WITandWISDOM™ - E-zine

Prior Date Archive Index Next Date

WITandWISDOM(tm) - April 2, 2007
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

"When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost." - Billy Graham

Source: Weekend Encounter, by Dick Innes, Copyright (c) ACTS International, 2004, http://www.actsweb.org/subscribe.php


A saying arose during World War II that is most often attributed to the war journalist Ernie Pyle: "There are no atheists in foxholes." It meant that in times of war, even those who professed no previous belief in God would likely be found calling out to Him for deliverance. The statement is a generalization: probably true of some but certainly not true of all.

That saying illustrates another general truth about crises in life: Crises don't make us who we are, they reveal who we are. That was true of Joseph during the great famine in the Middle East and Egypt. Pharaoh had put Joseph in charge of creating a plan to save Egypt, and Joseph did not disappoint. But Joseph's rising to that occasion was nothing new. He had done this on occasions before. The worst of circumstances around Joseph seemed to bring out the best of character in Joseph. And that's what crises do—they reveal what is on the inside. Think back about the last crisis you experienced and see if you can identify what it revealed.

Your response to accidentally hitting your thumb with a hammer is a pretty good indication of what has just been waiting to come out.

Source: Turning Point Daily Devotional

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Ten of the best April Fool's Day hoaxes: US museum

From television revealing that spaghetti grows on trees to advertisements for the left-handed burger, the tradition of April Fool's Day stories in the media has a weird and wonderful history.

Here are 10 of the top April Fool's Day pranks ever pulled off, as judged by the San Diego-based Museum of Hoaxes for their notoriety, absurdity, and number of people duped.

-- In 1957, a BBC television show announced that thanks to a mild winter and the virtual elimination of the spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. Footage of Swiss farmers pulling strands of spaghetti from trees prompted a barrage of calls from people wanting to know how to grow their own spaghetti at home.

-- In 1985, Sports Illustrated magazine published a story that a rookie baseball pitcher who could reportedly throw a ball at 270 kilometers per hour (168 miles per hour) was set to join the New York Mets. Finch was said to have mastered his skill -- pitching significantly faster than anyone else has ever managed -- in a Tibetan monastery. Mets fans' celebrations were short-lived.

-- Sweden in 1962 had only one television channel, which broadcast in black and white. The station's technical expert appeared on the news to announce that thanks to a newly developed technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to receive color pictures by pulling a nylon stocking over the screen. In fact, they had to wait until 1970.

-- In 1996, American fast-food chain Taco Bell announced that it had bought Philadelphia's Liberty Bell, a historic symbol of American independence, from the federal government and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Outraged citizens called to express their anger before Taco Bell revealed the hoax. Then-White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale and said the Lincoln Memorial in Washington had also been sold and was to be renamed the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial after the automotive giant.

-- In 1977, British newspaper The Guardian published a seven-page supplement for the 10th anniversary of San Serriffe, a small republic located in the Indian Ocean consisting of several semicolon-shaped islands. A series of articles described the geography and culture of the two main islands, named Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse.

-- In 1992, US National Public Radio announced that Richard Nixon was running for president again. His new campaign slogan was, "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again." They even had clips of Nixon announcing his candidacy. Listeners flooded the show with calls expressing their outrage. Nixon's voice actually turned out to be that of impersonator Rich Little.

-- In 1998, a newsletter titled New Mexicans for Science and Reason carried an article that the state of Alabama had voted to change the value of pi from 3.14159 to the "Biblical value" of 3.0.

-- Burger King, another American fast-food chain, published a full-page advertisement in USA Today in 1998 announcing the introduction of the "Left-Handed Whopper," specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new burger included the same ingredients as the original, but the condiments were rotated 180 degrees. The chain said it received thousands of requests for the new burger, as well as orders for the original "right-handed" version.

-- Discover Magazine announced in 1995 that a highly respected biologist, Aprile Pazzo (Italian for April Fool), had discovered a new species in Antarctica: the hotheaded naked ice borer. The creatures were described as having bony plates on their heads that became burning hot, allowing the animals to bore through ice at high speed -- a technique they used to hunt penguins.

-- Noted British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on the radio in 1976 that at 9:47 am, a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event, in which Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, would cause a gravitational alignment that would reduce the Earth's gravity. Moore told listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment of the planetary alignment, they would experience a floating sensation. Hundreds of people called in to report feeling the sensation.

San Diego Museum of Hoaxes

Submitted by Malladi Murthy in India


It was a simpler time back then. We were so easily entertained. We would watch anything on TV. We'd watch a flying nun; we'd watch a talking horse. We are so much more sophisticated now, watching people eat bugs and marry strangers for money.

Submitted by Marty

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

Computers 101

I get a little nervous sometimes about how the search engines I use can track a lot of what I do when I'm on my computer. Is there any way I can keep this information private? I'm not saying that I search for anything out of the ordinary, but it's nice to know I can have a little privacy when I want it.

I agree with you on this one. I don't think we realize how much a search engine can pick up just from us using them. As a matter of fact, I'm really glad you asked this question. I've been trying to think of a way to fit this topic into the newsletter for awhile and now, I have the perfect opportunity. Plus, I'm sure the person who asked this question isn't the only one who has been wondering about it. So, let's clear some things up, shall we?!

First of all, let's go over a little background. Every time you use a search engine (Google, Yahoo!, etc.), that site is then able to collect and store the records of all your searches. They can track the terms you search for, the Web sites you visit after you find what you're looking for, the times at which you search and they can even pick up your IP address. From all of that, the search engine site is then able to figure out who you are, what you do while you're online and even what some of your likes and dislikes are. That's pretty crazy (and a little scary), isn't it?

So, since I care about all of you so much, I'm going to fill you in on a couple secrets as to how you can keep some of this information private from those nosy search engines. I have six tips for you today and if you follow them all, you'll be way ahead in keeping your search history private from any intruders, etc. Okay, here we go!

1.) Do not log into the search engine or any of their extra tools. If you go to your favorite search engine and log in right away, it makes it very easy for it to create a profile about you. Once you log in, they know your identity right away and after that, there's no turning back in what they can figure out next.

Now, you may think that you don't log into your search engine, but you actually may without even knowing it. For example, if you use Google as your main search engine (which a lot of us do), you are probably signed up for some of Google's other tools, such as Gmail, Google Talk, Google Groups, etc. If you're logged into any of those extra programs while you're performing a search, Google will be able to track down all of your information. So, just be sure that you log out of any other programs before you start searching. It may be hard to remember at first, but for your own safety, make sure you do it. Write yourself a note if you need to, because it's really easy to forget to log out of some of the programs you probably use on a very regular basis. You'll get the hang of it though! Again, make sure you do this for any search engine that you use that may have extra programs included.

2.) This next one has to do completely with keeping yourself safe from Google. As I said above, many of us use Google as our primary search engine, but in all actuality, Google can be one of the most risky to deal with. Google does things a little differently. It uses cookies to track your history from your search sessions. You may think that if you just delete your cookies, you'll be all set, but that's not really the best way to handle it. Cookies can be very helpful sometimes and if you deleted them, your Web surfing experience wouldn't always be as easy. So, the best thing to do is block only Google's cookies. Here's how.

In Internet Explorer, go to Tools, Internet Options and click on the Privacy tab. Next, click on the Sites button and in the "Address of Web site" box, type in Google's address (www.google.com). When you're finished, click on the Block button. In Firefox, go to Tools, Options and click on the Privacy tab as well. Choose Exceptions and type in Google's Web address. Click Block when you're done. If you do this, Google will no longer be able to place cookies on your hard disk, which will keep them from gathering up all of your information.

3.) Change your IP address on a regular basis. Search engines actually get the most information about you from your IP address, so it's best to change it every once in awhile. This will keep the search engines from learning so much about you so easily. If you use a cable or DSL modem, the easiest way to get a new IP address is to turn your modem off and leave it off for a few minutes. Then, turn it back on. This method will clear out your old IP address and you'll automatically be assigned a new one. If you use another type of Internet connection (dial-up, etc.), you may want to contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and ask them about getting a new address. Either way, it's an easy way to keep your information safe.

4.) Don't ever include any personal information in your searches. You may have searched for your own name before, which can be kind of fun, but it's really not all that safe. Every time you put any of your personal data into the search (your name, address, social security number, etc.), you're putting yourself in danger. Doing that makes it very easy for search engines to collect your information and then keep it forever. It could also sometimes lead to identity theft, depending on what you search for. Your information could land in the wrong hands and it could be very bad news.

5.) Always try to perform extra sensitive searches on a public computer. If you ever absolutely need to search for your personal information or any other extremely private data, don't do it on your home or office computer. That may not make much sense, but if you use your personal computer, it's more likely that you'll be logged into another program that could compromise your information. If you go to a computer that you've never used before, you won't have the tendency to log in and your information will be safer. Also, when you do this, make sure you don't log in on the computer you're using. If you accidentally do that, your information will be at risk all over again.

6.) The last one for today is to try and avoid using the search engine that your ISP provides. Your ISP already knows your IP address (and they'll know any new one that you get), so that means they can obtain your information even easier. Then, once you use their search engine, they will be able to collect even more information about you and it will just be bad. Most ISPs do have their own search engine (for example, search.comcast.net), so just steer clear of those. It's nice to think that we can trust our ISPs (and I mean, most the time, we can), but you really have to worry about protecting yourself first.

There you have it. Six tips you can follow to keep all of your search information as private as possible. Now, I know that some of you may not think it's necessary to do all this, but I wanted to give you options just in case you thought it was worth while. It doesn't hurt to try, right?!

~ Erin

Have a question for the newsletter? Submit it at the link below:

Source: Computer Tips, http://www.worldstart.com/

WITandWISDOM™ - E-zine