I posted two weeks ago about Bowdoinham, the town that put money away back in 1912 to fund its 250th Anniversary party this year. I sent an email to the Bowdoinham Historical Committee trying to get more details and recently received this response:
the outcome of that story was that, yes, funding remained intact and has grown substantially after all these years.
There was $500.00 originally raised in 1912- mostly small donations of .25 here and there (it was a lot then!). It all added up. Remarkably, it stayed intact and is now being used to sponsor the many activities that Bowdoinham is planning in celebration during the coming year. You can read about it here: http://bowdoinham250.org/
There will be some funds reserved and kept to seed future celebrations. We are very fortunate that members of our town had the foresight to do this for us!
So their 100-year plan was actually a success! They didn't reveal (at least, not to me) how much money their plan created, but a 1912 article in The Youth's Companion calculated that if they raised $400, they should have around $20,000 in 2012, assuming an interest rate of 4 percent. Since they raised $500, they should have a bit more than that. Enough to have a nice party, but not enough to make them all millionaires.
The Youth's Companion article also revealed that a box was buried in 1912 containing various curiosities, and it should be opened sometime this year:
In a sealed box, to be opened at the time of the celebration in 2012, were placed, among other things, letters from scores of those who contributed to the fund. Many of the letters were from Bowdoinham people, or the descendants of Bowdoinham people in other states or in foreign lands. In some cases the writers described the probable Bowdoinham of 2012 or the imagined conditions of life at that time. No doubt the letters will create much amusement when they are read a century from now.
Residents of the English town of Castleford in Yorkshire were probably delighted to hear that UK TV station Channel 4 was to film a documentary of the ongoing urban regeneration scheme, up until their local council decided to rename a local landmark ahead of filming. The popular local landmark had been known as “Tickle Cock Bridge” since Victorian times - probably due to its popularity as a trysting place according to one local historian – but prudish council members decided to put up signs for the more polite “Tittle Cott Bridge” for the cameras. However local objections have been so vocal that the officials have been forced to back down and restore the feature’s original “rude” name (Metro).
And if you fancy taking a trip to Tickle Cock Bridge, why not make a grand tour of it and take in some more of Britain’s rudest place names (Telegraph).
It’s always worth making sure you have plenty of the local currency on holiday, but for one German tourist this became more of a life-saver than a simple convenience. Dominik Podolsky was just riding the ski-lift back down in Hochzillertal in Austria as darkness fell when it was suddenly switched off, as it is every dusk, leaving him stranded. As temperatures dropped to minus 18° Celcius (0° F) Mr. Podolsky began to set light to whatever was to hand to attract attention, starting with paper napkins and some business cards before in desperation he was forced to set fire to his money. He had just burned his last euro when he was finally spotted by a cleaning crew and rescued (Orange).
Perhaps he would have done better to visit the Swiss side of the Alps instead. If not on the mountains, at the very least he would have been better looked after in that country's brothels. Principally because, with an increasing number of elderly clients packing a well-known anti-impotence treatment, Swiss brothels are training their staff in the use of defibrillators in an effort to stop the pill-popping pensioners become clog-popping corpses. "Having customers die on us isn't exactly good publicity" said one sex-club owner. Funny, I would have thought the opposite was true (Telegraph).
But trained as they may be, Swiss working girls will never have the edge on their American competitors. At least that’d be the conclusion you might draw from the results of a recent poll which placed America at number one on the list of countries with the most attractive people (Switzerland didn’t even make the top 20). So rejoice America, from the wild and wanton women of Walmart to the sultry street-girl sirens of Chattanooga, your beauty is unsurpassed (Herald Sun).
Earlier this year we heard of the national lottery that drew the same numbers two weeks running. Now meet the man who has just won a lottery jackpot for the second time!
The unnamed 34 year-old from the Limpopo province of South Africa beat 24 million to one odds to take the country's "PowerBall" draw for 30 million rand ($4 million), just seven years after winning 11 million rand ($1.5 million) from an earlier state lottery system with odds of 14 million to one. His feat is all the more remarkable given he claims to spend only 100 rand ($13) a month on tickets (Telegraph).
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.