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Noble Feats

Some topics we looked into while you were reading last month’s issue

Artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade leaves his footprint in Guinness World Records. There’s another kernel of truth about the benevolence of bats. And tread carefully when planning your own benevolence.

Perfect Fit for Guinness

Whoever tries to top artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade will have some big boots to fill—the biggest boots in the world.

Wade’s supersized cowboy boots, which have been turning heads at San Antonio’s North Star Mall since 1980, are now turning pages in the 2016 edition of Guinness World Records. The faux ostrich-skin boots, standing 35 feet 3 inches tall, are listed as the biggest cowboy boot sculpture in the world.

Wade has made a career of dreaming up eccentric, oversized pieces of art. (Read The Curious Creations of Daddy-O Wade, February 2015.) Dino Bob in Abilene, Big Six Shooter in Del Rio and the Carl’s Corner dancing frogs that used to amuse travelers on Interstate 35 near Hillsboro are Wade creations.

The boots, though, step to the front of the line. As Wade told Guinness, “I’m mighty proud to have the world’s biggest cowboy boots, and for anyone that thinks I’m totally crazy—well, I am, just a little!”

Bats … Good

How good? They’re worth more than $1 billion to the worldwide corn industry. Bats eat pests that threaten corn crops, most notably the corn earworm, whose larvae feed on ears, directly damaging a crop’s yield, according to a recent report about a two-year experiment at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. The larvae also contribute to the infection of corn by fungi that produce compounds toxic to humans and livestock.

Vampires … Bad

How bad? They could cost you hundreds of dollars a year. Vampire devices—appliances that are always plugged in and sucking power, even when they’re not in use—account for 10 percent of the average American electric bill. The vampires in your house are everywhere. They include: electric shavers, hair dryers, curling irons, coffee makers, microwaves, toasters, cable TV boxes, DVRs, laptops, desktop computers, printers and cellphone chargers. Eliminate the vampires by using power strips or unplugging devices until they are needed.

Choose Trustworthy Charities

VERIFY   When you donate money to charities, you’d like to believe it provides the help you intended, but that isn’t always the case. As you think about what charitable organizations fit into your 2016 budget, the Better Business Bureau can help verify whether they are trustworthy stewards of your money. The BBB produces reports about national charities based on detailed questionnaires and copies of supporting documents.

BE LEERY   Charities that refuse to disclose the requested information could be hiding something. The BBB advises donors to steer clear of charities that do not disclose. To see these reports and get advice on charitable giving, visit