Saturday, April 5, 2014

True Heroes: E for Get Your Brain Working

True heroes are all around us, in our every day lives, but some people stand out. During this A-Z Challenge I hope to share several of my real life heroes, and invite you to share yours in the comments.

We home school. I know that's crazy to most people, but I'm just beginning to really see the results--in character, in understanding, in individual creativity and accountability. Some days I still think we're insane and wonder why I ever agreed to this, and then I think about people like...

instein, Albert. My son freaks out about this guy--who was so brilliant he got lost when biking back to his own house, or who forgot to put on pants, or who was so invested in his work he didn't even realize his second wife was blind initially.

Besides figuring out the Theory of Relativity, a theory for the time-space continuum, and a formula for discerning the energy of any mass, he is known as one of the most brilliant minds of our time. The guy was dyslexic and came from Germany, leaving behind a country ruled by Adolf Hitler for the safety of the U.S (as a non-observant Jew). He also helped build the atomic bomb (unintentionally), which, say what you will, is evil, but has proved a power that gave this nation its standing in the world as one not to be threatened.

What do I admire about Einstein? His crazy study and personal championing of free thought. He clashed with conventional schools and their way of thought. He was always pushing the boundaries, imagining and then seeking to prove some far-fetched and impossible concept. If only we had a few more free thinkers like that in our midst, can you imagine the society we'd live in?


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What is your take on creativity vs common education? Do you admire Einstein? Have you ever known anyone so gifted they almost couldn't function in society?

121 comments:

  1. Einstein was a crazy Genius! And I know quite a few people who homeschool.

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    1. When done right, that's definitely the best way to go.

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  2. I love to read about Albert Einstein - I wish more people had that kind of brilliant yet slightly quirky way of thinking!

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    1. I know! If public schools weren't so structured, it might be a very different world.

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  3. I was a public school teacher who knew numerous home schooled children, mostly through athletics, and the vast majority were wonderful people and excellent learners. I completely support home schooling when the parents are capable.

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    1. Agreed. Even I have met cases of homeschooling gone wrong.

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  4. "was so invested in his work he didn't even realize his second wife was blind initially."

    Now THAT is a workaholic!

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  5. I applaud you for home schooling and I'm sure you and your children will reap the benefits. Maybe you'll produce the next free thinkers of the world :)

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    1. I hope so. We need a few of those to get us turned the right direction, eh?

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  6. Einstein--yup, a total whiz! There's really a lot to learn from him.

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  7. He was also a practicing human being. In other words, just like the rest of us only different, LOL

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  8. Einstein is definitely a hero of mine, too. What a brilliant, fascinating man.

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  9. My daughter is dyslexic. When she was growing up I had to often remind her about Albert Einstein when she was down and out. I still do sometimes when she is self loathing. Your question- Have you ever known anyone so gifted they almost couldn't function in society? I think that autistic children are geniuses!

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    1. Agreed. I've been blessed to work with one or two, and they are something extra special.

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  10. Quirkiness is a sign and symptom of genius. Love this dude! :)

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  11. Albert Einstein was indeed a genius. Wish we could have him today and further increase our technology. So many questions still unanswered...
    Sania @ Fragile Words

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    1. My son is tortured by the fact that no one knows what his last words were because they were in German, and no one in the room understood German.

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  12. Einstein was amazing. Reading about him made me realize I would love to learn more about him. :).
    Jess

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    1. Definitely some interesting things to know about him.

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  13. What a cutie ;) the days of the crazy inventors were awesome!

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  14. What is so incredible about Einstein is that with ALL the advances they've made his theories keep holding. By the way, he didn't actually help build the atomic bomb, didn't even have anything to do with it directly. However, his theories did lead to it's development. It was Oppenheimer who built the bomb.

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    1. Yes, Bish, I know. It was a three man team from my research, but Einstein still felt responsible for contributing when they saw the devastation of the bomb.

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  15. Home schooling your children is not crazy. I don't have kids yet, but when I do I fully intend to home school them. I also admire Einstein's craziness :P and how he stood behind what he believed even when it wasn't popular.

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    1. Yeah...crazy...that pretty much defines it.

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  16. Stopping by on the 5th day of the #atozchallenge while looking for fellow writers. Congratulations on your blog. I know you are going to make new blogging friends this month. I'm writing about gardening and related topics and having a wonderful time. If you have time or interest, come and visit.

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    1. Thanks for stopping in! I love making new friends.

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  17. A world full of free thinkers, defying the norm and pushing beyond the standard? Sounds like pure insanity(bring it).

    The Immarcescible Word

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    1. LOL. I'll take some too. =) (Especially if it comes with cheese.)

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  18. I always wonder what would have happened if Da Vinci and Einstein and Machiavelli and all those other wonderful minds had more time here. All the other stuff they'd accomplish. They just seemed indefatigable!

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    1. I know! It would be fun to get them all in the same room.

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  19. I've heard Einstein had ADD. He couldn't even learn to drive a car, because he said there were just too many things to think about.

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  20. Fascinating blog about Einstein! Loved reading all about him. Interesting man.♥

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  21. Einstein is a hero of mine! I like the theme of your A-Z Challenge! Have a good weekend, Crystal!

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    1. Thanks! I've missed seeing your blueness around here. =)

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  22. He's one of my favorite people in all of history. I heard he was devastated when they used his atomic energy formula as a bomb. I actually ask the guys I date how much they know about the fascinaiting theory of relativity. I'm alone right now for a reason. Great post.

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    1. Yeah. Can you even imagine?

      What? Guys don't get into the theory of relativity? You must be hanging out with the wrong guys. ;)

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  23. I wonder what were his thoughts on a "normal" day (according to his standards of "normal")... like when he was just chillaxing...?

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    1. He didn't chillax. Don't you know? He was constantly working over something new. =)

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  24. He's such an interesting person. I'm glad he was different and unique, because he contributed a lot to this world.

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    1. He definitely did. Some good, some bad, all definitely important.

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  25. This is a great post. I love Einstein. I find that most intelligent people are a bit eccentric. He is one that helped me be me, if that makes sense.

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  26. I got a bachelor's degree in physics, so I appreciate Einstein quite a lot. Did you know his Nobel is not for relativity?

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    1. Actually, I didn't. Learn something new every day...

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  27. I heard that Einstein didn't like cheese.
    ;P

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    1. Hah. Next you're going to tell me he didn't sleep in a bed. :P

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    2. Actually, I think he levitated.

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    3. LOL. Then he REALLY must have liked cheese. (Only someone truly enlightened could achieve that level of awesomeness.)

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  28. I love Einstein! He got a bit too lost in his work sometimes, but he really showed the kind of genius you can create when you think outside of the normal bounds. ^_^

    I wish there was a way to marry the idea of public school with the freedom of home school. Like a public school that doesn't make you sit and be bored for too many hours a day and everyone gets to move at the pace that's best from them instead of being slowed down or left behind. I don't know. Lol!

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    1. Like a virtual school? If they could pull that off, but allow enough freedom, yes, I think that's the perfect medium.

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  29. I like inventors, especially Edison. They've made wonderful contributions to society. But there's a thin line between "free-thinking" inventors and anti-social serial killers, some of whom are very bright and charming.

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    1. Wow. Way to find the silver lining. ;)

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    2. Lexa, I like your comment on Crystal's blog here, but what a scary thought! :-D
      Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  30. Einstein was beyond his years, you know what I was surprised about him as I became older was that he said so many fabulous quotes... it wasn't until I started collecting quotes that I knew this. He really was genius in so many ways.. incredible.

    Wow, you home school, that is awesome ... I don't have the patience... I wish I did though :)

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    1. LOL. I don't have the patience, but I'm learning it, one day at a time. =)

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  31. Another home schooling, writing mom here! Yes, you are crazy--and so am I. But isn't it great. Thrilled to come across this blog. Love it!!

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    1. Yay! *high five* Here's to the brave ones. =)

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  32. Love that picture of him! Great choice for 'E'!

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  33. I really like your topic for A-Z and will be stopping by more often. Einstein should be everyone's hero. If everyone could look at the world in an intelligent way, there would be far less stupidity prancing around us. :D Although stupidity in it's own right has its usefulness. Do you have any tips for an inspiring YA writer with the dream of being published one day? Your book sounds amazing and one I am going to have to pick up and read!

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    1. Aw! Thanks. I have TONZ of tips, most of them at the ends of pencils or pens. ;) If you shoot me an email, I'll happily pass them on.

      My husband always says, "I can fix most anything, but you can't fix stupid."

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  34. I don't have kids so haven't had to make this decision, but based on various things I've heard from friends and family members in recent years I know I would seriously consider it if I did have children. My nephew is a "free thinker" type and had a terrible experience in public school.

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    1. There are definitely certain personalities that don't mesh well in public schools. My dad, a doctor, always told me my oldest would be bored in school--which is true since we've gone at his pace and he's in senior courses at the age of 13. He would have hated public school.

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  35. Einstein is one of the most brilliant minds ever. Period.

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  36. Einstein is a one and only. I read once where his wife was invited to the opening of an observatory and her escort bragged that they laid out the entire universe above their head...she was unimpressed telling them her husband used to do that on backs of envelopes.

    Maybe my forgetfulness is a sign of my genius? Ha!

    And home school high fives to you. I never did it because I lack the skills, but have friends who did it. Their kids always smoked the standard on the testing, so you guys must be doing something right!

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    1. Elizabeth, YES! Your forgetfulness is just a sign of your Einsteinian amazingness. =)

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  37. Crystal, I love your post--it's informative and interesting. I also love the pic with his tongue out--so perfect!
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  38. I don't have kids either, but knowing who I am I would prefer home school also. They can and will be social on other levels, but education is a must and I would think I could give it a go at home first.
    Katy Did

    Life's Ride In Between

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    1. Yeah, there are places to socialize like sports, clubs, church and service opportunities. I'll admit, it is a challenge measuring up to "traditional" standards while attempting to do follow our interests.

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  39. I almost broke down in tears today when my girlfriends 14-year-old daughter asked me what there was to see in Philadelphia (they may visit me this summer) and I named a list of things one of which, I told her the Liberty Bell was here. She had no clue what the Liberty Bell was. I have lost all hope in Public Education. If I had it to do over I would have home schooled.
    I wrote about Einstein in my B post. Some believe he had Bipolar disorder.
    doreenmcgettigan.com

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    1. AH!!! She didn't know what there was to see in Philly? I could get lost there for a week, just stopping into all the historical sites. Holy cow! (I'm told you have to be careful driving through certain neighborhoods though.)

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  40. Wow, this is a popular post! The thought of Einstein always gave me hope when I was a kid. Not that I consider myself in any way to have a brain like his, but in my experience, intelligent, creative kids don't always do well in a traditional school setting. I was bored a lot of the time, so I acted out and was punished for it. You read my post on cubicles--I've acted out as an adult too.

    There are schools here in the city that let kids learn at their own pace and choose how to demonstrate what they've learned, and that would have made a huge difference to me.

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    1. It's true--gifted kids often don't fare well in a cookie-cutter system. There has to be adaptations to fit them, or we lose the genius that might have been.

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  41. Einstein is an amazing person! Being married to a physicist, we hear a lot about him around here. I think one of my hubby's personal all-time highlights was visiting Einstein's house and the patent office where he originally came up with the theory of relativity :)

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    1. Ooh! I would love that--visiting his house. Wow. Now I have one more thing to add to my bucket list. =)

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  42. a good E post Crystal :) Thank you. Einstein and home schooling are good journeys. Well done and good luck to all the learners in your home.

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  43. As far as education is concerned I believe in creativity, but on top of the basics. I think the problem with many establishments is they are trying to cater for everyone and assuming they are the same. Einstein is one of the greats of our scientific age; a very brilliant man.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

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    1. Yeah. You have to allow for free thinking if you want it to continue in our society, right? But at the same time, you can't have someone completely clueless about math.

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  44. @Crystal, thanks for visiting Another Caffeinated Day! I see a lot of support for home schooling in the comments, and kudos! But might I suggest that you never lead with the thought that homeschooling "[is] crazy to most people." It's not "crazy" and most people don't see it as crazy, certainly not anymore, given the state of public education today.

    Keep it up! Great blog! Happy A-to-Z 2014

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    1. You're right. Back when we started 10 years ago, there was a very different attitude. It's not so prevalent now, but I'm still programmed to think that way.

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  45. Einstein was definitely a fascinating man. I had no idea of some of those things you mentioned in that first paragraph about him! See, I learn something new every day. :)

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

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  46. I wish I could homeschool my son. But, at least we are involved in his education and do part time home schooling :)

    Einstein was an insanely genius man! But there is a fine line, right?
    Thanks for sharing this post.
    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z Challenge
    Caring for My Veteran

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    1. That's the most important thing--being involved in their education. It makes a world of difference.

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  47. He was an interesting guy, that's for sure!

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  48. Free thinkers go a long way, and you can spot them in crowd. Nice post!

    http://blog.shinekapoor.com/

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    1. So true. They're the ones without pants. ;)

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  49. Einstein clearly had his heart in the right place too, even when he forgot to put pants on. Lots of excitement going on for you, Crystal. Hope the move goes as smoothly as possible and that your book sales soar. Congratulations on all of it!

    xoRobyn

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  50. When I taught 5th grade, we had a science night once a year. My class featured Einstein. We made a "brain in a bag" and had tons of brain games. Great post on such a unique genius of a man!

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    1. Brain in a bag... That sounds like a blast!

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  51. I wonder what would have happened if we didn't have Einstein in the world?

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    1. I know! Would we still be striving for innovation, or would we be under Japan's control?

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  52. Love Einstein's mix of bizarre and brilliant.

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    1. It's like sweet and sour in a single meal!

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  53. Einstein is a great addition to your list of heroes!

    Yvonne

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  54. My best friend homeschools her children and she loves it. Her kids are thriving. I love that Einstein forgot to wear pants. It makes me feel a little bit less ridiculous when I mention that last week I accidentally wore my bedroom slippers to work.

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    1. LOL. Slippers to work... Watch out. It will become a trend. =)

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  55. Einstein was most definitely brilliant!

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  56. Hey Crystal! So cool to see my review! I meant every word! :)

    Albert Einstein was an amazing man with an extraordinary brain. So cool to read more about him.

    I love that you homeschool! I have several friends and family members who homeschool and I truly admire anyone who chooses to do it! Are you going to the homeschool conference at SVU in a couple weeks?

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    1. You're so sweet, Kristin.

      I actually don't do the conferences. They take so much time away from the actual work of the day, and breaking the routine is asking for a bullet to the brain. I'm scared about doing it this weekend when we go out of town, but I suppose we'll survive.

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  57. Einstein? Brilliant choice! *chuckles*

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  58. I admire parents who homeschool their children and still have the energy to be parents (outside the education duties) and partners and have a career/run a business and do housekeeping tasks and socialise and..and... and...Just the homeschooling sounds like a fulltime job to me:-)

    sometimes I feel sorry for people who are so brilliant they are not coping well with our society's demands. Sometimes they are unappreciated or even seen as "crazy" people. That is, until we find a practical use we can understand for what they've made/what they've discovered.

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    1. It's true. They can be so misunderstood.

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  59. He must have been seriously distracted to miss the fact that his second wife was blind! Awesome dude, though.

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Hit me with your cheese!