Monthly Archives: September 2015

Big Papa

fiatPapa, that’s what the pope is called in Mexico. His visit to the US was a big hit with almost everyone, and there’s been a lot written about him and his impact. For example, John Cassidy said this in the New Yorker article “Pope Francis and His Little Fiat:”

What has lifted Pope Francis above the political fray and reinvigorated his office in a way that could barely have been imagined under Pope Benedict, is his peerless ability to convey to ordinary people of all religions and political views his version of Catholicism—a version based largely on the life and teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order. From choosing to live in a modest guest house, rather than the Apostolic Palace, to washing the feet of a young Muslim prisoner, to inviting dozens of homeless people to tour the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis has lifted up the papacy by puncturing its grandeur, infusing it with humanity, and, where necessary, cleverly exploiting the power of imagery.

One interesting result of the Pope’s US visit that hasn’t been reported on is the new  Scrabble rule announced by Hasbro.

If you can spell PopeFrancis in Scrabble, you win. Forever.

Can you oversimplify?

shower knobsI usually don’t blog when I travel. But I get ideas that rattle around until I get home.

This is a quick one. Why are some shower controls unnecessarily complicated? Is having just two knobs actually simpler than having three?

In a couple of weeks of traveling, each shower I took required an extra minute and a half to sort out how to get the shower working properly.

That small moment of bewilderment takes away from the travel experience. Wouldn’t it be easier, cheaper, and provide a better customer experience to have separate knobs for hot and cold water?

I doubt many people even use the tubs in hotels. I’d be fine with just separate temperature controls for the shower.

What I usually found was just one knob for water temp and pressure. Then there’d be another knob selecting the tub faucet or the shower head. These knobs look like miniature R2D2 robots planted into the shower stall wall. Sometimes there were colored buttons on the knobs for setting a temperature. That’d be handy if you were planning to stay for a while, I guess.

I’m sure the decorators had good intentions, but really, most of the time, simple is better.

Hannibal Lecter

eye contact“Hannibal” is the best TV series I’ve seen in a while.

The series has been running for three seasons, but wasn’t picked up for a fourth.

Watching the last episode, it seemed to be hurriedly wrapping up all the story lines that weren’t going to be developed. But other than the last episode, “Hannibal” delivers the goods.

The casting and psychological drama are what kept me watching.

The highly stylized murder depictions and violence were mostly needed to set the stage for the story. But they’re the parts I’d just put up with to get to the interactions of the characters.

Hannibal Lecter is played by Mads Mikkelsen. His acting and the dialog with the other characters is engrossing and will lead to binge watching to find out what will happen next.

I’m sorry the series won’t be back. If you can put up with some gruesome murder scenes, you’ll be sucked into the twisted world of Hannibal Lecter in no time.