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More Inspirational Stories
Over the course of the years, I've had some wonderful stories forwarded to me. I'm sure you've seen many of these before, but some may be new, and just one might bring a spring to your step, a tear to your eye, and a smile to your face, ready to pass on to another. Please take time to grab a cup of tea, sit down and have a great read. Some are plain hilarious, some are poignant, some are religious, and some are great animal stories... none however, are pointless.
Interesting Facts

*Panama hats come from Ecuador not Panama.

*Human birth control pills work on gorillas.

*In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.

*S.O.S. doesn't stand for "Save Our Ship" or "Save Our Souls" -- It was chosen by an 1908 international conference on Morse Code because the letters S and O were easy to remember and just about anyone could key it and read it, S = dot dot dot, O = dash dash dash.

*Crickets hear through their knees.

*A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

*The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

*Heroin is the brand name of morphine once marketed by Bayer.

*U.S. Interstates which go north-south are numbered sequentially starting from the west with odd numbers, and Interstates which go east-west are numbered sequentially starting from the south with even numbers.

*According to Genesis 1:20-22 the chicken came before the egg.

*To "testify" was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles.

*Both Hitler and Napoleon were missing one testicle.

*A whale's penis is called a dork.

*A barnacle has the largest penis of any other animal in the world in relation to its size.

*Iguanas, koalas and Komodo dragons all have two penises.

*There are more beetles than any other kind of creature in the world.

*The Phillips-head screwdriver was invented in Oregon.

*Tomb robbers believed that knocking Egyptian sarcophagi's noses off would forestall curses.

*The allele for six fingers and toes is dominant in humans.

*Polar bear fur is not white, it's clear.

*Orcas (killer whales) kill sharks by torpedoing up into the shark's stomach from underneath, causing the shark to explode.

*If you feed a seagull Alka-Seltzer, its stomach will explode.

*Hershey's Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it's kissing the conveyor belt.

*A rhinoceros' horn is made of compacted hair.

*Revolvers cannot be silenced, due to all the noisy gasses which escape the cylinder gap at the rear of the barrel.

*Babies are born without knee caps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2-6 years of age.

*The slogan on New Hampshire license plates is 'Live Free or Die'. These license plates are manufactured by prisoners in the state prison in Concord.

*The pet ferret (Mustela putorias furo) was domesticated more than 500 years before the house cat.

*"Hara kiri" is an impolite way of saying the Japanese word "seppuku" which means, literally, "belly splitting."

*"Race car" is a palindrome.

*Lincoln Logs were invented by Frank Lloyd Wright's son.

*The longest U.S. highway is route 6 starting in Cape Cod, Massachusetts going through 14 states, and ending in Bishop, California.

*The little bags of netting for gas lanterns (called 'mantles') are radioactive--so much so that they will set of an alarm at a nuclear reactor.

*"Speak of the Devil" is short for "Speak of the Devil and he shall come". It was believed that if you spoke about the Devil it would attract his attention and he would appear.

*An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain.

*Gerald Ford pardoned Robert E. Lee posthumously of all crimes of treason.

*After human death, post-mortem rigidity starts in the head and travels to the feet, and leaves the same way it came -- head to toe.

*The dome on Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, conceals a billiards room. In Jefferson's day, billiards were illegal in Virginia.

*Every photograph of an American atomic bomb detonation was taken by Harold Edgerton.

*Bob Dylan's real name is Robert Zimmerman.

*Compact discs read from the inside to the outside edge, the reverse of how a record works.

*The 'Screwdriver' was invented by oilmen, who used the tool to stir the drink.

*The term "Mayday" is used for signaling for help. It comes from the French term "M'aidez" which is pronounced "MayDay" and means, "Help Me."

*The Boston University Bridge (on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts) is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane.

*Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

*Barbie's measurements if she were life size: 39-23-33.

*One of the reasons marijuana is illegal today is because cotton growers in the 30s lobbied against hemp farmers -- they saw it as competition. It is not chemically addictive as is nicotine, alcohol, or caffeine.

*Pearls melt in vinegar.

*Ninety eight per cent of the weight of water is made up from oxygen.

*A fully loaded supertanker traveling at normal speed takes a least

twenty minutes to stop.

*No matter its size or thickness, no piece of paper can be folded in half more than 7 times.

*Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a spacesuit damages them.

*Boys who have unusual first names are more likely to have mental problems than boys with conventional names. Girls don't seem to have this problem.

*Russians generally answer the phone by saying, 'I'm listening.'

*Until 1967, LSD was legal in California.

*In the 40's, the Bich pen was changed to Bic for fear that Americans would pronounce it 'Bitch.'

*Termites eat wood twice as fast when listening to heavy metal music.

*The NY phone book had 22 Hitler's before WWII. The NY phone book had 0 Hitler's after WWII.

*There is a town in Texas called 'Ding Dong.'

*Men leave their hotel rooms cleaner than women do.

*Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.

*If the population of the Earth continued to increase at its present rate indefinitely, by 3530 A.D. the total mass of human flesh and blood would equal the mass of the Earth. By 6826 A.D. it would equal the mass of the known universe.


How I Met My Vet.

The following excerpt was from an email sent from a friend of mine, Misty Corton from South Africa. Any exotics specialist will get a kick out of this.

I was working at rehab centre, manager and senior animal nurse. Onderstepoort, the place where our vets undergo their training, sent two about to qualify young guys to spend a few weeks with me to learn about birds and other wildlife. George (my vet now) was shy and sweet, I took to him immediately - gentle too! Peter was one of those "been there done that" guys! Anyway, their first day arrives and only george pitched up. I had a Goliath Heron with a mangled wing, so I thought I would test his knowledge and skill and asked him would he like to amputate a wing? Oh boy was he enthusiastic! A case of "Bring on the bird!".

So, off I trotted and came back with the "bird". George's face was a study. The bird was taller than me and had an evil eye and beak! His face blanched slightly and I got this querilous "Will you hold it then?". I said I would do better than that I would anesthetize it, which I duly did and placed it on heating pad on op table. Now, I knew something about these birds that George did not. They are literally COVERED in lice! Huge buggers! So, I had a thin film of vaseline around each wrist to prevent them from gaining forbidden access to my body. Of course once a bird's temp drops, the lice assume it is going to die and seek another host! I watched george prep with the utmost interest. His face was intent - a brain surgeon about to do his first transplant! He was BLISSFUL! This is what he wanted to do! Cut things up and make them better! As he got further his excitement mounted. It was then I saw the first lice venturing onto his arms, marching two by two - I could almost hear the band playing 'Onward Christian soldiers'! I kept one eye on the gas flow and one eye on the lice - and somehow found time to check on George!

At first his scratches at himself were minor, but as more lice invaded his body it became more vigorous. I stood there and innocently asked him "George, have you got fleas?" I got back "No!" and the scratching ceased. But he continued trying to unobtrusively rub his neck against his shoulders when he thought I was not looking and was in obvious acute discomfort! He started scratching at his legs, I stood there tapping my feet. The op went slower and slower the more intense the itching, the poor man was by now almost beside himself, not knowing WHAT the hell was crawling on him! He finished the op and I stitched wound closed while he scrubbed frantically, I could see all he wanted to do was get out of there and find out what the HELL was on him:) Whilst stitching, the conversation went thus:

"George?"
"Yes?"
"Do you feel like you have things crawling all over you?"
"YES!! Its driving me CRAZY!"
"George?"
"Yes?"
"You have lice."
"I have WHAT?????"
"LICE! Great big bloody fat bird lice!"
Frantic scratching now at evry conceivable body part he could reach now that hands were clean.
"How the hell do I get rid of them? Do they bite?"
Me, smiling innocently: "Oh no, they just crawl, you can pick them off and squash them"
"So how come you aren't scratching?" he asked me.

I had fininished stitching and showed him my wrists, there, glued firmly in place on vaseline were a few dozen big fat lice! His face was a study! After that a pot of vaseline went EVERYWHERE with him:)) You think I'm a sadist? Next day when Peter was there he did exactly the same thing to him but was ROTFL while Peter was trying to operate! Whilst Peter scratched frnatically George's shoulders were HEAVING in silent laughter - and so were mine!

That was our first introduction and I am surprised he ever spoke to me again? He is a love and has become one of the best vets I have ever worked with! The story gets better. We had a metre long croc with a fungal spot on its nose. Now I knew all about crocs, I can handle the big ones fine but am VERY wary of small ones, they are much faster. I asked them if they knew anything about crocs. George shook his head no. Peter said airily "Oh yes, piece of cake!"

I eyed him suspiciously and asked was he sure, he said yes. So off we went down to water pan where they were kept. George and I were not stupid, we stayed on the wall safely. Peter got in and I watched carefully to make sure he was going to grab behind head and tail at same time. What does the silly SOB do? he picks it up by the tail! It swung around and shredded one hand, swung again and got at his other arm and a leg! I have never seen a man drop an animal and run so FAST!! It took George and myself about three hours to stitch him back together - we were skint on the local too After that Peter came down a peg or two and actually got quite pleasant:) he is now working in UK, George has been FORBIDDEN to emigrate!


Spell Checker

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.


How to Get Students' Attention

A schoolteacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all.

On the first day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school.

Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible and then busied himself with deskwork.

When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest.

He had no discipline problems with any of his students that term.


Mood Ring

My husband bought me a mood ring the other day. You know the ones that change color to reflect mood changes.

When I'm in a good mood it turns green.

When I'm in a bad mood, it leaves a red mark on his forehead.


Medical Descriptions

It has come to our attention from several emergency rooms that many EMS narratives have taken a decidedly creative direction lately. Effective immediately, all members are to refrain from using slang and abbreviations to describe patients, such as the following......

Cardiac patients should not be referred to with MUH (messed up heart), PBS (pretty bad shape), PCL (pre-code looking) or HIBGIA (had it before, got it again).

Stroke patients are NOT "Charlie Carrots." Nor are rescuers to use CCFCCP (Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs) to describe their mental state.

Trauma patients are not CATS (cut all to sh*t), FDGB (fall down, go boom), TBC (total body crunch) or "hamburger helper."

Similarly, descriptions of a car crash do not have to include phrases like "negative vehicle to vehicle interface" or "terminal deceleration syndrome."

HAZMAT teams are highly trained professionals, not "glow worms."

Persons with altered mental states as a result of drug use are not considered "pharmaceutically gifted."

Gunshot wounds to the head are not "trans-occipital implants."

The homeless are not "urban outdoorsmen", nor is endotracheal intubation referred to as a "PVC Challenge".

And finally, do not refer to recently deceased persons as being "paws up," ART (assuming room temperature), CC (Cancel Christmas), CTD (circling the drain), or NLPR (no long playing records).

I know you will all join me in respecting the cultural diversity of our patients to include their medical orientations in creating proper, narratives and log entries.


The story behind the letter below is that there is this nut ball in Newport, VT named Scott Williams who digs things out of his back yard and sends the stuff he finds to the Smithsonian Institute, labeling them with scientific names, insisting that they are actual archaeological finds. This guy really exists and does this in his spare time! Anyway...here's the actual response from the Smithsonian Institution. Bear this in mind next time you think you are challenged in your duty to respond to a difficult situation in writing.

______________________________________________________________

Smithsonian Institute
207 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20078

Dear Mr. Williams:

Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labeled "93211-D, layer seven, next to the clothesline post...Hominid skull." We have given this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to inform you that we disagree with your theory that it represents conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago.

Rather, it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety that one of our staff, who has small children, believes to be "Malibu Barbie." It is evident that you have given a great deal of thought to the analysis of this specimen, and you may be quite certain that those of us who are familiar with your prior work in the field were loathe to come to contradiction with your findings. However, we do feel that there are a number of physical attributes of the specimen which might have tipped you off to its modern origin:

1. The material is molded plastic. Ancient hominid remains are typically fossilized bone.
2. The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9 cubic centimeters, well below the threshold of even the earliest identified proto-hominids.
3. The dentition pattern evident on the skull is more consistent with the common domesticated dog than it is with the ravenous man-eating Pliocene clams you speculate roamed the wetlands during that time.

This latter finding is certainly one of the most intriguing hypotheses you have submitted in your history with this institution, but the evidence seems to weigh rather heavily against it. Without going into too much detail, let us say that:

A. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll that a dog has chewed on.
B. Clams don't have teeth.
It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that we must deny your request to have the specimen carbon-dated. This is partially due to the heavy load our lab must bear in its normal operation, and partly due to carbon-dating's notorious inaccuracy in fossils of recent geologic record. To the best of our knowledge, no Barbie dolls were produced prior to 1959 AD, and carbon-dating is likely to produce wildly inaccurate results.

Sadly, we must also deny your request that we approach the National Science Foundation Phylogeny Department with the concept of assigning your specimen the scientific name Australopithecus spiff-arino. Speaking personally, I, for one, fought tenaciously for the acceptance of your proposed taxonomy, but was ultimately voted down because the species name you selected was hyphenated, and didn't really sound like it might be Latin. However, we gladly accept your generous donation of this fascinating specimen to the museum.

While it is undoubtedly not a Hominid fossil, it is, nonetheless, yet another riveting example of the great body of work you seem to accumulate here so effortlessly. You should know that our Director has reserved a special shelf in his own office for the display of the specimens you have previously submitted to the Institution, and the entire staff speculates daily on what you will happen upon next in your digs at the site you have discovered in your Newport back yard.

We eagerly anticipate your trip to our nation's capital that you proposed in your last letter, and several of us are pressing the Director to pay for it.

We are particularly interested in hearing you expand on your theories surrounding the trans-postdating fillifitation of ferrous ions in a structural matrix that makes the excellent juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex femur you recently discovered take on the deceptive appearance of a rusty 9-mm Sears Craftsman automotive crescent wrench.

Yours in Science,

Harvey Rowe
Chief Curator- Antiquities


I'm sure most of you have heard of the illustrious Darwin Awards, the award given (often posthumously) to those who have graciously removed themselves from the gene pool. For examples, including a chance to vote for this year's winner, please visit their url at http://www.DarwinAwards.com/?0111 and vote!


Chocolate

Chocolate is God's way of reminding men how inadequate they are. I am vividly confronted with this fact every time my wife and I go out to a restaurant. When it gets to dessert, my wife usually orders the most chocolate-saturated dessert possible: It's the one called "Unstoppable Double-Fudge Chocolate Mudslide Explosion" or some such thing. I always wonder why anyone would want to eat anything that promises a catastrophic natural disaster in your mouth.

The dark brown monstrosity arrives at the table, and my wife takes the first bite. Before the fork is even removed from her mouth, a small moan escapes her lips. Her eyes, previously perfectly aligned, first cross slightly and then faze completely, pupils dilating in pure chocolate pleasure before the eyelids clamp down in ecstasy. The hand not holding the fork clenches into a fist and starts pounding the table. The silverware rattles.

After about six minutes of this, she finally manages to swallow the bite, realign her eyes, and take the next shuttle back from whatever transcendental plane she's been visiting. Slowly, her sphere of consciousness expands to include me, her husband, her life-long mate, her presumed partner in all things ecstatic.

"Hey, this is pretty good," she'll say. "You want some?"

No, I don't. I want nothing to do with an object that does to my wife in one bite what I've worked for an entire relationship to achieve. It wouldn't do any good, anyway. Men just don't have the same relationship with chocolate that women do. It's not even close. I wandered around the office today and asked men - "Chocolate. Your thoughts?" - and the result was always the same. First, a confused look as to why they're being asked about something so trivial, and then some lame, obvious statement: "Uuh... it's brown?"

Ask women the same question, and you get responses like "The ONLY food group," "ESSENTIAL to life as we know it," and the ultimate casual swipe at every member of the Y-chromosome brigade, "Better than sex." Ouch.

Some women will try to make up for that last one by quickly adding that chocolate is supposed to be an aphrodisiac. Uh-huh. Chocolate certainly increases desire; problem is the desire is usually for more chocolate. The best a guy can do is buy a box of chocolates and hope he'll be considered somewhere between the cherry truffle and the strawberry nougat.

Don't get me wrong. Guys like chocolate just fine; it's just not essential to life as we know it. Respiration is essential to life as we know it; chocolate is simply one of those nice little bonuses you get. We won't usually pass it up if it's offered, but I don't know too many guys who would get substantially worked up if it were to suddenly disappear from the face of the earth (ironic in a way, as back in the days of the Aztecs, only men were allowed to have the stuff). When I eat a chocolate dessert, I enjoy it, yes. My world view doesn't narrow to include only the plate that it's on.

Maybe we're missing something. On the other hand, we don't have to pick up our silverware from the floor after we're done with our tiramisu.

Life is about trade-offs like that. All I know is that come Valentine's Day, chocolate will be among the things I offer my wife. I can't truly appreciate it, but I can truly appreciate what it does for her. Which is close enough.

By John Scalzi


*A dog's Diary *

5:30am: Started the day as a hero! When the sound of the newspaper hitting the driveway roused me from my deep slumber -- the impact indicating the paper was much heavier than normal -- I realized that no one in the house was yet awake! I roused my master by licking him in the face. He appeared very angry with himself for having overslept, shouting and waving his arms. His ill temper even seemed directed at me a bit, which is silly since it is I who saved him from being fired. Funny thing though: He didn't go into work, but spent the morning leafing through the large newspaper and drinking coffee. He seems to do this once a week, and I don't know why.

7:30am: Invaders! The people who live next door came out into their yard, obviously getting ready to lay siege to our house. Snarling and barking, I let them know in no uncertain terms that I was prepared to tear them from limb to limb it they came any closer, and was able to repel the invasion. This is an almost daily occurrence; you'd think they'd learn. My master added his voice to the fray as well, yelling angrily. I am sure the people couldn't hear him, but it was nice of him to lend his support.

10:00am: I was forced to move, as the patch of sun in which I was lying had, for some reason, slid over a few feet. It's not easy being a dog.

1:00pm: I have the most thoughtful master in the world! While it's true he left me alone in the house for several hours, he did set out a treat for me on the kitchen counter. It was even gift-wrapped, a courtesy I wish he'd skipped, since it led to me having a lot of plastic in my teeth. The roast was delicious, though frozen in the center. I don't want to seem ungrateful, but crunching through two inches of rock-hard beef is hardly my idea of a delicacy.

2:00pm: Most unpleasant experience when my master returned home and was furious that I had not eaten the plastic wrap which had been covering my present. He kept pointing at the small pieces of Styrofoam and other debris and raving in a most irrational fashion. I'm sorry, but he should know that I can't eat that stuff; it makes my stomach upset. When he began rolling up a newspaper I realized he'd lost all reason and bolted for the front door, which was fortunately open just a crack.

4:00pm: Spent the afternoon with the girls. A most productive day; I was able to mark territory for two blocks. "Drip 'til you drop" is our motto. We had a small snack at an outdoor cafe we like, with meat scraps and bread served out of circular containers with easily displaced lids. Ran into that rogue Sebastian, who lifted his leg with irritating nonchalance -- does he think I don't know about his obsession with Muffy, that snotty schnauzer from down the road? Last month there wasn't a male in the neighborhood who couldn't be found outside her fence, and Sebastian was at the head of the pack. I let him know I want nothing more to do with him.

5:00pm: What a treat! On the way home a flock of ravens drew my attention to a squirrel that had been flattened by an automobile. After several days in the sun, the aroma was so delicious it made my nose quiver. I rolled in the wondrous fragrance for several minutes, and when I stood up I positively radiated eau de roadkill. Let Sebastian drool over Muffy -- he doesn't know what he's missing.

6:00pm: Of all the times to get a bath! My master, still in a foul mood, made me stand outside in the chill air while he shampooed and rinsed me several times. Every time I shook the water from my fur he, too, became drenched, and in the end he was shivering. Why in the world does he do stuff like this?

9:00pm: Time to sleep, though I am not allowed on the bed whenever anyone's home. Ah, the life of a dog.


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