News & Commentary; From Our European Desk ~ Kiev; Meade Fischer ~ Big Bear Kayaking Festival; Good Examples; Bad Examples; Our Science Section Abridged; The Green Agenda; Health; Lifestyle; Funzone; Northstar Classifieds; All Creatures Great & Small; You Guys Think
October 2, 2016 Vol. 9 No. 4
MALCOM THE MALLARD
This Week’s Theme Music: Puff The Magic Dragon ~ Peter, Paul & Mary
Hi again, gang, from the shores of the Salish Sea. Well, aside from the usual sound and fury our species makes in the course of seven days, it has not been an especially noteworthy week around my house. The high point of it was the opportunity to give ~ by request ~ input on a subject of a rather sensitive nature.
It would probably be appropriate to mention at this point that there are three social situations that I absolutely dread, all of them, ironically, involving the opportunity to give input on subjects of a rather sensitive nature.
I cringe when people make a change in their lives like a new hairstyle and then ask me what I think. One of the most beautiful women God ever created asked me that often in our relationship and at first, most of the time, my honesty got me a week on the couch.
If you had seen this woman, you would know why it seemed much longer than that. So, in desperation and like I always do when nothing else works, I petitioned for Divine Intervention. This time, God was listening. So next time, I got asked that question, with a face as straight as a pine wood plank, I replied,
“How can a Hollywood hairdresser possibly improve what the Divine created?”
Yep, right answer, Rusty. However, God is a very busy deity and even though She loves me as only a mother could love an errant son, it’s not like we have this “Dial A Mom” relationship.
The second dreaded human encounter is the one that begins, “If you were me, what would you do?”
Honestly? The first thing would be not to ask that question. It would assume that I know better than you do what’s best for you. That’s a dumb assumption when people make it about me and it’s even stupider when I get maneuvered into making it about someone else. I’m not you. I never will be you. Now, get over it because we are not going there.
The last one is when someone asks me to experience something they have created and then wants to know what I think. Honesty is perhaps the most over-valued virtue in the moral code of our species.
For instance, I wonder how many wars have started because some king asked his third cousin, the queen of another country, what she thought of the painting he’d just finished and she told him she absolutely adored works of art depicting small ferocious dogs. Except this was a portrait of the king’s pet duck, Malcolm. Malcolm the Mallard. The Sixteenth.
Have a great week, gang, and thanks for the ear.
This Week’s Theme Music: Puff The Magic Dragon ~ Peter, Paul & Mary
This is certainly good news. Millions In U.S. Climb Out Of Poverty, At Long Last
This is not particularly good news. US Winter Forecast: Frequent Snow To Blast Northeast; Freeze May Damage Citrus Crop In South
This sounds like the beginning of Chinese glasnost. China Starts Streaming Court Trials
INTERNATIONAL HEADLINE NEWS
Why Some Wars (Like Syria’s) Get More Attention Than Others (Like Yemen’s)
OCEANA & POLYNESIA
FROM OUR EUROPEAN DESK
This time I am in Kiev for a few days. Capitals through out the world are well-known for their faster pace of life and for me as for a “towner,” city living is a bit too fast. Ukrainians appreciate Kiev as a cultural center of the country and as the melting pot of everything that takes place in the country. Architecture of the city is quite diverse as it is described in this article headlined Kiev’s Tsarist And Stalinist Buildings – Charm, Convenience And Opportunity
Film festivals, various international events and possibilities for careers attract to Kiev various public from dwellers of suburbs to expats from other countries. What I found interesting here are the various thematic places for leisure.
One of them situated just near railway station called Varenichnaya Latisha took me into my childhood. Designed in the late 1970s, it features music of the era with groups like Abba and Pesnyary, a pop music group from Belarus. The epoch itself here was nostalgic for many. Something was in the ambience of that era, promising freedom and well-being for everyone.
Another interesting feature of Katyusha restaurant is using decoration details quite recognizable for people living during that period of time. Vinyls of Beatles, pieces of mass production furniture or dishes that were in every house, old fashion television sets, etc.
Another legacy is Kiev’s underground, or what Americans call “a subway”. The spherical planning of its entrances is very effective in directing flows of people. An escalator on Arsenalna Station reaches 100 meters/328 feet and passes through a long tunnel with lights. However, don’t look down. It is also the deepest metro station on the planet.
It is also quite educational to see the reflection of historical heritage in mosaic images of like Zoloti Vorota (Golden Gate) and the mosaic of Kievan Duke Vladimir the Great, who baptized Kievan Rus.
That’s it for this week. Be safe, my cousin.
Where has one of North America’s foremost travel photojournalists and writers been lately and who or what has he been shooting? Big Bear Kayaking Festival
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OUR SCIENCE SECTION, ABRIDGED
This is very interesting. A Peek at the Secret English Farm Where Amazon Tests Its Drones
We have the technology to do much better than this. Ghost Gear: Whales, Sea Turtles, Seals Are The Unintended Catch Of Abandoned Fishing Gear
THE GREEN BEAT
BEST OF THE NET
Vavara, Russia’s “Barbara” In A Video That Is a Paean To The Planet Herself
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
Hope is like a road in the country: there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.
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ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
This will totally warm your heart. Hikers Find Dog Missing For Almost A Month In Australian National Park
This man has a suite in Heaven reserved for him. Where The White Rhino Safely Roams
Uh huh. We Have Cockroaches All Wrong
FOLKS WE FOLLOW
Better late than never, the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology’s September 2016 Nestwatch newsletter is now available online. It is an absolute avian lovers delight
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