Marriage is the only war in which you sleep with the enemy.
NB. Not applicable to mine!
Good article in The Economist of The Great Gatsby, book, film, and play. I particularly enjoyed the writer’s clever use of the main character as metaphor for the current United States society. It does a good job of explaining why the American Dream is actually the American Illusion.
Although writing about two characters in the book, he could be Fitzgerald could be describing bankers in this quote from the article:
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy,” Fitzgerald writes, “they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
Sound familiar? It could be from an article about the financial crisis that surfaced in 2007. Those guys made out like bandits...and are still cashing in on the mess they made.
It is nothing new, but articles about the US-Pakistan relationship continue to take up space in the news media.
Upon noticing one headline today, I could not help but think of a battling Catholic couple, for whom divorce is impossible. They hate each other, but remain together “for the kids”. In the case of these two countries, the “kids” mean something different for each.
I hope that the “until death do you part” portion of the wedding vow is not the nuclear destruction of the planet...
If you hit two keys on the typewriter, the one you don't want hits the paper.
NB. For anyone under 30: a typewriter was an ancient machine that people used to write documents. If you made a mistake, you had to erase the mistake or, later, cover it with white fluid (a short-lived invention). The keys were similar to those on a computer keyboard (having no imagination, the inventors merely stole the keyboard design).
An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn't take his education too seriously.
Once again, Gale Collins turns miserable news into something entertaining. I particularly like her metaphor about traffic.
Like everyone in the United States, I grew up enjoying the ubiquity of ballpoint pens. I never questioned or wondered about the invention. I knew about fountain pens, but did not use one. I recall my grandmother having one. I’m sure that it was similar to people remembering ancestors riding in horse-drawn carriages.
Ballpoint pens have become throw away items and cheap giveaways with branding. I have evolved backwards and returned to writing with a fountain pen...
All this brings me to an item I noticed on one of the many sites that I skim. It seems that today is Mr. Biro’s birthday. Most, if not all, Americans will say: Who?
I became familiar with the word Biro through books, which attempt to teach Germans the English language. I could not understand why Germans were told to call a ballpoint pen a Biro. I have since learned that most Europeans do.
The below blurb explains this. Of course, it was only natural for Americans to ignore an inventor that lived in a foreign country...
László Bíró (1899) Frustrated by the way his fountain pen's sharp tip would tear paper and by the amount of time he wasted filling the pen with ink and cleaning up smudges, László Bíró set to work developing a better pen. A Hungarian newspaper editor, he noticed that the ink used in newspaper printing dried quickly and without smudging, but it was too viscous for use with existing pens. With the help of his brother, a chemist, he developed the modern ballpoint pen.
Good news for all you Ambrose Bierce fans (there must be at least one): The Library of America has published a volume of his writings. You can read a review in the Atlantic.
Thus the metric system did not really catch on in the States,
unless you count the increasing popularity of the nine-millimeter bullet.
NB. He lives in Florida!
This interactive map provides statistics on gun crimes in the US.
Having just spent my vacation in Florida, I was pleased in retrospect about having chosen such a safe state...until I read the small print. Florida does not provide statistics, which suggests that they must be really bad. Of course, I should have known, after seeing people wearing weapons in grocery stores.
Tiny Rhode Island has more that Germany, which has a population of over 80 million. Tells you something about the benefit of gun control...but no one wants to hear that.