Today’s Word: legerdemain (noun) – Legerdemain (lej-er-duh-MANE) is sleight of hand, the skillful use of the hands to perform magic tricks. As used by A.A. Milne: “A clever conjurer is welcome anywhere, and those of us whose powers of entertainment are limited to the setting of booby-traps or the arranging of apple-pie beds must view with envy the much greater tribute of laughter and applause which is the lot of the prestidigitator with some natural gift for legerdemain.”

Did You Know?: A blue whale can produce sounds up to 188 decibels, detectable up to 530 miles away. For comparison… conversational speech is about 60 decibels, a jackhammer is about 90 decibels, and a thunderclap is about 120.

Worth Quoting: “A single feat of daring can alter the whole conception of what is possible.”  –Graham Greene

Something to Think About

Believe the Woman… Always?

Sexual assault is a despicable crime. The damage it does to the victim and the family is huge and long-lasting.

In most civilized countries of the world, there have been great strides towards investigating and prosecuting sexual offenders. Reports of sexual assault, once treated randomly and even casually, are generally taken seriously today. As they should be.

But the pendulum will have swung too far if we accept the idea that “the woman should always be believed,” an idea that is on the ascendency.

The proposition – one I’ve heard frequently and which actually appeared recently as a full-page ad in the NYT– that “nobody would ever make up such a thing” is simply idiotic.

In response to this craziness, reports of false accusations are finding their way into the media. Not the NYT perhaps, but other, alternative media.

Here’s one example in which 5 young girls accused a young man of sexual assault on two occasions. As a result, he was fired from his job and forced to endure multiple court appearances, detention in a juvenile facility, and loss of his liberty. Finally, several of the girls reluctantly admitted that their accusations had been false.