28 Mar 2009
Enroute to Cairns, Australia (Great Barrier Reef); Cruise Day 61
Today marked the halfway point in our journey. At one point we were 7 time zones East of home. By now, we have sailed West 13 time zones (half way around the world).
We decided to partake in a slew of activities today. Besides eating, they included:
· Morning exercise
· Lecture on Aborigines
· Wheel of Fortune
· Lecture on current world affairs
· Trivial pursuit
· Pre-dinner cabaret show
· After dinner illusionist show
· Then home and a movie
Only on a cruise is this possible. It is so convenient, going to function after function, and it is always just a few steps away.
By far, the highlight was listening to James Fallows (pictured) give a current overview of China. He will be on board for a while as our World Affairs Specialist. I love listening to smart, articulate people, who speak with words I can understand.
James Fallows has been with The Atlantic for 25 years, and was educated at Harvard and Oxford. He was the youngest Presidential speechwriter ever (he wrote for Carter), editor of The Harvard Crimson, taught grad school at Berkeley, and has a host of other accomplishments..
In China, capitalism is rampant, yet uncontrolled. For example, all laptops are made there now. But controls lay upon the U.S. companies.
Remember the Mattel recall due to lead-based paint? It turns out Mattel not only specified PROPER paint, but provided it. But, the contractor sold this paint, and bought cheaper paint !
To do business in China, U.S. companies must have strong systems in place.