Posts Tagged ‘October 9’

The Curse of Hygiene

Posted in General, On This Day on October 9th, 2012 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

October 9, 1003: Leif Erikson Lands in North America and Earns a Holiday in Minnesota

The Vikings are notorious for their vices, but they apparently possessed one fatal virtue: hygiene. Whether it was their fondness for saunas or the antiseptic cold of Greenland, the Vikings’ cleanliness ruined their chance to colonize North America. Starting with Leif Erikson in 1003, the Norse attempted to settle “Vinland.” Of course, the original inhabitants objected but the Vikings were never shy about other people’s property. Beyond their extrovert personalities, the Norse also had the tactical advantages of iron and steel armaments. The native American arsenal was still in the stone age. Nonetheless, the sheer number of the natives (Skraeling was the Viking name for them) made the prospect of slaughtering them rather demoralizing. And the Vikings’ damn hygiene eliminated the most effective weapon for depopulation: disease.

The Norse had nothing to infect their opponents.  Even their livestock was healthy. The “Skraelings” would have had no resistance to European germs; measles would have been a fatal plague. The Vikings then could have had Vinland to themselves. Just imagine how history would have changed: North America could have been one vast Minnesota. But the Vikings were too clean to succeed.

The Skraelings had a 500-year reprieve before they were introduced to the Spanish, French, English and small pox.

Leif Ericson Day

Posted in General, On This Day on October 9th, 2011 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

October 9, 1003:  Leif Ericson Lands in North America and Earns a Holiday in Minnesota

The Vikings are notorious for their vices, but they apparently possessed one fatal virtue: hygiene. Whether it was their fondness for saunas or the antiseptic cold of Greenland, the Vikings’ cleanliness ruined their chance to colonize North America. Starting with Leif Ericson in 1000, the Norse attempted to settle “Vinland.” Of course, the original inhabitants objected but the Vikings were never shy about other people’s property. Beyond their extrovert personalities, the Norse also had the tactical advantages of iron and steel armaments. The native American arsenal was still in the stone age. Nonetheless, the sheer number of the natives (Skraeling was the Viking name for them) made the prospect of slaughtering them rather demoralizing. And the Vikings’ damn hygiene eliminated the most effective weapon for depopulation: disease.

The Norse had nothing to infect their opponents, not a single small pox to share. Even their livestock was healthy. The “Skraelings” would have had no resistance to European germs; measles would have been a fatal plague. The Vikings then could have had Vinland to themselves. Just imagine how history would have changed: North America could have been one vast Minnesota. But the Vikings were too clean to succeed.

The Skraelings had a 500-year reprieve before they were introduced to the Spanish, French, English and small pox.

Putting the Sin in Synergy

Posted in General on October 9th, 2010 by Eugene Finerman – Be the first to comment

Brown Campaign Apologizes to Whitman Over Slur

A political aide to Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate for governor in California was heard suggesting that  the Republican candidate Meg Whitman is “a whore.”

The Whitman campaign expressed its outrage.

 

And so do I.  With a MBA from Harvard, Meg Whitman would be a madam.   A Harvard pimp would know exactly where to put Adam Smith’s invisible hand.  Just imagine the pro-active, synergized win-win managerial cliches that Madam Whitman would bring to the brothel.  For the sadists and masochists, there would be a frequent flayer program.  (With 25,000 welts, you are upgraded to a Gucci face mask.)  Since Ms. Whitman would register her business as a medical research center–Whorvard– the client’s investments would be tax-deductible.

Of course, the workers (alias stakeholders, teammates, add your favorite HR gibberish) would have to be downsized, and I don’t mean replacing Ukrainians with Thais.  Instead of wasting money on forged green cards and penicillin, the MBA brothel would replace those superfluous humans with cheaper and far more compliant plastic dolls: the Whitman Vamplers.  All will have pre-recorded cassettes to exclaim the client’s manhood and unparalleled stamina.  Custom recordings can also accommodate fetishes and political preferences.  (Senator David Vitter likes his dolls to talk dirty about Charles Darwin.)  In short, the Whitman vamplers would be everything a client would want in a second wife. 

And Meg Whitman offers the same managerial efficiency to government.  What MBAs would do to a brothel, she’ll do to California.

p.s.  Let’s not forget the historic significance of this day:  http://finermanworks.com/your_rda_of_irony/2007/10/09/leif-ericson-day/

The Curses of Good Manners and Hygiene

Posted in General, On This Day on October 9th, 2009 by Eugene Finerman – 3 Comments

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Committee awarded him the Prize simply for not being George Bush. Nonetheless, I think that the award was premature. Perhaps he should have been given half the Peace Prize now; he could get the other half once he actually accomplishes something.

To be honest, I think that I deserved this year’s Peace Prize.  Consider the heroic self-control I demonstrated.

It has been 40 years since I survived my high school–the Yiddish production of “Lord of the Flies.”  I received repeated telephone calls from the chronic organizer of  my class reunions.  (He was a complete mediocrity in high school, but apparently he is nostalgic for a past that he never had.)  As you may have discerned, I don’t share his sentimentality or morbidity.  Do I really want to count toupees or see which cheerleaders now weight more than me?    So I didn’t return the first two calls. After his third attempt, however, I felt guilty enough to call back if only to tell him that I was not interested in attending.   The news must have shocked him; he must have overestimated his charisma, too.  In his disbelief, he kept saying, “Well, that’s your right…”  (Yes, and that right was guaranteed by the Magna Carta–clause 43.  Of course, in 1215 the British barons only wanted to avoid Oxford University class reunions.) I politely said nothing, but I was seething.  “Blessed are the peacemakers”–obviously not my Testament.

Recently I ran into another high school classmate and he asked me if I was going to the reunion.  I replied, “Only if I have Ebola.” 

And now we resume our usual pedantics…
October 9, 1003:  Leif Erikson Lands in North America and Earns a Holiday in Minnesota

The Vikings are notorious for this vices, but they apparently possessed one fatal virtue: hygiene. Whether it was their fondness for saunas or the antiseptic cold of Greenland, the Vikings’ cleanliness ruined their chance to colonize North America. Starting with Leif Ericson in 1003, the Norse attempted to settle “Vinland.” Of course, the original inhabitants objected but the Vikings were never shy about other people’s property. Beyond their extrovert personalities, the Norse also had the tactical advantages of iron and steel armaments. The native American arsenal was still in the stone age. Nonetheless, the sheer number of the natives (Skraeling was the Viking name for them) made the prospect of slaughtering them rather demoralizing. And the Vikings’ damn hygiene eliminated the most effective weapon for depopulation: disease.

The Norse had nothing to infect their opponents, not a single small pox to share. Even their livestock was healthy. The “Skraelings” would have had no resistance to European germs; measles would have been a fatal plague. The Vikings then could have had Vinland to themselves. Just imagine how history would have changed: North America could have been one vast Minnesota. But the Vikings were too clean to succeed.

The Skraelings had a 500-year reprieve before they were introduced to the Spanish, French, English and small pox.