Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thoreau's Blog

An eminent member of the committee has speculated about Henry David Thoreau, if he had owned a cell phone. I can imagine that Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne might be in his calling circle, and Herman Melville as well. (Walt Whitman? He might already have a pretty big circle.)

So, let's start a new feature on the Mike Committee blog. What would Thoreau's blog be like? I imagine it this way:

Solitude at Walden

I came to the woods to be with Nature and to blog the nature of Nature and drink in the full nature of the Blog. So thankful was I that Walden was pristine in its Nature and yet capable of wireless connection. Truly, 'though a man march to the beat of a different drummer, still his connection to the world must be interoperable, platform compatible and cable ready. Like the birds of the air, he neither wants for companionship nor misses it if his blog also flies through the sphere and is looked upon by generous hearts akin to his.

When I return to my blog I find that visitors have been there and left their cards, either a bunch of flowers, or a wreath of evergreen, or a name in pencil on a yellow walnut leaf or a comment in the post it box. They who come rarely to the blogs take some little piece of my mind into their hands to play with by the way, on which they rant, either intentionally or accidentally . . .


. . . and so on as you can imagine.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Meeting Minutes

At today's casual meeting of the Mikes in the department hallway, membership for Dan, whose confirmation name is Mike, was voted and accepted by unanimous voice vote.

In other business, discussion of the 30 articles in the recent U.S. News magazine issue resulted in pointed comments on the amazing ways that other countries have bested the U.S.A.

Mike pointed out that the Japanese have an amazing toilet with specifically individualized features for cleanliness sold for thousands of dollars and yet remained popular on the market.

In Europe, Mike added, an experiment in removing all traffic signs, signals and street lines resulted "counter-intuitively" in a reduction in traffic accidents and problems.

Mike also noted that Finland has the highest marks when it comes to education, with specially noteworthy record of the smallest differential between the highest and lowest students.

Here's more:

How They Do It Better
By U.S. News Staff
Special Report: 30 Valuable Lessons That Americans Can Learn From the Rest of the World
Europe: Giving Drivers the Benefit of the Doubt
Germany, Netherlands: Making the Streets Safer for Cycling
Dominican Republic: Where Ballplayers Are Born and Made
Colombia: All Aboard South America's Upper-Class Bus
Finland: Sticking It to the Scofflaw
Europe: Flying on the Cheap
Japan, South Korea: Want a Drink? Pay With Your Phone
France: Talking Is a World-Class Sport
Japan: Even the Toilet Is High-Tech
Australia: Protection From the Sun
Afghanistan: Honored to Be Your Host
Japan: Skimpy Portions and Satisfied Stomachs
Netherlands: Below Sea Level? No Problem
Finland: The Secret to Smarter Schools
Germany: Novel Aides for the Aged
Sweden: Straight Facts About the Birds and Bees
Italy: Food Not as Fuel but as a Way of Life
Taiwan: The Afternoon Nap Attack
Japan: Communing Through Cleaning
Netherlands: Abuse as a Disease, Not a Crime
Singapore: When You Litter, You Pay
Norway: Getting Paid for Parenting
Europe: Holes That Make for Better Roads
Bhutan: Smoke-Free at the Top of the World
Iceland: Pristine Reputation for Government
United Kingdom: Finding Yourself (and the World) in a Year
Europe: Cities With a Heart
Denmark: Energy Efficiency From the Wind
United Kingdom: Free Health Coverage for All
Japan: More Stressed, but Still Safer
Read and enjoy!


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Mountains, not Molehills

The holy Mount Michel in France stands, towers that is, over the landscape to symbolize the rising of Mikes around the world.
So it is interesting to note that religious experiences always seem to be associated with rising and height. At least this landmark is. What would possess the architects to go to the trouble of building at such a high altitude? Isn't there a little fear left over from the Tower of Babel in this ancient project?

Or do Mikes just need a high pulpit to make our case before the world?