Saturday, 22 January 2011

Looking Past the Words

There's an interesting article out of Copenhagen, Denmark this week....concerning useless degrees.  The jest of this, by comments from the Science Minister of Denmark....is that the country is financing kids through the state-run and paid-tuition university program....only to find that a vast number of kids in the humanities field....never find adequate employment.

I thought this was a pretty heavy statement for the head of the science ministry of Denmark to make.  It's a bold challenge to toss down at the university system.

For a few minutes, I pondered upon this.  Then I kinda dug into the background of Science Minister Charlotte Sahl-Madsen of Denmark.  She attended law school but never graduated.  Her chief occupation over the decade prior to Science Minister?  She was head of research and development for LEGO (yep, the building block company).

The problem with bold statements and our quick enthusiasm....is that we rarely look past that. Maybe Charlotte has a point, but for the head of a national ministry for science to proudly note their biggest connection to science was Lego building blocks...it just doesn't help sell the message.

From My Local Neighborhood

Just a mile over from my place here in Arlington is Joint Base Myer/Henderson Hall.  Actually...historically....it's really just Fort Myer and the Marines Henderson Hall...but the Pentagon wanted to show it could save money by combining two pieces of property into one organization.  There's an unusual event underway.  The recovery of cannons.

There's a united effort from a base engineers and some history buffs.  Acting on some info from past surveys....they are at a point where a spring dig is likely, and they think they will uncover six to eight Civil War-era cannons.

The question arises....why were the cannons ever buried?  It appears to be in a unique point of the post and the only logic they can figure is that Patton is somehow involved in this.

George Patton from WW II fame was a post commander back in the 1937-1938 timeframe.  He had watched the events surrounding WW I and it was common for directives to be handed out for melting of metal for upcoming wars.  So there is speculation that Patton saw WW II approaching and knew that these prize cannons from the Civil War would have been melted.  He likely ordered a couple of junior officers to quietly come out one night, dig the hole, and then bury the cannons.

This is the kind of story that ought to appear in the national press, but I doubt anyone will care till after they are dug up and officially shown for video coverage.

Should the Media Dodge Sarah Palin

Suddenly in the past twenty-four hours....several folks have come up on national media outlets to suggest that they will simply avoid mentioning Sarah Palin's name or anything to do with her....in an effort to downsize any significance to Sarah Palin.

I sat there pondering over this.

There are several observations here.  First, should the public dodge the national media?  This would help to downsize any significance to an insignificant effort.  I doubt that it'd really work because then you'd have to turn off the TV and spend more time reading books...mowing grass....and discussing septic tanks with your neighbor.  I realize that there is an addiction here....trying to get the latest and greatest on political figures....as if they were Hollywood stars, but we might want to focus back on reality.

Then you come to this bold effort by the media.  I have to admit that there is not a single day that MSNBC does not spend at least ten minutes between 5PM and 11PM....discussing Sarah Palin.  Even if Governor didn't say anything for five days straight....they still find some reason to drag up a comment from 2008 or 2009....just to keep her name in lights.  You almost get to a point of thinking that Palin is paying MSNBC to keep bringing up her name.

As for the reasons for this effort by the media?  I suspect that they believe they've discovered that there are eight potential candidates from the Republican party and that they've missed the boat on seven of these guys for the past year.  So it's catch-up time.

Finally, I will offer this observation.  I can remember as a kid....watching the NBC nightly news in 1974....and in an entire month....you might have the President's name mentioned three times on twenty-odd news reports in a month.  The odds of having a senator mentioned on the nightly news in 1974?  Maybe once a month....some senator actually got a one-minute piece to explain something, but that was it.  National news has become a candy jar, and frankly....we are becoming a bit overdosed on that candy jar.