George Rucker's Amazing Newsletter for April 4, 2017

There is a rather large island off of Africa’s east coast.  It is the island of Madagascar, and you would say good morning as, “bonjour.”  I am sure most of the population would understand the phrase but the island main language is Malagasy and they would say “Manao ahoana ianao!.”  From this information you might deduce that Madagascar is a former French Colony.

Looking at the vowel structure of the language, and my experience after nine years of living  in the Philippine Islands, the language looks very Polynesian and probably is.  It has always troubled me why many former colony countries have struggled to regain their identity with the use of their former language prior to colonization.  Perhaps I just do not understand as I only speak one language.  Most colonization periods were in excess of two and a half centuries and I feel the newer dominate language would have better scope and more scientific terms.  That is just me I guess.

Anyway the official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French. Madagascar is a Franco phonetic country, and French is spoken among the educated population and most second-language speakers.  Currently there are more speakers of Malagasy than French in Madagascar.

If you know me and some of the things I might think about, I would be interested in the tectonic movement of the island and found the following fact.  Since its formation the Madagascar block has moved roughly in conjunction with Africa, and thus there are questions as to whether the Madagascar Plate should be still considered a separate plate.


North Sentinel Island – The World's Hardest Place to Visit
By Sumitra on January 9th, 2014 Category: Travel

It's hard to believe that there are people in this world who have no idea about the internet or cell phones. These are tribes that are completely cut-off from global civilization and do not welcome any kind of contact from the outside world.

North Sentinel Island, a part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal Ocean between Myanmar and Indonesia, is home to one such tribe. The Sentinelese people are so hostile to external contact that the island has been dubbed the ‘hardest place to visit' in the world.

The Sentinelese are thought to be direct descendants of the first humans who emerged from Africa. They have lived on the tiny island for almost 60,000 years. Their exact population is unknown; it could be as low as 40 or as high as 500.

It doesn't matter whether you are friend or enemy, whether you arrive at the island shores on purpose or by accident, the locals will greet you the same way – with spears and arrows. Gifts of food and clothing are of no importance to them. They were even hostile to rescue missions after the tsunami in 2004.

There are several horror stories of how the Sentinelese have treated their guests. People either return from the island terrified and injured, or not at all. In 1896, an escaped convict from the British prisons of The Andamans drifted on to the shores of North Sentinel by accident. A few days later, a search party found his body on a beach, punctured by arrows and with his throat slit.

In 1974, a group went there to make a documentary, and the film's director took an 8-foot arrow in the thigh. A few of the recordings from that visit were included in the larger documentary, Man in Search of Man.

Indian anthropologist T. N. Pandit conducted several government-sponsored trips to the island in the late 80s and early 90s. "Sometimes they would turn their backs to us and sit on their haunches as if to defecate," he said. "This was meant to insult us as we were not welcome."

Surprisingly, there has been only one instance where outsiders did not have to face an aggressive reception. On January 4, 1991, 28 men, women and children approached Mr. Pandit and his group. "That they voluntarily came forward to meet us, it was unbelievable," he said. "They must have decided that the time had come."

Unfortunately, the last contact with the islanders in 2006 didn't go as well. Two fishermen were killed while illegally fishing within the range of the island.

The Sentinelese are among the last of the un-contacted people – communities who live without contact with globalized civilization – left in the world. Perhaps it's best to leave them alone; bringing them out into civilization might not be the best thing for them. They might not be immune to several diseases and adapting themselves to the modern world could be extremely difficult.

I found this old article interesting.

During my time while living in the Phillippines, a jungle tribe attracted widespread media attention in 1971, when a journalist employed by the Manila Associated Press bureau reported a discovery, amid apparent "stone age" technology and in complete isolation from the rest of Philippine society. They again attracted attention in the 1980s when some accused the Tasaday living in the jungle and speaking in their dialect as being part of an elaborate hoax, and doubt was raised about their isolation and even about being a separate ethnic group.  Myself I saw a picture of one male native drinking from a stream with a deer nearby also drinking.  They were said not eat meat and lived by only eating vegetables thus the deer was not frightened of them.  To me, this sounds feasible.

The stone age ended approximately 11,000 years ago so both of these island groups would go beyond that.  The end of the glacial ice age would not have much of an effect on either of these two islands due to their proximity to the equator.  As long as they could produce food they would have survived, provided there was not some sort of natural catastrophe.


I have a couple of corrections to a past letter about cars and their speed.

New 2015 Corvette Stingray Z06 is Bloody Fast, Hits 60mph in 2.95 Seconds!

The Shelby Mustang goes 0-60 in 3.5 seconds

The 2016 Dodge Viper was rated at 0-60 in “the low 3-second range” (3.2) and the quarter mile in the “11-second range,” stock. The 2014-16 Viper held the production car lap record at nine U.S. tracks.

All of these cars beat the old record set by the 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS 409 of 4.0 seconds.


Next is my chili recipe. . . I forgot that I add about 3 tablespoons of corn.  No taste change if you already made it but a nicer appearance.  I made some last Wednesday and served it with cornbread.  It was still one of the best ways to make chili.  I will add the cornbread recipe in a bit.

The Spanish definition of Chili Con Carne is actually just Chili with meat.  This surprised me as in North America we just call it Chili.  I felt it must mean something else as meat is a main ingredient so for years to me it meant Chili with beans.  Thanks for pointing out my error.


Two Ladies Talking in Heaven

1st woman: Hi, Wanda!

2nd woman: Hi, Sylvia, How’d you die?

1st woman: I froze to death.

2nd woman: How horrible!

1st woman: It wasn’t so bad.  After I quit shaking from the cold, I began to get warm & sleepy, and finally died a peaceful death.  What about you?

2nd woman: I died of a massive heart attack.  I suspected that my husband was cheating, so I came home early to catch him in the act.  But instead, I found him all by himself in the den watching TV.

1st woman: So what happened?

2nd woman: I was so sure there was another woman somewhere that I started running all over the house looking.  I ran up into the attic and searched, and down into the basement.  Then I went through every closet and checked under all the beds.  I kept this up until I had looked everywhere, and finally I became so exhausted that I just keeled over with a heart attack and died.

1st woman: Too bad you didn’t look in the freezer – we’d both still be alive.

(Thanks to the Federalist Papers)


This weeks invention might sound like a movie or a video game monster but this invention was truly a game changer for mankind, the “Mechanical Reaper.”

It was a cumbersome machine: a platform with two large wheels pulled by a horse across a field of ripe grain.  On its side was a mechanized reciprocating knife that cut grain as it came in contact, letting it drop on platform where it was raked up by a man walking beside the machine.  Yet Cyrus McCormick’s invention, the mechanical reaper, literally started a revolution that changed the world for the better.

McCormick, a Virginia blacksmith, knew his invention was not exactly a new idea.  Since humans had first developed farming at the end of the last Ice Age (around 11,000 BC, crops had to be harvested by hand using scythes and sickles.  (Note to those who think global warming is the end of the world.  The last ice age ended about 13,000 years ago and one would assume that the only thing to do would be to warm up.  Think about it, man is naieve to think it is something he is doing as it is just the warmth of the sun.) The harvesting was slow, inefficient and laborious task often requiring many farm workers.  Often a crop was destroyed by storms, drought or insects.  Planting was an uncertain profession that drove many farmers to financial ruin.

Roman, Scottish and American inventors had all attempted to make farming a more reliable enterprise by mechanizing harvesting – with variable success.  Cyrus McCormick’s father, Robert McCormick, had spent 20 years working on a harvesting machine.  Finally, Cyrus with the aid of Jo Anderson, a slave held by his family, devised and constructed a mechanical reaper that he felt would work efficiently.  In 1834, he received a patent for his invention.

McCormick, of course wanted to get rich by selling his new machine, but it was slow to catch on though people were amazed to see it in action.  He finally sold seven reapers all built by hand in the family farm shop.  After improving the machine, he received a second patent on January 31, 1845.  Still, it took another 20 years before the McCormick reaper gained wide spread success and acceptance.  By 1872, McCormick was producing reaper-binders, which not only reaped the crop but also bound it into sheaves that could be easily picked up.  By 1896, American farmers were using an estimated 400,000 reaper-binders.

“Bank robbing is more of a sure thing than farming,” wrote Canadian author Allan Dare Pearce.  Today, reaper-binders have been replaced by giant combine harvesters that perform three separate operations – reaping, threshing and winnowing – into a single process.  Mechanization has enabled farmers all over the world to produce and market food at lower prices, benefitting everyone.  And it started with Cyrus McCormick’s invention.


You might wonder why I picked this cornbread to make as I usually just buy a box of Jiffy mix and it is not bad.  Most cornbread including Jiffy mix a little dry and crumbly.  I have eaten some great cornbread here and there that wasn’t so crumbly but it was rare and in a restaurant.

This recipe said it was sweet and moist, plus it had a 5 star rating from over 5000 people.  That alone perks my interest as I find it impossible to believe that somebody might not think it was terrific.  Well after making it I too give it a 5 star rating.  If any flaw maybe slightly too sweet.  I still give it an A++

Recipe by Bethany Weathersby and on web site.

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread


    ½  cup butter

    2/3 cup white sugar

    2 eggs

    1 cup buttermilk

    ½  teaspoon baking soda

    1 cup cornmeal

    1 cup all-purpose flour

    ½  teaspoon salt


    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.

    Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

    Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


This is a little late for St. Patrick’s day but I liked it and perhaps you can store it and use it next year.  Regardless of whether the names and people involved are factual the story is a good one. Hopefully the Good Luck part will work for everyone.

A very interesting history lesson.  Here it comes again!  Irish Luck - Remember to send it back!

 I want this back. It DOES work.

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools  and ran to the bog.

There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved.

'I want to repay you,' said the nobleman. 'You saved my son's life.'

'No, I can't accept payment for what I did,' the Scottish farmer replied waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel.

'Is that your son?' the nobleman asked.

'Yes,' the farmer replied proudly.

'I'll make you a deal. Let me provide him with the level of education my own son will enjoy If the lad is anything like his father, he'll no doubt grow to be a man we both will be proud of.' And that he did.

Farmer Fleming's son attended the very best schools and in time, graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin.

Years afterward, the same nobleman's son who was saved from the bog was stricken with pneumonia.

What saved his life this time? Penicillin.

The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill .. His son's name?

Sir Winston Churchill.

Someone once said: What goes around comes around.

Work like you don't need the money.

Love like you've never been hurt.

Dance like nobody's watching.

Sing like nobody's listening.

Live like it's Heaven on Earth.

It's National Friendship Week Send this to everyone you consider A FRIEND.

Pass this on, and brighten some ones day.


I hope it works...

May there always be work for your hands to do;

May your purse always hold a coin or two;

May the sun always shine on your windowpane;

May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;

May the hand of a friend always be near you;

May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead.

OK, this is what you have to do.... Send this to all of your friends.

But - you HAVE to send this within 1 hour from when you open it!

Now.....Make A wish!! I hope you made your wish!

Now then, if you send to:

1 person --- your wish will be granted in 1 year
3 people --- 6 months
5 people --- 3 months
6 people --- 1 month
7 people --- 2 weeks
8 people --- 1 week
9 people --- 5 days
10 people --- 3 days
12 people --- 2 days
15 people --- 1 day
20 people --- 3 hours

If you delete this after you read it, you will have 1 year of bad luck!


That is a little spam sounding to me and I already have held it beyond the grace period.  The first clue that should make us skeptical of this too-good-to-be-true tale. According to Snopes it is False but I like it anyway.


Two or three years ago Aug. 2014 to be exact, the Demoulas family that owned all 78 stores of the Market Basket food chain had an extreme falling out over money and how it should be managed.  There was a shift in the family voting block and Arthur T. Demoulas was now the ousted CEO.  The only problem being was he was such a great boss that all the employees left with him.  He was seen as a father figure by a number of his employees and compared to as the “It's a Wonderful Life” protagonist George Bailey for his willingness to put people over profit.  The store floundered with this change and started losing millions every day with Arthur S. Demoulas as the new CEO.

The value of the store plummeted and Artie T was able to purchase the store or the remaining 50.5 percent of the stock from the rest of his family for around 1.5 billion dollars.

I happen to like Market Basket and many times will ask an employee if anything has changed and always get the same response.  They are happy to have a job, it is a place with a lot of upward mobility, and they are always treated fairly.  My usual response is to tell them “Thank you for coming to work.”  That happens to be a saying from one of my past bosses every payday.  I always thought it was a nice thing to say and do so whenever I get good or great service.

Market Basket employees who work more than 1,000 hours a year are eligible to enter the profit-sharing program. Employees also receive benefits, including healthcare and paid sick leave. There are also no Market Basket employees belonging to any trade unions.

The reason for this little section is I have always wondered how Market Basket was doing with paying down the debt.  I heard from one employee that 2/3 of the debt has been paid and they are working on the remaining ½ billion dollars.  I feel Arthur T got a pretty good deal for his $1.5 billion loan as it is now a $4 billion company and he did it  in about 3 years time.

Unlike most low-price grocers, Market Basket does not use supermarket loyalty cards. Market Basket also differs from other supermarkets because it typically does not feature pharmacies, banks, or coffee shops within it’s stores. The company also does not have a website, although there is an independent website that contains weekly specials and store locations and hours. Further, Market Basket does not have self-checkout lanes. Company President Arthur T. Demoulas stated that he wanted "a human being waiting on a human being."

You can read more on the internet but most of this information was garnished from wikipedia.


When Chuck Norris was born, he slapped the doctor

When Chuck Norris was pulled over for speeding, the officer left with just a warning.

Have you ever wondered how these Chuck Norris jokes started?  This is a fun fact, Chuck Norris jokes were invented by a few college kids. They were later visited by Chuck Norris and his lawyer, because he did not understand the jokes. And wanted them to stop.  That being said.... College kids I think like living on the edge.


That is it for this week, enjoy your coffee.


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