Living In Interesting Times

The expression, May you live in interesting times, is usually considered an ancient-Chinese curse. Whether it’s true that it is an ancient Chinese curse is doubtful, but the part about the curse definitely seems true. The reason the expression is considered a curse rather than a blessing is that interesting “times” result from political intrigue and wars rather than from peace, happiness, and tranquility. We (and that includes the mass of humanity at this point) are living in interesting times. Charles Dickens begins his great novel, A Tale of Two Cities with the following paragraph:

It was the best . . . → Read More: Living In Interesting Times

Loose Cannon on Deck

The term, loose cannon, has been around a long time. Cannons used on sailing vessels were large, typically weighing several tons. To avoid damage from the recoil when they were fired, they were mounted on rollers and secured with rope. The cannon jumped backwards when fired. If you have ever fired a weapon, you are familiar with recoil. The cannons get hot when they are used in battle, and each time a cannon is fired, it jumps higher and rolls farther. If the ropes holding the cannon secure were to break, a loose cannon would roll backwards and crush anything—or . . . → Read More: Loose Cannon on Deck