Friday, December 17, 2010

Golden Seas and Pop Quiz Answers

Port Townsend, today. After a dramatic High Seas rescue effort, the bulk carrier M/V Golden Seas got her turbo charger repaired. At-sea tests were conducted and she departed Dutch Harbor at 9:45 a.m. (AST), Monday, December 13th, continuing her passage to the United Arab Emirates with 60,000 tons of Canadian rapeseed. (Followup not reported by mainstream media.)

I contacted the staff at KUCB FM/TV in Unalaska to see if any photos of her were available. They advised she had anchored out in Broad Bay during repairs, too far for photographs.

Answers to the recent pop quiz

A programmer I've been associated with in Copenhagen developed a program for inserting questions or surveys within the body (where you are now reading this) of a Blogger post. It will allow for more creativity - feedback and interaction - with the reader.

We tried the code out in a recent posting, Singapore Crossing. As a test, I asked questions about my "pet peeve," Brazil, and Singapore, all related to recent Blogger articles.

While I may have taken a good natured jab or two at Sarah Palin in the past, she really stressed my crown sheet when I saw her self-serving "humanitarian visit" to Haiti with Gretta Van Susteren.

Having never met the woman, I can only judge her by the persona she projects and the comments she makes.

Freightliner was a company that believed in investing in employees. As a result, I was sent to a number of management and supervisory classes and workshops, including those based on the management principles taught by Dale Carnegie, and Tom Peters. Tom Peter's wrote the classic management tome, "In Search of Excellence" (1982), found on my bookshelf, which lists the following leadership traits:
  • Honest — Display sincerity, integrity, and candor in all your actions. Deceptive behavior will not inspire trust.
  • Competent — Base your actions on reason and moral principles. Do not make decisions based on childlike emotional desires or feelings.
  • Forward-looking — Set goals and have a vision of the future. The vision must be owned throughout the organization. Effective leaders envision what they want and how to get it. They habitually pick priorities stemming from their basic values.
  • Inspiring — Display confidence in all that you do. By showing endurance in mental, physical, and spiritual stamina, you will inspire others to reach for new heights. Take charge when necessary.
  • Intelligent — Read, study, and seek challenging assignments.
  • Fair-minded — Show fair treatment to all people. Prejudice is the enemy of justice. Display empathy by being sensitive to the feelings, values, interests, and well-being of others.
  • Broad-minded — Seek out diversity.
  • Courageous — Have the perseverance to accomplish a goal, regardless of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Display a confident calmness when under stress.
  • Straightforward — Use sound judgment to make a good decisions at the right time.
  • Imaginative — Make timely and appropriate changes in your thinking, plans, and methods. Show creativity by thinking of new and better goals, ideas, and solutions to problems.
In my opinion, Sarah Palin fails to meet most criteria. These are non-partisan criteria. They have nothing to do with politics. "If the shoe fits, ownership is established."

Unless you watch Fox, you probably didn't even know she had gone to Haiti, since she has proclaimed solidarity with Fox and animus toward all other news outlets.

Her visit was nothing more nor less than a self-serving photo op. Flying in on Saturday, flying out on Sunday, strictly forbidding main stream media coverage, no video, no recorders, no photos, no Q&A. Left no doubt that her motive was self-serving. Shamelessly using the suffering people of Haiti as props to promote an image of benevolent leader.

So why did Sarah pick Gretta to travel with?

Well, Gretta is married to John P. Coale. Hubby John serves as an adviser for Sarah Palin. Betcha didn't know that! Now you know why they are so schmoozie with each other.

"I've really enjoyed meeting this community. They are so full of joy," Palin was quoted as saying. Van Susteren (white blouse) is just to the left of Palin.

"Joy" in Haiti -really? A country ravaged by a cholera outbreak! Thousands living in tents and cardboard boxes?

It is interesting to note that no Haitians interviewed had ever heard of Palin. That was the same reaction residents had when she visited Little Diomede, when she was governor of Alaska!

No, my number one "pet peeve" is with the Big Merger which resulted in the forming of the Burlington Northern Railroad.

And the more I think about it, "peeve" is probably a poor choice of words with regards to the Big Merger. "Peeve" applies to Palin. "Disappointment" more accurately describes my feelings about post-merger Seattle.

Before the merger, we had four separate and unique railroads operating. Making the rounds of each yard was like visiting four different families. We went to Auburn to shoot Northern Pacific. We went to Interbay to shoot Great Northern.

The BN merger was the catalyst that started a feeding frenzy that continued for several years. When it was over, the number of Class One's dropped from more than 100 when I began shooting photographs, to our current seven mega railroads.

Now all you see no matter where you travel in this area is the BNSF. For newcomers to the hobby, that's all they know and understand. And it is great to see railroading still captivates the imagination.

But for us older folk, a great deal of culture, individually, and character has been lost; an "intangible" understood only by those in my generation.

QUESTION 2. What is the Official Language of Brazil?

I learned a lot about Brazil in doing my research on Vale and the Estrada de Ferro Carajas Railroad. And when 60 Minutes did a feature story last week on the emergence of Brazil as a "player" in the world, that program validated what I came to appreciate about the country and its growth.

First settled by the Portuguese, there are subtle differences between Portuguese - Portuguese, and the Official Language, Portuguese, written and spoken in Brazil.

QUESTION 3. Singapore is:

Finally, Singapore. What a fascinating country. As usual, like so many far flung trading centers, the Brits fingerprints are all over the history of Singapore. The "discovery of oil" was a red herring I inserted to create "doubt" in your choices. The only natural resource Singapore has is her people.

And with an unemployment rate less that 4%, something must be working!

The Singaporean Parliamentary Republic is modeled after the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy wherein the people select a President and Members of Parliament (MP's) in a General Election.

The office of President is largely ceremonial, with a few limited powers, while the Prime Minister (PM) actually heads the government. The leader of the political party that secures the majority of seats in Parliament is asked by the President to become the Prime Minister.

It appears "Parliamentary Republic" is a popular form of governance:

* Albania
* Austria
* Bangladesh
* Botswana
* Bulgaria
* Croatia
* Czech Republic
* Dominica
* East Timor
* Estonia
* Ethiopia
* Finland
* Germany
* Greece
* Hungary
* Iceland
* India
* Iraq
* Ireland
* Israel
* Italy
* Latvia
* Lithuania
* Macedonia
* Malta
* Mauritius
* Montenegro
* Poland
* Portugal
* Samoa
* Singapore
* Slovakia
* Slovenia
* South Africa
* Switzerland
* Trinidad and Tobago
* Turkey
* Vanuatu

The ability to embed interactivity into the body of a Blogger article is exciting. But for now, like any beta version, there is a glitch or two. You may have noticed that whenever you opened "Oil-Electric," instead of opening the current document, it zipped back to the Blog article with the questions.

So the questions, while timely, were the test vehicle for his program. Refinement is indicated!

1 Comments - Click here:

Kaley said...

I think that the list of attributes of successful leadership is a good one. It is true that may of our current politicians do not meet many of those ideals. However, I wonder if some of that blame lies in our expectations of politicians, and how that may change all but the most solid individuals. We expect higher services without wanting to pay for them. We expect them to work with those who oppose them, and are surprised by their compromises. We want them to take the high ground, but reward those with our vote who use negativity, etc, etc. I wonder if the current workings of the political process deter those who are likely to fit the leadership profile described above, as they realize that they will not be successful in our political model.

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