Monday, October 20

Breaking News

Governor Jeb Bush and the speaker of the Florida House are "expanding the call." That means that they are utilizing a special legal maneuver to allow the Florida Legislature to consider stoping the execution order against Terri Schindler-Schiavo. The upper and lower chambers will assemble as early as 7:45 PM EST. Pray that the legislators will indeed overturn the perverse rulings that have allowed U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court Judge George Greer, and Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo to commence her slow and tortured starvation. For updates through the day Tuesday visit the website maintained by Terri's longsuffering parents--I will not be posting here until I return on Wednesday from my own one-day, whirlwind visit to the state.

Indispensible Miscellany

Oscar Wilde once asserted, “It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.” Spurred on by such a profound complaint, Ben Schott set out to rectify the situation. The result is Schott’s Original Miscellany (Bloomsbury). It is a marvelous little book is so full of useless information that it is down right useful!

Where else can you find 44 different ways to say “I love you,” paired with a list of the Seven Wonders of the World, the official supplier of bagpipes to the Queen of England, blood group compatibilities and incompatibilities, the Periodic Table, a comparison chart of inches, centimeters, points, agates, and ciceros, cricket fielding positions, international paper sizes, the labors of Hercules, the history of the Hat Tax, the list of amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and oh so much more. Without this book how would I ever be able to convert French shoe sizes to British to American and back again? Without this book how would I ever be able to keep straight the Linnean Order of Classification or the Dewey Decimal System or the Sequence of the Popes or the signs of the Chinese Zodiac or the terms of various complex chess moves or the different types of clouds or the proper way to wrap a sari?

I mean really, this little book is worth its weight in gold. Rush right out and buy it, or you’re never likely to know the intricacies of the Irish Code Duello--and that is one bit of useless knowledge you just find to be very useful one day!

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