Tuesday, January 22, 2008

observing the observant

I stumbled upon this refreshing piece on CNNs Marquee Blog.

Making your way around the convention center floor here in Las Vegas, one would think that the most striking thing would be the brightest and the loudest... the shiniest and the slickest. And true, there is plenty of eye-candy here at CES (Consumer Electronics Association show).

Arriving late in the game, I took the opportunity today to stroll the floor in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Why limit myself to just one of the three buildings in this sprawling facility, you might ask?

It is really almost too much to take in all in one sitting. A simple stroll is not going to cover it. An endurance march might. In fact, at one point, I thought that I had actually seen all that the Central building had to offer until I looked at a map which showed me the difference between "where you are," and where you still need to go.

But amidst the hustling booth barkers, the babes, the booming sound-systems and crowds, one of the most striking things I have seen so far was the most silent.

There, just off the convention floor was a crowd of maybe two-dozen Orthodox and Hassidic Jews, quietly at prayer. Amid the sensory overload and non-stop movement of CES, here in Las Vegas of all places, was this reverent and spiritual time-out that would not be interrupted by passing crowds, panoramic LED displays or in my case, curious bloggers stopping to look in on this most personal moment.

The ultimate in noise-cancellation...