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Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover: An Unlikely Friendship

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Truman Library

In 1945, as World War II struggled towards its eventual close, a fateful Oval Office meeting between Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman over Europe’s fate sparked what became not only an effective professional relationship, but a deeply personal one as well, despite their vast partisan differences. “Yours has been a friendship which has reached deeper into my life than you know,” Hoover once wrote of Truman, a sentiment often reciprocated by the latter president.

It all began towards the close of World War II in 1945, just over a month into Truman’s administration. Hoover had effectively exiled himself from public service since his landslide loss to FDR in the election of 1932. Before occupying the oval office himself, Hoover had twice risen to political prominence: First as a self-made millionaire in the mining industry, and again as a humanitarian organizer whose efforts in healing war-torn Europe earned him international renown. Capitalizing on his surging popularity, “the great engineer” handily won the presidency as a Republican in 1928, only to become the target of nationwide scorn after the stock market crashed just under a year later (hitchhikers in 1932 often successfully acquired rides simply by holding up signs which read “Give me a lift or I’ll vote for Hoover!”). After his victory, Roosevelt was quick to distance himself from his increasingly-disliked predecessor and, fearing that his political career was over, Hoover eventually retreated to a private life in California.

Recalling Hoover’s stellar performance in distributing nourishment and supplies to starving European families ravaged by the first World War, Truman decided to enlist the ex-president’s aid in rebuilding the continent after the second, writing in an invitational letter, “I would be most happy to talk over the European food situation with you… Also it would be a pleasure for me to become acquainted with you.”  On May 28, 1945, the two met in the White House—marking the first time Hoover had entered the building in 12 years—to discuss famine relief. Impressed by his humanitarian credentials and fervor, Truman later appointed Hoover honorary chairman of the Famine Emergency Committee, a role which sent him across the globe to procure rations for the needy and homeless.

Truman also secured Hoover’s legacy by helping to officially give the Hoover Dam its current name in honor of the president who had played a vital role in its construction (previously, it’d been dubbed the Boulder Dam). 

But apart from simply working well together, the two developed a sincere friendship over the years, one that lasted until Hoover’s death in 1964. In fact, the last words ever known to have been written by Hoover were sent to Truman via telegram on October 14, 1964, after the former learned Truman had slipped in his bathroom and fractured two ribs. The message read: “Bathtubs are a menace to ex-presidents for as you may recall a bathtub rose up and fractured my vertebrae when I was in Venezuela on your world famine mission in 1946. My warmest sympathy and best wishes for your recovery.” 

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

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Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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