Monday, September 11, 2006

[TIPS] - Solar system model, and Part 1 of 5

We've all either made or have seen one of those Styrofoam ball solar system models of the planets (we had NINE - what were we thinking?) but those models really do justice to the vastness of the solar system, right? Well, how about a true-to-scale model? The scale is 1:93,000,000 and it's the project of Aroostook County in Maine. Check it out: http://www.umpi.maine.edu/info/nmms/solar/index.htm
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Today is perhaps an unfortunate day to begin ANYTHING with the title "Nothing Important Happened Today", but do understand that there is no connection between this and 9-11-01. This is part 1 of 5. For the next few days, if you aren't interested reading it, you can of course stop with the tip at the top.
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Nothing Important Happened Today

One of my favorite stories from History class (and there weren't many, as I recall) had to do with King George III and his diary entry on July 4, 1776. It said only, "Nothing important happened today."


Oh, really?


In fact, EVERYTHING changed that day. Forever! How could he POSSIBLY have been so blind to the facts around him to have missed what was happening? In retrospect that comment makes him appear to be arrogant, pompous, and every bit the fool. He and his countrymen were fat and happy, and quite complacent while at the same time there were people in the world who were restless, hungry, and who wanted more. They wanted what HE had!


Lately, I've been reading books like, "The World is Flat", "Collapes: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed", and watching excellent presentations on this topic and I've got this pit in my stomach over the fear that America is fat, happy, and complacent while the rest of the world is hungry and wanting more. So let's take a look. Here are some frightening facts that I found in an excellent powerpoint by Karl Fisch. (I'll post the link later this week. I don't want you peeking.)


Karl says. If you're one in a million, in the United States there are 300 just like you. In India there are 1100 just like you, and in China there are 1300 just like you. He also says, "The top 25% of the people in China with the highest IQ's is greater than the population of North America! And in India it's the top 28%." Continuing, "Translation for teachers: They've got more honor students than we've got students." And, I would add, THEY ARE HUNGRY!!! They want what WE have. As Thomas Friedman ("The World Is Flat") put it, "My parents used to tell me, 'Eat all your vegetables; there are children in China who are starving.' Now I tell my children, 'Do all your homework; there are children in China who want your job! And in a flat world they CAN GET IT!'" YIKES!


We'll take a breather here. Just time enough for my diary entry for today. Let's see. Nope. Nothing important is happening today.


To have this read to you - just because I can make it happen, click the play button below.


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