Bits

Blind eye toward religion in the schools:

I grew up on the Canadian border — the Thousand Islands region of the New York state North Country.

I left for college before a television station in Gananoque, Ontario started beaming quality programming where we Northern New Yorkers could see it. But we had Canadian radio–the great CBC Canadian Broadcasting System. It seemed to me amazing how much cultural stuff somebody thought citizens should be exposed to (as with every part of the British Empire way of thinking).

If you listened to the BBC, or had access in some way to the Canadian school system, you could avoid the US citizens’ blank looks when some “obscure” country or relgious faith (for instance) entered the public discussion.

Now it seems Germany is steadfastly maintaining its own use of cultural awareness, in this case in the school system. Primary students, The New York Times said today, in Germany will now have classes in Islam. Resources will be specially written and teachers specially trained. I can only imagine such sensible thinking in the US in the far, far future. Sadly.

Is your name your destiny?

Somewhere I have a short list of the names of people who wind up in work that connects somehow to their surname (or, rarely, a given name or middle name).

I’ll find it somewhere. In the meantime, here’s this from the San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 9, 2014: As northern California’s worst drought continues to lay bare the beds of countless reservoirs, lakes and even rivers, the rocky bottom of Shasta Lake is exposed, showing the foundation of an 1870s trout hatchery. An accompanying photo shows . . . a guide, Jack Trout . . . rafting the McCloud River, still navigable, approaching . . . Shasta Lake with its . . . trout hatchery.