BridgeS E C BridgeS E C
Artur Kutscher Platz 1 15698 Hwy 176
80802 München Newberry, S.C. 29108
+49 +89 2735 9404 +01 +803 276-6870
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained," if memory serves me, was stated by Lady Macbeth in William Shakespeare´s play. The phrase stems from an Italian proverb sometimes attributed to an acolyte monk: "Nella vita - chi non risicia - non rosica." A variation is "He who hesitates is lost. Swift and resolute action leads to success; self-doubt is a prelude to disaster." Joseph Addison (1672 - 1719).1
A corollary to these aphorisms is the modern acronym ASAP2 - "as soon as possible." Therefore we conclude with a simple statement. We hope viewing this website will be an impetus to ACT NOW on some problem or opportunity.
The bridge above is another view of "Vasco de Gama," shown at the bottom of the page at Who We Are. In only 18 months 3,300 workers built the six lane cable stayed bridge at a cost to the government of Portugal of zero! A consortium built the bridge in return for the right to collect tolls on it for 40 years. Completed in 1998, it can withstand winds of 250 km (155 miles) an hour and an earthquake four times stronger than the one that leveled Lisbon in 1755. Near Lisbon it crosses the Tagus river, the longest river (1032 km) in Spain and Portugal. The bridge itself, 17.2 km, is the longest in Europe.3
This website would not have been possible without two remarkable women. The first is Peggy McMaster, property manager extraordinaire, whose competence and integrity are deeply appreciated.
The second is Rashmi Agrawal, who became the driving force, creative muse and stern critic of this venture´s business model. Her selfless and generous support did her (2,750 year old) family in India proud. In 2010 at the age of 28 she had an arranged marriage with a man she had talked to for just one hour. (Her father found his horoscope ideal.)
Despite her four university degrees (her husband is a college drop-out), she is not allowed to work in his company, or indeed at all. She is not allowed access to a computer or to the Internet. She is not allowed to read books in English, her beloved hobby.
Her mother-in-law, who has a PhD, extended this last restriction. Reading of any kind after 4:00 p.m. is prohibited. (Before that she is busy with household chores. In effect, she is really not supposed to read at all.) She is not allowed to go to the supermarket alone, i.e. unsupervised. Her visits to her parents, who live in the same city, are restricted to one weekend every six months. While there one time she sneaked on to a computer to apologize to me for her lack of communication!
The attitude of her father and brother is that this prison sentence is her fate. She should bear it, with no inappropriate whining or complaining. Horoscopes do not lie. Nothing can be done.
1 The Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings by Gregory Y. Titelman, Random House, N.Y. 1996, attributes the phrase to Joseph Addison (1672-1719), who knew Jonathan Swift (cf. The Jonathan Swift Coaching Certificate at the FAQs menu). It appears in Addison´s best-known work, Cato, a Tragedy. The play is about the last days of Cato (95BC - 46BC), known for his integrity and his long conflict with Julius Caesar.
2 ASAP was coined by the U.S. military, possibly in World War II, although in dictionaries the etymology is frequently given as 1955.
3 The Amazon (6,800 km) in Brazil and the Nile River (6,650 km) through Egypt are the longest rivers in the world. The Volga River (3692 km) in Russia is the longest in Europe, the Mississippi (3734 km) the longest in North America.
"Vasco de Gama" is rivaled by the Mumbai Bridge. The high tech span bridge, an engineering marvel, is the first to be built over the sea in Mumbai. The city, better known to many as Bombay, is the financial capital of India and one of the three largest cities in the world. Opened June 2009, the bridge has eight lanes and is 5.6 km (3.5 miles) long. It connects the western suburbs of Bandra with Worli over the Arabian Sea.
In 1999 the sea link was budgeted at $100 million, but wound up costing four times as much. More than 3,000 people worked on it for over ten years. Multiple challenges were overcome, including violent storms, obdurate bureaucracies and environmental litigation (Wikipedia, 2010). From the bridge one has a spectacular bird’s eye view of the Mumbai skyline, dotted by striking skyscrapers, little fishing villages and lush green hills. Unfortunately locating the copyright holders in India of two striking photographs of it has not proved feasible.
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