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A.Word.A.Day--Rube Goldberg

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Rube Goldberg (roob goldburg) adjective

Of, relating to, or being a contrivance that brings about by complicated means what apparently could have been accomplished simply.

[After Reuben Lucius Goldberg 1883-1970, American cartoonist noted for his intricate diagrams of complicated, impractical contraptions designed to effect comparatively simple results.]

"Remembering the complicated Rube Goldberg charts that Magaziner devised for the Clinton health care program, one wag predicts, `Now trade with Europe will go through the Panama Canal, loop around the tips of South America and Africa, hang a left at the Indian Ocean, through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean.'" Critser, Greg, Pill Pushers: Pharmaceutical Companies Are Emphasizing Marketing - And Downplaying Responsible Medicine., Washington Monthly, 1 Apr 1997.

I've been alerted about a new book titled "How to Wash Your Face." I'm not kidding--this 256 page tome is authored by a doctor and retails for $20. As they say, reality is stranger than fiction. The fiction that comes to my mind here is a Rube Goldberg contraption. If you have never seen one, check out rubegoldberg.com. And while you are there, don't forget to look at "How to wake up" so that you can get up in time tomorrow to check your email that will bring another eponym (a word derived from a person's name) in AWAD that may make you laugh resulting in the coffee in your mug getting spilled on the tail of the pet cat on your lap making the startled kitty jump and hit the roof thus activating the fire-sprinkler and causing it to trigger the fire alarm making you look up in curiosity resulting in getting your face splashed with the sprinkler water thus saving you the $20 cost of the aforementioned book. It pays to increase the word power. -Anu


Action and faith enslave thought, both of them in order not to be troubled or inconvenienced by reflection, criticism and doubt. -Henri Frederic Amiel

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