Catching up

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I recently saw the movie "The Bucket List" with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. It was an enjoyable comedy dealing with terminal medical situations. It was not only funny, but it also contains some serious messages.

I also enjoyed the always inspirational and funny remarks of Charles Drury, most recently at a Cape Girardeau West Rotary Club meeting. His "ready, fire, aim ... and then adapt the sight" philosophy has made him and the Drury family one of the great success stories of the Midwest.

I was out of town when Mary Frances Kinder, one of the great ladies of Southeast Missouri, died. I'm sorry that Wendy and I missed the funeral. I would have especially enjoyed the remarks of her sons and the inspirational music that was such a part of her life. Mary Frances and Millie Limbaugh were lifetime friends and vocalists. Millie's son, Rush Limbaugh, flew back for her service. He also put Mary Frances' obituary on his Web page and paid tribute to her on his radio show.

This month Human Events, a conservative weekly publication, named Rush Limbaugh its Man of the Year. He joins others named in the past such as Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, John Ashcroft, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist and justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.

In its tribute, Human Events says Limbaugh has been a tireless advocate of conservative principles on his nationally syndicated radio show for two decades.

I remember when Rush was a Sunday school participant at Centenary United Methodist Church in an art class my wife Wendy taught.

"The Bridge," a novel about growing up in and around Marble Hill, Mo., was probably the No. 1 seller last Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Cape Girardeau. Area author Stan Crader, better known to me for his aviation ventures, was busy signing books for two hours.

I bought one and started reading it. I'm going to like it.

Here is some interesting stuff from the Web, which doesn't mean this stuff is accurate:

In the 1400s a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb,"

Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden." And thus the word "golf" entered into the English language.

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime-time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.

Men can read smaller print than women can. Women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The state with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska.

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28 percent. Now get this: The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38 percent.

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of 11: $16,400.

The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000.

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

The San Francisco cable cars are the only mobile national monuments.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: spades, King David; hearts, Charlemagne; clubs, Alexander the Great; diamonds, Julius Caesar.

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 equals 12,345,678,987,654,321.

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776: John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on Aug. 2, but the last signature wasn't added until five years later.

Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what? A. Their birthplace.

Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested? A. Obsession.

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the letter "A"? A. One thousand.

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers have in common? A. All were invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil? A. Honey.

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase "Good night, sleep tight."

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer. And because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "Mind your P's and Q's."

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

At least 75 percent of people who read this will try to lick their elbow.

Gary Rust is the chairman of Rust Communications.

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