Desk calendar notes … A Canadian history page-a-day desk calendar pad reminded us we had a big deal here 28 years ago: “August 18th,…

Desk calendar notes …

A Canadian history page-a-day desk calendar pad reminded us we had a big deal here 28 years ago: “August 18th, 1979 — the 645-kilometre Dempster Highway was officially opened. It was Canada’s first all-weather road across the Arctic Circle.”

That’s all the little desk calendar told us, but we know John Diefenbaker was there, and, of course, a cadre of dignitaries. The “rest of the story” came from a little bird suggesting there were some uninvited, and unwelcome guests.

These ubiquitous, pesky, voracious ‘guests’ from our infamous insect world apparently welcomed the diet change from their usual animal blood. They weren’t protesting, they seemed quite pleased about the change.

Unlike the intruders at the Portabello Summit, oh, sorry getting my places and mushrooms mixed up.

Of course, I mean the Montebello Summit, where the “pests” are not pests, merely “concerned Canadian protesters” trying to get a word in edgewise because a bunch of CEOs are special guests “representing the general public.”

We surely have the right to hope none of them carry the principles of cartoonist Al Capp’s CEO cartoon character, General Bullmoose, whose philosophy was, “What’s good for General Bullmoose is good for the country!”

The ‘protesters’ message is against the Bullmoose philosophy, and quite clearly begs the mushroom comparison.

They’re apparently suggesting to everyone who’ll listen that our three continental political masters are treating us like mushrooms — feeding us manure and keeping us in the dark.

So what else is new?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? (T.S. Eliot — 1888-1965)

“The Taki language, spoken in Guinea, consists of only 340 words…”

This Taki info-gem comes from Uncle John’s Page-a-Day Unstoppable Bathroom Reader Calendar. It’s far less erudite than the Canadian historical calendar but leads to an unending spiral of bits of information of questionable value in our daily lives.

Mind you perhaps we’d be further ahead if the leaders, and their cadre of mandarins, at the Montebello Three Amigo’s Summit had to conduct their deliberations in Taki?

But I suppose there wouldn’t be enough words left for the rest of us to enlighten them about the existence of a Bathroom Readers’ Institute where further edification may be found?

It’s real, it’s on the ‘net and is one of many sources filled with snippets of information we accept as gospel.

“Rainbows are doughnut shaped when viewed from above,” for example. “It takes abut 200,000 frowns to make a permanent wrinkle.” “Only six per cent of coupons printed are ever redeemed,” and “Left alone, one tonne of iron can turn into three tonnes of rust.” (???)

We usually accept these info-gems as fact without question. We often wonder how, who, and where they find them? Or, perhaps more mystifying, why do we find them so fascinating? Ah, perhaps a study is warranted?

Meanwhile back in the real world, we seem to be having greater difficulty accepting, and believing pronouncements which come to us from on high in the realms of all of our social, business, political and government organizations.

If that’s a fact, and, like the sun, it does keep coming up, I wonder why that is?

Doubt comes in at the window when inquiry is denied at the door.

(Benjamin Jowett, 1817-1893)

“On February 18th, 1930, a cow flew in an airplane for the first time.”

An entertainer from long ago often boasted he had a million quips to entertain us. It appears he is now outgunned by the profusion of these info-gems popping up almost everywhere and especially on the net, one which claims “the first e-mail was sent in 1971.”

I leave that one with you plus a final thought from my Zen desk-top calendar, which goes deep like fishermen seeking the big trout although the big fish are often easier to catch than the big thought.

“The lake

Is bright over there suddenly —

A higurashi sings.”


A tip of the hat to nonsense which opens the mind that wisdom is welcomed.