"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

Mr. Yudhoyono has also raised eyebrows, not only by becoming Indonesia's first leader to record music while in office, but also by showing an extreme sensitivity to criticism. Early this month, Mr. Yudhoyono banned the presence of water buffaloes in public demonstration after protesters likened him to the beast.

[World leaders: Norimitsu Onishi, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 02.15.2010


Discussing a so-called ostrich jury instruction, Judge Posner paused to say that ostriches do not in fact bury their heads in the sand. "It is pure legend and a canard on a very distinguished bird," he wrote.

[Judicial digressions: Richard Posner, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 10.13.2009


Mr. Marzah, known as Zigzag...became angry as the defense lawyer repeatedly insisted that he had no close contact with Mr. Taylor. Stung, Mr. Marzah blurted out that he and Mr. Taylor belonged to the same secret society and had together eaten human hearts. With that he nervously crossed himself. When the lawyer asked if he crossed himself because he had just lied under oath, Mr. Marzah said he had just broken the secrecy laws of his society.

[World leaders: Marlise Simons, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 07.14.2009


In recent weeks, North Korean diplomats abroad have been told to begin to pay homage to Kim Jong-un and some schoolchildren have reportedly been including his name in their songs. His rise comes at the expense of his 38-year-old brother, Kim Jong-nam, best known for the moment when he was caught slipping into Japan on a false passport, on his way to Tokyo Disneyland.

[World leaders: David Sanger, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 06.04.2009


“The bottom line is pigs are not welcome in Egypt,” said the Rev. Samaan Ibrahim, a priest in one of the largest zabaleen neighborhoods in Cairo.

[Hospitality: Michael Slackman, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 05.26.2009


Here would be the climactic face-off: on one side, a young and impulsive modernizer who fancied himself leader of so-called color revolutions that would sweep away unsavory holdover regimes from the Soviet years. On the other, a dour and calculating ex-K.G.B. spy who saw much to like in the old ways and wanted to restore his nation to its proper glory. Only one problem. Mr. Saakashvili at first didn’t show up. He supposedly lost track of time while doing laps in his hotel pool, arriving at the Kremlin half an hour late and leaving Mr. Putin seething, according to three Georgians who were there. “I hope that you had a good time swimming,” Mr. Putin told Mr. Saakashvili.

[World leaders: Week in Review, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 04.19.2009


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