21 April 2010

Coffee Bowl Browsing

Re-design for the $100 bill. . .one of the stranger monetary practices in Italy is the tendency of clerks to round down your bill in order to avoid having to make "small change."  For example, a package arrives with a 7.83 euro customs charge.  I give the postal clerk 8.00 euro; he gives me .20 euro change.  The Italians don't like to sweat the pennies!  

Just great!  That Klingon volcano in Iceland is rumbling again.  It's looking like it will take the airlines here in Europe 'til mid-June to clear their backlogged flights.  I wonder if there's a Miami-bound cruise ship leaving from Naples anytime soon.

When it comes to trusting the government, the phrase nullius in verba--"take nobody's word for it"--makes a great philosophical statement:  "It's a solid maxim for any free-thinking people. So let's not treat some nutritious doubt as if it were a bad thing."

At the opening of the most recently aired episode of American Idol, the show's host, Ryan Seacrest, said, "Every time you vote on American Idol, you change lives."  True.  You help to change living children into dead children.

George Weigel spanks Hans "Look At Me" Kung: "You are an obviously intelligent man; you once did groundbreaking work in ecumenical theology. What has happened to you? What has happened, I suggest, is that you have lost the argument over the meaning and the proper hermeneutics of Vatican II. That explains why you relentlessly pursue your fifty-year quest for a liberal Protestant Catholicism, at precisely the moment when the liberal Protestant project is collapsing from its inherent theological incoherence."  Ouch.

Laxist vs. Rigorist heresies in the history of the Church. . .nothing new under the nave.

"Crowded elevators smell different to midgets."  Best comedy one-liners.  NB.  some of these are R-rated. 

Inglorious Grammar B*stards!

"I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows."  A site for all the stupid things that people say.

A slightly different description of Christianity.  Yes, words matter.

"A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulted in Linoleum Blownapart."  Puns, wordplay, malapropisms:  lexophilia.

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  1. In Peru, the analogue to the penny and nickel do exist, (I'd actually received them -- once). But nobody accepts them. So everything is bumped up/down to 10 céntimos (I think it's about 3 cents, US$).

    On the plus side, the largest denomination has St. Rose of Lima on the face! (200 Soles, about $63 or so)

    When I was there, the Euro was first starting to really spread, and my Irish prior bragged about the Euro trumping the dollar's worth. "Yeah, but it took 23 countries to do it!" was my retort. ;)

  2. One day in Naples, I bought something that would have required 200 Lire in change (about 20 cents, if I recall correctly.) Rather than give me my change, the clerk, without a word, slapped two candies (worth 100 Lire each, I guess) on the counter for me. I was too surprised to do anything other than take the candies and leave the shop, though I'm not really fond of licorice.