Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Fact-A-Day

On Monday I learned that George Washington freed only half his slaves upon his death. The other half belonged to Martha and, after all, how would she live without slave labor? I ask you.

(Starting in the late thirties there were 200 quiz shows on radio. The smartest one was Information Please. We valued intelligence in those days. What a concept!)

On Tuesday I found out that we now constitute the largest mass of protoplasm on the planet. We nosed out termites for first place just 20 years ago...(proving that night baseball will never replace sex).

(Rene Descartes never said, Sometimes I think, therefore sometimes I am.)

On Wednesday I read somewhere that beer should be first poured directly to the bottom of the glass to release the aroma and then on the side of the glass to trap the bubbles.

(It was Hemingway who cracked, "Write drunk, edit sober." Good advice, make it straight up with a twist.)

On Thursday I heard that Mark Spitz, the Olympic champ from ’72, had a Russian swimming coach. When pressed to shave his mustache he told the coach it was aerodynamically advantageous. For the next Olympics all Russian swimmers had mustaches…including two woman.

(That was less than interesting even for sport fans. It shows what a small mind you have).

On Friday I read that the Louvre was stocked by stolen loot pillaged by Napoleon. So why, I ask you, was it not itself looted when Napoleon met his Waterloo?

(The Brits, did in fact, take the Rosetta Stone.)

On Saturday I read on the paper attached to a Good Earth tea bag, Jung's words, Who looks outside, dreams, who looks inside, awakes.

(And so we inch along half in, half out of this world with our eyes open. All three of them while the tea steeps.)

By Sunday I started to get a brain ache and forgot everything from Monday through Wednesday. How would we get by without our faculty to forget? Memory loss must be terrible but maybe not as bad as remembering everything.

The real question is whether knowledge leads to wisdom. Maybe it’s best to keep the cave walls shadowy; too much light can blind.

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