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WITandWISDOM(tm) - May 21, 2001

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

"The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity." - Sir. Winston Churchill

Source: Awesome Quotes, http://www.coolnewsletters.com


Sir Ernest Shackleton, famous British explorer of the Antarctic, was once asked what was the most terrible moment he experienced on the frozen continent. One might think he would tell about some horrendous polar blizzard, but he didn't. Instead, he said his most terrible moment came one night when he and his men were huddled together in an emergency hut and the last rations had been passed out.

After his men were snoring soundly, Shackleton remained awake, his eyes half-closed. Suddenly he noticed a surreptitious movement by one of his men. Squinting in the man's direction, he saw him stealthily reach over one of the other men and remove his biscuit bag from his pack. Shackleton was shocked! Up to that moment he would have trusted his life to this man. Now he had his doubts.

But then, as he watched, he saw the man open his own biscuit bag, take out his last morsel of food, quietly put it in the other man's bag, and replace it in his pack.

As Shackleton related the story, he said, "I dare not tell you the man's name. I feel his act was a secret between himself and God."

By Donald E. and Vesta W. Mansell, "Sure As The Dawn" Copyright (c) 1993

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Part 2 of 2 [May 11, 21]

How can wise man and wise guy mean the opposite? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another.

Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or experienced requited love? Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm clock goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.

Submitted by Udi Latarre


I just read that last year 4,153,237 people got married. I don't want to start any trouble but shouldn't that be an even number?

You shouldn't mention the number 288 in polite company. It's just two gross.

Source: CoHu (Counseling and Psychology Humor) CoHu-subscribe@topica.com

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

How do woodpeckers avoid brain damage?

Recent research using high-speed films of acorn woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus) shows that their heads can endure up to 1200 gravities of force when the beak hits the wood. Despite this force, their brains do not suffer damage.

The woodpecker's brain is tightly packed into a capsule of dense but spongy bone tissue, which absorbs some of the force of sudden shocks to the outside of the brain case. There is very little fluid surrounding the brain, so it is not free to jerk around. In addition, there are special muscles in the woodpecker's head that contract at just the right moment to absorb still more of the shock. There are also support structures that pass around the back of the skull, starting near the base of the tongue.

The woodpecker's brain is not the only part of the bird's head that must be protected. If it didn't close its eyes just before each peck, they would fly clear out of their sockets.

The acorn woodpecker:

Source: Cool Fact of the Day http://features.learningkingdom.com/fact/

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