Did We Give Up Being Bi-Lingual?

April 12, 2011

We bought a new TV today.  The screen is endlessly bigger than our old Trinitron and  — joy of joys — it weighs about a fifth of the old one.

Setting it up proved easier than I had feared — even though I was only given guides and manuals in French.  I didn’t think we were allowed to sell stuff with unilingual guides these days.  I sure didn’t expect to get a French-only set here in BC.

No worries.

 

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50 Years Of A Hero

April 12, 2011

The first hero that I remember having was Duncan Edwards, the Manchester United footballer who was killed along with many others in the team in the Munich air crash of 1958.  The second was Yuri Gagarin.

Fifty years ago today, Yuri Gagarin entered history as the first human being in space. A few years earlier, just before my 8th birthday, my father had taken the time to get me interested in the Soviet Union’s feat in putting Sputnik into space. I was entranced and remained an avid follower of the space race for decades. I followed the Russian dogs going up, and Gagarin’s flight was the obvious next step.

It wasn’t revealed for forty years that the cosmonaut ejected from the capsule before it crash-landed, parachuting to earth. And it was definitely sad for Gagarin that he was thereafter too valuable to put at threat and so he was never allowed to return to orbit. No matter.  That first flight was a glorious triumph for mankind!