Thursday, March 6, 2014

Some exclusive clubs are less exclusive than others

There have been 7 Secretaries General of the United Nations:

1. Trygve Lie (1946-53)
2. Dag Hammarskjöld (1953-61)
3. U Thant (1962-71)
4. Kurt Waldheim (1972-81)
5. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (1982-91)
6. Boutros Boutros-Ghali (1992-96)
7. Kofi Annan (1997-2006)
8. Ban Ki-Moon (2007-present)

There have been 11 Directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) :

1. Stanley Finch (1908-1912)
2. A. Bruce Bielaski (1912-1919)
3. William J. Flynn (1919-1921)
4. William J. Burns (1921-1924)
5. J. Edgar Hoover (1924-1972)
6. Clarence M. Kelley (1973-1978)
7. William H. Webster (1978-1987)
8. William S. Sessions (1987-1993)
9. Louis Freeh (1993-2001)
10. Robert Mueller (2001-2013)
11. James Comey (2013-present)

There have been 14 Dalai Lamas:

1. Gendrum Drup (1391-1474, considered posthumously)
2. Gendun Gyatso (1492–1542)
3. Sonam Gyatso (1578-1588)
4. Yonten Gyatso (1601-1617)
5. Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso (1642-1682)
6. Tsangyang Gyatso (1697-1706)
7. Kelzang Gyatso (1720-1757)
8. Jamphel Gyatso (1762-1804)
9. Lungtok Gyatso (1810-1815)
10. Tsultrim Gyatso (1826-1837)
11. Khedrup Gyatso (1842-1856)
12. Trinley Gyatso (1860-1875)
13. Thubten Gyatso (1879-1933)
14. Tenzin Gyatso (1950-present)

There have been 17 Chief Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court:

1. John Jay (1789-1795)
2. John Rutledge (1795-1795)
3. Oliver Ellsworth (1796-1800)
4. John Marshall (1801-1835)
5. Roger B. Taney (1836-1864)
6. Salmon P. Chase (1864-1873)
7. Morrison Waite (1874-1888)
8. Melville Fuller (1888-1910)
9. Edward Douglass White (1910-1921)
10. William Howard Taft (1921-1930)
11. Charles Evans Hughes (1930-1941)
12. Harlan F. Stone (1941-1946)
13. Fred M. Vinson (1946-1953)
14. Earl Warren (1953-1969)
15. Warren E. Burger (1969-1986)
16. William Rehnquist (1986-2005)
17. John G. Roberts, Jr. (2005-present)

There have been 45 presidents of the United States. I am not going to list them here because their names and dates can be found in a purple list in my previous post of March 2, 2014.

There have been at least 71 rulers of England/Britain/U.K./whatever; 266 popes of the Roman Catholic Church; and 600+ rulers of China, the first four of which, if Wikipedia is to be believed, were Sovereign Empress Nüwa (who reigned 180,000 years), Sovereign Emperor Youchao (who reigned 110,000 years), Sovereign Emperor Suiren (who reigned 456,000 years), and Sovereign Emperor Fu Xi (who reigned 115 years, from 2852 BC until 2737 BC).

Grains of salt available on request in the lobby.

To its credit, Wikipedia does state that the first generally accepted date in Chinese history is 841 BC. All dates prior to this are the subject of often vigorous dispute. The dates provided in Wikipedia are those put forward by The Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project, the work of scholars sponsored by the Chinese government which reported in 2000. They are given only as a guide.

All righty, then.

But I know what you are really interested in.

Idols winners.

Specifically, 244 artists (their term, not mine) have won the television series Idols, a reality singing competition that has been adapted in 46 regions. I know. It’s almost too much to take in. You can read all about them, including Lusine Aghabekyan (2007, Armenia), Toma Zdravkov (2008, Bulgaria), Mong Uching Marma (2013, Bangladesh), Ott Lepland (2009, Estonia), Panagiotis Tsakalakos (2011, Greece), Hildur Vala Einarsdóttir (2005, Iceland), Khaya Mthethwa (2012, South Africa), and many others, right here. The list goes on and on. And on.

My mind is now officially boggled.

I briefly considered giving up frivolous posts for Lent, but then I thought, “Nah.”

However, I did restrain myself from publishing a photo of Dolly Parton and one of a llama.


  1. Is that because you could not source a photo of Dolly with a llama, Sir Robert?

  2. Frivolous? Nah. I like things that make me say, "Hmmm..." And I appreciate any opportunity to start my day with a healthy dose of perspective.

  3. So J Edgar Hoover led the FBI for 48 years! That is incredible. He was only 29 when appointed director of what was then just The Bureau of Investigation. I wonder if he ever scanned your file and that secret spying mission to Sweden you went on - under the clever cover of an IBM conference invitation. Are you still fluent in Russian?

  4. You love these stats don't you RWP? Well here's an Aussie one for you ... We are presently on our 28th Prime Minister since our Federation in 1901.

  5. Carol in Cairns, you make an interesting point, that there is a definite difference between a Dolly and a llama and a Dolly with a llama....

    Lightexpectations (Kirsten in Kalifornia), my job here is done.

    Yorkshire Pudding, Ssshhhh! As a matter of fact, I am not now nor have I ever been fluent in Russian. Their word for restaurant has always looked like pectopant to me. And how USSR became CCCP, well, that's one for others to figure out. As it was 1969 when I made my month-long jaunt to Sweden, J. Edgar may well have had a dossier on me. As Lightexpectaions might say, "Hmmm"....

    Elephant's Child, you have captured my sentiments exactly, and much more succinctly.

    Helsie, there's no fooling you. I do love "stats" as you call them, but also realize when I'm at my most lucid that others perhaps do not. Elephant's Child once sent me looking at a Wikipedia article on the Australian election process and my head is still spinning. Nonetheless, congratulations on your country's 28 prime ministers, surely another exclusive club.

  6. I would have liked a photo of Dolly. The llama? Not so much.

    There is at least one interesting fact about a pope. I don't remember which one but he is responsible for the saying, "kill them all and let God sort them out." This of course was not his exact words but the gist of what he said.

    Blog idea? What your thoughts are?

  7. Proper little Encyclopeadia you are. Well, maybe an almanac.....
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

  8. bazza, you made me laugh. I do hope that was your intention.

  9. Kept the Dolly Parton picture for yourself eh? *nudge-nudge, wink-wink, say no more.

  10. You wrote this post off the top of you head. Your encyclopedic knowledge is legendary, so it won't do to act like you researched it.

  11. All Consuming, I will not dignify your comment with a retort, and silence does not necessarily mean consent.

    Snowbrush, I may have a good memory, but it's not that good. I do confess to knowing from memory the Secretaries-General of the U.N., the Presidents of the U.S., and the English/British/U.K./whatever monarchs. I had to look up everything else, though.

  12. David Oliver, according to my research it was not a pope who said that. It was Arnaud Amalric, a monk who later rose to the rank of archbishop, who was reported to have made the statement in either 1204 or 1209 during the Albigensian Crusade, when he was concerned killing orthodox Catholics along with the heretics during the sack of the Cathar stronghold of Béziers. I knew you'd want to know.

    Also, tt's hard enough coming up with blog subjects for my own blog without coming up with some for yours. Just be yourself; that's my advice.