A Sound for a Smell
[Various versions of this tale are told throughout Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world].
A poor traveler stopped at midday to rest in the shade of a spreading tree. He had journeyed far and had only a single piece of bread left for his lunch. But across the road stood a stall where a baker sold rich pastries and cakes, and the traveler enjoyed inhaling the fragrances wafting across the way while he munched on his thin, stale morsel.
When he rose to continue his journey, the baker suddenly ran across the road and seized him by the collar.
'Just a minute!' the baker cried. 'You must pay me for my cakes!'
'What do you mean?' the startled traveler protested. 'I haven’t touched your cakes.'
'You thief!' the baker shouted. 'It’s perfectly obvious you’ve enjoyed your own stale biscuit only by sniffing the pleasant odors of my bakery. You won’t leave until you’ve paid me for what you’ve taken. I don’t work for nothing, my friend.'
A crowd gathered and urged the two to take their dispute before the local judge, who was a wise old man. The judge listened to their arguments, thought a long time, then rendered his judgement.
'You are right,' he told the baker. 'This traveler has savored the fruits of your labor. I rule the smell of your cakes is worth three gold coins.'
'That’s absurd!' the traveler objected. 'Besides, I’ve spent all my money on my journey. I don’t have a penny to pay.'
'Ah,' said the judge, 'in that case I will help you.' He pulled three gold coins from his own pocket, which the baker quickly reached to take.
'Not yet,' said the judge. 'You say this traveller merely smelled your cakes?'
'That’s right,' replied the baker.
'But he never swallowed a bite?'
'I told you he did not.'
'He never tasted a pastry?'
'And never touched your pies?'
'Then since he has consumed only vapors, you must be paid with sound. Open your ears and receive what you deserve.'
The wise judge let the gold coins tumble from one hand to the other so that their tingling entered the baker’s greedy ears.
'If you had been kind enough to help this poor man along his way,' the judge said, 'then truly you would have found golden reward in Heaven.'
The ultimate task of strategy [is] dealing with risk, making tradeoffs, and prioritizing objectives.
Our technological civilization has cushioned life on all sides, yet more than ever before, people helplessly succumb to the blows of life. This is very simply because a merely technological culture cannot give any help in the face of life’s eternal tragedy; here only an inward foundation can help. Externalized as they are, too many people today have no ideas, no strength, nothing that might enable them to master their restlessness and dividedness. They do not know what to make of trials, obstacles, or suffering—how to make something constructive of them—and perceive them only as things that oppress and irritate them and interfere with life.
If you sign a mortgage with Russia’s largest bank, they’ll “drive a van to your [new] home and drop off one of their 10 cats — which they keep just for occasions like this — so you can hang out with it for not more than two hours.” Why? As “Russian superstition has it, it’s good luck for the first creature to cross the threshold of a new home to be a feline. And, yes, the cat has to be returned to the bank.” (via Foreign Policy Magazine)
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.
Q:"Wake up," Bucky said shaking Steve awake. "У меня для тебя дополнительный час в мяч яма."
the best thing is that this sentence is correct except for the last two words. google translate clearly didn’t know what to do with “ball pit” so it translated “ball” separately (without the correct ending) and “pit” as a pit in the sense of a gaping chasm in the ground.
which in my opinion is the best kind of ball pit, really.
'See that little stream - we could walk to it in two minutes. It took the British a month to walk to it - a whole empire walking very slowly, dying in front and pushing forward behind. And another empire walked very slowly backward a few inches a day, leaving the dead like a million bloody rugs. No European will ever do that again in this generation.'
'Why, they've only just quit over in Turkey,' said Abe. 'And in Morocco.'
'That’s different. This western-front business couldn’t be done again, not for a long time. The young men think they could do it but they couldn’t. They could fight the first Marne again but not this. This took religion and years of plenty and tremendous sureties and the exact relationship between the classes. The Russians and Italians weren’t any good on this front. You had to have a whole-souled sentimental equipment going back further than you could remember. You had to remember Christmas, and postcards of the Crown Prince and his fiancé, and little cafes in Valence and beer gardens in Unter den Linden and weddings at the mairie, and going to the Derby, and your grandfather’s whiskers.’
'General Grant invented this kind of battle at Petersburg in sixty-five.'
'No, he didn't - he just invented mass butchery. This kind of battle was invented by Lewis Carroll and Jules Verne and whoever wrote Undine, and country deacons bowling and marraines in Marseilles and girls seduced in the back lanes of Wurttemberg and Westphalia. Why, this was a love battle - there was a century of middle-class love spent here. This was the last love battle.'
'You want to hand over this battle to D. H. Lawrence,' said Abe.
'All my beautiful lovely safe world blew itself up here with a great gust of high explosive love,' Dick mourned persistently. 'Isn't that true, Rosemary?'
In [T.E. Lawrence’s] judgement ‘the more elemental you can keep sensation, the better you feel them.’ A taste for wine mars the more subtle appreciation of water.
Basil Liddell Hart, from T.E. Lawrence in Arabia and After(via ouphrontis)
The most important thing a writer can have [is] the ability to live with the constant loneliness and a strong sense of revulsion for the banalities of everyday socializing.
On the morning of the 27th a cry arose from No Man’s Land. A wounded soldier of the Middlesex had recovered consciousness after two days. He lay close to the German wire. Our men heard it and looked at each other. We had a tender-hearted lance-corporal named Baxter. He was the man to boil up a special dixie for the sentries of his section when they came off duty. As soon as he heard the wounded Middlesex man, he ran along the trench calling for a volunteer to help fetch him in. Of course, no one would go; it was death to put one’s head over the parapet. When he came running to ask me I excused myself as being the only officer in the company. I would come out with him at dusk, I said – not now. So he went alone. He jumped quickly over the parapet, then strolled across No Man’s Land, waving a handkerchief; the Germans fired to frighten him, but since he persisted they let him come up close. Baxter continued towards them and, when he got to the Middlesex man, stopped and pointed to show the Germans what he was at. Then he dressed the man’s wounds, gave him a drink of rum and some biscuit that he had with him, and promised to be back again at nightfall. He did come back, with a stretcher party, and the man eventually recovered. I recommended Baxter for the Victoria Cross, being the only officer who had witnessed the action, but the authorities thought it worth no more than a Distinguished Conduct Medal.
La parola ‘intelligente’ deriva dal latino, viene da ‘intus’ più ‘legere:’ ‘leggere dentro.’ La persona intelligente è quella che sa guardare dentro le cose, dentro le persone, dentro i fatti.
This quote sounds much prettier in Italian, but my English translation (with a little help from Google) is:
"People say the word ‘intelligence’ derives from Latin, coming from ‘intus’ and ‘legere:’ ‘to read inside.’ The intelligent person is the one who knows how to look inside things, inside people, inside facts."