American novelist recommends his firing
This from Letters of Note: "You have a man in your employ that I have thought for a long time should be fired. I refer to Sherwood Anderson. He is a fellow of a good deal of ability, but for a long time I have been convinced that his heart is not in his work. There is no question but that this man Anderson has in some ways been an ornament to our organisation. His hair, for one thing being long and mussy gives an artistic carelessness to his personal appearance that somewhat impresses such men as Frank Lloyd Wright and Mr Curtenius of Kalamazoo when they come into the office. But Anderson is not really productive. As I have said his heart is not in his work. I think he should be fired and if you will not do the job I should like permission to fire him myself. I therefore suggest that Anderson be asked to sever his connections with the company on August 1st. He is a nice fellow. We will let him down easy but let's can him. signed Sherwood Anderson 25 June 1918.
Suitcase with wheels for the ladies
In 1972 an American luggage executive unscrewed four castors from a wardrobe and fixed them to a suitcase. Then he put a strap on his contraption and trotted it gleefully around his house. This was how Bernard Sadow invented the world's first rolling suitcase. Suitcases with wheels existed decades before they were "invented" in 1972, but were considered niche products for women. Resistance to the rolling suitcase had everything to do with gender. Sadow, the "official" inventor, described how difficult it was to get any US department store chains to sell it: "At this time, there was this macho feeling. Men used to carry luggage for their wives. It was … the natural thing to do, I guess." Two assumptions about gender were at work here. The first was that no man would ever roll a suitcase because it was simply "unmanly" to do so. The second was about the mobility of women. There was nothing preventing a woman from rolling a suitcase – she had no masculinity to prove. But women didn't travel alone, the industry assumed. If a woman travelled, she would travel with a man who would then carry her bag for her. This is why the industry couldn't see any commercial potential in the rolling suitcase. It took more than 15 years for the invention to go mainstream. In the 1984 Hollywood film Romancing the Stone, a rolling suitcase is featured as something of a silly feminine thing. Kathleen Turner's character insists on bringing her wheeled suitcase to the jungle, to the great annoyance of Michael Douglas. (Via The Guardian)
Mini breakthrough in cancer medicine
A simple blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer before any clinical signs or symptoms of the disease emerge in a person is accurate enough to be rolled out as a screening test, according to scientists. The test, which is also being piloted by NHS England in the autumn, is aimed at people at higher risk of the disease including patients aged 50 or older. It is able to identify many types of the disease that are difficult to diagnose in the early stages such as head and neck, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophageal and some blood cancers.