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Posts Tagged ‘Scouting

When I’m good…


Your correspondent imagines that readers have envied, as he has, the rakish sashes worn by Boy and Girl Scouts the world over– and more, the little round “emblems of competence,” the Merit Badges, with which they are bedecked.  How satisfying it would be be to advertise one’s accomplishments as one walked about!  And how gratifying to do it so much specifically than can a fancy watch or a ridiculously-expensive handbag!

Well, Dear Readers, our time has come.  Thanks to the good folks at Merit Badger, one can advertise skills and achievements in such arenas as:

Learning From Mistakes


Having No Outstanding Library Fines

Readers can visit Merit Badger to outfit themselves.

As we try to remember over which shoulder we wear the thing, we might recall that it was on this date in 1982 that arbitrageur Ivan Boesky offered Martin Siegel, a mergers-and-acquisitions executive at Kidder, Peabody & Co., a job.   Siegel declined, and Boesky then suggested that if Siegel would supply him with early inside information on upcoming mergers there would be something in it for him.

Boesky turned Siegel’s tips into profits (one example: he made over $28 million trading Carnation stock on insider info) until 1986, when the Feds arrested dozens on Wall Street for insider and related trading violations.  Boesky was convicted and sentenced to 3 years– a lighter punishment than Michael Milken’s 10 years, but still much more than Siegel’s:  as one of the few cooperating witnesses, and the only one who showed any remorse, Siegel was allowed simply to repay the $9 million he’d received from Boesky.

The 1986 case(s) were the largest stock manipulation scheme prosecuted at the time…  and may still be, though the full dimensions of the pending Galleon case are not yet known.



Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!…


Continuing yesterday’s theme of waning summer, one notes that the Summer Blockbuster Season is ending; the last of the “spectacular” movies of 2010 are making they way into theaters now.  Soon, blazing guns and buff heroes give way to the poignancy and angst of Winter’s more grown-up fare.

But before one hangs up one’s 3-D glasses, one might check in at Movie Body Counts for a tally of the “the actual, visible ‘on screen kills/deaths/bodies’ of your favorite action, sci/fi, and war films”…  or actors or directors.

The counts contain some surprises: the highest movie total to date?  LotR: Return of the King (836…  the more likely-seeming 300 only had 600).  As for directors, John Woo is at an unsurprisingly high 1,111; while famed fright-monger [and recent (R) D  honoree] Wes Craven stands at under 10.  (Sadly, Russ Meyer, the auteur behind the epic that gives this missive its title, is not covered… but then, Meyer did specialize in a different kind of body count.)

One can consult the rules and review the process here…  then browse through Movie Body Counts.

As, like squirrels, we save up for a long, deeply-felt winter, we might recall that it was on this date in 1912 that Arthur R. Eldred of Oceanside, New York, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America (which had been founded only two years before). He was the first person to earn the award. He didn’t receive the actual badge until September 2 (Labor Day), as the badge had not yet been made.

Arthur Eldred (source)

Your number is up…

From the admirable Tonya Khovanova, everything one could want to know about a number– any number:  Number Gossip.

Consider the results returned for your correspondent’s favorite pair of digits, 27:

– 27 is the only number which is thrice the sum of its digits
– 27 is the first composite number not divisible by any of its digits
– 27 is the largest number that is the sum of the digits of its cube
– 27 is the only 2-digit number in which the sum of digits is equal to the sum of prime factors (27 = 3 * 3 * 3 and 2 + 7 = 3 + 3 + 3 = 9)
– A 10,000-day-old person is 27 years old
– 27 is the smallest cube out of two known with only prime digits (the other cube is 3375)
– A web page about 27: <http://27.chrismore.com/>The Mystery of the number 27
– 27 is the smallest evil cube

As Tonya suggests, “Enter a number and I’ll tell you everything you wanted to know about it but were afraid to ask.”

As we worry about running out of fingers and toes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1912 that The Girl Scouts were born in the U.S., as Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low (who’d met and been deeply influenced by Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell in London) organized the first Girl Scout troop meeting of 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia.  The annual sale of cookies as a fund-raiser began in 1917.

Ms. Low, flanked by two Scouts

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