A New York Times article on the volcanic ash preventing air travel ended like this:
Leo Liao, a Hong Kong businessman who was stranded at the Frankfurt airport, was cheerful and philosophical. â€œItâ€™s a natural issue,â€ he said. â€œNever complain. You canâ€™t change this.â€
Not cheerful enough. I once heard Edward Teller, the physicist, give a talk. In the middle, he said if we managed to control the weather we would take away the last topic of civilized conversation. Several years ago Berkeley had the rainiest winter in memory. It was never so easy to talk to strangers — you could commiserate about the rain. The stranded travelers have an unparalleled opportunity to meet people different from themselves, people they would ordinarily never be able to meet.