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Woman Found Dead Amid Clutter August 31, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, Life Balance.
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TimonThis week, a four month search for a missing woman ended.

Her husband found her inside their home, buried under the mountain of junk that filled her “rabbit hole” from floor to ceiling.

More details:

The collected clothes, trash and knickknacks in Billie Jean James’s house was so vast that sniffer dogs had searched the home without finding her corpse, The Associated Press reported.

Billie Jean was a compulsive hoarder, with a passion for shopping for trinkets and clothes. One friend said that Billie Jean referred to the room where she was found as “her rabbit hole.”

Cassell told the AP that the house had only small amounts of clear space so that people could get around, and that the home was filled with strong odors from animals, garbage and food.

Billie Jean is not the first person whose hoarding instincts proved fatal. In May, an aging Chicago couple was trapped for two weeks after being buried in their belongings. When they were rescued, they were found to have rat bites on their bodies.

To read the full story:  Las Vegas Hoarder Found Dead Among Possessions

For tips on Decluttering your own rabbit hole(s):  Declutter 101

Related posts:    Simplify Your Life * Give Your Stuff Away Day * Between The Wish & The Thing You Better Stop Shopping Around * I Don’t Want Stuff Anymore, Only Things  (Raptitude)

Attitude Is Everything August 31, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Word Play.
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Ever wonder about those people who claim they are giving more than 100%?

Or supervisors who ask everybody on the team to give 110%?

I’m guessing they didn’t major in math.

From a strictly mathematical perspective, we know that it’s impossible to give more than 100%. 

Or is it?

If the letters of the alphabet:

A B C D E F G H I J   K   L   M  N  O  P  Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

Are represented numerically by:

1  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26


H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K  => 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 => 98%

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E => 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 => 96%

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E  => 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

Based on this formula, we can conclude (to a high degree of  mathematical uncertainty) that: 

Attitude is everything!

Stay tuned. 

More Fun with Numbers coming soon!

Inspiration: e-mail from unknown author

Related posts: Certainty and Symmetry * SPOOKY: Last post = DCLXVI (666)

The Mayonnaise Jar August 31, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Less IS More, Life Balance.
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Golf-BallA professor began class by filling an empty mayonnaise jar with golf balls.  When he asked the students if the jar was full, they agreed it was.

The professor then poured a box of pebbles into the jar.  He shook the jar to distribute the pebbles into the areas between the golf balls.  He again asked the students if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

Next, the professor poured sand into the jar, filling each nook and cranny, before asking once more if the jar was full.

After the students responded, “YES,” the professor grabbed a mug of coffee from under the table and poured it into the jar.

Laughter erupted in the room.

As the laughter subsided, the professor said:  I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

* The golf balls are important things ~ family, friends, health & wellness,   spiritual beliefs, pets, exercise & fitness, and favorite passions.  If you lost everything else, and they remained, your life would still be full.

* The pebbles represent things that round out your life, but which could be replaced ~ employment, shelter, transportation, and basic necessities.

* The sand represents time wasters and small stuff which don’t add appreciably to your enjoyment of life ~ gossip, gizmos, gadgets, video games, TV, shopping, newspapers, magazines, etc.

If you pour the sand into the jar first, the pebbles and golf balls won’t all fit.  The same goes for life.  If you spend all your time and energy juggling the small stuff, you will never have room for things that are important.  Set priorities and make room for things that are critical to your happiness.  

Play with your children.  Spend time with parents and grandparents.  Eat right, exercise, and get medical checkups.  Take your spouse out to dinner.  Play another 18 holes.  Cleaning the house and fixing the disposal can wait.

A student raised her hand and asked, “What does the coffee represent?”

The professor smiled, “I’m glad you asked.  No matter how full your life  seems, there’s always room for a cup of coffee with a friend.”

Inspiration:  E-mail from unknown author

Related posts:  Simplify Your Life *  Life Lessons ~ Randy Pausch * The Last Lecture (Randy Pausch) * Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

(Duck) Soup To Nuts August 31, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Word Play.
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Lexophiles love words, especially a good play on words (or even a bad play on words).

Most of these puns came from e-mails I’ve saved over the years.  A few are of more recent vintage.  

Enjoys these last few puns, from (Duck) Soup To Nuts:

1.  Why did the calendar start crying?

The doctor said its days were numbered.

2.  What happens when a clock is hungry?

It goes back four seconds.

3.   Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

4.  What do you call a chicken crossing the road?

Poultry in motion.

5.  Why didn’t you make yourself an omelette?

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

6.  What happens when the smog lifts in Los Angeles?


7.  Don’t you want to go shopping?

Nah, when you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.

8.  Two atoms collide.  The first asks, “Are you OK?” “No. I lost an electron!” “Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’m positive!”

9.  Why can’t a bicycle stand alone?

It’s two tired.

10.  What’s the difference between democracy and feudalism?

In a democracy, your vote counts.  In feudalism, your Count votes.

Oh, all right, one more:

11.  What happened when Minnie married?

            She got a new name and a dress.

To see Daffy Duck and Porky Pig:  Duck Soup To Nuts

For More Pun Fun, visit PUNS ~ A Play On Words

A History Mystery August 31, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, People.
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Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846, and elected President in 1860.

John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946, and elected President in 1960.

Both changed the course of civil rights.

Both had a child die while living in the White House.  Both were shot in the head on a Friday (with their wives present).  Lincoln was shot at the Ford Theatre.  Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln (made by Ford).

Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.

Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

 But wait . . .

There’s more . . .

Both assassins were Southerners, known by three names (of fifteen letters total), and neither stood trial:

John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln’s assassin, ran from a theatre and was caught in a warehouse (tobacco shed).

Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, then  ran from a warehouse (book depository) to hide in a theatre.

Both Booth and Oswald were killed before trial.

Related article:  Linkin’ Kennedy (snopes.com)

* * * * *

Inspiration:  e-mail from unknown author

Certainty and Symmetry August 30, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, People.
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We’ve enjoyed some Fun with Words:

* From Foxes with Sockses to Speed Bumps 
* From Anagram Antics to Aphorisms Aa to Zz
* From Doublet Challenges to Fun Puns 

Now, lets enjoy some Fun with Numbers! 

Specifically, let’s see if we can balance the books and get things to add up:

1.  Mathematical certainty is one thing, mathematical symmetry another:

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

2.  Who says that ONE is the loneliest number?

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

3.  Why is “6” afraid of “7”?  Because 7 . . . 8 . . . 9.

4.  Another tower of power, featuring the numeral “8” ~ quite brilliant, eh?

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

5.  Finally, take a look at this gorgeous symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321


Stay tuned. 

More Fun with Numbers coming soon!

Related post:  SPOOKY: Last post = DCLXVI (666)

* * * * *

Inspiration: e-mail from unknown mathematician

More Than Meets The Eye August 30, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in People.
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It’s time to elect a new world leader, and only your vote counts.  Here are the facts about the three candidates.

Who would you vote for?

Candidate A:

Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologist.  He’s had two mistresses.  He chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.

Candidate B:

He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.

Candidate C:

He’s a decorated war hero, a vegetarian, doesn’t smoke, drinks only an occasional beer, and never cheated on his wife.

Which of these candidates would be your choice?

Do you have enough information to make a decision?  Is there anything else you want to know?

Outward appearances can be deceiving.  There’s more to people, especially consummate politicians, than meets the eye.

So, are you ready to meet the Candidates?

Here they are . . .

Wikipedia ~ FDR (in Public Domain)

Candidate A:

Franklin D. Roosevelt ~ A 1999 survey by C-SPAN found that by a wide margin academic historians consider Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Roosevelt the three greatest presidents, consistent with other surveys.

Roosevelt is the sixth most admired person from the 20th century by US citizens, according to Gallup.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Next up . . .

Candidate B:

Wikipedia ~ Winston Churchill (in Public Domain)

Winston Churchill ~ A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, writer and artist.

To date, he is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the first person to be recognised as an honorary citizen of the United States.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”

[Source: Wikipedia]

Last (and least) . . .

Candidate C:

Wikipedia ~ Adolf Hitler (in Public Domain)

Adolf Hitler ~ Hitler, the Nazi Party and the results of Nazism are typically regarded as gravely immoral.

Historians, philosophers, and politicians have often applied the word evil in both a secular and a religious sense.

Historical and cultural portrayals of Hitler in the west are overwhelmingly condemnatory.

The display of swastikas or other Nazi symbols is prohibited in Germany and Austria. Holocaust denial is also prohibited in both countries.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Moral of the story: You can’t judge a book by its cover.

Related post:  Heaven (Or A Reasonable Facsimile)

* * * * *

Inspiration:  e-mail from unknown author provided background “facts” for each of the 3 candidates.  The facts are “true” to the best of my knowledge. 

Virtual Reality August 30, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Word Play.
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Lexophiles love words, especially a good play on words (or even a bad play on words). 

Most of these puns came from e-mails I’ve saved over the years.  A few are of more recent vintage.  

Enjoy this glimpse into the world of virtual reality:

1.  What do you call a will?

That’s easy!  A dead giveaway.

2.  Why did the Buddhist refuse Novocaine at the dentist during a root canal?

He wanted to transcend dental medication.

3.  My mother warned me not to join dangerous cults.

Same here.  She told me to practice safe sects.

4.  How would you describe Atheism?

Hmm . . . it’s a non-prophet organization.

5.   What did the sign on the lawn at the drug rehab center say?

Keep off the Grass.

6.  What happened when the actress saw her first strands of gray hair?

She thought she’d dye.

7.  Why didn’t you try to catch that woman when she swooned?

Seemed to be more feint than faint.

8.  How would you characterize someone who jumps off a Paris bridge?

They’re in Seine.

9.  What happened to the dead batteries?

They were given away free of charge.

10.  How would you describe a plateau?

It’s a high form of flattery.

Stay tuned. 

More Fun with Puns tomorrow.

Can’t wait?

Visit PUNS ~ A Play On Words

Heaven (Or A Reasonable Facsimile) August 30, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, People.
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A man and his dog were walking along a road.  

The man was enjoying the scenery, when suddenly it occurred to him that he was dead.  He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. 

He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall of fine marble along one side of the road.  The wall contained an archway with a magnificent gate inlaid with pearls.  The street on the far side of the gate was paved with pure gold.

The traveler and the dog walked toward the gate.  As he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side, and called out, “Excuse me, where are we?”

“This is Heaven, sir.” 

“Wow!” exclaimed the traveler.  “Would you happen to have some water?” 

“Sure,” the man said as he gestured to open the gate, “Come in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.”

“Can my friend,” gesturing toward his dog, “come in, too?” asked the traveler.

“I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.”

The traveler nodded, thanked the man, and turned away from the pearly gates to continue walking with his dog.

Eventually, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed.  There was no fence.

As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

“Excuse me!” he called to the man. “Do you have any water?”

“Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there, come on in.”

“How about my friend here?” the traveler gestured to the dog.

“There should be a bowl by the pump.”

Sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.  The traveler filled the water bowl for the dog, then cupped his hands to take a drink himself.

Thirsts quenched, they walked back toward the man standing by the tree.

“What do you call this place?” the traveler asked.

“This is Heaven.” 

“Well, that’s confusing,” the traveler said. “The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.”

“Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates?  Nope.  That’s hell.”

“Really?  Doesn’t it make you mad that they use your name like that?”

“Nope.  It’s OK by us.  Saves us time.”

“How so?”

“They screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.”

Related post:  Thirst (Naomi’s Notes)

* * * * *

Source:  e-mail from an unkown author, polished up a bit.

The Perfect Coda August 29, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Music & Dance, People.
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Last week, I read an article about 20 of the Best Rock Codas. 

The list included hits by the Beatles (Hey Jude), Prince (Purple Rain), and more than a few bands of recent vintage I’d never heard before (and likely will never hear again). 

As I watched the video clips I remained unimpressed until I got to this one.

At last, The Perfect Coda!  


A brilliant marriage between guitars, played by Eric Clapton and Duane Allman, and a gorgeous piano coda which takes center stage for the entire second half of the song. 

A few fun facts from Wikipedia:

* Inspired by Clapton’s then unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, the wife of  friend and fellow musician George Harrison, Layla was unsuccessful on its initial release.

 * The song is often hailed as being among the greatest rock songs of all time.  Two versions have achieved chart success, first in 1972 and again twenty years later as an acoustic Unplugged performance.

* In 2004, it was ranked #27 on Rolling Stone‘s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and the acoustic version won the 1993 Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.

Although Eric Clapton has sung this song with Mark Knopfler, the Rolling Stones, and other notables, here’s my favorite version of Layla (the original) by Derek and the Dominoes ~ not much to look at, but it captures the coda:

Here’s a more acoustic version, with Mark Knopfler sharing the stage and the magic with Clapton: