Cabinets, Pericles, trivia

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Business percentages: In case you missed it, on a recent show Glenn Beck had a graph that illustrated the percentage of each past president's Cabinet who had worked in the private business sector prior to their appointment to the Cabinet. You know what the private business sector is: a real-life business, not a government job. Here are the percentages.

T. Roosevelt38 percent
Taft 40 percent
Wilson 52 percent
Harding49 percent
Coolidge 48 percent
Hoover42 percent
F. Roosevelt50 percent
Truman50 percent
Eisenhower57 percent
Kennedy30 percent
Johnson47 percent
Nixon53 percent
Ford42 percent
Carter32 percent
Reagan56 percent
G.H.W. Bush51 percent
Clinton39 percent
G.W. Bush55 percent

And the winner is:

Obama 8 percent

That's right. Only 8 percent, the least by far of the last 19 presidents. And these people are trying to tell our big corporations how to run their business?

How can the president of a major nation and society talk about business when he's never worked for one?

*

Pericles: During World War I, London's bus fleet sported posters designed to inspire the beleaguered British. One might assume the placards would have exhorted pedestrians with the ringing words of a legendary Englishman. Instead, they displayed excerpts of a funeral oration by Pericles, the leading citizen of fifth-century B.C. Athens.

"You must look every day upon the power of your city and become her lovers," he said. "And when you have understood her greatness consider that the men who achieved it were brave and honorable. ... Now it is for you to emulate them, knowing that happiness requires freedom and freedom requires courage -- do not shrink from the dangers of war."

Pericles delivered the speech during the first year of the Peloponnesian War, Athens' nearly 30-year conflict with city-state Sparta.

French philosopher Francois Voltaire called the Athenian era one of four great artistic epochs along with Augustinian Rome, Renaissance Italy and France under Louis XIV.

More important, Athens was a democracy, one of only two democracies -- the U.S. being the other -- to last more than 200 years. And at its height, its helmsman was Pericles.

-- James Pethokoukis, Investor's Business Daily


Some fun trivia: The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.

The words "racecar," "kayak" and "level" are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous and hazardous. (You're not possibly doubting this, are you?)

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious." (Yes, admit it, you are going to say, a-e-i-o-u.)

"Typewriter" is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard. (All you typists are going to test this out.)

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.

A snail can sleep for three years.

Almonds are a member of the peach family.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.

In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

If the population of China walked past you eight abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.

Leonardo da Vinci invented the scissors.

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

The average person's left hand does 56 percent of the typing.

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.

There are more chickens than people in the world.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

Now you know more than you did before.

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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