Blog Archives

Notre Dame’s Eternal Faith in Technological Innovation

April 15, 2019: A fire caused devastating damage to Notre-Dame de Paris. The flames engulfed parts of the church’s history as well as offering a choice for the future: See Notre Dame only as it has been or envision Notre Dame for what it can be based on what it has been before.

Many, I believe, favor the latter.

Jimmy’s Daily Planet covered this tragic fire from a myriad of angles for that entire week in mid-April, which continues today in order to shine a light on a church that still shines its light on so many. In recent days, the doors of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris have been opened for the public to see via exclusive media footage seen below.

Given the sight of the flames doing its worst to Notre Dame, it’s remarkable just how much of the famed cathedral was protected and maintained. It will take a long time to restore Notre Dame back to its former glory. In just three months time, it’s encouraging to see — from the inside — that this iconic gothic Parisian structure will rise again. The doors will reopen to the public and people will return with a renewed faith not only in the church but also in people and organizations who rushed to help in various ways locally and around the world in the fire’s immediate aftermath.

Technological innovation started building Notre Dame’s foundation in 1163 — continuing for the next two hundred years — and it appears as if technological innovations in the 21st century will help rebuild Notre Dame in the coming few years for future generations to pray and/or visit and look around in awe.

P.S. I can’t be the only one who thinks there’s a Dan Brown novel based somewhere within or around this consequential event that was focused on a global religious icon that captured the world’s attention, right? 

Permanent Legacy as Defined by the Ebb & Flow of Success & Failure

Winston Churchill is universally regarded as the greatest Prime Minister of Great Britain, with Margaret Thatcher in the second position. Those two Prime Ministers were significant players in defining the 20th century for the better, separated by just roughly 40 years. Simply incredible.

And while Mr. Churchill was a passionate and determined leader — who played a direct role in the Allied Forces success during World War II — his talents while off-the-clock included painting and writing literature. Perhaps he was an unanticipated Renaissance Man of his time, but he was one by definition and his wide-ranging talent.

As a matter of fact, Mr. Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.

As a matter of more fact, Mr. Churchill’s legacy as Great Britain’s necessary Prime Minister in the darkest hour of its existence — 1940-1945 and later in peacetime from 1950-1955 — was cemented, in part, because of his inspirational words regarding not only the hellish nature of war but also the aspirational nature of life itself.

It’s always a good time to revisit such an enduring giant of world history. Today, this flashback is a reminder of his words on a variety of worthy subjects that are inspirational in the very least and life-altering at best.

Winston Churchill certainly succeeded in historic fashion with a lasting consequence felt today, but it’s also known that he had his fair share of consequential failure (#4). And I cannot think of a better quote by Mr. Churchill that better defines Mr. Churchill, whether he was being admired in the brightest spotlight by the public while facing down the darkest evils of the world in the 1940s or whether he was merely sitting in a chair in the corner of some room pondering his next thought.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”
–Winston Churchill

Happy Monday!

The net worth of Bill Gates: $101.3 billion.

The net worth of Warren Buffett: $83.5 billion.

The price of a medium Dairy Queen Blizzard Treat: $4.09.

The price of a large Dairy Queen Blizzard Treat: $4.69.

With a price like that — the Blizzard, not the net worth — how could you not go for the large at Dairy Queen? Another thing that makes sense is that when you love what you do (or what you invest in, according to Mr. Buffett), good things will happen.

And how can you not love watching two titans of industry working at Dairy Queen for the day?

Well, that was a strange time for a couple of admired American billionaires. At least now Mr. Buffett knows what the upside down is…

Have a Better Week Than Last Week. 

P.S. There’s also this moment of pure gold. 

Well played, Bill Gates. 

La Coupe du Monde ne sera jamais trop riche en traditions

(“The World Cup Will Never Be Too Full of Tradition”)

Get excited because the 2019 Women’s World Cup kicks off today with host country France vs. South Korea at 3 p.m. The United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) are certainly one of the favorites in this tournament, having won the ultimate trophy in women’s soccer three times. As a matter of fact, the women in red, white and blue are the defending champions.

The USWNT’s tournament begins Tuesday for its first group game against Thailand at 3 p.m., which is when coverage will start on Jimmy’s Daily Planet.

For now, it’s impossible for the mind not to wander to the future involving the next men’s World Cup and the soccer stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosted by Qatar. Why? Because at this year’s World Cup — hosted by France with its long, distinguished tradition — there’s a clear soccer identity for soccer fans and casual soccer/sports fans to associate with for this world-class tournament that only occurs every four years. French stadiums, ranging in 10,000 – 80,000 seat capacities, have character and history that transports fans to other times and eras of yesteryear. We’ll see this in the next month, even if only through the TV.

The same cannot be said for the next men’s World Cup in 2022 that will take place in the desert (yet crazy rich) country of Qatar.

Being built from the sand up, Qatar will be the center of the soccer universe in just a few years in November and December. The date change from the normal summer months reservation is, coupled with the sheer fact that brand new stadiums and air conditioning apparatuses are being constructed, evidence enough that Qatar can pay for anything it wants except tradition. If it wanted to host the World Cup so badly, it should have clearly established the country’s true love of soccer like every other soccer nation on Earth: Through housing world-class talent, interweaving the sport into the culture and, yes, history and time.

Like sand through the hourglass…

Soccer and tradition go together like America and apple pie. Or France and soccer.

For now, here’s a visual update on the progress being made in Qatar for the biggest stage for the world’s game.

Having visited Qatar and fully enjoyed this unique experience with family, this middle eastern country will, like the fictional John Hammond, spare no expense. And as a non-traditional country for the world’s biggest soccer tournament, Qatar and FIFA are banking on those famous words heard in that Iowa cornfield, “If you build it, he will come.” Change the “he” to “they” and that’s what will ultimately define the success of the 2022 World Cup concerning regional and global attendance.

FIFA gambled with Qatar. Moreover, this forthcoming World Cup seems like it’s being built for FIFA rather than the sport of soccer and its fans, coaches, and players. And there needs to be a real concern that all of the soccer stadiums being built for 2022, though impressive to a certain degree, will be empty in the years that follow. In other words, the post-Olympic downturn could very likely occur. In China, some of the world-class facilities from the 2008 summer Olympics fell to ruin in the subsequent years.

By contrast, the 2006 World Cup in Germany — which I was fortunate to attend with my parents and see some amazing games, stadiums, cities, hotels, players and fellow Quinnipiac soccer teammates — was incredibly unforgettable. And soccer in Germany, it seems, is even bigger now today following the World Cup due to increased global demand and interest in the Bundesliga, the German national team (2014 World Cup champions) and its rich soccer/football culture.

Will Qatar in 2022 evolve into aforementioned Germany circa 2006 or China circa 2008?

That’s a legitimate question, ladies and gentlemen. And one that should have been considered more closely by FIFA when selecting the host country for its biggest competition, specifically following disgraced former FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s resignation in recent years.

At this point, watch and enjoy the many talented teams and players in the 2019 World Cup in France. And while doing so, contemplate whether that special energy on the pitch and off the pitch with teams and fans from around the world will seamlessly translate to a non-soccer nation/Qatar in three years. Will it be the same?

While the new soccer stadiums being built in Qatar may be eye-opening through the lenses of modern design and sustainability, tradition cannot be bought.

Although, FIFA proved winning a bid to host a World Cup can, so there’s that I $uppo$e.