Tag Archives: in_conversation

The By George Top-10 Summertime Tunes Playlist

Here are links to the YouTube recordings of the By George Top Ten ( in reverse order to build the suspense)!

But first, here are a few songs that did not make the top ten, but deserve to be mentioned for consideration on everyone’s summertime playlist:

Fishin in the Dark – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Summer Breeze – Seals and Crofts

Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

School’s Out – Alice Cooper

Old Town Road – Lil Nas X

California Girls – David Lee Roth

Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran

The Dock of the Bay  – Otis Redding

Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen  

#10 – Summer in the City – The Lovin Spoonful

#9 – Chattahoochee – Alan Jackson

#8 – Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams (our Canadian content)

#7 – Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters

#6 – Summertime – Kenny Chesney (and this is a great video)

#5 – Here’s a bolt of energy courtesy of Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine

#4 – Everybody’s favourite fun tune, In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry

#3 Dancing in the Streets – sizzlin’ Martha Reeves and The Vandellas – and here’s the dynamic duo of Mike Jagger and David Bowie performing Dancing in the Streets

#2 – Classic Beach Boys mix:  Surfin’ USA  /   Barbara Ann  /   Good Vibrations

#1 – The all-time favourite anthem of lazy, beachside fun: Margaritaville  – Jimmy Buffet

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

15 more bicycle facts and stats

First cyclist that drove his bicycle around the world was Fred A. Birchmore. He pedaled for 25,000 miles and traveled other 15,000 miles by boat. He wore out 7 sets of tires.

The fastest measured speed of riding a bicycle on a flat surface is 133.75 km/h.

In 2011, Austrian racing cyclist Markus Stöckl drove an ordinary bicycle down the hill of a volcano. He attained the speed of 164.95 km/h.

The slow cycling record was set by Tsugunobu Mitsuishi of Japan in 1965 when he stayed stationary for 5 hours, 25 minutes.

Smallest bicycle ever made has wheels of the size of silver dollars.

The longest tandem bicycle seated 35 people, it was more than 20 meters long.

The Wright brothers who built the first flying airplane, operated a small bike repair shop in Dayton, Ohio. They used their workshop to build the 1903 Wright Flyer.

Popular bicycle type BMX was created in 1970s as a cheaper alternative to motocross races.

The prototype of the mountain bike was not developed until 1977.

E-Bikes are very popular because they make daily commutes much easier.

Half of all the parts of a typical bicycle are in the chain.

Bicycles are more efficient in transforming energy to travel than cars, trains, airplanes, boats, and motorcycles. Worldwatch Institute compared energy used per passenger-mile (calories) to find that a bicycle needed only 35 calories, whereas a car expended 1,860. Bus and trains fell about midway between.

The same energy that is expended for walking can be used when cycling to go three times faster.

Energy and resources that are used for the creation of one single car can be used for the creation of up to 100 bicycles.

Most famous bicycle race in the world is the Tour de France which was established in 1903 and is still driven each year when cyclist from all over the world take part in 3 week event that is finished in Paris. It’s considered to be the biggest test of endurance out of all sports.

SOURCES:

https://www.worldcycletours.com/blog/2019/22-interesting-facts-about-cycling

http://www.bicyclehistory.net/bicycle-facts/interesting-facts-about-bicycles/

https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/biking/weird-bicycle-facts-green.htm

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/ten-fun-facts-about-bikes

To see more on cycling, pedal through the By George Journal menu.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. And yes, Chris also would rather be cycling… #bikealmonte

15 bicycle facts and stats

The world manufactures about 100 million bikes each year.

There are over 1 billion bicycles currently being used all around the world.

China boasts more than a half billion bicycles.

The UK is home to over 20 million bicycles.

A total of 5% of all trips in United Kingdom are made with a bicycle. In the US this number is lower than 1%.

10% of New York City’s workforce–approximately 65,000 humans–commute daily on bicycles.

There are at least 400 bicycle clubs in America, with membership from 10 to 4,000 members.

In the Netherlands a total of 30% of all trips are made with a bicycle. 40% of all Amsterdam’s commutes are made on a bike. Seven out of eight people in the Netherlands that are older than 15 have a bicycle.

36% of Copenhagen’s workforce commute daily on bicycles, and only 27% drive cars.

Over 90% of all bicycle trips are shorter than 15 kilometers.

Cycling is one of the best pastimes for people who want to reduce the risk of having heart disease or a stroke.

It is 20 times cheaper to maintain a bicycle than a car.

Bicycles save over 238 million gallons of fuel every year.

Daily 16 kilometer ride (10 miles) burns 360 calories, saves up to 10 euros of budget and saves the environment from 5 kilos of carbon dioxide emissions that are produced by cars.

There are twice as many bicycles in the world than cars.

SOURCES:

https://www.worldcycletours.com/blog/2019/22-interesting-facts-about-cycling

http://www.bicyclehistory.net/bicycle-facts/interesting-facts-about-bicycles/

https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/biking/weird-bicycle-facts-green.htm

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/ten-fun-facts-about-bikes

To see more on cycling, pedal through the By George Journal menu.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. And yes, Chris also would rather be cycling… #bikealmonte

#TinFoilHatBrigade

Here are a few humourous memes we have compiled under the title of the By George Journal’s #TinFoilHatBrigade. This collection and more will be shared on By George social media platforms through this up-coming week.

(For a sideways glance and background on this matter, click: On Conspiracy Theories and Tin Foil Hats.)

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

 

 

On Conspiracy Theories and Tin Foil Hats

A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that has been realized by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation. A conspiracy theory is not simply a conspiracy; instead, it refers to a hypothesized result that is opposed to the mainstream consensus among those people (such as scientists, historians, politicians, etc.) who are professionally qualified to substantiate the event or situation. The term has a negative connotation, implying that the appeal to a conspiracy is based on prejudice or insufficient evidence.

The Encyclopedia Britannica defines conspiracy theory in this way: “Conspiracy theory, an attempt to explain harmful or tragic events as the result of the actions of a small powerful group. Such explanations reject the accepted narrative surrounding those events; indeed, the official version may be seen as further proof of the conspiracy.”

Conspiracy theories once limited to fringe audiences have become commonplace in mass media, emerging as a cultural phenomenon. Today, they are widespread around the world. Among the longest-standing and most widely recognized conspiracy theories are notions concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 1969 Apollo moon landings, the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, and numerous theories pertaining to plots for world domination. Today, there are many conspiracy theories surrounding the Wuhan coronavirus and the global vaccination program.

A “tin foil hat” is a hat made from one or more sheets of aluminum foil applied overtop conventional headgear, often worn in the belief or hope that it shields the brain from threats such as mind control, mind reading, and electromagnetic fields. The notion of wearing homemade headgear for such protection has become a popular stereotype and insulting byword for paranoia, persecutory delusions, and the belief in conspiracy theories.

For example, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attempted to discredit Conservative MPs in their questioning about legislation that will censor the Internet by stating they are wearers of “tin foil hats.” He made similar claims about his policy objectives to implement The Great Reset in Canada.

Wikipedia explains the origin of the term “tin foil hat”: “Some people have a belief that such hats prevent mind control by government, spies, or paranormal beings that employ ESP or the microwave auditory effect. People in many countries who believe they are “targeted individuals”, subject to government spying or harassment, have developed websites, conference calls, and support meetings to discuss their concerns, including the idea of protective headgear. Vice Magazine claimed that the tinfoil hat in popular culture “can be traced back in a very weird and prescient short story written in 1927 by Julian Huxley, brother of the better-known author Aldous and half-brother to Nobel laureate Andrew” titled The Tissue-Culture King, wherein the main character uses a metal hat to prevent being mind controlled by the villain scientist.”

For illustrative examples of the mumbling that can be heard by modern day conspiracy theorists, check out the memes in the By George Journal’s #TinFoilHatBrigade

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

The Muppets! Offensive?

The Disney Channel has just released five seasons of “The Muppet Show” but they have done so with a warning to the next generation of viewers. The disclaimers read: 

“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now,”

“Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together. Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe,”

So, the Muppets are “offensive” — according to Disney (as are those dangerous classics “Peter Pan” and “Dumbo” — according to Disney).  Offensive?! 

Given this disheartening news about the fragile psychic state of our youth today, By George honours this classic puppet troupe for the older generations who remember the joy and laughter (and how to laugh) watching this show.

 

Offensive…. 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS

Did you know these St. Valentine’s Day Facts?

How many of these 10 St. Valentine Day Facts did you know?

  1. Men spend twice as much as women on gifts. The average man spends $130 on Valentine’s Day, while women spend about $70.
  2. Every year, more than 36 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate are sold across the country.
  3. Every year, around 9 million people buy their pets a Valentine’s Day gift.
  4. February 14th is the second largest card giving day of the year, just after Christmas.
  5. In 1913, Hallmark was one of the first to mass produce a Valentine’s Day card and today it’s expected that 1 billion cards will be exchanged around the world.
  6. Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by kids, mothers, wives and girlfriends.
  7. It’s estimated that Americans will spend $3.3 billion on flowers for loved ones. The only other day that beats Valentine’s Day in floral sales is Mother’s Day.
  8. The most likely flower to be purchased? Red roses of course!
  9. In 2015, 18% of women sent themselves flowers.
  10. More than one-third of men are comfortable not receiving anything from a lover on Valentine’s Day.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

Return to the menu for the By George St Valentine’s Wish

Here’s the impact on a brain “in love”

Here is a most fascinating lecture: Helen Fisher studies the brain in love

Anthropologist Helen Fisher studies gender differences and the evolution of human emotions. She’s best known as an expert on romantic love, and her beautifully penned books — including Anatomy of Love and Why We Love — lay bare the mysteries of our most treasured emotion.

So, why do we crave love so much, even to the point that we would die for it? To learn more about our very real, very physical need for romantic love, Helen Fisher and her research team took MRIs of people in love — and people who had just been dumped.

Here’s a summary of her talk:

Helen Fisher’s courageous investigations of romantic love — its evolution, its biochemical foundations and its vital importance to human society — are informing and transforming the way we understand ourselves. Fisher describes love as a universal human drive (stronger than the sex drive; stronger than thirst or hunger; stronger perhaps than the will to live), and her many areas of inquiry shed light on timeless human mysteries, like why we choose one partner over another. Almost unique among scientists, Fisher explores the science of love without losing a sense of romance: Her work frequently invokes poetry, literature and art — along with scientific findings — helping us appreciate our love affair with love itself.

Have some fun this St. Valentine’s Day.  Pour some wine and view this most intriguing and entertaining 15-minute video with your loved one:

Helen Fisher studies the brain in love

… it’s a need, it’s an urge, it’s a homeostatic imbalance; like hunger and thirst, it is almost impossible to stamp out… one of the most powerful sensations on earth.

If you would like to do a deep dive into the science of love, here is a series of five presentations on TED talks:  The weird science of love

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

Return to the menu for the By George St Valentine’s Wish

The Charlie Schulz Philosophy

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip. (You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read the piece straight through, and you’ll get the point.)

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five World Cup trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of Miss World .
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of FA Cup winners.

How did you do?

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and
special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Is this second quiz easier?

The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. None of us remember the headliners of yesterday, even though these are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. However, when applause dies, achievements are forgotten and accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Simply put, the people who make a difference is your life are the ones who care the most.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The answer to the all-important butter tart question is…

To conclude the By George celebration of “Butter Tart Month” let us share with you the results of our survey and that all-important question for all butter tart lovers:

“Does the ultimate butter tart contain raisins – or no raisins?”

Given the responses this month from our By George tart lovers, it appears the answer to this controversial question is…. raisins! 

Raisin 56 %

No-Raisins 33%

Other 11%

(“Other” responses include “both” or “neither,” and some answered with other ingredients like pecans or currants.)

RAISINS IT IS. Although, with one-in-three tart lovers not wanting those plump pieces of goodness in their fillings, we’re sure this debate will continue.  

By George has declared July as “Butter Tart Month.” Here is a menu of our delectable articles on Canada’s iconic dessert.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Left Riddled and Confused

picture-question-mark

1. There were two fathers and two sons on a boat fishing. They each caught a fish, but only three fish where caught. How can this be so?

2. A man has to get a fox, a chicken, and a sack of corn across a river. He has a rowboat, and it can only carry him and one other thing. If the fox and the chicken are left together, the fox will eat the chicken. If the chicken and the corn are left together, the chicken will eat the corn. How does the man do it?

3. No sooner spoken than broken. What is it?

4. What do these three have in common: Dogs, Diamonds, and Double Plays

5. Dee Septor, the famous magician, claimed to be able to throw a ping-pong ball so that it would go a short distance, come to a complete stop, and then reverse itself. He also added that he would not bounce the ball off any object, or tie anything to it. How could he perform this trick?

6. Voiceless it cries / wingless flutters / toothless bites / mouthless mutters

7. Dies half its life / lives the rest / dances without music / breathes without breath

8. There are eight pills. They are all the same size and color. One pill weighs slightly more than the others and it is poisonous. You have a balanced scale and can only use it twice. How can you find the poisoned pill?

9. If it takes 6 men 6 days to dig 6 holes, how long will it take 3 men to dig half a hole?

10. What two words, when combined, hold the most letters?

11. What is better than the best, more evil than demons, the poor have it and the rich need it, and if you eat it, you will die?

12. A traveller comes to a fork in the road which leads to two villages. In one village the people always tell lies, and in the other village the people always tell the truth. The traveller needs to conduct business in the village where everyone tells the truth. A man from one of the villages is standing in the middle of the fork, but there is no indication of which village he is from. The traveller approaches the man and asks him one question. From the villager’s answer, he knows which road to follow. What did the traveller ask?

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

 

Albert Einstein’s Riddle

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Einstein has been widely credited online with the following riddle, and with the claim that 98% of the world could not solve it. There is a logical answer…

There are 5 houses in 5 different colors in a row. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet.

No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage.

Other facts to know:

  1. The Brit lives in the red house.
  2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
  3. The Dane drinks tea.
  4. The green house is on the immediate left of the white house.
  5. The green house’s owner drinks coffee.
  6. The owner who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
  7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
  8. The owner living in the center house drinks milk.
  9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
  10. The owner who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
  11. The owner who keeps the horse lives next to the one who smokes Dunhill.
  12. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
  13. The German smokes Prince.
  14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
  15. The owner who smokes Blends lives next to the one who drinks water.

The question is : WHO OWNS THE FISH?

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

Top Ten Baseball Players of All-Time

By George Journal consulted 10 reliable baseball sources to tabulate their respective selections for the best players of all time – and here are those magnificent players…

The 10 sources used for this tabulation are The Baseball Almanac, Baseball Reference, MLB Rank, ESPN, The Score, Britannica, Bleacher Report, Ranker.com, Stadium Talk, and Line Ups.

First, honourable mentions include Shoeless Joe Jackson, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Bench, Mike Trout, Nolan Ryan. Jackie Robinson, Pete Rose, Sandy Koufax, Cal Ripkin Jr., Randy Johnson and Ernie Banks.

Player greats who were selected by at least one of the sources but did not make the top ten list include: Mickey Mantle, Cy Young, Honus Wagner, Satchel Paige, Oscar Charleston, Alex Rodriguez, Rogers Clemens, and Christy Mathewson.

And so, in reverse order, here are the top ten baseball players of all-time.

10. Rogers Hornsby

Hornsby of the St Louis Cardinals 1915-1926 & 1933, NY Giants 1927, Boston Braves 1928, Chicago Cubs 1929-1932, St. Louis Browns 1934-37. Roger Hornsby had a lengthy 23-year career in which he hit .358, and had 2,930 hits. He won seven batting titles, and had two Triple Crown seasons. In 1926 he took home a World Series, and won two MVPs.

9. Stan Musial

Musial of the St Louis Cardinals 1941-1963. Stan The Man racked up over 3,500 hits in his career, and hit .331. He had 475 stolen bases, and nearly 2,000 RBI. He was a three-time World Series champ, and took home seven batting titles. Musial landed on 24 all-star teams and was a three-time MVP.

8. Lou Gehrig

Gehrig of the New York Yankees (1923-39). Lou Gehrig won six World Series with the Yankees (1927-28, ’32, ’36-38) and his career stats included: .340, 2,721 hits, 493 HRs, 1,995 RBIs. It is Gehrig, not Babe Ruth, who has the Yankees’ career RBI record (1,995). Gehrig also holds the record for highest slugging percentage in a World Series. He slugged 1.727 in a four-game sweep of the Cardinals in 1928.

7. Walter Johnson

Johnson of the Washington Senators (1907-1927). Walter Johnson was baseball’s original strikeout king; he was the only member of the 3,000 strikeout club for over 50 years. Johnson led the league in strikeouts a record 12 times, one more than Nolan Ryan. His 110 shutouts are 20 more than any other player in MLB history. His career record is W-L: 417-279, 110 shutouts (all-time leader), 5,914 1/3 innings pitched, 2.17 ERA and 3,509 strikeouts.

6. Barry Bonds

Bonds of the Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-92), San Francisco Giants (’93-2007). Bonds’ career stats: .298, 2,935 hits, 762 HRs, 1,996 RBIs, and 2,558 BBs (all-time leader). Bonds is the all-time leader in home runs, walks (2,558) and MVP awards (seven). No other player in MLB history has won more than three MVP awards. Bonds also holds the top two spots in single-season on-base percentage. His .609 on-base percentage in 2004 is the highest and his .582 OBP in 2002 ranks second.

5. Ty Cobb

Cobb of the Detroit Tigers (1905-26), Philadelphia A’s (’27-28). Cobb’s career stats: .366 (all-time leader), 4,189 hits, 117 HRs, and 1,933 RBIs. Cobbis the the only player to lead his league in hits eight times, ranks second all time in hits, runs and triples, as well as fourth in doubles and stolen bases. His 54 steals of home are most all time, and his .367 batting average is also the best ever. He led the American League in that category a whopping 12 times, including nine in a row from 1907-15.

4. Ted Williams

Williams of the Boston Red Sox (1939-42, ’46-60). Williams career stats: .344 (all-time leader, 2,654 hits, 521 HRs, and 1,839 RBIs. Williams won two Triple Crowns and two MVPs — yet neither of his MVPs came in the Triple Crown years, or in his famed .406 season in 1941. He ranks first all time in on-base percentage at .482, a number reached in a single season in the past 50 years by only two players.

3. Hank Aaron

Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves (1954-65), Atlanta Braves (’66-74), Milwaukee Brewers (’75-76). Aaron’s career stats: .305, 3,771 hits, 755 HRs, 2,297 RBIs (all-time leader),and 6,856 TBs (all-time leader). Aaron was baseball’s all-time home run leader from 1974 to 2007, finishing with 755 career home runs. Aaron had 20 or more home runs in 20 consecutive seasons, the most such seasons and longest such streak all time.

2. Willie Mays

Mays of the New York Giants (1951-52, ’54-57), San Francisco Giants (’58-72), New York Mets (’72-73). Willie Mays played Major League Baseball for twenty-two seasons and was named to twenty-four All-Star Games. He was the first player in National League history to join the 30 Home Runs and 30 Stolen Bases Club. Mays won twelve consecutive Gold Gloves starting the year the award was first introduced (1957) and up through 1968. Mays finished his career with 660 home runs, third most in big league history behind Aaron and Ruth.

1. Babe Ruth

Ruth of the Boston Red Sox (1914-19), New York Yankees (’20-34), Boston Braves (’35). Forgive us but By George is providing the “fast facts” section from the Baseball Almanac on the best player of all-time.

Babe Ruth is the single most famous baseball player in the entire world. Babe Ruth is also one of the greatest baseball players in the history of the game. The Bambino’s slugging ability was so great, his last name became an adjective – “Ruthian” – used to describe performances of heroic proportion.

Babe Ruth the “champion”: Ruth was a World Series champion seven times, American League home run champion twelve times, RBI Champion six times, On-Base Percentage Champion ten times and the Sluggin Average Champion thirteen times.

Babe Ruth the “home run king”: Ruth was the first player in Major League history to hit 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 and 700 home runs. In 1919, Ruth hit 29 home runs becoming the all-time single-season home-run leader. A year later Ruth hit 54 home runs, breaking his own record as the all-time single-season home run leader and became the first player to hit over 50 home runs in a season. The very next year, he hit 59 home runs, breaking his own record yet again. Finally, in 1927, The Sultan of Swat hit 60 home runs, breaking the mark and establishing a plateau that was legendary for decades. Currently, Ruth still holds records for most home runs in any decade (467 in the 1920s), fastest player to hit 600 home runs (2,044 games) and fastest player to hit 700 home runs (2,418 games).

Babe Ruth the “best left-handed pitcher in baseball”: Ruth was 18-8 with a 2.44 ERA his first full season on the mound (1915). Ruth still holds pitching records for most shutouts in a season by a lefty with 9 (tied by Ron Guidry in 1978) and most innings pitched (14) in a World Series game – a complete game 2-1 victory in 1916. Ruth is part of an elite set of pitchers in Major League history whose career on the mound spanned at least ten seasons and NEVER once included a losing record!

Babe Ruth the “postseason prince”: Ruth set World Series records with 3 homers in a game (and did it twice) and 12 total bases in a game. His 15 postseason home runs, all hit during World Series games, were a record until Mickey Mantle tied him in 1963 then eventually passed him in 1964. And let us never forget the 1932 World Series, legendary and debatable still to this day, courtesy of “The Called Shot”.

Babe Ruth the “nickname collector”: Babe (which some actually believe is his real name due to its use) probably had more well-published nicknames than any other player and here are but a few we have seen in print: The Bambino, The Sultan of Swat, The Colossus of Clout, The Wazir of Wham, The Maharajah of Mash, The Rajah of Rap, The Caliph of Clout, the Behemoth of Bust, The Mammoth of Maul, The Mauling Mastodon, The Mauling Monarch, The Wali of Wollop, and to his teammates, Jidge.

Babe Ruth the “hall of fame legend”: Ruth was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on February 2, 1936, by the Baseball Writers Association of America, as part of the inaugural class of inductees. At the time of his induction, Ruth held literally hundreds of baseball records. The single most prolific hitter in baseball history, a key component in “Murderer’s Row” and a charismatic personality – both on and off the field – that made him a larger-than-life figure and one of the greatest sports heroes, not just in baseball, but in American culture.

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

April, it’s every Canadian sports fan’s dream

There is perhaps no better month of the year for Canadian sports fans than April. This is the glorious time of year when the puck drops on the NHL playoffs and fans enjoy the first pitches of the baseball season.

However, this year, like all things in life, it appears April has been cancelled. The rinks and ball parks are dark. A recent Sports Illustrated editorial tells us:According to the experts—medical experts, not the money-making experts in league offices—we will not have sports any time soon. And when we do, we will not attend the games.”

American epidemiologist Dr. Zach Binney baldly states: “We will not have sporting events with fans until we have a vaccine.” Dr. Binney surmises that barring a medical miracle, the process of developing and widely distributing a vaccine is likely to take 12 to 18 months.

So, cancel April. Cancel spring and summer, perhaps the whole year through to next spring or summer.

For ardent sports fans this is very troubling. For young Canadians who play hockey, soccer, or baseball, or participate in sports like gymnastics, rowing, or martial arts, this is both agitating and heartbreaking at the same time. To cancel sports and halt sporting activities is problematic for everyone — and for society.

The Economist this month broached the subject in an article: “The game’s the thing” in which it forwarded that “cancelling sports will dent morale” and that “a solution may be needed.” The commentary suggests the economic implications will be significant because sport is big business, but the effect on consumer sentiment of the hiatus may be even greater. A majority (59%) of Americans are sports fans (and this number would also hold true in Canada). With the loss of sporting events, an important source of enjoyment disappears. Cancelling sports compounds the effect of being stuck at home.

Cancelling sports robs an individual of an essential physical and emotional outlet. John Maynard Keynes talked a lot about the importance of “animal spirits” to economic growth. The Romans understood the importance of “bread and circuses” – keeping the public not just fed, but entertained with gladiatorial games and chariot races. Athens founded the Olympics for its citizenry. Today, people lose themselves in matches of soccer, football, baseball – and, here in Canada, we lose ourselves in our beloved hockey. The Economist concludes: “If all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, then no work and no play risks making Jack depressed and discontented.”

Looking at the next three weeks without playoff hockey and baseball is depressing – and looking at the weeks and months ahead without sports is very dark indeed. As The Economist alludes: a solution will be needed.

At By George, we are offering a quick-fix for the short-term. Through the remainder of April, By George Journal will be celebrating both the greatest game on ice, and American’s great pastime. We hope our followers will be able to lose themselves in thoughts of “the game” and their own fond memories of their team and that past victory.

Each day we will post articles for your reading pleasure. For a regular stream of quotes, photos and articles that are sure to score, we suggest you follow By George Journal on Facebook and on Twitter. Also, By George Journal will issue two newsletters featuring hockey and baseball in the weeks ahead. If you are not on our newsletter distribution list, you can sign up here.

Our ballparks and arenas may be closed, but rest assured here at By George the puck will drop each day.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

A British take on conservatism

In the March 14th, 2020 edition of The Economist, the column Bagehot was entitled “The meaning of conservatism” and it reflected the views of British politico Nick Timothy. Here is an excerpt on modern conservative thinking.

First, Nick Timothy has been at the heart of the British government for over a decade, first as Theresa May’s adviser at the Home Office and then as her co-chief of staff at 10 Downing Street. Timothy is recognized a conservative both with a small and large “c.” He has a new book on the lessons he learned from his experiences called “Remaking One Nation: Conservatism in an Age of Crisis.

The Economist article excerpt:

     Mr Timothy argues that, since the French revolution, the role of conservatism has been to act as a corrective to the extremes of liberalism. Today those extremes come in two forms: neo-liberalism, which sees markets as the solution to all problems, and woke liberalism, which sees the world through the prism of minority rights and all-pervasive oppression. Many see these two liberalisms as polar opposites. But for Mr Timothy they are both degenerate versions of classical liberalism. The first undermines markets by failing to see that they require popular legitimacy and the second sacrifices what is best in liberalism (pluralism, scepticism, individualism) on the altar of group rights.

     Mr Timothy presents a dismal picture of the consequences. Bosses have seen their compensation more than quadruple while the value of their companies has hardly risen at all. The largest demographic group—the white working class—has seen incomes stagnate for over a decade. Britain has the highest level of regional inequality in Europe. It also has one of the worst systems of vocational education, with 80 undergraduate degrees awarded for every post-secondary technical qualification. Woke liberals are increasingly willing to no-platform or shout down opponents because they see their objectives as quasi-sacred and their critics not just as wrong-headed folk needing to be reasoned with but as evil-minded enemies who must be destroyed….

     Mr Timothy presents an ideologically eclectic list of solutions to Britain’s problems. They are reminiscent of John Ruskin’s description of himself as both “a violent Tory of the old school” and “the reddest also of the red”. But two ideas give his arguments organising force: the nation-state and civic capitalism. A long-standing Brexiteer, Mr Timothy argues that the nation-state has been uniquely successful in holding global elites accountable to voters while also giving citizens a sense of common purpose. He points out that the welfare state was constructed after the second world war, when the sense of common purpose was at its height. A proud citizen of Birmingham, he champions the sort of civic capitalism practised by Joseph Chamberlain, a local businessman who looked after his workers and went on to be a reforming mayor….

    …This is a conservatism which celebrates the power of the state to achieve collective ends by dealing with regional and inter-generational inequalities; which challenges the self-dealing of business elites by rewiring the rules of corporate governance; and which puts a premium on rebuilding local communities and reigniting civic capitalism.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

“THE Q&A” for our digital age

If there was one question and answer that sums up just how strange our world is in our day and digital age, it is the following:

Q: If someone from the 1950s

suddenly appeared today,

what would be the most

difficult thing to explain to

them about life today?

.

A: I possess a device

in my pocket that is capable

of accessing the entirety of

information known to man.

I use it to look at pictures

of cats and get in arguments

with strangers.

.

This Q&A originally was found on Reddit (apparently).

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Answering That Question about What You Do

“So what is it that you do?”

How often do you get asked that question? Do you have a rehearsed answer that gets people attention? Or do you find yourself struggling each time to find the right expressions to explain what “you do”?

When someone asks what your organization does, do you have a concise explanation? What of your colleagues? Would their description of what your organization does be similar?

The best thing an individual or organization can do for themselves is to think through and develop a script to answer the most basic of human exchanges; particularly the obvious questions about one’s identity and purpose. Here’s our suggestion: take the time and craft an “elevator chat” script.

The elevator chat will serve you (and your colleagues) as a concise description of who you are, what you do and why it matters. It can be developed to sound informal; however, a good script will be precise and capture the essence and significance of your work. Because you take the time to refine the key message(s), this script will be clear and accurate.

An effective elevator chat will be intriguing and leave your audience curious and wanting to learn more of what you do.

In order to help you craft a sound and engaging elevator chat, here are four questions to prompt your creative process and hone your core message(s).

  • 1. Answer the question “Why do I care?” Why should someone care and take notice of what you do? Talk about the significance of your work and/or organization – rather than its structure and your duties. In this way, you may establish an emotional connection between you and the person standing before you..
  • 2. Answer the question “What sets you apart?” You should highlight what makes you unique, distinctive – what sets you apart. It may be that you are the first or only one to be doing your work in the area – or perhaps you approach your work in a certain manner from others.
  • 3. Answer the basics. Include relevant details of the what? where? how? when? In order to showcase the explanation of the why? All details should accentuate the why? – the significance of your work.
  • 4. Anticipate the “So what?” question. Your chat should have a strong closing that provides the audience with a way to learn more, become involved, enter into a longer conversation. If you have made an emotional connection in the 30 – 40 seconds of your chat, there is a perfect opportunity to engage your enquirer in another level of discussion.

Have a business card to hand out; a website URL to share; a promise to follow-up in the days ahead. Be sure to follow-up with your enquirer. Take a few minutes each day to write thank you and follow-up notes.

So, the next time someone asks, “What is it that you do?” – there will be no grimacing, no fishing for the right phrase. Each elevator chat is an opportunity to share what is significant and, perhaps, to make a new connection.

(ed. – This is a repost, picked as one of our favourite three posts of 2011, taken from the earlier posts on the By George Journal.  The original post is here.)

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Freedom of the Press

South of the Canadian border there is a raging war over the legitimacy of media organizations. There is a growing disrespect and a new disregard for traditional news sources – and it is being fueled by politicians, corporations, and news media itself.  Our mainstream media is assaulted on all fronts for its bias, uneven and “yellow” journalism. The public is increasingly doubtful that news organs are providing the facts of a matter. The end result of this assault is a growing cynicism and rejection of traditional media.

Today, the popular and overused phrase for any news item that may not suit the reader/viewer is to coin it “fake news.” Many will differentiate between facts and alternative facts and this is based on which set of facts may best fit a person’s own bias. There are no “bald truths” that are recognized universally – or so it seems.

There are no recognized, universal truths and no recognized conveyors of truth. We find in many cases, with the proliferation of Internet news sites and blogs and social media platforms, mainstream media and its unbiased news reporting is being replaced by opinionated editorializing of news events. Remarkably, there are generations of younger people who receive their news on select social media and from sources that reflect their own world-view.

This is not only occurring in the United States. The erosion of credible (critical/non bias) news sources is also happening in our country. This is a serious matter.

One of the founding fathers of the United States, John Adams, made a sage observation about the necessity of a nation’s media, “The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom.” This week, remarkably, American media has felt it necessary to take the unprecedented step to have to explain this fundamental idea. In hundreds of editorials across the country yesterday, the mainstream news media lashed out at President Donald Trump and his enduring rant against the U.S. fourth estate.

CNN has compiled the over 350 news organizations that participated in this campaign for the minds of the public.

What is at stake is the credibility and authority of a free (non-state) media. The New York Times provided an accurate assessment of our current state of affairs:

“In 2018, some of the most damaging attacks are coming from government officials. Criticizing the news media — for underplaying or overplaying stories, for getting something wrong — is entirely right. News reporters and editors are human, and make mistakes. Correcting them is core to our job. But insisting that truths you don’t like are “fake news” is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy. And calling journalists the “enemy of the people” is dangerous, period.”

In editorial after editorial, American news have tried to bring some perspective to this issue:

  • A person who blasts reliable news sources as fake when they prove him wrong on an issue, or when it reveals his self-contradictions or his ignorance, or whenever he simply doesn’t like it, is denying reality. – Idyllwood Town Crier (CA)
  • Journalists are trying to do a job. We’re not trying to tear down our nation. We’re trying to strengthen it. For we believe in the foundational premise behind the First Amendment – that our nation is stronger if its people are informed. – Mercury News and East Bay Times (CA)
  • Americans may not like the news they see or hear buy they should not hold that against those who report it. In short, don’t shoot the messenger. – The Lakeville Journal and the Millertown News (NY)
  • We take pride in our work and our daily mission to bring you the latest news in an accurate and fair manner, but we also take pride in the community we call home. – Ocala Star-Banner (FL)
  • America’s press is not without its criticism. However, there is no other industry in the United States that opens itself for criticism so regularly and so transparently. – Houghton Lake Report (MI)

Last word on the American media dust up goes to the NY Post editorial “Hate the press all you want – we’ll keep reporting.” Post editors write:

It may be frustrating to argue that just because we print inconvenient truths doesn’t mean that we’re fake news, but being a journalist isn’t a popularity contest. All we can do is to keep reporting.

 

(So, consider what Canadian news rooms are confronting with the federal government’s continual filtration and rewriting of our news… or the new tactic by Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who wants to control the actual items that are recorded for news. Canadians should be as weary and concerned… )

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Mind-Numbing (Friday afternoon) Quiz

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Here is By George’s TGIF-Friday-afternoon quiz to determine whether the work week has knocked your mind sideways. Let us know how you scored…

 

  1. Johnny’s mother had three children.  The first child was named April.  The second child was named May.  What was the third child’s name?

 

  1. There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is five feet ten inches tall and he wears size 13 sneakers.  What does he weigh?

 

  1. Before Mt. Everest was discovered…what was the highest mountain in the world?

 

  1. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

 

  1. What word in the English Language …is always spelled incorrectly?

 

  1. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer.  How is this possible?

 

  1. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg.  Why not?

 

  1. What was the U.S. President’s name in 1975?

 

  1. If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

 

  1. Which is correct to say:  “The yolk of the egg are white” or “The yolk of the egg is white”?

 

Here’s a bonus question…

 

  1. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?

 

Answers can be found in the By George comments section below.

 

(ed. – Complete the quiz – and don’t peek. Then tell us what you got – honestly. Anything under 5/10 and you deserve to leave the office immediately and start the weekend!)

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

A life lesson at home plate

This is making the rounds – a great story with a remarkable life lesson.

 

In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.  While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”  Who the hell is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter, I was just happy to be there.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.  Seriously, I wondered, who in the hell is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.

Then, finally … “You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.
“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s time? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”
Another long pause.
“Seventeen inches?” came a guess from another reluctant coach.
“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”
“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.
“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”
“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.
“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”
“Seventeen inches!”
“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”
“Seventeen inches!”
“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”
Pause.
“Coaches …”
Pause.
” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him, do we widen home plate?”

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”
Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.
“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?” Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross.
“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …” With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside.  “… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.

His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.

 

(ed. – Thank you to Dick Inwood and Claude Bennett who forwarded this poignant story to us.)

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.