Friday, July 30, 2010

Bottom of the News - Friday, July 30, 2010

Little Known Facts Of Interest...

Good morning my fellow Rotarians. This morning we take a look at some little know facts that may possibly be of interest to you…

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

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

Did you known that half of all Americans live within 50 miles of… their birthplace.

If you were to spell out numbers that you would have to go all the way to one thousand before you would find the letter "A".

All of these things have one thing in common… bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers… all were invented by women.

Did you know that honey is the only food that doesn't spoil?

Did you know that on Father’s Day there are more collect calls than any other day of the year?

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase, "goodnight, sleep tight."

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 P's and Q's"

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.

And finally, did you know that on this very day at 7:04 pm, in 1954, St. Joseph’s Hospital, New Hampton, IA, yours truly landed on this planet as the first son of Stanley and Judy Drewelow. And the Mother Ship has never returned to claim me!

And those little known facts are the bottom of our news for this Friday, July 30, 2010.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bottom of the News… Friday, July 23, 2010

Good morning my fellow Rotarians. Since having our own duck race recently, I have seen a few others in the news that I thought you all might find of interest…

Rubber Duck Invasion! - Nova Scotia, Canada: A major investigation was launched this week to determine the origin of the growing flotilla of rubber ducks that have been inundating Yarmouth Harbor for the past two weeks. The busy harbor has become awash with the small yellow bath toys which has created a danger zone for ferry and other boats that run from the island to the Mainland.

The ducks have been arriving over the past two weeks and officials have now declared them to be a major menace. At one point, Yarmouth Harbor looked like a giant carnival booth as officials tried to clear the blockade of ducks that were preventing boats from entering or exiting the harbor.

According to harbor master Herbert Drowney, they just recently determined where the ducks were coming from, with initial clues coming from contact details found on their bottoms.

Drowney learned that many towns on the mainland in New Brunswick and Maine run charity Duck Races in the summer. Most events along the coast throw thousands of ducks into the ocean to race them. However many ducks disappear in the tides and strong currents.

According to experts, the tides around the south end of Nova Scotia typically funnel most items out to sea, but the unique shape of a rubber duck causes them to swing into the harbor, almost as if they are attracted to the boats. Drowney continues to retrieve ducks from the harbor and this fall is planning to open a new toy store call Drowney Ducks – his main product will be “collectable survivor rubber ducks.”

Runaway Rubber Ducks need to be Rounded Up - Fort Wayne, IN: A child advocacy agency is hoping to get all its ducks in a row after more than 1,000 of their rubber entrants in a charity duck race floated to freedom in northeast Indiana.

The agency called Stop Child Abuse & Neglect says 17,000 rubber ducks were dropped into the St. Joseph River in Fort Wayne during the June 19th fundraiser, but that only 15,000 were retrieved that day. Spokeswoman Jennifer Boen says about 1,000 of the rogue ducks have since been recovered, and that some of the others have been spotted as far away as Ohio.

Duck Race Smashes World Record! - London: Organizers of Sunday's Great British Duck Race on the River Thames in Surrey say there were 205,000 rubber ducks in their race, nearly 5,000 more than the old record set last year. This unusual race wasn't just for fun however; it also raised money for the NSPCC, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Hundreds of spectators, some in duck costumes, lined the banks of the Thames to watch. All the ducks were adopted by people or businesses for £2 each, plus a donation to the NSPCC.

The owner of the winning duck #023871 wins £10,000, but as of Monday Noon, the winner had not yet come forward. This has been typical; several winners in the past never claimed their winnings either to allow the charity to keep the prize money. And one final note… this race took nearly three hours for the winning duck to cross the finish line! Wow, that’s a quaker!

And there you have it, our favorite yellow friends in the bottom of our news for this Friday, July 23, 2010.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bottom of the News… Friday, July 16, 2010

Good morning my fellow Rotarians. This morning we look back at this day in history at memorable events that shaped our world…

July 16, 1790… Only 14 years after signing the Declaration of Independence, the US Congress declared that a swampy, humid, muddy and mosquito-infested site on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia would become the nation's permanent capital. Named after the leader of the American Revolution, “Washington” would be a part of a designated a federal "District of Columbia." Geo Washington was out of office before the White House was finished, which took 10 years to complete. President John Adams was the first resident for only one year in 1800 followed by Thomas Jefferson.

July 16, 1935… The world's first parking meter, known as Park-O-Meter No. 1, was installed on the corner of First St & Robinson Ave in Oklahoma City. The meter was the brainchild of a newspaper owner to help combat limited parking in their growing downtown. Many opposed the meters calling the fees another “tax” on their cars – it cost 5 cents to park for one hour. Retailers however loved them because they encouraged quick turnover of cars and customers. Along with meters came the first painted parking spaces. Within 10 years over 140,000 meters were operating in the US.

July 16, 1945… 65 years ago, the US successfully tested their first atom bomb at Alamogordo, New Mexico. The six year Manhattan Project was the key to ending World War II, when the bomb was soon to be dropped twice on Japan to force their surrender. The original budget for the Manhattan Project was $6,000 and actually cost over $2 billion.

July 16, 1964… Republican presidential nominee Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona accepted the nomination for his party and went on to be soundly beaten by Texas Democrat Lyndon Johnson. Johnson was former VP and then president just nine months earlier after the assassination of John Kennedy.

July 16, 1969… Apollo 11, the first US mission to put men on the moon, launched from Cape Canaveral, FL. The craft traveled 240,000 miles in 76 hours and shortly thereafter, astronaut Neil Armstrong was the first human to walk on the moon beginning with his infamous quote to millions back on earth… "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The Appollo project involved over 400,000 engineers, technicians, and scientists, and cost $24 billion as a result of President John F. Kennedy's 1961 mandate to beat the Soviets to the moon.

July 16, 1980… Former actor and California Gov. Ronald Reagan won the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Detroit on a conservative platform and went on later that year to beat sitting president Jimmy Carter in a landslide victory.

There you go, notable events on this day in history, the bottom of our news for this Friday, July 16, 2010.