Fun_People Archive
27 Jan
Fun_People Updates 1/27/00

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 100 16:14:25 -0800
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: Fun_People Updates 1/27/00

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Fun_People Updates 1/27/00
    Whew!  I'm way behind on the Fun_People updates!  I think the last one  
was February first of last year... so, before a full year has elapsed, here  
are notes and comments from Fun_People on the previous year's postings.  Of  
course, you may not remember what they refer to, that's why the Fun_People  
Archive and search engine is so valuable -
    I've missed wishing you all a number of happy holidays, so, real quick  
now: Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Joyous Kwanza, Happy New Year, Mellow  
Millennium, Loving Valentine's Day, Happy Easter, Good Yom Tov, Joyous Spring  
Rebirth Festival, Festive Fourth of July, Affable Armistice Day, and so on,  
and on...
    For the people who have noticed that the date in my email headers is  
confusing their mail-readers, I apologize, but it's just the way it has  
always been -- the current year minus 1900.  So it now shows the year as  
"100" -- that makes sense, doesn't it?  Unfortunately, the date formatting is  
compiled in to my mail program and I don't have a good way to recompile it,  
so I may be stuck with year 100 for a while.  Perhaps sorting your incoming  
mail by the sender's Date header is a bad idea anyway?  Just a thought.

- Peter

    There is so much update material that I'm going to send it in several  
batches so each one won't be too large...

From: Stephen Wales <>
Re: Fun_People Updates 2/1/99

>> 5. What is the only sport in which the ball is always in the possession
>>    of the team on defense, and the offensive team can score without
>>    touching the ball?
>> 5. Baseball.
>5.  Isn't cricket another example (not certain myself)?  And team dodgeball?

Yes, I'd say so for cricket.  The batting side is much like the batting
side in baseball - all you do is hit the ball.  And you can score runs in
cricket without touching the ball by basically fielding errors - a wide
(ball is delivered so far from the batter that he never could touch it with
a 10 foot pole), a no ball (where the bowler's front foot is over the
bowling crease) and a bye (where the wicket keeper misses the ball and the
batters can make a few runs while the ball is recovered).


From: (dave blake)
Subject: impeachment trial--the proximate cause

Dear Peter,
I don't think there's much mystery left about the forces at work in the
impeachment and removal drill in DC. No Republican, dependent as they are
on the small but energetic religious right, can afford to look less-
moralistic-than-thou, so the show  must go on. If the GOP were a business
(it isn't, is it?), any decent consultant would tell them to widen their
customer base.
	But there is a mystery about how we got an ideologue for special
prosecutor, after a solid tradition of probitive and more-objective-than-
thou types. And the answer closes the circle on the mystery in a very
provocative way.
	Starr was appointed in 1994, when the Independent Counsel Act was
renewed. Rehnquist was called upon to choose a three-judge panel to
supervise the Clinton investigation. To head that panel, Rehnquist, instead
of picking someone who, like all previous independent counsel judges, had
senior standing and impeccable impartiality credentials, chose a
right-winger, David Sentelle, a  junior member of the DC U.S. Court of
Appeals and a hard-liner from North Carolina who was a personal friend of
that state's Republican Senators, Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth.
Sentelle, days after having lunch with Helms and Faircloth, threw out the
moderate Republican special prosecutor investigating Clinton, Robert Fiske,
on an obscure conflict-of-interest excuse, and replaced him with Starr.
And the rest is history.
	These events undoubtedly constitute the hub of the right-wing
conspiracy behind the Starr crusade touted by the First Lady. But she missed
a more mundane motivation for Rehnquist's activities. Four years after
setting Starr in motion, Rehnquist published his history of American
impeachment and removal trials. (Perhaps he began his research in 1994.)
Could it be that the real impetus behind the whole self-destructive
Republican crusade was Rehnquist's desire to preside over the Senate in a
removal trial, for the sheer pleasure and place in history he stood to
gain?  If I'd suggested it four years ago, would you think it any less
likely than the possibility that the Chief Justice would personally redesign
his court robes, using as a model a costume from a Gilbert and Sullivan
dave blake

Re: Commentary from a Sibling Nation

Lies to international groups are considered to be "normal" diplomacy and are
expected and are NOT under oath.  They are intended to be for the national
interest.  Obviously lies of this nature should be considered much more
grievous than lies to save a president's ass.....

From: Keith Dawson <>
Re: Ten Professions Defined

>  A consultant is someone who takes the watch off your wrist and tells you
>the time.

Go on, drop the other shoe.

Then he keeps the watch.

From: "T'pak" <>
Re: SOTD - Sig O' The Day, 2/3/99

>    Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with your Microsoft product.
>				-- Ferenc Mantfeld

Yes, but if one does not wish to use it, can it be unbundled and returned
for a refund?  Someone oughta start a campaign....

From: (Harley Ferguson)
Re:  Anatomy Lesson

Dear Peter,

The following is not funny (haha), but it certainly is funny (peculiar) to me.

This morning when I got to work about an hour ago, I was washing my hands
when I had to wipe a little "drainage" from the groove in my upper lip.
For the first time in years, if not actually the first time in 62.49 years
of life, I said, "What do you call that, and what is it actually for?"

Then, about 10 minutes ago, I heard my e-mail beep and opened this incoming
message from you.

>X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
>What's the purpose of the groove in our upper lip?
>Before I answer this question, a proper introduction is in order: meet your
>philtrum. If you researched this question at your local playground, you
>might conclude that the function of the philtrum is to provide storage for
>snot until a grownup arrives with a tissue.
>As noble a calling as that may be, it is not the purpose of the philtrum.
>That's because the philtrum has no purpose.  It's one of a bunch of
>merger-lines known as "raphes". As our tiny embryonic selves are developing,
>the right and left sides are merged at various points on the body, leaving
>a raphe at the meeting point. Other raphes can be found on the middle of
>the tongue, in the dent under the point of your chin, and other, far more
>personal parts of your body.
>(C) Copyright 1998-1999. All rights reserved.
>Reproduction in whole or in part without the written
>permission of the copyright owner is prohibited.
>(Yea, but feel free to forward to your friends.)

My question is how the hell did you know?



Re:  Anatomy Lesson

In a message dated 2/3/1999 15:12:30, you wrote:

>If you researched this question at your local playground, you
>might conclude that the function of the philtrum is to provide storage for
>snot until a grownup arrives with a tissue.

I especially liked this part!  Sometimes I think it's one of the best
reasons to remain child-free.


[p.s. to Fun_People... Cindy is now pregnant -- see what happens when you  
hold onto a piece of email too long before sedning it out?  -psl]

Re:  Watch Your Words - niggardly

The niggardly debate -- the "niggardly" debate -- reminds me of an incident
that occurred in a neonatal intensive care nursery where I was employed.
The parents and an aunt and uncle of an infant were incensed at what one
of the nurses called their baby.   They wanted her fired, or at least barred
from taking care of their baby.

The nurse in question was mystified as to what she might have said that
offended them so.  I talked to the family, and it turns out that the nurse,
when talking to the baby, said something along the lines of, "Okay, chum,
it's time to get wrapped up in a blanket and come on out [of the isolette]
for a visit."  To the family, "chum" was trash; it had the same impact as
if the nurse had addressed the baby as "little nigger."  The nurse, on the
other hand, knew only one meaning of "chum", and that was pal, friend,
buddy.  I myself knew of the practice of "chumming," or throwing fish guts
overboard to attract more fish, and the "chum" salmon or dogfish, the lowest
on the salmon totem pole.  I figured there must be a connection, got
everyone talking, and I think it got ironed out.

From: "Tom Duff" <>
Re:  Watch Your Words - niggardly

>Date: Wed, 03 Feb 1999 21:53:05 -0800
>From: Rob & Heather Williams <>
>To: Synth Do-It-Yourselfers <>
>Subject: Correct to call 'em DIKES?
>(This is embarrassing) After lunch today a local all-female rock band of a
>particular sexual orientation (TIN LIZZIE) brought one of their analog
>synths (Arp Odyssey) into my shop to have an XLR connector installed. While
>doing the mod, I got frustrated with a particular tool of mine that had
>become dull with use and tossed them over to my partner across the bench
>with the comment, "Would you get rid of these DIKES!" (diagonal cutters). I
>got some unusual stares and it never dawned on me till these two were way
>out in the parking lot what I had just done. My partner Rod could hardly
>keep from busting a gut over it.
>Is it politically correct to call diagonal cutters "DIKES" anymore? I've
>been doing it for years, but if it's going to lose me some business I
>better start changing my ways.

From: Robert.Reynolds@directory.Reed.EDU (Robert Reynolds)
Re: JsOTD - 2/5/99

Q:  If the answer is "in the Field Artillery", what is the question?

A:  Where is it "hi-hi-he"?

From: Robert.Reynolds@directory.Reed.EDU (Robert Reynolds)
Re: JsOTD - 2/5/99

On reflection, I think that's "hie-hie-hee".   Or is it "hie-hie-he"?  Pretty
sure about the "hie" though!

From: Steve Newman <>
Re: Ex-cons vs. MBAs

BOY, that was a confusing article!  I thought the title said *N*BA, and was
comparing the virtues of ex-cons to professional basketball players...

Interesting case of subconcious prejudice; I expected the b-ball players to
lose, badly.

At 05:11 PM 2/5/99 -0800, you wrote:
>    Ex-Convicts, MBA Grads Have Similar Ethical Standards
>MUNCIE, Ind. -- When it comes to ethical standards, convicts and MBA
>students rate about even, says a Ball State University researcher.

From: Lani Herrmann <>
Subject: King of Jordan

Hi Peter,
My husband Cal sometimes comes up with amazing bitlets of information he's
been storing away for years!
	We were talking about King Hussein and how remarkable folks think
he is, and Cal said that Hussein had been a short-wave amateur hobbyist in
his youth, and was very popular on the airwaves. Hams like to talk to exotic
folks at long distances, and even 'collect' them.  Cal speculates that the
experience of 'talking' to a wide variety of folks might have contributed
to Hussein's encompassing worldview, and further speculates that, since
teenagers nowadays communicate on the internet with equal ease, that might
augur well for international relations.... Eh? -- Aloha, Lani

<||> 	     	Lani Herrmann *

From: Michael Smith <>
RE: But Will the Free Stock Be Worth Something?

>From:	Peter Langston []
>Sent:	Monday, February 08, 1999 8:14 AM
>Subject:	Re: But Will the Free Stock Be Worth Something?

>happening again with another company. The company Exit23b is giving away
>stock, in a drawing, pre-IPO. This may be a chance you want to take - no
>cost other than a minute of your time.

Other than the mountain of SPAM the lucky contestants will
doubtless receive!   :-(

I'll pass, but good luck to you anyway.

Michael Smith

From: "Peter Rodes (SPS)" <>
RE: But Will the Free Stock Be Worth Something?

Actually, it's more like a lottery for free lottery tickets. (But I signed
up anyhow.)

Peter R.

> From: 	Peter Langston[]
> Subject: 	But Will the Free Stock Be Worth Something?
> It's like a lottery with free tickets...

From: <>
Re: Baby Boom Concerns -- Can You Relate?

>What about:
>Then-  Spending too much money on cocaine.
>Now-  Spending too much money on Rogaine.

From: "Stephen Nelson" <>
Re: Out of the Mouths of Babes

Anolther one on the story of Lot's wife:

A little boy was listening attentively in his Sunday School class as his
teacher told them how Lot and his wife fled from Sodom.  When the teacher
reached the point where Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of
salt, the boy very politely raised his hand.  When the teacher called on
him, he said he was riding in the car with his mommy one day, and she looked
back and turned into a telephone pole.

From: <>
Re: Further Senate Action

>Forwarded-by: Kevin Maguire <>
>[Forwards under the desk]
>3 February, 1999  Lewinsky Subpoenaed to Re-Blow President on Senate Floor
>'We Must Know Exactly What Happened,' Say Legislators


Too bad about the lack of forwards.  Once again, someone sent you
an Onion piece without proper attribution...


From: "Marc P. Kwiatkowski" <>
Re: Further Senate Action

Well I'm not too embarrassed to admit I read _the ONION_.

The original can be found at:

From: Richard Gillmann <>
Re: Further Senate Action

At 03:44 PM 2/9/99 -0800, you wrote:
>X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
>Forwarded-by: Kevin Maguire <>
>[Forwards under the desk]
>3 February, 1999  Lewinsky Subpoenaed to Re-Blow President on Senate Floor
>'We Must Know Exactly What Happened,' Say Legislators

This is from the current issue of The Onion (

From: Dave Grossman <>
Re: Further Senate Action

Once again from The Onion.  You gotta love those guys!

Re: Further Senate Action

The Onion should probably be given credit as source.
From: Chris Norloff <>
Re: Further Senate Action

Lewinsky Subpoenaed To Re-Blow Clinton On Senate Floor
 'We Must Know Exactly What Happened,' Say Legislators

 WASHINGTON, DC--On the heels of last week's decision to
 allow witness testimony in the presidential impeachment trial,
 key witness Monica Lewinsky was subpoenaed Monday to
 re-blow President Clinton on the Senate floor.

Chris Norloff

[Hmmm...  I wonder if that was an Onion piece?  -psl]
From: George Stricker <>
Re: Reduced Expectations?

On Wed, 10 Feb 1999, Peter Langston wrote:
> In a lecture, Werner von Braun once said "Ve haf alvays been aiming for zer
> stars" and a little voice at the back replied "But ve keep hittink London."

	In all likelihood, the little voice belonged to Mort Sahl, who
attributed the subtitle "But sometimes we miss and hit London" to von
Braun's autobiography "I aim for the stars."

Re: Is Tinky Winky Out of the Closet?

So, then, is the policy: "Don't ask, don't Teletubby?"

From: (Tom Parmenter)
Re: The Origins of Valentine's Day.

Re: Valentine's tale,

[True source unknown.  -psl]

True source found on the Internet at

along with a bunch of free Valentine's clip art:

Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday things," Charles Panati,
Harper & Row, NY 1987 pp 50-52.

From: "V. Bards" <>

Dear Peter,

I picked up the exit23b story on Fun_People (08-Jan-99) and gave it an
e-mail address.

For the last two days, that e-mail address has been inundated with spam,
some of which you wouldn't want your grandmother to read.

I strongly suspect the two are related. :*(

V. Bards

Subject: This is from the Onion!  Do I win?

Onion alert!!

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649

[                 *** Fun_Naughtiness Alert! ***
 There are naughty words and naughty concepts in the following Fun_Item.
 If you don't like reading naughty (i.e. salacious, sexually explicit)
 writing, even if it's humorous, then you may not like reading this...

Forwarded-by: Kevin Maguire <>
[Forwards under the desk]

[Sorry, Ed.  The 200 Fun_People before you took all the prizes.  Better luck  
next time...  -psl]

Subject: Beckett's "Breath"

I enjoyed the piece, but i could have seen the thing three times in the amount
of time it took me to read the review.  Hmmmm.

From: Will Payne <>
Re: Easy Latin 101

A few more for you.
(I *think* they're correct)

Carpe diem
Sieze the day

Carpe jugulum
Seize the throat

Illegitimi non carborundum
Don't let the bastards get you down.

Re: Easy Latin 101

     Peter, A bunch of these are from Henry Beard's  "Latin For All

Easy Latin 101

 Vacca foeda
 Stupid cow

 Die dulci fruere.
 Have a nice day.

 Mihi ignosce. Cum homine de cane debeo congredi.
 Excuse me. I've got to see a man about a dog.

 Raptus regaliter
 Royally screwed

 Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et
 fructuosis potiri potes!
 If you can read this sign, you can get a good job in the fast-paced,
 high-paying world of Latin!

  Sona si Latine loqueris.
 Honk if you speak Latin.

 Ne auderis delere orbem rigidum meum!
 Don't you dare erase my hard disk!

 Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum
 saxum immane mittam.
 I have a catapult. Give me all the money, or I will fling an enormous
 rock at your head.

 Gramen artificiosum odi.
 I hate Astroturf.

 Furnulum pani nolo.
 I don't want a toaster.

 Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.
 I think some people in togas are plotting against me.

 Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.
 I'm not interested in your dopey religious cult.

 Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo.
 Don't call me, I'll call you.

 Cave ne ante ullas catapultas ambules.
 If I were you, I wouldn't walk in front of any catapults.

 Canis meus id comedit.
 My dog ate it.

 Illiud Latine dici non potest.
 You can't say that in Latin.

 Vidistine nuper imagines moventes bonas?
 Seen any good movies lately?

 Nullo metro compositum est.
 It doesn't rhyme.

 Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema.
 I don't care. If it doesn't rhyme, it isn't a poem.

 Fac ut gaudeam.
 Make my day.

 Braccae illae virides cum subucula rosea et tunica Caledonia-quam
 elenganter concinnatur!
 Those green pants go so well with that pink shirt and the plaid jacket!

 Visne saltare? Viam Latam Fungosam scio.
 Do you want to dance? I know the Funky Broadway.

 Re vera, potas bene.
 Say, you sure are drinking a lot.

 Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant!
 May barbarians invade your personal space!

 Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant!
 May conspirators assassinate you in the mall!

 Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
 May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy!

 Radix lecti
 Couch potato

 Quo signo nata es?
 What's your sign?

 Romani quidem artem amatoriam invenerunt.
 You know, the Romans invented the art of love.

 O! Plus! Perge! Aio! Hui! Hem!
 Oh! More! Go on! Yes! Ooh! Ummm!

 Spero nos familiares mansuros.
 I hope we'll still be friends.

 Mellita, domi adsum.
 Honey, I'm home.

 Tam exanimis quam tunica nehru fio.
 I am as dead as the nehru jacket.

 Ventis secundis, tene cursum.
 Go with the flow.

 Totum dependeat.
 Let it all hang out.

 Te precor dulcissime supplex!
 Pretty please with a cherry on top!

 Magister Mundi sum!
 I am the Master of the Universe!

 Fac me cocleario vomere!
 Gag me with a spoon!

 Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.
 I can't hear you. I have a banana in my ear.

 Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre?
 Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?

 Prehende uxorem meam, sis!
 Take my wife, please!

 Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax
 materiam possit materiari?
 How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck

 Nihil est--in vita priore ego imperator Romanus fui.
 That's nothing--in a previous life I was a Roman Emperor.

 Aio, quantitas magna frumentorum est.
 Yes, that is a very large amount of corn.

 Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem!
 Stand aside plebians! I am on imperial business.

 Oblitus sum perpolire clepsydras!
 I forgot to polish the clocks!

 Vescere bracis meis.
 Eat my shorts.

 Sic faciunt omnes.
 Everyone is doing it.

 Fac ut vivas.
 Get a life.

 Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
 Let's all wear mood rings!

 Insula Gilliganis
 Gilligan's Island

From: Lou Katz <>
Subject: Senate1C bug

While watching the tallying of the impeachment vote, I noticed
that the screen (Channel 9) showed the number of Senators
present: "00"!!!!

They couldn't handle the 3 digits necessary to display the full 100!!!


[I Guess it's never happened before...  -psl]

Forwarded-by: <>
Subject: Another quote

Minutus cantorum, minutus balorum, minutus carbonatum descendum pantorum
(A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants)

From: "Stephen Nelson" <>
Re: Physics News Bits - AIPBPN update.415

my puzzlement about this is whether there is an associated time warp.  If
I understand correctly, since the speed of light is a universal constant,
time slows down as an observer approaches the speed of light so that the
speed of light remains unchanged (3x10e8 m/sec, I believe).  Does this mean
that time slowed down for the observers during the experiment?  But if so,
how did they measure 17 m/sec instead of 3x10e8?  If time did slow down
for them, have we just found the Fountain of Youth?  Is interstellar space
travel now possible if the spaceship carries a BEC condensate time
decelerator?  And just how do dilithium crystals figure into all of this?
-----Original Message-----
>X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
>[Science fiction fans who remember "slow glass" will find the first item a
> bit familiar... -psl]
>From: AIP listserver <>
>Excerpted-from: PHYSICS NEWS UPDATE
>The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News
>Number 415 February 18, 1999   by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben
>LIGHT HAS BEEN SLOWED TO A SPEED OF 17 m/sec by passing it through a
>Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) of sodium atoms at nK temperatures.  In
>general light is slowed in certain materials, a property exploited in
>optical lenses.  As the index of refraction of these materials gets higher,
>however, absorption increasingly takes its toll on the light beam.  In an
>experiment at Harvard (Lene Vestergaard Hau,, physicists
>have used a BEC (and its enormous index of refraction) as the optical
>medium, but with the following important modification.  They contrived a
>system of laser beams whose pattern of interference created an effect
>electromagnetically induced transparency, allowing light to propagate
>unabsorbed but at greatly reduced speeds, in this case a factor of twenty
>million compared to the speed of light in vacuum; greater light-speed slow
>downs are expected, to as low as cm/sec.  The researchers also observed
>unprecedentedly large intensity-dependent light transmission.  Such an
>extreme nonlinear effect can perhaps be used in a number of opto-electronic
>components (switches, memory, delay lines) and in converting light from one
>wavelength to another.  (Hau et al., Nature, 18 February 1999.)

From: "J. Winthrop Armstrong" <>
Re: Sponges


your instinct was right, but your disclaimer didn't go far enough. you
should have just said "ignore the following folklore".

hey bud, we *trust* you to filter stuff like this.  you know better than
anyone not to forward anonymous anecdotal stuff about major corporations
that encourages everyone to "warn all your friends".  what happened?

-an otherwise satisfied subscriber

[Er... um... uh... well, gee...  -psl]

From: Fred Davis <>
Re: Sponges

>Grim Note
>On the issue of consumer protection and hazardous warnings, here's a new
>one, I think. Those yellow sponges with the green plastic fibers on the back
>for scrubbing pots -- "Pot Scrubbers" -- should be kept far away from our
>birds, fish, reptiles, cats and dogs, hamsters and whatevers.

<UL snipped>

HOAX! least Urban Legend.

check it out at

Fred "long time list member & forwarding hub to all my freinds" Davis

From: "S.Brennan" <>
Re: Sponges

re: the Proctor and Gamble deadly, agent orange sponges,
the following is from the Urban Legends site:

>Origins: If AIDS is the bogeyman of the 1990s, then surely Agent Orange was
>the bogeyman of the 1980s. The herbicide used by the U.S. military in the
>late 1960s was blamed for a raft of ailments suffered by Vietnam veterans
>in the 1980s. The point here isn't to debate whether or not Agent Orange
>was really responsible for all the suffering attributed to it, but to
>highlight that someone who wants to make us stand up and take notice of a
>"serious health hazard" need merely invoke the name Agent Orange to get our

>So, should we stand up and take notice of health hazards posed to us by
>pot-scrubbing sponges? Certainly not for sponges produced by Procter &
>Gamble, as they manufacture no such product. (They make bleach, dishwashing
>detergent, cleansers, and laundry soap, but not sponges.)

>Okay, maybe the facts are a little garbled here. Maybe it's some other
>manufacturer's product we're being warned about. It doesn't matter. First
>of all, 2,4-Disn't Agent Orange in itself; it's one of the compounds that
>comprise Agent Orange. Secondly, 2,4-D is a very common herbicide that has
>been widely used all over the world for fifty years, so if it posed a
>serious threat to us, we have a lot more than sponges to worry about. The
>fact is that 2,4-D has been widely studied and has been shown to be of low
>toxicity to humans and animals and to pose no scientifically documented
>health risks to either.

>We're supposed to be alarmed that these ominous "Pot Scrubbers" state that
>they're not for use in aquariums and should be kept away from pets, and as
>proof that the warning should be taken seriously we're offered the
>real-life example of an anonymous correspondent's friend who inadvertently
>killed his tropical fish by using one of the offending sponges to clean
>their tank. Well, duh. Household pets are often far more sensitive to
>chemicals than humans; keeping any type of household cleaning product away
>from them should be second nature to any pet owner. Tropical fish,
>particularly, are difficult enough to keep alive under the best of
>conditions; anyone who blindly introduces an unknown chemical into his
>aquarium is just asking for a tankful of dead fish. (And in this case, the
>product label specifically warned that it should not be used in aquariums.
>Is anybody suing this guy on behalf of his dead fish? )

>Bottom line: If you want to warn us of a serious health hazard, try to get
>the important facts right. Heck, just try to get the minor facts right. It
>looks kind of silly when you not only misspell the name of the company
>responsible for the alleged hazard, but you also threaten to boycott them
>because you "can't trust what they put in" a product they didn't
>manufacture in the first place.

>Additional information:
> Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data
>Last updated:   21 February 1999
> The URL for this page is
>Please use this URL in all links or references to this page

From: Patrick Douglas Crispen <>
Re: Sponges

At 02:31 PM 2/23/99 -0800, Peter Langston wrote:
>Those yellow sponges with the green plastic fibers on the back
>for scrubbing pots -- "Pot Scrubbers" -- should be kept far away from our
>birds, fish, reptiles, cats and dogs, hamsters and whatevers. Proctor &
>Gamble, in its continuing search to make America look clean and smell great,
>has a new "improved" version of the sponge on the market that kills
>odor-causing fungi that get in the sponge after a few uses.

Since I am the Internet Mythologist for WGN Radio in Chicago and my on-air
job is to debunk stories like this, I called P&G's corporate relations
number on Monday, February 22nd.  Not only is the story not true, but P&G
doesn't even make sponges ... ANY kind of sponges.

In other words, the story is yet another hoax.  (And, let me add, that the
folks at P&G have an affinity for responding to such hoaxes by suing the
living hell out of the people who forward such falsehoods.  So far, P&G has
filed and won over a dozen lawsuits filed against people who originated the
"boycott P&G -- it is satanic" message).

Just my .02 cents.  :)

From: "Elmore, Kevin, Quintiles" <>
RE: Sponges

The site at does a pretty good job of explaining the
evil chemical.

From:  "Problem is, Procter & Gamble
doesn't manufacture a "pot scrubber" at all, let alone one with an "Agent
Orange derivative" in it."

Of course, that could be part of Procter & Gamble's insidious plot.  Not
only are they selling toxic pot scrubbers, but they are even selling them
on the black market!  You cannot find this lethal cleaning pad in the stores
alongside the laundry soap and the dog food (it would be such a nefarious
plot to place such an item near pet supplies indeed).  You must search the
dark alleys for this poison.  Like a common hoodlum, you must buy these
pot scrubbers from people who also specialize in barbiturates, watches,
and kidneys.

But don't bring your 2-year-old child or she may end up as carry-on luggage
for cocaine smugglers.

Kevin Elmore

From: Mary Fleischman <>
Re: Sponges -- Urban Legend Alert!

Hmm....a controversy brewing?

>     From the Urban Legends Reference Page
>     (
>     Should we stand up and take notice of health hazards posed to us by
>     pot-scrubbing sponges? Certainly not for sponges produced by Procter &
>     Gamble, as they manufacture no such product. (They make bleach,
>     dishwashing detergent, cleansers, and laundry soap, but not sponges.)
> ... [and so on]

From: John Shannon <>
RE: Sponges


This sounds like an urban legend, and has been debunked as such by David
Emery at

Sorry if this is one of a multitude of comments on this.

All the best,

John S.

[Leave it to the Fun_People to look beyond the simple debunking of an urban
 legend and to recognize (and sympathize) with the further ramifications
 thereof.  Thanks!  -psl]

From: (dave blake)
Re: sponges: benign kitchen utensil or global conspiracy?

Alright, Peter yes, I was suspicious of the sponges piece. But if you want
to clear up this mystery for your audience, you need to research and explain
why sponge packages say "Neither this product, nor any other cellulose
sponge, should be used in an aquarium."

From: Jack Kolb <>
Re: ALERT: Alabama Needs Sex Toys!

Could I offer, instead of a sex toy, my dear mother's response to this law:
"Are they going to ban bananas, too?"

I should note first that she was born in McComb, Mississippi, in 1921, and
has been happily married to my father, also a native Mississipian, since
1943.  It's lovely to have good genes.

Jack Kolb

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