When Fred Fournier, a health insurance broker in Novato, Calif., goes to the post office, the employees gather round: "They say, 'Boy, that's neat!' " What do the postal workers admire?*
(*a gun-free question)
Send your answer by noon ET Wednesday to email@example.com.
Monday's Question (No. 286)--"Supplies Party":
Vinyl rope, magnets, large nails--what's the connection?
"One can only have so many face lifts."--Colleen Werthmann
"The next three Russian prime ministers."--Charlie Glassenberg
"Things used to prop up the Queen Mum for her birthday photo-ops?"--Trey Adams
"Items not on display at the check-out counter of my local CVS drugstore (except for the magnets and vinyl rope)."--Keith Kurtz
"These things are in such short supply in North Korea that they have to be smuggled in in the stomachs of South Korean cows."--Mark Myers
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The rope, the magnet, and the nail comprise a fine set of fasteners. Indeed, we live in the golden age of attaching one thing to another thing--bolts, rivets, screws, glue, tape, Velcro, staples, giant rubber bands, various forms of welding, some of which are practiced by cool robots, suction cups, funtac--I could go on. But I'll tell you this: There is no fastener--however great the tensile strength of its carbon fibers, however powerful the chemical bonds of its space-age polymers--that can hold together a marriage without love, without trust, and without communication.
(This has been a News Quiz/Lifetime Television Romantic Moment. Promotional fee paid.)
Magic Beans Answer
North Korean authorities say autopsies turned up all these items in the stomachs of dead cows, part of a charity herd trucked north by South Korea's Hyundai group.
Last summer Chung Ju Yung, Hyundai's billionaire founder, donated 500 head of cattle to the famine-stricken North. Now about half the cows are dead. The North accused the South of sabotage; the South denied it, but North Korean vets still searched the cattle carcasses for suspicious viruses and electronic devices. "It was absolutely untrue that we planted any type of surveillance device on the cows," says a spokesman for the South's intelligence service.
Chung donated the cows to honor a family debt. As a young man, he stole his father's cow, sold it, and used the money to head south to make his fortune. He has since donated an additional 500 cows; their fate is unknown.
The Object of My Reflection Extra
Match each subject with its object to complete the sentence and determine what is being reflected.
1. Tina Brown, editor's note, Talk: "New voices are everywhere. We would have a chance to bring some of them together to reflect ..."
2. Tina Brown, same magazine, same piece, same lame figure of speech: "Of course, we needed a new format, one that would reflect ..."
3. Xinhua news agency headline: "People's Daily Says Li Hongzhi's Fallacies Reflect ..."
4. Newsweek press release, announcing Susan Faludi piece on Atlanta: "Recent Shootings Were Acts of Individual Madness, but Also Reflect ..."
5. Company Press Release: "LaunchPad Technologies, an idealab! company that recently acquired PointCast, today announced it has changed its name to EntryPoint to reflect ..."
6. Company Press Release: "Neuron Data 'Blazes' Its Way Into the Internet Self-Service Market. Changes Name to Blaze Software to Reflect ..."
7. Company Press Release: "Maxnet, Inc.'s name has been changed to MaxPlanet, Corp. MXNT has changed its name to reflect ..."
A. "... a point of view, a marriage of emotion and ideas."
B. "...the accelerated boom and flack of modern American life."
C. "... Dangerous Political Aims."
D. "... Pressures of Changed Society on American Men"
E. "... its powerful new desktop 'EntryPoint' to the Internet."
F. "... Runaway Success of Its WebPersonalization Engine."
G. "... its diversified Internet development and marketing business."
1-A, 2-B, 3-C, 4-D, 5-E, 6-F, 7-G.
Compare and contrast the accelerated boom and flack of modern American life with the pressures of changed society on American men. Illustrate. With photographs. Of celebrities.
Cocaine-snorting presidential candidates.