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Posts Tagged ‘Dorothy Parker

“Let us cultivate our garden”*…

 

“Fill a large pail with water, and stand it a little above the level of the plants and group round or near as many plants as practical. Loosely plait two or three strands of wool together, immerse completely in water, and place one end in the pail, weighted, and touching the bottom. Rest the other end on the soil: a separate plait of wool is advisable for each pot.”

In the late 1880s, cigarette manufacturers began inserting stiffening cards into their paper packs of cigarettes to strengthen the containers. It wasn’t long before they got the idea to put artwork, trivia, famous people, and pretty girls onto those cards, grouped into collectible series. The cards, which continued into the 1940s, are highly valuable now, with the most expensive (bearing the face of stringent anti-smoking baseball player Honus Wagner) selling for $2.8 million in 2007.

HOW TO PRESERVE EGGS “Eggs for preserving must be newly laid, and by simply putting these into a box or tin of dry salt-burying the eggs right in the salt and keeping it in a cool dry place — it is possible to preserve them for a very long period. No air whatever should be allowed to get to the shell.”

In the 1910s, Gallaher Ltd of Belfast & London and Ogden’s Branch of the Imperial Tobacco Co printed “How-To” series, with clever hints for both everyday and emergency situations. From steaming out a splinter to stopping a mad dog, these cigarette cards told you the smart way to handle many of life’s problems.

“A scout’s staff, a walking-stick, or even a handkerchief or hat may be held before you as shown. The dog invariably endeavours to paw down your defense before biting, thus giving you the opportunity of disabling him by a kick.”

More enlightenment at “10 Lifehacks from 100 Years Ago.”

* Voltaire, Candide

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As we improve ourselves, we might compose birthday bon mot for Dorothy Parker, the writer, critic, satirist, poet, and Algonquin Round Table regular; she was born on this date in 1893.  The estimable Ms. Parker once wondered, on hearing that President Calvin Coolidge had died, “How could they tell?”…  Of a book she reviewed, she suggested, “this is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown aside with great force”…  And perhaps most famously, she opined that “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”  (More of her acerbic wit here.)

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Written by LW

August 22, 2015 at 1:01 am

So much for “Hump Day”…

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Conventional wisdom has it that Monday is the dimmest of days.  But recent research suggests that, in fact, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are equally loathed…

US investigators who looked at a poll of 340,000 people found moods were no worse on Mondays than other working days, bar Friday.  People were happier as they approached the weekend, lending support for the concept of “that Friday feeling”.  The report authors told the Journal of Positive Psychology that the concept of miserable Mondays should be ditched…

Read the whole story at The BBC

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As we remind ourselves that Dorothy Parker (whose birthday this is) would surely have had something witty to add, we might recall that this is the date ascribed by many to St. Columba’s meeting with “Nessie” in 565– the first sighting of the Loch Ness Monster.  The date (not to mention the details) are a little fuzzy, provenance-wise, as the encounter was first reported in Adamnan’s The Life of Saint Columba nearly a century later…

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Written by LW

August 22, 2012 at 1:01 am

What a thing is man…

Ah, the mystery that is mankind…  From New Scientist, “Ten Things We Don’t Understand About Humans“…  For example,

Nose-Picking

For blushing, altruism, kissing, and others of our foibles, see here.

As we marvel at mortality, we might amuse ourselves by composing birthday bon mot for Dorothy Parker, the writer, poet, and Algonquin Round table member; she was born on this date in 1893…  The estimable Ms. Parker once wondered, on hearing that President Calvin Coolidge had died, “How could they tell?”…  Of a book she reviewed, she suggested, “this is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown aside with great force”…  And perhaps most famously, she opined that “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”

Dorothy Parker

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Written by LW

August 22, 2009 at 12:01 am

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