Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Day the Music Died?

My my . . . .
I certainly didn’t notice it.

And you could probably convince me that I am wrong. There used to be music in elevators and now there isn’t any. I know I’m right about the “once upon a time” part of that, but is all the elevator music really gone?

I ignored it, and held it up to ridicule and now they have done away with it. It seems little video screens now take the place of the Muzak -- filling us in on the vital news of the day.

That’s how I know: Scientists have discovered a tiny, blind ant whose species appears to “the sole surviving representative” of some of the first ants. Ever.

They (the scientists) reckon that they (the ants) evolved from wasp ancestors 120 million years ago.

The new ant (well, old ant actually), has been named Martialis heureka, or the ant from Mars. It is referred to by the National Academy of Sciences as a “cryptic predator from the soils of the Amazon rainforest”.
It is wise always to be mindful or at least aware of “cryptic predators”, blind or otherwise. I suppose that if our little Martian arthropod gropes its way out of the rainforest and ominously confronts me with a Greek epigram and a wry expression I should either dive for cover or expect to be eaten. But can’t I commute to my board meeting without a hint of this frightening prospect?

Enough information already. I want easy listening -- a pleasant ride to the 32nd floor with The Girl from Ipanema. Now that’s the way to travel.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Ah the sweet worries of the past!

Remember getting all worked up about putting lipstick on a pig?

Folks arguing in earnest about whether it’s an offense to the moose-shooting hockey mom to use a cliché after she laid claim to the word “lipstick”. Like it was Don Imus’s latest pronouncement on the Rutgers University women's basketball team. (Putting lipstick on a nappy-headed pig?)

So it goes with the news of the day. Just before Katrina, the eyes of the nation were on the Florida coast, where, believe it or not sharks were biting people! In fact I think that’s what really messed up Terry Schiavo. But my memory is not great.

Anyway, however you slice it, it’s going to take more than lipstick to pretty up the Wall Street bulls and bears alike.

Speaking of bears; despite all her vigilance, our alert northern governor didn’t see the great Russian beast pull this one off. It was right there in the Chess section of the paper of record: Alexandra Kosteniuk, a 23 year old Russian bikini model has become the World Women’s Chess champion.

A Russian bikini model! Chess champion of the world! The best ours can do is play lingerie football and whine about Darfur like they could find it on a map!

A short history lesson from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum:

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union sent into orbit Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite in history. Then a month later, an even larger and heavier
satellite, Sputnik 2, carried the dog Laika into orbit.

Sputnik’s launch came as an unnerving surprise to the United States. The space age had dawned and America’s Cold War rival suddenly appeared technologically superior

So here’s to Alexandra – I fully expect her to defend her crown next time with a dog under her arm – and it won’t be a Chihuahua. Maybe they'll stuff Laika just to rub our noses in it. Or clone her.

I think my real problem is that I can only think of one reason to put lipstick on a pig and it scares me that our political leaders can speak so blithely about it. What’s next, fishnets and heels? At least Eliot Spitzer kept it within the species.