Archive for May 15th, 2017

wsj.com: Anatomy of a Song: ‘Smoke on the Water’ Members of Deep Purple recall the fire that inspired the 1973 heavy-metal anthem

May 15, 2017

https://www.wsj.com/articles/anatomy-of-a-song-smoke-on-the-water-1494863389

“Up to 140,000 of Napoleon’s soldiers died of disease in 1812, the majority of them from typhus but a significant number from dysentery and related illnesses.”

May 15, 2017

Roberts, Andrew. Napoleon: A Life (p. 590). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

1812 was the year of Napoleon’s disastrous invasion of Russia.

Misspeaking, Typos, and Thinkos

May 15, 2017

http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21721897-among-many-excuses-public-figures-make-when-they-screw-up-i-misspoke-among

I’ve heard politicians use the “misspoke” excuse to explain away some pretty lengthy and involved statements.

Excerpt:

Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist, distinguishes two kinds of speech mistakes: “typos” and “thinkos”. Typos are ubiquitous and listeners hardly notice many of them. Thinkos go deeper; they betray that the speaker might actually not know something. If someone says the capital of Italy is Florence, that’s probably a true thinko, unless the person is an expert in Italy who just happened to be thinking about a forthcoming holiday in Florence. But when people are caught in a thinko, they are often tempted by the “misspoke” explanation—it’s hard to prove them wrong, after all, if they say they knew the right thing but just accidentally said the wrong one. It could happen to anybody.

Some causes of deaths in U.S. in 2015: 33,091 by opioid overdoses (almost 3x 2012 figure); 36,132 by guns; 35,092 by car crashes.

May 15, 2017

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21721960-deaths-drugs-say-more-about-markets-about-white-despair-inside-opioid