Great song and great video co-starring the comedian Zach Galifianakis (from the Hangover).
The diamond invention—the creation of the idea that diamonds are rare and valuable, and are essential signs of esteem—is a relatively recent development in the history of the diamond trade. Until the late nineteenth century, diamonds were found only in a few riverbeds in India and in the jungles of Brazil, and the entire world production of gem diamonds amounted to a few pounds a year. In 1870, however, huge diamond mines were discovered near the Orange River, in South Africa, where diamonds were soon being scooped out by the ton. Suddenly, the market was deluged with diamonds. The British financiers who had organized the South African mines quickly realized that their investment was endangered; diamonds had little intrinsic value—and their price depended almost entirely on their scarcity. The financiers feared that when new mines were developed in South Africa, diamonds would become at best only semiprecious gems.
The major investors in the diamond mines realized that they had no alternative but to merge their interests into a single entity that would be powerful enough to control production and perpetuate the illusion of scarcity of diamonds. The instrument they created, in 1888, was called De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., incorporated in South Africa. As De Beers took control of all aspects of the world diamond trade, it assumed many forms. In London, it operated under the innocuous name of the Diamond Trading Company. In Israel, it was known as “The Syndicate.” In Europe, it was called the “C.S.O.” — initials referring to the Central Selling Organization, which was an arm of the Diamond Trading Company. And in black Africa, it disguised its South African origins under subsidiaries with names like Diamond Development Corporation and Mining Services, Inc. At its height — for most of this century — it not only either directly owned or controlled all the diamond mines in southern Africa but also owned diamond trading companies in England, Portugal, Israel, Belgium, Holland, and Switzerland.
De Beers proved to be the most successful cartel arrangement in the annals of modern commerce. While other commodities, such as gold, silver, copper, rubber, and grains, fluctuated wildly in response to economic conditions, diamonds have continued, with few exceptions, to advance upward in price every year since the Depression. Indeed, the cartel seemed so superbly in control of prices — and unassailable — that, in the late 1970s, even speculators began buying diamonds as a guard against the vagaries of inflation and recession.
Apparently not. According to this article, we all have been subjected to the collective willpower of a diamond cartel and brilliant advertising campaign over the last 100+ years.
Again, when deciding to propose to your significant other – you don’t need a ring if the moment is right.
Image via Flickr user ilovebutter
If I ruled the world, or at least a publishing company, all books would contain as much supplementary information as possible. Nonfiction, fiction—doesn’t matter. Every work would have an appendix filled with diagrams, background information, digressions and anecdata. And of course, maps.
Victory Johnson as quoted in boingboing.net
I had planned on having an appendix, but definitely had not planned on including any maps. Certainly something to think about.
Photo from Flickr user davecito
If I just do my thing and you do yours,
We stand in danger of losing each other
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations;
But I am in this world to confirm you
As a unique human being,
And to be confirmed by you.
We are fully ourselves only in relation to each other;
The I detached from a Thou
I do not find you by chance;
I find you by an active life
Of reaching out.
Rather than passively letting things happen to me,
I can act intentionally to make them happen.
I must begin with myself, true;
But I must not end with myself:
The truth begins with two.
(Walter Tubbs, 1972)
And so, the Hopeful Romantic follows this premise – not passively letting life (and opportunities for love) slip bye, but instead intentionally creating new opportunities to live life to the fullest, allowing more possibilities of love to enter their life.
[image from here, used under fair use]
Written in 2004, To Fall In Love Is Foolish was my first self-published book on love and relationships. It encapsulated my thoughts, experiences, and opinions at the time. It was rather personal in nature, so I retired it long ago, but I review it now to give some background on my current project.
In the first chapter, which the book draws its name, To Fall In Love Is Foolish, I described my understanding of falling in love – a completely one-sided affair that is done before the person falling in love knows anything substantial about the other person. I used to do this all of the time in grade school and high school – before even asking the girl out. Once I did ask the girl out, it wouldn’t work out for one reason or another – and I would be heartbroken.
The second chapter, To Be In Love Is Cute, deals with what can happen when two people fall in love before they hardly know anything about each other. The premise being, that if two people fall in love with each other, then they can just as easily fall out of love with each other. (This would be fairly common in high school relationships.)
The third and final chapter, To Grow In Love Is Gorgeous, was then my “solution” to this problem of falling in and out of love. Instead of falling in love right at the beginning of a relationship as many of us are prone to do, a better course of action is to slowly grow in love.
When I tried to apply this from the start of my next serious relationship, I discovered something – yes, growing in love is the right way to start a relationship, but once you know you’ve found somebody great (based on time together), you can’t be afraid to fall in love with them.
Learning that lesson, I’ve incorporated that concept into Chapter 6 of The Hopeful Romantic – Grow In Love, Then Fall In Love – something I was successfully able to do in my relationship with Melissa.
Petie’s Love Newsletter was born in the summer of 2000, before my senior year in college. By that point, because of the Paavo Running Camps and Missouri Scholars Academy, I had developed friends throughout Missouri and the Midwest – and they all knew I was infatuated with love.
Having collected quotes, poems, and little tidbits on the subject since 8th grade, I decided to share those insights (along with some personal updates) in a newsletter I printed off and sent to my friends. Remember, this was back in the day before every teenager started using e-mail.
I managed to save the first two issues and present them here for all to see. (There was one section of the first issue that was a little too embarrassing, though.)
I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations…
and you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you…
and I am I.
And if, by chance, we find each other…
If not, it can’t be helped.
This is the first quote on love I ever collected. It was in the 7th or 8th grade. The moral of this quote, and one that I was able to follow throughout high school and into college, is to not change just because your sweetheart wants you to. You’ve still got to be yourself.
Later on I realized that some change is good. In an ideal relationship, the two continue to challenge each other to become better people throughout their time together. This quote, though, speaks of unnecessary expectations and being able to stay true to our core beliefs.
[image from Wikipedia]