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teachable moment

 


“time that has elapsed ⇒ elapsed time
a leaf that has fallen ⇒ a fallen leaf
a man who has traveled widely ⇒ a widely traveled man
a testicle that has not descended into the scrotum ⇒ an undescended testicle
a Christ that has risen from the dead ⇒ a risen Christ
a window that has stuck ⇒ a stuck window
the snow which has drifted ⇒ the drifted snow
a Catholic who has lapsed ⇒ a lapsed Catholic
a lung that has collapsed ⇒ a collapsed lung
a writer who has failed ⇒ a failed writer

–Neuroscientist Steven Pinker, from The Language Instinct HarperPerennial paperback, 1995


 

It is scientifically proven that most heterosexual men prefer younger female sexual partners. Women look better, apparently, when they have never been pregnant.

A Ted talker had a severe stroke. Since she is a brain scientist, she knew that it was a stroke as it was happening, and she managed to take mental notes about the experience, even as one of her lobes was shutting down. Later, she gave her Ted talk.

Truck stops are welcoming places. They sell audio books and flannel shirts, Pringles and power adaptors. A trucker can enjoy a Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes while he waits for his number to be announced over the loudspeaker. When his number is called, he grabs his bag and takes a nice, hot shower. Women can be truckers, too.

The pediatrician on rounds at the hospital discovered that a weird baby boy had been born that morning. He grabbed his four medical students. This was a teachable moment! He led them to the mother’s room. The door was open, of course, so they didn’t have to knock.

Easter tears.

Pink eye.

There are limits on how far a player can go to show his glee over a scored touchdown. He can dance, but he can’t drop to the ground and make a snow angel. That would earn a penalty.

She can still light candles, and she does. She sulks and broods and holds grudges. She conserves water.

We’ve never been sure if we like the looks of Richard Gere. We must like something.

There is no try.

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We feel ambivalent about Richard Gere’s looks because he looks like a doctor and we feel ambivalent about doctors.

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