SHAKESPEARE, MY FOOT
John Twomey: ‘You have been snookered by the Caesar quote which has been banging about the Internet. Please see (after West Wing) this link. This site, as I am sure you are aware, is the premier debunker of Internet legends and hoaxes. I would encourage you to vet something there before you post it to your site. BTW, the dead giveaway was that Roman Legions in Caesars time did not use drums.’
☞ Of course! The drums! Maybe it was Geronimo who said this, not Caesar. Actually, of course you – and many others who wrote in – are right. In my own (weak) defense, I did go to Google and search on one of the key phrases from the passage to see if it really came from Julius Caesar (the play) and got so many hits, a couple of which I sampled, that I figured it was legit. But I agree with you: snopes.com is an indispensable resource, as is urbanlegends.com. (Can one of you provide the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two?)
Ben Schonberger: ‘The MIT student newspaper, of all places, keeps an excellent full text version of the complete Shakespeare plays on line.’
WEST WING FROM 9 TO 11
Jonathan Levy: ‘Don’t you mean 9:30 to 11? Talk to a friend for half an hour and then watch the show on Tivo without commercials.’
☞ Several of you corrected me on this one, too (one of you even worried that my Tivo was broken) – and of course you are right again.
AUTUMN CAME ON TIME
Several of you also wrote in to tell me why it’s warmer in the summer. I actually sort of knew this one, but Eric Batson provided a definitive link.
DRUG AND BIO-TECH STOCKS
Sreenivas Rao: ‘I am dying to know (from yesterday’s column) what are the actual stocks you bought?’
☞ They are NTII at $2.75 or so, EMIS at $3 or so, and HGSI at $12 or so. My hope is that two or three years from now they could be double or triple today’s price, but I am fully prepared for them to go broke . . . and you must be, also, if you buy them. I claim zero expertise; just the good fortune to know two very smart money managers in this area who do their homework. But that’s definitely no guarantee of success.
I don’t much enjoy bashing AOL – I am, for the most part, very happy with it. But following up on Joe Cherner’s French AOL cancellation story came this from Michael White: ‘In April of this year I called AOL (a free phone #) and asked the customer service representative to cancel my account. She said that first I had to answer the questions on their survey. I declined to participate in the survey, and once again asked to cancel my account. She REFUSED, saying that I had to take the survey first. I told her that that was stupid, and she said (I swear I am not making this up, as Dave Barry would say), ‘Now you’re going to apologize to me before you take the survey and then you’re going to answer all of the questions.’ Well, I hung up, and asked my bank to reverse the next two AOL monthly charges on my Visa. Then AOL cancelled the account.’