So, first of all, there's this. I'm sure most of you won't care, but I for one was amused by the table of contents, which reads like a to do list written by a tweaked and not cannon-borne Hunter S. Thompson. An excerpt, for those that don't want to go to Gutenberg's version of von Liebig's "Familiar Letters".
From the table of contents:
The Subject proposed. Materials employed for Chemical Apparatus:--
GLASS--CAOUTCHOUC--CORK--PLATINUM. THE BALANCE. The "Elements" of the Ancients, represent the forms of matter. Lavoisier and his successors. Study of the materials composing the Earth. Synthetic production of Minerals--LAPIS LAZULI. Organic Chemistry.
From the actual letters:
Then, how admirable and valuable are the properties of Cork! How little do men reflect upon the inestimable worth of so common a substance! How few rightly esteem the importance of it to the progress of science, and the moral advancement of mankind!--There is no production of nature or art equally adapted to the purposes to
which the chemist applies it. Cork consists of a soft, highly elastic substance, as a basis, having diffused throughout a matter with properties resembling wax, tallow, and resin, yet dissimilar to all of these, and termed suberin.
Good to see that in 1843, we were as excited about things like Cork as we are today about...say...parades.
Everyone appears to be pissed off about Federated Department Stores changing Marshall Field's to Macy's. One letter contends that no one will shop there anymore if it's a Macy's. I'm going to go ahead and call bullshit on that one, as people tend to end up in department stores no matter what (but perhaps I'm not getting it, even though the Kaufmann's landmarks which led to their own inclusion in Pittsburgh phraseology and lore are also soon to be Macy's locations). As the article predicts, I'm going to go ahead and guess that either the Marshall Field's name will be restored in a few years when they decide it's a lucrative move...or people will stop caring within two years. My money's on the latter.
Most ironically descriptive moment:
Seconds before getting to the stop on the Purple Line that I have to use to get to my class, a recorded announcement informs us of the stop we're at, while a kind of odd screeching (which is out of the ordinary) pervades the car. The announcement? "This is Noyes."
Yes. Pronounced "Noise."