• 28

    May

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Travel To Mars At Your Own Risk

Size comparison of Earth and Mars.
Size comparison of Earth and Mars. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The late legendary crooner’s, Francis Albert Sinatra, rendition of the classic song, “Fly Me To The Moon,” was the first song ever played on the moon. Collaborating with my former boss Quincy Jones and Count Basie, the Chairman of the Board, as Mr. Sinatra was fondly called, version of “Fly Me To The Moon” has stood the test of time. The song’s lyrics are simple and profound. Here are the lyrics from the first verse: “Fly me to the Moon, Let me swing among those stars, Let me see what spring is like, On Jupiter and Mars, In other words, hold my hands, In other words, baby, kiss me.” Why is this song relevant to my post today? Well, I read a Dutch company called Mars One is looking for individuals with the “right stuff,” which connotes to individuals who are willing to travel to Mars and never come back. In other words, pun intended, these individuals will have to live on Mars for the rest of their lives.

English: Grammy Award-winning producer Quincy ...
English: Grammy Award-winning producer Quincy Jones presented a platinum copy of “Fly Me to the Moon” to Senator John Glenn and Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong during NASA’s 50th anniversary gala. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It has been reported more than 78,000 people have applied to be chosen for the trip to Mars. The company has plans to place four people on Mars every two years, starting in April 2023. Their strategy is to help fund the project through a lucrative reality television show that will follow the astronauts on their unpredictable journey. Their goal is to have half a million individuals signed up for the trip to Mars. The cost to apply ranges from $5 to $75 depending on the applicant’s country of origin.

Even if Mars One is not able to execute the Mars trip, they would have collected millions of dollars from their potential Mars-bound clients. As the saying goes “you can’t beat that with a bat.”

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  • 21

    May

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Advocating A Sense Of Community

The western OK-37's eastern terminus in Moore,...
The western OK-37’s eastern terminus in Moore, Oklahoma at 4th & Sunnylane. The shield is of the new 2006 design (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In times of national crisis, we, Americans, consistently demonstrate our commitment towards a sense of community. Yesterday, May 20, 2013, one of the worst violent storms in America’s history destroyed several homes and killed dozens of citizens living in Moore, Oklahoma. Today, Americans –  from every state in our country – are rallying to help our fellow citizens, who were affected by the high-speed tornado. There is one thing we can be sure of; there will be another national crisis (tornado, flood, fire, earthquake). So, it is in our best interest that the citizens of America come together and work in a cohesive manner for all of our benefit. We’ve done it before, we can do it again. The advent of new technological shifts are changing the way we behavior with one another. We are more engaged with each other now than any other time in our history. It’s time for us to motion into overdrive and seriously commit to work together for the benefit of all our citizens.

Presently, there are rescue workers, firefighters, police officers, government officials, reporters and citizens working hastily to bring a sense of normalcy back to the citizens of Moore, Oklahoma. It is a welcoming sight to see many individuals showing up in Moore, Oklahoma to lend a hand towards the arduous clean up work which has to be done. As the United States of America Congress wrestles with all things political, foreign policies, economic growth, domestic issues and bipartisan disagreements, it’s time for us to come together with dignity, compromise, understanding, faith, blessings and a meditated strategic plan to benefit the citizens of the United States of America.

At this moment, my heart and prayers go out to the citizens of Moore, Oklahoma.

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  • 14

    May

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Doing What’s Right Ken Noguchi’s Way

The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everes...
The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everest as seen from the International Space Station looking south-south-east over the Tibetan Plateau. Four of the world’s fourteen eight-thousanders, mountains higher than 8000 metres, can be seen, Makalu (8462 m), Everest (8850 m), Lhotse (8516 m) and Cho Oyu (8201 m). The South Col Route is Mount Everest’s most often used climbing route. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ken Noguchi is a man after my own heart. He has been one of the most conscientious Alpinist and Environmental Activist working to clean up the world’s highest mountains. In 1999, at the age of 25, he became the youngest person (at that time) to scale the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. I became aware of Noguchi’s work several months ago while watching one of my favorite programs, “Earth From Above.” This program which is aired on “Cinemoi” depicts stories of the consequences of our actions and behavior as we interact with the environment. Noguchi remarked he found as much garbage on the Himalayas as one might find in some major cities in the world.

During a Mount Everest climb, Noguchi found the mountain was in desperate need of cleaning. He found plastic tents, bottles, empty oxygen tanks and litter everywhere on the mountain. The litter was left there by climbers who had scaled the mountain and left their garbage behind. After completing the climb, he could have walked away and left the problem for someone else to solve, but he did not. Instead he organized a group of climbers to begin removing the litter. They removed approximately 8 tons of garbage, including over 400 discarded oxygen containers. Determined to complete his mountain cleaning activities, he returned to Everest in 2001 to continue cleaning the mountain and it was reported that 1.6 tons of litter was removed from the beautiful Mount Everest. What a shame!

Noguchi has taken his crusade to his homeland of Japan, showcasing the problems of Mount Everest on television.  He organized Japanese children and adults to help with cleaning up the mountains located in Japan. He has advocated that greater focus should be placed on environmental education, integrating it into standard curricula.  He even encouraged the cleaning of Mt. Fuji, which collects a large amount of trash from tourists’ activities. He has been quoted repeatedly referring “to the state of the mountain as a ‘disgrace’ of a national symbol.”

In Altadena, California where I live, I overheard stories of the litter left on the San Gabriel Mountain, which is less than one mile from my home. On any given Saturday in my neighborhood, hikers populate the mountain to enjoy hiking in the wilderness. Judging from what I have heard, hiking is a very peaceful and enjoyable activity. I hope hikers will take care of the mountains. After all the mountains offer them the enjoyment they (hikers) seek.

Ken Noguchi is a man after my own heart. He saw a problem and set about attempting to solve it.

NOTE

Ken Noguchi talked about his ongoing environmental work in his second book, Hyakumankai no Konchikusho (100万回のコンチクショー, A Million Curses?), published by Shueisha International in 2002.

 

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  • 07

    May

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/A Caution on Cheating in Sports

Marion Jones
Marion Jones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no shortage of athletes who have cheated in sports. The list of cheaters includes Major League Baseball slugger Pete Rose, former NFL linebacker Shawne Merriman, Track & Field athletes Ben Johnson and Marion Jones. Recently, international cyclist and seven time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong was added to the list of disgraced athletes. Every time athletes are caught cheating their behaviors are so egregious one would surmised this is probably the last time an athlete would commit such a life changing act. The aforementioned premise is far from the truth.

The United States of America Justice Department has recently filed a 28-page complaint against Lance Armstrong. The complaint details Armstrong’s years of lying, cheating and manipulation while he was winning international cycling races and garnering million of dollars of financial rewards. Armstrong is presently being sued for damages totalling $120 million dollars. Marion Jones, who won several Olympic Medals, had to return her Olympic Medals after she was caught using performance enhancing drugs and lying to federal officials. She served several months in jail for her actions. Pete Rose, one of the greatest sluggers in the history of Major League Baseball, betted on games he played in. He has been banned from baseball and probably will never be inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame. My question is why? The answer is not simple.

President George W. Bush and Armstrong mountai...
President George W. Bush and Armstrong mountain biking at the president’s Prairie Chapel Ranch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the sake of this blog, I’ll remark on two reasons why I believe athletes cheat. The first is performance pressure. After an athlete wins for the first time, there is the pressure for he or she to perform at a higher level to burnish the status they obtained in their sport. The second reason is athletes who win consistently are awarded lucrative contracts. So, for the sake of winning and obtaining financial rewards some athletes are willing to cheat.

My hope is young athletes will be taught there is more to sports than winning at any cost. History has predicated cheaters are eventually caught. It is lonely, embarrassing and painful being caught a cheater in sports.

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  • 01

    May

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Some Teenagers Are Well-Mannered

dylanI am convinced there are millions of teenagers in the United States of America who are well-mannered. These teenagers are seldom promoted in the media, even though they will be the future leaders of our country. Instead, it seems we see or read more about the teenagers who are behaving badly. I hope sometime soon, there’ll be more stories in the media about teenagers who are attempting to have a positive impact on our society.
Recently, I had the enlightening opportunity to meet five (5) teenage young men who are using their talents in a postive manner. Several months ago, my fraternity brother, Kelvin Tolbert, invited me to a luncheon his wife, Glenna, was chairing. Glenna, the outgoing president of the Association of Black Women Physicians, coordinated a very well-attended and organized luncheon. The Ekpo Trio; Victor, Joseph and Winston, were the featured entertainment at the luncheon. These teenage young men played violin, viola and the cello. And, they played their instruments magnificently. Victor is 18 years old and a senior in high school. Joseph is 16 years old and recently participated in a recital at the prestigious Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles. He also made it to Aerosonde Level in the NASA INSPIRE Online Learning Community. Winston is 13 years old and is in a leadership program at Southwest College. After hearing these young men played classical music, I met with them and their mother, Alondra. A few months later,  I booked them to play at Save Africa’s Children 10th Year Celebration Gala. Their performance at the Gala was outstanding.

jadenIn March 2013, I was meeting with Dwayne Wiggins, co-founder of cutting-edge R&B musical group Tony!Toni!Tone!, regarding a television project we are planning. Dwayne invited my partners, Mona Lassiter and Felicia Freeny, television producer Aisha Corpas-Wynn and me to visit his brother’s studio to meet his two sons, Dylan, 17, and Jaden, 14. These teenage young men’s group, PopLyfe, placed fourth during season 6 of TV showAmerica’s Got Talent.” Upon arriving at Blakeslee Studio in North Hollywood, Raphael Saadiq, Dwayne’s brother and owner of Blakeslee Studio, greeted us warmly. He took us into one of his many beautifully decorated rooms where we were introduced to Dylan and Jaden. They were very polite and soft spoken. Raphael who is a songwriter, singer, guitarist, producer, Grammy Award winner, music director and former lead singer of Tony!Toni!Tone! escorted us into one of his recording studios. With Raphael on drums, Dylan on piano and Jaden on bass, Raphael and his nephews performed a few jazz standards for us. Then Dylan got up from sitting at the piano and picked up a guitar and began playing the Jimmy Hendricks classic, “Hey Joe.” These young men’s skills were impressive. We applauded them for the wonderful music they effortlessly played.

I remembered – while driving home after the meeting – thinking what a joy it was to witness the teenage Wiggins brothers practicing their craft in a wholesome environment surrounded by their father and uncle who are mentoring them. It was a wonderful moment to be a part of; a night void of alcohol, foul language and bad behavior. It was a night I will always remembered.

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