Things I Know

Ithaca NY is still gorges, as the T-shirts say, but because of a rash of suicides on campus more than a year ago, Cornell installed high fences on all the bridges over the two gorges that border the university’s main campus. Plus, the gorges themselves are fenced and locked because trails that used to allow hikers to descend into the gorges haven’t been maintained and have become dangerous. If I lived there, instead of just visiting as I was last weekend, I’d be happy to join a volunteer trail maintenance crew. The gorges are still gorgeous! In local stores you can still buy a lot of beautiful photos shot in Fall Creek and Cascadilla Gorge, but you can’t go into the gorges to take your own pictures anymore, at least I couldn’t find a way to do so from the Cornell campus.

The steepest path up Libe Slope on the Cornell Campus is the one that tops the hill behind Morrill Hall. I was reminded of that because I took that path on Saturday. I didn’t like climbing that hill as a freshman. At my age, I am happy I still can climb it.

I was watching a documentary about dinosaurs on the cable Science Channel and in my opinion, anyone who narrates a TV documentary in English ought to be required to pronounce the word “Arctic” as if it had two “c’s” in it because it does. Similarly, such a narrator ought to be required to pronounce the word “Antarctic” as if it had both two “c”s” and two “t’s” because it does and neither pronunciation is that hard, really.

Anthony Bourdain has announced that he’s moving from the Travel Channel to CNN. Good, because I sometimes watch the Travel Channel.

There’s a TV commercial for Netflix. It features a beaver with a British accent. Instead of compelling me to sign up for Netflix, it impelled me to ask whether beavers are native to Great Britain. Ten, or even eight, years ago, the answer would have been no. The ones that were native became extinct some time ago. However, since 2005, there have been a handful of efforts to repopulate Great Britain with small colonies of Eurasian beavers. I wasn’t interested enough to try to find out whether those efforts are successful.

I generally don’t use apps on Facebook because they allow the owner of the app a lot of access to your data. There’s one called profile view. When you sign up, it requests permission to access your data. There are two choices: allow; and disallow. If you click the disallow button, it just brings you back to the choices. It doesn’t take you back to your Facebook home page.

Barbara Streisand has scheduled two shows in Brooklyn in mid-October. The first one reportedly sold out in minutes, hence a second. Nothing against Ms. Streisand, but I think nobody should buy tickets to any performer’s show once that performer has concluded his or her farewell tour.

In commenting on the Zuckerberg-Chan wedding recently, I joked that they apparently waited until they were sure they could afford it. I am not a lawyer, but someone on TV suggested that they may have waited until he was a multi-billionaire and she was an MD so that neither her degree nor his billions would be community property.

Note to the guy in the navy blue Honda sedan: If you keep driving ten miles under the speed limit on the Wantagh Parkway, you’re going to be rear-ended and possibly killed. Also, navy blue is a nice looking color on a car, but you don’t see them very often.

And note to the woman in the gold Honda Odyssey at the Ramapo Service Area on the NY State Thruway around 4:30 PM Sunday. Stopping your minivan so that you made it hard for other cars to get past you while, at the same time, blocking two handicapped parking spaces was the most boneheaded driving event I saw while traveling from Thursday to Sunday.

Author: Tom

I know my ABC's, I can write my name and I can count to a hundred.