Ten things you didn't know:
1. Frying pan fumes can kill canaries, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature.
2. Bill Clinton sent just two e-mails while he was president.
3. Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, has got solar panels fitted on the roof of his Cricklewood home.
4. Whales can explode - a dead sperm whale this week exploded in Taiwan, showering blood and body parts on passers-by. Marine biologists blamed it on a build-up of gases inside the whale.
5. More than a quarter of UK households have no savings, according to statistics revealed this week.
6. Pets will be eligible for frequent flier points on Japanese airline JAL from March. The points will be exchangeable for cage rentals on board, as well as gifts.
7. The man who invented Ctrl+Alt+Delete retired on Friday. David Bradley, 55, spent five minutes writing the computer code that has helped bail out millions of PC users, while working for IBM in the 1980s. "I may have invented it, but Bill Gates made it famous," Bradley said.
8. 70% of mobile phone owners in the UK have pre-pay models.
9. Cunning bargain hunters are roaming Ebay looking for misspelled goods which attract hardly any bids because they don't turn up in text searches. One man bought three Compaq laptops at a pittance simply by asking for "Compacts" instead.
10. Brits drank 35% more champagne in bars and pubs in 2003 than in the year before.
Ten things that are blindingly obvious:
1. Eight out of ten sophisticated cannibals think late German towns-people taste better.
2. Regardless of wunderkind heart-throb Johnny Depp's distinguished performance, and the wonderful fight scenes within, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of the Black Pearl" is not quite as good as most people think.
3. Bird-spotters (or twitchers) are quite dull, especially when waxing lyrical about waxwings or whip-poor-wills (which are related to goat-suckers).
4. Decaffeinated coffee is an oxymoron. It is also a flavour-free, unjustifiable, damnable and wretched drink.
5. Udders (cow-boobs) are downright odd; milking cows using one's hands feels fantastic, and the cows like it, too, no doubt.
6. The shrewd, inventive Professor Colin Pillinger (who is still hoping to hear back from embattled Beagle II, abandoned on Martian earth) has incredible, offensive, unfathomably over-developed sideburns.
7. A 'quintillion' is an elephantine, mammoth number. (That's a momentous lot of pachyderm.)
8. Bloated plungers who demonstrate undisciplined belly-flopping will earn few diving medals at the Athens Olympics.
9. 85570039 is exactly divisible by 53.
10. "The Royal Shakespeare Company" is an anagram of "One may appear there as Shylock"; composed by Meyran Kraus in June 2001, this won best overall anagram in the Grand Anagrammies.
THE FREEMAN INSTITUTE
A number of organizations have utilized Dr. Joel Freeman's services as an Anger Management / Stress Management Coach. They view it as an investment in key employees/associates. The reasons for investing in a valued key employee may vary. In some situations, it may be viewed as a last-ditch effort to salvage a stellar career that has been tarnished by:
1) an outburst of rage
2) a sexually-inappropriate gesture or comment
3) a racist, prejudicial remark
These types of situations may be referred to as CID -- "Critical Incident Debriefings."
It will enhance his/her personal leadership skills, abilities and understanding.
It provides a gentle accountability for personal growth.
It will provide new, fresh direction -- objectivity.
It will enhance his/her promotion potential.
The following CID Program is an effective two and a half month, ten-hour personalized plan that has worked for many satisfied key employees:
First two hours - Dr. Freeman meets with the key employee in the Baltimore/Washington region or there are special travel arrangements. This personal meeting helps to establish rapport and mutual understanding. The presenting issues are discussed. A few profiles are administered and an action plan is developed. Everything discussed is held in strict confidentiality.
Depending upon the situation, sometimes Dr. Freeman travels and sometimes the key employee travels to the Baltimore/Washington region for the initial consultation. Many organizations have a bricks and mortar presence in the Washington, DC area that can be utilized for such a meeting.
For eight weeks thereafter the key employee and Dr. Freeman meet for an hour over the phone. The total coaching process is ten hours over approximately two and a half months. The secret of success is the saturation in leadership principles over a sustained period of time, combined with gentle accountability and the respect that is earned by both parties.
Howard Dean fits the description of a man in desperate need of some serious stress management.
This fact was clearly evident following his weak performance in Iowa. While allegedly intending to merely emphasize his overall perseverance (and his ambitious commitment to visit Texas! Kansas! Arizona! Pennsylvania! and Alaska!), people criticized his character after his shocking and spectacularly inappropriate rant, demonstrating disapproval of his crazed and over-the-top frenzy.
As a prospective White House resident aspiring to represent the Democratic Party in opposing George W. Bush, the ill-tempered Dean could vastly benefit from the Freeman Institute's assistance. And since Howard fancies securing a job in the Washington, DC area, Dr. Freeman can meet him many more times than average -- for as long as it takes to cure that explosive volatility.
Given the impressive performance in the primaries by rival Senator John Kerry, it is likely that the berserk tirade has ruined Governor Dean's entire presidential nomination campaign. Nevertheless, downtrodden as he is, he must seek professional help -- even if just to avoid being committed. The suffering must end here!
Unimaginable as it seems to most Americans, we at the Freeman Institute can easily envision a calmer Howard Dean. In order to assure such a peaceable transition -- from heated, incoherent wrath to totally happy thoughts -- an introductory encounter is needed as soon as possible. Regrettably, it may be a difficult challenge to sort out a proper date, given his full itinerary. But once it is arranged, the foolproof weekly counter-hysterics therapy will start at long last. Thereafter, strengthened by repeated encouragement, Dean will be rehabilitated!
List of Freeman Institute Testimonials:
"I have achieved eight months entirely ear-biting-free"
"Absolutely worthwhile. Outstanding!"
-- That Insane Post Office Employee
"It beats my spider hole hideout."
-- Saddam Hussein
[Below is the poem 'Smart' and its anagram, which tells a similar story, loosely based on several folk tales. It's also an acrostic - reading down each first letter of the anagram's lines reveals to whom the subject poem belongs. Enjoy!]
My dad gave me a dollar bill
'Cause I'm his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more than one!
And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes - I guess he don't know
That three is more than two!
Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just 'cause he can't see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!
And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!
And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head -
Too proud of me to speak!
Ode About Dan's Wise Trades
A sack of gold Dan traded for
Some weak horse, tamed yet scummy.
He mounted it, then told the man:
"Enjoy the trot home, dummy!"
Lighthearted, he bid horse for calf -
So wee, and smooth as silk.
"I'm some suave genius!", he then quipped,
"Lord knows foals don't give milk!"
Victorious and ardent, Dan
Ensured another trade:
Red calf he bartered for a hat,
"Since cows don't give much shade!"
That hat, when it caught someone's eye,
Earned Dan some nice, flat stone.
"I see the joke's on him", he said,
"No hats skip lakes, if thrown!"
Proud of the barters, he then strode
Off to a quiet stream,
Enlivened stone - and no man was
More spirited than him.
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet =
Rainbow to relieve direly long deluge gone.
['gone' as a poetic, postpositive adjective]
This anagram has a twist, too: each word has been carefully selected so that it can be made up entirely of letters from different colours, e.g. there is no word that has both
(B & U) or (Y & W), which would require two letters from 'blue' and 'yellow' respectively. This, rather satisfyingly, applies to the word 'rainbow' itself:
With the result that the entire anagram can be presented as a cascading, twisted rainbow on the right: