The reading list
“The paper clip is something of a fetish object in design circles. Its spare, machined aesthetic and its inexpensive ubiquity landed it a spot in MoMA's 2004 show Humble Masterpieces. This was a pedestal too high for design critic Michael Bierut, who responded with an essay called 'To Hell with the Simple Paper Clip.' He argued that designers praise supposedly unauthored objects like the paper clip because they're loath to choose between giving publicity to a competitor and egotistically touting their own designs. Bierut might be right about his colleagues' motives, but he's wrong about the paper clip: It's not all that simple.
“Most everyday objects — like the key, or the book, or the phone — evolve over time in incremental ways, and the 20th century in particular revolutionized, streamlined or technologized the vast majority of the things you hold in your hand over the course of an average day. But if you could step into an office in 1895 — walking past horse-drawn buses and rows of wooden telephone switchboard cabinets — you might find a perfectly recognizable, shiny silver paper clip sitting on a desk. What was then a brand-new technology is now, well over a century later, likely to be in the same place, ready to perform the same tasks. Why did the paper clip find its form so quickly, and why has it stuck with us for so long?”
From “The Perfection of the paper Clip” at slate.com
What was the name of the first Hollywood canine superstar?
Wisdom of the ages
“Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else's.” – Billy Wilder
“When many groups belonging to the same people tear each other apart and kill each other, if you can't call it a civil war, then there are no words to describe it.” – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in declaring Syria was in a state of civil war.
Rin Tin Tin, a German shepherd that was found wounded in battle in World War I France and taken to Hollywood by the American soldier who adopted him, Lee Duncan.
fantast (FAN-tast). n. – a visionary or dreamer, as in: “The editorial writer wondered if the politician were a fantast but soon realized he was merely a lazy procrastinator.” From the Greek phantastes, “boaster.”
Today in history
On this date in 1917, the first Congress of Soviets convened in Russia; well, that worked out just fine for the world, didn't it?
Now you know
Between 30 and 60 percent of cocaine users combine the drug with alcohol. This concurrent use is the cause of nearly 75 percent of cocaine-related fatalities in the U.S., according to RandomHistory.com