Miscellany and Trivia

Anecdote Bill Gates

Bill Gates is the most famous businessman in the world. Many pages have been written about how he has dominated the revolution in personal computing. But we know little about him as a person. Here’s a familiar anecdote which may show his personality:

When Bill Gates was in the sixth grade, his parents decided that he needed some kind of help. He was at war with his mother Mary, an extrovert woman who believed that he should do what she told him. She would call him to dinner from his bedroom, which she had given up trying to make him clean, but he wouldn’t respond.

“What are you doing?” she once asked him.

“I’m thinking,” Bill answered.

“You’re thinking?”

“Yes, Mom, I’m thinking,” he said aggressively. “Have you tried thinking?”

Finally, his parents decided to send him to a psychologist. The psychologist concluded that Bill was extremely intelligent. After a one-year session and a large number of tests, the psychologist told Bill’s parents: “You’re going to lose. You had better adjust to it because there’s no use trying to punish him. It’s useless to try to compete with him.” A lot of computer companies have concluded the same.

Anecdote Thor Heyerdahl – Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer (1914—2002)

Thor Heyerdahl gained world recognition in 1947 when he and five companions sailed from Peru to Polynesia in a balsa wood raft called the Kon Tiki. The voyage added credibility to Heyerdahl’s theory that Polynesian culture exhibited pre-Inca influences.

On a visit to London, Heyerdahl had a busy schedule of appointments. Shortly after recording a program for the Independent Television Network, he was due at the BBC studios for an interview. Having been assured by the BBC that a taxi would be sent to pick him up from the ITN studios, Heyerdahl waited expectantly in the lobby. As the minutes ticked by, however, he began to grow anxious. He approached a little man in a flat cap, who looked as if he might be a taxi driver and was obviously searching for someone. “I’m Thor Heyerdahl,” said the anthropologist. “Are you looking for me?”

“No, mate,” replied the taxi driver. “I’ve been sent to pick up four Airedales for the BBC.”
. . . .
Now, this anecdote ain’t so easy to grasp. Is there anyone out there who can shed light on this anecdote? If you can, send your explanation to the administrator.

Anecdote Winston Churchill – British statesman and writer (1874 – 1965)

In January 1960, a reporter for the London Standard approached Churchill at a reception.

“Sir Winston, what is your comment on the prediction made the other day that in the year 2000, women will rule the world?”

“They still will, will they?” was Churchill’s grunted response.

Anecdote Swami Vivekananda – A spiritual genius of commanding intellect and power (1863-1902)

Dec 13 2009

Once at Varanasi, as Swamiji was coming out of the temple of Mother Durga, he was surrounded by a large number of chattering monkeys. They seemed to be threatening him. Swamiji did not want them to catch hold of him, so he started to run away. But the monkeys chased him. An old sannyasin was there, watching those monkeys. He called out to Swamiji, ‘Stop! Face the brutes!’ Swamiji stopped. He turned round and faced the monkeys. At once, they ran away. Many years later, Swamiji said: ‘If you ever feel afraid of anything, always turn round and face it. Never think of running away.’

VEGETARIANISM, an Ethical Diet for Peace and Plenty

R.P. Jain—India

Good health, spirituality, sound ethics, balanced ecology and favorable economics are among the reasons a plant-based diet beats meat-eating today.

This editorial is drawn from a talk given by the author during the Gandhi Peace Panel lectures on October 2, 2008, at the Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Connecticut, USA.

In India, the land of Ahimsa, or nonviolence, people have traditionally been vegetarian. Hailing from a family of staunch vegetarians, I consider myself fortunate to be living in harmony with the principles of nature. As a Jain follower, I strongly advocate a vegetarian diet, which I find superior not only from a moral stance, but also from the health and culinary points of view. Guests at our home, coming from both vegetarian and nonvegetarian backgrounds, are always overwhelmed with what they describe as the unbelievable taste and richness of our vegetarian cuisine.

Read more: VEGETARIANISM, an Ethical Diet for Peace and Plenty

Anecdote Dalai Lama

Bill Moyers (co-author of Power of Myth) was interviewing the Dalai Lama one day. A mosquito kept buzzing around the room, coming very close to their faces at times. All of a sudden, Smack! The Dalai Lama clapped the mosquito between his hands. Moyers was shocked. He said, “I can’t believe what I just saw! You killed that mosquito!”

“Yes,” the Dalai Lama replied.

“Well, don’t you feel bad for killing a living creature?” asked Moyers.
“No,” said the Dalai Lama, “I gave him two warnings!”

Anecdote Salvador Dali –Surrealistic Spanish Painter (1904–1989)

Dali once took his pet ocelot with him to a New York restaurant and tethered it to a leg of the table while he ordered coffee. A middle-aged lady walked past and looked at the animal in horror. “What’s that?” she cried. “It’s only a cat,” said Dali scathingly. “I’ve painted it over with an op-art design.” The woman, embarrassed by her initial reaction, took a closer look and sighed with relief. “I can see now that’s what it is,” she said. “At first I thought it was a real ocelot.”

Anecdote Robert Browning – British Poet (1812–1889)

Browning’s “Sordello” was published in 1840. It is a simple story about an obscure heir to a dukedom in thirteenth-century Italy. But Browning’s interest in and description of the development of the human soul complicates the tale considerably. Baffled readers resorted to the poet for an explanation. Members of the London Poetry Society asked Browning for an interpretation of a particularly difficult passage. Browning read it once, then twice, then frowned, and shrugged his shoulders. “When I wrote that, God and I knew what it meant, but now God alone knows.”

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