The Pamphleteer

During colonial times in America, if you wanted to convince or inform people about some issue that you considered important, you went to the local printer and got some pamphlets printed. You then handed them out, read them to anybody that was interested, nailed them to the town bulletin board, or the nearest tree. The first amendment was specifically written to protect this type of activity and the writers or "pamphleteers".

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Thursday, May 31, 2007


The Religion of Peace (or We Kill You)

SETI@home Needs Your Help

(Donate to SETI@home at:

SETI@home needs your help. The SETI@home team has accomplished much in the past 6 months. We have successfully deployed the "enhanced" version of
SETI@home. The new seven beam data recorder has been installed at Arecibo (the world's largest radio telescope) and is recording the data that will be
analyzed in the next phase of SETI@home.

But there is still far more to be done. We would like to be able to sift
through the results returned by your computers in order to identify candidates
more rapidly so we can re-observe them. This rapid response validation system
would also give you the ability to see the results your computers have/has
returned in more detail.

To keep SETI@home operating for the next year, and to provide these new
capabilities, will require approximately $540,000. Currently SETI@home is
entirely funded by donations from people like you.

We hope that you will consider making a donation to SETI@home at this time.
You can make a secure donation by credit card on our website
( Instructions for donation by check or money order are there as well. Unless you specify otherwise, your donation will be noted by a star icon next to your username on the SETI@home pages and your username will appear on our list of donors. If you do not wish to have this recognition you may indicate that as well.

You can check on our fundraising progress by visiting our main site at

Thank you for helping the search for ET, and for considering a donation to


Sir Arthur C. Clarke (Author and Futurist)
Dan Werthimer (Chief Scientist, SETI@home)

For more information about how to donate:


The Refdesk Sites of the Day are:

FBI: Uniform Crime Reports

The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program was conceived in 1929 by the International
Association of Chiefs of Police to meet a need for reliable, uniform crime statistics for the nation. In 1930, the FBI was tasked with collecting, publishing, and archiving those statistics. Today, several annual statistical publications, such as the comprehensive Crime in the United States, are produced from data provided by nearly 17,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States.

Related site:

Bureau of Justice Statistics.


Searchable online version of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, as well as thesauri, quotations, foreign language dictionaries, a word of the day, and games.


An Outline of the U.S. Economy

This report, released by the U.S. Department of State, charts the challenges and risks facing Americans and their economic well-being. The site examines how the American economy works, and explores how it evolved.


National Vital Statistics System

You my find out how to obtain vital records in the U.S. by using this guide from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.


U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: EDGAR

All companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements,
periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR. Anyone can access and download this information for free. Here you'll find links to a complete list of filings available through EDGAR and instructions for searching the EDGAR database.


Refdesk Thoughts of the Day:

"I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man."

-Alexander Hamilton


"Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance..."

"Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike."

-Madame De Stael


"Nothing shows a man's character..."

"Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


"A professional writer is..."

"A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.

-Richard Bach


"With willing hearts and skillful hands..."

"With willing hearts and skillful hands, the difficult we do at once; the impossible
takes a bit longer."

-Author unknown


"The compulsion to take ourselves seriously is in inverse proportion..."

"The compulsion to take ourselves seriously is in inverse proportion to our creative
capacity. When the creative flow dries up, all we have left is our importance."

-Eric Hoffer


Wednesday, May 30, 2007


The Religion of Peace (or We Kill You)

Refdesk Thoughts of the Day:

"Sympathy: Two hearts tugging at one load."

-Charles H. Parkhurst


"A happy marriage is..."

"A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers."

-Robert Quillen


"Conditions may, and are not unlikely to arise..."

"Conditions may, and are not unlikely to arise, some day, when the exercise of the
power to impeach and remove the President may be quite as essential to the preservation of our political system as it threatened to become in this instance destructive of that system. Should that day ever come, it is to be hoped that the remedy of impeachment, as established by the Constitution, may be as patriotically, as fearlessly, and as unselfishly applied as it was on this occasion rejected."

-Edmund Gibson Ross


"To be yourself in a world that is doing its best..."

"To be yourself in a world that is doing its best, day and night to make you like
everybody else - is to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

-e.e. cummings


"We are all imperfect..."

"We are all imperfect. We can not expect perfect government."

-William Howard Taft


Father's Day Gift Selection Made Easy

(From Pamela, our correspondent in Bay Ridge.)

Since the Father's Day is fast approaching here are the do's and don't of gift buying. Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.

Rule #1

When in doubt-buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have to many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2

If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. "Hey Tom, can I borrow your ratchet".
"OK. By the way, are you through with my 3/8 socket yet". Again, know one knows

Rule # 3

If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car. A 99 cent ice scraper, a small bottle of de-icer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. If you are from a place that don't have much ice, then a good he-man bumper sticker will do just fine. No one knows why.

Rule # 5

You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones he has worn out. If you have a lot of money buy him a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips and flips and flips.

Rule #6

Do not buy a man any of those fancy liqueurs. If you do, it will sit in a cupboard for 25 years. A six pack of beer will do just fine.

Rule # 7

Do not buy any man an industrial size canisters of after shave or deodorant. A small
bottle of Old Spice and a small can of Right Guard will do just fine.

Rule #8

Buy men label markers. Almost as good as a cordless drill. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. "Socks, shorts, cups. Door, locks, sink. You get the picture. No one knows why

Rule # 9

Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on the box. It will
ruin his special day and he will always have parts left over.

Rule #10

Good places to shop for men include Northwest iron works, A1 lumber, Lowe's, NAPA auto parts, Sears Clearance Centers, and sporting good stores are excellent men's stores.

Rule #11

Men enjoy danger. That's why they never cook-but will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue grill with a 100 pound propane tank.

Rule #12

Tickets to a football game are a great gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to the Ballet. Everyone knows why.

Rule # 13

Men love chainsaws. Never, ever buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don't know why, please refer to Rule # 8 and what happened when he got a label maker.

Rule # 14

It's hard to beat a real good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a stepladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule # 15

Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origin, or at least the Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8 inch manila rope. No one knows why.


The Refdesk Sites of the Day are:

The History of Money

Barter is the exchange of resources or services for mutual advantage, and may date back to the beginning of humankind. Some would even argue that it's not purely a human activity; plants and animals have been bartering - in symbiotic relationships - for millions of years. In any case, barter among humans certainly pre-dates the use of money. This PBS/NOVA site provides brief details of the how money was created and how it was used through the ages. It is a sub-section to the larger site, Secrets of Making Money.

Related site:

The World of Paper Money.



This site provides online maps of USA, Canada and Europe. Also available, are free driving directions on detailed, interactive, and dynamic street level maps. Search for addresses and plan your itinerary with Map24. Calculate your route; look for hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, or other points of interest. International routing across borders with street maps, city maps, and house number accurate address search.


National Center for Education Statistics

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences, is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education. Search for statewide information in elementary/secondary education, postsecondary education, public libraries and selected demographics for all states in the U.S. using a variety of NCES data sources.


Quackwatch: Your Guide to Quackery, Health Fraud, and Intelligent Decisions

Quackwatch, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to combat health-related frauds, myths, fads, and fallacies. Its primary focus is on quackery-related information that is difficult or impossible to get elsewhere.


One Year on Mars

In January 2004, Mars had two new visitors. The Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and
Opportunity, were about to begin an amazing year of exploration. Look back at their
scientific adventures and discoveries, and stay tuned as the rovers welcome a brand new year on Mars.

Related site:
Latest Images from Mars Rovers.


Free Annual Credit Report

This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. is the official site to help consumers to obtain their free credit report.


Monday, May 28, 2007


The Religion of Peace (or We Kill You)

How Smart Are You?

(From Nora P., our correspondent in Ireland.)

Below are four (4) questions and a bonus question.

You have to answer them instantly.

You can't take your time, answer all of them immediately OK?

Let's find out just how clever you really are....

First Question: You are participating in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?


Answer: If you answered that you are first, then you are absolutely wrong! If you overtake the second person and you take his place, you are second!

Second Question:

If you overtake the last person, then you are...?


Answer: If you answered that you are second to last, then you are wrong again. Tell me, how can you overtake the LAST Person?

Third Question:

Very tricky arithmetic!

Note: This must be done in your head only.

Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator. Try it.

Take 1000 and add 40 to it.

Now add another 1000.

Now add 30.

Add another 1000.

Now add 20.

Now add another 1000.

Now add 10.

What is the total?

Scroll down for answer.....


Did you get 5000?

The correct answer is actually 4100.

If you don't believe it, check it with a calculator!

Today is definitely not your day, is it?

Maybe you'll get the last question right....


Fourth Question:

Mary's father has five daughters: 1. Nana, 2. Nene, 3. Nini,
4. Nono. What is the name of the fifth daughter?


Did you Answer Nunu?
NO! Of course it isn't.
Her name is Mary. Read the question again!

Okay, now the bonus round:

A mute person goes into a shop and wants to buy a toothbrush. By
imitating the action of brushing his teeth he successfully
expresses himself to the shopkeeper and the purchase is

Next, a blind man comes into the shop who wants to buy a pair of
sunglasses; how does HE indicate what he wants?

He just has to open his mouth and ask...


Refdesk Thoughts of the Day:

"[There is] an immense, painful longing for a broader, more flexible, fuller, more
coherent, more comprehensive account of what we human beings are, who we are and what this life is for."

-Saul Bellow


"Through the years, a man peoples a space with images of provinces..."

"Through the years, a man peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms,
mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, tools, stars, horses and people. Shortly before his death, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the image of his own face."

-Jorge Luis Borges


"A guilty conscience needs to confess..."

"A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession."

-Albert Camus


"The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others..."

"The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier
life for ourselves."

-Helen Keller


"Real knowledge is to know..."

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."



The Universe

(From Pamela, our correspondent in Bay Ridge.)

Try this web site and turn up the sound. This clever piece originated in Australia. It's also very informative. Just click once on the link below.

Be patient. It will start by itself.


The Refdesk Sites of the Day are:


TerraFly changes the way you view your world. Simply enter an address, and our system will put you at the controls of a bird's view aerial imagery to explore your digital earth.

Related site:

Reference Desk: Maps.


NPR: Driveway Moments

You're driving along, listening to a story on NPR. Suddenly, you find yourself at your destination, so riveted to a piece that you sit in your idling car to hear it all the way through. That's a Driveway Moment.


Library of Congress: Portals to the World

This Library of Congress site provides one-stop shopping for your international
information needs. Curious about Croatia? Portals to the World links to everything from embassies to travel tips. Want some background on world events? The site offers
directories for Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as other countries in the news today.


WebMD Medical Symptom Checker

Need information as you determine what to do about your symptoms? Get help figuring them out by answering a series of questions. To get started, click on male or female, regardless of age, then the part of the body that is troubling you.


Healthfinder: Your Guide to Reliable Health Information

Healthfinder is a free portal to reliable health information, developed by the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. The site provides an easy-to-use, searchable index of carefully reviewed health information from over 1,500 government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and universities.


Congress Votes Database

Every vote in the U.S. Congress since 1991 has been gathered at this site by the
Washington Post. Check out the outcomes of the latest bills, see how senators and House members vote, and sign up for RSS notification on individual members of Congress.


Sunday, May 27, 2007



(From Bob, our correspondent in Bay Ridge.)

In contrast to the ideals, opinions and feelings of today's "Hollywonk" the real actors of yester-year loved the United States. They had both class and integrity. With the advent of World War II many of our actors went to fight rather than stand and rant against this country we all love.

They gave up their wealth, position and fame to become service men & women, many as simple "enlisted men".

This page lists but a few, but from this group of only 18 men came over 70 medals in honor of their valor, spanning from Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, Distinguish Service Cross', Purple Hearts and one Congressional Medal of Honor.

So remember; while the "Entertainers of 2006" have been in all of the news media lately I would like to remind the people of what the entertainers of 1943 were doing, (63 years ago).

Most of these brave men have since passed on.

"Real Hollywood Heros"

Alec Guinness (Star Wars) operated a British Royal Navy landing craft on D-Day.

James Doohan ("Scotty" on Star Trek) landed in Normandy with the Canadian Army on D-Day.

Donald Pleasance (The Great Escape) really was an R. A. F. pilot who was shot down, held prisoner and tortured by the Germans.

David Niven was a Sandhurst graduate and Lt. Colonel of the British Commandos in Normandy.

James Stewart Entered the Army Air Force as a private and worked his way to the rank of Colonel.

During World War II, Stewart served as a bomber pilot, his service record crediting him with leading more than 20 missions over Germany, and taking part in hundreds of air strikes during his tour of duty.

Stewart earned the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, France's Croix de Guerre,and 7 Battle Stars during World War II.

In peace time, Stewart continued to be an active member of the Air Force as a reservist, reaching the rank of Brigadier General before retiring in the late 1950s.

Clark Gable (Mega-Movie Star when war broke out) Although he was beyond the draft age at the time the U.S. entered WW II, Clark Gable enlisted as a private in the AAF on Aug. 12, 1942 at Los Angeles.

He attended the Officers' CandidateSchool at Miami Beach, Fla. and graduated as a second lieutenant on Oct. 28, 1942.

He then attended aerial gunnery school and in Feb. 1943 he was assigned to the 351st Bomb Group at Polebrook where flew operational missions over Europe in B-17s.

Capt. Gable returned to the U.S. in Oct. 1943 and was relieved from active duty as a major on Jun. 12, 1944 at his own request, since he was over-age for combat.

Charlton Heston was an Army Air Corps Sergeant in Kodiak.

Ernest Borgnine was a U. S. Navy Gunners Mate 1935-1945.

Charles Durning was a U. S. Army Ranger at Normandy earning a Silver Star and awarded the Purple Heart.

Charles Bronson was a tail gunner in the Army Air Corps, more specifically on B-29's in the 20th Air Force out of Guam, Tinian, and Saipan

George C. Scott was a decorated U. S. Marine.

Eddie Albert (Green Acres TV) was awarded a Bronze Star for his heroic action as a U. S. Naval officer aiding Marines at the horrific battle on the island of Tarawa in the Pacific Nov. 1943.

Brian Keith served as a U.S. Marine rear gunner in several actions against the Japanese on Rabal in the Pacific.

Lee Marvin was a U.S. Marine on Saipan during the Marianas campaign when he was
wounded earning the Purple Heart.

John Russell: In 1942, he enlisted in the Marine Corps where he received a battlefield commission and was wounded and highly decorated for valor at Guadalcanal.

Robert Ryan was a U. S. Marine who served with the O. S. S. in Yugoslavia.

Tyrone Power (an established movie star when Pearl Harbor was bombed) joined the U.S. Marines, was a pilot flying supplies into, and wounded Marines out of, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Glenn Ford was a US Marine during WW II performing missions behind enemy lines for the OSS, and he helped build safe houses in France for those hiding from the Nazis. Mr. Ford also served two tours of duty in Vietnam and is the only actor to have served with both the Green Berets and the French Foreign Legion. Among his numerous medals and commendations are the Medal of Honor, presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the French Legion of Honor Medal for his service in World War II, two commendation medals from the US Navy and the Vietnamese Legion of Merit.

Audie Murphy, little 5'5" tall 110 pound guy from Texas who played cowboy parts:
Most Decorated serviceman of WWII and earned: Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, 2 Silver Star Medals, Legion of Merit, 2 Bronze Star Medals with "V", 2 Purple Hearts, U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, 2 Distinguished Unit Emblems, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France) World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar, Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar, French Fourragere in Colors of the Croix de Guerre, French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier, French Croix de Guerre With Silver Star, French Croix de Guerre with Palm, Medal of Liberated France, Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 Palm.

So how do you feel the real heroes of the silver screen acted when
compared to the hollywonks today who spray out anti-American drivel as they bite the hand that feeds them?

Can you imagine these stars of yester-year saying they hate our flag, making anti-war speeches, marching in anti-American parades and saying they hate our president?

I thought not, ........ neither did I!.

If you enjoyed this bit of history, send it on.


The Religion of Peace (or We Kill You)

The Refdesk Sites of the Day are:

Seven Wonders of the Modern World

As a tribute to modern society's ability to achieve the unachievable, reach unreachable heights, and scorn the notion of 'it can't be done,' in 1994 American Society of Civil Engineers sought nominations from across the globe for the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The chosen projects pay tribute to the greatest civil engineering achievements of the 20th century.

Related sites:

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

Seven Wonders of the World.


Library of Congress: Panoramic Photographs

The Panoramic Photograph Collection contains approximately four thousand images featuring American cityscapes, landscapes, and group portraits. These panoramas offer an overview of the nation, its enterprises and its interests, with a focus on the start of the twentieth century when the panoramic photo format was at the height of its popularity. Subject strengths include: agricultural life; beauty contests; disasters; engineering work such as bridges, canals and dams; fairs and expositions; military and naval activities, especially during World War I; the oil industry; schools and college campuses, sports, and transportation. The images date from 1851 to 1991 and depict scenes in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.


Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids

This site provides learning tools for K-12 students, parents, and teachers. These
resources will teach how our government works, the use of the primary source materials of GPO Access, and how one can use GPO Access to carry out their civic responsibilities. And, just as GPO Access provides locator services to U.S. Government sites, Ben's Guide provides a similar service to U.S. Government Web sites developed for kids.


FirstGov: The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal

Official web portal for the United States government. Includes federal, state, and local government resources, a guide to government agencies, online services, business and nonprofit information, news, and reference materials.


PBS: The Forgetting, A Portrait of Alzheimer's

Created by PBS, this unique 'Living Center' hopes to clear up the cobwebs of
misinformation on Alzheimer's disease and offer hands-on tools for patients, families, and their caregivers. Do you suspect someone you love may have the disease? A simple clock test is one way to pinpoint possible Alzheimer's. While no cure currently exists, the causes of the disease correlate strongly with old age.


The Seamstress

(From Pamela, our correspondent in Bay Ridge.)

One day, when a seamstress was sewing while sitting close to a river,
her thimble fell into the river. When she cried out, the Lord appeared and asked, "My
dear child, why are you crying?"

The seamstress replied that her thimble had fallen into the water and
that she needed it to help her husband in making a living for
their family.

The Lord dipped His hand into the water and pulled up a golden thimble
set with pearls.

"Is this your thimble?" the Lord asked

The seamstress replied, "No."

The Lord again dipped into the river. He held out a silver thimble
ringed with sapphires.

"Is this your thimble?" the Lord asked.

Again, the seamstress replied, "No."

The Lord reached down again and came up with a leather thimble. "Is
this your thimble?" the Lord asked.

The seamstress replied, "Yes."

The Lord was pleased with the woman's honesty and gave her all three
thimbles to keep, and the seamstress went home happy.

Some years later, the seamstress was walking with her husband along
the riverbank, and her husband fell into the river and disappeared
under the water.

When she cried out, the Lord again appeared and asked her, "Why are
you crying?"

"Oh Lord, my husband has fallen into the river!"

The Lord went down into the water and came up with George Clooney.

"Is this your husband?" the Lord asked.

"Yes," cried the seamstress .

The Lord was furious. "You lied! That is an untruth!"

The seamstress replied, "Oh, forgive me, my Lord It is a
misunderstanding. You see, if I had said 'no' to George Clooney, you
would have come up with Brad Pitt. Then if I said 'no' to him, you would
have come up with my husband. Had I then said 'yes,' you would have
given me all three. Lord, I'm not in the best of health and would not
be able to take care of all three husbands, so THAT'S why I said 'yes'
to George Clooney.

And so the Lord let her keep him.

The moral of this story is: Whenever a woman lies, it's for a good and
honorable reason, and in the best interest of others.

That's our story, and we're sticking to it.

All Us Women


Refdesk Thoughts of the Day:

"Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted

William Congreve


"Open-mindedness is not the same as empty-mindedness..."

"Open-mindedness is not the same as empty-mindedness. To hang out a sign saying,
'Come right in; there is no one at home' is not the equivalent of hospitality."

John Dewey


"It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men..."

"It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest
difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring."

Alfred Adler


"It came to me that reform should begin at home..."

"It came to me that reform should begin at home, and since that day I have
not had time to remake the world."

Will Durant


"The habit of ignoring Nature is deeply implanted in our times..."

"The habit of ignoring Nature is deeply implanted in our times. This attitude reminds me of people who never look you in the eye; I find them disturbing and always have to look away."

Marc Chagall


"The passion for setting people right..."

"The passion for setting people right is in itself an afflictive disease."

-Marianne Moore