I had no idea Edward de Bono was still alive until I saw his obituary in the Times just now. Until I read it, I knew very little about him, beyond the fact that he existed.
It turns out he was half Irish and half Maltese, a doctor and the person who introduced "lateral thinking" into the language. As a home sewer - (no, I don't mean the underground kind; a person who sews is what I mean - the word 'seamstress' strikes me as suggesting too much competence to be applied to me) - perhaps the detail in the obituary that I am most in awe of is the passing reference to de Bono's colourful self-made ties. The obituarist mentions these in such an offhand way that I have to assume they do not realise that making a tie that actually looks okay is a tricky thing, requiring quite a bit of skill.
Aside from that, I thought the obituary contained two other details that made it worth a commemorative blogpost. Here they are:
1. Edward de Bono suggested 'to the Foreign Office [that they] ship large quantities of Marmite to Israel. De Bono explained that both Arabs & Israelis suffered a zinc deficiency due to consuming unleavened bread. Marmite might thus offer a partial remedy to the Middle East problem.'
In my experience, Marmite is not a great unifier. However, it might have had the effect of reorganising the opposing parties along new lines.
2. 'Every morning he rose before 6am to type his latest thoughts on an Adler typewriter. So frequently was he heard bashing the keys that his son Charles, when asked at the age of ten what his father did, replied: “He’s a typist.”'
The permanent secretary of some government department suffered a similar fate on a visit to Japan, when an interpreter introduced him as the department's constant typist.
Under the obituary, there are various comments, including little puzzles of de Bono's that people have remembered. There is the one that represents the title of this post - 'Entury' - and there is this one - 9547653821S13735784A79073F9654E74574T2957387Y6375487 - which I probably don't need to provide the solution to (that said, I only got it because the commenter did provide the solution, so don't hesitate to ask if you can't be bothered doing puzzles [I'm not a keen puzzler myself] but would like to know.)