View from the North 40: Just be sure to slap a slogan on it
Last updated 5/14/2021 at 10:22am
We’ve all got answers to life’s problems, but they ain’t all interesting, so today I want to talk a little bit about innovative solutions.
Remember the Suez Canal fiasco a few months ago when a ship captain accidentally grounded a cargo ship against the canal’s soft, sandy bank and the waterway was blocked for six days? (Side note: I thought the entire canal was lined with concrete but, obviously, I am not well-read or attentive to news from 2004 and 2006 when this happened then, too.)
A French company has the solution to combat the problem of shipwrecks in major waterways. An April 21 Reuters article reports that a facility in Port Revel, France, has a one-twenty-fifth scale of the Suez Canal on a lake, with wind machines and mini to-scale ships to simulate navigating through the canal under simulated possible conditions.
The director of the facility, which also has scaled versions of the San Francisco Bay and Port Arthur, Texas, complete with water turbines to create ocean currents, said that accidents like this always bring an uptick in business. Understandably, he said, it costs even less than one-twenty-fifth scale to wreck a simulated ship at his training facility than it does to wreck real one in the Suez Canal or at a busy commercial port.
In Cairo, 22 royal mummies needed to be relocated from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization three miles away, so Egyptian authorities just made a party out of it to help with security and boost tourism all at once.
NPR reported in April that because the mummies are fragile, vehicles were equipped with nitrogen boxes and special rigging for a smooth ride, and the road was even repaved to help with this, as well.
Organizers created a lavish spectacle of banners and soldiers, cavalry, performers, devotees and more in ancient Egyptian costume, several of these people were actual guards, but dressed for the part. And the three-mile stretch of road was lined with revelers.
The ancient rulers were safely transported to their new resting place in a spectacular — but super-spreader — event.
Yeah, COVID is still a thing.
In order to end that status, all over the world governments, organizations and businesses are offering people incentives to get their COVID vaccinations.
The Guardian compiled a list of vaccination incentives and said, depending on where you live, you can get incentives like a hand-forged gold nose pin, a lottery ticket, cash, booze, a blender, two boxes of eggs, a can of Coca-Cola, ice cream, pizza, bread, stew, doughnuts, meat dumplings, free parks entry, paid days off, video games or even a live concert while you’re waiting for your shot.
And in Indonesia you get a fine if you don’t get vaccinated. Wow. My guess is that Indonesia doesn’t rank very high on the World Happiness Index. Come on, Indonesia, this could be fun. Look at a few of the many incentives across the U.S.
The Hill reported breweries in Buffalo, New York, held “Shot with a Chaser” and gave a beer to anyone who got a shot. In Washington, D.C., Reuters said, a group advocating changes in the D.C. marijuana laws gave a tightly rolled joint to anyone getting a shot. They called it “Joints for Jabs.”
But if you’re not into vaccinations being a gateway drug, Alabama offered free baseball tickets and a lap around the Talladega SuperSpeedway, and NASCAR offered a chance at winning 2022 Daytona 500 tickets through their “Race Back to the Track” program.
New Yorkers, Business Insider reported, got Mets and Yankees tickets and free metro cards, but no catchy name for their program.
The article went on to say that Randolph County, Illinois, offered free shooting practice for anyone who got vaccinated at a mobile clinic at a popular shooting complex. No name for that program either. I’m thinking they should’ve called it “Shot for Shot.” As a matter of fact, with the scarcity of ammunition these days, they could’ve just handed out a bullet or two for a vaccination and folks would’ve been happy.
Houston and Harris County in Texas has $250,000 set aside and they’re looking for innovative ideas to spend it on vaccination incentives. I think whatever they come up with needs a catchy name.
For outdoors people into fishing, how about “Rods for Prods.” If money’s your thing, you could hand out lottery tickets in the “Stick it for a Ticket” program, or go for a “Tax Breaks for Vax Sake.”
At least no one else is going the route of Indonesia’s “Get Vaccinated or Give Us Your Money.” It doesn’t rhyme and it’s zero fun.
I got vaccinated for the sake of being vaccinated, but it would’ve been a lot more fun to do it for food — even the two boxes of eggs at http://www.facebook.com/viewfromthenorth40.com .