Monday, October 30, 2006

Rattling My Keys in My Pocket to Indicate I'm Still Here

Not symptom free but no longer infectious so back at work. Not feeling so good. Couldn't hear much of what was said by students in first class so talked nonstop, perhaps erratically.

Was that fear in their eyes?

Ears popped during second class so shut up and let class out early.

(No, it was pity. I've seen it before.)

Read the Economist tonight as I groaned in the tub. Economist did a big takeout on France, which is apparently now the sick man of Europe. Too much central planning, you know. Too much good health care and benefits. Too many psychology majors, a fourth of all the psychology majors in Europe.

And all the sociology majors? You don't want to know.

So the French are glum.

Though interesingly enough the French are apparently stung -- so the Economist says -- not so much by dissatisfaction with the conditions of life but with France's declining reputation for the potency of its economy, of the strength of its purchasing power, of the international reputation of its universities.

I could go on .... Well, not really. I don't exactly remember what came next.

Two odd facts, two factoids that stick even as the larger generalizations fall away.

* 78 percent of French electricity is produced by nuclear power plants

* 80 percent of the world's Viagra -- and all of the Viagra sold in the U.S. -- is manufactured in France

As I said just rattling my keys, occupying my space, giving the Google worm something to look at as it crawls the Web.

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