I did something cool today. I went to the Syracuse IDay, which, as I explained to my tweeps is like a home show for insurance. Basically, a bunch of insurance carriers, brokers and other vendors take over a convention center (in this case, the OnCenter in downtown Syracuse), erect booths, give out free stuff and exchange business cards. Then there's what passes for lunch, some speakers and a cocktail hour.
I don't drink, I can get my own lunch and I forgot my business cards. I did get some neat toys (it's amazing how much joy one can get from free pens and cool magnets). But, the speaker I saw today was Mr. Ben Stein.
You might know him as an economist, author or political advisor (he was an economic advisor to both President Nixon and Ford). Or you might know him as a TV host. If you're like me, you know him as the teacher who says, "Bueller? Bueller?" in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
He discussed the economy (of course). Newsflash - it's in bad shape.
His take on why? Several reasons. One area that he focused on was education. In his words, kids and young adults today don't want to learn, because they don't want to work. He recalled a conversation he had with two young models from the show America's Most Smartest Model (yes, that was the name) that he hosted several years ago. The conversation he recounted happened off-air.
The models were astounded by how much Mr. Stein knew. So, he explained that it isn't just that you know something or don't, but that you learn.
For instance, he said - I was born in 1944. It's 2007. How old am I? Their response - I don't know. He said I know you don't know, and you didn't wake up knowing - but can you figure it out? Do you have a calculator, they both asked. *smacks head on desk*
They were also unable to tell him who the President of the United States was in 1944 (one guessed Lincoln). They also could not identify the major world event that was happening in 1944. First he hinted that it was a conflict, global in nature and not the first of its kind. After that didn't work, he gave them the hint "war." Their response? The Civil War.
No one on the show could answer even the most basic questions. So, I'm wondering - can we? No googling or apps allowed - I'm watching!!!
Name five rivers in the US?
What is the National Language of Australia?
Who was the President in 1944 (hint: it was NOT Abraham Lincoln)?
Who did the US fight during World War II (the global conflict that was on going in 1944)?
How old is someone born in 1944 today?
Bonus: For which Nickelodeon cartoon does Ben Stein do not one, but two voices?