T P O

T   P   O
The Patient Ox (aka Hénock Gugsa)

G r e e t i n g s !

** TPO **
an irreligious blog
with egalitarian and individualist tendencies!


On the menu ... politics, music, poetry, and other good stuff.
There is humor, but there is blunt seriousness here as well!


Parfois, on parle français ici aussi. Tous sont les bienvenus!

Intelligent comments are always welcome!
Showing posts with label Good to know. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Good to know. Show all posts

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Friendly Ducks at Lake Nokomis- by Hénock Gugsa


The Friendly Ducks at Lake Nokomis
~ by Hénock Gugsa ~



The Friendly Ducks at Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis, MN 


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Society's Poisons ~ by Hénock Gugsa


Pandora's Box
Society's Poisons
by
Hénock Gugsa 

Obviously we are living in unreal or surreal times.  It wasn't too long ago that we, as individuals and as a nation, felt certain about our past, confident about our present, and optimistic about our future.  But of late, and specifically over the last year, there have come into our lives certain shifts of mood, and certain disenchantment with our mode-de-vie (way of life).  No doubt, there are dialectical forces behind our political existence. 
 

Decades of wars, economic crises, and political (philosophical) changes have left us unsettled and unsatisfied.  Then came 2016.  We said:  Enough already!  We need total and systemic alterations to not only the conduct but to the direction of Government!
 

We saw Bernie Sanders on the left denouncing the wealthy and the powerful for corrupting everything inside the Government.  However, he didn't get much traction from the democrats.
 

On the right rose an odd nationalist, quasi-populist  Donald Trump with an effective "promise" to drain Washington's swamp.  Strangely, his success was buoyed even further by the opportunistic republicans, and he became President.  And right away, he did not lose any time opening Pandora's box and society's poisons have been unleashed upon us.  What are they?
 

They are ... doubt, distrust, fear, and anger!  How did Mr. Trump accomplish this feat? In many ways ...
~ Misrepresentation of facts.
~ Denunciation of facts as false ( "Fake" news, "Fake" media, etc.).
~ Mastery of the confidence game (trickery, deflections, and empty promises).
~ Veiled threats.
~ Megalomania that appeals to certain segments of society.
~ Fox-News, and the predictable right-wing wacko media.
~ Spineless politicians on both sides of the aisle.
 

What do we need badly to get us out of this political morass and moral decline? ...
~ Truth speakers.
~ Courageous protests.
~ Political and civic participation at all levels of government ... volunteering, voting, etc.
~ Not losing our faith or our hope in our country.  We've been tested before ... we've come thru before ... we shall overcome again!
~ Let's stay focused!
Queen  Daenerys, Khalesi, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains!

 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

"Le Tourbillon de la Vie ! " ~~ chanson de Jeanne Moreau


video

 " LE TOURBILLON "
Mots: Boris Bassiak [alias Serge Rezvani]
======================
Elle avait des bagues à chaque doigt
Des tas de bracelets autour des poignets
Et puis elle chantait avec une voix
Qui, sitôt, m'enjôla


Elle avait des yeux, des yeux d'opale
Qui me fascinaient, qui me fascinaient
Y avait l'ovale de son visage pâle
De femme fatale qui m'fut fatal
De femme fatale qui m'fut fatal


On s'est connu, on s'est reconnu
On s'est perdu de vue, on s'est r'perdu d'vue
On s'est retrouvé, on s'est réchauffé
Puis on s'est séparé


Chacun pour soi est reparti
Dans l'tourbillon de la vie
Je l'ai revue un soir, aïe, aïe, aïe
Ça fait déjà un fameux bail
Ça fait déjà un fameux bail


Au son des banjos je l'ai reconnue
Ce curieux sourire qui m'avait tant plu
Sa voix si fatale, son beau visage pâle
M'émurent plus que jamais


Je me suis soûlé en l'écoutant
L'alcool fait oublier le temps
Je me suis réveillé en sentant
Des baisers sur mon front brûlant
Des baisers sur mon front brûlant


On s'est connu, on s'est reconnu
On s'est perdu de vue, on s'est r'perdu de vue
On s'est retrouvé, on s'est séparé
Puis on s'est réchauffé


Chacun pour soi est reparti
Dans l'tourbillon de la vie
Je l'ai revue un soir ah! là là
Elle est retombée dans mes bras
Elle est retombée dans mes bras


Quand on s'est connu, quand on s'est reconnu
Pourquoi s’perdre de vue, se reperdre de vue ?
Quand on s'est retrouvé, quand on s'est réchauffé
Pourquoi se séparer?


Alors tous deux on est repartis
Dans le tourbillon de la vie
On a continué à tourner
Tous les deux enlacés
Tous les deux enlacés

Tous les deux enlacés !
         

Friday, August 18, 2017

Jeanne Moreau Quotes - by TPO


Jeanne Moreau (1928-2017)
 Interesting and Wise Jeanne Moreau Quotes
============//============
~ The life you had is nothing. It is the life you have that is important.

~ I am a woman with absolutely no sense of nostalgia.

~ We have so many words for states of the mind, and so few for states of the body.

~ I decided my glass would always be half full, never half empty.

~ I've never worried about age. If you're extremely, painfully frightened of age, it shows. Life doesn't end at 30. To me age is a number, just a number. Who cares?

~ Like every human being I have everything in me - the best and the worst.

~ You have to know cold to appreciate warmth.

~ Love is like the soup, the first spoonfuls are too hot, the last ones too cold.

~ Age does not automatically bring wisdom. It might bring you knowledge, but wisdom is not a cold cream that you rub in each night and then wake up smarter in the morning.

~ I always have the impression that I am in the midst of becoming. Even if it's my death that's becoming. It's in process. It's not over. 


  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

CIVICS in and of Itself ! - by Hénock Gugsa



CIVICS in and of Itself !
by Hénock Gugsa
======*======
[ Is it a big priority in American life anymore? ]

Defining and understanding the concept of "Civics" ===> Wikipedia gives a good, clear, and all-encompassing definition of the term: "Civics is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties; the duties of citizens to each other as members of a political body and to the government. [Civics] includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens as opposed to external factors in the operation and oversight of government."

In essence, civics consists of sociopolitical dichotomies in our sovereign existence.
~ There are Rights (privileges) and there are Duties (responsibilities).
~ There is Law and there is Order (which subsumes disorder).
But over-riding and reining in all of these fractious matters is a virtuous concept known as "Civility".

While the origins of civics are certainly ancient, its status globally today range from thriving to endangered to non-existent. Here, in the United States, Civics has been essential, and very relevant in the daily political life of citizens at least up until the mid 1970's. Post-Watergate, the country has been experiencing a serious sociological facelift. With the advancement of the information age thru technology, we have been reaping the benefits certainly of knowledge. But unfortunately, wisdom has eluded us because we have seriously neglected history and civics. And if even a case could be made to the contrary, the current political situation of America reflects unpleasant realities. We have evidence that the fundamental principles of integrity and responsibility have been abandoned by people of means and power.

Sadly, the knowledge and practice of Civics in America today have turned out to be  entirely different things. Civics has been diluted, polluted, and almost totally shorn of the essential pillars of its structure, namely civility and responsibility. Lately, bullies have been running amok everywhere. You see them in all levels and branches of Government (yes, including the Supreme Court), in the media, in church organizations, in businesses, and in the police forces.

Integrity, which is the consolidation of civility and responsibility, is a rarity these days. Furthermore, loyalty and patriotism hardly mean what they used to. We have a President who kowtows to a foreign power while disabusing the citizens of his own nation. We have politicians whose bottom line is "winning" by any and all means. The party in power wants to exclude the minority even from hearings or consulting sessions. But when things go wrong, responsibility is shirked by blaming the minority.

Everything is about negativity (opposition). Nothing is about sacrifice. Nothing is about science. Nothing is about the future. Everything is about "me, me, me!" Everything is about "now, now, now!"

We are where we are now because we have not pushed ahead with our respect for Civics, its study and practical application in all walks of life. We have forgotten that Civics is the bedrock of Freedom and that in turn is the essence of America. 



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hardly a Standoff ! - by Anonymous

 
Carroll O'Connor
Hardly a Standoff !
by Anonymous

~~~~~~ // ~~~~~~
[ There is nothing worse than a Doctor's receptionist who insists you tell her what is wrong with you in a room full of other patients.  Most of us have probably experienced this, but we have to admire how this old guy handled it. ]

A 65-year-old man walked into a crowded waiting room and approached the desk.

The receptionist said, "Yes sir, what are you seeing the Doctor for today?"

"There's something wrong with my dick," he replied.

The receptionist became irritated and said, "You shouldn't come into a crowded waiting room and say things like that."

"Why not, you asked me what was wrong and I told you," he said.

The receptionist replied, "You've just caused some embarrassment in this room full of people. You should have said there is something wrong with your ear or something and discussed the problem further with the Doctor in private."

The man replied, "Then you shouldn't be asking people questions like that in a roomful of strangers if the answer could embarrass anyone."  

He then walked out, waited several minutes, and then re-entered.

The receptionist smiled smugly and asked, "Yes??"

"There's something wrong with my ear," he stated.

The receptionist nodded approvingly and smiled, knowing he had taken her advice.  "And what is wrong with your ear, sir?"

"I can't piss out of it," he replied.

The waiting room erupted in laughter !!!!
_________________________________________________

Moral ===> Mess with seniors, and you're going to lose!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Nefarious Somalis - by TPO




The Nefarious Somalis
by TPO
~~~~~~ /// ~~~~~~
Let me start off by putting one point out there loud and clear.  As an Ethiopian-American, I've always had misgivings, and even prejudice against Somalis for as long as I can remember.  More often than not, my position has been strengthened by the various evidences that have been revealed.  Whereas I have not been swayed away from my opinions and beliefs, I have long been impressed by the generally liberal attitude of Minnesotans, at least those in officialdom.  However, I have also felt that these officials have been a tad too naive in their understanding of certain cultures.  I might even say that Minnesota has been far too gullible and far too accommodating to these vociferous and pushy newcomers!

We all know that Minnesota is home to a rich and substantial contingency of immigrants from all corners of the world.  To cite the latest additions (over the last 42 years), we have Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Ethiopians, and Eritreans.  Somalis are actually more recent additions as they have been pouring here in great numbers and becoming dominant in the last 25 years or so.  That is all not bad in and of itself.

However, unlike all the other new citizens, Somalis have been in the news more often in bad light than in good.  Unlike the rest of us, they have never been adept at keeping a low profile while being productive members of society.  Their religion , Islam, is not a problem.  Other ethnic Muslim groups (from Africa, the Middle East, or Asia) living in the United States have certainly been good, patriotic citizens, and the country has been enriched by them.  They have adapted better and have fared generally well up until the new, hostile Washington administration came to power.

But to the specific topic at hand, ... if ever there was a time when Somalis need to be even more circumspect in their visibility and their noisome notoriety, now is it.  The recent news of a Somali policeman killing an innocent, law-abiding woman for no good reason is an example.  What caused this reckless and stupid act?  Was the policeman on drugs (qhat)?  Was he afraid for his life like the disgraceful Jeronimo Yanez?!  And on a tangential matter, will the Police unions now stand behind this Somali officer?  But that is another topic for another day.

I will conclude by saying that I wish this latest police atrocity never happened ... but even more importantly, I fervently hope that we, the quiet and law-abiding ethnic groups, are not bundled, in a willy nilly fashion, with this notorious band.  The burden is on the Somalis to improve their image and work hard, and quietly toward a peaceful coexistence with all fellow citizens.

Karma in the Stone Age


Monday, July 17, 2017

A Little Political Humor ~ by Hénock Gugsa



A Little Political Humor
from Ethiopia
`````` === ``````
A renowned political scholar was recently asked what finally becomes of a starving people.  He responded, "That's obvious ... they will do the most immediate thing to quell their hunger ... they will eat their rulers!"

Journalists followed up: "So why haven't the Ethiopians gorged on their leaders in response to the current famine?"

The scholar was far from being nonplussed.  He replied, "Ethiopians are comprised of Coptic Christians and Muslims.   You all know very well that in both religions, it is expressly forbidden to eat pork!"



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Haile Selassie Quotes ~ by TPO



Haile Selassie Quotes
~ by TPO ~ 

 ~ Nobody will fail to appreciate that law is the greatest benefit to every man.  It is from the equality of law that honor and advantage arise; it is from the deficiency of law that distress and damage result; it is through failure to set up law that violence and injury grow.

~  If you are kind and tolerant and courteous, you make people think well of us -- if you are arrogant and proud and unfriendly, you discredit us in the eyes of others.

 ~ One mark of a great leader is that he feels sufficiently secure  to devote his thought and attention to the well-being of his subordinates and the perfection of his task, rather than being constantly worried about the approval or disapproval of others.

 ~ The aim of those leaders that is based on ambition for power and personal gain is one with no firm foundation and will, consequently, crumble easily.

 ~ The greatness of a leader may be estimated in the first instance by the improvement of his country -- his contribution to the prosperity of his own people -- and, furthermore, to that of neighboring lands.

 ~ Anyone who makes the wrong choices will be a burden not only to himself but to future generations.
_______________________________________
Source: Proverbs of Haile Selassie -- issuu.com/tafariverlag




Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Martha Nassibou's Fascinating Bio - by TPO


The artist and writer: Martha Nassibou (1931 - )
==================================

Martha Nassibou, daughter of Dejazmatch Nassibou Zamanuel and Woizero Atsede Babitcheff, was born in Addis Ababa in 1931.  Shortly after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, Martha and all her family were taken to Italy where they lived as captives of the Fascist government from 1936 to 1944.

As a child, Martha was already displaying an interest and a knack for drawing and painting.  Some years later, with hard work and dedication, she attended the International School in Geneva and studied art at the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris and the Art Students League in New York.

Her first exhibition was held in 1945, when she was only 14, organized by the Ministry of Commerce in Addis Ababa on the occasion of the visit of the Queen of Greece.

She later worked for the Ethiopian Ministry of Education, who commissioned her to illustrate school books for children.

Since 1964, she has been living in Europe where she has continued to paint, exhibit, and execute commissioned work consisting mainly of portraits and large thematic canvases of Ethiopian inspiration. 

Martha has taught drawing and painting to both children and adults.  Although she favors oil and pastel, she likes to experiment with new media and has lately produced some electronic [digitized] paintings.

She is also a writer and a poet. She has recently published a book to honor the memory her father, Dejazmatch Nassibou Zamanuel, hero of the Ethiopian struggle against the occupying Italian army.

Martha has three children and three grandchildren. She currently lives in the south of France where she still paints and writes.
__________________________________________

For more info ... http://marthanassibou.blogspot.com/

samples of Martha's work

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Devastating and Beyond Desperate ! - by Hénock Gugsa



Gerda Saunders

Heart-wrenching, sad, yet beautifully human moments ...
- NPR interview of Gerda Saunders by Melissa Block -
("Weekend Edition Saturday" - 06/18/17)

~ I'm putting Mrs. Saunders' book, "Memory's Last Breath", at the top of my wish-list!


"Memory's Last Breath" from Hénock on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Understanding Marcus Aurelius ~ by TPO


Marcus Aurelius,  Roman Emperor (Anno Domini 121-180)

Understanding Marcus Aurelius
by TPO
===== // =====
"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is perspective, not the truth."
~ Marcus Aurelis.

Let us open our eyes, our minds and our intellect.  What do we take from this succinct and unmuddled quote? 

The message is simple enough in itself.  But in fact, it is one that requires reflection and deeper contemplation. We are being challenged to to think more, and to understand more.  
I don't think Marcus Aurelius is debunking established facts or realities.  On the contrary, I am certain he is urging us to consider our relation to what is around us ... our preconceptions, our biases, and our temperament.  This is the area where we can be easily led astray by the media, by snake oil salesmen, by con artists, by clergy, by politicians, and by dictators, etc. 
I suggest we should concentrate on the word "perspective" here. But as an extension of that, the wise emperor is also asking us to consider "the thing" in front of us (the matter, the problem, the statement), ... to ask what it is, and what its essence is in and of itself (unbiased or unsoiled by outside forces) ... then, maybe we can decide for ourselves what to make of it!
 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Enough, Enough with the Drumbeat! ~ by Hénock Gugsa


Enough, Enough with the Drumbeat!
~ by Hénock ~
================================
 

Alright, alright. Give me a break
Stop all that drumbeat, I've had enough
Keep your "360", keep it "All In"
And who needs anyone's "Last Word"
Or a "Situation Room" with a breathless Wuff?

Please, no "Eleventh Hour" and nothing "For the Record"
I prefer "Last Week Tonight" or a Bee's "Full Frontal"
Don't go "Out Front", no "TRMS", and no "Hardball"
"Morning Joe" is pukey, and all of FOX to boot
Just gimme "Time", "Newsweek", "WaPo" or Wall Street Journal!


Nick Offerman





Friday, May 26, 2017

Some Tidbits from the WaPo on 05/22/17 ~~ by TPO


"Peach of Harmony"


Some Tidbits from the Washington Post on 05/22/17

~~ A longtime black congressman, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), says he received intense backlash after calling for Trump’s impeachment – including a spate of vulgar lynching threats. “You’re not going to impeach anybody, you f—— n—–  … You’ll be hanging from a tree,” one person said. (Kristine Phillips)

~~ An Alexandria gym terminated the membership of self-proclaimed white nationalist Richard Spencer, after he was confronted by a Georgetown University professor who called him a “cowardly Nazi” for his alt-right views. (Faiz Siddiqui)

~~ House Democrats are aggressively recruiting military veterans to run in 2018. Fifteen have already launched campaigns, and 10 more may enter races by this summer. (Wall Street Journal)

~~ The most memorable paragraph from Karen and Phil's story: Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi praised Trump and invited him to visit Egypt, which Trump said he intends to do. Through a translator, Sissi said, “You are a unique personality that is capable of doing the impossible.” “I agree!” Trump replied, as his advisers and others looking on laughed. Trump went on to compliment Sissi on his fashion, telling the Egyptian leader, “Love your shoes. Boy, those shoes. Man…”

~~ Columnist Anne Applebaum slams Trump for his “bizarre and un-American visit to Saudi Arabia,” noting that it is a very strange place to speak out against Islamist extremism: “Although Saudi Arabia is afraid of some forms of Islamist extremism, it supports others. Saudi Arabia sponsors extremist Wahabi mosques and imams all over the world; Osama bin Laden was a Saudi citizen, as were 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers. … Yes, Americans are often hypocritical about where and when they promote human rights … But to denounce human rights in Iran while standing in Saudi Arabia, a place where there is no political freedom and no religious freedom, brought hypocrisy to a whole new level. Better not to have said anything at all.”
________________________________________
 


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Enigmatic Henry Kissinger ~ by Hénock Gugsa


Henry Kissinger (born1923)

The Enigmatic Henry Kissinger
===================
by Hénock Gugsa

Aside from the distraction of his discomforting accent, can we agree that Henry Kissinger is a very confounding and confusing communicator?  I find it hard sometimes figuring out what the hell he is talking about?  Does he commit to anything ever?  Can he avoid abstractions and lay out a clear-cut, short, and comprehensible statement?  Can he define problems or situations and educate his audience without a jumble of esoteric and nonsensical phrases?  Can he be less circuitous, less indirect, less enigmatic?  Can he be unclouded?
 

Decidedly, the only things of supreme concern to Kissinger are:
1) Security ... 
2) Power ... 
3) Order ... and ...
4) History (its definition and management)
 

He was and is a practitioner of a Machiavellian approach to Government and National Policies. In effect, he is a Nihilist who thinks in the mode of Nietzsche.  Kissinger has aphorisms as answers to all the world's problems.  He talks about "tangibles" and "intangibles", but for all practical purposes, they are nothing but abstractions.  In his world, there doesn't seem to be any room or consideration for the human spirit, for beliefs, for compassion, or even for decency.
 
Just take a look at some quotes of his ...
 

~~ “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.”
~~ “The nice thing about being a celebrity is that if you bore people they think it's their fault.”
~~ “Don't be too ambitious. Do the most important thing you can think of doing every year and then your career will take care of itself.”
~~ “Every victory is only the price of admission to a more difficult problem.”
~~ “It is not often that nations learn from the past,even rarer that they draw the correct conclusions from it.”
~~ “A country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security.”
~~ “A turbulent history has taught Chinese leaders that not every problem has a solution and that too great an emphasis on total mastery over specific events could upset the harmony of the universe.”
~~ “In Washington...the appearance of power is therefore almost as important as the reality of it. In fact, the appearance is frequently its essential reality.”
~~ “The war is just when the intention that causes it to be undertaken is just. The will is therefore the principle element that must be considered, not the means... He who intends to kill the guilty sometimes faultlessly sheds the blood of the innocents...."
~~ “The state is a fragile organization, and the statesman does not have the moral right to risk its survival on ethical restraint.”
~~ “The reason that university politics is so vicious is because stakes are so small.”
~~ “In the end, peace can be achieved only by hegemony or by balance of power.”
~~ “Power without legitimacy tempts tests of strength; legitimacy without power tempts empty posturing.”
~~ “Politicians are like dogs... Their life expectancy is too short for a commitment to be bearable.”
~~ “History knows no resting places and no plateaus.”
~~ “Because complexity inhibits flexibility, early choices are especially crucial.”
~~ “Facts are rarely self-explanatory; their significance, analysis, and interpretation—at least in the foreign policy world—depend on context and relevance.”
~~ “In effect, none of the most important countries which must build a new world order have had any experience with the multi-state system that is emerging. Never before has a new world order had to be assembled from so many different perceptions, or on so global a scale.”
~~ “…Policy is the art of the possible, the science of the relative.”
~~ “Order always requires a subtle balance of restraint, force, and legitimacy.”
~~ “The highest form of warfare is to attack [the enemy’s] strategy itself.   The next, to attack [his] Alliances. The next, to attack Armies ....”
~~ “I want to express here my continuing respect and personal affection for President George W. Bush, who guided America with courage, dignity, and conviction in an unsteady time. His objectives and dedication honored his country even when in some cases they proved unattainable within the American political cycle.”
~~ “If the major powers come to practice foreign policies of manipulating a multiplicity of sub-sovereign units observing ambiguous and often violent rules of conduct, many based on extreme articulations of divergent cultural experiences, anarchy is certain.”  

Kissinger with Trump




Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Ducks at Nokomis ~ by Hénock Gugsa


The Ducks at Nokomis
by
Hénock Gugsa
=== // === 
 

~ It's "Seven Brothers for One Bride" !
~ Baby, there's a whole lot of clucking & quacking going on !!!

video
 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Adam and Eve's Plight ~~~ Eve's Diary


 Adam and Eve's Plight
~ extracted from Eve's Diary ~ *
=====================
....
Today, in a wood, we heard a Voice.

We hunted for it, but could not find it.  Adam said he had heard it before, but had never seen it, though he had been quite close to it.  So he was sure it was like the air, and could not be seen.  I asked him to tell me all he knew about the Voice, but he knew very little.  It was Lord of the Garden, he said, and had told him to dress the Garden and keep it; and it had said we must not eat of the fruit of a certain tree and that if we ate of it we should surely die.  Our death would be certain.  That was all he knew.  I wanted to see the tree, so we had a pleasant long walk to where it stood alone in a secluded and lovely spot, and there we sat down and looked long at it with interest, and talked.  Adam said it was the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

"Good and evil?"
"Yes."
"What is that?"
"What is what?"
"Why, those things.  What is good?"
"I do not know.  How should I know?"
"Well, then, what is evil?"
"I suppose it is the name of something, but I do not know what."
"But, Adam, you must have some idea of what it is."
"Why should I have some idea?  I have never seen the thing, how am I to form any conception of it?  What is your own notion of it?"

Of course I had none, and it was unreasonable of me to require him to have one.  There was no way for either of us to guess what it might be.  It was a new word, like the other; we had not heard them before, and they meant nothing to us.  My mind kept running on the matter, and presently I said, "Adam, there are those other new words - die, and death.  What do they mean?"

"I have no idea."
"Well, then, what do you think they mean?"
"My child, cannot you see that it is impossible for me to make even a plausible guess concerning a matter about which I am absolutely ignorant?  A person can't think when he has no material to think with.  Isn't that true?"
"Yes - I know it; but how vexatious it is.  Just because I can't know, I all the more want to know."

We sat silent a while turning the puzzle over in our minds: then all at once I saw how to find out, and was surprised that we had not thought of it in the beginning, it was so simple.  I sprang up and said, "How stupid we are!  Let us eat of it; we shall die, and then we shall know what it is, and not have any more bother about it."
....

________________________
* Source:  Mark Twain: Letters From The Earth, Crest Books, 1963