Friday, January 27, 2006

What's in a name

  • Lassie, the TV collie, first appeared in a 1930s short novel titled Lassie Come-Home written by Eric Mowbray Knight. The dog in the novel was based on Knight's real life collie, Toots. Lions are the only truly social cat species, and usually every female in a pride, ranging from 5 to 30 individuals, is closely related.
  • Macaroni, Gentoo, Chinstrap and Emperor are types of penguins.
  • Marie Antoinette's dog was a spaniel named Thisbe.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Pal really was Lassie?

  • Korea's poshintang - dog meat soup - is a popular item on summertime menus, despite outcry from other nations. The soup is believed to cure summer heat ailments, improve male virility, and improve women's complexions.
  • It takes forty minutes to hard boil an ostrich egg.
  • Large kangaroos cover more than 30 feet with each jump.
  • Lassie was played by several male dogs, despite the female name, because male collies were thought to look better on camera. The main "actor" was named Pal.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Animal Facts

  • In its entire lifetime, the average worker bee produces 1/12th teaspoon of honey.
  • Infant beavers are called kittens.

    It takes 35 to 65 minks to produce the average mink coat. The numbers for other types of fur coats are: beaver - 15; fox - 15 to 25; ermine - 150; chinchilla - 60 to 100.
  • It takes a lobster approximately seven years to grow to be one pound

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Inside the Outside

One of my favourite weekly newsletters is the Monday Messenger from Roy Williams of - her, in full is the issue for Janury 9th, 2006:

It hit me. "I've become an eavesdropper, listening to the conversations of strangers."

It's 5:00AM and I'm sitting at the bar of an all-night café on the wrong side of town eating a three-dollar breakfast, listening to the smelly, funny stories of downtrodden people who know each other well. Their sparkling banter gives me a glimpse into problems I'll never touch, victories I'll never celebrate, a life I'll never have. These are they who will never have internet access, a credit card or cable TV.

But they seem happy.

I've come here to learn what it means to be an outsider in America.

People tell me they want to write. I respond, "You can't find a pencil?" In truth, few want to write. Most want only to have written. People tell me they want to travel, have adventures, meet interesting people and learn about different cultures. They want to expand their world. I'm betting you can guess my answer to that one... "If you will expand your world, you must crawl on your hands and knees, get on your belly and squirm under the fence that surrounds your insulated life."

For most people, travel means being pampered by accommodating servants in exotic places. But interesting people, strange cultures and high adventure don't await you on the other side of the world. They await you on the other side of town.

Are you willing to get on your belly and crawl under that fence? Will you invest an hour to enlarge your world? If you will actually do it, not just think about it, but really do it, and write to me about it, I will send you a special gift of initiation. These are the rules:

1. You must arrive and be seated in a 24-hour eating establishment between 1:30AM and 5:30AM in a part of town where you rarely go. Or perhaps a truckstop beyond town's edge. The further outside your comfort zone, the better.

2. If a man, you must go alone. If a woman and concerned for your safety, you can take one other person with you. But make sure your friend understands the goal isn't to chat with each other, but to glimpse a whole other world that exists side-by-side with the one you know.

3. While you're eating and listening and absorbing this strange new reality, think of what these people need most and how you might help them get it. While you're at it, you might also think a little about what they have that you don't. There is a rich sense of community among the outcast.

4. Write the details of your excursion within 24 hours of your meal and email them to Be sure to provide a mailing address where we can send your special Gift of Initiation. I don't yet know what it will be.

Want to hear something that will shock you? I'm fairly confident that fewer than 12 readers from among my 31,000 subscribers will actually do what I've just described, and more than half of these will be Canadian. We Americans are unlikely to discomfort ourselves except for purposes of recreation.

How accurate are my predictions? A few weeks ago when I offered to send readers a free copy of my favorite book, I accurately predicted for the shipping department – within seven – the precise number of people who would respond to that offer. (Yes, that number was deep into the hundreds.)

Will you join this strange new fraternity? Your gift of initiation awaits.

Roy H. Williams

PS – In a nationwide phone survey of 1,279 adults, respondents were much more likely to claim that an experiential purchase made them happier than a material one – 57 percent versus 34 percent – even after accounting for differences in price. (Experiential spending is concert tickets, etc. And in my opinion, early morning meals eaten among interesting strangers…)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Is Nature a Marketing Guru?

What kind of fool would you be to ignore nature? She's
been around for a zillion years and here's what
you can learn from her marketing strategy...

By Sean D'Souza
Technology rules. Yeah, for about five minutes--then natural instincts take over. Are you stupid enough to fight Mamma Nature? Well go ahead and rewrite the rules if you can, cause the Big Mamma knows one thing. She’s tried and tested it all. And if you want to play by her kooky rules, she is willing to teach you a thing or two.

The question is, are you willing to learn?

Do You Pay in Advance?

Have you noticed how big a brand Red Bull is today? Or how insignificant their advertising is? Red Bull shuns print advertising and has never done a triple back flip on a web campaign. Yet, it has found roots in over 50 countries. And has cemented its loyalty in the fickle land of teenagers.

So what’s Red Bull’s big secret?

It’s called GIVING.

Their marketing strategy was simple. They enticed students with free cases of Red Bull, if they threw a party. Guess how many students need an excuse to have a party? With a simple act of giving away free cases to the right target audience in the right universities, Red Bull became a very rich Red Bull.

Yet Where Are Most Marketing Plans Aimed?

Too often marketing is aimed solely at GETTING. Look at all those marketing plans, those many advertisements blaring away on the radio and TV. It’s get, get -- all the time!

Yet, nature pooh poohs the stuff. Putting a carrot (not cart) before the horse, nature works on the giving part first. In its own little marketing and advertising way, a flower works contrary to most marketers. Using the bait of colour and nectar, it draws the bees, knowing full well that its very existence depends on giving bees what they want first, so the bees will carry their pollen.

Wander down the supermarket aisle and you’ll see what I mean. Fifty thousand brands stare at you, screaming at you to buy them. Then a little ol’ lady offers you a sample of a product. Fifteen seconds into your tasting session, she gives you another sample. Then, for no apparent reason, a bottle or two of the product finds itself in your cart. Were you sold? You betcha!

Giving works for a simple reason. Nature hates imbalance. If the deer get faster, so do the cheetahs. It’s a classic system to keep things in balance. Which effectively means that to create an imbalance in marketing in your favor, you’ve got to give first.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Recommended Sites - 2

Pet Hamsters

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Home fitness training

All the information you need to make a wise fitness equipment buying decision

Pet Hamsters

Hamster or gerbil? Discover the secrets of gerbils.

Gymnast Clothing

Gymnastics leotards for girls


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Friday, January 06, 2006

Tom Peters "Top 41" Quotes for 2005

...some comments that may help you, if you’re so inclined, to ruminate on where you’ve been and where you might go in 2006:

"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

Helen Kelle