Posts

Featured Post

Joey Newton's Universal Law of Gravity

Image
 

Published In The Great North Arrow, May 2020: First Lines - Last Lines

Image
(from the wink to the goodnight kiss) - jim Young “I'm always looking for meaningful one-night stands.” - Dudley Moore I think writing an article is a lot like having a brief relationship with the reader. It’s kind of like a one night stand. Every article or story starts out with a wink. The title is the writer’s wink. It’s intended to get your attention from across the room. If the writer can’t catch your attention, you’re going to look away and you’re not going to read any further.  Without a good wink the reader is lost before anything’s even happened. The writer knows he’s competing against all the other writers that are out there. Then there’s the first line. It’s not enough to catch the reader’s passing attention. After the wink, the writer must pique the reader’s interest. It’s the writer’s pickup line. Now that he has the reader’s attention, the writer wants to keep it at least long enough to make the reader wonder “what’s his story?” and hang around long enough for a dance

Risk

Image
 A short cartoon depicting some people's reluctance to get vaccinated or practice social protocols.

The Kansas / U.S. Flu

Image
 

The Hundred Year History Lesson

Image
- jim Young “To remain ignorant of history is to remain forever a child.” - Cicero History often repeats itself.  In its simplest form, it’s one of our first lessons in life.  As a young child we do something that displeases our parents and we get punished for it (or praised for not doing it) and we quickly learn what we should and shouldn’t do under the same circumstances next time. So why does this so often seem to be such a hard concept for people to grasp once they become adults? When it was all over in 1920, the "Spanish" Flu had killed 50 million people worldwide.  675,000 were dead in the U.S and 55,000 people died in Canada. Covid-19's current death toll is 137 million people worldwide. 563,000 have died in the U.S and 23,000 people have died in Canada. The world will recover from Covid-19 and we’ll get through it again just as we did 100 years ago.  At least I believe that. Why? Because when I look back at what happened I see a lot more similarities than I do di

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

Image
 - jim Young 20210402 “You can believe me now or you can believe me when you find out I’m right. It doesn’t matter to me.” - Jay Benson (one of my mentors at Kolmar.) My father always taught me that I could do anything that I really wanted to do if I put my mind to it. My father was wrong of course, but I never held it against him. I quickly learned that there were sometimes outside forces that I had no control over working against me. Gravity, for one, comes to mind. I’m sure you can figure out what THAT was all about. But I also learned my father’s lesson was not intended to be taken literally. The emphasis was on “putting my mind to it” and learning to try. In a recent, obvious attempt to discredit Joe Biden, Brittany M. Hughes has attacked a speech made by Biden about teaching his granddaughters the same basic lesson. Hughes is not wrong in her theories, of course, but she might want to cut Biden a bit of slack here. Whether you like Joe Biden or not, it’s not just Biden that has m

Published In The Great North Arrow, April 2020: Landlines & Cell Service

Image
 - jim Young "Mr. Watson - come here - I want to see you." - Alexander Graham Bell I don’t remember my first telephone number but it was something like 3R2 (Three-ring-two). Dialing it consisted of holding a button on the left side of the phone while turning the crank on the right side. We could hear the phone ring for all our neighbours that were on our party line and would recognize our ring by the number and sequence of long and short rings. We could also answer the phone for everyone else on the party line or listen in on their conversations if we chose to but this was never an issue as it was a forbidden rule of etiquette that most everyone respected. Our phone company was the Stroud Telephone Company that operated from 1910 to 1964. Painswick, just 3 miles away, was serviced by Bell. When we moved to Painswick we were required to switch to Bell service which covered the Barrie area even though Painswick had not yet been annexed by Barrie.  As my father was the Deputy Ch