Hello to all,
This week my blog on 3 elements which were in the news this week, 2 of them with modern elements, and one with old-fashioned aspects.
Lego : modern
Two articles this week on Lego. One article written on the success of Lego Friends product for girls: longtime seen as a non-viable product, the new Lego Friends products have conquered the world. No reason for little girls anymore not to play with Lego. The full ownership of boys, and grown-up men, is gone. That’s what I call modern.
According to the product manager, the Friends product line is a huge success, even too much success, because Lego ran out of stock of certain products.
The second element of Lego consisted of the opening of a specific Lego exposition in Brussels. It is called the ‘Art of the brick’: full details can be found here. This exhibit, aimed at a wide audience, showcases more than 70 imposing and fascinating works of art, made with the famous LEGO® bricks. All these wonders are the product of the wild imagination of the US artist, Nathan Sawaya. The exhibition has already attracted over 1.5 million visitors in North America, Australia, Asia and Middle East. Check it out yourselves. This is also modern.
After a difficult period in 2004, Lego has concentrated itself on their core product, the Lego brick. Full focus, huge imagination, for youngsters and for oldies, small and big products, it’ s all there. Just to mention, for grow-ups, a 2900 piece construction : the Sydney Opera (a must have for me 🙂 after my trip to Australia). Lego manages to modernize and to convince parents and children to buy their products, which is surprising and positive in this increasing digital world.
Magnus Carlsen is the number 1 of chess: modern
Sven Magnus Carlsen is a Norwegian chess grandmaster who is the reigning World Chess Champion and No. 1 ranked player in the world. His peak rating is 2872, the highest in history. Carlsen, dubbed the “Justin Bieber of chess”, won the Chess World Championship on Friday in Chennai, playing a patient game and driving defending champion Viswanathan Anand to make self-destructive mistakes.
Carlsen, just 22, defeated Anand in ten games in Chennai scoring three victories and seven draws. The young winner, who earned lucrative sponsorships such as a modelling contract and coverage on tabloid front pages, started already at the age of 8 to win chess tournaments. Fully supported by his parents, he grew very fast, and learned all phases of chess games. Garry Kasparov, who coached Carlsen from 2009 to 2010, said that Carlsen has a positional style similar to that of past world champions such as Anatoly Karpov.
In this Wikipedia post, you can read all details of this young person, of we will hear much more in the future.
Chess is of all ages. And still a modern game. With young masters. And for those of you, who wish to be the next number 1 : start here.
Diplomatic immunity rules : old-fashioned
An incident happened this week in The Netherlands: a journalist was hit on his head when asking questions to a specific embassy about a wrongly parked car. The incident was “blown up” and will be probably followed by some court actions in the near future.
My blog does not speak further about the incident itself, however the issue gained my attention on the diplomatic (and consular) immunities. As one can read on Wikipedia, Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity and a policy held between governments that ensures that diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country’s laws, although they can still be extradited.
It was agreed as international law in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), though the concept and custom have a much longer history.Many principles of diplomatic immunity are now considered to be customary law. Personally, I do not have any issue with this principle. I can accept that diplomats, and politicians, under certain conditions have to be protected as they represent their country.
But I do have an issue when there is abuse. And abuses, there are many as one can read regularly on various internet sites. These abuses go from parking tickets (millions of euros in several cities, such as London), traffic accidents, tax or other frauds, and sometimes the well-known spy and murder activities, as described in many books.
And do not think that this is only for specific countries. No, it happens also with UN diplomats, EU politicians in Brussels, local embassies and consulates in smaller cities, everywhere.
I suggest we should modernize the diplomatic immunity rules. My proposal is that this diplomatic immunity is only valid within the walls of their respective consulates or houses, or for politicians within the institutes. But not outside, such for cars, accidents, taxes, or any other normal part of life. Just behave as, and treat them like, normal people.
We have just to convince our politicians to vote for making this immunity rules more modern. Hmm, I guess that will probably be difficult. Maybe better focus on Lego and Chess.
See you next week. Take care.