Ziggy Zapata Title

VARIOUS THINGS

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FASCINATING MATERIAL

THE TIJUANA BRASS WAS NOT HISPANIC

One of the great misconceptions of modern music is that the famed band Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass consisted of Hispanic musicians. Nothing could be further from the truth. The first four Tijuana Brass albums were recorded using session musicians, such as members of the famed Wrecking Crew in Los Angeles. It was only after the success of those albums, that Alpert decided to form a real Tijuana Brass Band.

The strange thing about this touring Tijuana Brass was that there was not one Hispanic musician among them. These were the members:

Herb Alpert and Tonni Kalash were Jewish Americans, Bob Edmondson was Anglo American and the rest of the band were Americans of Italian heritage. The actual Tijuana Brass band only lasted four years before Alpert decided to disband it.


HISTORY IS NOT BORING

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all were the babies. By then, the water was so dirty that you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying: "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day, it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive, you were 'Piss Poor'. But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot. They 'didn't have a pot to piss in' and were the lowest of the low.

Houses had thatched roofs - thick straw piled high with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals and creatures such as mice and bugs lived in the roof. When it rained, it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying: "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up a nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying: 'Dirt poor'. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until when the door was opened, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance, hence a “threshold”.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day, they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, 'bring home the bacon'. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach into the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle and guests got the top, or the “upper crust”.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a “wake”.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and take the bones to a bone-house and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realised they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of a corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night, the “graveyard shift”, to listen for the bell. Thus, someone could be saved by the bell or was considered a “Dead Ringer”.

And that's the truth. Now, whoever said that history was boring?


HOW GOVERNMENT WORKS

Every day, a small ant arrives on the job very early and starts work immediately. She produces a lot and she is happy.

The Chief, a lion, is surprised to see that the ant is working without supervision. The lion thinks that if the ant can produce so much without supervision, wouldn't she produce even more if she had a supervisor? So the lion recruits a cockroach who has extensive experience as a supervisor and is famous for writing excellent reports.

The cockroach's first decision is to set up a clocking-in attendance system. The cockroach also hires a secretary to help him write and type his reports. The cockroach also hires a spider to manage the archives and monitor all phone calls.

The lion is delighted with the cockroach's reports and asks him to produce graphs to describe production rates and to analyse trends, so that he can use them for presentations at board meetings. So the cockroach purchases some computers, laser printers and hires a fly to manage the IT department.

The ant that was so productive and relaxed, hates this new plethora of paperwork and meetings that is using up most of her time. So the lion comes to the conclusion that it is high time to nominate somebody to be in charge of the department where the ant is working.

The position is given to a cicada, whose first decision is to buy a carpet and an ergonomic chair for his office. The cicada also needs a computer and a personal assistant whom he brought from his previous department, to help him prepare a Work and Budget Control Strategic Optimisation Plan.

The department where the ant works is now a sad place where nobody laughs anymore and everybody gets upset. The cicada sees this and convinces the lion of the absolute necessity of starting a climatic study of the environment. Having reviewed the charges for running the ant's department, the lion concludes that the production is much less than before.

So the lion recruits the owl, a prestigious and renowned consultant to carry out an audit and suggest solutions. The owl spends three months studying that department and comes up with an enormous report of several volumes, concluding that the department is overstaffed.

Guess who the lion fires first? Yes, it's the ant, because she shows lack of motivation and has a negative attitude. The department, without the only one who was doing any meaningful work, is now staffed by a massive bureaucracy that is producing nothing except mountains of paperwork and reports – about nothing.

And that is exactly what is happening everywhere in Australia. There are a myriad of government groups that are doing absolutely nothing productive, but are costing the taxpayer billions of dollars every year. This is how our government operates and we wonder why Australia is sliding behind. This story explains why.


GOOD LUCK MR GRONSKI

This story is hard to verify because the person in question is dead, but if it is true, it's very funny. So this is how it goes. When US astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon, he spoke some immortal words: "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".

But what was not broadcast on that momentous occasion was something that Armstrong muttered immediately after those words. Apparently Armstrong whispered: "Good luck Mr Gronski". For decades, NASA personnel who were aware of this had never been able to get Armstrong to reveal why he said this. But here is the explanation.

When Neil Armstrong was a little kid playing in his backyard, he happened to overhear an argument between his neighbours, Mr and Mrs Gronski. When Mr Gronski complained that his wife refused to give him a blowjob, Mrs Gronski allegedly shouted, "Gronski, you will get a blowjob from me when that kid next door walks on the moon."


THE WISDOM OF THOMAS SOWELL

Why are so many colleges and universities openly opposed to permitting Thomas Sowell to lecture their students and faculties? Sowell grew up in Harlem, New York City. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University and obtained a Master’s degree from Columbia University. He is an economist, social theorist, philosopher, author, senior fellow at the Hoover institution, Stanford University. He is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, Francis Boyer Award and other honours. Sowell said the following:

"No society ever thrived because it had a large and growing class of parasites living off those who produce."

"The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, as how many conservatives there are in their sociology department."

"Too much of what is called 'education' is little more than an expensive isolation from reality."

"The welfare state is the oldest con game in the world. First you take people’s money away quietly and then you give some of it back to them flamboyantly."

"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions into the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."

"One of the consequences of such notions as 'entitlements' is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence."

"I have never understood why it is 'greed' to want to keep the money you’ve earned, but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money."

"Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good."


THE WISDOM OF WINSTON CHURCHILL

The following revelations are attributed to the wartime leader of Britain and they are very wise words indeed.

"Diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions."

"You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks."

"Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision."

"A nation that forgets its past has no future."

"The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible."

"If you're not a liberal at twenty, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative at forty, you have no brain."

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."

"There is nothing government can give you that it hasn't taken from you in the first place."

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."

"A good speech should be like a woman's skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest."

"A pessimist seen the difficulty in every opportunity: an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

"If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea."

"One man with conviction will overwhelm a hundred who have only opinions."

"The main vice of capitalism is the uneven distribution of prosperity. The main vice of socialism is the even distribution of misery."

"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."

"You don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer."

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

"Life can either be accepted changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted."

"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

"I'd rather argue against a hundred idiots than have one agree with me."

"Islam is more dangerous in a man than rabies in a dog."

"In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet."

"Life is fraught with opportunities to keep your mouth shut."

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."


CONUNDRUMS OF THE USA

Free people are not equal. Equal people are not free. (Think this one over and over…makes sense!)

A gun is like a parachute. If you need one and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again.

Here are six Conundrums of socialism in the United States of America.

Think about it! And that pretty much sums up the USA in the 21st Century. It makes you wonder who is doing the math.

These three, short sentences tell you a lot about the direction of the current US government and cultural environment.

    Americans are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but they are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. It's funny how that works. And here's another one worth considering.

    Americans constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. But they never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money. What's interesting is the first group worked for their money, but the second didn't. Think about it. Last but not least:

    Why are Americans cutting benefits for their war veterans, not giving pay raises for their military and cutting their army to a level lower than before World War Two, but they are not stopping the payments or benefits to illegal aliens.

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools." - Plato.


TERRIBLY WRONG TECHNOLOGY PREDICTIONS

1876: "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." — William Preece, British Post Office.

1876: "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication." — President of Western Union, William Orton.

1903: "The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty - a fad." — President of the Michigan Savings Bank, advising Henry Ford's lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Company.

1943: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." — Chairman of IBM, Thomas Watson.

1946: "Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." — 20th Century Fox studio executive Darryl Zanuck.

1959: "Before man reaches the moon, your mail will be delivered within hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail." — US Postmaster General, Arthur Summerfield.

1961: "There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service inside the United States." — Federal Communications Commission commissioner TAM Craven.

1966: "Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop." — Time Magazine.

1977: "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." — Founder of Digital Equipment Corp Ken Olsen, in a speech to the World Future Society.

1981: "Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems." — Inventor Marty Cooper

1995: "I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse." — Founder of 3 Com, Robert Metcalfe.

1996: "Apple is a chaotic mess without a strategic vision and certainly no future." — Time Magazine.

1996: "Apple's erratic performance has given it the reputation on Wall Street of a stock a long-term investor would probably avoid." — Fortune Magazine.

1996: "Whether they stand alone or are acquired, Apple as we know it is cooked. It's so classic. It's so sad." — Forrester Research analyst quoted in the New York Times.

1997: "Apple is already dead." — Former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold.

2002: "Within five years, I predict the tablet will be the most popular form of PC sold in America." — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in a speech at Comdex introducing the Windows tablet PC.

2003: "The subscription model of buying music is bankrupt. I think you could make available the Second Coming in a subscription model, and it might not be successful." — Steve Jobs in an interview with Rolling Stone.

2004: "Two years from now, spam will be solved." — Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum

2006: "Everyone's always asking me when Apple will come out with a cell phone. My answer is, 'Probably never.'" — New York Times journalist David Pogue

2007: "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share." — Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.


THE IDIOCY OF ENGLISH

If anybody wondered why immigrants from non-English-speaking nations find it so difficult to grasp the English language, especially the spelling, here is the explanation. Just one common suffix - 'ough' - will demonstrate the utter stupidity and illogic of English.

This is only a small example of the many illogical ways that English is written and pronounced, so we should feel very sorry for anybody who is trying to learn the language. Foreigners completely mastering English from scratch are few and far between.


ORIGINS

In the 1400s, a law was passed 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 was Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter was 'Tom Sawyer'.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

Bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser printers have one thing in common. All were invented by women.

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When somebody pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on, hence the phrase 'Goodnight, 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 Ps and Qs".

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 some service. 'Wet your whistle' is the phrase inspired by this practice.


RANDOM FACTS

The shortest war on record was fought between England and Zanzibar in 1890. Zanzibar surrendered in 38 minutes.

Iceland consumes the most Coca Cola per capita in the world.

Lake Superior in the USA is the world's largest body of fresh water.

New Zealand was the first country to allow women to vote.

Iran, formerly Persia, is the oldest country in the world.

The Queen of England has a toilet with a diamond seat and marble base.

Libya is the only country with a solid single coloured flag. It is green.

Saluting derived from the custom of knights raising their visors when passing their monarchs.

In Alaska it is illegal to look at a moose from any flying vehicle.

People in England used to wash their faces with urine to keep them smooth and pale.

Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii is the highest mountain in the world when measured from its underwater base.

Ancient Vikings navigated their ships using fleas because fleas always jump to the north.

Every day, more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.

Men can read smaller print than women can, but women can hear better.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

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 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

If a statue 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 because of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

The only food that doesn't spoil is honey.