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100. The Cult of Personality
Commenting on an award he received, the late Rupert Barneby, the New York Botanical Garden’s most esteemed curator, remarked, “It’s part of the dismal cult of personality that started in Hollywood and now has infected the entire planet.”  And this is how mankind is becoming all sizzle and no steak.  See The New York Times, December 10, 2000, p. 61.

99. Fear of Flying (apologies to Erica Jong)
Flight truths:
1. Every takeoff is optional.  Every landing is mandatory.
2. The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.
3. You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience.  The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.
4. A "good" landing is one from which you can walk away.  A "great" landing is one after which they can use the plane again.

Taken from CIO (December 1, 2000, p.46) which in turn stole it from Austrailian Aviation.

98. Bare Facts
To make sure standard political news is riveting enough, M1 TV in Moscow brings viewers The Naked Truth, a program where half-dressed young ladies bare the news and conduct transparent interviews.  Of course, this is about equivalent to very late-night TV in New York City.  See "So The News is Ho-Hum, The Show's Spectacular,"  New York Times, October 5, 2000, p. A4.

97. The Milk of Michael Milken
In the l980's the U.S. Government sent Junkbond King Mike Milken to jail.   Now it has spent $50,000 with his institute for a study of The Minority Business Challenge.  Apparently felons can best lead minorities to the promised land.   See Business Week, October 23, 2000, p. l4.

96. Finally, the Truth
Panel 1: "Al, You"ve Got to Quit Making Up All Those Stories--and Taking Credit for Things You had Nothing to Do With."  Panel 2: "If  You're  Not Careful, People Will Think You're A Compulsive Liar!"  Panel 3: Picture of Al thinking about all of this.

Panel 4: Al saying, "I Invented the Lie."    

From  "Drawn & Quartered,"  Business Week, October 23, 2000, p. l4.

95. The Physics Chanteuse
“The tall woman in the silver lame jumpsuit ... singing original love songs to quarks and leptons in a voice that is somewhere between Madonna and Eartha Kitt.”   See “Come to Cosmic Cabaret With Physics Chanteuse,” New York Times, September l9, 2000, p. D2.  Lynda Jeanne Williams, physics and astronomy Instructor at San Francisco State, also performs quarky songs for high school students and for ethereal scientists at sundry conferences.  It hearkens back to the days in the l960s when, for a brief period, SF State had an alternate college that had such exalted courses as Zen Basketball.  We are not sure how funny Ms. Williams is, but the idea is hilarious.  Catch up with our Falling Star at  

94. Do You Know What Drop-‘n-Drag Is?
You think it is something to do with the computer, and you are right.   But it is also a “military term for ordering a soldier to do push ups in a woman’s clothing.”  Or that’s the definition in The GIGAWIT Dictionary of the E-nglish Language, a reworking of all the terms geeks use on the Internet.  It is written by the immensely funny Tony Hendra, who has simultaneously started a Web publishing firm at

93. Who Thinks Up These Things?
We just got a whole list of anagrams from Dallas, some of which merit your attention.  "Evangelist" turns into "Evil’s Agent." "Desperation" into "A Rope Ends It."  "Mother-in-law" is surely "Woman Hitler."  The heat has been so terrible in Dallas—the town where the East peters out—that its citizens are hiding in the air conditioning and playing around with their alphabets.

92. Science Humor Webring
There is an awful lot here of mixed value and parentage but you figure it all out.  If you look at WebRing Links, you will find Lori’s mishmash science humor right on top.  For the fun of it, go to Heavenly HMO, now that the Clintonians promise to revive healthcare schemes.  See For a start on the WebRing, go to    We intend to spend some time on biology karaoke.

91. Cosmic Comedian
We keep discovering geeks on the net who parody their trade to get more attention from National Public Radio and organs staffed by geek journalists.  These sites make you chuckle, but you never chortle.  Go here for lunch, not for real guffaws after dinner.  In this case, the take-oneself-seriously clown is Dr. Eric Schulman, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.  Probably you will get 90% of his wit by looking at his "History of the Universe in 200 Words or Less."  As fun is the article on his site by Scott Kirsner, "A Gala Night for Weird Science," from Wired (, October 10, 1997.  Go to

90. Icon Killer
James Lileks hails from Fargo, North Dakota, and that obliges him to be wry.   So he slices and dices Americana with the obliqueness that guys from small towns visit on all our big enchiladas.  Take a look, particularly, at "The Institute of Official Cheer."  Now he's a columnist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune who obviously helped Jesse Ventura become governor.  See  A less ponderous version of Garrison Kieler, I suppose, who is also from Minnesota. 

89. Instant Recognition
On the death of Sir Alec Guiness, the Associated Press reported (as carried on that:

In one of the stories he told about himself, Guiness checks his hat and coat at a restaurant and asks for a claim ticket.  "It will not be necessary," an attendant says, smiling.

Pleased at being recognized, Guiness later retrieves his garments, puts his hand in the coat pocket and finds a slip of paper on which is written, "Bald with glasses."

88. Pot-Boiler First Lines
Here are some winning first terrible lines for pulp novels just passed along to us.  Imagine spending your life dreaming-up bad lines--just like politicians:

10. As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the echo chamber he would never hear the end of it.
9. Just beyond the Narrows the river widens.
8. With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description.
7. Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the east wall: “Andre creep... Andre creep...Andre creep.”
6. Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back-alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved.
5. Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eeking out a living at a local pet store.
4. Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do.
3. Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor.
2. Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn’t know the meaning of the word “fear,” a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death--in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies. 

And the winner is....

1. The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside the darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog’s deception, screaming madly, “You lied!”

87. Rats
There are even more rats than lawyers in New York City.  "The city's rat population has doubled in the past ten years, to an estimated 70 million--seven for every one inhabitant.  ...  The result: a rat task-force, a rat tsar, a rat hotline ... and fiendish talk of limiting the rodent population by distributing contraceptives."  (See The Economist, July 29, 2000, p. 32.)  We presume all this has been learned through the Census, though we worry that the numbers may be inflated through statistical sampling.

86. AM-FM, AC-DC, Tomato-Tomato
The Canadian "Kindler, Gentler Ways to Say Someone Is Stupid" reminds me of the woman I once knew who had her FM radio tuned to an AM station.

From BJ in San Fransisco.

85. From the Babes of Divorced Parents
See Michael Holroyd's Basil Street Blues.  He mouths Hugh Kingsmill's aphorism: "Friends are God's apology for families."

84. Eskimo Hair Splitting
"What goes by 100 different names in the Eskimo language?"   "To help them describe the nuances of ice and snow, Artic Eskimos have over 100 different words for white."  See "Color Awareness," in @ issue, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 14-17.  Corporate Design Foundation,

83. Gore's Toilet Triumph
The Gore Greens enacted a water conservation law in 1994 which has forced builders to install lousy toilets that get stopped up with some regularity.  Apparently G. Gordon Liddy refers to all this as "toilet totalitarianism."  Now, in an echo of the Prohibition era, toilet runners are stealing across the Canadian border to get real toilets for furtive installation in the United States.  There's no telling where it will all end.  See "The Conservative Agenda: A Big Flush," New York Times, July 27, 2000.

82. Don't Look Back
"A number of years ago your editor was vacationing in Italy and rented a car.  It was an extremely nerve-wracking experience until I discovered the secret to driving in Italy: never look in the rear-view mirror!  Whenever I caught sight of all the weaving and jockeying going on behind me, I was paralyzed.  But as long as I only focused on what was going on in front of me, i was able to cope (and, in fact, had a very enjoyable and safe trip).

That may also be the key to investing in the second half of 2000.  Anyone who looks back at the volatility in most markets during the first half of the year might be tempted to never again invest in anything more daring than a passbook savings account--which, of course, would be very detrimental to your long-term financial health."  See The Turnaround Letter, July 2000, p. 1.

81. Peter's Laws: The Creed of the Sociopathic Obsessive Compulsive

1. If anything can go wrong, fix it!  (To hell with Murphy!)
2. When given a choice--take both!
3. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.
4. Start at the top then work your way up.
5. Do it by the book ... but be the author!
6. When forced to compromise, ask for more.
7. If you can't beat them, join them, then beat them.
8. If it's worth doing, it's got to be done right now.
9. If you can't win, change the rules.
10. If you can't change the rules, then ignore them.
11. Perfection is not optional.
12. When faced without a challenge, make one.
13. "No" simply means begin again at one level higher.
14. Don't walk when you can run.
15. Bureaucracy is a challenge to be conquered with a righteous attitude, a tolernace for stupidity, and a bulldozer when necessary.
16. When in doubt: THINK!

Peter's laws Copyright 1985, Peter H. Diamandis.
All rights reserved.

80. Voicemail at Work
"If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly."

"If you are codependent, please ask someone to press 2."

"If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5 and 6."

"If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want.  Just stay on the line until we can trace the call."

"If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press."

"If you are manic-depressive, it doesn't matter which number you press.  No one will answer."

79. Up in Smoke
A Charlotte, NC man, having purchased a box of very rare, very expensive cigars, insured them against fire among other things. Within a month having smoked his entire stockpile of cigars and without having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the man filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the man stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires."

The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason: that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

The man sued ... and won!  In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed that the claim was frivolous. He stated nevertheless that the man held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure against fire, without defining what is considered to be "unacceptable fire," and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid the man $15,000 for the rare cigars he had lost in the "fires."

After the man cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

This is a true story and it won 1999's Criminal Darwin Award.

78. Kinder, Gentler Ways to Say Someone Is Stupid
We just received these 38 zingers from Canada, and we quote 4 for you here.   Our good neighbors to the north have lots of space, very few people, and a multitude of languages.  So they don't tell dumb blonde jokes, for fear of offending a bleached minority.  They tell "dumb person" jokes to make sure they offend everybody:

Kinder, Gentler Ways to Say Someone Is Stupid:
4. A few beers short of a sixpack
14. Body by Fisher -- Brains by Mattel
18. He fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down
22. Doesn't have all his dogs on one leash

77. Time Out
Gerald Withrow, a mathematician, philosopher about time, and author of The Nature of Time and Time in History, died June 2 at 87.  See "Gerald J. Withrow, 87, Author of Philosophic Tomes on Time," New York Times, June 27, 2000, p. 23:

"He was fond of telling a story about the Russian poet Samuel Marshak visiting London before 1914.  His English was imperfect, and he asked a man in the street, 'Please, what is time?'

The passer-by answered: 'That's a big question.  Why ask me?'"

76. A Politician Who Doesn't Want the Job
There really is one.  As we know, 99% of them are power junkies.  A man apart, Amory Houghton of New York's 31st Congressional District would genuinely love to retire.   But, if he does, his district will be wiped out by reapportiontment.  See "Politician Who Doesn't Need Job Will Run Again," New York Times, June 14, 2000, A29.  He's a moderate to boot.  Doesn't need the job!  Moderate!   Oxymoron upon oxymoron.

75. You've Been at It Too Long: Jargon Thinking
We stole this from Across the Board (June, 2000, p.11), the magazine of the Conference Board, who stole it from Brent Ruben, a professor at Rutgers, who stole it from....

1. You ask the waiter what the restaurant's core competencies are.
2. You decide to re-org your family into a "team-based organization."
3. You refer to dating as pilot testing.
4. You can spell paradigm.
5. You actually know what a paradigm is.
6. You understand your airline's fare structure.
7. You write executive summaries on your love letters.
8. Your Valentine's Day cards have bullet points.
9. You think that it's actually efficient to write a 10-page presentation with six other people you don't know.
10. You celebrate your wedding anniversary by conducting a performance review.
11. You believe you never have any problems in your life, just "issues" and "improvement opportunities."
12. You refer to your vacation plan as a "vision" statement.
13. When dining out, you order "low-hanging fruit" for desert.
14. You think of your Viagra sales as "pay for performance."
15. You can explain to somebody the difference between reengineering, downsizing, rightsizing, and firing people.
16. You actually believe your explanation in No. 15.
17. You talk to the waiter about process flow when dinner arrives late.
18. You think of adultery as "benchmarking."
19. You refer to your significant other as "a co-process owner."
20. You think of your subtracting strokes from your golf score as creating a "balanced scorecard."
21. You start to feel sorry for Dilbert's boss.
22. You believe the best tables and graphs take an hour to comprehend.
23. You look forward to your next mistake as a "learning opportunity."
24. You naturally think of a collection of strangers on an elevator as a "cross-functional team."
25. You're planning a family reunion and begin to identify a list of "critical success measures."
26. You give constructive feedback to your dog.
27. You begin to think of home maintenance as "a journey."
28. You prepare the grocery list with Powerpoint.

74. We Have Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself
And, oh boy, there are plenty of fears.  On this website (, you can find 14 pages worth.   Some we liked were allodoxaphobia (fear of opinions), papaphobia (fear of the Pope), prosophobia (fear of progress), teleophobia (fear of definite plans), and venustraphobia (fear of beautiful women).

73. Internet Tristesse
See the Wall Street Journal, June 5, B1, "It's the Morning After in Techland."  This David Letterman-type knock-off appeared in the column, and it's pretty good for Wall Street Journal journalists who are a dry bunch of fellows:

Top 10 Signs You're Tired of the Internet Business:
. You start checking your email every 1.2 minutes, rather than every 23 seconds
. You stop calling your family 'my team'
. When you hear the term 'VC,' your first thought is 'Viet Cong'
. You see venture capitalist John Doerr at a conference and don't kiss up to him
. You no longer love your Palm Pilot more than your dog
. You've eaten your entire lunch without making a single cell-phone call
. You no longer want to be the 'Yahoo of the [fill in the blank],' but want to be bought by Yahoo!
8. You stop using the following terms: monetize, first-leader advantage, prerevenue
. When you hear the word 'options,' you think 'Chinese or Thai for dinner?'
. You toss out a magazine with Internet moguls on the cover and read People's '50 Most Beautiful People' instead.

72. Xenophobia Unites
Anytime a nation is getting a bit divided, it uses xenophobia to pull itself together.  Molson, Canadians' beer and also a term young-lady emigrants to Canada often apply to English-speaking Canadians ("He's a Molson"), has an ad called The Rant in which actor Jeff Douglas says how proud he is to be a Canadian.  Already there are wonderful parodies of The Rant, as, for instance, the Quebec fellow who says, "Je m'appelle Guy--and I am not Canadian."  Molson, of course, has a website ( where you can partake of the Molsonfied I-am-Canadian debate.  See "A Commercial Makes Canadian Self-Esteem Bubble to the Surface," New York Times, May 24, 2000, p. A6.

71. Alltimer's Disease
Two very elderly ladies were enjoying the sunshine on a park bench in Miami.  They had been meeting in that park every sunny days for over twelve years, chatting and enjoying each other’s friendship.  One day, the younger of the two ladies turns to the other and says, “Please don’t be angry with me, dear, but I am embarrassed.  After all these years, what is your name?  I am trying to remember, but I just can’t.”  The older friend stares at her, looking very distressed, says nothing for two full minutes, and finally with tearful eyes says, “ How soon do you have to know?”

70. Follow Instructions
If you can provide good instructions, you usually can write well and logically.   Ergo, manufacturers and logic are incompatible.  Here are a few examples from our sage in Durham:

On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert: "Do not turn upside down." (printed on the bottom of the box)

On Nytol (a sleep aid) "Warning: May cause drowsiness."

On a Japanese food processor: "Not to be used for the other use."

69. "Passing Gas...and Other Towns Along the American Highway"
You can find this work-in-progress at   New York photographer Gary Gladstone has been to Passing Gas and a host of other ridiculously named places in America.  His book will include great pix and his tale of his visit to each location.  We have not asked him if the End is Insight.

68. The Four Stages of Life

  1. You believe in Santa Claus.

  2. You don't believe in Santa Claus.

  3. You are Santa Claus.

  4. You look like Santa Claus.

67. Living with Imperfection
Neil Postman suggests we regard education as a cure for stupidity, not a process for developing intelligence. After all, he says, "Doctors do not concern themselves with health, and give all their attention to relieving us of sickness...Lawyers do not trouble themselves with justice or good citizenship...Doctors and lawyers, in other words, are painkillers." (see Neil Postman, "The Educationist as Painkiller," Conscientious Objections, NY: Vintage Books, 1992).  Postman is a truly witty, convincing writer about the incompatibility of education and technology -- in particular, education and TV.  He writes wonderfully about the dumbing-down abilities of TV.  And now, of course, we are in the Internet Age where we will become interactively mediocre.   For more of Postman's social commentary, see:

66.  Just in from Old Friend Gavin Graham up in Canada:
"Another oxymoron you are missing is -- 'professional investor'."

65. Gun-Shy
You don't have to be a gun zealot to know that our politically correct governors are up to incorrect and other illegal "reforms" in several aspects of our lives.   In the National Review, March 6, 2000, p. 16, old friend Tom Canning probably foreshadows what the correctness police will do to us next.  Paul Krassner, of the Left, used to do similar send-ups that could never come true.  But they did.   Says Canning:

The anti-gun lobby is just not getting the job done.

America must take drastic action to get guns out of our children's schoolbags: we must purge our language of reactionary locutions that foster the gun culture. 

It is our moral duty to outlaw the countless gun-related idioms -- and idiotisms -- that befoul the American tongue.

The short-list of far-right expressions that must be eradicated includes such offensive phrases as son-of-a-gun, big shot/big gun, gun the engine, going great guns, hot shot, and shoot the s***.

Violent verbiage pollutes every aspect of American life: western films: "a shot of rotgut"; classical drama: "to take arms"; historical poetry: "the shot heard round the world"; basketball: "the shot clock"; football: "shotgun formation"; baseball: "rifle the ball to first"; track and field: "the shot put."

Furthermore, we must police America's corporate malefactors.  The Quaker Oats Company, for example, boasts that its puffed wheat is "shot from guns."  Might not a puffed-wheat boycott prove to be a cereal killer?

And while I'm on the subject of greedy corporations, perhaps the young male horse can be given a less provocative name to avoid publicizing a certain gun manufacturer.

Portentously, an enlightened forebear set an example in eschewing the G-word.  Family lore has it that he changed the surname from Cannon.

Let us all pitch in to disarm our lexicon!

64. Laugh Through Pain
Yoshihiko Kadokawa, president of the Smile Amenity Institute and author of The Power of a Laughing Face notices that smiling clerks sell more.  He feels it's the way out of Japan's recession. Smiling is serious stuff.  See Melissa Master's "Power Smiles," Across the Board, April 2000, p. 64.

63. Top Quotes
Gabriel Robins of the University of Virginia has 18 pages of witty quotes from famous people for you on his site.   Just a few notable ones:

"His ignorance is encyclopedic." -- Abba Eban

"A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines."  -- Frank Lloyd Wright

"If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me."  -- Alice Roosevelt Longworth

"Show me a sane man, and I will cure him for you."  -- Carl Jung

"Nothing is wrong with California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn't cure."  -- Ross MacDonald

"He would make a lovely corpse."   -- Charles Dickens

"I've just learned about his illness.   Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
-- Irvin S. Cobb

"I worship the quicksand he walks in."  -- Art Buchwald

62. Microspoof
These are not really Sony's haikus to replace Microsoft error messages, but we wish they were.  This is just a clever scam.  But they point out just one more reason why Microsoft needs to be brought to heel.

61. Is Microsoft Owning Up?
We received last week a Microsoft promotion entitled "Confessions."   And one of our correspondents sent the following revelation:

The classically minded among us may have noted a new TV ad for Microsoft's Internet Explorer e-mail program which uses the musical theme of the "Confutatis Maledictis" from Mozart's Requiem.  "Where do you want to go today?" is the cheery line on the screen.

Meanwhile, the chorus sings, "Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis," which translates to "The damned and accursed are convicted to the flames of hell."

60. Fourth Bad Writing Contest (1998)
This website will prove to you that academics had better go back to grade school.  Denis Dutton, editor of Arts & Letters (see our item in "Other Global Sites"), brings you the best of the worst.   Here's some introductory remarks from the 1998 contest, but you will have to go to the site to find out how garbled garble can get. 

59. The Virtual World Is Cold
Here's some office lingo from Generation X.  It's not a wonderful world:

Cube Farm: An office filled with cubicles.
Starter Marriage:  A short-lived first marriage that ends in divorce with no kids, no property, and no regrets.
Stress Puppy: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.
Uninstalled: Euphemism for being fired.

58. Deadpan's Deadpan
Steven Wright is the sort of comedian who leads us into bear markets. He lets you know the universe is coming to an end.  At this website, you can find 14 pages of droll lines calculated to make you laugh without smiling. We cite just a couple here:

"Right now I think I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.  I think I've forgotten this before."

"I went to a restaurant that serves 'breakfast at any time.'  So I ordered French toast during the Renaissance."

57. Celebration
A new monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old texts by hand.  He notices, however, that they are copying copies,   and not the original books.  So, the new monk goes to the head monk to ask him about this.  He points out that if there was an error in the first copy, that error would be continued in all of the other copies.  The head monk says, "We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son."

So, he goes down into the cellar with one of the copies to check it against the original.  Hours later, nobody has seen him. So, one of the monks goes downstairs to look for him.  He hears sobbing coming from the back of the cellar and finds the old monk leaning over one of the original books crying.  He asks what's wrong.

"The word is celebrate," says the old monk.

56. What Yogi Berra Wishes He Said
Victor McLaglen about John Wayne in The Quiet Man: "He'll regret it to his dying day, if he lives that long." 

55. Castro Is Convertible
Cuba, of course, shares honors with North Korea as one of the old-line Stalinist dictatorships.  But you can smoke everywhere: Cubana is one of the few international airlines that welcomes smoking (see "The Odd Meal" The Economist, March 4, 2000, p. 87).  Soon enough, we smokers will be seeking political asylum -- away from the politically-correct dictatorships such as California or the People's Republic of Chapel Hill.

54. Imperial Bottoms
British toilet paper costs twice as much as the German and French versions, two-and-one-half times that of American (see "Going Soft?" The Economist, March 4, 2000, p. 59).  The Brits demand a softer variety that's a little bigger and comes in 50 different colors, sizes, and brands. The Americans clean up in this market, with Andrex, from Kimberly-Clark, now the market leader.  We hope, of course, that this does not mean that there is a deeper, broader, wider, human pollution problem in the sceptered isles.  This is what we mean by a Bum's Rush.

53. Swollen Brains
London cabbies, according to new research, have enlarged hippocampuses, all based on the fact that they are required to know London inside and out, and so they have developed extraordinary circuitry (see "Cabbies Curious Cognition," The New York Times, March 19, 2000, Week in Review p. 2).   Where will it all end?   we learn, moreover, that brains can be charged and recharged. See A Stitch in Time, "Retrofitting the Brain."

52. The Ultimate Joke
A boring book about jokes just out: Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters, by Ted Cohen (University of Chicago Press, 1999).

51. Brown & Williamson 1-800-578-7453
Put a little joy in your day.  The Brown & Williamson fellows serenade you at this customer service number -- without a cough.

50. When the Tough Get Going
"Adversity doesn't make or break you, it reveals you..." --Cardinal Bernadine

Of course, Shakespeare said, "Sweet are the uses of adversity," but we're not sure he had this in mind.  The pressure of adversity "reveals" you, especially to yourself.

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