Gleanings from the Past #81

Crimes in Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle There is one fact in connection with Holmes which will probably interest those who have followed his career from the beginning, and to which, so far as I am aware, attention has never been drawn. In dealing with criminal subjects one’s natural endeavour is to keep the crime […]

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Asking for a Raise

The January 1957 issue of Advertising Agency Magazine published the following memo sent by an office secretary named Ilean M. Clarke asking for salary increase: The Secretary You Save May Be Your Own. One Secretary in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush. Damn the Personnel Department, Full Speed Ahead. They Also Serve Who Sit and […]

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Quotable #81: Advertising

“Advertising is usually a trick to get you to spend money by telling you how much you can save. An advertisement is 85 percent confusion and 15 percent commission.” — Fred Allen “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you’re doing but she doesn’t.” — Thos. B. […]

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Checks Written in Blood

Charles K. Feldman (left) and Alexander Korda (right) Film producer Charles K. Feldman (1905 – 1968) related this story: I lost at gin rummy with Alexander Korda one evening, and mailed him a check next day. It was written in red ink, and accompanied by this note: “Dear Alex: You will see that this check is written in […]

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The Truth of 12-Hour Shifts as A UK Nurse: The Pros and Cons

This is a guest post by Catherine Stewart. When people hear of a nurse’s 12-hour shift that only takes up 3 days of their work week, they respond with surprise and envy at the flexibility of a nurse’s schedule. The truth about 12-hour shifts as a nurse is that they’re no easy task. If you’re […]

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Distribution of Talent

William Shenstone (1714 – 1763), an eighteenth-century poet, once remarked that if the public is divided into a hundred parts, the corresponding distribution of talent may be estimated in this way: Fools: 15 Persons of Common Sense: 40 Wits: 15 Pedants: 15 Persons of Wild Taste: 10 Persons of Improved Taste: 5 Just for fun, […]

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Pun of the Weak: It’s Logical

Here’s a classic one: Two ladies argue with one another every day from their windows, across an intervening lane. They never agreed, which was to be expected of course, for they argued from different premises!

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“This Is Trivial” (Or Is It?)

There was a popular anecdote about mathematician G. H. Hardy (1877 – 1947) that goes like this: While conducting a lecture on Number Theory, he said that a certain mathematical notion was trivial. But after a little while, he hesitated and asked, “Is it trivial?” He then excused himself and went to his office. After […]

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The Reason Dostoevsky Preferred to Work at Night

Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 – 1888) usually liked to work through the night. With tea, cigarettes, and sweets as fuel, he could pull several all-nighters to write his novels. He told a friend through a letter why he preferred to do his business at night: It is night now; the hands of the clock […]

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Test Your Pronunciation Skills with This “Announcer’s Test”

WQXR, a New York radio station, used to give an “Announcer’s Test” that goes like this: The old man with the flaccid face and dour expression grimaced when asked if he were conversant with zoology, mineralogy, or the culinary arts. ‘Not to be secretive,’ he said, ‘I may tell you that I’d given precedence to […]

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