Your word for the week is petrichor. It means the smell of rain on dry soil. The refreshing petrichor of summer brought a coolness to a hot and sticky Pensacola. I don’t know how you would ever have occasion to use that sentence, but now you can.
On March 20, 1925, an Anglican priest named Frederick Lewis Donaldson preached a sermon centering around what he called the “7 Deadly Social Evils.” Through the help of what he called a “fair friend,” Mohandas Gandhi had the opportunity to reprint the list in his weekly newspaper. A few weeks before the Mahatma’s assassination, he gave a handwritten copy of the list to his grandson, Arun Gandhi. It was Arun Gandhi that brought the list to the world, publishing it after his grandfather’s death under the heading “Seven Blunders of the World.”
Run toward your fears. That’s some billboard-variety advice I get while driving past the local university. And as we all know, multicolored roadside signs are the most reliable source of life advice these days.
Lean into it. That’s how the same basic sentiment was expressed in an article I read recently. Except this wasn’t written by a nameless, faceless intern. This was from an expert in the field of stress management who woke up one day struggling mightily to manage his own stress.
The great Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” That concept is difficult for us to understand in a world that has never not known automobiles. But we read about a world (there may even be a few souls left who remember one) in which the quality of your horse or horses determined the quality of your journey. Knowing a better way now, it seems silly to yearn for yesteryear.
Mathematician David Hilbert had inscribed on his tombstone, “Wir mussen wissen. Wir warden wissen.” He was German, in case you thought this was going to be a note about typographical errors made in granite.
“We must know. We will know.” That’s the translation, and a powerful commentary on mankind’s need — mandate, even — to advance the boundaries of knowledge.
Alton Brown is one of my favorite television celebrities, back from when I actually watched television. I heard him talk one time about he and his young daughter watching the Mythbusters guys blow things up on their show, after which she turned to him and said, with attitude, “So, what did you do on your show today?” Apparently, “Cutthroat Kitchen” wasn’t quite literal enough for the young lady.