So this was going to be three separate posts, but hey, they seemed to go so well together that it ended up as one.
Before you get worried, I am not going to start rambling on any philosophical points of eternal happiness, will leave that for all the shrinks who make a pretty penny from it. Instead, an article from the Economist on one of the last hidden kingdoms coming into view caught my eye. The article is all about Bhutan’s King Wangchuk stepping aside to make way for democracy.
Now the King’s record wasn’t too shabby. Through his focus on happiness ahead of economic growth, aptly named “Gross National Happiness”, he has grown the economy by an average annual rate of 7 percent over the last 25 years, doubled life expectancy through huge investment in public health and increased school enrollment by over a quarter. Stacks up quite well and not surprised the Bhutanese are not exactly embracing democracy with open arms.
Talking of arms, or in this case perhaps branches; one of my friends sent me a rather disturbing picture of the “Tree Man”. The poor lil’ fellar cut his leg on a tree when he was 15 and over the last 20 years, his body has been progressively been covered by bark. I thought this was bad enough, until I read that an extremely unlucky woman in San Francisco was killed this week by a random branch falling from a Redwood while parking her car. Talk about bad luck and perhaps someone should let Sting know that our leafy friends aren’t all oxygen and greenness after all.
To save the trees, we are often told that public transport is the future. This video clip shows that the Japanese are taking it a little too seriously; talk about making every last bit of space count. Anyone for sardines?