Archive for the ‘death is sometimes unexpected’ Category

You never know when you’ll go

August 21, 2012

A news story some years ago told of a speculator who made a deal with an elderly woman who needed money. In exchange for her making him the heir to her house, he agreed to pay her a fixed sum every month as long as she lived. However, this one-to-one deal did not work out as planned because she lived far longer than anyone expected and the speculator died before she did. An insurance company not only has the advantage of large numbers, it has the further advantage that its existence is not limited to the human lifespan.

Sowell, Thomas, Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy (Basic Books, 2004) p.205

Advertisements

Death might be unexpected

August 6, 2009

General John Sedgwick (1813-1864) was a corps commander in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War.  At the battle of the Wilderness, while inspecting his troops, he approached a parapet and peered out over the surrounding countryside.  His officers and men urged him to take cover from small arms fire, but Sedgwick scoffed at their concerns, “What! What men! This will never do, dodging from single bullets! They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist–.”

As the general spoke his last words, he was shot in the head by a Confederate sharpshooter.

source