I promise not to make a habit out of this, but I hope I can presume upon your patience just this once for a little immediate follow-up. I became intrigued this morning when I read about the first general strike in Spain in over a decade, and the attendant likelihood of the downgrading of the nation’s formerly impeccable credit rating. If you were kind enough to read my latest blog entry, you may have noticed that one of the 10 places I put on my fall watch list was the Spanish capitol, Madrid (which made it through yesterday with no television or newspapers due to the strike).
Curiosity and intellectual honesty compelled me to look at the news for the other nine places on my list, and this what I found over just the past two days. Not all of these are profound on the order of the Spanish situation, but they are all at least somewhat significant and interesting considering the time frame.
New Orleans: an extensive Gallup survey released today indicates that “depression levels” along the Gulf Coast have risen 25.6% since the oil spill
St. Louis: in non-connected but numerically synchronous events, St. Louis yesterday welcomed the opening of the world’s 300th Ronald McDonald House and the completion of its 300th Habitat for Humanity home
Memphis: (share this one perhaps with your pet) the city of Memphis yesterday passed a mandatory spay-neuter ordinance, in response to the 16,000 dogs and cats that were euthanized in the city last year
Guatemala City: The lines on the map, as noted above, go right through the area of the Mexican mudslides and on through Guatemala. In the aftermath of this weekend’s Tropical Storm Matthew, it was reported today that more than 6,500 Guatemalan citizens and 1,000 Guatemalan homes were respectively displaced and damaged by floods.
Galapagos Islands: electronics manufacturer Sharp yesterday introduced a major Kindle competitor in the Japanese market; named to evoke a sense of (gadget) evolution, it is called Galapagos. If that sounds like a geographical stretch, consider that the San Diego zoo yesterday announced the opening of its new $1M habitat for its 17 tortoises…Galapagos tortoises.
London: a vague but highly publicized threat regarding terror cells emerged from the UK this morning, but if you want to go with high-profile specifics consider that: 1) yesterday Lloyd’s of London announced a 50% reduction in profits over the first half of the year due to the highest disaster insurance claims in its history (BP, Chile); and 2) also yesterday, the individual heading up construction management for the 2012 London Olympics resigned
Madrid: mentioned above
Accra: the completion of a major school building program, under the advisement of the Columbia University (NY) –based Earth Institute and its Millennium City initiative, was announced yesterday by the mayor of Accra; all of the Ghana capitol’s students will now be able to occupy school premises for 8 hours per day, rather than in 4-hour morning/afternoon shifts as has been the prior case
Calcutta: another city that is strike-plagued at the moment…1500 government-program doctors and all of the support workers in the region’s court system are making medical and judicial care a very dicey proposition at this time
Fiji: the military ruler of the country addressed the United Nations General Assembly yesterday (!); afterwards U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton met with the island nation’s minister of foreign affairs for 75 minutes, in a discussion of “continued dialogue and partnership”
Random happenstances at random times? Quite possibly. But what if there is some real energy in this location calculation, and what if it could be harnessed to your own personal and professional interests?
It can be, you know. Please let me be your guide.