Published on: November 12, 2010
Nice story today in the Chicago Sun Times
about how Brenda Barnes, the former CEO of Sara Lee who stepped down after suffering a stroke, has recovered to the point where she will be atop the Willis Tower this weekend to greet the more than 1,000 participants in the SkyRise Chicago event, which raises money for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
The event has people climbing the 2,109 steps to the top of the Tower. Among them will be 38 people who are Barnes’ family and friends, running as “Team Brenda.”
Barnes reportedly spent five weeks at the Institute in her recovery.
Did you read the story this week about how Tony Hayward, the deposed CEO of BP, told the Guardian
in the UK that if he had a degree in acting from "RADA rather than a degree in geology I may have done better" in handling the fallout from the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
(RADA is the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, just FYI...)
Clearly, Hayward doesn’t get it, never got it, and will never get it.
And the big thing he doesn’t get is when to keep his mouth shut.
Because words matter. And he continues to choose the wrong ones.Fast Company
had an interesting piece this week about the full-body scanners being installed in many US airports, which are seen as a preferred alternative to full body searches that could be required in a time of heightened security concerns.
Not everybody prefers them, though. As the magazine reports, “a new lawsuit by watchdog group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) claims the body scanners are easily hackable, store nude pictures for unknown periods of time, and don't even catch terrorists.”
On this one, I’m with James Carville, who gave his opinion on this issue on Tony Kornheiser’s radio show. (I can’t repeat it here, but you can Google it.)
Like a lot of Americans, I tuned into “Conan” on Monday night, curious about Conan O’Brian’s first late night talk show on TBS. While I found it amusing, there was nothing so special about it that I’d ever want to tune in again.
I’ve found, as I get older, that I dislike so-called “talk shows” in which the discussion is attenuated, lasting just a few minutes and focused on hyping this movie or that book. From “Conan” to Leno to even the “Today Show,” I just find the conversation to be too insubstantial to satisfy me. I’d much rather watch “Charley Rose” or “Morning Joe,” where they actually give the guests time to talk, where ideas actually get explored. “The Daily Show” is often better than most other late night shows, mostly because Jon Stewart brings on guests who nobody else is interviewing, talking about subjects that are getting precious little air in the mainstream media. (And, when the discussion gets interesting, Stewart puts longer versions online, to satisfy those of us who aren’t happy with the TV chats.)
Maybe this is just me.
An MNB user, believing that my cultural education was simply too limited, sent me a Justin Bieber CD this week, suggesting that I listen to it and broaden my mind. For which I thank you.
I originally brought it with me on a long road trip, figuring I’d listen to it in the car. But I changed my mind; I figured if somehow I got in an accident or had a heart attack at the wheel, it would be mortifying if the police found a Bieber CD playing in my car. So I brought it home and listened to it there, when nobody else was around.
Glad I did. Because if I had listened to it in the car, I probably would have been overwhelmed by an irresistible impulse to drive my Miata into a bridge abutment.
This is not to say that I don’t understand why a certain demographic might find him appealing. But I cannot even imagine ever listening to this CD ever again.
I’m sticking with Jimmy Buffett...the Beatles...Bob Dylan...Bob Marley...the Dixie Chicks...Taylor Swift...Train...Levon Helm...Jerry Jeff Walker...Kenny Chesney...and whole bunch of other folks who I could listen to over and over and over again.
One of my favorite essayists is Nora Ephron, and I’m looking forward to her new book, “I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections.”
I did read an excerpt this week that included what immediately became one of my favorite lines of the year. She defined her religion as “Get Over It.”
Which is a really good line.
My wine of the week: a wonderful 2008 La Maialina Chianti, which was perfect with spicy chicken. (And thanks to the wonderful wine folks at Dorothy Lane Markets for offering the taste.)
I also liked a 2008 The Negociant Albarino from California, which is a pretty good approximation of Spanish Albarinos.
That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.