What’s in a number?
Well if it’s the number 7 we are talking about, a lot of human history, cultural anthropology, and universality.
The number seven has been described as belonging to “the world of dreams.” It is also often seen as the most “spiritual” number in numerology; and in the human experience throughout the ages it has been implicated in many corollary systems, traditions, and beliefs. In our desire to make sense of a universe that is mysterious and mystifying, it has served as a tool to help us create a sense of order.
It is both a prime and primal number.
The number 7 reflects a human anthropological concept, but it also has universal implications: seven days of the week, seven spirits; seven colours in the spectrum; seven notes in the musical scale; seven major chakras (energy points) in the human body; seven key features on the human head. The list could go on and on including — yikes! — the Seven Deadly Sins.
So I was not surprised to learn that a grassroots blogospheric event had taken the mystical number 7 in new directions. It’s called “My 7 Links” and it is brought to you by the innovative and traveller-friendly online resource TripBase.
How it works
You have to be nominated, as I was by Ottawa-based journalist Laura Byrne Paquet.
By the way, Laura is one of the most creative and scholarly writers and travel journalists I know. Her book Wanderlust is ample evidence of this. You can listen to my chat with Laura here: “Wanderlust: A Social History of Travel”. And be sure to check out her blog “Facing the Street” by clicking on the preceding link.
So here I go with my list of seven…
1. My most beautiful post
“Beauty” as they say, “is in the eye of the beholder”. But beauty can be a complex concept; sometimes even a “terrible beauty”. This is the essence of the Peace Park in Hiroshima.
2. My most popular post
Much to my surprise this piece about New Zealand got a lot of hits. Initially I was assigned the article by the editor of a major Canadian magazine. However, she then left the magazine and was replaced by someone else who no longer wanted a general piece but instead wanted me to write a specific piece. That article eventually turned out to be “The Sweet Sound of Doubtful”. But, in the “long run” it was the article below that got the most hits.
3. My most controversial post
There’s no doubt here because I took some risks by possibly ticking off the powers-that-be in the mainstream media — and my colleagues.
4. My most helpful post
A recent story and podcast was, I believe, the most helpful to travellers in terms of making the connection between travel, healthcare, and science.
5. A post whose success surprised me
This one surprised me because I received a personal email from the man himself (Dr. Ho) from his homebase in China. He also agreed to my invitation to record a podcast. Dr. Ho is now a millionaire, or perhaps even multi-millionaire.
6. A post I feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
Actually I am not surprised that this mega-post didn’t get the attention it deserved. It was the most ambitious and “interconnected” piece I have probably done to date. I also realize that people are busy and often assaulted by information overload; and consequently have less and less time in a media-world-gone-mad to read and digest.
7. The post I am most proud of
I need to first explain that I am very wary of “pride”, which indeed can go before the fall. Is it pride, arrogance, conceit, chauvinism, amour-propre, self-esteem, or something else? Semantics perhaps, but given the “I’m proud to be …” statements I often hear, I try to be especially careful with that particular feeling.
And my nominees are … the envelope please …
Bijan Bayne is a man for all seasons. He is a sports journalist, frequent radio guest, and a very knowledgeable and scholarly individual on matters relating to African-American history. And these are just a few of the roles he plays.
Here is a sample of a sports blog of his, “Secrets to a San Antonio Dynasty”.
Julia is the kind of reporter you can trust because she always gets the facts right. Her perspectives on those facts are also bang-on. She lives in Forth Kent Maine and is a regular contributor to the Bangor Daily News. Julia is also one of those femmes à tout faire, who understands how the human narrative is integral to human culture.
I am especially fond of this blog of Julia’s: “Muktuk Kennels – Where Dogs Rule”
Judy Hammond and Glenn Cameron
Judy and Glenn own and operate Clear Communications, a very grassroots and enlightened public relations firm. They are also, in my opinion two of the best in the PR industry. Their narratives about the social history and heritage — and natural environments — of destinations they represent also communicate why the travelling public in the 21st century has come to expect a more meaningful travel experience.
See this particular blog of theirs about the Canadian West: “Central Canada meets western Canada”.
Ian is a former student of mine, a very articulate software engineer, and now a friend. He is also someone I have had the privilege of working with in producing a podcast that shows the interconnectedness of travel and engineering. (See “The Concentric Worlds of Travel and Engineering”) Ian is relatively new and fresh to the wide world of blogging.
He has travelled extensively and here is a post of his on Egypt: Egypt.
Graham is a member of a very eclectic collective of Australian travel journalists called the Global Travel Writers. They are well-known for emphasizing “excellence in travel journalism”. Graham and I met in India and over the years have stayed in touch, often via Skype.
Graham is also a superb photojournalist, as you will see from “Dispatches from the Red Centre”.
“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all, there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.” — Anaïs Nin
“Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress.”— Charles Darwin