SOME RANDOM OBSERVATIONS

SOME RANDOM OBSERVATIONS

In going through a speech file I read a few items that either made me smile or which I thought had a message of interest. so here they are. They are not in any particular order nor very significant, but you might enjoy  them too.

  • In a TED talk by Dr. Abraham Verghese he about the importance of listening to patients and a doctor’s touch. He argued that when doctors shortcut the physical exam, when they lean towards ordering tests instead of talking to and DOCTORexamining the patient, they not only overlook simple diagnoses that can be diagnosed at a treatable stage but they lose the ritual that is at the heart of the patient physician relationship. And that is “the power of the human hand, to touch, to comfort, and to diagnose - to bring treatment." He showed the audience a famous painting "The Doctor" by Luke Fildes. The painter had been so impressed by the physician who held vigil at the bedside of his nine year old child for several nights before the child died on Christmas Eve that he painted this painting. It emphasizes the hands-on care of the physician so important to the patient.
  • Wild Bill Hickok was playing poker in a tavern in deadwood in the Dakota Territory in 1876. He was holding a pair, aces over eights, when Crooked Nosed MacCall crept up behind him and shot him in the back of the head. Since that date aces and eights have been called the "dead man's hand."
  • Titanic Thompson, whose real name was Alvin Titanic Thompson, was a con man well known for his success in winning bets and gambling of all kinds. Titanic was once called as a witness in a case. The prosecutor questioned him about his livelihood of playing cards. One of the questions he was asked was “Is poker a game of chance?" Titanic replied not the way I play."
  • Don Denkinger was a long time umpire in the major leagues. After the 2005 World Series he was invited to speak at a charity dinner honoring the National League championship team. After he spoke Whitney Herzog, the baseball manager, presented him with a gift. When he opened it on stage, it was a braille watch.
  • Burl Ives gave a talk about aging. One of the things he said was that as he had grown older he didn't worry so much about what the outside world thought of him. He realized that not only was it a waste of time, but it interfered with his enjoyment of life. He said “I'm reminded of a story that my great friend John Steinbeck once told me. He was coming down from New York on the train and sitting in front of him was a young woman with her pipe smoking grandfather. All the way down the coast the young woman was talking her head off about other people and what they thought of her. When the train finally it stopped in New York, the old man took a puff on his pipe turned to the young woman and ‘said you wouldn't care so much about what people think of you if you realized how little they care.’ That's what happens when one gets older. We’re smart enough to know that or at least we should be.”
  • A Member of Parliament once said to Benjamin Disraeli "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of venereal disease.” Replied Disraeli "that depends Sir on whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."
  • On the original Hollywood squares TV shows the celebrities often said very amusing things in answer to the questions they were asked. When the question was put to Charlie Weaver "which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?" He replied “my sense of decency." When the moderator Peter Marshall asked Charlie Weaver "if you're going to make a parachute jump, you should be at least how high?" Weaver replied "three days of steady drinking should do it." And when Marshall asked Paul Lynde "do female frogs croak?" He replied "if you hold their little heads under water long enough, they will."
  • Winston Churchill once said of opponent "He is a modest man with much to be modest about."

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