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WITandWISDOM(tm) - January 19, 2005
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

"I realized early on that success was tied to not giving up. If you simply didn't give up, you would outlast the people who came in on the bus with you." —Harrison Ford, the biggest-grossing movie star of all time, who used to make his living as a carpenter until he got his first major role at 35.


While walking through the woods early one spring. Royal Dixon found a three- by five-foot field of wild rice. The soil was loose, not a weed was in evidence. He looked around to find more rice growing, but there was none. Obviously, an expert farmer had planted that little field.

Stretching out on the ground, he determined to solve the mystery of the miniature field of wild rice. He noticed ants busily burrowing into the ground. Then it dawned on him. These busy insects were plowing. Others were weeding, clipping every bit of grass that showed above the ground. Another group was dragging the clippings away. More ants stood guard
to fend off cutworms or insects that could ruin the crop.

All summer he watched the ants tend their little farm. By late August the ripe grain was twenty-four inches high. Now came the harvest. Steady lines of workers climbed the stalks. Each plucked one grain and carried it underground to their Storeroom. Mr. Dixon marked the ants with different colors noting that the same ones stayed by the same stalk till the job was completed. One well-organized crew climbed up, cut the grain, and dropped it to the ground. A waiting group picked up the kernels and took them to the storehouse.

Shortly after the field was harvested it rained for several days. When the storm cleared, the entrance to the ant city was alive with workers carrying grain to a sunny slope so it would
dry. Evidently the storerooms had gotten damp. By evening the dry grain was carried back to the nest.

No lazy individuals lived in that ant city. Everyone did his work willingly without a boss. Not one shirked at his job. No wonder Solomon tells us to wisely live a life of service and patient industry like the ant.

Source: Stop, Look and Listen by Eileen E. and Jay H. Lantry, Copyright(c)1976 by Review and Herald Publishing Association, LCCN 75-32229

Submitted by Mary Thayne

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

This is a hypothetical story presented by Don Harper Mills at a meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He “made up the story in 1987 to present at the meeting, for entertainment and to illustrate how if you alter a few small facts you greatly alter the legal consequences.”



An Interesting Forensic Science Case

At the 1994 annual awards dinner given for Forensic Science, AAFS President Dr. Don Harper Mills astounded his audience with the legal complications of a bizarre death. Here is the story:

On March 23, 1994 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound to the head. Mr. Opus had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide.

He left a note to the effect indicating his despondency As he fell past the ninth floor his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast passing through a window, which killed him instantly.

Neither the shooter nor the deceased was aware that a safety net had been installed just below the eighth floor level to protect some building workers and that Ronald Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide the way he had planned.

"Ordinarily," Dr Mills continued, "Someone who sets out to commit suicide and ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended, is still defined as committing suicide." That Mr. Opus was shot on the way to certain death, but probably would not have been successful because of the safety net, caused the medical examiner to feel that he had a homicide on his hands. The room on the ninth floor, where the shotgun blast emanated, was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing vigorously and he was threatening her with a shotgun. The man was so upset that when he pulled the trigger he completely missed his wife and the pellets went through the window striking Mr. Opus.

When one intends to kill subject "A" but kills subject "B" in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject "B."

When confronted with the murder charge the old man and his wife were both adamant and both said that they thought the shotgun was not loaded.

The old man said it was a long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her.

Therefore the killing of Mr. Opus appeared to be an accident; that is, assuming the gun had been accidentally loaded.

The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple's son loading the shotgun about six weeks prior to the fatal accident.

It transpired that the old lady had cut off her son's financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother.

Since the loader of the gun was aware of this, he was guilty of the murder even though he didn't actually pull the trigger. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.

Now comes the exquisite twist.

Further investigation revealed that the son was, in fact, Ronald Opus. He had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother's murder. This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23rd, only to be killed by a shotgun blast passing through the ninth story window. The son had actually murdered himself so
the medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

A true story from Associated Press, (Reported by Kurt Westervelt)

Submitted by La Verne Northrop


We were staying one weekend with our 6-year-old granddaughter, Isabelle, while her parents were away. Different games and play activities were planned, and then Isabelle decided we should play Sabbath school in the living room. She lined up all her dolls and also had to have their two cocker spaniel dogs present. Isabelle played the song "Jesus Loves Me" on the piano, and then Grandma was chosen to read a story, which is usually done in Norwegian. Isabelle has been raised with both the Norwegian and English languages in her home and around us. I started to read but suddenly she interrupted. "Grandma, stop. You'd better read the story in English," she said, and pointed to her doll audience. "They don't understand Norwegian."

By Inger Hoyven, Salem, Oregon

Source: Adventist Review, ISSN 0161-1119, (c) March 11, 2004, http://www.adventistreview.org/

Submitted by Mary Thayne

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

TV causes puberty?

Researchers at the University of Florence in Italy found that when youngsters were deprived of their TV sets, computers and video games, their melatonin production increased by an average of 30 per cent.

The so-called "sleep hormone" has been linked to the timing of puberty.

"Girls are reaching puberty much earlier than in the 1950s," says lead researcher Roberto Salti.

"One reason is . . .their average increase in weight; but another might be . . . reduced levels of melatonin.

"Animal studies have shown that low melatonin levels have an important role in promoting an early onset of puberty."
From: New Scientist magazine

Source: Peninsula Daily News, September 3, 2004, http://peninsuladailynews.com

WITandWISDOM™ ISSN 1538-8794 - Copyright © 1998-2004 by Richard G. Wimer - All Rights Reserved
Any questions, comments or suggestions may be sent to Richard G. Wimer.