The View From The Golden Dome

Views on the week's events plus some of mine.

Les Berman Weekly 12-7 Toys. Imagination. Kids Have It Easy. Pearl Harbor. and much more…

So I think that the kids today have it too easy. They don’t really have to think, and I’m talking about play time. Think back to when you were a kid, if you can remember back that far, way back when, and what you had for toys. I didn’t have any sisters, so loyal lady readers, you have to use your own imagination.


And that was one of our biggest and best toys. Our imaginations ! When we played outside, which was all the time when it wasn’t raining or a blizzard, we created. Sure, we had our Roy Rogers cap guns which enabled us to play good guy bad guy, or cowboys and Indians, but the games we played were from our imagination. We would hide behind a twig of a tree, and we were safe, or someone would ride by on their bike or tricycle, and that could be the horse or stagecoach.


We had a lot of kids on our street. The first one outside would ring another’s doorbell, and eventually, we had enough to play. And our parents weren’t there demanding a perfect playtime, or football play, or baseball. Sure, my dad, and the other dads likely, taught me how to throw a football, a baseball, and how to ride a bike. But my dad wouldn’t criticize me if my throw went sideways. There was never any pressure for absolute perfection in sports.


And we never got yelled at by any of the parents if we drank water from the hose. We learned how to bend the hose to get just the amount of water we needed to drink… and we learned that from our older siblings who had waited until we were ready to drink, and then turned the hose on full blast ! And no repercussions. Tears yes, but nothing more.


I vaguely recall building things with tinkertoys – plugging those sticks into the round things and the angled things. I have no idea what the ‘things’ were really called. And I remember graduating up to a meccano set and being able to build better things than with tinkertoys. I don’t remember other toys. I do remember books, lots of books, and paper and crayons. Imagination worked.


When my kids were little, they had tons of toys. Sure, we indulged our kids, but there were no computers early on. My daughter had the requisite dolls and accoutrements and my son had the legos and eventually video games. They had organized sports and friends to play with. And when I bought them a computer, life as we knew it had ended.


Today, if you look in a store, everything is electronic. Toddlers know how to use tablets and smartphones. They are more technologically adept that I am, but that’s not a fair comparison – for the toddler ! It seems that every movie and television show is made to sell merchandise and it all ends up with the kids. I don’t see kids playing pickup ball games, or riding their bikes together or doing random things. It seems that their lives are scripted now, at least that’s the way it looks here in lalaland. How different is it from other cities? countries? Tell me, please.


And think of what playtime might have been years ago. I mean years and years ago. In Spain, archaeologists found a thigh bone of an early inhabitant, some 400,000 years old, and were able to extract DNA. They decided that this boy was playing long before Neanderthals. It most closely resembles DNA from an enigmatic lineage of humans known as Denisovans. Until now, Denisovans were known only from DNA retrieved from 80,000-year-old remains in Siberia, 4,000 miles east of where the new DNA was found. This was reported in the journal, Nature.


How does this affect us today? Well, it really doesn’t because we’re here now. It does cause scientists to rethink our origins. The only thing that they all still agree upon, is that our ancestors came out of Africa because that’s where the oldest human fossils, over 2 million years old, have been found. And science is amazing because the newest methods of analyzing DNA are only a year old.

That kid may have had sticks and stones to play with. Along with gestures and possibly some verbal sounds. I can only imagine how sounds were learned – like what did they say when a huge wolf was about to pounce ?

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. Please thank a veteran for their service !


And my reminder that I make real estate loans.. for residential and investment properties. I work with veterans and foreign nationals because of their unique needs, and of course, with every homeowners in California. The magic number is 818.305.4695 .

Have a better week !


Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

You may not know that many non-living things have a gender. For example:

1) Ziploc Bags — They are Male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

2) Copiers — They are Female, because once turned off it takes a while to warm them up again. It’s an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong buttons are pushed.

3) Tire — Male, because it goes bald and it’s often over-inflated.

4) Hot Air Balloon — Male, because, to get it to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under it and, of course, there’s the hot air component.

5) Sponges — Female, because they’re soft, squeezable and retain water.

to be continued


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 Les Berman CMC
        Real Estate Loan Specialist
NMLS ID 227675
Voice: 818.305.4695

December 24, 2013 - Posted by | business, fun, general interest, humor, sports, stuff, whimsy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. You make some very good points – and I loved your factoids. Happy Christmas, Wendy

    Comment by Readings | December 25, 2013 | Reply

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