When in Rome…

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Did you ever wonder who first said “When in Rome, do as the Romans do?”  The following source explains: http://www.italiannotebook.com/local-interest/origin-do-as-romans-do/

Do you know the expression’s origin? St. Ambrose, way back in 387 A.D.

As the story goes, when St. Augustine arrived in Milan to assume his role as Professor of Rhetoric for the Imperial Court, he observed that the Church did not fast on Saturdays as it did in Rome.

Confused, Agostino consulted with the wiser and older Ambrogio (Ambrose), then the Bishop of Milan, who replied: “When I am at Rome, I fast on Saturday; when I am at Milan I do not. Follow the custom of the Church where you are.”

In 1621, British author Robert Burton, in his classic writing Anatomy of Melancholy, edited St. Ambrose’s remark to read: “When they are at Rome, they do there as they see done.”

Down through the years, Burton’s turn of the St. Ambrose quote was further edited, anonymously, into what is widely repeated today on a daily basis by some traveler, somewhere, trying to adjust to his/her new or temporary surroundings.

The Marshall Plan

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FROM JUNE 1947 to its termination at the end of 1951, the Marshall Plan provided approximately $13 billion to finance the recovery and rehabilitation of war-torn and postwar weary Western Europe.

In today’s dollars that sum equals roughly $100 billion, and as a comparable share of U.S. Gross National Product it would be in excess of $500 billion.

It was a mammoth sum, more than the United States spent to govern itself in the first fifteen years of the twentieth century.

More than the provision of dollars and aid, the Marshall Plan was the cornerstone of American foreign policy for much of those formative and consequential postwar years.

It was a monumental undertaking and—echoing Walt Whitman’s famous lines—it contained multitudes and contradictions.

For, after the war, Europe increasingly found itself looking across the Atlantic to the United States. The United States was the only power whose economy had flourished during the war. Europe needed the goods and natural resources abundant in the United States to fuel its recovery.

But, at the same time, Europe was not able to offer the United States goods or resources in return, nor could it draw on stores of investments or invisible earnings (like shipping or insurance).

Europe had a balance-of-payments problem with the United States: in 1946 Europe’s overseas trade debt was $5 billion and growing. It was known as the “Dollar Gap.” It was the key problem looming behind Europe’s incipient recovery and it was becoming dire.

From 1941 to 1945, American industry had mobilized its prodigious production capacity for the war effort.

By the end of the war, thirteen rationing programs were in effect, covering scarce commodities ranging from gasoline and shoes to sugar and red meat. Consumer goods such as refrigerators and automobiles were largely unavailable. Women were asked to leave the home and enter the workforce. By one count more than a quarter of American wives worked for pay during the war.

Americans were asked to save as never before. In 1940, personal savings amounted to around $4 billion. By 1945, it was $137.5 billion. All of this sacrifice was summoned after a decade-long economic depression.

 

from Behrman, Greg. The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Time When America Helped Save Europe. Free Press. Kindle Edition.

Coffee addiction?

You Know You’re Addicted to Coffee When…

1- you grind your coffee beans in your mouth.

2-you sleep with your eyes open.

3- you have to watch videos in fast-foward.

4- the only time you’re standing still is during an earthquake.

5- you can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without the timer.

6-you’ve worn out your third pair of tennis shoes this week.

7-your eyes stay open when you sneeze.

8- you chew on other people’s fingernails.

9- the nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse.

10- you can type sixty words a minute with your feet.

11-you can jump-start your car without cables.

12-you don’t sweat, you percolate.

13-you walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it’s not plugged in.

14-you forget to unwrap candy bars before eating them.

15- you’ve built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers.

16- Espresso coffee takes too long.

17- you channel surf faster without a remote.

18- you have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.

19- you short out motion detectors.

20- you don’t even wait for the water to boil anymore.

21- you help your dog chase its tail.

22- you soak your dentures in coffee.

23- your first-aid kit contains two pints of coffee and an IV hook-up.

24- you get a speeding ticket even when you’re parked.

25- you answer the door before people knock.