Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Is it time to ban schools?

If thoughts, prayers and minutes of silence remain ineffective, if no politician has the back-bone to stand up to the NRA and sensibly regulate gun ownership, may be it's now time to ban schools altogether; purely and simply.

They've simply become too dangerous to our kids.
That way, more people will stay ignorant, manipulable and fully willing to believe in irrational stuff, like religion, creationism, the Easter Bunny and the 2nd Amendment.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Royal Weddings and me

I remember watching the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Di, on Wednesday 29 July 1981. It was easy for us and not too early then, because we lived in Chappaqua, on the East Coast, and the viewing hours were decent.

We saw the all thing on our small TV with Nadine and Michel Duret who had come to visit us from France. For some reasons, we missed the wedding of Prince Williams in 2011, but I wanted to make up by watching Harry and Meghan's, which we did last night on YouTube.

I liked the bride, the song “Stand by me” and the preacher. I found the rest of the Windsor family rather boring. We fast-forwarded a lot and the whole thing was screened in 15 minutes.

I felt somewhat stupid to be among the billions who watched that celebrity slice-of-life, but what got my attention was the $45 million this extravaganza cost the Queen, Prince Charles and the British taxpayers.

There's no question this money would have be better spent elsewhere (I'm thinking to care for the wounded and starving Yemenis for instance) even though some sources assert that it brought in $750 million worth of tourism activity and sale of miscellaneous trinkets.

As for me, this may be my last Royal Wedding for a very long time, unless monarchy gets abolish pretty soon, but I'm not holding my breath on that one!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Snowbird's late season skiing is over!

It used to be common for Snowbird to stay open for skiing well into, and beyond Memorial Day.

In spite of some less than generous snow cover this season, the resort could have offered late May skiing, but this is no longer in the cards under the Cummings/Powdr new controlling ownership and a desire to tighten the screws, every possible way.
In fact, the Little Cottonwood resort ended its winter season a weekend ago on May 13. I was sorry when I learned it, as I had planned to go out a few more time on the snow before calling an end to my ski season.

I'm disappointed, but can understand the dollars and cents implications, as most skiers are season's pass holder anyway and don't bring anything, anymore to the resort.

Perhaps, this will put a nail in the Snowbird Spring Pass coffin and lessen the resort's reputation for Utah's “longest ski season.”

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A reluctant contestant

Sixty years ago, Monsieur Losserand, my schoolmaster in the one-room, eight-class, elementary boys-only school, at my hometown of Montriond, France, had enough faith in my talents to enroll me in a national contest sponsored by the national soap suppliers association.

I was good at drawing and he asked me to put together the illustrated story of a little boy, that used to be very dirty and, through a series of transformative events, discovered the benefits of personal hygiene.
From what I can remember, I wasn't motivated to do the assignment, got dragged into it, could never see the end of it, but was delighted when it finally was over and my entry sent out.

I never, for a minute, worried one bit about the outcome (to be continued...)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Fully learning from experience

Yesterday, we attendeded a certain event, something we've have done several time with varying degree of success.

If this last experience wasn't a full success either, my take-away was to write down what we learned, so we could re-use it, next time a similar opportunity represents itself, without having to re-invent the wheel, forget about key elements that we learned along the way and, in one short sentence, incrementally improve our strategy for that next time.

Another way to put it, is that we should always dwell on, and analyze, any outcome – good or bad – so we always turn it into a teachable moment and grow with it.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Is Hell still open for business?

I personally don't believe in Hell, nor in Heaven for that matter.

My own interpretation is that both places – Heaven and Hell – are to be found in the here and now, and when our lives are over, there's none of these places waiting for us to hang out.

I say this, because a few days ago, as I was revisiting William Shakespeare's quotes, I also found that one: “Hell is empty and all the devils are here”.

I thought that it perfectly matched my personal views. As for the devils, I'm totally satisfied with the selection shown below...

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

History lesson?

On Monday, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, was interviewed by Steve Inskeep about the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, and most particularly about “the historical beginnings of Israel and the U.N.'s vision in the 1940s of Jerusalem as an international city...”

Here is the response that the Amabassador gave:

Well, first of all, I would take issue with beginning the history lesson in 1947. Go back another 3,500 years, go back to the Bible. I'll tell you an interesting story. One of the great commentators on the Bible, his name was Rashi, and he said the reason that the Bible begins with the creation of the world is to create the chain of title from God directly to the Jewish people for the land of Israel, so that if the nations of the world say the Jewish people don't own the land of Israel, they would point to the fact that God created the world and gave it to them.

This, to me is an absurd answer to a fair question, because it's not based on facts, but instead a religious statement, that, of course, can't be proved and is totally irrational. Since which time has the bible becomes a reliable repository of historical facts?

 The second and other point I'd like to make about Friedman's statement is that, if his reasoning holds, we Americans, ought to be concerned and start packing our bags, before we give their land back to the Amerindians, the original owners.

Some property that was theirs for 15,000 years and we just grabbed it away from them some 500 years ago!