Heres a bit of trivia to try out on friends and family members. Who knows, it may show up on the "Millionaire" show someday.
Do you know who was the first president to be embalmed? (Do you care?)
Well, it was none other than Abraham Lincoln, according to the NYS Funeral Directors Association. The embalming process had been developed during the Civil War to preserve the bodies of officers killed in battle so they could be returned for burial. It was a good thing for Lincolns body as the President was honored with 12 separate funerals over a 20-day period traveling over 1,700 miles.
Want to impress them with another one?
What President left instructions that his body not be buried for at least three days after his death for fear of being interred alive?
Why, it was none other than the father of our country, George Washington, who exhibited a common fear of the time. Because the embalming process was not around at Washingtons 1799 death, his body was preserved for funeral rituals by placing it in Mount Vernons frigid drawing room.
Now, dont you know a little bit more than you wanted to about the two American heroes whose births we just celebrated?
Boondoggle or Brainstorm?
When you cant meet the deadline, what do you do?
Well, if youre the New York Legislature, you change the deadline.
For 15 years, the NY State budget, which is supposed to be adopted by April 1st, has been late.
Now, Queens Assemblyman Michael Cohen has the solution. Cohen has introduced legislation (Assembly bill 9379) that would change the States fiscal year from April 1st to June 1st .
Cohens rationale is that after the April 15th tax filings there would no longer be the need to squabble over revenue projections, enabling the process to focus on apportioning of budget funds. Therefore, the whole process would be easier and the budget deadline could be met.
Albany insiders have informed NYConfidential that Speaker Sheldon Silver intends to adopt some form of the Cohen legislation as his own and push for the fiscal year and budget deadline change.
If passed, the Legislature and the Governor would have two additional months to waste in order to have a late budget. Now, there's a goal.
Is anyone watching?
Cops and cohorts who keep a constant "Looie watch" on former NYPD Chief of Department Louis Anemone tell NYConfidential that the irascible Anemone has teamed up with Jack Maples to serve as a consultant to police departments in need around the globe.
You may remember Maples as the hard-nosed NYPD deputy commissioner under Bill Bratton.
When Anemone left the NYPD in July 1999, he landed in North Carolina where he was a consultant to a police department.
Helping George's Sis
Jerichos pretty far from New York, but East Side Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is using her clout to help a pair of American nuns holed up in a small monastery on the West Bank.
Maloney and other legislators are injecting themselves in a showdown in its fifth week that has Cold War echoes, goes back to the Russian Revolution, and has a player whose name bears political star power: Stephanopoulos.
The Stephanopoulos in question is Sister Maria, sister of former Presidential adviser George Stephanopoulos. Maria Stephanopoulos is also a nun in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Her famous brother is not talking to the press, reports our sister paper in DC, The Hill, but he has been talking to his old friends inside the White House and in other branches of government trying to find out what is being done to help his sister.
Sister Maria and another nun have refused to leave the premises of their monastery since the middle of last month when Palestinian police arrested the White monks there and handed the grounds over to the Red Church. Palestinian police and Russian monks have the run of the grounds while the two nuns have been confined. They have subsisted on falafel and bananas passed through the gates by friends.
Sister Maria also handwrites updates of her situation and passes them through the monasterys gate to other waiting nuns, who type up the messages and send them to the world via e-mail.
"We are in our third week of self-imposed captivity at our Jericho monastery," went her most recent note. "Here we remain in an abandoned cement floor room, paint chips falling from the ceiling, water seeping in the sides. No sink or shower to use, a trip to the outdoor toilet means passing by the Palestinian soldiers assembled outside our doors day and night."
Easy As Pi
Now we know that math skills arent why Governor Pataki and legislative leaders have had such trouble coming up with an on-time budget for the past several years.
While announcing a grant at the University of Rochester, the Gov took some time out to meet with six-year-old whiz kid Justin Chapman, who recently began taking a history course at the school. Hes enrolled as a high school junior with a Florida correspondence school.
Justin took the chance to ask Pataki about educational policy. And the Governor showed off his academic prowess by reciting pi to 55 places.
For you mathematically challenged, thats: 3.1415926535897 932384626433832795028841 971693993751058209. Got it?
|E-mail the trib|