Volume 32
A Fun Site created by
Professor William Hillman culled from a daily motivational series
compiled for his BU Education Classes 2000-2009
The daily tech news items have been omitted since many of the stories are now "old news."


An eclectic collection of oddities, humorous anecdotes, weird photos, funny headlines, cartoons, puzzles, inspirational items, jokes, and more. . .  gathered here as a reference repository for speakers, lecturers, teachers, students, writers, or Web travellers just looking for diversion and a bit of levity. 

A Very Short Essay on Doubt
The Cab Ride
What Is A Grandmother?
Year of 1903
Zero Gravity
Who's On First For The 21st Century
Words of the Young and Wise
Children's Logic
Chicken Soup for the Beer Drinker
Hollywood: The Real Heroes
Emergency Friend System
Cost of Kids
Thought for the Day
Asia Wish Book
Cell Phone Etiquette

3-D Pavement Art

A Very Short Essay on Doubt
(composed of very famous quotes)
by Michael Canfield (eSkeptic Newsletter)

I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt.
I shouldn’t wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.
— Bertrand Russell

To have doubted one’s own first principles is the mark of a civilized man.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life
you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
— Descartes


The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves,
but wiser people so full of doubts.
— Bertrand Russell

The best lack all convictions, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.
— Yeats

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
— Voltaire


Doubt ‘til thou canst doubt no more … doubt is thought and thought is life.
Systems which end doubt are devices for drugging thought.
— Albert Guerard

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away.

But, I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked. "Just a minute," answered a frail, elderly voice.   I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. "It's nothing," I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."

"Oh, you're such a good boy," she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

"It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly.

"Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice."

I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening. "I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up.   They were solicitous and intent, watching her every  move. They must've been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.

"Nothing," I said.

"You have to make a living," she answered.

"There are other passengers," I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

"You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?   What if I had refused to take the run,  or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.   We're conditioned to think that our lives  revolve around great moments.   But great moments often catch  us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

~BUT ~

What Is A Grandmother? ( taken from papers written by a class of  8-year-olds)

YEAR OF 1903

This ought to boggle your mind!
The year is 1903 ... just over one hundred years ago ... what a difference a century makes!
Here are some of the U.S. statistics for 1903:

Just think what it will be like in another 100 years. It boggles the mind.
A Good Story But An Urban Legend Debunked
See: http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300 C.

The Russians used a pencil.

Enjoy paying your taxes--they're due again.


ABBOTT: Ultimate SuperDuper Computer Store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up a home office in the den, and I'm thinking of buying a computer.

COSTELLO: No, the name is Bud.

ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.

COSTELLO: I told you, my name is Bud.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Does it get stuffy?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What do I see when I look out the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software that runs on Windows?
COSTELLO: No, on the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses. You know, run a business. What have you got?

ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommended something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?

COSTELLO: For my office?

COSTELLO: Okay, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office.

ABBOTT: Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office and it already has windows! Let's say I'm sitting at my computer, and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?

COSTELLO: If I'm writing a proposal, I'm going to need lots of words. But what program do I load?

COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: The Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in "office for windows?"

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue W.
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your big W if you don't give me a straight answer. Let's forget about words for a minute. What do I need if I
want to watch a movie over the Internet?

ABBOTT: RealOne.
COSTELLO: Maybe a real movie, maybe a cartoon. What I watch is none of your business. But what do I need to watch it?

ABBOTT: RealOne.
COSTELLO: If it's a long movie I'll also want to watch reels two, three and four. Can I watch reel four?

ABBOTT: Of course.
COSTELLO: Great! With what?

ABBOTT: RealOne.
COSTELLO: Okay, so I'm sitting at my computer and I want to watch a movie. What do I do?

ABBOTT: You click the blue 1.
COSTELLO: I click the blue one what?

ABBOTT: The blue 1.
COSTELLO: Is that different from the blue W?

ABBOTT: Of course it is. The blue 1 is RealOne. The blue W is Word.
COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there's three words in "office for windows!"

ABBOTT: No, just one. But it's the most popular Word in the world.

ABBOTT: Yes, although to be fair there aren't many other Words left. It pretty much wiped out all the other Words.
COSTELLO: And that word is the real one?

ABBOTT: No. RealOne has nothing to do with Word.  RealOne isn't even part of Office.
COSTELLO: Never mind; I don't want to get started with that again. But I also need something for bank accounts, loans, and so on. What do you have to help me track my money?

ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: No, not really. It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What comes bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: Money comes bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Exactly. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer at no extra charge? How much money do I get?

ABBOTT: Just one copy.
COSTELLO: I get a copy of money. Isn't that illegal?

ABBOTT: No. We have a license from Microsoft to make copies of Money.
COSTELLO: Microsoft can license you to make money?

ABBOTT: Of course! They own it.
COSTELLO: Well, it's great that I'm going to get free money, but I'll still need to track it. Do you have anything for managing your money?

ABBOTT: Managing Your Money? That program disappeared years ago.
COSTELLO: Well, what do you sell in its place?

ABBOTT: Money.
COSTELLO: You sell money?

ABBOTT: Of course. But if you buy a computer from us, you get it for free.
COSTELLO: That's all very wonderful, but I'll be running a business. Do you have any software for, you know, accounting?

ABBOTT: Simply Accounting.
COSTELLO: Probably, but it might get a little complicated.

ABBOTT: If you don't want Simply Accounting, you might try M.Y.O.B.
COSTELLO: M.Y.O.B.? What does that stand for?

ABBOTT: Mind Your Own Business.
COSTELLO: I beg your pardon?

ABBOTT: No, that would be I.B.Y.P. I said M.Y.O.B.
COSTELLO: Look, I just need to do some accounting for my home business. You know--accounting? You do it with money.

ABBOTT: Of course you can do accounting with Money. But you may need
COSTELLO: More money?

ABBOTT: More than Money. Money can't do everything.
COSTELLO: I don't need a sermon! Okay, let's forget about money for the moment. I'm worried that my computer might... what's the word? Crash.And if my computer crashes, what can I use to restore my data?

COSTELLO: Okay. I'm worried about my computer smashing and I need something to restore my data. What do you recommend?

COSTELLO: How many times do I have to repeat myself?

ABBOTT: I've never asked you to repeat yourself. All I said was GoBack.
COSTELLO: How can I go back if I haven't even been anywhere? Okay, I'll go back. What do I need to write a proposal?

COSTELLO: But I'll need lots of words to write a proposal.

ABBOTT: No, you only need one Word--the Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: But there's three words in...Oh, never mind.


ABBOTT: Hello? Hello? Customers! Why do they always hang up on me? Oh, well. Ultimate SuperDuper Computer Store. Can I help you?


1. A kindergarten pupil told his teacher he'd found a cat, but it was dead. How do you know that the cat was dead?" she asked her pupil. Because I  pissed in its ear and it didn't move," answered the child innocently. You did WHAT?!?" the teacher exclaimed in surprise. You know," explained the boy, "I leaned over and went 'Pssst!' and it didn't move."

2. A small boy is sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later...."Da-ad.... "What?" I'm thirsty. Can you bring drink of water?" No,
You had your chance. Lights out." Five minutes later: Da-aaaad....."WHAT?" I'm THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water??" I told you NO! If you ask again, I'll have to spank you!!" Five minutes later......Daaaa-aaaad....." WHAT!" When you come in to spank me, can you bring a drink of water?"

3. An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief,  finally asked him "How do you expect to get into Heaven?"The boy thought it over and said, "Well, I'll run in and out and in? and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, 'For Heaven's sake, Dylan,come in or stay out!'"

4. One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her son into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?" The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can't dear," she said. I have to sleep in Daddy's room." A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice: "The big sissy."

5. It was that time, during the Sunday morning service, for the children's sermon. All the children were invited to come forward. One little girl was  wearing a particularly pretty dress and, as she sat down, the pastor leaned  over and said, "That is a very pretty dress. Is it your Easter Dress?" The little girl replied, directly into the pastor's clip-on microphone, Yes,and my Mom says it's a bitch to iron."

6. When I was six months pregnant with my third child, my three year old came into the room when I was just getting ready to get into the shower. She said, "Mommy, you are getting fat!" I replied, "Yes, honey, remember Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy." "I know," she replied, "but what's growing in your butt?"

7. A little boy was doing his math homework. He said to himself, "Two plus five, that son of a bitch is seven. Three plus six, that son of a bitch is nine...." His mother heard what he was saying and gasped, "What are you doing?"The little boy answered, "I'm doing my math homework, Mom." And this is how your teacher taught you to do it?" the mother asked. Yes," he answered. Infuriated, the mother asked the teacher the next day,What are you teaching my son in math?" The teacher replied, "Right now, we are learning addition." The mother asked, "And are you teaching them to say two plus two, that son of a bitch is four?" After the teacher stopped laughing, she answered, "What I taught them was, two plus two, THE SUM OF WHICH, is four."

8. One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of Chicken Little? to her class. She came to the part of the story where Chicken Little tried to warn the farmer. She read,? ".... and so Chicken Little went up to the farmer and said, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" The teacher paused then asked the class, "And what do you think that farmer said?" One little girl raised her hand and said, "I think he said: 'Holy Shit! A talking chicken!' "The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes.

Children's Logic

Give me a sentence about a public servant," said a teacher.
A small boy wrote: "The fireman came down the ladder pregnant."
The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. "Don't you know what pregnant means?" she asked.
"Sure," said the young boy confidently. "It means carrying a child.

A grandmother was surprised by her 7-year-old grandson one morning.  He had made her coffee. She drank what was the worst cup of coffee in her life. When she got to the bottom, there were three of those little green army men in the cup.
She said, "Honey, what are the army men doing in my coffee?"
Her grandson said, "Grandma, it says on TV - 'The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup !"

Susie Sunshine asked her Sunday School class to draw pictures of their favorite Bible stories.
She was puzzled by Jimmy's picture which showed four people on an airplane, so she asked him which story it was meant to represent.
"The flight to Egypt," said Jimmy.
"I see . . . and that must be Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus," Ms.Susie said. "But who's the fourth person?"
"Oh, that's Pontius the Pilot."

An exasperated mother, whose son was always getting into mischief, finally asked him, "How do you expect to get into heaven?"
The boy thought it over and said, "Well, I'll just run in and out and in and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says, For heaven's sake, Jimmy, come in or stay out.'"

A nursery school teacher was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children started discussing the dog's duties. "They use him to keep crowds back," said one youngster.
"No," said another, "he's just for good luck."
A third child brought the argument to a close. "They use the dogs," she said firmly, "to find the fire hydrant."

Little Johnny watched, fascinated, as his mother smoothed cold cream on her face. "Why do you do that, Mommy?" he asked.
"To make myself beautiful," said his mother, who then began removing the cream with a tissue.
"What's the matter?" asked Little Johnny. "Giving up?"


"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel shamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
~ Jack Handy

 "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day. "
 ~Frank Sinatra

"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
~ Henny Youngman

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
~ Stephen Wright

"When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven.  Sooooo, let's all get drunk and go to heaven!"
 ~ Brian O'Rourke

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
~ Benjamin Franklin

"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does
 ~ Dave Barry

~ "Unknown"

Remember "I" before "E", except in Budweiser.
To some it's a six-pack, to me it's a Support Group. Salvation in a can!

And saving the best for last, as explained by Cliff Clavin, of Cheers.
One afternoon at Cheers, Cliff Clavin was explaining the Buffalo Theory to his buddy Norm. Here's how it went:

"Well ya see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the
slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills
brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first.  In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells,  making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers."


Many actors of Hollywood of yesteryear had both class and integrity. With the advent of World War many actors joined the war effort. They gave up their wealth, position and fame to become service men &women, many as simple "enlisted men". We list only a few here, but from this group of only 18 men came over 70 medals in honor of their valor, spanning from Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, Distinguish Service Cross', Purple Hearts and one Congressional Medal of Honor.

This is a test of the Emergency Friend System.
If this were an actual emergency you would be instructed where to tune for location information concerning your friend.?
This is only a test.
A Friend...
Cost of Kids

We have all seen the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but is a list of  the rewards these kids bring.

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.
But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.24 a day! Just over a dollar an hour.



...Then You Are Probably
The Family Dog!


Cell Phone Etiquette
• If you are unsure of the ‘use of cell phone policy’ in a given place, ask!

• If their use is allowed, use the vibrate mode if at all possible.

• In public areas, only place essential calls. When answering a call, be brief - try to get a more suitable time to call back.

• Use an earpiece in high-traffic or noisy locations. That lets you hear how loud you sound at the other end, so you can adjust your volume if necessary.

• Practice talking as if you are speaking with the person from across a desk or sitting beside them – in a more conversational manner.

• Never take a personal mobile call during a business meeting or interview.

• Try to stay 3 M (10 ft) away from anyone when talking.

• Consider using a simple ring tone. One with loud music or a barking voice will only make your call that much more annoying to those around you.

• In places of worship, museums, art galleries and other tranquil surroundings, use only if you are a heart surgeon – or an expectant father. Otherwise, absolutely not!

• When in someone’s home, if you must answer calls, let them know as soon as you arrive, and go outside or to a suitable room to have your conversation.

• Never "multi-task" by making calls while shopping, banking, waiting in line or conducting other personal business.

• If taking a call while ordering your morning coffee, simply ask the caller to hold one moment while you complete your order. I’m sure they’ll understand.

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