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Expand Your Mind: Just for Fun

by Miki Saxon

expand-your-mindOK, I admit it. I don’t feel like putting together a meaningful group of articles that offer insights or enhance your professional persona. Instead, I’m going to share four articles that I found interesting and/or amusing that provide little outside of interesting dinner conversation.

Winter weather often annoys gardeners; either the weather is yucky enough to take reduce the pleasure of being out (me) or so bad it’s impossible. This article is an almost lyrical look at winter gardens, especially for those who live in areas of true winter (not me) where everything seems to die except the evergreens.

We cry that the earth is draggy, the garden defunct. But as usual we’re actually whimpering about ourselves. (…) For in truth, our gardens haven’t gone anywhere at all. It is we who have elected to migrate someplace else for the season; that is, to a cocoon made of duvet, cookie crumbs and tubs of Eucerin.

I am a firm and vocal proponent of “doing good by doing [it] right” and so was fascinated to read an excerpt from the story of the building of Grand Central Station, which shows the idea has been around a lot longer than most people realize.

William J. Wilgus, the chief engineer for the New York Central Railroad, unabashedly proclaimed, “marked the opening of a remarkable opportunity for the accomplishment of a public good with considerations of private gain in behalf of the corporation involved.”

Libraries loan out all kinds of media these days, but it took a librarian’s innovative turn-of-mind to think of loaning out a donated doll.

When Ms. Taube became the children’s librarian in 2004, she found Kirsten languishing on a forgotten shelf in a library office within earshot of the busy children’s room, because library workers considered her too expensive to risk damage by displaying. (…) “I thought, ‘Well, we loan out books that are that expensive, so why can’t we lend her out too?’” said Ms. Taube, who hoped the doll would attract more children to the branch, leading them to read the doll books.

Last, but not least, is an opinion piece from the one and only Woody Allen who took time from his busy schedule to explain the difference between a hypochondriac and an alarmist. (This is especially for Julie.)

…I am not a hypochondriac but a totally different genus of crackpot? What I am is an alarmist, which is in the same ballpark as the hypochondriac or, should I say, the same emergency room. Still there is a fundamental difference. I don’t experience imaginary maladies — my maladies are real.

Flickr image credit: pedroelcarvalho

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2 Responses to “Expand Your Mind: Just for Fun”
  1. Julie ENo Gravatar Says:

    Oh my gosh!! Sorry it took me so long to get to this Miki! I loved it!

    Woody Allen is such a lovely quirky character. It must be amazing to see the world through his eyes. And that last sentence – classic!

  2. Miki SaxonNo Gravatar Says:

    Good, I thought of you when I read it and was hoping you would like it))

    I, too, love that last line.

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