World’s Got Talent

Fionn Fereira, Susan Boyle, Nathan Patterson. If these names don’t appear household to you, don’t be ashamed. Each of these undiscovered people happened upon fame under the unlikeliest of circumstances. They came out of nowhere to win fame, fortune and even a contract or two. 

th-9.jpegFionn Fereira, hails from a remote town in Ireland. This teenager was walking on an isolated stretch of beach and happened upon a rock covered with all forms of plastic. With limited resources he researched what is a problem worldwide, microplastics. All by his lonesome and with no testing facilities, he developed a procedure to fitter water and won the Google Young Scientist Award of $50,000. He will be studying chemistry at the University of Amsterdam this year. 

Susan Boyle was the rather dowdy woman in England, who left Simon Cowell on Britain’s’s Got Talent with his jaw just millimeters from the floor with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. th.jpegProducers thought she was mentally ill and she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for three days after her performance. Silly boys. She just celebrated the 10th anniversary of her career. 

Nathan Patterson was just goofing around with friends at a Colorado Rockies game. The have a cage there where you can throw a baseball to see how fast you can toss the horse hide. I once hit 45mph. Nathan hit 97 mph and his feat was recorded and seen on You Tube. It got him a contract with the Oakland A’s farm team. 

Science, entertainment and baseball are not remote fields. There are people everywhere culling through data and tryouts looking for the next wunderkind. Yet these were not found. It got me thinking about both the process and the world itself. Are there undiscovered Einsteins, YoYoMa’s, and Nolan Ryans everywhere? Is it a matter of luck or a selection process that is not bad but leaves out so many? Good questions TTG.

In sports the experts deem someone too small, or their mechanics too faulty to make in the Bigs whether football, baseball hockey or what ever. Maybe it begins even earlier? th-3.jpegDoes a Mom or Dad consider their child too uncoordinated or aggressive enough to warrant the special attention among their other brothers or sisters ? Ditto trying to get into the chorale or AP courses. You will hear a parent describe their child as a nice kid but not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. Yikes! 

I have a brother who we believe was and is dyslexic.Nobody knew about it back then.  I remember my dad doing battle to get him to finish high school. Yet he is a McGyver type who given a situation can figure out some ingenious way to solve the problem. He has always loved fire engines and pumps of all sorts. In high school in mechanical drawing class he would design fire apparatus but back then there was no real outlet for his talent. It has been a tough road for him. Should not have been.

We rank kids by IQ’s, SAT scores, and who knows what else. The methodology is impersonal to the core but given the vast numbers of prospects, it is somewhat understandable. When law firms, med schools or Wall Street come a calling, they always target the “best” schools. That’s fine but are there so many others out there who perchance are even more qualified?  Is there any possibility that the professors at Podunk University  or a local community college, are doing a better job of preparing their students for expertise in a profession as well as life itself? Interesting question. 

It goes beyond the educational field. How many times are very smart and innovative people buried in the bowels of some large corporation. As you get further up the management chain you are plagued by two things. First is you do not want to rock the boat, especially when you make the boss look bad. Secondly you don’t want to any young Turk making you look bad. You see it in business, non profits and even in our social sectors. 

I personally hate mediocrity whether it be corporate, religious, my community or myself. th-4.jpegYou have often heard me cry in dismay at the “Why change, we have always done it that way” directive. It is that reluctance to try anything new or accept that maybe there is a different way to look at things that makes us stale and prone to obsolescence. 

As I look back over the many years I am fascinated by companies that had it all figured out only to fall by the wayside by more nimble competitors. IBM owned the computing world. This team or that were best in their league. Network TV was the only act in town. Macy’s was everybody’s place to shop. Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers et alia. The Catholic Church? Who knows maybe Amazon or Google will suffer from the same blight?

Point being is simple. Look at people and things around you. Don’t dismiss them by color or sex or nationality. Don’t sell your kids or your spouse short. Don’t look askance at a new and sometimes revolutionary idea.  The world has enormous amounts of talent. Do you want to utilize it or get run over by it? I know my answer. 

As always 

Ted The Great


Acceptance Rates;

Harvard 5%

Stanford 5%

Yale 6%

Annapolis 7%

Dartmouth 10%

Duke 10%

I guess the other 90-95% are not worth a damn. 

Low Draft Picks

JJ Watt and Michael Strahan were walk ons in college. 

Shannon Sharpe 192nd draft pick in NFLth-8.jpeg

Tom Brady 199th

Albert Pujols 402th In MLB  Draft

Never finished college:

Henry Ford

John D Rockefeller

Steve Jobs

Larry Ellison

Ted Turner

Different Perspectives….

I have been in deep thought for the last two weeks as it relates to our mass shooting episodes. I have listened to the left and the right. I will admit upfront I am not a fan of guns but will give latitude to my hunting buddies. El Paso and Dayton play well in our sensational and political world. I just think there is more to it than meets the eye. 

By definition a mass shooting is any time there are more than four deaths. They caused 550 deaths last year. robin-1024x576.jpgBut all told there were almost 20,000 homicides in toto. Who is weeping over the other 19,450? Almost 50,000 of our fellow Americans killed themselves. Isn’t that also murder of a sort? This is the larger picture to be analyzed.  Are these causes or merely symptoms of a troubled world? Either way it is not right. 

Let me address guns right off the bat. There are over 350 million of them in these United States. That is beyond obscene. We can have all the background checks we want. There is no sane way of ridding ourselves of this terror. We should have started a long long time ago. The fact there is no system in place to track them all is beyond disgraceful. 

As for mental illness I am of course one of the most ardent supporters of mental health. But right now there are 35 million of us who suffer from some sort of malady both acute and chronic. How do you prioritize treatment? Where are you going to find practitioners to work with 10,000new cases  much less tens of millions? Another example of great press with a poor chance for success. 

 Murder et al go all the way back to Cain and Abel and if you are not religious let’s go with Caesar and Et Tu Brute? th-1.jpegSince primitive days of humanity, the only way to survive was to protect oneself from wild animals or the local invaders.  

The world got more complex. Stir other deadly sins like jealousy, hatred, greed into the pot and you have a solution to all of man’s or woman’s problems. Just do away with the target or competition, whether in war or peace. No sweat. 

Today I think killing whether it be mass or otherwise has been woven into our culture. It is part of who we are. We no longer are revulsed. We shake our heads and in two days it is on Page 13, if it is there at all. We go back to our lives thanking God it wasn’t us or any of our own. 

In days of yore life was simpler. Small towns that dotted our country were more like large families. Everyone knew and took care of each other. Everyone took part like the butcher, the baker and candlestick maker. You mattered.


As towns grew into cities there was this loss of identity and the growth of anonymity. That bespoke a somewhat solitary and almost irresponsible lifestyle. You lose your sense of belonging and whatever part you play feels less and less essential. Some of us deem ourselves as outcasts.

That territorial nature of our beliefs is often poisonous. If I don’t share your mores or can’t pass your entrance exam, then I will start my own. This splintering takes its toll. Now instead of a couple of groups disputing broad brushed tenets we have every type of interest be they religious, national, color or sexual preference squaring off against each other.

These groups are all valid but their quick appearance and perhaps overinflated publicity has rocked us to our foundations. There is little to share as core beliefs and ethos vary wildly. Oppressed peoples see that protest and outcry get attention and they have their right to the piece of the pie. We have sky high stock markets, 3.7% unemployment and an underbelly that is ready to split wide open. 

White Supremacists fear the degradation of their race. Religious right see Sodom and Gomorrah. Progressives want to blow up the whole thing and start over again by taxing the rich to extinction and cancelling all outstanding debt. Technocrats see the elimination of 40% of the work force by robotics and AI. Underneath it all, everyone is out for themselves and therein lies our downfall. And FOX and CNN will bring it to you 24/7. It is great optics. 

We have lost respect of our leaders. We have seen cheating and corruption at every turn. We have no self discipline and refuse to take responsibility for our actions. Our morality has pushed every acceptable limit. But above all, is our loss of empathy for our fellow man and woman. 

What changes this?  9/11’s horror should have, but it was short lived. Sandy Hook? Las Vegas? We have neither the political nor popular will to change. We have become numb either by the constant killing or just because it is easier to look the other way. 

Will we have more mass shootings? Unfortunately the answer is yes. But as I said they are a symptom. We have to change our way of thinking from the ground up. We need a new set of ideals. th-5.jpegUnfortunately we are too busy making money or protesting about those that do, to employ some deep and serious soul searching. Maybe I  think too much. It is a tragic flaw. Unfortunately the story line of this fairy tale ain’t looking too good right now. I hope I am wrong.

As always 

Ted The Great. 


There are over 1 million organization and associations in the US. Each one has a specific purpose and promotes a different agenda. 


  • For all age groups, the top five killers are heart disease (633,842), cancer (595,930), lower respiratory disease (155,041), unintentional injury (146,571) and stroke (140,323).

Guns with 20,000 are looking good. Only 289 in NYC in 2018. Chicago only 561. Things are looking up.

Ethnic Breakdown of the USth-3.jpeg

German 14.7%

African American 12.6%

English.  12.3%

Irish 10.6%

Native Americans 1.6%

Mexicans 10.9%

American 7% (Not sure what that means)

Italian 5.5%


More than 80% of guns used in mass shootings have been purchased legally.