ARCHIVES - NOVEMBER 2000 TO APRIL 2001
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MOOLAH, MARIGOLDS... AND A MACARONI!?! In Britain, there are villages named Penny Bridge
(Cumbria), Shillingford (Devon and Oxfordshire), and Pound Bank (Worcestershire). Scotland's smallest county,
Clackmannanshire, has a village named Dollar. The map shows it's near Dollarbank, Dollarbeg and the Burn of Sorrow. In the
United States, three towns or villages are named Greenback, three are called Dollar, four Buck, and three Bucks (which is the
name of counties in both the U.K. and U.S.) If you live in any of those places, you're really in the money. The U.K. magazine
Coin News published this article in its January 2001
CITIES. Life's a breeze in California's Brisbane, whose hillside residents
enjoy great views of Oakland and Alameda across the Bay. Maybe that's why some
of them pronounce its name BREEZE-bane. The town (population 4000) calls itself The
City of Stars - not to compete with Hollywood, but because for more than 50
years its residents have displayed large wooden stars with Christmas lights on
their houses during the holiday season. Australia's Brisbane (always pronounced
BRIZ-b'n) too could call itself The City of Stars. After all, it was
named after a noted astronomer who catalogued 7385 stars. For the full story,
click on BRISBANE. 0104
POEMS AND FABLES ON COFFEE
LABELS. Collecting stamps and coins were all the go in the 19th and 20th centuries. Now, at the dawn of the 21st, literary coffee labels are the latest delectable collectables. Todd and Esther Cowing,
who run the Story
House in Portland, Oregon, print stories, poems, jokes, even serious articles on their coffee labels, which they change
every week. Visit
Bare Ingredients. 0104
HEREFORD MEETS MANY NAMESAKES (or Hereford Meat's Many Namesakes). More than 200 years ago, a group of cattle breeders in the English country town of Hereford, near the border of Wales, developed a herd of gentle,
white-faced beasts, whose progeny have achieved fame as the world's favorite beef. Hereford gave its name to the cattle, and
the cattle in turn gave their name to a dozen places in America. Visit Foodiesite
to read the full article. 0104
ROTARY FOUR-WAY TEST. Next time your friendly bank increases its fees, or some other businesses make you want to spit chips, ask
the management and shareholders to read about the Four-Way Test. If everyone adopted it, the world would be a much happier
and friendlier place. The Four-Way Test was adopted by Rotary International way back in 1943. and is one of the world's
most widely printed and quoted statements on business ethics. It has been translated into more than 100 languages. You can
read it on hundreds of Web sites, including one that my friend and colleague Barry Downs has set up for the
Rotary Club. Print it out and send copies to your bank manager and other ruthless business (and other) executives!
AUSSIE SHEEPMAN WHO LIVES NEAR HELL SKETCHES LIONS IN AFRICA (how's that for an attention-grabbing headline?). Chris McClelland somehow manages a large Australian sheep station (ranch) yet finds time
to sketch lions and elephants in the wilds of Africa, and earn recognition as one of the world's finest wildlife artists. He has
just returned from his sixth visit to Zimbabwe to his home on the 180,000 acre Tupra property. While Chris attends to
40,000 sheep, his wife Margie sells prints of his drawings on the Internet to art collectors around the world.
Click on CLEVER
SUPER SOUP SITES. Of the many thousands of food writers crowding the Internet, Pat Solley is probably the
wittiest. And what she doesn't know about soup, the world's favorite winter food, just isn't worth knowing. Pat lives in
Washington DC and is a world authority on soups. Her web site, Soupsong, discusses the
subject in all its aspects -- soup jokes, news, songs, and literary references. Visit
Super Soup Sites.
TRIPE AND ONIONS...AS DINNER OPTION (anagram). When tripe's mentioned, do you go OOH! or UGH!
? It all depends on how it's cooked. Properly prepared, it's superb; otherwise you might as well be chewing chunks of
rubber. Tripe is loved or hated around the world. Click on
RADIO RODEO ROUGH RIDERS. Here's a feature article first published by the
Brisbane (Australia) Sunday Mail on September 18, 1938, when I was a cadet (cub) reporter on its staff. This must
be something of a longevity record for a newspaper journalist - having a feature article republished 62 years later! It discloses my interest as a teenager in "faraway places with strange-sounding names," which I'm still pursuing
today, thanks to the Internet. Click here for an image
(322Kb gif file).
SHUTTLE PIRATE TAKES THE (BANBURY) CAKE. England has a wealth of quaint place-names like
Stow on the Wold and the fictitious Much Binding in the Marsh. so it's not surprising that some of its newspapers
too rejoice in quirky names, such as the Banbury Cake, the Kidderminster Shuttle, the Penwith Pirate and the
Falmouth Packet. Click on
Shuttle Pirate. 0103
HERO'S FAME LED TO NAME. Some people want to change the name of Australia's highest mountain
because Tadeusz Kosciuszko never visited that country. Kosciuszko was an international hero and one of the
outstanding world figures of his time. Even today, his dashing exploits are commemorated in many parts of the
United States and Poland. Visit
TOM TURKEY TYSON WEIGHED 86 LB! "Buy the biggest turkey you can find - the larger birds have more
meat-to-bone ratio than the smaller birds," the experts advise. So we scoured the Internet, and found that the world's biggest turkey weighed a massive
86lb (40kg) dressed. Who would have an oven large enough to roast such a monster?
Just visit Tom
Turkey at Foodiesite. 0102
LETTER TO WALT WHITMAN. In 1888, America's famous poet remarked on the odd names of five U.S. newspapers. Three of them are still in business today: the Fairplay Flume, Tombstone Epitaph and Jefferson
An edited version of this article appeared in the U.S. magazine Editor & Publisher (July 3,
2000). Click on
MARFA AND MIN MIN: HIT OR MYTH? Thousands of tourists
- some gullible, others sceptical - are flocking (trickling might be a better
word) to two remote towns on opposite sides of the globe, one in Texas, one in
Australia, hoping to glimpse mysterious lights that are bringing fame and profit
to the towns. Sean B. Palmer, of Portslade, East Sussex, England, is intrigued
by the world's numerous mystery lights. Visit
OLYMPIC CHORUS BOOSTS CORNISH PASTIES. When excited spectators yelled "Aussie Aussie Aussie!" in chorus at Sydney's Olympic Games, they unknowingly boosted the worldwide popularity of that ubiquitous but peculiar British dish, the Cornish Pasty. Long ago, Cornish miners shouted "Oggie Oggie, Oggie" in unison at crib (meal) time, before eating their traditional pasties, also known as oggies. And that's where the famous Olympic chant, which echoed around the world, was born.
Go to Cornish
6000 DIED IN WORST U.S. HURRICANE. The deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history occurred just 100 years ago. The island city of Galveston, Texas grimly recalled the 1900 hurricane which killed 6000 people - a quarter of its inhabitants - and left 5000 others battered and bruised.
Weather facts. 0101
SIZE OF HAIL THE CHIEF PROBLEM. Just how big is a hailstone? Official weather reports have described them as being the size of footballs, softballs, grapefruit, teacups, baseballs, tennis balls, hen eggs, golf balls, walnuts, ping pong balls, half dollars, quarters, nickels, pennies, large marbles, small marbles, peas, or mere rice. A hailstone the size of a football was the largest hailstone ever recorded in the U.S.
Go to Hail
Weather facts. 0101
SYDNEYS ALL OVER THE WORLD. If you plan to visit Sydney, Australia, be sure your reservations are for the right destination - there are Sydneys (and
Sidneys) all over the place (20 in U.S.) You could end up in a South African big-game lodge, or near the scene of the legendary feud between the Hatfields and McCoys.
all over. 0101
BUSINESS ANAGRAMS. A new craze for business anagrams is sweeping the English-speaking world. Thousands of office workers sitting in front of computers enjoy their spare moments working out amusing anagrams of their own and rival companies' names and slogans.
This edited article appeared in The
New York Times. 0101
NEWSPAPER NONSENSE. Newspaper titles can produce some weird, wonderful and wacky anagrams: MONKEYS WRITE the NEW YORK TIMES, while THE SCOTSMAN (Edinburgh) HASN'T COST ME, and London's sexy tabloid,
THE NEWS OF THE WORLD, is a HOT, LEWD SHEET (FROWN) with HOT, TENDER FLESH. WOW!
Find more at Anagram
LEWIS CARROLL MYSTERY. Did Lewis Carroll hide a secret message in his immortal nonsense poem, Jabberwocky? Three of the world's cleverest makers of computer-generated anagrams, two Americans and an Englishman, have begun a global search to find out.
GLOBAL ENGLISH HAS ARRIVED. "If you don't speak English, you won't get the job!" Like it or not, that's the message millions around the world are already hearing, reflecting the awesome, ever-growing power of the Internet, where the English language reigns supreme.
This article has been posted on both the China Daily and the Bangladesh Star's Web sites.
GRUESOME GOATMAN CLOSE TO CLINTON. The loathsome Goatman, whose goat's head and man's body have scared viewers of The X-files, has been sighted on the road to Clinton Maryland (U.S.), a city of 20,000 people only 12 miles from Washington DC. There are more than 100 places called Clinton in the US, with others in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Read the story, then check out the rest of the site at World-wide
BELLS AND WHISTLES ON THE INTERNET. Football buffs in Italy, the United States, England and Australia are making a try for this goal: to persuade people living in at least 14 places named Rugby to get to know one another, by joining a Foundation for the Promotion of the Name Rugby in the World.
Go to World-wide
THIS RUGBY COACH WAS A GHOST. The goal was to find which of the world's 15 places named Rugby participate in "the game they play in Heaven." A few hours' Internet browsing disclosed a spine-tingling English ghost story, a town that's proud of being the geographical centre of North America, and a place in Australia called Rugby, which most Australians have never heard of.
Go to Rugby
SLANG TERMS FOR MONEY. Dough, moolah, rhino, spondulicks... there are more slang words for money than for anything else apart from sex and drink - and since you may need money to obtain the other two, money should take pride of place.
AUST TITLE UP FOR GRABS. If Australia's would-be republican presidents had their hopes dashed by the referendum, one of them could win an impressive consolation prize, by being officially named Lord (or Lady) of
Manor of Aust. 0011
PENNYWORT: POTPLANT PAINKILLER. A pennywort craze is sweeping Australia's frost-free regions, particularly the coastal areas north from Sydney. Thousands of arthritis sufferers are growing the humble "arthritis plant" in their
gardens. Visit Pennywort.
For readers in the U.K. go to English
LIFE BEGINS AT 80
By Frank C. Laubach
I have good news for you. The first 80 years are the hardest. The second 80 are a succession of birthday
parties. Once you reach 80, everyone wants to carry your baggage and help you up the steps. If you forget your
name or anybody else's name, or an appointment, or your own telephone number, or promise to be three places at
the same time, or can't remember how many grandchildren you have, you need only explain that you are 80.
Being 80 is a lot better than being 70. At 70 people are mad at you for everything. At
80 you have a perfect
excuse no matter what you do. If you act foolishly, it's your second childhood. Everybody is looking for symptoms
of softening of the brain.
Being 70 is no fun at all. At that age they expect you to retire to a house in Florida and complain about your
arthritis (they used to call it lumbago) and you ask everybody to stop mumbling because you can't understand
them. (Actually your hearing is about 50 percent gone.)
If you survive until you are 80, everybody is surprised that you are still alive. They treat you with respect just
for having lived so long. Actually they seem surprised that you can walk and talk sensibly.
So please, folks, try to make it to 80. It's the best time of life. People forgive you for anything. If you ask me,
life begins at 80.
Reprinted by permission of the
E-BOOK HELPS SENIORS NAVIGATE INTERNET. We're
delighted to learn that senior citizens around the world are learning
how to find their way around the Internet by reading articles in this
free electronic book. To read some of the heart-warming messages
we've received, click on SENIORS.
All above articles copyright © 2001. Eric