Lincoln & Darwin Day: Lincoln, born the same date and year as Charles Darwin. “Happy birthday” doesn’t fit Lincoln. Too much tragedy, too much gravity there. As I’ve said before, I don’t know whether it’s the Illinoisan in me or not, but there’s no other figure in history who seems so close in every day life; and also so distant, always receding and unknowable. As to Darwin, there’s probably no single person who has more to do with how we–must I define “we”?–see our world, though he’s far from the palpable presence for me that his birthday-mate is.
Comic Nurse Day: An informant reminds me that it’s the Comic Nurse’s fortieth birthday. Happy birthday, Comic Nurse!
Nap Day: “Study: Napping might help heart”
“CHICAGO – New research on napping provides the perfect excuse for office slackers, finding that a little midday snooze seems to reduce risks for fatal heart problems, especially among men.
“In the largest study to date on the health effects of napping, researchers tracked 23,681 healthy Greek adults for an average of about six years. Those who napped at least three times weekly for about half an hour had a 37 percent lower risk of dying from heart attacks or other heart problems than those who did not nap. …”
Best Lincoln Piece of the Day (sez me): “Lincoln Online,” by Tom Wheeler, in the Washington Post. Wheeler’s book, “Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails,” is an examination of Lincoln’s voluminous trove of … telegraph messages. Excerpt:
“Consider this glimpse into how Lincoln dealt with the war’s grinding pressures. The peripatetic Mary Todd Lincoln had wired from New York seeking cash. Her note’s perfunctory ‘Hope you are well’ was followed with instructions on where to send a check. Then she tacked on without punctuation a last-second message from their son, ‘Tad says are the goats well.’
The president promptly responded that the check would go in the mail, then seized on the query about the White House pets to comment on his own well-being: ‘Tell Tad the goats and father are very well — especially the goats.’ The few words speak volumes about Lincoln’s spirits and the refuge he found in wit.