Falconetti: I've always been baffled by people making fun of Rumsfield for that "unknown unknowns" remark since it made perfect sense to me...
I've always been baffled by people making fun of Rumsfield for that "unknown unknowns" remark since it made perfect sense to me (making fun of him for everything else he's ever done is fine with me). I stopped trying to defend that comment in conversation a long time ago because no one ever was remotely convinced it was actually an intelligent comment. Glad to see someone else make the same point.
Wheeler had walked into two Pittsburgh banks and attempted to rob them in broad daylight. What made the case peculiar is that he made no visible attempt at disguise. The surveillance tapes were key to his arrest. There he is with a gun, standing in front of a teller demanding money. Yet, when arrested, Wheeler was completely disbelieving. “But I wore the juice,” he said. Apparently, he was under the deeply misguided impression that rubbing one’s face with lemon juice rendered it invisible to video cameras.
In a follow-up article, Fuoco spoke to several Pittsburgh police detectives who had been involved in Wheeler’s arrest. Commander Ronald Freeman assured Fuoco that Wheeler had not gone into “this thing” blindly but had performed a variety of tests prior to the robbery. Sergeant Wally Long provided additional details — “although Wheeler reported the lemon juice was burning his face and his eyes, and he was having trouble (seeing) and had to squint, he had tested the theory, and it seemed to work.” He had snapped a Polaroid picture of himself and wasn’t anywhere to be found in the image. It was like a version of Where’s Waldo with no Waldo. Long tried to come up with an explanation of why there was no image on the Polaroid. He came up with three possibilities:
(a) the film was bad;
(b) Wheeler hadn’t adjusted the camera correctly; or
(c) Wheeler had pointed the camera away from his face at the critical moment when he snapped the photo.
[Schadenfreude is] in the latest edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate unitalicized, which means it's a naturalized English word by the only useful standard (people's individual feelings about a word not being a useful standard). And "epicaricacy" is not a word by any meaningful definition, unless you count "being used once in an 18th-century dictionary" as a meaningful definition.
Let's turn [mentoring] on its head for a second with one of my favorite topics, the hoodoo. There are certain people you meet in life who are like the locomotives that always used to blow up—people who, wherever they go, disaster always ensues. [...] And they generally have a string of failures behind them, they generally are in need of capital, they generally talk a much better game than they play. And they often flatter you and pretend to be your very amiable friend before they really know you. Hoodoos are very good at what they do. A lot of times they command the center of attention and they try to dazzle you with the trappings of success—which when you look into it you find is a will o' the wisp.
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