non sequiters

Every now and then you run across a little nugget, a story that helps put the complexities and contradictions of this modern world into a helpful perspective. Maybe we can accumulate some here...

Abraham Lincoln was presiding over a stormy Cabinet meeting. At one point the arguments became so heated that Lincoln decided it was time to get his advisers back on a logical course again.

"Gentlemen," he said, "let us see if we can agree on a few facts. How many legs has a cow?"

They all said a cow has four legs. "Good," the president said. "We have agreed on something. Now if we call the cow's tail a leg, how many legs would she have?"

"Five," the Cabinet said in unison, and Abe looked pained.

"No, no," he said sadly. "That's where we've been getting off the track. Calling the cow's tail a leg doesn't make it a leg. She'd still have four."

New impressive names are not going to change a situation.


This first story was taken from the Architecture - Postmodern/ TIB from the CRS Center at Texas A&M

TIB stands for This I Believe. TIBs were written by Bill Caudill, FAIA, 1985 AIA Gold Medal recipient. For more information on TIBs and Caudill, visit

To search all of Caudill's TIBs, visit

To start receiving a TIB every Monday, send a one line e-mail message (subject not required) to LISTSERV@TAMU.EDU. Type the following command in the first line of your message:

SUBSCRIBE TIBS-L firstname lastname
(example: SUBSCRIBE TIBS-L John Doe)

TIBS are Copyright (c) CRS Center,
Texas A&M University, email:

By way of Peter Carlsen...

Sinclair Lewis of "Mainstreet" and "Babbit" fame was brought in to the University of Minnesota to give a talk. Northrup, the largest auditorium on campus filled with students hoping to get something from the great author. Sinclair, strode across the stage looked out at the students for a long time.

"So you want to be writers," he finally said. "Then what in the world are you doing here. If you want to be a writer go home and write, that's the only way you can do it." With that he left the stage.

Dad swears it's true

Got a gem? send it in