A Starmonger and a Lottery Prediction and Disappointment, Oh My!

There is a Filipino idiom, “pera na, naging bato pa“, which literally translates to, “what should have been money on hand just turned into stone”. The following true story that I witnessed when I was in the Philippines illustrates this idiom perfectly. During my stay in the Philippines, I had neighbors who are a couple […]

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Gleanings from the Past #69

Returning Home In May last, Mr. Goring, of Staines, lost a valuable horse, for which he made the most diligent inquiry, but without effect. Last week, however, a gentleman driving through Staines in a gig, the horse made a sudden stop at Mr. Goring’s house, from which nothing could induce him to move The circumstance […]

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The Book That Has It All

One Sunday morning, Mark Twain was listening to a preacher who was giving a dramatic and well thought out sermon. Twain recognized the skill of the preacher though he was bothered by the preacher’s supercilious attitude. So, he decided to take the preacher down a few pegs. As you may be aware, Twain was an […]

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Don’t You Know Me?

English novelist Anthony Trollope related the following story which occurred in 1872 in his autobiography, posthumously published in 1883: I came home across America from San Francisco to New York, visiting Utah and Brigham Young on the way. I did not achieve great intimacy with the great polygamist of the Salt Lake City. I called […]

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Gleanings From The Past #67

Science Science, like life, feeds on its own decay. New facts burst old rules; then newly divined conceptions bind old and new together into a reconciling law. — William James, The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy, 1897

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Dress Code

It can be rather awkward if you appear at an event wearing casual clothes while everyone is wearing formal attire and vice versa. Nonetheless, playwright and actor Noël Coward didn’t falter when a similar event happened to him. In 1918, Coward was invited to a gathering organized by Tomorrow Club, which was composed of literary […]

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A Stone-Cold Hoax

Melville Stone was a publisher of the Chicago Daily News during the 1870’s. In his memoir, he related the following anecdote of a hoax pulled by the Chicago Daily News against its competitor. The staff at the Daily News had a feeling that the Chicago Post and Mail, which was run by the McMullen brothers, […]

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Gleanings From The Past #55

The Sword and the Pen The sword of the warrior was taken down for the purpose of being polished. It had not been long out of use. The rust was rubbed off, but there were spots that would not go; they were of blood. The sword was placed on the table, near the pen of […]

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Gleanings From The Past #54

Not Lost in Translation A ludicrous story is told of a great naval function which took place during the reign of the last Napoleon and the Empress Eugénie. Several American vessels were present, and they were drawn up in line to salute the Empress’s yacht as it passed. The French sailors, of course, manned the […]

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Albert Einstein On The Formula For Success In Life

One day, someone asked Albert Einstein whether he knows the mathematical formula for success in life. “If a is ‘success in life’, then the formula is, a equals x plus y plus z, where x represents ‘work’ and y represents ‘play’,” Einstein said. “But what about z?” he was asked. “z,” he replied, “is keeping your mouth […]

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