Saturday, 19 October 2013

Kicking the Can

If there was one cliche which made me wince every time it was said in the last few turbulent weeks of the U.S. debt crisis it was "kicking the can down the road."   Grrrrr!   No wonder they couldn't come to an agreement when they were all singing from the same song sheet and on the same page, too. When I saw some of the interviews with Republican mavericks, I thought they were whistling past the graveyard.  President Obama stayed poker-faced and didn't let anyone see his hand.  But in the end they all had to step up to the plate otherwise the entire country would have been dead in the water.

Enough of that - here are a few things to ponder:

Recent research shows that from the age of 18 months upwards a child can tell when someone is being insincere according to a report in The Times.  Well now, let's do a toddlers' test on politicians and on some grown-ups, too.  "Coochie-coo" isn't going to cut any ice with the little ones if they don't think you mean it.

Research at Princeton University revealed that marmosets take turns to call out and wait 5 seconds before responding.  They don't interrupt each other or speak over other's cries.  That's pretty awesome isn't it?  How many people do you know who really listen to you instead of waiting for you to get on with your story so that they can start telling you their's?  And maybe the U.S. Democrats and Republicans would have solved things sooner if they waited 5 seconds before shooting their mouths off.  It would have given them time to engage their brains.

And now for something completely different but it has an "paawww" factor.  There exists in Paris a cafe called The Purple Puss where you can cuddle a cat while drinking your coffee.  The idea was started by a Japanese woman and is very successful.  You have to book a month in advance to get a table at weekends.  Apparently these kinds of cafes are popular in Japan where people believe that stroking a cat relaxes tension (see the slip on the BBC website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24592430 ).  At any rate if you don't mind cat hairs in your coffee, it is a very pleasant way to enjoy your cafe creme.   It could even stop you kicking the can down the road.

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