I was pleased to hear that House Republicans caved and passed the funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, not only for my usual partisan political reasons, but also for personal reasons. We are planning on visiting Washington DC and the prospect of another government shutdown, even only a partial one, was not very appealing. The last time we had planned to visit our nation’s capital was in 2011 and that trip ran afoul of another government shutdown. We ended up going to Chicago instead of DC that year.
When we get there, part of our time will certainly be spent visiting the Smithsonian Institute, which has just this week promulgated new rules banning selfie sticks. A Selfie Stick is a 2-3’ pole that holds a cellphone and gives the user a better camera angle from which to take a picture of themselves and their friends. The good ones are Bluetooth enabled for remote shutter release. The reason given for this ban was that the use of selfie sticks was causing too much congestion in crowded areas of the museum. Tripods and monopods were already banned, but handheld photography is still permitted. The Saint Louis Art Museum banned selfie sticks last week, so this must be a trend.
I had contemplating acquiring one, but now I’m not so sure. It is sort of the same for me with drones. I’m speaking of those little quad-copters that can be remotely controlled and can carry a GoPro camera. I’ve seen some to die for movies made with these little gizmos. Unfortunately now, drones are even more notorious and more of a pariah than selfie sticks are. If I got one and started flying it around, I might find that the cops could be showing up soon thereafter.
Another new word that I have recently learned is Spocking. Spocking is of Canadian origin and with last week’s passing of actor Leonard Nimoy, has become all of the rage there. Simply put, Spocking involves the “defacement” of the Canadian $5 bill, the one with the picture of former Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier on it. His image makes a near perfect canvas for drawing Spock’s picture over it. I think that evil Spock, with the beard, looks the best. The Bank of Canada has taken note of this phenomenon and has commented on it, “Spocking is not illegal, but it is just not what Canadians do.” I think that they are completely right. A much more Canadian practice would be Kirking, because after all William Shatner hails from Montréal.