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Posts Tagged ‘Friends

“Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit”*…

You spend your time tweeting, friending, liking, poking, and in the few minutes left, cultivating friends in the flesh. Yet sadly, despite all your efforts, you probably have fewer friends than most of your friends have. But don’t despair — the same is true for almost all of us. Our friends are typically more popular than we are…

Mathematics maven Steven Strogatz explains why in his New York Times Opinionator blog post “Friends You can Count On” (part of a terrific series, “Me, Myself, and Math.”

* Aristotle

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As we ponder Oscar Wilde’s observation that “true friends stab you in the front,” we might send prophylactic birthday greetings to Samuel W. Alderson; he was born on this date in 1914.  A physicist and engineer of broad accomplishment, Alderson is probably best remembered as the inventor of the crash test dummy.  Alderson created his first dummies in 1956 to test jet ejection seats for the military.  But with the passage of the Highway Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act in 1966 (on the heels of the stir created by Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed), Alderson found a much broader market.  (From the first experiments on car safety in the 1930s, cadavers had been used to assess risk and damage; the dummy had obvious advantages.)  Alderson continuously improved his dummies, and later branched out to produce medical “phantoms” for simulations– e.g., synthetic wounds that ooze mock blood.

 source

Written by LW

October 21, 2012 at 1:01 am

And a side of Bacon…

From the Spring, 2010 issue of Lapham’s Quarterly (“Arts and Letters”), “Friends, Lovers, and Family,” a plot of the “degrees of separation” among the creatives who have, among them, done so much to define the canon of English arts and letters…

An excerpt from the chart:

See the whole thing here…  and rest assured that it does, finally, resolve to Kevin Bacon.

As we revisit our Facebook friends lists, we might recall that it was on this date in 1939 that the Baseball Hall of Fame was dedicated and opened in Cooperstown, NY.

Stephen C. Clark, a local hotel owner, was the champion of the effort to build the Hall in Cooperstown.  He was anxious to boost the local economy, which was suffering economically, as the Great Depression had significantly reduced the local tourist trade, and Prohibition had devastated the local hops industry. He played heavily on the erroneous assertion that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday had invented baseball in Cooperstown, a claim made by former National League president Abraham G. Mills and his 1905 Mills Commission.  His grand-daughter, Jane Forbes Clark, currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame.

(Readers should note that Cooperstown is by no means a one trick pony:  it is also home to The Farmers’ Museum, The Fenimore Art Museum, Glimmerglass Opera, and the New York State Historical Association.)

Plaques honoring Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson, the first class of Inductees (named before the Hall itself was complete)

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