Thursday, July 3, 2014

Friday Grab Bag (on a Thursday): Weegee won't marry a Brooklyn girl; Is it all bunk?: Whither Janet Yellen?

It's Friday. Well no, it's Thursday, but tomorrow's Friday the 4th of July.  We will be celebrating our independence, Hurricane Arthur will be soaking Boston and Cambridge passing just off the coast of Nantucket, France will be playing Germany in the World Cup, and Friday's Grab Bag will have already happened, today.  Happy 4th!  "When in the course of human events ..."

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Behold a wonderful book, Sidewalks of America: Folklore, Legends, Sagas, Traditions, Customs, Songs, Stories and Sayings of Cityfolk, a 1954 collection by B.A. Botkin.  A friend loaned it to me.  On page 21, I come across this little gem:

... Weegee told us ... he wants to get married.  "So far I haven't been married as yet and I'm 47, but that wouldn't stop me.  Of course," he added, "I don't believe in marriage.  I'm a free soul.  But I'd be glad to humor the girl along and marry her." He paused, then added, "One thing -- I don't think I'll find her in Brooklyn." (quoted from "Why Weegee Won't Marry a Brooklyn Girl," by Jean Evans, PM Picture News, April 21, 1946).

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Yesterday, I found myself in the MIT Press Bookstore. I looked at the books, and they all were so damn serious.

Then I thought to myself, "What if it's all bunk? The whole lot of it, just bunk?"

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If my memory serves me well, The New Republic used to run a box in its magazine filled with headlines from various publications that drew exactly opposite conclusions from the same news event.  It was hilarious to read, a good antidote to the pomposity of print media before the advent of the internet.  Well, I just had a time warp, courtesy of a Google search.  Look at the two headlines about Janet Yellen and interest rates:

The search originated in these interesting sentences from a story about wealth from the tech boom in the Bay Area:
"Quantitative easing, the policy that drove a great deal of wealth into Bay area tech, is expected to end this fall, and interesting rates will likely rise again before long.  If the market assessments of observers like Tom Perkins are correct, these changes will cause wealth to flow into lower-risk investments, and the start up economy will finally slow down." (Nathan Heller, "California Screaming", New Yorker, July 7 & 14, 2014.)