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Witty quotes

A critic is a legless man who teaches running.
- Channing Pollock

His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.
– Mae West

His mouth is a no-go area. It’s like kissing the Berlin Wall
- Helena Bonhem Carter on Woody Allen

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
- Henry Kissinger

He has a face like a Saint - A Saint Bernard.
- Unknown

A fellow with the inventiveness of Albert Einstien, but with the attention span of Daffy Duck.
- Tom Shale on Robin Williams

If I found her floating in my pool, I’d punish my dog.
- Joan Rivers on Yoko Ono

God does not play dice with the universe.
- Albert Einstien

She is as wholesome as a bowl of cornflakes and at least as sexy.
- Dwight McDonald on Doris Day

If you can’t convince them, confuse them.
- President Harry S Truman

For every action there is an equal and opposite government program.
- Bob Wells

Can’t act. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.
- Screen Tester on Fred Astaire

An empty suit that goes to funerals and plays golf.
- Ross Perot on Dan Quayle

Most of the time he sounds like he has a mouth full of toilet paper.
- Rex Reed on Marlon Brando

He could start a row in an empty house
- Sir Alex Ferguson on footballer Dennis Wise

I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
– Mark Twain

I’ve just learned about his illness. Let’s hope it’s nothing trivial.
– Irvin S. Cobb

I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
– Clarence Darrow

He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.
– William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.
– Moses Hadas

He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.
–Abraham Lincoln

I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.
– Groucho Marx

He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.
– Oscar Wilde

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
–Winston Churchill

I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here.
– Stephen Bishop

He is a self-made man and worships his creator.
– John Bright

When Kissinger can get the Nobel Peace Prize, what is there left for satire?
- Tom Lehrer on Henry Kissinger

Avoid all needle drugs. The only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon.
- Abbey Hoffman

Who picks your clothes - Stevie Wonder?
- Don Rickles

Breasts like Granite and a brain like Swiss Cheese
- Billy Wilder on Marilyn Monroe

The thief of bad gags.
- Walter Winchell on Milton Berne

I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born
- Ronald Reagan

The average person thinks he isn’t.
- Father Larry Lorenzoni

He’s proof that there’s life after death.
- Mort Sahl on Ronald Reagan

The only genius with an IQ of 60.
- Gore Vidal on Andy Warhol

He’s so ugly they ought to donate his face to the world wildlife fund.
- Muhammad Ali on Joe Frazier

She’s so stupid she returns bowling balls because they’ve got holes in them.
- Joan Rivers on Bo Derek

I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer.
- Douglas Adams

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.
- Jean Giraudoux

Shaw writes his plays for the ages, the ages between five and twelve.
- George Nathan on George Bernard Shaw

He is to acting what Liberace was to pumping iron.
- Rex Reed on Sylvester Stallone

What makes him think a middle aged actor, who’s played with a chimp, could have a future in politics?
- Ronald Reagan commenting on Eastwood’s bid to become mayor of Carmel

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
- Shakespeare

Free Business Cards
Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.
- W C Fields

He had the compassion of an icicle and the generosity of a pawnbroker.
- S J Perelman on Groucho Marx

Always borrow money from a pessimist; he doesn’t expect to be paid back.
- Unknown

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
- Abraham Lincoln

A bird in hand is safer than one overhead.
- Anonymous

Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth.
- Chuck Norris

Nothing makes a man so modest about his income as a tax form to fill out.

I used to be indecisive, now I’m not so sure.
- W.C. Fields

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.
- Daniel J. Boorstin

The devil is the father of lies, but he neglected to patent the idea, and the business now suffers from competition.
- Josh Billings

One of the strangest things about life is that the poor, who need money the most, are the ones that never have it.
- Finley Peter Dunne

Good sayings

Everyone is interested in going to heaven, but till now I have found none who wants to die.

In Order to get the prince of your dreams, you need to kiss a lot of toads.

I always try to have an open mind but my brain always keep falling out.

“I fell asleep reading a dull book and dreamed I kept on reading, so I awoke from sheer boredom.

Once i desired for a piece of bread, and what I got is a piece of stone in the form of pedestal.

The person who says we cannot buy happiness with money it means that he dont know where to shop for happiness.

I would always like to have a photographic memory but it never developed.

I always say two wrongs donot make a single right, then u must try three.

There are three sides to any argument: your side, my side and the right side.

Where there is a will, there is a way to hundreds of relatives and friends.

Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.

It is always better to understand less than to misunderstand a lot.

Till now i have found that only 2 things are infinite:
The Universe
Human Stupidity

The advantage of exercising every day is that you will die as a healthy.

The only flaw in me is that I consider myself as the most perfect in this world.

Winners never Quit and Quitters never Win.

You are not Stupid but everyone else is smarter than you.

They say kids brighten the home. That’s because they never turn the lights off.

Time has always been a great teacher, but unfortunately it has been killing all its pupils.

Men are always visualised like a Parking Spots, the good ones are taken and the free ones are handicapped.

Questions are never stupid, the person asking them is stupid.

The wind which blows between a horses ears is the wind that blows from heaven.

Its nice to be cool and fit in but its better to be awesome and fit in.

Dreams are like rainbows but only idiots chase them.

Boys are like mailboxes theres always another one down the road.

Inspiration is like a lost sock. When your searching you can never find it, and when it appears, you least expect it.

Being in love isn’t always as much fun as we think it is. When you love someone and they dont love you, you wish it were love and all you can do is try your best not to cry when you see them and they are in the arms of your best friend.

Dont follow my footsteps i walk into walls.

I grew up with six brothers - thats how i learn to dance - waiting for the bathroom…

A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting beside you say ” Damn that was fun!”

The canter is the cure for all evil.

If you want to hoot with the owls, you’ve got to soar with the eagles. But what if you dont want to soar with the eagles because you like the owls better?

When life hands me a road block its my choice to step over it

Cracks in the sidewalk are only reminders that you are never to strong to fall apart.

All I want is for one guy to prove to me that they all arent the same..

When you mess up,another person messes up with you so dont be down.

The words “I LOVE YOU” meens more than money itself.

You can be in love, or you can love. One is foolish, one is dangerous.
One is worth it.

All the good things in life will either kill you, make you fat, or get someone pregnant!

People say sorry in different ways.
Sometimes it is heard to express how sorry we are.

I never realized what friendship meant to some people…it is and always will be the greatest blessing in my life!

My silence is my sound…

To win some you have to lose some.

Travel agents have all the fun!

I had someone ask for an aisle seats so that his or her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window.

A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, "Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?"

I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me with "I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts. "Without trying to make her look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, "Capecod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa." Her response ... click.

A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, "Don't lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state."

I got a call from a man who asked, "Is it possible to see England from Canada?" I said, "No." He said "But they look so close on the map."

Another man called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had a 1-hour lay over in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, "I heard Dallas was a big airport, and I need a car to drive between the gates to save time."

A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20am and got into Chicago at 8:33am. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of llinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!

A woman called and asked, "Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know who's luggage belongs to who?" I said, "No, why do you ask?" She replied, "Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT, and I'm overweight, is there any connection?" After putting her on hold for a minute while I "looked into it" (I was actually laughing) I came back and explained the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

I just got off the phone with a man who asked, "How do I know which plane to get on?" I asked him what exactly he meant, which he replied, "I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them."

A woman called and said, "I need to fly to Pepsi-cola on one of those computer planes." I asked if she meant to fly to Pensacola on a commuter plane. She said, "Yeah, whatever."

A businessman called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. "Oh no I don't, I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those." I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, "Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express."

A woman called to make reservations, "I want to go from Chicago to Hippopotamus, New York" The agent was at a loss for words. Finally, the agent: "Are you sure that's the name of the town?" "Yes, what flights do you have?" replied the customer. After some searching, the agent came back with, "I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a Hippopotamus anywhere." The customer retorted, "Oh don't be silly. Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!" The agent scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, "You don't mean Buffalo, do you?" "That's it! I knew it was a big animal!"

Advice on Answering 50 Common Interview Questions

1. Tell me about yourself:
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short statement prepared
in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items
unless instructed otherwise. Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that
relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest back and work up
to the present.

2. Why did you leave your last job?

Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major problem with
management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers or the organization. If you do,
you will be the one looking bad. Keep smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason
such as an opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking reasons.

3. What experience do you have in this field?

Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for. If you do not have
specific experience, get as close as you can.

4. Do you consider yourself successful?

You should always answer yes and briefly explain why. A good explanation is that you have
set goals, and you have met some and are on track to achieve the others.

5. What do co-workers say about you?

Be prepared with a quote or two from co-workers. Either a specific statement or a
paraphrase will work. Jill Clark, a co-worker at Smith Company, always said I was the
hardest workers she had ever known. It is as powerful as Jill having said it at the interview
herself.

6. What do you know about this organization?

This question is one reason to do some research on the organization before the interview.
Find out where they have been and where they are going. What are the current issues and
who are the major players?

7. What have you done to improve your knowledge in the last year?

Try to include improvement activities that relate to the job. A wide variety of activities can
be mentioned as positive self-improvement. Have some good ones handy to mention.

8. Are you applying for other jobs?

Be honest but do not spend a lot of time in this area. Keep the focus on this job and what
you can do for this organization. Anything else is a distraction.

9. Why do you want to work for this organization?

This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the research you have done
on the organization. Sincerity is extremely important here and will easily be sensed. Relate
it to your long-term career goals.

10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This can affect your answer
even though they asked about friends not relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if
they are well thought of.

11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if you answer first. So, do
not answer it. Instead, say something like, That's a tough question. Can you tell me the
range for this position? In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not,
say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide range.

12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready. Specifics that show you
often perform for the good of the team rather than for yourself are good evidence of your
team attitude. Do not brag, just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.

13. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?

Specifics here are not good. Something like this should work: I'd like it to be a long time. Or
As long as we both feel I'm doing a good job.

14. Have you ever had to fire anyone? How did you feel about that?

This is serious. Do not make light of it or in any way seem like you like to fire people. At the
same time, you will do it when it is the right thing to do. When it comes to the organization
versus the individual who has created a harmful situation, you will protect the organization.
Remember firing is not the same as layoff or reduction in force.

15. What is your philosophy towards work?
The interviewer is not looking for a long or flowery dissertation here. Do you have strong
feelings that the job gets done? Yes. That's the type of answer that works best here. Short
and positive, showing a benefit to the organization.

16. If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?

Answer yes if you would. But since you need to work, this is the type of work you prefer. Do
not say yes if you do not mean it.

17. Have you ever been asked to leave a position?

If you have not, say no. If you have, be honest, brief and avoid saying negative things
about the people or organization involved.

18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization

You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to highlight your best points
as they relate to the position being discussed. Give a little advance thought to this
relationship.

19. Why should we hire you?
Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do not mention any other
candidates to make a comparison.

20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made
Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was accepted and was then
considered successful. One related to the type of work applied for is a real plus.

21. What irritates you about co-workers?

This is a trap question. Think real hard but fail to come up with anything that irritates you.
A short statement that you seem to get along with folks is great.

22. What is your greatest strength?

Numerous answers are good, just stay positive. A few good examples:
Your ability to prioritize, Your problem-solving skills, Your ability to work under pressure,
Your ability to focus on projects, Your professional expertise, Your leadership skills, Your
positive attitude .

23. Tell me about your dream job.

Stay away from a specific job. You cannot win. If you say the job you are contending for is it, you strain credibility. If you say another job is it, you plant the suspicion that you will be dissatisfied with this position if hired. The best is to stay genetic and say something like:
A job where I love the work, like the people, can contribute and can't wait to get to work.

24. Why do you think you would do well at this job?
Give several reasons and include skills, experience and interest.

25. What are you looking for in a job?
See answer # 23

26. What kind of person would you refuse to work with?
Do not be trivial. It would take disloyalty to the organization, violence or lawbreaking to get
you to object. Minor objections will label you as a whiner.

27. What is more important to you: the money or the work?
Money is always important, but the work is the most important. There is no better answer.

28. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?

There are numerous good possibilities:
Loyalty, Energy, Positive attitude, Leadership, Team player, Expertise, Initiative, Patience,
Hard work, Creativity, Problem solver

29. Tell me about a problem you had with a supervisor
Biggest trap of all. This is a test to see if you will speak ill of your boss. If you fall for it and
tell about a problem with a former boss, you may well below the interview right there. Stay
positive and develop a poor memory about any trouble with a supervisor.

30. What has disappointed you about a job?

Don't get trivial or negative. Safe areas are few but can include:
Not enough of a challenge. You were laid off in a reduction Company did not win a contract,
which would have given you more responsibility.

31. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an example that relates
to the type of position applied for.

32. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?
Probably this one. Do not give fuel to the suspicion that you may want another job more
than this one.

33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?

This is a personal trait that only you can say, but good examples are:
Challenge, Achievement, Recognition

34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
This is up to you. Be totally honest.

35. How would you know you were successful on this job?
Several ways are good measures:
You set high standards for yourself and meet them. Your outcomes are a success.Your boss
tell you that you are successful

36. Would you be willing to relocate if required?

You should be clear on this with your family prior to the interview if you think there is a
chance it may come up. Do not say yes just to get the job if the real answer is no. This can
create a lot of problems later on in your career. Be honest at this point and save yourself
future grief.

37. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead of your own?
This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. Do not worry about the deep ethical and
philosophical implications. Just say yes.

38. Describe your management style.
Try to avoid labels. Some of the more common labels, like progressive, salesman or
consensus, can have several meanings or descriptions depending on which management
expert you listen to. The situational style is safe, because it says you will manage according
to the situation, instead of one size fits all.

39. What have you learned from mistakes on the job?

Here you have to come up with something or you strain credibility. Make it small, well
intentioned mistake with a positive lesson learned. An example would be working too far
ahead of colleagues on a project and thus throwing coordination off.

40. Do you have any blind spots?
Trick question. If you know about blind spots, they are no longer blind spots. Do not reveal
any personal areas of concern here. Let them do their own discovery on your bad points. Do
not hand it to them.

41. If you were hiring a person for this job, what would you look for?

Be careful to mention traits that are needed and that you have.

42. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?

Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very well qualified for the position.

43. How do you propose to compensate for your lack of experience?
First, if you have experience that the interviewer does not know about, bring that up: Then,
point out (if true) that you are a hard working quick learner.

44. What qualities do you look for in a boss?

Be generic and positive. Safe qualities are knowledgeable, a sense of humor, fair, loyal to
subordinates and holder of high standards. All bosses think they have these traits.

45. Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a dispute between others.
Pick a specific incident. Concentrate on your problem solving technique and not the dispute
you settled.

46. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?

Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles, point that out.

47. Describe your work ethic.

Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to get the job done and
work hard but enjoy your work are good.

48. What has been your biggest professional disappointment?

Be sure that you refer to something that was beyond your control. Show acceptance and no
negative feelings.

49. Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job.

Talk about having fun by accomplishing something for the organization.

50. Do you have any questions for me?
Always have some questions prepared. Questions prepared where you will be an asset to
the organization are good. How soon will I be able to be productive? and What type of
projects will I be able to assist on? are examples.

Questions I have never been able to answer

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are flat?


Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?


Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?

What is the speed of darkness?


Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up every two hours?

If the temperature is zero outside today and it's going to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold will it be?


Do married people live longer than single ones or does it only seem longer?


How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?


Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Did you ever stop and wonder......
Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I’ll squeeze these pink dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?"

Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there... I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta its bum."


Why do toasters always have a setting so high that could burn the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?


Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?


Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their bum when they ask where the bathroom is?


Why does your Obstetrician, Gynaecologist leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look up there anyway?


Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs
!

If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?


Stop singing and read on……. Yes, it caught me too!

Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

Taxes and more

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

  • The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
  • The fifth would pay $1.
  • The sixth would pay $3.
  • The seventh would pay $7.
  • The eighth would pay $12.
  • The ninth would pay $18.
  • The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
“Since you are all such good customers”, he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his “fair share?”
They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

  • The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
  • The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
  • The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
  • The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
  • The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
  • The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
“I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!”
“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”
“That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Worst Excuses

Unbelievable -- What Are the Odds of This Happening?

Life can sometimes produce fascinating, extraordinary coincidences. Here are a few of the most amazing ones:
  • In 1975, a man riding a moped in Bermuda was accidentally struck and killed by a taxi. One year later, the man’s brother, riding the very same moped, was killed in the very same way by the very same taxi driven by the very same driver -- and carrying the very same passenger.
  • Twin brothers Jim Lewis and Jim Springer were separated at birth and adopted by different families. Unknown to each other, both were named James, both owned a dog named Toy, both married women named Linda, both had a son they names James Alan, and both eventually divorced and got remarried to a woman named Betty.
  • Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and John Adams helped to edit and hone it. The Continental Congress approved the document on July 4, 1776. Both Jefferson and Adams died on July 4, 1826 -- exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • A German mother who photographed her infant son in 1914 left the film to be developed at a store in Strasbourg, but was unable to collect the film picture when World War I broke out. Two years later she bought a film plate in Frankfurt, over 100 miles away, and took a picture of her newborn daughter -- only to find, when developed, the picture of her daughter superimposed on the earlier picture of her son. The original film, never developed, had been mistakenly labeled as unused and resold.
  • In 1858, Robert Fallon was shot dead by fellow poker players who accused him of cheating to win a $600 pot. None of the other players were willing to take the now unlucky $600, so they found a new player to take Fallon’s place, who turned the $600 into $2,200 in winnings. At that point, the police arrived and demanded that the original $600 be given to Fallon’s next of kin -- only to discover that the new player was Fallon’s son, who had not seen his father in seven years.
  • In the 19th century, the famous horror writer Egdar Allan Poe wrote a book called ‘The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.’ It was about four survivors of a shipwreck who were in an open boat for many days before they decided to kill and eat the cabin boy whose name was Richard Parker. Some years later, in 1884, the yawl, Mignonette, foundered, with only four survivors, who were in an open boat for many days. Eventually the three senior members of the crew killed and ate the cabin boy. The name of the cabin boy was Richard Parker.
  • In 1930s Detroit, a man named Joseph Figlock was to become an amazing figure in a young (and, apparently, incredibly careless) mother’s life. As Figlock was walking down the street, the mother’s baby fell from a high window onto Figlock. The baby’s fall was broken and Figlock and the baby were unharmed. A year later, the same baby fell from the same window, again falling onto Mr. Figlock as he was passing beneath. Once again, both of them survived the event.
  • In 1973, actor Anthony Hopkins agreed to appear in “The Girl From Petrovka”, based on a novel by George Feifer. Unable to find a copy of the book anywhere in London, Hopkins was surprised to discover one lying on a bench in a train station. It turned out to be George Feifer’s own annotated (personal) copy, which Feifer had lent to a friend, and which had been stolen from his friend’s car.
  • In Monza, Italy, King Umberto I went to a small restaurant for dinner, accompanied by his aide-de-camp, General Emilio Ponzia-Vaglia. When the owner took King Umberto’s order, the King noticed that he and the restaurant owner were virtual doubles, in face and in build. Both men began discussing the striking resemblance between each other and found many more similarities.
1. Both men were born on the same day, of the same year (March 14, 1844).
2. Both men had been born in the same town.
3. Both men married a woman with same name, Margherita.
4. The restaurateur opened his restaurant on the same day that King Umberto was crowned King of Italy.
5. On the 29th July 1900, King Umberto was informed that the restaurateur had died that day in a mysterious shooting accident, and as he expressed his regret, an anarchist in the crowd then assassinated him.
  • While American novelist Anne Parrish was browsing bookstores in Paris in the 1920s, she came upon a book that was one of her childhood favorites -- Jack Frost and Other Stories. She picked up the old book and showed it to her husband, telling him of the book she fondly remembered as a child. Her husband took the book, opened it, and on the flyleaf found the inscription: “Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs.” It was Anne’s very own book.
Are these instances merely coincidence, or are they something more? It all depends on how you look at it.

Table Manner Tips Every Guy Should Know

We all remember the basics our mothers taught us about table manners–no elbows on the dinner table and don’t talk with your mouth full. But ever wonder which fork to use for your salad or how to signal a waiter at a fancy restaurant? Read on and learn the basics in table manners that will be sure to impress your date, girlfriend/wife’s parents, employers or whomever you dine with.

Table Setting Placement

In formal settings, all the silverware, glassware, cups, saucers and the like are placed on the table, so it’s often difficult to know which fork to use when or which water glass is yours. As a general rule to thumb, silverware is lined up in the order in which a person will use them, going from the outside, in. For instance, the fork and knife used for the salad are placed in the outermost of the setting, farthest from your plate (with the exception of the spoon). Dessert silverware, if not brought out with the dessert, are placed at the top of your entrée plate. Glassware, cup and saucer are placed to your right, while the napkin, bread plate and butter spreader to your left.

10 Table Manner Tips

Now that you know how the table setting is laid out and when to use each, here are 10 tips for the duration of the meal:

  1. When dining with six or more, it’s polite to wait till roughly 50% of the table has their food before starting your meal. In smaller groups, wait until the entire table has their food, unless food temperature is at high risk in decreasing the enjoyment of the meal, and/or others at the table incessantly insist you begin.
  2. You can and should use your knife to cut large pieces of lettuce or other ingredients in your salad. Nothing is worse than trying to shove a large piece of lettuce in your mouth and having some of it stick out. (No brainer, but this applies to your entrée as well.)
  3. The proper way to butter a piece of bread is to rip off a piece that’s about one or two bites in size, butter it, and eat it. Repeat. Never bite straight into a roll, and refrain from cutting it in half and buttering.
  4. While cutting meat, the correct way is to cut a piece and then switch your fork to your right hand to pick it up. This method is considered the “American” way. Not switching your fork and using your left is called the “Continental” way, and is done most often in European countries. This way is gaining acceptance and I wouldn’t be surprised if one day soon it’s considered acceptable in fine dining. Also, cut meat a piece at a time. Cutting the entire meat up into pieces or cutting more than one at a time is tacky.
  5. Wipe your mouth before taking a sip of your drink. It’s unsightly to see food particles or grease on the rim of your glass. Also, it’s considered rude to take a sip of your drink with your mouth full. Plus, backwash is gross!
  6. When leaving the table during the course of your meal, put your napkin on your chair, not the table. No one wants to see your stained napkin. And at the completion of the meal, place it on the left of your plate, or if your plate has been cleared, in the center.
  7. When in a situation where you have to pass food or condiments to others at the table, pass it to your right, or counter clockwise. Never do a “boarding house reach” across the table.
  8. When you don’t want to swallow a piece of food in your mouth (e.g. a bone or a piece of fat), move the piece to the front of your mouth and use your fork (or spoon if that’s what you were using) to retrieve it from your mouth and into the side of your plate. The only time its okay to use your fingers is when it’s a fish bone.
  9. To get the waiter’s attention, the most polite way is to make eye contact. However chances are they are busy and/or are ignoring you. It’s acceptable to raise your hand to head level, just don’t go overboard by raising it way above your head and wave it about.
  10. When you’re done with your meal, the proper placement of the silverware is to lay them parallel to each other and across the plate with the handles facing the right. To clarify, the ends would be facing 10 o’clock and four. Note: Not all waiters will know this and they still may ask you if it’s okay to clear your plate. At least you appear classy.

After reading this, you may realize you may not have as good table manners as you thought you did. (It’s okay, it happens to the best of us.) And honestly, I’m not saying these are not the “be all, end all” of table manners, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be a step closer towards proper table etiquette.

Politics Explained

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all of the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and put them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you need.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and shoots you.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

PURE ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.

LIBERTARIAN/ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

Courtroom Quotations

The following quotations are taken from official court records across the nation, showing how funny and embarrassing it is that recorders operate at all times in courts of law, so that even the slightest inadvertence is preserved for posterity.


  • Lawyer: "Was that the same nose you broke as a child?"
  • Witness: "I only have one, you know."

  • Lawyer: "Now, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated?"
  • Witness: "By death."
  • Lawyer: "And by whose death was it terminated?"

  • Accused, Defending His Own Case: "Did you get a good look at my face when I took your purse?"

The defendant was found guilty and sentenced to ten years in jail.


  • Lawyer: "What is your date of birth?"
  • Witness: "July 15th."
  • Lawyer: "What year?"
  • Witness: "Every year."

  • Lawyer: "Can you tell us what was stolen from your house?"
  • Witness: "There was a rifle that belonged to my father that was stolen from the hall closet."
  • Lawyer: "Can you identify the rifle?"
  • Witness: "Yes. There was something written on the side of it."
  • Lawyer: "And what did the writing say?"
  • Witness: "'Winchester'!"

  • Lawyer: "What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?"
  • Witness: "Gucci sweats and Reeboks."

  • Lawyer: "Can you describe what the person who attacked you looked like?"
  • Witness: "No. He was wearing a mask."
  • Lawyer: "What was he wearing under the mask?"
  • Witness: "Er...his face."

  • Lawyer: "This myasthenia gravis -- does it affect your memory at all?"
  • Witness: "Yes."
  • Lawyer: "And in what ways does it affect your memory?"
  • Witness: "I forget."
  • Lawyer: "You forget. Can you give us an example of something that you've forgotten?"

  • Lawyer: "How old is your son, the one living with you?"
  • Witness: "Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which."
  • Lawyer: "How long has he lived with you?"
  • Witness: "Forty-five years."

  • Lawyer: "What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning?"
  • Witness: "He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'"
  • Lawyer: "And why did that upset you?"
  • Witness: "My name is Susan."

  • Lawyer: "Sir, what is your IQ?"
  • Witness: "Well, I can see pretty well, I think."

  • Lawyer: "Did you blow your horn or anything?"
  • Witness: "After the accident?"
  • Lawyer: "Before the accident."
  • Witness: "Sure, I played for ten years. I even went to school for it."

  • Lawyer: "Trooper, when you stopped the defendant, were your red and blue lights flashing?"
  • Witness: "Yes."
  • Lawyer: "Did the defendant say anything when she got out of her car?"
  • Witness: "Yes, sir."
  • Lawyer: "What did she say?"
  • Witness: "'What disco am I at?'"

  • Lawyer: "Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?"
  • Witness: "No."
  • Lawyer: "Did you check for blood pressure?"
  • Witness: "No."
  • Lawyer: "Did you check for breathing?"
  • Witness: "No."
  • Lawyer: "So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?"
  • Witness: "No."
  • Lawyer: "How can you be so sure, Doctor?"
  • Witness: "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar."
  • Lawyer: "But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?"
  • Witness: "Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere."

  • Lawyer: "How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?"

  • Lawyer: "And you check your radar unit frequently?"
  • Officer: "Yes, I do."
  • Lawyer: "And was your radar unit functioning correctly at the time you had the plaintiff on radar?"
  • Officer: "Yes, it was malfunctioning correctly."

  • Lawyer: "What happened then?"
  • Witness: "He told me, he says, 'I have to kill you because you can identify me.'"
  • Lawyer: "Did he kill you?"
  • Witness: "No."

  • Lawyer: "Now sir, I'm sure you are an intelligent and honest man--"
  • Witness: "Thank you. If I weren't under oath, I'd return the compliment."

  • Lawyer: "You were there until the time you left, is that true?"

  • Lawyer: "So you were gone until you returned?"

  • Lawyer: "The youngest son, the 20 year old, how old is he?"

  • Lawyer: "Were you alone or by yourself?"

  • Lawyer: "How long have you been a French Canadian?"

  • Witness: "He was about medium height and had a beard."
  • Lawyer: "Was this a male or a female?"

  • Lawyer: "Mr. Slatery, you went on a rather elaborate honeymoon, didn't you?"
  • Witness: "I went to Europe, sir."
  • Lawyer: "And you took your new wife?"

  • Lawyer: "I show you Exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognize that picture."
  • Witness: "That's me."
  • Lawyer: "Were you present when that picture was taken?"

  • Lawyer: "Were you present in court this morning when you were sworn in?"

  • Lawyer: "Do you know how far pregnant you are now?"
  • Witness: "I'll be three months on November 8."
  • Lawyer: "Apparently, then, the date of conception was August 8?"
  • Witness: "Yes."
  • Lawyer: "What were you doing at that time?"

  • Lawyer: "How many times have you committed suicide?"
  • Witness: "Four times."

  • Lawyer: "Do you have any children or anything of that kind?"

  • Lawyer: "She had three children, right?"
  • Witness: "Yes."
  • Lawyer: "How many were boys?"
  • Witness: "None."
  • Lawyer: "Were there girls?"

  • Lawyer: "You don't know what it was, and you didn't know what it looked like, but can you describe it?"

  • Lawyer: "You say that the stairs went down to the basement?"
  • Witness: "Yes."
  • Lawyer: "And these stairs, did they go up also?"

  • Lawyer: "Have you lived in this town all your life?"
  • Witness: "Not yet."

  • Lawyer: (realizing he was on the verge of asking a stupid question) "Your Honor, I'd like to strike the next question."

  • Lawyer: "Do you recall approximately the time that you examined the body of Mr. Eddington at the Rose Chapel?"
  • Witness: "It was in the evening. The autopsy started about 8:30pm."
  • Lawyer: "And Mr. Eddington was dead at the time, is that correct?"

  • Lawyer: "What is your brother-in-law's name?"
  • Witness: "Borofkin."
  • Lawyer: "What's his first name?"
  • Witness: "I can't remember."
  • Lawyer: "He's been your brother-in-law for years, and you can't remember his first name?"
  • Witness: "No. I tell you, I'm too excited." (rising and pointing to his brother-in-law) "Nathan, for heaven's sake, tell them your first name!"

  • Lawyer: "Did you ever stay all night with this man in New York?"
  • Witness: "I refuse to answer that question.
  • Lawyer: "Did you ever stay all night with this man in Chicago?"
  • Witness: "I refuse to answer that question.
  • Lawyer: "Did you ever stay all night with this man in Miami?"
  • Witness: "No."

  • Lawyer: "Doctor, did you say he was shot in the woods?"
  • Witness: "No, I said he was shot in the lumbar region."

  • Lawyer: "What is your marital status?"
  • Witness: "Fair."

  • Lawyer: "Are you married?"
  • Witness: "No, I'm divorced."
  • Lawyer: "And what did your husband do before you divorced him?"
  • Witness: "A lot of things I didn't know about."

  • Lawyer: "And who is this person you are speaking of?"
  • Witness: "My ex-widow said it.

  • Lawyer: "How did you happen to go to Dr. Cherney?"
  • Witness: "Well, a gal down the road had had several of her children by Dr. Cherney and said he was really good."

  • Lawyer: "Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?"
  • Witness: "All my autopsies have been performed on dead people."

  • Lawyer: "Were you acquainted with the deceased?"
  • Witness: "Yes sir."
  • Lawyer: "Before or after he died?"

  • Lawyer: "Mrs. Jones, is your appearance this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?"
  • Witness: "No. This is how I dress when I go to work."

  • The Court: "Now, as we begin, I must ask you to banish all present information and prejudice from your minds, if you have any."

  • Lawyer: "Did he pick the dog up by the ears?"
  • Witness: "No."
  • Lawyer: "What was he doing with the dog's ears?"
  • Witness: "Picking them up in the air."
  • Lawyer: "Where was the dog at this time?"
  • Witness: "Attached to the ears."

  • Lawyer: "When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?"
  • Other Lawyer: "Objection. That question should be taken out and shot."

  • Lawyer: "And lastly, Gary, all your responses must be oral. Ok? What school do you go to?"
  • Witness: "Oral."
  • Lawyer: "How old are you?"
  • Witness: "Oral."

  • Lawyer: "What is your relationship with the plaintiff?"
  • Witness: "She is my daughter."
  • Lawyer: "Was she your daughter on February 13, 1979?"

  • Lawyer: "Now, you have investigated other murders, have you not, where there was a victim?"

  • Lawyer: "Now, doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, in most cases he just passes quietly away and doesn't know anything about it until the next morning?"

  • Lawyer: "And what did he do then?"
  • Witness: "He came home, and next morning he was dead."
  • Lawyer: "So when he woke up the next morning he was dead?"

  • Lawyer: "Did you tell your lawyer that your husband had offered you indignities?"
  • Witness: "He didn't offer me nothing. He just said I could have the furniture."

  • Lawyer: "So, after the anesthesia, when you came out of it, what did you observe with respect to your scalp?"
  • Witness: "I didn't see my scalp the whole time I was in the hospital."
  • Lawyer: "It was covered?"
  • Witness: "Yes, bandaged."
  • Lawyer: "Then, later on...what did you see?"
  • Witness: "I had a skin graft. My whole buttocks and leg were removed and put on top of my head."

  • Lawyer: "Could you see him from where you were standing?"
  • Witness: "I could see his head."
  • Lawyer: "And where was his head?"
  • Witness: "Just above his shoulders."

  • Lawyer: "Do you drink when you're on duty?"
  • Witness: "I don't drink when I'm on duty, unless I come on duty drunk."

  • Lawyer: "Any suggestions as to what prevented this from being a murder trial instead of an attempted murder trial?"
  • Witness: "The victim lived."

  • Lawyer: "The truth of the matter is that you were not an unbiased, objective witness, isn't it? You too were shot in the fracas."
  • Witness: "No, sir. I was shot midway between the fracas and the naval."

  • Lawyer: "Officer, what led you to believe the defendant was under the influence?"
  • Witness: "Because he was argumentary, and he couldn't pronunciate his words."

THE TOP 13 ADDITIONAL WARNINGS THE FDA IS CONSIDERING FOR BEER AND ALCOHOL BOTTLES

13. WARNING: consumption of alcohol may make you think
you are whispering when you are not.

12. WARNING: consumption of alcohol is a major factor in
dancing like an asshole.

11. WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell
the same boring story over and over again until your friends want
to SMASH YOUR HEAD IN.

10. WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to thay
shings like thish.

9. WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you
to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to
telephone them at 4 in the morning.

8. WARNING: consumption of alcohol may leave you
wondering what the hell happened to your pants.

7. WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to roll over
in the morning and see something really scary (whose species and or
name you can't remember).

6. WARNING: consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of
inexplicable rug burns on the forehead.

5. WARNING: consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that
you are tougher, handsomer and smarter than some really, really big
guy named Bubba.

4. WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe you
are invisible.

3. WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people
are laughing WITH you.

2. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause an influx in the
time-space continuum, whereby small (and sometimes large) gaps of
time may seem to literally disappear."

1. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may actually CAUSE pregnancy.

Lists of answers from 16-year-olds

The following have been selected from lists of answers from 16-year-olds,
compiled by the 1998 GCSE examiners.

1. Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics.
They lived in the Sarah Dessert and travelled by Camelot. The climate of the
Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

2. The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the
Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their
children, Cain, asked, "Am I my brother's son?"

3. Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made Unleavened
bread which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount
Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.

4. Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.

5. The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn't
have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.

6. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

7. Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice.
They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death,
his career suffered a dramatic decline.

8. In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and
threw the java.

9. Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans
because they never stayed in one place for very long.

10. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides
of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king.
Dying, he gasped out: "Tee hee, Brutus."

11. Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his subjects by playing the
fiddle to them.

12. Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was cannonized by Bernard Shaw.
Finally Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same
offense.

13. In mid-evil times most people were alliterate. The greatest writer of
the futile ages was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote
literature.

14. Another story was William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while
standing on his son's head.

15. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented
removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the
circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he
invented cigarettes and started smoking.

16. The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was
born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money
and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, all
in Islamic pentameter.Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet.

17. Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote
Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise
Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.

18. During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great
navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships
were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe.

19. Later, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called Pilgrim's
Progress. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people
died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all
this.

20. One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in
their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post
without stamps. Finally the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay
for taxis. Delegates from the original states formed the Contented Congress.
Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the
Declaration of Independence. Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

21. Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother
died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own
hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation
Proclamation. On the night of April 14, Lincoln went to the theater and got
shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. They
believed the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor.
This ruined Booth's career.

22. Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltaire
invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy.

23. Gravity was invented by Issac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the
autumn when the apples are falling off the trees.

24. Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large
number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept
up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most
famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half
Italian and half English. He was very large.

25. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote
loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling
for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

26. The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in
the East and the sun sets in the West.

27. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years.
She was a moral woman who practiced virtue. Her death was the final event
which ended her reign.

28. The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and
inventions. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to
spring up.

29. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a
naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species. Madman Curie discovered
radio. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers.

Real Headlines

Include Your Children when Baking Cookies
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted
Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents
Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
Prostitutes Appeal to Pope
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms
Eye Drops Off Shelf
Teachers Strike Idle Kids
Clinton Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead
Enraged Cow Injures Farmer With Ax
Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
Miners Refuse to Work after Death
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
Stolen Painting Found by Tree
Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in Checkout Counter
Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 Years
Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One
War Dims Hope for Peace
If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Deer Kill 17,000
Enfields Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
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Peter Drucker quotes

People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. Peter F Drucker


Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. Peter F Drucker


There are an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job. Peter F Drucker


Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work. Peter F Drucker


So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work. Peter F Drucker


A manager is responsible for the application and performance of knowledge. Peter F Drucker


Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. Peter F Drucker


Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed. Peter F Drucker


Quality in a product or service is not what the supplier puts in. It is what the customer gets out and is willing to pay for. A product is not quality because it is hard to make and costs a lot of money, as manufacturers typically believe. This is incompetence. Customers pay only for what is of use to them and gives them value. Nothing else constitutes quality. Peter F Drucker


Teamwork is neither 'good' nor 'desirable'. It is a fact. Wherever people work together or play together they do so as a team. Which team to use for what purpose is a crucial, difficult and risky decision that is even harder to unmake. Managements have yet to learn how to make it. Peter F Drucker


The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said. Peter F Drucker


There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. Peter F Drucker


The computer is a moron. Peter F Drucker

Economic & Business Focus: Global Labor Arbitrage Resets Wages

Offshoring will flatten wages in the United States and other advanced economies.

Global labor arbitrage -- the practice of constantly replacing expensive labor in one location with cheaper labor in another -- has been a cornerstone of corporate strategy for more than a century. This strategy matured over the past decade as technology and higher levels of development in the low-wage nations enabled their workers to take on service jobs and knowledge work; no longer is the practice limited to low-level production jobs. As developing countries provide an increasingly skilled workforce, developed nations' ability to differentiate themselves is dissolving, and the companies operating in those countries no longer need to pay their workers a premium. The most widespread and lasting impact of the maturation of global labor arbitrage is the decline in real wages in the developed nations. CFOs of U.S. companies can prepare now for a permanent resetting of wages for many workers in the upper salary ranges.

Increased global competition and low pricing power are driving the more aggressive forms of arbitrage: overseas sourcing, offshoring and foreign direct investment. In the IT industry, these practices are already moving into their second generation; Indian companies that took work from the United States and Europe are now offshoring less-skilled jobs to lower-cost locations such as China and Malaysia. IT wages in the United States dropped by an average of 3 percent in 2004.

Although corporations around the world increasingly practice labor arbitrage, most are still reluctant to call it what it is. TeleTech Holdings Inc. is one of few companies that use that term. The Englewood, Colo.-based company operates 66 customer management centers (CMCs) staffed with 33,000 employees spread over 16 countries, including 10,000 in the low-wage regions of Asia and Latin America. "TeleTech was one of the first customer management providers to successfully implement a labor arbitrage strategy more than 7 years ago," says Dennis Lacey, executive vice president and CFO. "Since then, we have expanded our labor arbitrage strategy globally, providing our clients high-quality, lower-cost customer management solutions in various languages and from many countries, including India, Argentina, Canada, Mexico and the Philippines."

Call-center workers in low-wage regions make 10 percent to 12 percent of what U.S. call-center workers earn, according to Datamonitor. That firm predicts wage inflation in the offshore markets and wage deflation in the United States as more call-center jobs move abroad. "Labor-arbitrage customer management centers have a lower cost profile than comparable CMCs in the United States, which lowers the overall cost to serve," Lacey says. Although wages in the United States have flattened, wages in India and the Philippines are rising rapidly. "Wage inflation is a natural component of a growing and evolving industry, particularly in developing countries," he notes.

Expanding Cost Differential

The labor cost differential between the developed and developing nations is so large that rapid wage increases in the developing nations will not reduce the cost savings created by global labor arbitrage for the foreseeable future. According to industry analysts at The Boston Consulting Group Inc., wages will rise 5 percent to 10 percent annually in the developing nations that attract offshoring and 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent in the United States, Japan and most of Europe.

However, the labor cost advantage in the developing nations will actually expand in the short term. If wages in China continue to rise at their current average of 8 percent annually, the average production worker will still earn just $1.27 an hour in 2009, a 47 cents-an-hour increase over 2003, compared with $25.34 per hour for a U.S. worker -- $3.48 per hour higher than in 2003. The savings on labor costs for U.S. companies that use Chinese workers will rise from $21.06 per hour in 2003 to $24.07 in 2009.

Real wages will grow rapidly in the developing countries at the forefront of the offshoring movement, according to Robert E. Kennedy, executive director of The William Davidson Institute and professor of business administration at the University of Michigan's school of business in Ann Arbor. "But this is good for the United States," he notes. "Ask yourself: Is the U.S. better off if the average Indian makes $500 per year or $5,000? The obvious answer is $5,000 -- India's cost advantage would be lower, and Indians would have more income to spend on U.S. goods and services. If you walk around offshoring complexes in India, China and Indonesia, you see that they are filled with U.S. computers and telecommunications equipment, that the workers spend the day surfing U.S. Web sites, and that they aspire to U.S. educations and holidays."

Lower labor costs abroad will continue to drive trade, foreign investment and offshoring, despite protests by the workers who are displaced in the developed nations. "Everyone who uses a General Electric product benefits from the fact that GE employs high-skill, low-wage workers in India doing everything from answering phones to software development," says Kennedy. Although the overall benefits of global labor arbitrage vastly out-weigh the costs imposed on displaced workers, the costs are more visible because they are borne by an easily identified group, he notes.

Wage Compression

Now that global labor arbitrage destinations such as India and China are prepared to compete on the basis of both low wages and high tech development, the developed countries are quickly losing their only remaining competitive advantages: technology and skills. Nations that specialize in providing highly skilled labor cannot sustain their advantage once a global labor market for skilled workers emerges. Labor-intensive production, including relatively skilled work, is already offshored or marked for offshoring. Only services that must be performed close to home, such as health care, and niche knowledge-based fields, such as tort law, are now locked into specific geographic locations. All other sectors are subject to arbitrage and the resulting downward pressure on wages.

The shift toward lower wages in the developed nations is most evident in the compression of real wages and the bifurcation in hiring that now characterize U.S. employment trends. When hiring here finally resumed in 2004 after three years of stagnation, low-end jobs accounted for almost half of the job growth -- double their share of the workforce, according to research conducted by Stephen Roach, chief economist and director of global economic analysis for Morgan Stanley in New York City. The compression of real wages that began soon after the 2001 recession and continues today is the sharpest ever recorded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although U.S. consumers may benefit from lower prices for goods generated by using cheaper labor abroad, the benefits will be less noticeable as the recent bout of equity-financed consumer spending comes to a necessary end.

Knowledge-based and niche industries will keep some upward pressure on wages for the highest-value-added positions in the developed nations. When the Lenovo Group, China's computer giant, bought IBM's personal computer division in December 2004, it immediately offshored all the high-level managerial work back to the United States. This is clearly a temporary arrangement to fill the gap while China raises managerial skill levels, but that process will take many years.

The wages of U.S. workers rose for decades, supporting a steady increase in the standard of living. But now, wages have reached a plateau, and further improvements in living standards will depend more on falling prices than on the traditional annual wage hike. CFOs can shape long-term planning around lower wages here, higher wages in offshore locations and an ongoing need for global labor arbitrage as a prerequisite for competitive success.

Other Reasons for Falling U.S. Wages

Substantial downward pressure on wages in the United States stems not only from offshoring and overseas sourcing, but also from regulatory shifts and massive technological changes that lower the skill levels required for what were once relatively high-paying jobs. In the financial services sector, for example, many jobs have been offshored, but many more have been fundamentally changed by technological and regulatory developments.

"Because of a number of structural and legislative changes in the financial services industry, I am seeing an increase in commoditization and a decrease in rates of wage growth and, in some cases, actual wage decreases," says Richard Lipstein, principal with Boyden Global Executive Search in New York City. "Increased use of technology to trade stocks by asset management institutions is leading to lower commission rates and less need for human traders. This has led to layoffs among the trading community and lower compensation for those still employed in this activity."

Regulatory changes have forced the restructuring of equity research analyst positions and driven down compensation for these jobs by 25 percent to 30 percent over the past four years, Lipstein notes. "Every firm has instituted material analyst layoffs. What this industry is experiencing is no different than most of the rest of corporate America. It has just taken several decades to have to deal with high labor costs and major restructuring."

Technological displacement is a reality for Wall Street traders and offshore call-center workers alike. Datamonitor reports that speech-enabled self-service technology may soon eliminate some jobs in offshore call centers. The cost of a call serviced through speech automation is 15 percent to 25 percent of the cost of a call handled by an agent in India.

Originally printed in the April 2005 issue of Business Finance