Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jefferson's Weather Dial

Thomas Jefferson was obsessed with the weather. Twice every day, he would collect and record weather measurements. He installed a large weather vein to the top of the main entrance to Monticello. However, in case of inclement weather, Jefferson also devised this weather dial that was connected to the weather vein but placed on the ceiling of the main entrance. Instead of needing to walk outside to gather his wind measurements, Jefferson would just need to step out his front door and look up at the exposed weather dial.

Ingenious, right? Jefferson was well-known for devising efficient, easy ways to conduct day-to-day tasks. He even boiled down how to live your best life into ten simple rules. A poster of the Jefferson's Ten Rules, which I've included below, is sold at the Monticello's gift store. I love the rules' simplicity and timelessness. Jefferson selected words and phrases thoughtfully, as evidenced by his evergreen prose found in the Declaration of Independence, intending for his words to live beyond him. He succeeded.
Jefferson's Ten Rules
By Thomas Jefferson
  • Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
  • Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
  • Never spend money before you have earned it.
  • Never buy what you don't want because it is cheap.
  • Pride costs more than hunger, thirst and cold.
  • We seldom repent of having eaten too little.
  • Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
  • How much pain the evils cost us that never happened.
  • Take things always by the smooth handle.
  • When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, count a hundred.

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