Monthly Archives: February 2011

Paying ten times your salary for one tulip bulb

In his classic Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles MacKay wrote about specific historical events in which human folly ousted normal reason in the pursuit of mass hysteria. His thesis: people are easily swayed by public manipulation and the latest waves of appeal.  The best-known historical case of this mob mentality occurred in the Netherlands in the 1600s. People went crazy over tulips. In fact, some paid as much as ten times the average yearly income for one tulip bulb; huge mansions were cheaper than one flower!

In 1637 the tulip bubble burst, and prices plummeted back to normal. But the aftermath was not pretty; hoards of people were left with nothing.

Be wise – B

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Hard day? Need a laugh? Read on!

1. When his 38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California  would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder.  He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again.  This time it worked.

And now, the honorable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger.. The chef’s claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies.. The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days.

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer… $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly.. He decided that he’d just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape…

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, “Yes, officer, that’s her. That’s the lady I stole the purse from.”

9.. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast… The man, frustrated, walked away. [*A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER]

This one is a doozy!

10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street by sucking on a hose, he got much more than he bargained for.. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his siphon hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had. 

–The *Darwin Awards*

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A life less meaningful than a songbird or an earthworm or a milk weed?

Every day we wake up, we are given a marvelous opportunity.  Today, you will come in contact with a large number of people whose preacher is Hollywood, whose shepherd is science-falsely- so-called, whose idol is materialism, and whose doctrine is worldliness.  These influences have long counseled them that “Christians”–a term used in a vague, nebulous, mysterious way–are condescending, judgmental hypocrites ready to pounce upon and condemn their lifestyles and decisions.

Yet, at the same time, these people believe themselves to have come from the nothingness of chance and are heading toward a dark, empty chasm of futile despair and termination.  If ever they sit and ponder the contents of their world-view, nothing they do has lasting purpose and they themselves are no more valuable and meaningful than a songbird or an earthworm or a milk weed. 
Here is where the opportunity comes.  You will converse with them today, interacting with them.  Lord willing, somehow a door of opportunity will open that will allow you to exemplify your faith and maybe even defend the Lord and His Word.  As you lovingly, gently and ably do so (cf. 2 Tim. 2:23-26), you will explode the societal myth about Christians.  You will never embrace or condone sin, but as you love the sinner and show them compassion and understanding they will be totally unprepared for that response.  The honest-hearted among them will have a sense of guilt and shame about their sin, and your loving outreach and sympathy may well generate curiosity and maybe even desire to know more about this Christ you serve.  What amazing power God has placed in your hands today!  Use it wisely.  Most importantly, use it!
Neal Pollard

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I will give God five minutes to strike me dead…

Robert Ingersoll, that great agnostic of a day gone by, once said to a contemporary, “I will give God five minutes to strike me dead for the things I have said.” After five minutes and nothing had happened, Ingersoll’s friend remarked, “Did you think you could exhaust God’s patience in just five minutes?”

–Source unknown

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What my computer does at midnight

Every day at midnight all the important data on my computer is encrypted and sent to a secure off-site storage facility.  This process is automatic, easy and FREE.  In fact, it is free to anyone who wants to secure up to 2 gigabytes of data (this is plenty of storage space for most computer users). 

If we believe that things related to this earth are deserving of protection, what about our eternal spirit?  Have we found the right *protection* for it? 

Have we “heard” the truth of the gospel (Jn. 8:24)?

Have we “repented” (turned from) sin, Lk. 13:3, 5?

Have we acknowledged Jesus as Lord (1 Tim. 6:12)?

Have we been immersed in water (Col. 2:12) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38)?

Are we trying to daily live a faithful Christian life? 

If the answer to the preceding questions is “no,” we need to find the spiritual protection that God offers and find it NOW (2 Cor. 6:2). 

PS:  If you want my free and secure storage solution, and this will also let you access your uploaded files anywhere in the world, the link is:  http://www.idrive.com/ 

 Brad Price
www.abiblecommentary.com

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Baby experiment at the Menninger Institute

The Menninger Institute in Topeka, Kansas once had a fascinating experiment. They identified a group of crib babies who did not cry. Let me explain. It seems that babies cry because they instinctively know that this is the way to get attention. Crying is their way of calling out. These babies, however, had been in abusive situations. Their parents let hem cry for hours on end and never responded. Do you know what happened? The babies eventually quit crying. It is almost as if they had learned that it was not worth trying.
So the Menninger Institute came in for an experiment. They got some people from retirement and from nursing homes, and every day these people held these babies and rocked them. The object was to get these babies to start crying again. And you know, it worked. Physical touch had made the difference.

As important as physical touch is there is another kind of touch that is even more important. It is spiritual touch. This is that special touch that influences and impacts the lives of people. The telephone company some years ago had a slogan that you may recall: “Reach out and touch someone.” They were, of course, referring to a meaningful relationship.
Have you *touched* someone this week?
–Adopted from Brett Blair

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A lawyer named Strange

  The story is told of a lawyer named Strange who died.  His friend asked the tombstone maker to inscribe on his tombstone,  “Here lies Strange, an honest man, and a lawyer.”  The inscriber insisted that such an inscription would be confusing, for passersby would tend to think that three men were buried under the stone.
 
     However he suggested an alternative: He would inscribe, “Here lies a man who was both honest and a lawyer.”  That way, whenever anyone walked by the tombstone and read it, they would be certain to remark: “That’s Strange!”
 
     Lawyers don’t seem to be seen in a very positive light (though we have no hesitancy about turning to one in times of need!).  Perhaps it is true that a few “bad apples” have given a black eye to the lawyer profession.  But that could be said of many other professions (including preachers).
 
     Jesus had some rather harsh thing to say about the lawyers of his day (Luke 11:46,52), but they were not lawyers in the sense we understand the word; rather, they were “experts” in the Jewish law.
 
     The truth is, lawyers perform a valuable service to our society, providing an advocate for those unable to speak for themselves.  And Jesus is himself referred to in scripture as a lawyer!
 
     “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.  And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (I John 2:1)
 
     The Greek word translated “advocate” means “one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense.”  That means Jesus is our defense attorney!  As Christians stand before God to be judged for the sins we have committed, it is Jesus Christ who presents our defense.  What comfort and assurance in that truth!
 
     Praise be to God for providing us such a capable attorney!

Alan Smith

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