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MOOLAH, MARIGOLDS... AND A MACARONI!?! In Britain, there are villages named Penny Bridge (Cumbria), Shillingford (Devon and Oxfordshire), and Pound Bank (Worcestershire). Scotland's smallest county, Clackmannanshire, has a village named Dollar. The map shows it's near Dollarbank, Dollarbeg and the Burn of Sorrow. In the United States, three towns or villages are named Greenback, three are called Dollar, four Buck, and three Bucks (which is the name of counties in both the U.K. and U.S.) If you live in any of those places, you're really in the money. The U.K. magazine Coin News published this article in its January 2001 issue. 0104

BRISBANE: TWIN CITIES. Life's a breeze in California's Brisbane, whose hillside residents enjoy great views of Oakland and Alameda across the Bay. Maybe that's why some of them pronounce its name BREEZE-bane. The town (population 4000) calls itself The City of Stars - not to compete with Hollywood, but because for more than 50 years its residents have displayed large wooden stars with Christmas lights on their houses during the holiday season.  Australia's Brisbane (always pronounced BRIZ-b'n) too could call itself The City of Stars. After all, it was named after a noted astronomer who catalogued 7385 stars. For the full story, click on BRISBANE. 0104

POEMS AND FABLES ON COFFEE LABELS. Collecting stamps and coins were all the go in the 19th and 20th centuries. Now, at the dawn of the 21st, literary coffee labels are the latest delectable collectables. Todd and Esther Cowing, who run the Story House in Portland, Oregon, print stories, poems, jokes, even serious articles on their coffee labels, which they change every week. Visit Bare Ingredients. 0104

HEREFORD MEETS MANY NAMESAKES (or Hereford Meat's Many Namesakes). More than 200 years ago, a group of cattle breeders in the English country town of Hereford, near the border of Wales, developed a herd of gentle, white-faced beasts, whose progeny have achieved fame as the world's favorite beef. Hereford gave its name to the cattle, and the cattle in turn gave their name to a dozen places in America. Visit Foodiesite to read the full article. 0104

ROTARY FOUR-WAY TEST. Next time your friendly bank increases its fees, or some other businesses make you want to spit chips, ask the management and shareholders to read about the Four-Way Test. If everyone adopted it, the world would be a much happier and friendlier place. The Four-Way Test was adopted by Rotary International way back in 1943. and is one of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements on business ethics. It has been translated into more than 100 languages. You can read it on hundreds of Web sites, including one that my friend and colleague Barry Downs has set up for the Kimberley Rotary Club. Print it out and send copies to your bank manager and other ruthless business (and other) executives! 0104

AUSSIE SHEEPMAN WHO LIVES NEAR HELL SKETCHES LIONS IN AFRICA (how's that for an attention-grabbing headline?). Chris McClelland somehow manages a large Australian sheep station (ranch) yet finds time to sketch lions and elephants in the wilds of Africa, and earn recognition as one of the world's finest wildlife artists. He has just returned from his sixth visit to Zimbabwe to his home on the 180,000 acre Tupra property. While Chris attends to 40,000 sheep, his wife Margie sells prints of his drawings on the Internet to art collectors around the world. Click on CLEVER MAGAZINE.. 0103

SUPER SOUP SITES. Of the many thousands of food writers crowding the Internet, Pat Solley is probably the wittiest. And what she doesn't know about soup, the world's favorite winter food, just isn't worth knowing. Pat lives in Washington DC and is a world authority on soups. Her web site, Soupsong, discusses the subject in all its aspects -- soup jokes, news, songs, and literary references. Visit Super Soup Sites. 0103

TRIPE AND ONIONS...AS DINNER OPTION (anagram). When tripe's mentioned, do you go OOH! or UGH! ? It all depends on how it's cooked. Properly prepared, it's superb; otherwise you might as well be chewing chunks of rubber. Tripe is loved or hated around the world. Click on Bare Ingredients. 0103

RADIO RODEO ROUGH RIDERS. Here's a feature article first published by the Brisbane (Australia) Sunday Mail on September 18, 1938, when I was a cadet (cub) reporter on its staff. This must be something of a longevity record for a newspaper journalist - having a feature article republished 62 years later! It discloses my interest as a teenager in "faraway places with strange-sounding names," which I'm still pursuing today, thanks to the Internet. Click here for an image (322Kb gif file). 0103

SHUTTLE PIRATE TAKES THE (BANBURY) CAKE. England has a wealth of quaint place-names like Stow on the Wold and the fictitious Much Binding in the Marsh. so it's not surprising that some of its newspapers too rejoice in quirky names, such as the Banbury Cake, the Kidderminster Shuttle, the Penwith Pirate and the Falmouth Packet. Click on Shuttle Pirate. 0103

HERO'S FAME LED TO NAME. Some people want to change the name of Australia's highest mountain because Tadeusz Kosciuszko never visited that country. Kosciuszko was an international hero and one of the outstanding world figures of his time. Even today, his dashing exploits are commemorated in many parts of the United States and Poland. Visit Kosciuszko. 0102

TOM TURKEY TYSON WEIGHED 86 LB!  "Buy the biggest turkey you can find - the larger birds have more meat-to-bone ratio than the smaller birds," the experts advise. So we scoured the Internet, and found that the world's biggest turkey weighed a massive 86lb (40kg) dressed. Who would have an oven large enough to roast such a monster? Just visit Tom Turkey at Foodiesite. 0102

LETTER TO WALT WHITMAN. In 1888, America's famous poet remarked on the odd names of five U.S. newspapers. Three of them are still in business today: the Fairplay Flume, Tombstone Epitaph and Jefferson Jimplecute. An edited version of this article appeared in the U.S. magazine Editor & Publisher (July 3, 2000). Click on Whitman. 0102

MARFA AND MIN MIN: HIT OR MYTH? Thousands of tourists - some gullible, others sceptical - are flocking (trickling might be a better word) to two remote towns on opposite sides of the globe, one in Texas, one in Australia, hoping to glimpse mysterious lights that are bringing fame and profit to the towns. Sean B. Palmer, of Portslade, East Sussex, England, is intrigued by the world's numerous mystery lights. Visit Mystery lights. 0102

OLYMPIC CHORUS BOOSTS CORNISH PASTIES. When excited spectators yelled "Aussie Aussie Aussie!" in chorus at Sydney's Olympic Games, they unknowingly boosted the worldwide popularity of that ubiquitous but peculiar British dish, the Cornish Pasty. Long ago, Cornish miners shouted "Oggie Oggie, Oggie" in unison at crib (meal) time, before eating their traditional pasties, also known as oggies. And that's where the famous Olympic chant, which echoed around the world, was born. Go to Cornish Pasties. 0102

6000 DIED IN WORST U.S. HURRICANE. The deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history occurred just 100 years ago. The island city of Galveston, Texas grimly recalled the 1900 hurricane which killed 6000 people - a quarter of its inhabitants -  and left 5000 others battered and bruised. Visit Hurricane Weather facts. 0101

SIZE OF HAIL THE CHIEF PROBLEM. Just how big is a hailstone? Official weather reports have described them as being the size of footballs, softballs, grapefruit, teacups, baseballs, tennis balls, hen eggs, golf balls, walnuts, ping pong balls, half dollars, quarters, nickels, pennies, large marbles, small marbles, peas, or mere rice. A hailstone the size of a football was the largest hailstone ever recorded in the U.S. Go to Hail Weather facts. 0101

SYDNEYS ALL OVER THE WORLD. If you plan to visit Sydney, Australia, be sure your reservations are for the right destination - there are Sydneys (and Sidneys) all over the place (20 in U.S.)  You could end up in a South African big-game lodge, or near the scene of the legendary feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. Visit Sidneys all over. 0101

BUSINESS ANAGRAMS.  A new craze for business anagrams is sweeping  the English-speaking world. Thousands of office workers sitting in front of computers enjoy their spare moments  working out amusing anagrams of their own and rival companies' names and slogans. This edited article appeared in The New York Times. 0101

NEWSPAPER NONSENSE. Newspaper titles can produce some weird, wonderful and wacky anagrams: MONKEYS WRITE the NEW YORK TIMES, while THE SCOTSMAN (Edinburgh) HASN'T COST ME, and London's sexy tabloid, THE NEWS OF THE WORLD, is a HOT, LEWD SHEET (FROWN) with HOT, TENDER FLESH. WOW! Find more at Anagram Genius. 0012

LEWIS CARROLL MYSTERY. Did Lewis Carroll hide a secret message in his immortal nonsense poem, Jabberwocky? Three of the world's cleverest makers of computer-generated anagrams,  two Americans and an Englishman, have begun a global search to find out. Visit Jabberwocky. 0012

GLOBAL ENGLISH HAS ARRIVED. "If you don't speak English, you won't get the job!" Like it or not, that's the message millions around the world are already hearing, reflecting the awesome, ever-growing power of the Internet, where the English language reigns supreme. This article has been posted on both the China Daily and the Bangladesh Star's Web sites. Visit Global English. 0012

GRUESOME GOATMAN CLOSE TO CLINTON. The loathsome Goatman, whose goat's head and man's body have scared viewers of The X-files, has been sighted on the road to Clinton Maryland (U.S.), a city of 20,000 people only 12 miles from Washington DC. There are more than 100 places called Clinton in the US, with others in  the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Read the story, then check out the rest of the site at World-wide Clintons. 0012

BELLS AND WHISTLES ON THE INTERNET. Football buffs in Italy, the United States, England and Australia are making a try for this goal:  to persuade people living in at least 14 places named Rugby to get to know one another, by joining a Foundation for the Promotion of the Name Rugby in the World. Go to World-wide Rugby. 0012

THIS RUGBY COACH WAS A GHOST. The goal was to find which of the world's 15 places named Rugby participate in "the game they play in Heaven." A few hours' Internet browsing disclosed a spine-tingling English ghost story, a town that's proud of being the geographical centre of North America, and a place in Australia called Rugby, which most Australians have never heard of. Go to Rugby Ghost. 0011

SLANG TERMS FOR MONEY. Dough, moolah, rhino, spondulicks... there are more slang words for money than for anything else apart from sex and drink - and since you may need money to obtain the other two, money should take pride of place. Read Money Slang. 0011

AUST TITLE UP FOR GRABS.  If Australia's would-be republican presidents had their hopes dashed by the referendum, one of them could win an impressive consolation prize, by being officially named Lord (or Lady) of The Manor of Aust. 0011

PENNYWORT:  POTPLANT PAINKILLER. A pennywort craze is sweeping Australia's frost-free regions, particularly the coastal areas north from Sydney.  Thousands of arthritis sufferers are growing the humble "arthritis plant" in their gardens. Visit Pennywort. For readers in the U.K. go to English Pennywort. 0011


By Frank C. Laubach

I have good news for you. The first 80 years are the hardest. The second 80 are a succession of birthday parties. Once you reach 80, everyone wants to carry your baggage and help you up the steps. If you forget your name or anybody else's name, or an appointment, or your own telephone number, or promise to be three places at the same time, or can't remember how many grandchildren you have, you need only explain that you are 80.

Being 80 is a lot better than being 70. At 70 people are mad at you for everything. At 80 you have a perfect excuse no matter what you do. If you act foolishly, it's your second childhood. Everybody is looking for symptoms of softening of the brain.

Being 70 is no fun at all. At that age they expect you to retire to a house in Florida and complain about your arthritis (they used to call it lumbago) and you ask everybody to stop mumbling because you can't understand them. (Actually your hearing is about 50 percent gone.)

If you survive until you are 80, everybody is surprised that you are still alive. They treat you with respect just for having lived so long. Actually they seem surprised that you can walk and talk sensibly. 

So please, folks, try to make it to 80. It's the best time of life. People forgive you for anything. If you ask me, life begins at 80.

Reprinted by permission of the Laubach Family Association


E-BOOK HELPS SENIORS NAVIGATE INTERNET. We're delighted to learn that senior citizens around the world are learning how to find their way around the Internet by reading articles in this free electronic book. To read some of the heart-warming messages we've received, click on SENIORS. 

All above articles copyright © 2001.  Eric Shackle

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