I recently stumbled on Wendy Lawrence’s 1978 article about Nyad’s first Cuba-Florida attempt: “The Sea Spoils a Dream.” My favorite bit is the photo to the right. It shows Donna de Varona and others at the end of the adventure.
Some other things we’ve been doing here at the Annex:
Making a List
We’ve been building a list of Nyad’s speaking engagements. She now appears to get $50,000-$100,000 per speech. Here are a few of the organizations that have bought Nyad’s wisdom within the past year:
- Janney Montgomery Scott LLC — for its Elite FA Conference. “FA,” by the way, stands for “financial analyst.” Had to look that up because I am as familiar with financial analysis/analysts is I am with playing the gaita (as my family will assure you). Attendance was by INVITATION ONLY. Sorry.
- National Business Officers Association — for their annual meeting. This one’s cool because they held it in Nashville, and there’s a guitar and a keyboard on their brochure cover. No gaita, though.
- Insurance Managers Association of Cayman — for their Cayman Captive Forum, this year’s favorite to win the Swirling Eddy statuette for Best Title.
- Henry Schein/Dental Support Organization Forum — agenda here. I don’t think you need an invitation for this one. There may still be space, or at least a small cavity.
To be clear: Many great marathon swimmers deserve six figures per talk. If Nyad could prove that she swam all the way from Cuba to Florida, she would too. But she can’t, so she doesn’t.
We’ve been getting inspired by other folks whose anger/righteous indignation/general pissed-offedness caused them to go after bad actors. In particular…
- Ken White. After receiving a fraudulent piece of snail-mail in 2011, White began searching for its source. He discovered David William Bell. Then he found out lots of other stuff about Bell. Partly as a result of White’s investigation (but also because U.S. Postal Inspectors and the U.S. Attorney’s Office got involved), Bell pleaded guilty to mail fraud and wire fraud in January of this year. The judge sentenced him to 108 months in federal prison. Believe me, he deserved it. See “Anatomy of a Scam Investigation.”
- Kathleen Seidel. She exposed the anti-vaxxers hawking the “Lupron Protocol” as a cure for autism. They tried to sue her. They lost. See “Significant Misrepresentations: Mark Geier, David Geier & the Evolution of the Lupron Protocol.” (I learned about this via Ken White’s posts.)
Checking a Nest
We’ve been watching our neighborhood’s family of Red-tailed Hawks tending this year’s fuzzy-headed brood. They, along with their brethren and sistren of the animal world (especially squirrels), remind me that, whatever happens, life goes on. These aren’t ours but you’ll get the idea.
Like in the linked photos, our Red-tails have three chicks this year. They’re different sizes, though: right now, two are almost half the size of their parents, while one can barely poke his head up above the rim of the nest. Chicks that begin that far behind often don’t make it, but I refuse to accept this.
Another lost cause? Let’s hope not. Long live the runt!