Critical Section


Saturday,  12/21/13  11:55 PM

ornaments!So ... the shortest day of the year ... did you make the most of it?  I hung out reading, then went to two different parties and saw friends I only see once a year.  Ate a lot and drank a bit too.  And admired some Christmas lights.  Oh and ... printed some more ornaments!  A good day :)

Obamacare is falling apart before our very eyes.  Yep. 

I must tell you, my friends are basically a right-leaning crowd, but not all of them.  Plenty of them voted for Obama, and plenty of them rooted for healthcare reform.  But tonight this slow-motion disaster was the talk of the town, with zero people defending it.

Duck DynastyI don't watch Duck Dynasty and until this week I had no idea who Phil Robertson is.  I haven't read the GQ interview and I don't know exactly what he believes.  I've read enough to know that I probably don't agree with his views.  But ... he is entitled to believe what he believes.  We should not force everyone to agree with the "politically correct" views of the moment.  Apparently he has always been rather individualistic and outspoken, and he hasn't changed because of pressure.  The one thing I haven't heard Phil doing is telling other people what to think.

Jack Hanna defends Sea WorldAlso in the news ... Sea World.  Since the release of "Blackfish", a documentary critical of their treatment of killer whales in captivity, Sea World has seen a lot of bad press and cancelled concert performances, and recently bought full page newspaper ads defending themselves.  A lot of wildlife experts like Jack Hanna seem to agree that parks like Sea World are good for animals, through their research and conservation activities.

video game foliageProving that 'it all' is more than you think: a blog devoted to video game foliage.  Yeah!

I'm not much of a gamer, but I do enjoy the escapism of visiting "other worlds", and great/weird plants are an important part of that...

Gaia satelliteGaia takes off: "Europe has launched the Gaia satellite - one of the most ambitious space missions in history... Gaia is going to map the precise positions and distances to more than a billion stars."  Excellent.

It's five-year mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before

Chinese high-speed trainThis is awesome: Speedy trains transform China.  "Just five years after China’s high-speed rail system opened, it is carrying nearly twice as many passengers each month as the country’s domestic airline industry...  Economists and transportation experts cite it as one reason for China’s continued economic growth when other emerging economies are faltering."  Wow.  Sounds like part of the plot of a Nevil Shute novel :)

pick three books...Seth Godin suggests: pick three.  "Select three colleagues, bosses, investors, employees, co-conspirators or family members that have an influence over how you do your work.  Identify three books that challenge your status quo, business books that outline a new attitude/approach or strategy, or perhaps fiction or non-fiction that challenges you.  Books you've read that you need them to read.  Buy the three books for each of the three people, and ask them each to read all three over the holiday break."  I like this idea!

Okay, I'm picking: The Everything Store, In the Wet, and ... Crossing the Chasm.  (Also rans ... Godel, Escher, Bach, which is my favorite book but which some find inaccessible, Cryptonomicon, which is massively entertaining but not so much a book of ideas, and Innovator's Dilemma, which is influential but which so many have ready already.)  If you're one of my three friends - congratulations!

 

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