Mao Tse Tung – China Leadership Watch

So this was absolutely amazing today. 


We had a meeting and someone brought in a bag of “prizes” as an icebreaker.


Low and behold, one of the items being given away was a Kim Jong-il (father of Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s current leader). 


“Coincidentally,” this just one day after the historic peace summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un. 


Why anyone would give a watch like this away is mind-boggling to me. 


I am curious if anyone knows what the inscription on the back is?  


Anyway, I think this watch is an amazing piece of history, especially from the isolated nation of North Korea.


I can only imagine what the history of this timepiece is and how it got here to NIST.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Towel Music Washington DC

It’s a hot day in Washington, DC.


But outside the White House, the music is piping. 


Even if our politics is murky at times, our songful expression is always loud and clear. 


The towel over the head keeps the perspiration from overflowing and the music fluid to the masses. 


We are a sophisticated country–full of culture, diversity, and heartfelt soul. 


(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

Your Bowling Help Desk At Your Service

Bowling Help Desk
This was the sign in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building Bowling Ally that I mentioned in a post yesterday.



[Note: I’ve removed the phone number so don’t try calling.] 



Yeah, I’ve heard about a help desk for a lot of things, especially for Information Technology, but for bowling???



Thinking about calling a help desk for trouble with bowling [equipment], I couldn’t help imaging how this may go and chuckling a little:



“Hello, this is the bowling help desk at your service–what is the nature of your bowling emergency?”



Or



“Press 1 if your bowling shoes are too tight.



Press 2 if you’ve dropped the bowling ball on your foot.



Press 3 if you’ve bowled 2 or more gutter balls in a row.



Press 4 if the bowling machine is in a frustratingly stuck position.



Press 5 if you’ve lost your bowling ball or need a replacement.



Press 6 if you need additional scoring sheets.



Press 7 if you’re a lousey bowler and need bumpers to help your game. 



Press 8 if your fingers are caught in the ball and you can’t get them out. 



Press 9 if you’d just rather be ice skating or going to the movies. 



Press the # key, if you need to speak to a bowling representative.”



Lastly, I wonder if they open a help desk ticket for the bowling challenged and what their response time is. 



Yep, help is only a call away when you’ve got a bowling problem in the works. 



Now, if only they could fix the highly troubled DC Metro system–there should definitely be a robust help desk for that!  😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Bowling With The Prez

Bowling
Tonight, we went bowling at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.



It is just to the West of the White House and is occupied by the Executive Office of the President.



It was very exciting to go there and be surrounded by all the action. 



The bowling is in the basement–just 2 lanes and a lot of beat of balls and smelly shoes. 



There was a weird sign that said “For trouble with bowling equipment, please call the GSA Help desk”–whose ever heard of a help desk for bowling (that really is service!)? 



There were pictures of many of the presidents bowling, including Obama, Bush, and even Nixon. 



It was funny that the bowling ally is called the Harry S. Truman Bowling Ally even though it is in the Eisenhower building.



I learned that AMF Bowling company donated the lanes to the Federal government. 



There are also a couple of lanes in the White House as well. 



Well back to my game–no gutter balls please. 😉



(Thank you National Institute of Standards and Technology and Dannielle Blumenthal for a terrific evening.)



(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)  

Trouble In Protection Land

Insect
The Secret Service is one of the finest agencies in the Federal government, but unfortunately, the “recreational” drone crash landing at the White House was a protection disaster this week.



(And it comes on the heels of knife-wielding assailants running wild through the front doors of the White House, people taking pot shots at the White House, and even planes crash landing there). 



This time it was perhaps, a small drone innocently passing low without a significant radar signature unto the White House grounds, but next time it may be a miniaturized drone the size of an insect that attacks the President or his senior staff in the White House itself. 



This could happen with a pin prick of poison or a small drone carrying explosives, biological, or chemical weapons. 



We are entering a new dimension of threats that are not easily addressed with existing technology. 



It is said the the President is proverbially protected by a bubble of defenses around him, but where we are going is that this bubble may need to become an actual physical bubble that nothing, not even an insect drone can get through. 



It may sound ridiculous, but it may be the only way (for now) to really protect against these threats that literally fly beneath our radar!



Perhaps at some future time, we will have our swarms of defensive drones that go after any attack drone, no matter how small or how many, but in the meantime, we must protect our critical leadership and assets. 



Almost two years ago, I blogged about robots, drones, and commandos in exoskeletons attacking the White House and our not being prepared with adequate defenses and counter-measures.



This week’s drone crash should be making the alarm bells go off on this issue big time now!



We must move past reactive steps and a failure to anticipate and become true forward-thinkers, strategists, planners, enterprise architects, and futurists. 



The protection of our leaders, institutions, critical infrastructure, and people depend upon true out of the box thinking, not doing the same thing but on a different day. 



The time is now to think about protections from much more than traditional attack patterns to the wildest and craziest we can imagine–because our enemies are not hampered by the past and won’t rest until they see what we won’t. 😉



(Source Photo: here with attribution to David Illig)

Peace To All Mankind

Peace
I liked this post in downtown Washington, D.C. inscribed with the following:



“May Peace Prevail On Earth.”



It left me wondering, if Earth includes:



1) ISIS advances into large swathes of Syria and Iraq

2) Taliban attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan including the one that left 132 children dead in a Peshawar school last week.

3) Boko Haram kidnappings and killings in Nigeria including the hundreds of children taken and given as wives to their captors 

4) Al-Shabaab fighting in Somalia including attacks in the capital, Mogadishu

5) Hamas in Gaza and their barrage of rocket attacks on and terror tunnels into Israel

6) Hezbolah in Lebanon as a proxy for Iran-sponsored terror

7) Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and threats to annihilate Israel off the face of the map.

8) Russia in Ukraine and Georgia and ongoing threats to Eastern Europe/NATO.

9) China’s military build-up, including nukes, submarines, and anti-satellite weapons.

10) North Korea cyber attack on Sony and threatening “the White House, the Pentagon, and the whole U.S. mainland.”



Peace is more than a wish, right now it seems like a dream. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I Want It To Mean Something

We The People
So I took this photo in Starbucks–one of the Baristas in Washington, D.C showing his tattoo. 



Not that I am a tattoo guy myself (uh, I’m not!), but I thought this was really an interesting one. 



“We The People Of the United States” — our Constitution establishing our nation, freedom, democracy, and human rights here. 



Along with pictures of the Capitol, White House, Washington Monument, and Jefferson Memorial (maybe more around the arm…I don’t know). 



When I asked him what made him choose this?



He immediately said, “I wasn’t originally thinking of a tattoo, but when I did, I wanted it to mean something!”



So this one wasn’t just a vanity thing, but has meaning to him and I bet to many others–very cool! 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)