Marianne Faithfull – Falling Back

From her new CD, “Give My Love to London,” she proves she still has what it takes.

Baseball’s Only Midget

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Playing baseball for the St. Louis Browns, Eddie Gaedel had a career on-base percentage of 1.000, but most people have never heard of him.

Why? Because he had only one at-bat. Gaedel was a dwarf signed by the Browns as a publicity stunt in 1951. He had a legitimate contract, so the umpire had to let him play, but since he was only 3’7″, his strike zone measured an inch and a half.

“Three thoughts went through my mind that day,” said Frank Saucier, for whom Gaedel was pinch-hitting. “One, this is more like a carnival or a circus than a professional baseball game. Two, this is the greatest bit of showmanship I’ve ever seen. Three, this is the easiest money I’ll ever make.”

Tigers pitcher Bob Cain threw four balls, all high. The Tigers won 6-2, but Gaedel got a standing ovation. “For a minute,” he said, “I felt like Babe Ruth.” Today his jersey (number “1/8″) hangs in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“He was, by golly, the best darn midget who ever played big-league ball,” wrote Browns owner Bill Veeck, who had cooked up the scheme. “He was also the only one.”

Three Sisters

Three sisters age 92, 94 and 96 live in a house together.

One night the 96 year old draws a bath, puts her foot in and pauses. She yells down the stairs, “Was I getting in or out of the bath?”

The 94 year old yells back, “I don’t know, I’ll come up and see.” She starts up the stairs and pauses, then she yells,
“Was I going up the stairs or coming down?”

The 92 year old was sitting at the kitchen table having tea listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says,
“I sure hope I never get that forgetful.” She knocks on wood for good measure. She then yells, “I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who’s at the door.”

First and Last

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By coincidence, the first and last British soldiers to be killed in action during World War I lie in graves that face one another.

British Army private John Parr was shot while on a reconnaissance patrol in Belgium on Aug. 21, 1914, 17 days after Britain declared war.

Private George Edwin Ellison was killed on patrol on the outskirts of Mons on Nov. 11, 1918, 90 minutes before the armistice came into effect.

Both are buried in the St. Symphorien military cemetery southeast of Mons, which was lost to the Germans at the start of the war and regained at the very end.

James Madison’s Ghost Writing

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James Madison wrote George Washington’s first inaugural address.

Then he wrote the House’s reply to the address.

Then he wrote Washington’s reply to the reply.

“Notwithstanding the conviction I am under of the labour which is imposed upon you by Public Individuals as well as public bodies,” Washington apologized, “yet, as you have began, so I would wish you to finish, the good work in a short reply to the … House … that there may be an accordance in this business.”

“We are in a wilderness without a single footstep to guide us,” Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson. “Our successors will have an easier task.”

Ghost Chili Grow-at-Home Kit

Now you can grow this 1,000,000 Scoville units Bhut Jolokia chili at home on your windowsill with the Ghost Chili Growing Kit, if you’ve got the stomach for it. Literally. Personally I would like to try this out, and I’m sure there are other folks itching to do so. It’s an idea whose time has come.

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The kit actually ships in an aluminum can with the seeds and growing medium all included inside. Just pop the top, add some water, stick in a very bright and warm spot and wait. There’s probably a lot more to it than that, like finicky watering and feeding regimes, but we’re sticking with the marketing blurb. Try it if you dare, or maybe the gift for the person who has everything? Priced at $7.95 a can.