Philately is an interesting hobby. Every time I open my albums and look at the stamps I've collected over the years, I learn something new. On many of them are printed drawings or pictures of rare birds, animals, trees or flowers. Under a magnifying glass they look very beautiful, and they help to increase my knowledge of nature. On other stamps there are portraits of historical figures, such as Qu Yuan and Dr. Sun Yatsen, George Washington and Chester W. Nimits. Whenever I see an unfamiliar name, I will try to find some information about the person by consulting an encyclopedia. In this way I have come to know something about quite a few people who are famous for one reason or another. Some of my friends and relatives who know I am interested in stamps often show me used envelopes. If I see a stamp which I have never seen before or I haven't got yet, I will ask them to give it to me, and it seems that they are always kind enough to oblige me. It is always a delight to add a new stamp to my collection, and the more stamps I have, the more interested I am in philately.
James Murray was born in Scotland in 1873, the son of a village tailor. He went to a parish school, but he left at 14 and he educated himself with pertinacity. He loved knowledge and he loved to impart it. He became a school master; he learned language after language and was alive to geology, archeology and phonetics, as well as to local politics. He had to leave Scotland because of the illness of his first wife, and he became a bank clerk in London. By sheer energy of scholarship, and without benefit of any university education, he made himself indispensable to the other remarkable philologists of his day. He returned to school-teaching and lived a 72-hour day for the rest of his life. For he invitation to edit what became the O. E. D. was one that he could not refuse. At first he combined it with his school work; later he moved to Oxford and dedicated himself to building the best sort of monument-best in that it was not a monument to something dead but rather to something living: the English language.
-- Christopher Ricks
Once you encounter a person who has stopped breathing, you should begin immediately to do mouth-to-mouth breathing. First, place the victim on his back and remove any foreign matter from his mouth with your fingers. Then tilt his head backwards, so that his chin is pointing up. Next, pull his mouth open and his jaw forward, pinch his nostrils shut to prevent the air which you blow into his mouth from escaping through his nose. Then place your mouth tightly over the victim's. Blow into his mouth until you see his heart rise. Then turn your head to the side and listen for the outrush of air which indicates an air exchange. Repeat the process…
Mr. Cook, a renowned American historian, arranges the books on his bookshelves in a unique way. In the upper right hand corner, there are books about the development of the early colonies in New England and the War of Independence. Right under them can be found books on the slave trade, the plantation system and growth of the southern states. The left side of the shelf contains hundreds of books concerning subjects of the Westward Movement, Indian culture, the cowboys' contributions to American society and the Gold Rush in California. From the description above, one can see that Mr. Cook regards his bookshelves as a map of the U.S. and arranges his history books accordingly. It is odd, but it is convenient.
Whether you do or do not open a gift in the presence of the giver; whether you should or should not turn the plate over to look at the maker's symbol on the back; whether you put your coat on before or after you leave the host's house; whether you eat as quietly or noisily as possible; whether you carry on a conversation during a meal; whether you walk in front of or behind a seated person; whether it is a friendly or an offensive gesture to put your hand on the arm of the person with whom you are talking-these and a thousand other questions are matters of cultural definition. None of them is inherently right or wrong, and none is good or bad manners except as a society defines it so.
--Ina Corinne Brown