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Small Talk

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NEWS
By Richard O'Mara | December 6, 1995
WHEN WE GO for a drive she talks of common things. It is almost the totality of her conversation.What a lovely steeple,'' she says, her voice full of discovery. She has passed this church dozens of times, but every day it's new to her.''Look how clean they've made the street; that's nice.'' She would give medals to street cleaners.The houses we pass are either too large or too small. The colors appeal to her, or they don't. Nothing is too insignificant for her regard. In fact, only the most ordinary things seem worthy of it.Recently we left St. Teresa's Villa on our way to the movies.
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NEWS
By Rick Horowitz | November 26, 2007
Recent headline: "President to host American Nobel winners, including Gore, at White House" MEMORANDUM TO: The President FROM: White House Scheduling Office SUBJECT: Gore/Nobel Visit We have finalized plans for today's visit by Al Gore, along with four other Americans who won Nobel Prizes this year. The attached schedule provides the standard time-and-place information regarding your participation; you'll note that it is, as is traditional, a relatively brief event. Still, given the circumstances, there is some chance of discomfort at various points in the proceedings.
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NEWS
By TIM BLANGGER and TIM BLANGGER,THE MORNING CALL | July 23, 2006
Plato once said wise people speak when they have something to say and fools talk when they have to say something. But, as dozens of different events loom on our social calendars, we know there are times when we have to say something, significant or not. Let's face it. Plato and the rest of his Greek pals, whose conversations are legendary, never had to master small talk. So, how can the socially apprehensive master the art of small talk, a skill some find as difficult as interpreting one of Plato's weighty philosophical dialogues?
NEWS
By SUSAN REIMER | November 18, 2007
The holidays are upon us and, if we are lucky, our grown-up kids will make it home from college or careers and spend some time with us, the parents who still think if them as children. Debra Fine, author of a new book on small talk, is certain that when hers come home to Colorado, the best conversations will be the ones in the car, on the way from the airport. "It's just like when they were little," said the author of The Fine Art of Small Talk. "Captive audience, but no eye contact." Fine created a funny list of holiday conversational land mines, such as "Are you two ever going to get married?"
SPORTS
By Jon Morgan and Jon Morgan,Staff Writer | March 28, 1993
PALM DESERT, Calif. -- It's half-past 8 and the sun has lon since slipped behind the distant San Jacinto mountains. A four-piece band has just swung into a milky rendition of "Surfing USA," drowning out the clinking of ice and glasses from the poolside bars.David Seldin, coordinator of Jacksonville's effort to land an NFL expansion team, has spotted a VIP among the 100 or so football officials at the outdoor reception. He motions discretely but urgently for his newest investor -- a shoe magnate with homes in three states -- and soon has him exchanging pleasantries with an influential team official.
NEWS
By SUSAN REIMER | November 18, 2007
The holidays are upon us and, if we are lucky, our grown-up kids will make it home from college or careers and spend some time with us, the parents who still think if them as children. Debra Fine, author of a new book on small talk, is certain that when hers come home to Colorado, the best conversations will be the ones in the car, on the way from the airport. "It's just like when they were little," said the author of The Fine Art of Small Talk. "Captive audience, but no eye contact." Fine created a funny list of holiday conversational land mines, such as "Are you two ever going to get married?"
SPORTS
By Buster Olney and Buster Olney,Sun Staff Writer | May 10, 1995
BOSTON -- Phil Regan was working as an advance scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers when he noticed that Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Leyland had this odd habit.During batting practice, Leyland would pick up a fungo bat and walk onto the field and begin chatting with his players, stopping to lean against the bat.Regan pulled aside Pirates coach Terry Collins, who used to work with Regan in the Dodgers' organization, and asked, "Terry, what is he doing?"Collins replied: "He's dealing with the players."
BUSINESS
By JULIUS WESTHEIMER | April 8, 1998
ALTHOUGH the Dow Jones industrial average of 30 large- capitalization companies is up 13.2 percent so far this year and ahead 38.8 percent since Jan. 1, 1997, many small-capitalization firms provide investment opportunities."
NEWS
By Rick Horowitz | November 26, 2007
Recent headline: "President to host American Nobel winners, including Gore, at White House" MEMORANDUM TO: The President FROM: White House Scheduling Office SUBJECT: Gore/Nobel Visit We have finalized plans for today's visit by Al Gore, along with four other Americans who won Nobel Prizes this year. The attached schedule provides the standard time-and-place information regarding your participation; you'll note that it is, as is traditional, a relatively brief event. Still, given the circumstances, there is some chance of discomfort at various points in the proceedings.
BUSINESS
By TOM PETERS | July 4, 1994
A Dutch doctor managing a company clinic has a "frank discussion" with a Chinese subordinate, who has some readily correctable shortcomings. The Chinese doctor, who sees his boss as a "father figure," takes the criticism as "a savage indictment" -- and commits suicide. The problem, according to Dutch business consultant Fons Trompenaars: "American and Dutch managers . . . do not understand the principle of losing face."Trompenaars' book, "Riding the Waves of Culture," is a masterpiece. Based on meticulous quantitative research, as well some 900 seminars presented in 18 countries, it claims that most American management theorizing, by the likes of Peter Drucker and Tom Peters, is next to useless.
FEATURES
By Sindya N. Bhanoo and Sindya N. Bhanoo,Sun Reporter | July 12, 2007
You can't see it, but it makes sunscreen clear, tennis rackets light and khaki pants stain repellent. And someday, it might help cure cancer. It's called nanotechnology. Dealing with particles that are 1/100,000th as wide as a human hair, nanotechnology is one of today's most promising avenues of research in medicine, science and manufacturing. But experts say it could also be one of the most perilous, dealing as it does with particles so minuscule they can be ingested into the lungs or seep into the bloodstream through the skin without detection.
NEWS
By TIM BLANGGER and TIM BLANGGER,THE MORNING CALL | July 23, 2006
Plato once said wise people speak when they have something to say and fools talk when they have to say something. But, as dozens of different events loom on our social calendars, we know there are times when we have to say something, significant or not. Let's face it. Plato and the rest of his Greek pals, whose conversations are legendary, never had to master small talk. So, how can the socially apprehensive master the art of small talk, a skill some find as difficult as interpreting one of Plato's weighty philosophical dialogues?
FEATURES
By David Folkenflik and David Folkenflik,SUN STAFF | December 3, 2003
The late Joan B. Kroc loved the news. "If she wasn't on the Internet, she was listening to NPR, or watching the cables - or all three at once," says her friend and adviser Richard Starmann. In her will, the McDonald's restaurant heiress and philanthropist bequeathed $200 million to National Public Radio - the largest private donation in the broadcaster's history. Kroc died of brain cancer on Oct. 12 and NPR announced the gift early last month. The story of how the gift was made offers a glimpse of how in the world of philanthropy small human interactions may form the foundation of major financial donations.
BUSINESS
By JULIUS WESTHEIMER | April 8, 1998
ALTHOUGH the Dow Jones industrial average of 30 large- capitalization companies is up 13.2 percent so far this year and ahead 38.8 percent since Jan. 1, 1997, many small-capitalization firms provide investment opportunities."
FEATURES
By Sylvia Badger | October 5, 1997
AFTER A HIATUS of several years, the folks at United Support Against Multiple Sclerosis have brought back "Celebrity Small Talk," one of the group's most interesting fund-raisers. Nearly 150 people attended this year's cocktail party, held at USF&G's Life Building in Mount Washington.Guests got to rub elbows with and chat with such celebs as WBAL-TV's Donna Hamilton; Ed Polochick, founder of Concert Artists of Baltimore and choral director of the Peabody Music Conservatory and the Baltimore Symphony Chorus; WJHU-radio's Marc Steiner; Sam Lacy, sportswriter for the Afro-American; Rheda Becker, narrator for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Children Series; Gilbert Sandler, Adams-Sandler advertising agency; artist and author Bennard Perlman; and last but never least, "Homicide" star Andre Braugher and his actress wife, Ami Brambson, who's also in "Homicide."
FEATURES
By Stephanie Shapiro and Stephanie Shapiro,SUN STAFF | September 20, 1997
Amanda C. Smith was frustrated. She and several Goucher College classmates had come to Johns Hopkins University Thursday night to confront ultra-conservative political organizer Ralph Reed, but at both a pre-lecture demonstration and a post-lecture question-and-answer session, had missed their chance.But Smith wasn't giving up. She had carefully worded her query for him on the back of the evening's program: If Reed were as pro-family as he contended, how could he condone legal barriers that could prevent same-sex partners from attending their lovers' funerals?
NEWS
By Ed McDonough | January 19, 1992
Talk to just about anyone who's been involved in Carroll County sports, and chances are they'll know a Ken Parker story.Mine goes back a few years. I was shopping in a small Westminster chain store whenI happened to see Parker and his wife, Nancy.We wound up talking for at least 30 minutes. Nothing important, just small talk -- the weather, South Carroll in general, a little about his football program and my job.It was a friendly chat with a couple of friendly people.And that's the legacy Parker leaves behind as he retires as the only football coach in the first 25 years ofSouth Carroll High.
FEATURES
By Stephanie Shapiro and Stephanie Shapiro,SUN STAFF | September 20, 1997
Amanda C. Smith was frustrated. She and several Goucher College classmates had come to Johns Hopkins University Thursday night to confront ultra-conservative political organizer Ralph Reed, but at both a pre-lecture demonstration and a post-lecture question-and-answer session, had missed their chance.But Smith wasn't giving up. She had carefully worded her query for him on the back of the evening's program: If Reed were as pro-family as he contended, how could he condone legal barriers that could prevent same-sex partners from attending their lovers' funerals?
BUSINESS
By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | October 30, 1995
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Bring on the stock reports.No social chitchat. No coffee and doughnuts. Certainly no O. J. Simpson gossip.When the Griffin Gate Investment Club calls its monthly meeting to order, the talk is all business.This week's buzz: Technology stocks continue to drop. It's time to buy Motorola. Merck looks lucrative, based on a preliminary review.And what news is really pumping up the adrenalin in this all-woman club? Since the club started in 1992, its investments have earned a compound annual rate of return of 20.36 percent.
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