Winding down after a mad 10-day run which included 3 speaking engagements and dozens of lunches and dinners with interesting people wanting to help us get FINCA UK into high gear, all against the backdrop of a crumbling Eurozone and the ever wonderful antics of Those Wild And Crazy GOP candidates.
Poor Romney, how could he possibly compete? He should withdraw now. He stands out in that line up like an Ozzie-and-Harriet throwback to the 50s when America still knew who we were and where we were going. Contrast that with Tongue-Tied Rick, who offers another Celebrate-Our-Ignorance candidate in the Bush-Palin mode, who can’t even remember which parts of the government he will destroy when he takes power. And what can we say about Hands-On Herman, aka The Octopus, who would use our tax dollars to purchase upgrades for his harrassment targets?
I can’t think about that now. I can’t think about that tomorrow.
I’ve got to put on my ‘Wedding Face’.
As promised, today we get at the root cause of one of our most vexing problems, Global Warming. As to whether human activity is the cause of global warming, scientists are equally divided — 99% say yes, 1% no. However, a new study from the the recently opened Ronald Reagan Meteorological Studies Center* weighs in heavily on the side that human activity has absolutely nothing to do with rising sea temperatures or any of the other supposed symptoms of a planet on the verge of boiling its inhabitants alive sometime in the not-too-distant future.
* A law enacted by the 122th Congress makes it a felony to name any new building after anyone but Ronald Reagan
The real cause of Global Warming ?
If you guessed Sciurus carolinensis, aka, the Grey Squirrel, congratulations! But don’t fire up that Hummer or coal furnace just yet. Bear with me while I walk you through the latest science.
Grey Squirrels originated in the UK, millions of years ago, and emigrated to America about the same time as the first settlers, and for the same reason: religious persecution. Squirrels are the chief source of Squithane, which has a molecular makeup similar to it’s bovine cousin, methane, but is 100 times more destructive to the ozone layer than methane. And, as chief researcher at the Reagan center, Cleetus Hule, explains, squithane becomes even more dangerous when combined with the sparks set off by a squirrel attempting to cross a street in heavy traffic. How so? I asked him in a telephone interview.
“You ever watch one them critters trying to cross a road in heavy traffic? You?ve seen them standing on the curb, up on their hind legs, right? Makin’ eye contact? You know what theys thinkin’. They’s thinking, this driver, he’s, like, probably one of them animal lovers, so likely as not he’s gonna stop and let me run across.”
“So the squirrel starts across. But when he gets 1/2 way, and the driver ain’t slowed down a bit, you can almost see a little bubble comin’ out of his head: ‘Huh, maybe this guy isn’t an animal lover. Maybe if I keep going, he’s going to run over my head with his left front tire.”
‘So he starts back to the curb. But by this time, there’s a car coming in the other direction. So he slams on the brakes, digging his nails into the asphalt. If you ever seen a squirrel crossing a road at night, you’ll see little sparks coming off his feet.’
These sparks, Hule explains, are what converts squithane into an even more powerful reagent, ”Acornite”, which could even be a whole new element.
What is acornite, and why should we fear it?
“We don’t know,” says Hule. “But we can assume it intends to do us harm.”
Hule has also localized the greatest concentrations of both squithane and acornite in the world, and you will never guess where that is.
Hyde Park, London.
Consider this: Every year, millions of foreign tourists pass through London, and the vast majority of them visit Hyde Park at least once. When they do, you can see them positively enraputured by the very tame grey squirrels, standing up on their hind legs, begging for peanuts and bits of cracker.
IF YOU VISIT HYDE PARK IN THE NEAR FUTURE, AND YOU SEE SOMEONE ATTEMPTING TO FEED THE SQUIRRELS, PLEASE ALERT THE NEAREST CONSTABLE, OR, IF NO POLICE IS IN THE AREA, FOLLOW THESE SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Unzip your jacket.
2. Spread the panels open
3. Leap through the air towards the person feeding the squirrels. The panels of your jacket will puff out with air, giving you additional loft (think Rocky the Flying Squirrel) and enabling you to reach the offender, knock the peanuts out of his hand, and land safely a few feet away.
You will have just saved 100 Polar Bears.
Some of you are starting to ask.
Well, without sounding coy, that’s where you all come in. As my focus group, I would appreciate your feedback on what you think is interesting/useful/appropriate, and its obverse (did I use that correctly?)
The objective, of course, is to promote my book, make it “discoverable” in cyberspace for as many potential readers as possible. The theory is that if people are drawn, somehow, to this webpage, and become subscribers or even occasional visitors, they may become intrigued enough to lay out $24 for a copy in a bookstore, or some $18.48 on one of the oneline dealers.
The question is, how to attract and hold them? (The same question we ask about our existing and potential clients in FINCA on a daily basis).
In this regard, as the initial terror of a new enterprise subsides and the excitement about it’s possibities begins to dawn, I am actually beginning to enjoy this process. It has replaced my usual drive to work inner monologue (“$#@*%!!!????) with “drafts” of my daily blog. It’s beginning to feel like when I start on a new book, in other words. I’m living it, and it is living in me. (I know, men will never know what it’s like to have babies, all right, allright!)
So, as my first step, I thought I would make a “contract” with my readers, as follows:
1. I will keep this up for all of 2011, which looks to be a very interesting year for FINCA, microfinance, Washington politics, and me in particular (I hope this book is going to change my life in some interesting ways, which I will share. Will also share my howling despair if it bombs). I can’t promise to make daily entries, as at times I will be a) buried with work, b) in the air, c) groggy from jetlag, d) incapacitated by cobra venom (the snake in the picture actually bit me *) or e) have nothing interesting or important to say.
2. I promise not to intentionally offend anyone. Intentionally b/c I can’t always know what will offend you, but trust you will let me know. And after we go “viral”, if things heat up, I will maintain a tone of civility.
As to the all important “content”, I am counting on you all to let me know what’s working and (snooze) isn’t.
One of you proposed that I use this as a platform to “rant” occasionally.
Please, don’t tempt me.
If I could, I would spend most of my time at Capital Hill with a sign around my neck, accosting Congressmen and telling them how I think they should behave, think and vote. Or, when I am in London, on a soap box at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.
I will, however, not shy away from controversy, especially in my chose field, microfinance.
I will try to limit my rants to topics I know something about. (i.e., not healthcare.)
As to my personal politics, you who know me probably know this: I occupy a razor thin band in the center of the spectrum: radical centrism. My politics is the product having lived and worked in over 50 countries of this world and met people from many different cultures, and having liked the vast majority of them. In fact, to be honest, I don’t really see those arbitrary lines between countries anymore: to me it is one world (Sing it with me: “We are the world, we are….”).
Time to knock off for now.
* Warning: I lie sometimes for dramatic effect (but did not in my book)