Our long time radio buddy Joe Kirkish (who was responsible for starting the first campus radio station at MTU back in the day) had some interesting items in a recent edition of Over 60 in the Nov 21, 2015 Daily Mining Gazette.
For starters, he discusses how flippantly folks use the term ‘billion’ as in ‘billions of dollars’ (or my favorite, Carl Sagan’s descriptions of ‘billions and billions of stars’). Joe points out that ‘a billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases:
> A billion seconds ago, it was 1959.
> A billion minutes ago, Jesus was alive.
> A billion hours ago, our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
> A billion days ago, noone walked on the Earth on two feet.
> A billion dollars ago, at the rate our government is spending it, was only 8 hours and 20 minutes ago.
Joe also collected some priceless quotes from the days before social media diluted our communication skills:
“He had delusions of adequacy.” – Walter Kerr
“Thank you for sending your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.” – Moses Hadas
“I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.” – Mark Twain
“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright
“Some cause happiness where ever they go; others, whenever they go.” – Oscar Wilde
George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill: “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one.” to which Churchill replied: “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second…if there is one.”
A quote that Joe did not print is one of my favorite Churchill exchanges, this one with Lady Astor:
Lady Astor: “Winston, if I were your wife, I would poison your coffee.” Winston Churchill: “Nancy, if I were your husband I would drink it.”
Thanks again to Joe K for a little thought provoking levity. The top piece video doesn’t cover a billion years but for some reason, it just seemed to fit – then again, they DO mention crying a billion tears. Zager and Evans deserve a little retro spin and Denny Zager is still in the guitar business.