The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Thursday, January 29, 2009, Volume XVII, Number 156

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... The Girls High School basketball game that was postponed Tuesday will be played Thursday, Jan. 29 at the Middle School gym in Nevada at 4:30 p.m.

Did Ya Know?... artCentral presents Jim Bilgere in his show titled, "THE MAGIC OF SERENDIPITY". The show opens Friday, February 13th @ 6:00pm at the Hyde House Gallery, 1110 E. 13th Street, Carthage.

Did Ya Know?... On February 7, Magic Moments will be hosting the 8th Annual Bowling Round Up benefiting people with special needs in the 4 States. The bowler that raises the most money for Magic Moments will win a 31.5" Flat Panel Television. Call 417-325-4490.

today's laugh

A candidate for sheriff challenged his opponents to a shootout, calling it a test of a law officer’s ability to protect the public.

"Clearly, being the best shot doesn’t necessarily make you the best sheriff, but I think it proves a point," Ken Schwab said Tuesday.

Schwab wants the four other candidates to meet him June 1 at a shooting range. Each will fire 24 rounds at targets to determine the best shot, Schwab said.

The challenge could be a problem for one candidate - a well-known local tax protester and convicted felon who’s not allowed to possess a firearm.

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.

Shelton Family Poisoned.

Three persons were seriously poisoned in Carthage yesterday by eating pokeroot which they thought to be horseradish. They were George Shelton, of the livery firm of Shelton & Myer, his brother-in-law, Chas. Myer, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Tolbert.

Last Saturday Grace Shelton, aged about 14 years, dug some roots from the garden which she thought to be horseradish but which were in reality pokeberry root. These Mrs. Shelton grated and prepared as horseradish and Sunday Miss Grace ate some of the preparation at supper. She became quite ill but it was supposed that it was only a bilious attack and nothing more was thought of it.

Yesterday at dinner Messrs. Shelton and Myer and Mrs. Tolbert all ate the mixture and were taken seriously ill. This morning they were better and able to be up.


Today's Feature

Votes Critical For Southwind.

The Special Election set for next Tuesday, February 3 is not drawing wide-spread media attention, but the twenty-six voters living in Southwind Acres are on defense. They have placed adds in local papers urging the rest of the voters living inside Carthage to vote no on the proposed annexation of their property.

The forced annexation failed to pass in last November’s election and now, by state statute, the question must be passed by a two-thirds majority, or 67% of the combined voters of the City and Southwind Acres. With only twenty-six votes coming from the subdivision located just south of Wal-mart, the 7,877 registered voters in Carthage will be the main factor in determining the outcome. The County Election & Voter Registration office reports just over forty absentee ballots cast so far.

In the November election just over 60% of Carthage voters were in favor of the annexation. In that election over 50% of both the City voters and the voters of Southwind Acres had to approve. Southwind voters cast twenty-five against and one for. It is now said that the one vote for was a voter error.

Just Jake Talkin'


If someone wanted to become a famous inventor, they should come up with an anti-bass filter.

This isn’t a fishin’ story. I’m talkin’ ‘bout bass as in "clef". Those low thumpin’ tones that roll out of a vehicle when the windows are up. Leavin’ you wonderin’ how anyone inside the car could possibly not have a throbbin’ headache.

The device should either block the bass notes from enterin’ my house after 11 p.m. or at least carry some portion of the melody so I could recognize it as music.

There surely must be some electroantibass molecules out in the universe somewhere. Surely there has to be somethin’ that could disrupt and disperse them into harmless drops of sonic waste. Thump—thump, thump. Thump—thump, thump.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.

Sponsored by Metcalf Auto Supply CLICK and CLACK

Talk Cars

by Tom & Ray Magliozzi

Dear Tom and Ray:

In our clubhouse parking lot, I came across a car that was left with the engine running, keys inside and doors locked. Security was not able to help find the owner. I mentioned this incident to friends, and someone said that if I had put something, like a potato, in the tailpipe, the engine eventually would have shut off. Would this really have happened? Would it have caused any damage? - Mary

TOM: It certainly would have happened, Mary. Assuming the exhaust system is intact and not leaking, you can stop an engine by plugging up its exhaust outlet.

RAY: If the exhaust gases can’t escape from the cylinders, then there’s no room for the fresh gasoline and air to get in. So the engine gets starved for fuel.

TOM: Of course, if you leave it running, it could run out of gas, and then run the battery dead.

RAY: So it’s a judgement call, Mary. A car with a properly functioning cooling system won’t be harmed if it sits and idle for hours.

TOM: But if the car is in a place where it’s unsafe to let it idle - indoors, or near people, in a place where it might be stolen - or if it’s clearly overheating, then plug up the tailpipe and kill the engine. The owner may have to get a jump-start later, but the tow truck presumably will be there anyway to help him break back into his car and get his keys.


By Mark Vasto

A Fitting End

"Schadenfreude" is described as taking pleasure in the suffering of others. In recent years, this would appear to be a sort of national pastime -- the rise in popularity of reality shows, where people are forced to eat insects and act like idiots for the amusement of others, would be one such illustration of the concept. Rooting against the luxury tax-laden roster of the New York Yankees would be another.

Schadenfreude isn’t about people needing people, it’s about people reading People magazine and delighting in the handiwork of the paparazzi. ("Meg Ryan looks terrible in a bathing suit! Feel good about yourself now?")

Last month, on the final day of the NFL’s regular season, one might think that there was a particularly high level of schadenfreude for fans of the Packers -- or anyone else who dislikes Brett Favre, Eric Mangini or the New York Jets. And while you can be forgiven for thinking that way, to waste too much time reveling in that emotion is to miss the real story of the season, namely, the legendary run of Chad Pennington and the worst-to-first Miami Dolphins.

Ejected from the Jets’ cockpit after the signing of "Top Gun" Favre, Pennington found gainful employ two days later in Miami. After throwing for more yardage but ultimately losing a gutsy contest to Favre in the first game of the season, Pennington provided real leadership to the team, engineering a streak of nine wins in 10 weeks. The scheduling gods cooperated, and Pennington strode into the Meadowlands to face his old team, the winner progressing to the playoffs.

At the end of the day, it was Pennington with helmet held aloft, three touchdown passes to Favre’s three interceptions. The next day, the 39-year-old Favre was getting an MRI and Mangini was scrolling through the want ads.

Long derided for having a weak arm, Pennington has never been anything but a warrior during his time in the NFL. Chronically overlooked (Pennington wasn’t selected for the Pro Bowl this season, a ridiculous omission that only a fantasy-football geek would support ... there is more to winning than statistics), watch for Pennington to be named league MVP. Just like the game in the Meadowlands, it would be a fitting end for Pennington’s season.

"That’s how it is with sports and athletics, and that’s the only way fate would have it," Pennington said, after the game. "It truly wasn’t about revenge."

No, it wasn’t about the suffering of the Jets; it was about the passion of Pennington and the AFC East champion Dolphins. Schadenfreude had nothing to do with it.


By Monte Dutton

Surprising no one, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway was the star of NASCAR’s postseason statistical review.

With the intricate drafts amping up speeds on race day, competitive laps exceeded 200 mph in both the spring and fall races. The 2.66-mile track produced the fastest race speeds in all three major NASCAR series.

Jamie McMurray turned the fastest lap in the track’s April 27 race, averaging 201.64 mph. On Oct. 5, Juan Pablo Montoya’s 200.56-mph lap was fastest.

By comparison, the fastest Daytona lap was Brian Vickers’ 192.15 on July 5, and the next fastest track was Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Dale Earnhardt Jr. turned a 186.01 lap on March 9.

Talladega’s fastest Nationwide Series lap was 198.15 mph by Kyle Busch on April 26, and Jason White turned a 195.81 mph Craftsman Truck Series lap on Oct. 4.

NASCAR’s so-called loop data monitors total passes, throughout the field, during races. In the October race, Talladega had 12,416 such passes, while the April event had 9,146.

Next, once again, was the circuit’s other "restrictor-plate track," Daytona, with 6,921 passes on Feb. 17 and 5,697 on July 5. The Aug. 3 race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway featured 4,636 passes through the field.

Through the "loop data," more interesting facts emerged:

• NASCAR’s "driver rating" is derived through a formula that weighs the data. Kurt Busch had the largest decline in driver rating, falling 25.9 points from 99.7 in 2007 to 73.8 in ‘08.

• The most improved driver, statistically, was David Ragan, whose rating improved from 56.1 in 2007 to 81.8. Next was Ragan’s Roush Fenway teammate Greg Biffle, who improved from 76.4 to 93.4.

• In the 2008 regular season, Kyle Busch’s driver rating was 112.0. In the Chase, his rating fell to 83.4.


By Sam Mazzotta

Where There’s a Will ...

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: Is it possible to include a pet in your will? I saw all the controversy about Leona Helmsley’s dog inheriting her money on TV. I’m not rich at all, but I do want my two Chihuahuas and my parakeet "Bobby" to be well cared for if I should pass before them. -- Beryl in Ormond Beach, Fla.

DEAR BERYL: It is possible and, in fact, recommended. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association estimates that 69 percent of American households own at least one pet. Of the 2.4 million Americans who die each year, statistically, many of those who pass away are pet owners.

Even if we aren’t wealthy, we still leave stuff behind when we die, including (and especially) pets. Adding a pet to your will is important -- it’s less about leaving the pet your money as it is about making sure a pet will be cared for after you’re gone.

The online estate-planning service ( recommends that pets be protected in writing, as part of your will. Verbal agreements can easily be forgotten.

The company is offering its "Pets Letter of Wishes" for free through Valentine’s Day, and its other estate-planning documents are available at a reasonable price.

You don’t have to go through a service -- you can add a provision for your pet in your existing will, or create a will, simply by writing out your wishes on paper and having a witness agree to and sign it. But I recommend an attorney look over any will, regardless of how or where it was made, to make sure it can be carried out with few problems.

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