World’s Strangest

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Mark Twain Listens to a Woman on the Phone

I recently read an NPR piece about the book Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us, in which researchers determined that the most universally annoying thing ever is listening to someone talk on a phone. When I came across this reprint on The Atlantic from Mark Twain in 1880, I realized that this has been the situation since the advent of telephonic communication.

I consider that a conversation by telephone—when you are simply sitting by and not taking any part in that conversation—is one of the solemnest curiosities of this modern life. Yesterday I was writing a deep article on a sublime philosophical subject while such a conversation was going on in the room.

Read the rest at The Atlantic. Link

Image credit: Bettmann / Corbis

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June 7th, 2011

Stranger to the World


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