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The other kind of ice. Amazingly enough, there has been considerable controversy over the fact that people around the lakes close to Geneva Lake have a tendency to go out onto thin ice and fall in. One person fell through Lake Como a month ago, and last week an ice boat went into Delavan Lake. One of the other ice boaters present said, emphatically, that the emergency care responders and “flatlanders” like the staff of the GSR, are amateurs when it comes to the formation and condition of lake ice.

The “experts” who know it are the ice fishermen and the ice boaters. There is a shred of rationality to that argument, because both of those sporting groups have individuals who go out on the ice, drill holes, and then report back about how thick the ice is. That act of investigation and discovery can be quite revealing all by itself, because the logic is that you go out there taking the chance it is too thin to hold you, in order to conduct the drilling. Never mind. The ice boater could not answer one question about the expertise of ice boaters, when it was put to him. “How did that boat get into the lake?” It is true that the first responders are often too late to save someone who’s fallen through because the temperature of the water, and the air blowing over it, usually kills the person who fell through before they can arrive. Those responders risk their own lives many times, like two of them did on Lake Como (without anybody but the GSR seeing them, and then not noting their identity because both thought their departments would be upset that they had risked so much) that day. The temperatures have dropped mightily since the GSR ran its definitive video last week, so it has become safer out there, but beware. Bubbles form under structures such as piers (like at the Riviera and Gage Marine). Those bubbles can ‘migrate’ under the ice to strange distant places, thinning the ice above. Also, never forget that Geneva Lake is spring fed, and that rising water can melt the thickest ice in places, even when it’s below zero. Be careful out there.

The bad news about good news: It is expected that people are decent and treat other people and their property with decency and respect. By far the majority of Americans live their lives that way. With the vast majority of people being good, why is it that good stories about good people doing good things get almost no coverage; whereas, crime, corruption and disasters get extensive coverage? The answer is that we see by contrast, and our attention is attracted to what is different rather than to what is normal (the background). We see black letters on a white background and it enables us the read the words, while we pay no attention to the white background, although it is the contrasting background that makes everything visible. The background for the news stories are the people, and most people are good, and do ordinary things so they don’t stand out, or get articles written about them. It is the out of the ordinary, the exceptions, that stand out and attract public attention, interest and get articles written about them.

Four thousand kids can go to school and return home and it will go unreported. But the one kid who doesn’t return home becomes a headline story. It gets reported because it matters to us. At the heart of America is “empathy for others” and that is why it matters. Empathy for others, above all else, is what enabled the United States of America to become the great country that it is today. So do not worry when reading bad news or seeing tabloid news being presented as fact by the mainstream media, because by contrast it means things are “OK”. However, when the news media and the government start pointing out more and more good news and pointing out how good things are, then it might be time to worry! Finally, the reporting of bad news tends to make human beings feel better about their own situation. So don’t look for bad news, both fake and real, to go away any time soon.

Good News about a Grand Place

Broad Street Pets

Broad Street Pets has been located at 503 Broad Street for many years. Two years ago, some new, knowledgeable, and informative owners took over the existing pet store. Unlike the big box pet stores, Broad Street Pets has a nice selection of fresh and salt water fish, reptiles, and birds. Be sure to stop in if you’re in the market for a small pet. Bruce Canaday is the man running the show there. 262 248 2058. He’s a pretty great guy on top of the rest



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