Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Correspondence: Facts

Daily Tar Heel, January 23, by Emily Yue
Edited by Moristotle

I am sending this only to my smart friends. I couldn’t figure it out. My first thought was wrong and I had to look at the answer. See if you can figure out what these seven words all have in common.
  1. Banana
  2. Dresser
  3. Grammar
  4. Potato
  5. Revive
  6. Uneven
  7. Assess
    Are you peeking at the footnote* already?
    Give it another try. Look at each word carefully. You’ll kick yourself when you discover the answer. This is so cool!
    No, it is not that they all have at least two letters that occur twice!
    Answer in footnote below.

Some fun culture by Simon Rattle and Barbara Hannibal:

Current events are reminding me almost daily of comments I believe Jack Kennedy made after the successful resolution of the Cuban missile crisis. He said that the Chinese character for “crisis” was a combination of the character for “danger” and the character for “opportunity.” (Don’t you sometimes wish we could converse in a language that contained such inherent wisdom in its very composition? [–Wikipedia])

“10+ Of The Happiest Facts Ever That’ll Make Your Day” [Giedrė, Bored Panda]. Excerpt:
Did you know that according to Swiss law, social animals like guinea pigs must have a buddy with them and it's illegal to own just one? And were you aware that sea otters hold hands while sleeping so they don’t drift away from one another? And believe it or not, did you know that Norway knighted a penguin? These are just some of the random happy facts that you can find in the list below. Compiled by Bored Panda, it’s sure to put a smile on your face while also teaching you a thing or two. Don’t forget to vote for the best! [read more]

“A Family’s Shared Defect Sheds Light on the Human Genome” [Natalie Angier, NY Times, January 9]. Excerpt:
They said it was their family curse: a rare congenital deformity called syndactyly, in which the thumb and index finger are fused together on one or both hands. Ten members of the extended clan were affected, and with each new birth, they told Stefan Mundlos of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, the first question was always: “How are the baby’s hands? Are they normal?”....
    The family, under promise of anonymity, is taking part in a study by Dr. Mundlos and his colleagues of the origin and development of limb malformations. And while the researchers cannot yet offer a way to prevent syndactyly, or to entirely correct it through surgery, Dr. Mundlos has sought to replace the notion of a family curse with “a rational answer for their condition,”....
    The mutations affect a newly discovered design feature of the DNA molecule called topologically associating domains, or TADs. It turns out that the vast informational expanse of the genome is divvied up into a series of manageable, parochial and law-abiding neighborhoods with strict nucleic partitions between them — each one a TAD. [read more]
A funny, timely Dutch film welcoming Donald Trump.

I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.
    My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the black car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, “Why did you just smile and wave at the guy? He could have ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!”
    This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call The Law of the Garbage Truck. He explained that

many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointments. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it, and sometimes they’ll dump it on you.
    Don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it on other people – at work, at home, or on the streets. The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.
    Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right and let the ones go who don’t.
    Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it!

* In all of the words listed, if you take the first letter, place it at the end of the word, and then spell the word backwards, it will be the same word.

Grateful for correspondence, Moristotle


  1. Thanks to my terrific correspondents! You are the best people! You have the highest IQs!

  2. Okay I didn't get your word thing. I had a friend I was in the Army with that had his second and third toe grown together. He had a son that also was that way. His father and mother was dead and he didn't know if he had it or not.

    1. Ed, how long did you work at the word puzzle? I didn't get it either, but my excuse is that I was impatient and didn't even attempt to answer it, for which I am deeply regretful – now that I feel I am obligated to admit it, so as to give you some company. (I take it that everyone else, who are NOT commenting, got the answer fine.)

    2. Wrong. Like you, I gave up too easily. I was on the right track, too.

  3. I finally got around to playing the Rattle/Hammond/Ligeti thing, which was fun. However, the next thing that popped up on YouTube was another concert. Steve Allen Show, 1963. Guest, a very young Frank Zappa. Music, "Concerto for two bicycles and orchestra". It's a classic!