Friday Thoughts

Fifty years ago this month Alaska became the 49th state and Hawaii become the fiftieth in August, 1959. It was a boom year for geography book and map publishers.

Twenty years ago, President George H. W. Bush signs an agreement to bail out over 800 insolvent savings and loans institutions (eight months after taking office).

Eleven years ago, House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton for grand jury perjury and obstruction of justice.

Ten years ago, the Jimmy Carter signed treaty (from 1977) went into effect turning the Panama Canal over to Panama, beginning the slide to the current Chinese control and rule.

Researchers found the stress of thinking caused overeating with heavy thinkers seeking out more calories. The research team, supervised by Dr Angelo Tremblay, measured the spontaneous food intake of 14 students after each of three tasks.

The first was relaxing in a sitting position, the second reading and summarizing a text, and finally completing a series of memory, attention, and vigilance tests on the computer. After 45 minutes at each activity, participants were invited to eat as much as they wanted from a buffet.

The researchers had already discovered that each session of intellectual work requires only three calories more than the rest period. However, despite the low energy cost of mental work, the students spontaneously consumed 203 more calories after summarizing a text and 253 more calories after the computer tests. This represents a 23.6 per cent and 29.4 per cent increase, respectively, compared with the rest period.

Blood samples taken before, during, and after each session revealed that intellectual work causes much bigger fluctuations in glucose and insulin levels than rest periods. The body could be reacting to these fluctuations by spurring food intake in order to restore its glucose balance, the only fuel used by the brain.

Mr Chaput added: “Caloric overcompensation following intellectual work, combined with the fact we are less physically active when doing intellectual tasks, could contribute to the obesity epidemic currently observed in industrialized countries. This is a factor that should not be ignored, considering that more and more people hold jobs of an intellectual nature.”

The results of the study, carried out at Universite Laval in Quebec, Canada, are published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, December, 2008.

My advice – Just eat and don’t think about and you will lose weight.
Here is something to relieve your stress. Moving kinetic sculpture – Complex, but not complicated.

Statistics show that the people who have the most birthdays live the longest.

A man called his banker to check on his account. “Your finances are in terrible shape, your checking account is overdrawn and your loan is overdue.”
“Yeah, I know,” said the man. “It’s my wife. She’s out of control.”
“Why do you let her spend more than you have?” asked the banker.
“Frankly,” sighed the man, “Because it’s easier to argue with you than her.”
Bye George! By George, we’ll miss ya!


“by George” is a minced oath, (where one letter –  ‘g’ word is substituted for another ‘g’ word), in this case, George is substituted for God because some people did not believe in God. The use of George came into use around the turn of the 20th century and usually meant great or OK, as in ‘everything is George’. Some people also used to say ‘everything is Jake’.

Leaving Paradise – Jan, 2009 – Official figures show that for a fourth year running, more residents have left California than moved there. According to census estimates, in the year ending July 1, 2008, the state lost 144,000 people, more than any other US state.

California hasn’t seen such a prolonged period of departures outweighing newcomers since the downturn of the early 1990s.

According to those leaving:
soaring unemployment (8.4 percent, the third highest in the nation);
the cost of living – taxes, food, gas, rents, home prices (even with the property crash);
bad schools;
bad air;
a state government inching ever closer to bankruptcy;
and the omnipresent threat of more cuts to public services and tax increases.

Here are a few goodies from 2008 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Writing Contest. Sometimes I get so inspired.

Bryson the Plainsman seldom spoke a discouraging word, but he did when he filed for divorce after discovering his dear and an interloper played.  Maree Lubran, Saratoga, CA

As usual, Mr. Riddle came home from work, and, as usual, took the toy poodle, Fluffy, out for her walk, and, as usual, Fluffy “did her business” at the usual places, first at the bush, second, on the sidewalk, and third, in the grass, so that there, on the pavement, was evidence of Fluffy’s evening sojourn: Mr. Riddle’s little poodle’s middle piddlle puddle.  Dr. Ford Sutherland, Venice, Florida

The homicide detective was an aging woman with a crusty and somewhat ill-tempered personality, an individual who reminded me of the kind of woman my mother, a Sunday-school teacher, would have been if she had been a crusty and somewhat ill-tempered homicide detective.  Bill Crumpler, McKinney, TX

Vito watched as Robert squirmed in his life vest while the Great White brushed against his chum-soaked and shackled body, but it wasn’t until the terrible fish circled back, finally ending Robert’s evening, that Vito, with the vision of the legless torso undulating up and down in the Farallon current had his epiphany, and uncovered one of life’s truly great mysteries: when you shorten Robert you really do get bob.  Paul Olson, San Jose, CA

More research – Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England claim that men with longer ring fingers compared to their index fingers, tended to be more successful as financial traders.

Not sure what prompted the study, but at least the research also pointed out that the “finger-index” was about equal to years of experience in the financial business.

With the Wall Street meltdown, a lot of investors would like to give their brokers a message with a finger, but it’s neither the ring finger nor the index finger.

The Obama plan for another WPA  (Works Progress Administration) type of plan might do well to look at the original WPA.

It was in effect from 1935 to 1943, cost $11 Billion, and was designed to increase the purchasing power of persons on relief by employing them on useful projects. WPA’s building program included the construction of 116,000 buildings, 78,000 bridges, and 651,000 miles of road ,and the improvement of 800 airports. It also sponsored art projects and musical performances.

At its peak WPA had about 3.5 million persons on its payrolls. There was sharp criticism of the WPA by the Senate in 1939; the same year the WPA appropriation was cut, name changed to Work Projects Administration, several projects were abolished, and others were curtailed.

A strike of thousands of WPA workers to prevent a cut in wages on building projects was unsuccessful. Steadily increasing employment in the private sector caused further drastic cuts in WPA appropriations and payrolls.

Now that we have a baseline, we can compare what will happen this time. I wonder if the Obama team will start with those on welfare or if this will be for other folks. . .

BTW – check out for all of Obama’s plans – motherhood, apple pie, taxes, and lofty goals. Download the pages that interest you so you can compare in a few years when it is election time again.
The Firth of Forth – I just like the way this rolls off the tongue. The Firth of Forth is the estuary, or firth, of Scotland’s River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea. It all has to do with the gun at the Edinburgh Castle firing at 1:00 p.m for the seamen approaching the Firth of Forth. Daylight savings time screwed everything up for these folks in the old days.


One of my books, “Greatest Jokes” is cited on a wiki about president John Adams of all people.

Snopes is a site that debunks the myths floating around in cyberspace. Many of the popular emails asking for money, or promising that Microsoft will donate if you forward this email, etc.

This valuable site became even better recently when it cited another of my joke books for a story about Nancy Pelosi. I just love it. Now I am a credible source. . . for jokes, I guess. Such a dubious distinction!


The mother of three unruly youngsters was asked whether or not she would have children if she had it to do over again.
“Sure,” she replied, “But not the same ones.”

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