@Max Maureen and I got Business class on a South African Airways flight from Perth to Johannesburg recently (thry could not get the plane's wheelchair in between the business class seats, so we had to stay there.....) and boy was it nice. The seats became a bed, and the seat control panel alone had 14 buttons on it. I dream of winning the lotto and flying business wherever I go....but I can attest that SAA business class is tops!
@Max...conversation starters.... my sister was at a very staid dinner once at a time when my dad and my other sister were overseas, in France. They sent us a letter in very bad French (Franglais is probably more accurate.. :-) Anyway someone asked my sister at the dinner, "How are you sister and your dad doing on their travels?" and she replied, "Fine, they sent us a french letter the other day!" After that their table was not so staid..... but I wonder if "french letter" will be understood by our American readers?
@Max... In the book version of the James Bond story "You Only Live Twice", Tiger Tanaka, the head of the Japanese Secret Service, remonstrates with James Bond for exactly the same thing. Owing to the marvel of the internet I can reproduce it verbatim:
There was no handkerchief, only a packet of tissues. (Later, Tiger explained. 'Bondo-san, this Western habit of blowing the nose and carefully wrapping up the result in silk or fine linen and harbouring it in your pocket as if it were something precious! Would you do the same thing with the other excretions of your body? Exactly! So, if in Japan you wish to blow your nose, perform the act decorously and dispose at once, tidily, of the result.')
I thought after what happened the LAST time you were in ATL you'd never want to come here again.... Did you get the bundle of "lab photos" I sent you? I think my basement is a contender for the "Bob Pease Memorial Award" for messiest workbenches....
Re "We are being hoisted by our own petards, as it were...
Have you been watching that "Virus wipes out the world" mini-series:"
Since I have an aunt who is an Ivy League Professor of English Emeritus (and a renowned authority on Shakespeare), I feel compelled to point out that the proper citation is "HOIST by one's own petard...."
While I rarely watch much TV anymore (including scifi-ish programs, despite having been a voracious reader of that type of literature for a great many years), I suspect (without even having heard of said program) that such is likely as the ending of human history: "NOT WITH A BANG, BUT A WHIMPER..." On a similar note (IIRC) EM Forster, "The Machine Stops."