The Week: What Caught Our Eye

August 6, 2022

Medals for the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games WinterDear Colleagues and Friends:

We begin this week with news that makes us proud, and a note of congratulations.

In January, 2,500 college athletes from 50 nations will converge on Lake Placid, N.Y., and surrounding areas to compete in the World University Games, to be televised on ESPN. This is a big deal: It’s an international celebration of university sports and culture, 11 days, 86 competitions, 12 winter sports. The medals those athletes receive were designed by Sidekick Creative, a Glens Falls design and graphics firm that as a startup shared our office space, giving us a close-up view of the dynamic young entrepreneurs who were building the company.

“Every graphic designer’s dream is to work on some sort of sporting event that has the scope and scale that this does,” said our friend Will Fowler, the creative director at Sidekick, “and the pièce de résistance is the medal design.”

Sidekick’s work will be treasured by the athletes and their families for decades to come. What a legacy!

EXISTENTIAL THREAT: On this date 77 years ago, the United States became the first nation to deploy a nuclear weapon, unleashing fierce death and destruction on Hiroshima and hastening the end of World War II. A second nuclear bomb was dropped three days later over Nagasaki. Though — or perhaps because — more of the world has nuclear weapons now, none has been used against an adversary since, a run that the secretary general of the United Nations sounds worried could end at any moment. “Today, humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation,” the secretary general, Antonio Guterres, said in a comment that made headlines around the globe. “The clouds that parted following the end of the Cold War are gathering once more.”

WIKILAW: Wikipedia influences barroom debates, school papers, media coverage and even scholarly research, but can it also influence the outcome of legal cases? A new study of Irish judges seems to show they relied more heavily on precedents cited in cases that were reported on Wikipedia. It’s not clear whether this is simple correlation with high-profile cases or causation.

BUILDING SOMETHING: If you’d like something to feel good about, the story of Essex Industries is a great place to start. Essex Industries is part of an organization called Mountain Lake Services, which serves people with developmental disabilities. More than half of the 65 workers at Essex Industries are people with disabilities. They’re making wood products that are shipped around the world and, starting this year, helping to produce some of the finest lightweight canoes on the market.

TURNING THE TABLES: It’s hot, businesses are short-staffed, and tempers are shorter than a summer weekend, so rudeness, it seems, is in the forecast. Short’s Brewing Co. and East Park Tavern are establishments in Northern Michigan that share reliance on the summer tourists who pour into that part of the state. They have something else in common, too — they’ve both gotten fed up with customers abusing their staffs. It got so bad that East Park Tavern closed an hour early on a busy Saturday. Short’s Brewing, a large and popular restaurant destination, took a more defiant approach, resurrecting a social media post about summer bringing “the return of customers who swear, yell, laugh in our faces, name-call, belittle, bring us to tears, and threaten negative reviews or to never come back,” adding “Spoiler alert: this year they are as relentless as ever.”

PRACTICAL LEARNING: Students in Windsor, N.Y., a small town that hugs the Pennsylvania border along the Susquehanna River, will have an opportunity for hands-on learning about what is necessary to raise cattle for human consumption. The Windsor Central School district will use a $90,000 state grant to purchase the cows, which will become beef for the school cafeteria.

A brook flowing over rocks in a forest, creating a small waterfallHold the whiskey, bring on the water, at Whiskey Brook Falls in Speculator, N.Y. (Tina Suhocki) 

LOVE PREVAILS: Through the darkness of dementia, very little of one’s old life is still visible, but love shines through, the way a black-eyed Susan stretches toward the sun. Cape Cod Times columnist Saralee Perel bears witness.

RAISE A GLASS: We missed International Beer Day (Friday), but the good news is, there are unique and interesting pubs, taverns and other establishments across New York state that will be happy to serve you the other days, too.

DESPERATELY DRY: The drought that has dramatically lowered water levels in western reservoirs, including Lake Mead, the country’s largest, is also causing supply wells in California to run dry — an estimated 660 so far. California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot warned that the drought, should it persist much longer, could have catastrophic implications for water delivery and agriculture in the west. “I’ll argue that these conditions are unprecedented,” Crowfoot said. “We are in uncharted waters.”

BEAUTIFUL RATIO: The most beautiful city in the world is the walled cathedral city of Chester, in Northwest England, where 84 percent of the buildings are said to align with something called the Golden Ratio, a new report says. No question, Chester is a beauty – it’s home to the largest Roman amphitheater in Britain and a 1,000-year-old cathedral — but whether beauty can be reduced to a number is debatable. In any case, by the Golden Ratio’s math, Venice is second, followed by London, Belfast, and Rome. New York is 17th.

AND LAKE GEORGE makes the list of the 50 North American attractions to see in your lifetime.

SUITABLE HONOR: Fans of the NBA almost certainly recall the late Craig Sager, a seasoned and insightful sideline reporter who preferred his suits colorful, loud and unique. (Sager also was the young radio reporter who greeted Hank Aaron at home plate, believe it or not, as Aaron completed the journey of his 715th home run, the one that put him past Babe Ruth, in 1974). Sager’s legion of admirers and fans grew as he fought a brave battle with what proved to be a fatal form of cancer. They included the luxury carmaker Bentley, which unveiled a one-of-a-kind Continental GT Speed convertible painted in a pattern reminiscent of the jacket Sager wore when accepting an award from ESPN. Athletes and other celebrities also will be signing the car, which will be auctioned in 2023 to raise money for Sager’s foundation, SagerStrong, supporting blood cancer research.

THE SUMMER GAME: The Adirondack Explorer’s Tim Rowland, a storyteller of uncommon humor and humanity, went to Tupper Lake, N.Y., to catch a summer league baseball all-star game full of young players with dreams of playing in the pros. The quality of play is respectable, but what really stood out were the interactions among people of varying races, ethnicities and backgrounds, both on the field and off (one of the teams in the league is from Japan). As Rowland so elegantly puts it, “mountainous differences in race and nationality fade into pleasant rolling hills that complement and brighten the game.”

CHRIS CUOMO RETURNS: Chris Cuomo, who lost his primetime hosting gig on CNN in the wake of the tsunami of misconduct accusations that swept his brother, Andrew, out of the governor’s mansion in Albany, is returning to television as a host on the fledgling network NewsNation. Cuomo, who has stayed busy with a popular self-produced podcast, will debut in the 8 p.m. weeknight time slot October 3.

THAT’LL TEACH ’EM: Voters in a small town in West Michigan voted by a wide margin this week to defund their public library over concerns about the presence of certain LGBTQ-themed books. The library’s critics say the books in question were meant to “groom” children. The library is likely to run out of money next year without new funding sources.

COLD DISCOMFORT: Alison Espach couldn’t figure out what was going on. Why, she wondered, did she now break out in hives when she waded into the ocean or a cool lake? Why did ice cream make her tongue itch, or carrying a bag of ice inflame her arms? The answer: cold urticaria; she was allergic to cold, a potentially life-threatening condition that the author was determined to test.

LIVES

BILL RUSSELL was an athlete, an activist, and an ambassador for his sport, but most of all, he was one of the great champions in the history of team sports. A two-time NCAA champion and an Olympic gold medalist, he led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons, a record unrivaled in the history of the sport. In retirement, he was a revered figure whose counsel was offered in measured doses even as he was celebrated as an American icon. He was 88.

VIN SCULLY was the voice of the Dodgers from 1954, when the team was in Brooklyn, to 2016, a run that is the longest ever for a sports broadcaster with one team. A wordsmith who often worked solo and was known for his unhurried pace and skill with an anecdote, Scully was raised in Brooklyn, where he grew up playing stickball in the streets and listening to college football on the radio, dreaming that he would someday call the action. Jaime Jarrin, the Spanish voice of the Dodgers and like Scully a Hall of Fame broadcaster, wrote on Twitter: “We've lost the greatest chronicler of baseball and any sport. I've lost the architect of my professional life, a beloved friend: Vin Scully. I'm experiencing how difficult it is to put my thoughts together now and all I can say is rest in peace, we'll see each other again soon.” He was 94.

RICHARD TAIT was a Microsoft executive and a failed DJ when he found his life’s work while searching for a board game his friends would all enjoy. He decided to design a game that was part Pictionary, part Scrabble, part Trivial Pursuit and part Hangman. With his collaborator Whit Alexander, he added mini-competitions that involved charades-like playacting, sculpting shapes from clay, and humming popular songs. The result was Cranium, which over the next decade, sold more than 44 million copies in 22 countries. He was 58.

ALMOST FINAL WORDS 

“We have spent two billion dollars on the greatest scientific gamble in history — and won. … What has been done is the greatest achievement of organized science in history. It was done under pressure and without failure.”

—    President Truman, announcing that a nuclear weapon had been dropped on Hiroshima, August 6, 1945.

THE SIGNOFF

EXPENSIVE TASTES: Authorities in Australia fined a traveler the equivalent of $1,874 U.S. after two McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches and a croissant were discovered in the person’s luggage, in violation of the country’s strict biosecurity rules, which are meant to prevent the spread of disease. The traveler was cited for bringing in “potential high biosecurity risk items” and failing to declare them.

—— 

Some of the linked material in Facing Out requires a subscription to read.

THANK YOU to our contributors: Bill Callen, Bill Richmond, Tina Suhocki, Claire P. Tuttle, John Brodt, Lisa Fenwick, and Tara Hutchins.

FACING OUT is what we do. We help companies, organizations and individuals work effectively with their most important external audiences – their customers, their shareholders, their communities, the government and the news media.  www.behancommunications.com

Facing Out features news and other nuggets that caught our eye, and that we thought might be of value to you, our friends and business associates. Some items are good news about our clients and friends, others are stories that we hope will leave you a bit more informed or entertained than you were five minutes ago. As always, we welcome your ideas and feedback.  

Let’s make it a conversationmark.behan@behancom.com

Recent Posts

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

November 19, 2022

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

November 12, 2022

The Week What Caught Our Eye

November 5, 2022

The Week What Caught Our Eye

September 17, 2022

The Week What Caught Our Eye

September 10, 2022

The Week What Caught Our Eye

September 3, 2022

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

February 26, 2022

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

February 19, 2022

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

February 12, 2022

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

December 18, 2021

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

December 11, 2021

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

November 19, 2021

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

November 13, 2021

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

September 25, 2021

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

September 18, 2021

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

September 11, 2021

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

September 4, 2021

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

February 27, 2021

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

February 20, 2021

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

February 13, 2021

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

December 19, 2020

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

December 12, 2020

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

November 21, 2020

The Week What Caught Our Eye

November 14, 2020

The Week What Caught Our Eye

October 17, 2020

The Week What Caught Our Eye

October 10, 2020

The Week What Caught Our Eye

September 26, 2020

The Week What Caught Our Eye

September 19, 2020

The Week What Caught Our Eye

September 12, 2020

The Week What Caught Our Eye

September 5, 2020

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

February 29, 2020

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

February 22, 2020

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

February 15, 2020

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

December 28, 2019

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

December 21, 2019

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

December 14, 2019

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

November 30, 2019

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

November 23, 2019

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

November 16, 2019

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

September 28, 2019

The Week: What Caught Our Eye

September 21, 2019

The Week: What caught our eye

September 14, 2019

The Week: What caught our eye

September 7, 2019

Old West Adirondacks

July 19, 2019

A Glens Falls Night

November 20, 2018

A moment for our home city

October 9, 2018