F is for Bertram Forer

Bertram Forer was an American psychologist who is remembered for describing the technique for self-deception familiar to psychics, astrologers and even popular business personality tests.

Forer was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1914 and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1936. He then received his MA and PhD in clinical psychology from the University of California. Read more ›››

Dash It

I was browsing the Amazon website to see what odd mix of items it thinks I should consider spending my money on. This included Italian shoes and premium quality headphones for some reason, but the thing that caught my eye was the Amazon Dash.

These little gizmos are branded to a particular product and the idea is that when you notice that you’ve run out of that product you simply press the button on the Dash and it will order a resupply through some technological voodoo. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Sleeping with the fishes: It is the end of an era with the passing of Granddad, a ninety-year-old Australian lungfish who has been at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago since 1933.

Trump in stone: The Italian town of Vagli di Sotto has decided to erect a statue of Donald Trump in its Park of Honour and Dishonour, although they say that it will be for history to decide which category DT falls into. Read more ›››

E is for John Elwes

I have been struggling to find a suitable candidate for my letter E so I return John Elwes, an English eccentric who was noted for his extravagant generosity on the one hand and his extreme miserliness on the other that made him the model for one of the best-known characters of fiction.

He was born John Meggott in 1714, the son of a successful and wealthy brewer Robert Meggott and Amy Elwes whose surname he would eventually adopt. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Trump Donald: If you find yourself gnashing your teeth at Muslim bans, Mexican walls and waterboarding, head over to TrumpDonald.org for a little light relief. And when you’ve done with that, smile at Trump Draws on Twitter.

Get a grip: Ever wondered why you get wrinkled fingers after a long soak in the bath? Scientists believe that this served an evolutionary purpose to improve our grip under water. Read more ›››

Shuffle Off

Yorkshire Pudding was musing on the subject of his own mortality the other day and coincidentally I have been doing the same of late.

Like YP, the prospect of death isn’t something I think about often except in the most abstract ‘sometime in the future’ sort of way. But as Ray Charles observed: ‘Live each day like it’s your last, ’cause one day you gonna be right’. Read more ›››

Ferdinand Waldo Demara spent two decades pretending to be someone else, from a naval surgeon to a dean of philosophy, from a prison warden to a Trappist monk, and many more for which he became known as the Great Imposter.

Demara was born in 1921 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. His father was a cinema owner and the family was affluent until bankrupted by the Great Depression. Read more ›››

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