Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

The number 4

New @ Orange Bus, Kristian has posted 4 things on 6 subjects. I like to distill everything to 3’s (as that’s all my mind can cope with), but to conform here goes my 4’s:

 

1. Name 4 jobs I have had:

  • Director @ Orange Bus
  • Mad Scientist @ IBM – (Hursley Laboratories)
  • Shelf Stacker @ the company formerly known as Safeway’s
  • Paper Boy – Grahams – Corbridge

2. 4 movies I could watch again:

  • Le Grand Bleu
  • Taxi 1 or 2 – Jon Luc Besson (again)
  • Night Watch then Day Watch
  • Point Break

3. Name 4 places I have lived:

  • Corbridge
  • Leeds
  • Southampton
  • Alnwick

4. Name four tv shows I like:

  • Scrubs
  • Prison Break
  • Peep Show
  • Dragons Den

5. Four places I have been on vacation:

  • Verbier (Switzerland)
  • Lima (Peru)
  • St Cloud (USA)
  • Barcelona (Spain)

6. Four web sites I visit every day:

  • The BBC
  • Techcrunch
  • .. thats it.

At first when I saw the 4 things I thought that’s not a bad idea. But way too many fillers – 4 places you’ve lived, 4 places you’ve been on vacation… They really say nothing much about you (as long as you have 4). 4 Movies that says’ a lot about you, 4 TV show’s. Same! There’s plenty of other 4 or 3 things that reveal plenty about you, perhaps the question should have probed a bit deeper…?

Stone Balancing Man

Really relaxing. I live next to a beach it has some stones on it, and I’m in need of some relaxing. You’ll be able to find me balancing stones this weekend > here.

The curse of the work-less class

Disclaimer: I work, my parents work, and before them their parents worked and for many generations my family have worked. And I’m also a Newcastle United fan.

I had planned on this post being partly about the working class, but in fact I’ve found that it’s not going to be. Spurred on by this scathing attack of the people of Newcastle, I’ve jumped into action and with my trusty keyboard I’m wholeheartedly agreeing with the article.

Newcastle United, are a club in turmoil, a club that in recent weeks has become the laughing stock of English football. It all started when Kevin Keegan, a man heralded as the “Messiah” in these parts turned his back on the club which I have no doubt he loves, citing an unworkable system that was thrust upon him. Was he right to walk? If it wasn’t as promised then I’d say YES!

So the public get wind of this unrest and the whole drama is played out in public, and yet there is no official coherent voice coming out of St James (Newcastle United headquarters). So the fans are unsure. Has he left? Has he been sacked? Nada!

During this whole debacle a significant number of Geordies have managed to get time off, from sponging off the government, and have arranged for their state handouts to be delivered directly on-mass to Shearers bar (if only they’d know this earlier they could have saved themselves years of queuing) where they plan on spending the foreseeable future insulting “cockneys”, and not taking the time out to check that their grasp of “English” is sufficient to stop them looking like complete pillocks!

All in all it’s not been a great time for the region. The club is in disarray, and the governments education department have a great advert for what happens when you don’t attend school.

Sell your vote on Ebay? Not if you want to end up in jail

Techcrunch reported on one Max Sanders, who thought it would be funny if he sold his vote on Ebay (the listing has since been removed), and now faces charges, which in the worst case could land him in jail for up to five years.

The report takes the view that this is “absurd”, and Michael Arrington (techcrunch founder) for some strange reason can’t see why this might be a matter for the courts. Yes the intention was not to actually sell his vote but create a bit of publicity in a fun sort of way. But democracy is not something that should be taken lightly (ask the people of Zimbabwe), and vote selling/ rigging is serious matter and something that should be dealt with by the courts. I’m sure that the courts will not be handing out a custodial sentence for this, but rightly so that’s where the decision on this matter should be made.

Following the post up there are plenty of moronic comments, starting with:

What a bunch of horsecrap. People should be able to do whatever they
want with their vote. Next thing you know they are going to make
Marijuana illegal. Jeez.

Where has common sense and the moral compass gone to?

Big Brother reflecting social problems in the UK

I have to admit I’ve been a regular viewer of this years Big Brother. And whilst it urks me, and whilst the they’ve managed to find house-mates with all the mental maturity of a bunch of middle schoolers (9-13). One thing that it’s providing is a look into many of the problems we face today in the UK.

The main thing that I’ve noticed is the in-ability of a group to stand together against clear wrong doing. What do I mean by that? There’s been many examples but I’ll pick a couple to illustrate the problem:

  • Alexandra – bullying and intimidation. This woman was almost unreal in the ferocity and the unprovoked nature of her personal attacks. On one such occasion another of the house-mates, I think it was Rachel cooked up four tins of spaghetti. How dare she do such a thing! This led to Alex personally attacking the girl, throwing many a profanity mixed in with personal insults. Now anybody with any sort of moral compass would have thought that this was completely out of line, and unnecessary. So what did the other house-mates do? Nothing! They sat around allowing this to go on, nobody saw fit to stand up to Alex and tell her that her behaviour was unacceptable. Later Alex was evicted by Big Brother for her consistent threatening behaviour and veiled threats of gang land violence.
  • Sylvia – theft and dishonesty. She has seen fit to “steal” food and drink and store it away for her and her house friends to consume at a time that suits. She was caught out, when unaware that Mikey (a blind house-mate) was in the same room. Her and her associates were freely talking about, and offering to each other their stolen goods. Now when Mikey pulled them up on this (bearing in mind that blind people generally have more developed hearing), she treat him as though he was stupid not blind. Upon hearing this Mohamed, who bucks the apathetic trend challenged her about this. For which she attacked him, told him he was an “idiot”, and that; “she’ll steal if she wants to”, and “do what she wants to”. All this within ear shot of a number of other house-mates. Their reaction? Do nothing! Accept the behaviour! – Unbelievable!

So what do we have in the house? Not many good Samaritans by the looks of things. Humans who would rather cross the street than help out a fellow human or stand together for what is right.

Sadly the behaviour I see in the house is mirrored in UK society. We’ve got youths committing violent crimes, people afraid to stand up to them. Why is that? Because they’ve gone unchallenged for so long they’ve lost their boundaries. People don’t challenge for fear of loosing their ‘lives’ over drop littered, or for standing up for an old lady who is being verbally abused.

Why do few strike fear into the hearts of the many? Because they know we are divided. They know we won’t stand together. There was a case, and there have been many others of a young black man at a bus stop in Birmingham who was brutally beaten to death. It was estimated at the time that there were more than 100 people who stood idly by, not a good Samaritan among them.

If there were more willing to help, willing to police society, then we wouldn’t be in this situation where we’ve become too afraid to challenge the wrong doers.

Jerry Yang: A Clear Vision?

I was listening the other day to a podcast from iinovate, where they interviewed a chap called Chip Heath, co-author of the book Made to Stick. The book explores why some ideas stick (succeed) and others don’t have that characteristic (stickiness).

One of the things that I remember the most, and something that all sticky ideas have, is the ability to communicate them simply, and for the outcomes to be clearly defined. An example given was that of JFK’s goal to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade (the 60’s). This is a simple goal to understand, the success and failure criteria are very clearly defined.

  1. Land a man on the moon.
  2. Bring that man safely back to earth.

If both of these have been accomplished then the task was a success. So a simple universaly understood message, plus a clearly measurable outcome.

Jerry Yang and David Filo, the founders of Yahoo!

Image via Wikipedia

Now back to Jerry Yang. Tomorrow marks the end of his first year as CEO of Yahoo, and what a year that’s been! So what about his idea, his vision for Yahoo?

A Yahoo! that executes with speed, clarity and discipline. A Yahoo! that increases its focus on differentiating its products and investing in creativity and innovation. A Yahoo! whose great talent is galvanized to address its challenges. And a Yahoo! that is better focused on what’s important to its users, customers, and employees…

All a bit woolly I’d say. Lots of unclear messages, more of a mantra than a vision. Nothing about exactly what they’re going to do, and nothing that can be easily measured.

And so where are Yahoo a year on? Well they’ve blown their sale to Microsoft, they’ve handed over their search marketing business to Google, seen a mass exodus of their key executives and there’s an open shareholder revolt.

All in all. An unclear message, and one can only say a hugely unsuccessful year at the top for Jerry.

Happy Fathers Day!

From the other side of the pond a fathers day speech by the next president of the U.S.A? He’s certainly the man I’d like to see at the head of the free world!

As a father myself much of this resonates with me, there’s plenty for me to take away, and enough to make me see where I could be a better father. Even if you have no children, it’s still more than worth the 24 minutes you’ll spend listening to a quite inspirational speaker.

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