Thursday, December 23, 2010

Serendipity Strikes Again

I love when serendipity strikes: like last weekend, when I drove to Dallas with my daughter, Andrea, to celebrate Christmas with my son, Adam, and his wife, Emily. As many of my regular blog followers know, I am a fan of Fox News. Okay, I'm a Fox News junkie. And, my car is equipped with XM Radio, which allows me to feed my habit perhaps more often than I should -- admittedly, in true junkie fashion.

However, being of a different political persuasion, Andrea is NOT a fan of Fox News. So, though I clutched the steering wheel with white knuckles through my slow withdrawal, I compromised, and we listened to Christmas music. When we both tired of all the fa-la-la-la-las, we listened to NPR. My jitters simmered a little then -- at least it was talk radio.

We listened to the discussions of a variety of topics:

1) "e-polluting""The dirty little secret is that when you take [your electronic waste] to a recycler, instead of throwing it in a trashcan, about 80 percent of that material, very quickly, finds itself on a container ship going to a country like China, Nigeria, India, Vietnam, Pakistan — where very dirty things happen to it," says Jim Puckett, the executive director of the Basel Action Network, which works to keep toxic waste out of the environment.
NPR - What Happens to Electronic Waste

2) An Object of Beauty, by Steve Martin. Yes, that would be the comedian, Steve Martin. I didn't know he was an author. Well, this interview discussed the second half of his talented life - his life as an author. NPR - Steve Martin Finds his Muse in An Object of Beauty

3) The State of Kids - Highlights Magazine conducted their second annual survey of children between the ages of 5 and 13. The survey asked questions such as:

What do you like best about yourself?
According to the survey, more than twice as many girls than boys named a physical attribute. Hmmm . . .

If you could change one thing in the world, what would you change? Why?
I loved some of the answers provided by the children for this question:

"I would change cigarete factories into candy factories because cigarete factories are very, very bad for you and candy is sooo delishous."

"I would change the Statue of Liberty to a Godzilla statue because it will be my world.

What new inventions will happen in your lifetime?
Another great answer, perhaps by a future inventor?

"I want to invent a spoon that has 3 parts so you could eat 3 foods at once."

The honesty and imagination of children is fascinating to me. Read more at: The State of Kids Survey

As you can see, it was quite a medley of interesting subjects, and in the end, Andrea and I averted a political debate. I was happy and Andrea was happy.

I must admit, it does a soul good to de-tox every once in awhile.


  1. Good heavens, your photo changed sides! It used to be on the right. Is it a change you made, or is it my browser that changed?

    I had to make a translation: what used to be serendipity is now a black swan. So a black swan sailed up in the form of NPR.

    Pollution from discarded electronic equipment is a serious problem. I understand that beryllium (sp?) is particularly toxic. It's the metal that makes contacts on connectors, etc., "springy."

    Yeah, Steve Martin writes. He wrote the novel Shopgirl, which became the movie Shopgirl. It was OK, but probably will not replace Shakespeare.

    Kids as a source of new ideas have been mined since Art Linkletter, maybe before, because they are pre-indoctrinated. The rest of us are pretty much a lost cause.

  2. So the young one with the Godzilla statement plans to rule the U.S. He has a future in wriiting.

  3. That Andrea is a smart one! I made the nail salon switch stations recently from Fox News to the Weather Channel. Debates rarely arise over an approaching cold front. You know, most people I know would be extremely irked to go on a road trip with their mothers. It's nice that you and Andrea can compromise and have a joyful trip.

  4. @ed_quixote - You noticed! Yes, I've been playing around with my blog, and that's one of the changes I made. Hmmm . . . Black Swan? I think serendipity sounds less ominous. :-)

    @Oscar - that's what I loved about the "Godzilla" statement! Oh - and I just mailed the books that you won from Dusty's interview posting!

    @Patty - You're right about the road trip. Usually Andrea and I can discuss our differences better than I can with most people, but sometimes it's better that we find similar interests. :-)