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Today's quote:

Saturday, August 27, 2016

... and here's something funny to start the weekend on:


Early-morning visitors


As I walked, cup of tea in hand, to the back of "Riverbend", I had to stop short so as not to disturb two early-morning visitors. Can't see them? Click on the second image for a close-up.

And now it's time to get ready for a quick dash into town. Just finished putting on my socks - which I don't do often as life at "Riverbend" is decidedly 'underdressed' - and noticed that either my legs are getting longer or my arms shorter, or both. Another age-related thing, I guess.

I'll see you after I've got back from town.


Happy Birthday to Rina


Happy Birthday, Rina, from all of us at Riverbend!

P.S. You may have to learn some German



Friday, August 26, 2016

Read the book Donald Trump referenced and read in his major anti-Hillary Clinton speech

In 2000, Bill and Hillary Clinton owed millions of dollars in legal debt. Since then, they’ve earned over $130 million. Where did the money come from?

Most people assume that the Clintons amassed their wealth through lucrative book deals and high-six figure fees for speaking gigs. Now, Peter Schweizer shows who is really behind those enormous payments.

In his New York Times bestselling books Extortion and Throw Them All Out, Schweizer detailed patterns of official corruption in Washington that led to congressional resignations and new ethics laws. In Clinton Cash, he follows the Clinton money trail, revealing the connection between their personal fortune, their "close personal friends", the Clinton Foundation, foreign nations, and some of the highest ranks of government.

Schweizer reveals the Clinton’s troubling dealings in Kazakhstan, Colombia, Haiti, and other places at the "wild west" fringe of the global economy. In this blockbuster exposé, Schweizer merely presents the troubling facts he’s uncovered. Meticulously researched and scrupulously sourced, filled with headline-making revelations, Clinton Cash raises serious questions of judgment, of possible indebtedness to an array of foreign interests, and ultimately, of fitness for high public office. As for Bill, who could ever forget his "I did not have sexual relations with that woman...".

We live in interesting times. By the way, would you like to make a donation to the Goerman Foundation? It's fully tax-deductible - in Germany, of course! ☺


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Happy stumbling!


Sometimes just reading about happiness makes me happy! ☺ - and Daniel Gilbert's highly entertaining book "Stumbling on Happiness" certainly made me happy.

Despite the third word of the title, this is not an instruction manual that will tell you anything useful about how to be happy. Those books are located in the self-help section. Instead, this is a book that describes what science has to tell us about how and how well the human brain can imagine its own future, and about how and how well it can predict which of those futures it will most enjoy. This book is about a puzzle that many thinkers have pondered over the last two millennia.

Not knowing what makes other people happy is one thing. But shouldn't we be able to figure out what will make ourselves happy? No, Gilbert argues, because we change over time; the person you are when you are imagining what it would be like to have that fancy new car is not the person you will be when you actually have that fancy new car.

He's also funny. "When we have an experience on successive occasions, we quickly begin to adapt to it, and the experience yields less pleasure each time," he writes. "Psychologists call this habituation, economists call it declining marginal utility, and the rest of us call it marriage."

It is such a well reasoned and written book on such an elusive subject that I thought I had better give you this appetiser before you rush out to buy it yourself:

For better readability click here to open in separate window

Some of you are not big on reading, so have a listen instead: