Watts

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Silence is a true friend who never betrays.

Confucius

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All great truths begin as blasphemies.

George Bernard Shaw

Disraeli

Shaw

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The Questions…

1. What are the technical differences between the bodies of insects and the bodies of arachnids (spiders, scorpions, etc.)?

2. Who were Time Magazine’s first Man of the Year and Woman of the Year?

3. What two mammal species spend their entire lives in water?

4. In what country do people consume the most chocolate per capita?

5. Heineken beer was first brewed in 1873, and today, the company operates 165 breweries around the world. Where is Heineken headquartered?

The Answers…

1. Most insects have six legs, three body parts, two antennae, and sometimes wings. Arachnids have eight legs and two body parts, but neither antennae nor wings.

2. Aviator Charles Lindbergh was named the first Man of the Year in 1927, and Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, was named Woman of the Year in 1936. As you may know, the award now is called Person of the Year.

3. Whales and manatees.

4. Switzerland.

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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This Just In

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA — Responding to a call about a disturbance in a residential neighborhood, Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies surprised three male teenagers, who fled in different directions.

One of the teens climbed onto the roof of a house, took out a pistol, and began firing at passersby. A SWAT team cordoned off the area and kept the shooter pinned down.

After a six-hour standoff, the teen accidentally shot himself in the leg. As the SWAT team prepared to move in, a 28-year-old woman arrived on the scene in a golf cart, drunk and completely nude. She initially refused orders to leave the area, but eventually complied.

The shooter was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault, felony possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, resisting arrest, loitering, and prowling. The naked drunk woman was charged with resisting arrest.

HAVANT, ENGLAND — A runaway dog afraid to leave a wetland area with the tide coming in was lured back to safety by a drone dangling a sausage.

Millie, a Jack Russell terrier mix, slipped out of her collar and was missing for several hours. Searchers located her on a mudflat that is submerged at high tide, but she ran from the would-be rescuers and would not leave the wetland area.

Eventually, they decided to lure Millie with food. A cooked sausage was suspended from a drone and dangled next to Millie on the mudflat. Millie followed the sausage to safety and the arms of her owner.

Members of the search and rescue team said the incident taught them an important lesson about how to approach recalcitrant canines.

SALINAS, CALIFORNIA — Fraternal twins Alfredo and Aylin Trujillo came into the world 15 minutes apart, but will celebrate their birthdays on different days, in different months, and in different years.

The twins were born at the Natividad Medical Center in Salinas. Alfredo arrived on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2021, at 11:45 PM. His sister Aylin was born on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2022, at midnight.

Nationally, about 120,000 sets of twins are born in the US each year, which is three percent of births. The odds of twins born on different days, however, is about one in two million.

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Tune o’ the Day

Depeche Mode is an English alt-rock/new wave/synth-pop band formed in 1980. They’ve had 54 songs on the UK singles chart and 17 top 10 albums. They’ve sold over 100 million records.

The band’s name famously comes from the former French fashion magazine Dépêche Mode.

Everything Counts” from 1983 uses a funky mixture of instruments and sounds to call out corporate greed and corruption. Or maybe it’s recording industry greed and corruption in particular.

Either way, the point is valid, and the song makes it clearly, directly, and with not a shred of subtlety. I like that.

Bonus fact: In 1983, songwriter Martin Gore established a company called Grabbing Hands Music Ltd., now based in London and still going strong.

Everything Counts

By Depeche Mode, 1983
Written by Martin Gore

The handshake seals the contract.
From the contract, there’s no turning back.
The turning point of a career in Korea,
Being insincere.
The holiday was fun-packed.
The contract, still intact.

The grabbing hands
Grab all they can,
All for themselves, after all.
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can,
All for themselves, after all.

It’s a competitive world.
Everything counts in large amounts.

The graph on the wall
Tells the story of it all.
Picture it now.
See just how the lies and deceit
Gained a little more power.

Confidence taken in
By a sun tan and a grin.

The grabbing hands
Grab all they can,
All for themselves, after all.
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can,
All for themselves, after all.

It’s a competitive world.
Everything counts in large amounts.
Everything counts in large amounts.

The grabbing hands
Grab all they can.
Everything counts in large amounts.
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can.
Everything counts in large amounts.

Everything, everything.
Everything, everything.

The grabbing hands
Grab all they can.
Everything counts in large amounts.
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can.
Everything counts in large amounts.

https://rockysmith.files.wordpress.com/2021/12/everything-counts.mp3

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More favorite photos I’ve taken over the years.

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I don’t know what word in the English language — I can’t find one — applies to people who are willing to sacrifice the literal existence of organized human life so they can put a few more dollars into highly overstuffed pockets. The word “evil” doesn’t begin to approach it.

Noam Chomsky

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I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

Albert Einstein

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He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.

Lao Tzu

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In my book, it’s pretty simple. If you work hard to prevent people from voting, you pretty much admit your ideas aren’t popular and you fear the verdict of the people.

Dan Rather

Chomsky

Rather

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