Curiosity was by
Secret to Success
far, the month of October has been one of the most pleasant in years. For many,
jobs are scarce, food is higher, and the country is in hock to the People’s Republic
Aside from this, we can be sure of one thing: almost three of
the weeks of October will be wonderful. This is according to Benjamin Franklin's
“Poor Richard's Almanac.” The month of October always has exactly 19 fine days
(Today is the 22nd, have we used up the good ones yet?). Old Ben went out of his
way to help folks and make a shilling as well.
Fugio Cent -
American's first penny was designed by Franklin with the timeless
advice: "Mind Your Business."
Courtesy Wikipedia Commons
was a believer in seizing every opportunity to learn more about the world and
improve it as much as possible. He was one of the first to write self-improvement
books. He felt everyone could use some moral enhancement.
As the United
States first Postmaster, he spent his life finding ways to unravel mysteries of
science. As a printer, diplomat, inventor, philosopher, civic leader and a part-time
founder of the United States. He was anything but lazy.
In his day most
of the world was an agrarian society. An almanac was read more than the Bible.
Farmers needed to know stuff: “When badgers are fat, expect a cold, hard winter.”
“Store a bumper crop pumpkins and winter squash under the bed in an unheated guest
Ben warned farmers “Tight cornhusks mean a cold winter.” Another
way to know the coming winter will be cold is “when the onion skins are thick
Ben Franklin grew up poor and had very little formal schooling.
Yet he became a diplomat (the French loved him, so said some ladies), a very successful
businessman, civic leader and revolutionary. He was filled with curiosity.
colonial governments, before the American Revolution, used money printed by Ben
Franklin. To protect from counterfeiting, one side of the bills had images of
real leaves, carefully printed one at a time. His lifetime stretched most of the
eighteenth century, from 1706 to 1790. He would have been named the man of the
century but Time Magazine had not been invented.
Franklin might be amazed
that today's $100 bill features him and special designs to foil bogus bill makers.
(Actually, Franklin would not be amazed his likeness is on our money, he did believe
in his own greatness.) Today the $100 bill, has several safeguards against counterfeiting:
Among other things, “The United States of America” is micro-printed on
the lapel of Ben's coat. A second portrait of Ben in the form of a faint watermark
is embedded in the paper. Ink in the lower right-hand corner numeral changes from
green to black when viewed from different angles.
I did not get this information
from an original source as I have not seen a hundred dollar bill lately. I confess
I got this information from a book, not the Internet. The Web did tell me a Mars
Rover was named “Curiosity.” It's strange that people aren't more curious about
curiosity. It's a powerful thing. Benjamin Franklin would never say “curiosity
killed the cat.” Curiosity solves problems.
Along the Way with
October 27, 2010 Column
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