No. 189



As I begin this day I feel so blessed. When I came to the office this morning I had a fax from Dreyers Grand Ice Cream, located in Oakland, California. A representative from the company was inviting me to do an interview with John Harrison, Dreyer's Official Taster, whose tastebuds are insured for a cool one million dollars. Mr. Harrison has tasted more than 183 million gallons of ice cream during his lifetime and he has invented a few himself such as Cookies N' Cream, French Silk and Chocolate Fudge Mousse.

This fax is one of several I am now getting each week because someone placed my name on a mailing list as a General Columnist. I don't know who or where but the range of topics pretty well covers the water front. Some are very interesting and I think very worthy and a few are a little humorous. For example, a while back I got a fax inviting me to attend a conference in Bainbridge, Georgia to save the Red Cockaded Woodpecker. Not to say that this is not worthwhile but it's a little out of my league.

In this same vein I got a fax recently from Martha Kiley, a publicist for The World Almanac and Book Of Facts, located in East Hampton, New York. Because this seemed to be something I could use, I gave Ms. Kiley a call and she agreed to send me a preview copy. I can tell you truthfully that this book is wonderful and every home, organization and business in America should have a copy. To quote the American Library Association, "For the most information in one source, The World Almanac remains the champion." There are over one thousand pages of small type in this one volume and it contains facts and other information we can use in some way almost every day of our lives.

When I saw the title of this work, it reminded me of the old television series, now reruns, called "Dragnet." I can still see and hear Jack Webb, as Sergeant Joe Friday saying, "Just the facts Ma'am, just the facts." To continue, we have all heard someone say, "you need to get your facts straight or it helps to have the facts." Better still is the line, "Don't confuse me with the facts, I've already made up my mind."

Whether your motive is to dazzle your friends or to make sure what you say or write is accurate, The World Almanac and Book Of Facts could be a very valuable resource. Since I'm a basketball fan, one of the ways I was able to use it during "March Madness" was to look up some of the lesser known teams who were invited to the "Big Dance." I had no idea where many of the smaller schools like Iona, Gonzaga, Coppin State and Saint Mary's were located.

The latter was not in this particular tournament but it was interesting to note that their are two Saint Mary's Colleges. One is located in Los Angeles, California and the other in Newburgh, New York. The only difference is the spelling of the word Saint. The Los Angeles school uses the abreviated "St." In addition to the location of each college and university you will find the year it was founded, the enrollment, number of faculty members, tuition and fees and the cost of room and board is also given.

What I've given you is just a small sample. Regardless of the topic, whether it's mountains, seas, flags, politics, sports, population, health, education, environment, geography, the Internet and multitudes of other topics, you will find it here. The paperback cost is only $10.95 and is distributed by St. Martin's Press. Your local bookstore should have it or they can get it for you. I would like to leave you with this quote from Carl Ackerman, "Facts, when combined with ideas, constitute the greatest force in the world." (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)