Tagged with “all things considered” (5)
"The term meme was originally coined in the 1970s by Richard Dawkins, a British scientist and author of The Selfish Gene. Dawkins says a meme is something that spreads from person to person within a culture — like a toy craze or a pop song."
"(First of three parts)
For Americans, the lasting image of the end of the Vietnam War came from the nightly news. On April 29, 1975, television showed the evacuation of Saigon as U.S. Marine helicopters swooped down to the U.S. Embassy and the roof of a nearby CIA safe house to rescue the last 1,000 Americans in the city and some 6,000 Vietnamese and their families who worked for them.
Forgotten Ship: A Lifesaving Mission As Saigon Fell But there was another evacuation that didn’t get as much attention. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese found other ways to escape in those frenzied few days. They left in boats and helicopters and headed to the South China Sea. They didn’t know if North Vietnamese jets would sink their boats or shoot the helicopters out of the sky."
Author James McManus believes poker explains a lot about who we are as a culture. America is where the game was popularized, and in his new book, Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker, McManus lists dozens of powerful Americans who have spent long nights hunched over a card table betting — and bluffing — their way to riches or ruin.
"The ways we’ve done battle and business have reflected and are reflected by poker logic," McManus tells Guy Raz. "The entrepreneurial spirit of a fledgling democracy made it fairly natural that poker would become the game. Its language is money."
Poker — rougher and more democratic than the baccarat and and blackjack played in European casinos — became a sensation in America during the Civil War. McManus writes in Cowboys Full that Ulysses S. Grant was known to play, but he says that some key Confederate leaders — also known poker players — put the game’s tactics to better use on the battlefield.
"[Generals Robert E.] Lee and Nathan Bedford Forrest were more talented bluffers," McManus says. "[They were] better at misrepresenting the strength of their position [and] their troop strength. And by those means, they nearly defeated the North."
It’s no shock that powerful men in intense situations might turn to poker as a form of release or as a method of sharpening their intellect. In McManus’ view, "Poker logic is about leveraging uncertainty and managing risk as effectively as possible, using psychology, logic, and mathematics in order to make effective bets — either at the table or in the marketplace."
‘Parodies of funeral marches aren’t new, according to Jeffrey Kallberg, a Chopin scholar and chair of the music department at the University of Pennsylvania. Kallberg says they trace back all the way to the piece that originally inspired Chopin to write his own funeral march.
"Chopin’s march is modeled after a Rossini opera, La Gazza Ladra, and that served as the basis for parodies," Kallberg says. "If you’re old enough to remember, that was the theme music for Alfred Hichcock’s show."’ From http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124039949