Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

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The very enjoyable border of France with Norway

December 12th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Map of northern Europe that puts France next to Norway

On December 10, toward the end of the Nobel evening and wine, some remarks of wisdom ensued over our brandy glasses.

The considered advice of Nobel laureate Barry Sharpless was that zinc gluconate is an excellent preventive medicine.

My finest advice was that sleeping in really cold bedrooms is like free marriage therapy eight hours in each twenty-four. (I’m not sure now this would work for Europeans, if they have separate-but-equal duvets. It is based on experience in American big beds.)

Then Barry and I turned hopefully to Carl Bildt, Sweden’s Foreign Minister in both real and Second Life, who was (during his stint as Sweden’s Prime Minister) the first head of state ever to send out an email to another head of state, in that particular case US President Bill Clinton. (I found this out from Mr. Google, not from Carl Bildt.) But instead of advice, he imparted some meta-wisdom that I am still thinking about.

He said, “People imagine that the job of a diplomat is being polite to foreigners. That is not the job.”

So last night, when I found myself seated in Stockholms Slottet on the very enjoyable border of France with Norway (between the distinguished ambassadors to Sweden from those two large glamorous countries), I did interesting research into Carl Bildt’s statement.

But this blogpost is already long enough. More wisdom (I hope) will flow after I do some packing.

Tags: Nobel · Sweden · Wide wonderful world

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