Top Of Mind Things I Think.
Dateline: July 11, 2021: There are a number of things happening….some good and some not so good.
- Who would have thought that Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos would be competing in the business of space travel? The first milestone is to reach the height of 100KM (62,000 feet), known as the Von Karman Line, is more than just two billionaires’ bragging rights. Branson will take off tomorrow in his VSS Unity vehicle, a winged rocket plane, which is carried by a four-engine jet to an altitude of 50,000 feet and flies the rest of the way to space under rocket power, eventually returning to earth and landing like an airplane. Bezos’ New Shepard is more like a traditional rocket, eventually descending by parachute and hopefully landing upright. Whatever time, effort, and money Branson and Bezos put into space exploration will definitely pay dividends and pave the way for all of us to experience space travel.
- When Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492, he named the land La Isla Española. Now known as Hispaniola, this island is divided between two countries that are diverse in many ways. The Dominican Republic enjoys the trade winds and other favorable climate, along with democratic governance. Many high-end resorts dot the coastline of the Dominican Republic, bringing all the advantages of tourist dollars and relative taxes. Across the border sits Haiti, with it’s arid climate making farming and cultivation very difficult, along with it’s violent past aligned with rulers like Jean-Claude Duvalier. Nicknamed “Baby Doc”, he was a tyrannical Haitian politician who was the President of Haiti from 1971 until he was overthrown by a popular uprising in February 1986. It is amazing how politics play a role in a country’s economy. “Baby Doc’s” rule succumbed his country into economic despair, and along with the ramifications of a devastating earthquake and consistent hurricane damage, Haiti, though it shares a border with the thriving Dominican Republic, is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Some people called Haiti’s new president a savor. Economic reforms, new policies, and an effort to attract foreign investment were the top of President Jovenel Moise’s platform to help this desperate country. Last week, 20 or so Colombian mercenaries, led by two Americans, swarmed Moise’s presidential compound and murdered him. Haiti is back to complete chaos – a sad situation for a country sitting in the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
- I mentioned my concern last week and I am going to mention it once again. Whether the viruses are correlated to the new ‘Delta Variant’ or not, something across the world is not right. While many of us are finally enjoying socializing at all levels, cities in Japan and Seoul, South Korea, with a population close to 10 million, are once again shutting down. No matter the reasons or circumstances, this Asian spread cannot turn into another worldwide pandemic. I was out last night, in a very crowded restaurant, taking in the final of Copa America. No one in that restaurant was giving airborne pathogens one bit of thought – which is both great and concerning at the same time.
- Vamoose. Gelometer. Garrulity. Ambystoma. Shedu. Saxicolous. Thooid. These are just some of the words contestants of last week’s National Spelling Bee had to deal with to get through to the final round. I am reasonably educated, which obviously has no correlation with my intelligence level, but come on, who the heck can spell these words? The answer: many children, ages 12-14, who competed last week. It is just headshaking.
Regarding children, take a look at this three year-old playing with a symphony orchestra. He even drops a stick but continues on as if nothing happened – and at the 3:00 minute mark of the video, watch his drum solo. I have no words.