Tag Archives: interesting

obsession

 43-year-old Darius McCollum is obsessed with New York City’s public transit system.  

 

From the time he was 15, he had played the role of the helpful staff greeting commuters on their way.  He had taken initiative in clearing thrash from the tracks.  He had driven the buses and the trains. And he had helped put out underground fires.

 

He studiously documents his wealth of knowledge of the transit system.  A dedicated all-rounder, hands-on employee – except that he is not one.

 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is so peeved with McCollum that they got him arrested for the 23rd time now for pretending to be a transit worker.

 

By now, however, the MTA should realize that putting him away doesn’t quench McCallum’s zeal. 

 

Isn’t there a better solution to MTA’s headache, such as offering McCallum employment?  Many other companies would grab up a worker like him.

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sinking city

I used to associate direct use of groundwater with the rural areas and farms.  Wells, I thought, were a thing of the past.

 

In Jakarta, however, it is the factories, the hotels and the wealthy residents who draw water from wells.

 

The existing water utility companies are not coping with the demand from the city’s 14 million dwellers.  So, those with deep pockets dig even deeper wells to supplement their water needs.

 

This picture from wikipedia illustrates groundwater.

 The lowering level of groundwater, coupled with the piling developments on the surface, causes the city to sink.  If the estimates are correct, Jakarta will be underwater by 2025.

 

It doesn’t help that Jakarta is a coastal city.  The rising sea level from climate change will only aggravate the matter.

 

Just yesterday, parts of the city were inundated by a tidal wave brought about by astronomical interactions.

 

message of the humble potato chips can

 Pringles potato chip cans look humble enough.  I learn only today that it is a patented item.  The Straits Times carries an article about its inventor Fredric Baur’s cremated remains being stored and buried in one such cans.

 

Everyone has good ideas which unfortunately remain unharnessed.  We either lack the money, time, experience, courage or motivation to bring them to fruition.

 

I for example, also worry about what others think.  Will they find my ideas ridiculous?

 

Consider the Pringles potato chip cans again.  If Fredric Baur had worried about being ridiculous when patenting a can, he would have missed it all.  That he had requested to be buried in a Pringles can conveys how much he valued the piece as being the defining achievement in his life.

 

The point is that we worry too much, and think too little of our personal creativity. 

 

We have all heard from Nike – Just Do It.  Maybe it makes perfect sense – we’d never know except in retrospect.

 

 

 

 

amazing feat

 The homeless in Japan are an orderly lot.  Those in Tokyo set up neat shelters of a uniform shade of blue along peripherals of green patches that dot the city.   You won’t even realise they are what they are unless you are local.

 

Some of these unfortunate people are quite imaginative, too.  They beg to differ.

 

One such woman in the southern town of Kasuya housed herself in the top compartment of a closet in someone else’s home.

 

It is baffling how she could sneak in and out of an occupied house, climb up and down from an upper cabinet, and remain unnoticed. 

 

And, doesn’t she need toilet breaks at all throughout the hours the owner was at home? I suspect she made provisions for that up there.  Perhaps the owner should thoroughly, thoroughly, check the cabinet out.

 

She sustained her routine for an entire year.  It was not until she started helping herself with food in the kitchen that she gave the game away.

the rose

 I like Bette Midler’s ‘The Rose’, but did not pay attention to the lyrics until recently. 

 

These lyrics are worth pondering over..

 

The heart that’s afraid of trying never learns to dance

The dream that’s afraid of waking never takes a chance

The one who’s afraid of being taken never learns to give

The soul afraid of dying never learns to live

things you never say to your wife

 Don’t you pass any such remark to your wife:

 

“Did you put on just a little weight?”  Don’t even imply this.

 

“Is the weighing machine working right?  It says I am lighter these days.”  Not unless you want to trigger her disproportionate concern on the correctness of the scale’s report about her.

 

“Carol still looks good, doesn’t she?”  Especially if Carol was your ex.  Even if she wasn’t,  refrain from uttering anything like this anyway.

 

And the ultimate one: 

 

“These can’t be my kids.”  Never ever say this, even when your kids are performing way better than you did.  Or even when you mean it as a compliment to her family.

 

Of course, it is perfectly OK for your wife to say the same.  That’s the way life is.

 

 

twist of fate

 Mr Mario del Socorro and Miss Diana Guerrero just tied the knot.

 

Mario used to be Maria, and Diana was Jose. They are Mexico’s first transgender man and wife.

 

It is strange.  If they were going to fall in love with the opposite sex (or should I say ‘same sex’?  No, no… ‘opposite’ sounds more correct.) anyway, why did they opt for sex change in the first place?

 

I wonder also whether they would have fallen in love with each other, if they had met before those dreadful operations.

 

We’d never know.  Sometimes life can be humorous.