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WITandWISDOM(tm) - July 26, 2001

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

"Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy." - Robert A. Heinlein

Source: Gentle Humor, words@iop.com


Some years ago, near a seldom used trail in the Amargosa Desert in California, there stood a rundown hut. Nearby was a well, the only source of water for miles around. Attached to the pump was a tin baking powder can with a message inside, written in pencil on a sheet of brown wrapping paper.

This was the message . . .

This pump is all right as of June, 1932. I put a new sucker washer into it and it ought to last five years. But the washer dries out and the pump has got to be primed. Under the white rock I buried a bottle of water, out of the sun and cork end up. There's enough water in it to prime this pump but not if you drink some first. Pour in about 1/4 and let her soak to wet the leather. Then pour in the rest medium fast and pump for all your worth. You'll git water. The well never has ran dry. Have faith.

When you git watered up, fill the bottle and put it back like you found it for the next feller.
SIGNED: Desert Pete

P.S. Don't go drinking the water first! Prime the pump with it and you'll git all you can hold. And next time you pray, remember that God is like the pump. He has to be primed. I've given my last dime away a dozen times to prime the pump of my prayers, and I've fed my last beans to a stranger while saying Amen. It never failed yet to git me an answer. You got to git your heart fixed to give before you can be give to.

Source: Bits & Pieces, April 2, 1992, Copyright (c) Economic Press, Inc., http://www.epinc.com

The story of Desert Pete was Track 1 on the 'A' side of the Kingston Trio's album "Sunny Side!" (Capitol Records T-1935, released 1963). The refrain went like this:

You've got to prime the pump,
You must have faith and believe.
You've got to give of yourself
Before you're worthy to receive.
Drink all the water you can hold,
Wash your face to your feet,
But leave the bottle full for others --
Thank you kindly, Desert Pete.

Submitted by Jim Newman

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

By Roy Rivenburg, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Doubt that fact is stranger than fiction? See if you can tell fake from real news.

1. In their unending quest to purge the language of offensive words, the PC police have condemned several phrases. Which of these was not a news item?

a) A delegation to the World Medical Assn. has asked doctors to change the name of "German measles" and "Rocky Mountain spotted fever" because the terms could hurt the feelings of residents of those areas.

b) Meat-shop owners in France are protesting the use of "butcher" as a synonym for "murderer" because real butchers are "gentle, peace-loving" people.

c) A Dutch animal rights group wants to outlaw the phrase "computer mouse" because it "insults the dignity of mice and implies they are subservient to human technology."

d) A British college has banned the word "history" because it begins with the syllable "his."


2. Recess and playtime might never be the same. Which of these news items is untrue?

a) The British government has urged schoolteachers to ban the game of musical chairs because it encourages children to be aggressive.

b) A California elementary school has halted students from playing freeze-tag during recess because it "discriminates against cultures from Arctic and subarctic regions of the world."

c) The construction of sand castles is now frowned upon at an Oregon day camp because castles are deemed too violent. Instead, youngsters are asked to build "sand villages."

d) At a New Zealand kindergarten, children who want to play cops and robbers must carry pretend weapon permits.

e) The National Program for Playground Safety says grass is an "inappropriate playing surface."


3. Zero-tolerance policies toward school violence have resulted in all but one of the following incidents:

a) A Virginia school suspended a 12-year-old because he made an origami gun from notebook paper and brought it to school.

b) A Massachusetts elementary school asked the parents of 6-year-old Joshua Smith Wessen to legally change the boy's middle name because of its similarity to handgun-maker Smith & Wesson.

c) A 13-year-old Michigan boy asked a judge to issue a restraining order against a classmate who threw dirt in his hair and called him "peanut butter boy."

d) An Alberta high school student was suspended after telling his gym teacher he had a dream about punching him.


4. In response to the suspension of a 6-year-old Pennsylvania student who brought a toenail clipper to campus, a school board member said:

a) "Guns don't kill people. Toenail clippers kill people."

b) "If toenail clippers are outlawed, only outlaws will have short nails."

c) "Well, at least it wasn't an origami toenail clipper."

d) "This is not about a toenail clipper. This is about the attachments on the toenail clipper."


Answers: 1) c 2) b 3) b 4) d

From: Chicago Sun-Times, U.S. News & World Report, Associated Press, Wireless Flash News Service, the Oregonian, AM News Abuse

Source: Los Angeles Times, Copyright (c) July 24, 2001, http://www.latimes.com/

Submitted by Ken Wade


When George W. Bush was asked if he knew what Roe vs Wade was, he replied it was the decision that George Washington needed to make when he planned for his army to cross the Delaware.

Source: Clean Laffs, http://www.shagmail.com/sub/sub- jokes.html

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:


I get questions about image formats all the time, so if you don't know your JPEGs from your GIFs, this is for you. First, a little background on file compression.

There are basically two ways of saving images, lossy or lossless (no I didn't make those up). If an image is saved in a lossy image format, it means the format being used discards some of the "unimportant" image information. However, the resulting image file is smaller. Lossless retains ALL the image information.

OK, now that you know that, here's a overview of some common image formats:

JPEG - By far one of the most common image formats. It's primarily used for photographs. It is a lossy type of format, but most people can't really see the difference. You can adjust the amount of compression when saving a jpeg image, so you do have some control over the final output quality. Jpegs are extremely popular since they compress into a small file size and retain excellent image quality.

GIF - Another popular format, especially on the web. It's a lossless format that's ideal for graphics. GIFs can be either static or animated. If you've ever seen a graphic on a web page that was animated, you've seen one of these animated gifs.

BMP- This is the standard Windows image format. It's lossless and works well for pictures or graphics. It's an uncompressed file format, so it takes up lots of disk space. It's also the standard format for Windows wallpaper.

TIFF- My favorite. It's a lossless format that can use file compression. It won't result in as small a file as a jpeg (which is why it's not used on the web), but you do retain all image quality. When compressed, the file is usually about half the size of the original file. I normally save photos I'm archiving in this format. I can then convert them to other formats for screen savers, wallpaper, or web images.

Source: Computer Tips, http://www.coolnewsletters.com

WITandWISDOM™ Copyright © 1998-2001 by Richard G. Wimer - All Rights Reserved
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