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FOR HISTORY BUFFS.  Sometimes, there seems to be no correct answer for a given question.   Here are three examples:


What is the origin of the word “tip” (as in leaving a tip)?

  1. The word “tip” is allegedly an acronym for “To Insure Promptitude,” which was printed on bowls in British coffeehouses. Some say the custom originated in 17th century England.
  2. Others strongly disagree: they point out that only one known pre-20th-century English word originated with an acronym  [the 1886 word “colinderies” or “colinda”, the Colonial and Indian Exposition held in London that year].
  3. The real origin of the word “tip” is obscure.  Some maintain it may come from a popular form of speech among thieves, beggars, and hustlers. 

Cock-and-Bull Story

  1. The term is believed to have originated from stage coach traveler gossip exchanged between two coaching inns, The Cock and The Bull in Stony Stratford, England.   In the 18th and 19th century, these two inns were a main stopping point on the turnpike road from London to Birmingham, Chester to Ireland.  The two hostelries still exist.
  2. Other commentators suggest that its origin is in mythical or fictional conversations among animals (such as in the first story of Arabian Nights). However, this derivation seems based on the supposition that the French expression “coq-a-l’ane” (“cock to donkey”) has been imported into English.

Policeman as a “Copper”

Friend Andy relates:

  1. I remember reading an old book to my young daughter, many years ago (she’s 16 now).  It was an old library book which attributed the word to the copper badge that police officers wore.
  2. However, another source claims that the term likely comes from Anglo-Saxon times (1100’s) as a verb meaning “to catch or grab.”  It shows up in writing in 1700’s England with the same meaning.   The term was thought to be derogatory and therefore banned.

Andy provides wise insights:

I think it’s important that we remember that we may hold some beliefs that we feel to be the truth, for one reason or another.  But I feel it is so important to remain open to the possibility that we just have it wrong sometimes.  Maybe we just didn’t have all the facts or the proper context.  Maybe we heard something that we wanted to hear, and therefore jumped to a faulty conclusion.  Maybe we were just taught that (whether well- meaning or not).

But maybe if we can just take some time to step back and be open to additional information or even opposing viewpoints.

 I’m not saying that we should always change our opinions when we receive information from others or other sources.  If we feel like we have done sufficient and unbiased research (which in itself is often difficult), then we should feel good about taking the viewpoint that we feel is most credible.

I guess if we were all just a little more open to challenging our own viewpoints, beliefs, and opinions with alternate information and sources, we might gain a much clearer understanding of the subject, and certainly of other people.  And we could all use a little more understanding these days.

MILITARY HUMOR.  Someone pokes fun at the “good life” in the Air Force as opposed to the other services.  Examples –

Navy/Marines: chow hall

Army: mess hall

Air Force: dining facility

Navy/Marines: coffee

Army: cup of Joe

Air Force: vanilla latte

Navy/Marines: seaman

Army: private

Air Force: Bobby or Johnny

Navy/Marines: berthing

Army: barracks

Air Force: apartment

Navy/Marines: MRE

Army:  MRE

Air Force:  “Waiter, #3 with a diet cola”

ARAMAIC LANGUAGE.    During a 3000 year history, Aramaic has served as the lingua franca for many nations.   Apparently it was the language of the Hebrews until about 135 A.D.   It was the language of Jesus, who spoke a Western Aramaic dialect during his public ministry.  Aramaic is the liturgical language of many forms of Eastern Christianity.   Only a few Aramaic speakers remain in the world today.

There are several versions of the Lord’s Prayer sung in Aramaic, available on YouTube.  See Abwoon D’Bashmaya – The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic.

LIFE EXPECTANCY. The Washington Post Metro section for 28 August reports that in Washington DC, white males live 17 years longer than Afro-American males.

The same issue reports that absentee voting is not new.  Union soldiers were allowed to vote via the modern equivalent of absentee ballot.  Rascals attempted to stuff the ballot boxes for Abraham Lincoln’s presidential opponent.


Courthouse News Service 

Virginia Lawmakers Advance Bill That Bans Qualified Immunity for Cops (“While state governments and activists around the country have talked about attempting to roll back qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that protects police from civil rights lawsuits, Virginia legislators appear to be on their way to doing it.”)

The Daily Report/ 

Justices OK State Murder Charges Over Silicone Injections Despite Federal Conviction (“Deanna Roberts, who pleaded guilty to Federal charges of illegally obtaining liquid silicone and injecting it into women who thought she was a licensed doctor, will still have to face state charges, including felony murder.”)

The Appeal 

NYPD Expands Use Of Controversial Subpoenas To Criminal Cases (“Administrative subpoenas—which do not require a judge’s approval—are typically used for the department’s internal investigations, but The Appeal has learned that they are being used in criminal cases.”) 


3 Death Penalty Cases Knocking On The High Court’s Door (“The only Native American on death row, a man whose trial judge overruled a jury’s decision to not sentence him to death, and an inmate challenging a drug linked to several botched executions have all this month asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up their cases.”)

Texas Lawyer/ 

Denied Continuance, Vulnerable Dallas Lawyer to Appear Via Zoom for Jury Trial, While Opposing Counsel Goes to Court (“A trial court is pushing forward with a civil jury trial in a high school auditorium, with one lawyer appearing via Zoom because his doctor banned him from appearing in person due to age and health problems that put him at high risk if he gets COVID-19. The litigant lost an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court to delay the trial.”)

 Law & Crime 

Judge Orders President Trump to Pay Stormy Daniels More Than $44,000 in Legal Fees.


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