Archives for April 20, 2019
…..Pictures and colour and then back to business on Monday
Have a good holiday and enjoy with family and friends – I have that planned.
NO MORE QUASI-MODO (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris)
What a sad event happened in Paris this week, Notre Dame so very badly burned and the beauty of this landmark ruined.
We had the pleasure of touring Notre Dame several years ago and found it breathtaking. The dark, severe appearance of it’s gothic architecture with it’s flying buttresses on the outside and the beautiful stained glass windows inside were marvellous to admire. It was easy to imagine Victor Hugo’s Hunchback standing amongst the statues of saints that cover the outside walls.
I have been lucky enough to do much travelling over the past fifteen years. My husband has wanderlust and the ticking off of his “Bucket List” items mean that we have seen many of the world’s natural and man made treasures. We both appreciate architecture and have ventured into many beautiful cathedrals around Europe as these are a treasure trove of beautiful artwork.
When you realize that the cathedrals of Seville, London, York, Paris and Cologne were built in the days when brute strength and crudely designed rope and pulley systems were the only method of lifting building materials, it truly was a marvel that these buildings ever came into being.
If you stand outside any cathedral and really look at the details in the masonry you will see just how intricate are the carvings of saints that are situated inside niches built into the walls, high above the ground. All the figures have different features and are not just made “assembly line” fashion but each one a piece of beautifully detailed, carved artwork.
Today’s modern architecture, while having beautifully sleek lines and cleverly balanced features, does not really appeal to me in the same way as the ancient buildings do. I used to think that London was a huge city and my couple of visits there while I was a child, had me hanging on to the hands of my adult relatives, I was terrified of getting lost. Visiting the city as an adult I realized that London town is just one square mile that can be walked around in a day. All the ancient buildings are in that one mile and anything outside of the area is quite modern and not really something I needed to spend too much time sightseeing.
Of course, to really take in the glory of the inside of these buildings takes so much longer, we used to do two landmarks in one day and still not see every intricate nook and cranny. London now has many modern buildings but not to my taste. The Shard is a very tall, glass building narrowing to a point at the top, hence it’s name. The pimple on the cheek of London is the Gherkin. This is not the name originally planned but the shape of the building resembles nothing but a big dill pickle.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so the saying goes but if any attempt to rebuild Notre Dame is made it is unlikely that it could ever be rebuilt in anything resembling its former glory.
Query the Word
Once upon a time in an office far, far away, I sat with my peers around our boss’ conference table. He had just returned from his boss’ conference table with The Word.
And The Word was: “Do More with Less.”
My peers wrote that down. I watched them. Sigh. It was going to be one of those days when I questioned The Word.
Thunder rumbled in the distance.
At the time, I was at the head of an organization with domestic and international missions, an R&D mandate, and a number of projects. Doing what we had to do with what we had to do it was tough enough.
I asked softly without emotion, “What does that mean, Sir?” He peered but did not speak. I waited. But no one spoke.
To ensure that we wouldn’t be there through lunch, I spoke again, “I can do less with less. I can do more with more. I refuse to do less with more. But I don’t understand how I can do more with less.”
More thunder – closer now.
In for a penny, in for a pound. “I suppose, if I had the funds, I could make a capital investment in more efficient tools or processes, and then one could compare as-is to to-be and conclude that I was doing more with less.”
The Word continued. “Next item. Prepare your budgets for next year at ten per cent less than this year.”
Lightning flashed and brought light into that room. Thunder rattled the windows.
My peers all spoke at once, ‘Do the same with less? Seriously?’ I said nothing. We were there through lunch.
My point: Stand up to platitudes and fads and quips and clichés. Look into them. Demand meaning. Stand on a foundation of knowledge. Let there be light.
Particularly during the upcoming election when a candidate gives you The Word.
by Stuart Syme
The dumbbell originated as an object used for exercising the muscles that had the shape of the tool used to ring a church bell. So it is not a bell at all. Since there is no bell, the reference to being dumb, silent. That word came into use in the early 1700s. The dumbbell evolved from halteres, used in ancient Greece as an exercise weight. A club shaped weight, called a nal, was used in India for over a millennium
Athletes in ancient Greece used halteres (original dumbbells) to enhance their long jump. They would swing the weights as they ran toward the long jump start, leap as they swung the weights forward and swing back, letting go as they were at the peak of their jump. Done well the extra momentum gained from those swinging weights lengthened their jump. A great bit of trivia here for you
The dumb in dumbbell refers to absence of sound. A dumb bell cannot ring. The transfer to labelling a person as a dumbbell infers that this person does not know about something or other and thus is silent, dumb. That grew into a generalization about not being smart at all, knowing virtually nothing. Calling someone a dumbbell is an extremely harsh accusation. Yet, some do label others as such
Pool dumbbells are used for strength training where muscles are used to work against buoyancy. So a pool noodle or any floating item can be a dumbbell. One popular variation is a pull buoy, a float attached to the leg, used to strengthen swimming. Hmmmm, I just never thought of a floatie as an exercise tool. Did you? Maybe these dumbbells aren’t so dumb after all. Fun
A variation of the dumbbell is the barbell, a long bar with weights at each end. A barbell is meant to be used with both hands lifting and releasing it. A dumbbell is meant to be used with one hand, though it is often used in pairs, one in each hand. Using a barbell is more likely to produce muscle growth that is balanced, same on both sides of the body. That kind of symmetry is prized by body builders.