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I was browsing the patron saint index of the Catholic Forum web site . . . 

. . . (, and I surprisingly came across a patron saint for disputes whom we can all pray through for help with the election. I guess the Church has left nothing to chance -- I am now convinced there must be a patron saint for everything.

The really interesting part is that the patron saint of disputed elections is Saint Chad. That's right -- Saint Chad. As Dave Barry says, I am not making this up. Check out the web site. The Catholic Forum is a legitimate mainstream Catholic organization. I almost fell over when I saw it. Chad was the Bishop of York in the 7th century. A rival named Wilfred was upset that he was not made the Bishop and challenged the validity of Chad's appointment. Realizing the faith community was being torn apart from this Bishop Chad resigned his position and conceded his appointment to his rival. This all sounds amazingly familiar today doesn't it?

Because Chad resigned to end the dispute and thus save the Church and its people more scandal and embarrassment, Chad became the patron saint of disputes and elections. If nothing else I think this proves beyond any doubt that God has a sense of irony and a tremendous sense of humor.

10 Astounding Facts About the Catholic Church You Probably Didn't Know

Submitted by 'Sister' (AKA a real 'nun') Wink. New York, NY.

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Want to know what the #1 song was on the day you were born? 

Check out this web site:

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More totally useless things to know
  • Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
  • Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
  • The national anthem of Greece has 158 verses. No one in Greece has memorized all 158 verses.
  • There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
  • The average secretary's left hand does 56% of the typing.
  • A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
  • There are more chickens than people in the world.
  • Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey.
  • The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."
  • All of the clocks in the movie Pulp Fiction are stuck on 4:20.
  • No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.
  • "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
  • All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.
  • Almonds are members of the peach family.
  • Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
  • Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.
  • There are only five words in the English language which end in "-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, Timidous, and hazardous.
  • Los Angeles's full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula". And can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size, "L.A."
  • A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
  • An ostrich's eye is bigger than it's brain.
  • Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
  • In most advertisements, including newspapers, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10.
  • Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
  • The only real person to be a Pez head was Betsy Ross.
  • When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home, the stadium becomes the state's third largest city.
  • The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life".
  • A dragonfly has a lifespan of 24 hours.
  • A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
  • A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
  • On an American one-dollar bill, there is an owl in the upper left-hand corner of the "1" encased in the "shield" and a spider hidden in the front upper right-hand corner.
  • It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
  • The giant squid has the largest eyes in the world.
  • Who's that playing the piano on the "Mad About You" theme? Paul Reiser himself.
  • In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.
  • The name for Oz in the "Wizard of Oz" was thought up when the creator,
    Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N and O-Z, hence "Oz."
  • The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
  • Mr. Rogers is an ordained minister.
  • John Lennon's first girlfriend was named Thelma Pickles.
  • The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
  • There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.
  • Stewardesses' is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.
  • Typewriter is the only ten letter word you can type on the top row of your keyboard.

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Railroad Tracks (An exercise in logic)

The US Standard railroad gauge (distance between the inside of the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?

Because that's the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates. Why did the English people build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used. Why did they use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing. Okay! Why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that's the spacing of the old wheel ruts. So who built these old rutted roads?

The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts?

The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made for or by Imperial Rome they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Thus, we have the answer to the original question. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman army war chariot. Specs and Bureaucracies live forever!

So, the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right. Because the Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

There's an interesting extension of the story about railroad gauge and horses' behinds. When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on the launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are the solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at a factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line to the factory runs through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than a railroad track, and the railroad track is about as wide as two horses' behinds. So a major design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined by the width of a horse's ass!

Submitted by Crystal, Mt. Airy, Md.

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31 facts you really don't need to know
  • A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.
  • In the 1940s, the FCC assigned television's Channel 1 to mobile services (two-way radios in taxicabs, for instance) but did not re-number the other channel assignments. That is why your TV set has channels 2 and up, but no channel 1.
  • The "save" icon on Microsoft Word shows a floppy disk, with the shutter on backwards.
  • The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."
  • The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.
  • The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
  • Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."
  • Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.
  • Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
  • The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means "the king is dead".
  • Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head."
  • Camel's milk does not curdle.
  • In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.
  • An animal epidemic is called an epizootic.
  • Murphy's Oil Soap is the chemical most commonly used to clean elephants.
  • The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.
  • Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan.
  • All porcupines float in water.
  • Hang On Sloopy by the McCoys is the official rock song of Ohio.
  • Did you know that there are coffee flavored PEZ?
  • Lorne Greene had one of his nipples bitten off by an alligator while he was host of "Lorne Greene's Wild Kingdom."
  • Cat's urine glows under a blacklight. 
  • If you bring a raccoon's head to the Henniker, New Hampshire town hall, you are entitled to receive $.10 from the town.
  • The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.
  • Non-dairy creamer is flammable.
  • The airplane Buddy Holly died in was the "American Pie." (Thus the name of the Don McLean song.)
  • Texas is also the only state that is allowed to fly its state flag at the same height as the U.S. flag.28. The only nation who's name begins with an "A", but doesn't end in an "A" is Afghanistan.
  • Pamela Anderson Lee is Canada's Centennial Baby, being the first baby born on the centennial anniversary of Canada's independence.
  • When opossums are playing 'possum, they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror.
  • The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

Submitted By Kevin, Dallas, Tx.

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The meaning of the symbols on the Dollar Bill

Take out a one dollar bill and look at it. The one dollar bill you're looking at first came off the presses in 1957 in its present design. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It's not paper money at all...its fabric money. We've all washed it without it falling apart. A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know. It is overprinted with symbols and then it is starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look.

If you look on the front of the bill, you will see the United States Treasury Seal. On the top you will see the scales for the balance-a balanced budget. In the center you have a carpenter's T-square, a tool used for an even cut. Underneath is the Key to the United States Treasury.

That's all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should all know. If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. Both circles, together, comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.

If you look at the left hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, and ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin's belief that one man couldn't do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God could do anything. "IN GOD WE TRUST" is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means "God has favored our undertaking." The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means "a new order has begun." At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776.

If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery and is the centerpiece of most hero's monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States and it is always visible whenever he speaks, yet no one knows what the symbols mean.

The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons first, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England. Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation.

In the Eagle's beak you will read, "E PLURIBUS UNUM", meaning "one nation from many people." Above the Eagle you have thirteen stars representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one. Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.

They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number. This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But think about this: 13 original colonies, 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 13 stripes on our flag, 13 steps on the Pyramid, 13 letters in the Latin above, 13 letters in "E Pluribus Unum", 13 stars above the Eagle, 13 plumes of feathers on each span of the Eagle's wing, 13 bars on that shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch, 13 fruits, and if you look closely, 13 arrows. And for minorities: the 13th Amendment.

Why didn't we know this? You probably don't know it and your children don't know it because no one ever felt it important enough to tell us about it. Too many veterans have given up too much to ever let that meaning fade. Many veterans remember coming home to an America that doesn't care. Too many veterans never came home at all.

Tell your kids and grandkids what a dollar bill really stands for. Because if you don't, nobody else will.


Submitted by Mike, Broomfield, Co

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Dog & Cat owners have different personalities

Dog owners and cat owners are as different as night and day, says an expert--who reveals the distinctive personality traits of each. People are like their pets, said Dr. Vinsey, Professor of Anthropology at Pace University in New York City, who made a six-year study of pets and their owners.

Dr. Vinsey characterizes dog owners this way:
  • They tend to be more outgoing and sociable and they're more apt to be openly affectionate.
  • Dog owners are more generous and helpful. They are more ambitious and assertive and more apt to take risks to reach their goals.
  • Dog owners are more "outdoorsy" -- they love to tramp the hills, go camping and participate in active, energetic sports.

Cat owners are a different type says Dr. Vinsey:

  • They tend to be well-read, articulate and cultured and more imaginative, creative and curious than dog owners.
  • They're more apt to be loners. They enjoy privacy and tend to be aloof until they know someone well.
  • Cat lovers are comfort lovers and tend to pamper themselves. They're more finicky and choosy, have exotic tastes and are nonconformists. They also tend to be more opinionated and independent.
  • Cat owners are indoor people. Their greatest joy is to curl up in front of a fire with a good book or a TV miniseries to view.

But both cat and dog owners are far more flexible than people who don't own pets, said the doctor. They take a less rigid approach to life and adjust more easily to changes in plans or circumstances, she said.

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Dave's logic test
  1. How can you arrange for two people to stand on the same piece of newspaper and yet be unable to touch each other without stepping off the
  2. How many 3-cent stamps are there in a dozen?
  3. A rope ladder hangs over the side of a ship.  The rungs are one foot apart and the ladder is 12 feet long.  The tide is rising at four inches an hour.  How long will it take before the first four rungs of the ladder are underwater?
  4. Which would you rather have, a trunk full of nickels or a trunk half full of dimes?
  5. Steve has three piles of sand and Mike has four piles of sand.  All together, how many do they have?
  6. In which sport are the shoes made entirely of metal? 
  7. If the Vice-President of the United States should die, who would be President?
  8. How can you throw a golf ball with all your might and -- without hitting a wall or any other obstruction -- have the ball stop and come right back to you?
  9. According to most state laws, the attempt to commit a certain crime is punishable, but actually committing the crime is not.  What is the crime?
  10. Find the English word that can be formed from all these letters:  PNLLEEEESSSSS


  1. Slide the newspaper half way under a closed door and ask the two people to stand on the bit of newspaper on their side of the door.
  2. There are twelve (not four).
  3. Actually, the ladder will rise with the ship!
  4. Dimes are smaller than nickels, so choose the dimes!
  5. If they put them all together, there will be one pile.
  6. Horse racing.
  7. The President.
  8. Throw the ball straight up.
  9. Suicide
  10. Sleeplessness

Submitted by Dave, Bolder Co.

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