When it comes to species becoming extinct, you can be mad … you can be sad … just don't be indifferent.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red can remember learning about extinct species as a kid, whether in the classroom or when she'd visit the awe-inspiring American Museum of Natural History in New York City. But let's face it, learning about dinosaurs or woolly mammoths, doesn't make the topic of extinction seem relevant today. (Even if, as Red points out, the movie "Night at the Museum" gives an amusing perspective of how "creatures" from the past might see today's world).


However, when U.S. scientists announced 23 species as extinct, it made headlines around the world. And although the list included many species we may never have heard of, it did include the ivory-billed woodpecker, which was once the nation's largest woodpecker (but was last spotted almost 80 years ago, well before there ever were "protected" lists).

Black, of course, went back to the actual U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announcement and saw where, technically, the 23 species had not yet been declared extinct, the USFWS was proposing "delisting" them from the Endangered Species List (created as part of the 1973 Endangered Species Act). In other words, they had given up all hope. But there was a 60-day comment period before they were declared gone forever. (She couldn't help but wonder what happens if they're spotted after being declared extinct, would they no longer be protected?)

Regardless, if you're looking at this from an emotional perspective or solely scientific,

The successful efforts of the Endangered Species Act can only do so much, and although the reasons for extinction may vary, humans were the ultimate cause. And there's no denying that we're going to see more extinctions if we don't do more in terms of conservation.

Want good customer service? Good behavior is a good start.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We grew up hearing the expression "the customer is always right," and Red certainly agreed with it; and while Black understood the customer service aspect of it, she did question its impact on employees (why would you "automatically" side with a customer over an employee without knowing the details). And that was before the pandemic changed everything, but especially customer behavior.

Until recently, Red didn't think much about why the customer was "always right," but it reminded her of years ago when Black shared her amusing (or, at least, to Red) version of the Golden Rule, "He who has the gold, rules. "So, wouldn't that also apply to customers? Wouldn't a happy customer be a loyal customer?

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Normally, you shred important papers before trashing them … not expensive art after selling it.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Red will admit that she's never been into art, except for the Tudor paintings section of the National Portrait Gallery in London, but that's because she loves Tudor history. And although she's been to plenty of art museums, they were more to "tick off" places on her tourist "to do" list than a genuine desire to see the art. That even includes the Mona Lisa at The Louvre in Paris! (When in Paris, Black was content to go to the Louvre-Rivoli Metro station as the platforms themselves were decorated with art replicas found inside the Louvre Museum.)

Black can't remember when she first became interested in contemporary art, although it went to a whole new level when her second husband asked her to acquire an investment-quality collection. In typical Black fashion, she not only researched the art market and worked with an art consultant, but became friends with several leading artists with whom she shared a mutual passion … cars and racing.

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Take one famous actor, a brilliant billionaire, and mix in space travel. Sound like the start of a sci-fi movie or an example of how truth can be stranger than fiction?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: When Red recently learned that the actor William Shatner was going to be on board the second Blue Origin's space mission (now delayed until tomorrow due to weather), she admitted that she's more interested in history than current events, so compared it to the historic initial launch on July 20, which included 82-year-old Wally Funk. However, at 90-years-old, Shatner will become the oldest person ever to take a trip to space. (Talk about two great role models of inspiration and passion not having age limits.)

Meanwhile, at the risk of alienating (pun intended) Star Trek fans, Red's only seen a few of the movies, and Black has seen none, but we both have fond memories of watching the original TV show with our dad, who loved the show. So, we can't resist (like everyone else) quoting the opening monologue and its proclamation "to boldly go where no man has gone before."

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