March 2008

Strange Uses For Mummies

Ancient Egyptians had acute concerns about death and were preoccupied by the afterlife. Despite the different social statuses, most Egyptian's, upon their death, were mumified and had respectible burials. Royalty were buried in pyramids. Commoners bodies were curled up in a fetal position, wrapped with animal skins and placed in a large clay jar, which would be buried in the desert. The Egyptians believed that the bodies of the dead had to be intact in order to ensure a smooth passage into the afterlife; therefore they mummified the body. This mummification process's main aim was to preserve the body as long as it could.

From 3000 B.C. to A.D. 500, the ancient Egyptians mummified literally millions of bodies. Tombs and caves were so packed with them that many were moved to the desert and buried in the sand. Since Egypt had such an arid climate and contained so much sand, this, in itself, helped preserve the mummies. Mummies were so plentiful that they were sold by the ton. Of the multitude of humans who were embalmed and mummified, only a small fraction of them survive in museums today.

Not all bodies mummified were human. Some were cows, crocodiles, scorpions, or cats to name a few. For example, when a cat that belonged to them died it was mummified to prepare them for the afterworld. In 1888, 300,000 mummified cats were found at Beni Hassan and were promptly scooped up by tractors and sold at $18.43 per ton.

In the late 1800ís, millions of mummies were used as fuel for locomotives because wood and coal were so scarce and mummified remains were so plentiful. Egyptians also used them as fertilizer and even to thatch the roofs of their homes. The wood from the coffins were used by poor people as firewood to cook on.

Perhaps the most unusual use for mummified remains occurred in the 1860ís. American and Canadian companies bought shiploads of mummies and used their linen wrappings to make wrapping paper. Production was halted when it was discovered that it was the cause of an outbreak of a cholera epidemic.

Another strange use for mummified remains started in the 1100ís in Europe and the Middle East. They were used for medical treatments. By the 1400ís, some people boiled mummies in water and scooped off the top to sell.

In the 1600ís the European medical community touted the properties of a powder or cream made from mummies. They claimed that it could be used to stop bleeding, heal broken bones, paralysis, migraines, epilepsy, nausea, disorders of the liver and spleen, as well as cases of poisoning.

By the early 1900ís it was no longer being used as a medicine.

Presidential Assassination Facts
Approximately ten percent of the United States Presidents have been assassinated:

  • Abraham Lincoln (1865)

  • James Garfield (1881)

  • William McKinley (1901)

  • John F. Kennedy (1963)

Assassination attempts were made on another twenty percent.
  • Andrew Jackson (1835)

  • Abraham Lincoln (1861 and 1864)

  • Theodore Roosevelt (1912)

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933)

  • Harry Truman (1950)

  • Richard Nixon (1974)

  • Gerald Ford (Twice in 1975)

  • Ronald Reagan (1981)

Some Things Never Change
"When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income" Plato (ca 427 B.C. -347 B.C.)

"These impossible women! How they do get around us! The poet was right; canít live with them, or without them."      Aristophanes (ca 450 B.C. - 385 B.C.)

"A women is a creature thatís always shopping." Ovid (ca 43 B.C. - A.D. 18)

"Common sense is not so common." Ben Franklin (1706-1790)

"Marriage is neither heaven or hell, it is simply purgatory." Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

March Contest

CONTEST ONE QUESTION: In 1973, when Gerald Ford replaced Spiro Agnew as vice-president, he became the first appointed vice-president. What position had he held?

ANSWER: House Minority Leader

CONTEST TWO QUESTION: How many states joined the United States in the 20th century?


One-hundred fourteen people entered the contests. Thirty-seven entries were disqualified. Six had the incorrect answer, four had the incorrect subject heading, and the rest did not select a prize. All prizes were claimed.
The March Contest Winners Were:
  • Tommy Cifers - North Carolina
  • Steve & Ann Sanders - Louisiana
  • Michael Murphy - New Hampshire
  • Steven Kalan - California
  • Jim Grigsby - Tennessee
  • Grover Godwin - North Carolina
  • Glenda Phillips - Kentucky
  • Doris Beseda - Texas
  • Dawn Okeefe - Rhode Island
  • Arlena Thomas - California

This Issue's Questions:

To enter Contest One, answer the question: Only one United States President was a Republican and his elected Vice-President was a Democrat. Who were they?

To enter Contest Two, answer the question: Only two fathers of United States Presidents outlived their sons who had became President then died. Who were they?


Contest Rules

  • Contest entry deadline is Tuesday, April 15, 2008. Later entries will be disqualified. Winners will be notified by email within 24 hours after the contest deadline. Winners' names and states will be published in the next issue of the newsletter.

  • To enter Contest One or Contest Two, email your answer to curator at

  • To enter Contest One, use "Contest One Entry" for the emailed contest entry subject heading. Any other subject heading will be disqualified.

  • To enter Contest Two, use "Contest Two Entry" for the emailed contest entry subject heading. Any other subject heading will be disqualified.

  • Subscribers may enter both contests, but only win one prize.

  • If entering both contests, entries must be sent in separate emails.

  • You MUST select ONE prize from the list.

  • If answering the Contest One question, select your prize from the Contest One prize list.

  • If answering the Contest Two question, select your prize from the Contest Two prize list.

  • From subscribers entering the contest, submitting the correct answer, correct subject heading, submission received by the deadline, as well as advising which ONE contest prize they want to win, SEVEN will be selected to win ONE of the contest prizes below.

  • Subscribers to this newsletter that won a prize in my trivia contests in the last 90 days are ineligible to win.
April Contest One Prize Selection
(Only one of each offered)

Arromanches, History of a Harbor
By Alain Ferrand

The fascinating story of how and why prefabriated harbors were used in WWII. Answers the questions: Why use an artificial port? How were they made and assembled?

Currently, April 9, 2008, has this title on backorder.

For a complete listing of this publisher's titles, please visit


Classic Western TV Episodes

Legends of the Old West

Frank & Jesse James

Dalton Gang, Cherokee Bill

and SEVEN other episodes!


April Contest Two Prize Selection
(Only one of each offered)


Classic Comedy TV Episodes
Burns & Allen, The Lucy Show, Red Skelton, The 3 Stooges,
Ozzie and Harriet, Beverly Hillbillies, Andy Griffith Show,
Dick VanDyke Show, and Jack Benny

PC Computer Game

Assignment Berlin

Liberate Euorpe
from the grip of the Third Reich

Original Historic Newspapers

Original Manchester American & Messenger (New Hampshire) historic newspaper from 1853

New York Tribune historic newspaper from 1860

Original New Hampshire Patriot historic newspaper from 1868

Original Coldwater Republican (Michigan) historic newspaper from 1876
That's it for this issue.

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