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WITandWISDOM(tm) - December 21, 2005
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him. – Leo Aikman, writer and newspaper editor

Source: Guideposts, Copyright (c) March 2005, http://www.guideposts.org


My office at the college was filled with Easter baskets that Good Friday morning. I'm a professor at the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne campus, and every year I do a volunteer project with my students—they put together Easter baskets for the homeless children and their morns at our local shelters. Each basket is unique, specially created and personalized for a woman or a child, and each bears the name of the person receiving it.

Proud of the work my students had done, I carefully checked the baskets against my list. Then my husband, Tom, and I loaded them into our van and delivered them to the appropriate shelters. At each and every stop I checked my list again, All 100 baskets were accounted for, Mission accomplished.

I returned to my office later that morning. I opened the door and gasped. There, on my desk, were three more baskets. I inspected them closely, but they had no names on them.

Now where did these come from? I wondered.

I went over my list again and called the shelters. No one was missing a basket. I took the three baskets home and showed them to Tom. "What will we do with them?" I asked.

"Maybe we could hand them out on the street," he suggested.

"But they're probably meant for someone specific, "l said.

All Saturday I worried about it. I didn’t want someone to feel left out. Then that night I got an urgent call from one of the shelters.

"Phyllis, I know this is late notice, but we just had another family come in. Do you have any baskets left over?"

"How many do you need?" I asked.

"Three. For a mother, her ten-year-old son and her six-year-old daughter."

I turned to the baskets. One had a kite, perfect for a 10-year-old boy; another had hair ribbons, just right for a young girl; and the last had shampoo, stockings, lipstick and a mirror. Seems there was another list even more accurate than mine.

Phyllis j. Agness, ft. Wayne, Indiana

Source: Guideposts, Copyright (c) March 2005, http://www.guideposts.org

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Top Ten Things You Don't Want To Hear From Santa

10. "Even the nice boys and girls are getting coal this year ... budget cutbacks!"

9. "What was your name, again?"

8. "The elves don't work for me anymore. Keebler offered a better pension."

7. "No, that's an urban legend. Santa is lactose-intolerant."

6. "No gifts for you! One year!"

5. "Sure, I could tell you how I do it all in one night ... but then I'd have to kill you."

4. "Sadly, the judge says I can't go anywhere near your house."

3. "On the good list? After that incident with the shop-vac and the parakeet? I don't think so."

2. "What about MY needs?"

And the number one thing you don't want to hear from santa?

1. "I don't believe much in you, either."

Source: Mark Mail, http://mrhumor.net/


A Christmas sign outside a church: "The original Christmas Club."

Submitted by B. B

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

Rattenberg Sees The Light

Every winter, the small town of Rattenberg is gripped with winter darkness. However, sun is plentiful less than 10 minutes' walk from the town and from Rat Mountain, the 910m hill that blocks its sunlight between November and February each year. The solution: 30 heliostats, essentially rotating mirrors, mounted on a hillside to grab sunshine off reflectors from the neighbouring village of Kramsach.

Bartenbach Lichtlabor GmbH, the Austrian company behind the idea, has already used mirrors for lighting projects around the world - sunshine into European basements and railroad stations or nighttime illumination of a mosque in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. The technology requires pinpoint beaming, and even the most modern mirrors have slight distortions and are vulnerable to strong winds. And it would take a mirror the size of a football field to light up all of Rattenberg. So Lichtlabor plans to create about a dozen "hotspots" - areas not much bigger than a front yard scattered through the town, where townspeople can gather and soak up rays. The mirrors would also reflect at various times of day onto building facades to show daylight slowly turning to dusk.

The European Union is footing half the $2,4-million (R16-million) bill, and the company says it will pay the $600,000 (R4-million) cost of planning the project, gambling that success will attract more business. Six other towns in Austria and neighbouring Switzerland have expressed interest.


Source: Nybble Bi-Weekly Newsletter, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nybble

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