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October 28, 2011     Post-Gazette
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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 28, 2011 Stir ep_00 by Prof. Edmund Turiello Nostra of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. Hadrian was always ready to criticize the learned men of his day, but he also be- stowed .upon them great wealth and honors. Teachers who were not fit for their positions were presented with token honors -- and then dis- missed from their positions. Some of his friends were refused nothing, while for some unexplained reason, others, that had helped him in obtaining the imperial power, he reduced to poverty. Some persons he drove to sui- cide while others he attacked through certain publicatiolls. A well-known philosopher of the day yielded to Hadrian's criticism of a word that was used, and this brought ridi- cule from the philosopher's friends, whereupon the phi- losopher replied to those friends: "You are urging me to take a wrong course when you do not expect me to re- gard as the most learned of men, the one who has com- mand of thirty legions." HADRIAN THE CRITIC Hadrian possessed a re- markable memory along with great powers of concentra- tion. He personally dictated his speeches and was ex- tremely witty. A story is told of his refusing a request of a gray-haired man. Later the man returned with dyed hair and made the same request, whereupon Hadrian replied "I have already refused this to your father." He was able to call a great many people by name even though he had heard it only one time, and was able to read a consider- able amount of written mat- ter very quickly, and then repeat it from memory. Incredible as it might seem, he was able to write, dictate, listen, and converse with friends, all at the same time. He had a complete knowledge of his state budget and all of its details, and kept abreast o'f all actions taken by his magistrates. He never al- lowed his freedmen (former slaves) to play a prominent role in public affairs or to have any influence over him- self, and he punished any who lied or boasted of such influence. Although he was accom- plished in poetry, prose and the arts, he ridiculed those persons who were obviously more learned than he; some were even subjected to scorn and humiliation. Hadrian's passion for literacy fame grew to such proportions that he even wrote his own biog- raphy, and then gave. it to his educated subordinates with orders to release the mate- rial as their own creation. Lastly, he was so proficient in astrology that during the early part of January he made his personal written predic- tions for the coming year, and it is said that he also recorded with uncanny accuracy all that he was going to accom- plish, almost to the very moment of his death. NEXT WEEK: Hadrian, His Personal Life Do Your Research Before Purchasing Gift Cards With the holiday season right around the corner and the economy putting the squeeze on budgets, many shoppers are going to be looking for the best gift op- tions this holiday season. For those looking to give gift cards to family and friends, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is recommending that you do your research before purchasing a gift card. So far, in 2011, BBB has already received more than 440 complaints against the gift card industry, a huge increase from the 33 com- plaints received in 2010. In some cases, consumers are disgruntled when they are given an expired gift card with loaded cash that isn't usable until the expiration date is corrected. After send- ing the expired card in for re- placement, the consumer is left empty handed when the card fails to ever return to them. "Consumers need to be on the lookout for gift cards that appear to be "open" or out of their original package, and cards that state an expira- tion date that is coming up or that has passed," said Paula Fleming, vice presi- dent of the local BBB. "Shop- pers should be wary of online auction sites that promise "full value guaranteed" gift cards. It's sites like these that are prone to selling old, valueless cards that leave the gift giver and receiver distraught." BBB recommends the fol- lowing tips for both givers and receivers of gift cards: FREE Electronics Recycling Open to the Public Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 (rain or shine) 9am - 3 pm (no appointment necessary) Bayside Expo Center 200 Mt Vernon St Dorchester, MA 02125 we will unload your car! Items Accepted: computers, monitors, televisions, LCD panels, printers, other computer related equipment, stereos, cell and other phones, power supplies, electronic games, VCRs, circuit boards, microwaves, and other household electronics. Hard drive and other memory devices are physically destroyed! Items Not Accepted: air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and white goods (washers, dryers, stoves, refrigerators, etc. ) @ Thomas M. Menino, Mayor Know the rules. New fed- eral rules that took effect in August of 2010 are designed to protect consumers, and will restrict fees and affect gift card expiration dates. These new rules apply to two types of cards: Retail gift cards, which can only be re- deemed at the retailers, and restaurants that sell them; and bank gift cards, which carry the logo of a payment card network like American Express, Visa or MasterCard and can be used wherever the brand is accepted. Check it out. Make sure you are buying from a known and trusted source. Always check out a business at bbb.org. Avoid online auction sites, because the cards sold there may be counterfeit or may have been obtained fraudulently. Read the fine print before buying. Is there a fee to buy the card? Are there shipping and handling fees for cards bought by phone or online? Will any fees be deducted from the card after it is pur- chased? Inspect the card before buying it. Verify that no pro- tective stickers have been removed, and that the codes on the back of the card haven't been scratched off to reveal a PIN number. Report any damaged cards to the store selling the cards. Provide the receiver with back up. Give the recipient the original receipt in case the card is later lost or sto- len. Also, before you buy re- tail gift cards, consider the financial condition of the retailer or restaurant. A card from a business that files for bankruptcy or goes out of business may be worthless. If the business closes a store near the recipient, it (Continued on Page 13) Res Publica by David Trumbull What Are You Going as This Halloween? Still undecided about a Halloween cos- tume? Here are some ideas. For the men: with car keys, a couple of beers, and a "get-out-of-jail-free" card bearing the phone number of the White i ouse you can go as Onyango Obama, "s the president's illegal alien uncle who got '/! picked up in Framingham for drunk driving. \\; tl r---/,- Here are a couple that work for either sex. 1 ]k! With a fright wig and a bad attitude you can t7  be President Obama's illegal alien aunt Zeituni -- you know the one who lives in public housing in Boston. Or wrap your- self in your grandmother's living room drapes, don a Jheri curl wig, and douse your head with catsup -- go as the dead M Gaddafi. The history buff might consider a red coat and 18  century firearms. Go as a British soldier from the April 1775 to March 1776 siege of Boston. They were the first group to "Occupy Boston" -- today's protestors might do well to remember that it did end well for those occupiers. How about going as all of the 2011 Boston Red 8ox? You can pick up a lekey Mouse outfit at the Disney Store -- if ever there was a Mickey Mouse outfit, it's the 2011 Red Sox. You could dress up as Christopher Columbus. You'll be in good company. That's the costume the mayor of Somerville picked for himself this year. Just be sure your legs look good in tights. Speaking of looks, a young lady who can pull it off can dress as a sexy Barbie-doll, hand- cuffed and holding a bottle of vodka -- in other words, go as Lindsay Lohan. Young men who work out at the gym and are not shy about it could go as a young Scott Brown -- that's an easy one, no costume required, just a strategi- cally "placed staple in the center fold. And the easiest Halloween party costume of all -- just don't show up at the party at all; later, when people ask about it, tell them you were Hurricane Irene, this year's most over-hyped no-show. [Thanks to All That Zazz for suggesting Gaddafi and Lohan, and to Karen B. for suggesting the Red Sox.] THE STONE by dudean Langone It is no doubt, that the stone is upholding God's purpose. DIVORCE * CRIMINAL LAW OFFICES OF FRANK J. CIANO 230 MSGR. O;BRIEN HIGHWAY GENERAL PRACTICE OF LA W WILLS . ESTATE PLANNING * TRUSTS PERSONAL INJURY . WORKERS COMP. 617-354-9400 Si Parla Italiano CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 02141 Boston Residents, Safely Dispose Of Yourl, lazardous Waste, & Recycle Tires And Propane Tanks Saturday, October 29 9:00am to 2:00pm UMass Parking Lot, Morrissesy BIvd Dorchester (Electoronic Waste at Bayside Expo Lot) Saturday, November 19 9:00am to 2:00pro Public Works Yard, 315 Gardner St, West Roxbury Residents may bring up to SO poundsof products labeled toxic, flammable, reactive, corrosive, or poisonous; such as: oil paint, motor oil, pesticides, solvents, glues, bleach or ammonia-based cleaners, weed killers, photo chemicals, pool chemicals, car batteries, and used motor oil. Latex paint is not hazardous NO COMMERCIAL WASTE ACCEPTED  The City reserves the right to reject materials  PROOF OF RESIDENCY REQUIRED Boston Public Works Department Thomas M. Menino, Mayor; Joanne R Massaro, Commissioner For more information, please call 617-635-4500 or visit www.cityofboston.gov/recycling