Did You Know? Another Fact Finding Mission Is Underway!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another fact finding mission has been undertaken on your behalf and here are this week’s results.

The usual random mixture, so hopefully something interesting will be in there for you.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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Cashews are actually a fleshy fruit.

The nut that we eat is the seed that

grows on the outside of the fruit.

cashews

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There have been 14 vice presidents who have

become President of the United States.

vice-president-of-the-us-seal-plaque

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Thamsanqa Jantjie, the embarrassing sign language interpreter

at the Mandela Memorial who doesn’t know any sign language,

is also alleged to be a murderer.

He was among a group of people who accosted two men found

with a stolen television and burned them to death

by setting fire to tires placed around their necks.

Thamsanqa-Jantjie

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Outside North and South America,

the only alligators found in the wild are in China.

alligator

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Thomas Edison was a great inventor,

but not so good at putting his inventions into practical business use.

For example, despite having the contract to supply cement

for the original Yankee Stadium,

the Edison Portland Cement Company went bust

because it insisted on producing concrete everything,

including cabinets, pianos, and even entire houses!

Yankee Stadium

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Gureng-gureng, Gabi-Gabi, Waga-Waga, Wemba-Wemba, and Yitha-Yitha

are all names of native Australian languages.

Gurindji-yurrk

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Some Americans disagreed with the United States’ initial refusal

to enter WWI and so they joined the French Foreign Legion

or the British or Canadian armies.

A group of U.S. pilots formed the Lafayette Escadrille,

which was part of the French air force and became

one of the top fighting units on the Western Front.

Escadrille Lafayette Banner

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The horse race normally called the Belmont Stakes

also goes by name of the Run for the Carnations.

Belmont Stakes

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Golf legend Jack Nicklaus didn’t earn his nickname,

the Golden Bear,

because of his size, his demeanor, or his hair.

It was the name of his high school mascot.

david-okeefe-golden-bear-2

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The term “Continental breakfast” was coined to

differentiate itself from an English breakfast.

The fried eggs, bacon, and beans of an English morning

are quite distinct from the dainty pastries, coffee, and juice

offered throughout the rest of Europe.

English Continental Breakfasts

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Beowulf is the longest Old English manuscript in existence

and contains about a tenth of all known Anglo-Saxon poetry.

beowulf

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After Leonardo da Vinci’s death,

King Francis I of France hung the Mona Lisa in his bathroom.

(There’s critics everywhere!)

mona-lisa-article-english

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One type of hummingbird weighs less than a penny.

hummingbird

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The letter “J” was the last letter added to the English Alphabet.

Before that, the letter “L” was used in its place.

“U” was the second to last letter added,

and was usually replaced by V.

old-english-alphabet

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Norman Mailer coined the word “factoid” in his 1973 biography Marilyn,

BUT it wasn’t just another word for “trivia”

– he actually meant something that seems like a fact but isn’t actually factual

– and that’s a fact….. or a factoid…. or…. er.

quote-factoids-that-is-facts-which-have-no-existence-before-appearing-in-a-magazine-or-newspaper-norman-mailer

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Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People – And Some People Deserve To Be Killed

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Strong headline? Probably so.

As I write this post I am sitting here at my desk with my laptop and a toasted bagel with a little Philadelphia cheese topped with some black olives (well, I like them) plus of course the inevitable cup of coffee.

Not for the first time, what you are about to read bears no resemblance to the post I had in my head to write when I sat down here, because as I was enjoying my breakfast the thought came into my head that James Holmes may well be enjoying his breakfast too – and that annoyed me.

For those readers who have been in a coma for the past few days, James Holmes is the piece of excrement who opened fire in a movie theater in Colorado, murdering twelve innocent people, including a six year old child, who were there to enjoy a screening of the new Batman movie.

What also annoyed me is the knowledge that for months into the future we are going to be subjected to the publicity given to this evil man as he is needlessly paraded through the courts and analyzed by newspapers and tv stations eager to gain a cheap headline or two. Demented scumbags like Holmes will relish that publicity too. It will even be an encouragement to other equally demented morons to plan more of the same.

Even now I can see forming a queue of bleeding heart liberals who never miss an opportunity for jumping on the misery of others for a bit of easy publicity for themselves. They will try to ‘understand and excuse’ and will also try to shift the focus of the debate from where it should be to gun control and other spurious issues that are not the cause of the problem.

It may be a bit of a cliché these days, but guns really don’t kill people, people kill people. I have had guns and been around guns practically all of my life. A lot of my friends are likewise. Some carry them with them all the time. And in all those years not one of us has used them to kill a six year old child, nor for any illegal purpose whatsoever.

Due process and all the safeguards built into the justice system are obviously a good thing. But they are only necessary where there is, or may be, a reasonable doubt as to the guilt or innocent of the person concerned. In cases like this Colorado tragedy there is no doubt. Holmes is guilty. He was caught with the literal smoking gun in his possession and as far as I know he has made no attempt to deny his guilt.

Like the headline of this post says, some people deserve to be killed, and Holmes is one of them. The policemen on duty that night did the country a great disservice when they chose not to end the life of this mass murderer at the scene of his crime.

I really do not care to share this planet with, or breathe the same air, as people like Holmes. I don’t want to understand him. I don’t want to have to pay for his trial or incarceration. I just don’t want him around – period.

I deserve to be able to enjoy my breakfast without thoughts of people like that in my head. So do you. 

 

The Missouri Mass Murderer

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I’m sure not many of you will have heard of the Missouri Mass Murderer, but that’s probably because I just made it up to get a catchy title for this blog post.

Nevertheless there was such a person and she could even be described as a serial killer such was the number of her victims.

Born in Joplin, Missouri, her name was Elva Ruby Connes Miller and she murdered some of the best songs ever written. In fact she tortured some of them to death in the most horrific manner.

Despite having studied music, voice, and composition at Pomona College, the woman could not sing. She had not a note in her body. Tone deaf does not even begin to describe it. Shrill, out of key, horrendous vibrato when completely uncalled for. You name a wrong way of doing it and she did it. It was carnage.

Curiously, sometimes when someone does something particularly badly it turns out to be something you have to look at, or in this case listen to. And when you hear one song, you need to hear another just to make sure she was as bad as you thought.

Not surprisingly Mrs Miller had to self finance her first recordings but was eventually featured by KMPC disc jockey (and later Laugh-In announcer) Gary Owens on his radio program. Around the same time, 1960, she also appeared on a limited-run album of his comedy routines. Owens can therefore be blamed – sorry, credited – as the person who first discovered her.

Astonishingly Miller was signed to Capitol Records by Lex de Azevedo, a young up-and-coming producer at the label, although nowadays he apparently does not care to discuss his involvement with Miller!

Equally astonishingly, her first LP, ironically titled “Mrs. Miller’s Greatest Hits”, appeared in 1966 and sold over 250,000 copies in its first three weeks! She sang for US servicemen in Vietnam (they should probably have got her to sing to the Viet Cong), performed at the Hollywood Bowl, guest starred on numerous television shows, and appeared in Roddy McDowall’s film The Cool Ones.

But her fame was short-lived. Interest in Miller soon waned. She was dropped by Capitol and, in 1968, and released her final album, “Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing”, on the Amaret label. She later issued several singles on her own Vibrato Records label, then retired from singing in the early 1970s. She died in 1997 in Garden Terrace Retirement Center, in Vista, California.

A friend of mine introduced me to Mrs Miller’s noise (I won’t dignify it by calling it music) a few years ago when he gave me a CD of her greatest hits. 

But bad as it certainly is, I have put it to good use over the years. I like to take it to other people’s houses, or when we are in the car. I “big” up this great singer I have discovered, pop the CD into the player and then watch the utter confusion and dismay on their faces as they listen to what Mrs Miller has to offer.

Below are a few examples of her crimes. Tunes you may be familiar with “A Groovy Kind Of Love”, The Girl From Ipanema”, “Let’s Hang On”, Strangers In The Night”, “A Hard Days Night”, “Downtown”, and “These Boots Are Made For Walkin”. There are others on youtube.com if you get hooked, just do a search for Mrs Miller.

I usually say “Enjoy” at this point in my posts. However, today I do not think it is appropriate. Although I should perhaps add the disclaimer that, if you are of a sensitive nature you may find the following upsetting.

 

 

A Groovy Kind Of Love

 

 

The Girl From Ipanema


 
 

Let’s Hang On


 

 

Strangers In The Night


 

 

A Hard Days Night


 

 

Downtown


 

 

These Boots Are Made For Walkin