ZYTARUK: Stupid and smart come seldom apart

I’m thinking about that fluid condition we call intelligence. Fluid, I say, because sometimes smart people do stupid things

Exploring the mysteries of police and media...

So let it be written…

I’m thinking about that fluid condition we call intelligence. Fluid, I say, because sometimes smart people do stupid things, like invent nuclear weapons.

I’m almost certain stupid people sometimes do smart things, although I can’t think of any examples at the moment.

We Canadians tend to think, smugly so, that we’re much smarter than our neighbours south of the border. That’s probably why, when the popular television trivia game show “Jeopardy!” recently barred Canadian contestants from playing, that so many of us jumped to the conclusion that this was done in envious, grudging obeisance to our much bigger northern brains.

Alas, not so. It’s not our smarts that was our undoing, but rather our stupid government bureaucratic red tape. Something to do with Canada’s online privacy act and anti-spam legislation blocking Canadians from taking an online entry test consisting of 50 questions, in order to qualify for the show.


So the U.S. contestants can relax.

The host of “Jeopardy!” Alex Trebek, a Canadian, must be rolling his eyes.

American contestants, considering their general lack of prowess in geographical matters, would probably have a hard time with a category like Smart Cities while most Canadians would no doubt be able to slam-dunk it.

“I’ll take Smart Cities for $1,000, Alex.”

The answer: “A city much smarter than Vancouver.”

“What is Surrey, Alex.”

“That’s it!”

Despite frequently being mocked by self-satisfied Vancouverites, Surrey has for the second consecutive year been named one of the world’s top seven intelligent communities by the Intelligent Community Forum, a think-tank based out of New York.

Hsinchu County, Taiwan, New Tapei City, Taiwan, Muelheim an der Ruhr, Germany, Whanganui, New Zealand, as well as fellow Canadian cities Winnipeg and Montreal, also made the list for 2016.

According to the judges, intelligent communities make best use of broadband technology, are innovative, have a knowledgeable workforce, work to improve living standards and embrace change to the benefit of their residents.

Vancouver did not make the cut — heh heh.

Don’t get me wrong, It’s not my intention to pick on Vancouver here. I’m just saying what’s what. Same goes for geography-challenged Americans. Doubters may consider Miss South Carolina’s breathtaking response to a question that was posed to her during the Miss Teen USA 2007 pageant.

The question: “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?”

Her answer: “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and I believe that our education, like such as in South Africa and the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for our children.”


Now, I’m an optimist, so I’m kinda hoping she was just nervous.


“I’ll take ‘What the heck?’ for $1,000, Alex.”

The answer: “A faint hope.”

“What does Zytaruk have, Alex.”

“That’s it!”

So let it be done.

Tom Zytaruk is a staff writer with the Now. Email him at tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

Surrey mayor appoints Terry Waterhouse to oversee policing transition

Waterhouse was hired by the previous Surrey First slate as the city’s first-ever Director of Public Safety Strategies

Surrey councillor defends SOGI 123 stance after resigning from AutismBC

Laurie Guerra stands by her opposition to SOGI 123 resource as backlash over meeting comes to a head

PHOTOS: Hockey history in Surrey as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

Proposed coal project for Fraser Surrey Docks back in court

It could be months before the federal appeal court renders a decision

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

Provincial housing boss brought home more than $350,000 in 2017-18

BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options

Prince Charles turns 70 with party, new family photos

Charles is due to have tea on Wednesday with a group of people who are also turning 70 this year

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Most Read