SEVEN WORLD WONDERS, & JOHNNY DAMON LOVES TORONTO GOLF
It's a political world.
Ideally, the voting on the "New 7 Wonders of Nature" would be free of this sort of thing, but it seems the politically correct police have already made their mark.
People all over the world came up with 261 landmarks for the initial phase of the great Internet poll. That was knocked down to 77 of the most popular ones. But then a panel of "experts" was asked to whittle that down further, and they came up with 28 that people can choose from to name their favourite seven wonders.
According to the FAQ at the website, www.new7wonders.com, the final 28 sites were selected "bearing in mind the following general criteria:"
1. Unique beauty of the nominated site;
2. Diversity and distribution
3. Ecological significance
4. Historical legacy
5. Geo-location (even distribution of the 21 official finalists between all continents).
The last one is the only one that bugs me. I can understand not wanting to shut anyone out, but did they have to insist on a geographical balance? Isn't this kind of forced, like (in the words of a particularly erudite colleague of mine) making sure every team in baseball has someone at the All-Star Game, whether they deserve it or not?
I mean, no offence, and I'm sure this will kill my chances at an all-expense paid trip to Baku, but has anyone you know ever been to the mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan?
I like the Bay of Fundy, which is Canada's only nominee. It's very pretty to see the rock formations when the tides are out. But you can't really appreciate the Bay of Fundy unless you stick around to see it at both low and high tides, and that takes six hours or so. Who has that much time in any one place anymore? This is the Internet age, dudes; take your picture and head on to the next site so you can Twitter your friends and file a new blog entry, preferably from the other side of the world in as short a time as possible to show you're a real jet-setter and not one of those people who actually thinks about things and savours life.
It's really too bad the Americans screwed up on Niagara Falls. The story from Associated Press is that folks in Niagara Falls, N.Y. didn't back the bid as they didn't have any money to spend on promotion. That's a damn shame.
It's also too bad we can't get more sites in, such as Banff/Jasper, the Queen Charlotte Islands or the lower Don River. Maybe next time.
GTA GOLF ROCKS
Had an interesting talk with an American journalist last week while we played golf in Alberta. Not sure how we got onto the topic, but he said he was recently chatting with New York Yankees star Johnny Damon about golf and asked him what his favourite city was in the American League for golf.
"I was surprised but he said 'Toronto,'" the reporter told me.
As much as we love our own courses and have great ones on offer, such as Wyndance and Copper Creek and Bond Head and Glen Abbey (okay, we won't put Mike Weir on our 'best courses' of the GTA panel), it was a bit of a surprise to hear Damon's choice. I would've thought he'd opt for Tampa, with the Innisbrook courses and many others. Oakland has great weather but it might be hard even for Johnny Damon to get onto the Olympic Club course in San Francisco (a National League city, of course). I think Anaheim has good courses, not to mention Seattle and Chicago and New York (albeit a ways from Yankee Stadium).
Anyway, good for us. And thanks to Damon for the plug. It's really nice of him, but I'd prefer it he did something to boost the Blue Jays pennant hopes.