Friday, October 21, 2011

Rugby World Cup Final Preview - France vs New Zealand

One of the most beautiful people I ever worked with got married to a French guy. She's moving to France now. Life sucks.
France are one of the most consistent teams in World Cup history. This makes it 3 final appearances and they have perennially been in the semi finals throughout the history of the competition.
New Zealand are one of the more inconsistent teams in the competition, capable of outstanding performances but also capable of the off day.
The strength for the French will be in their forwards. Harinordoquy has been amazing as usual for the French. Despite their reputation for flair, the French demonstrated in their win against Wales that they can win ugly.
For New Zealand, it's all about Owen Franks.

A few statistics to bear in mind for the final:

- This World Cup has the lowest kicking conversion rate of any
- This World Cup has seen the least amount of kicks in open play since 1991
- Canada won their first World Cup game. They also steal our women

Monday, October 17, 2011


Sometimes necessity, sometimes it's just not necessity. Let's look at the top 5 inventions that ended up being used for something other than their intention.

5. The Ice Gun

Originally invented as a prop for the movie Top Gun 2 (never released), the ice gun is used in rugby union and other professional plowing parties. It's a fantastic invention, in winter people play rugby, in summer people drink beer. In winter, you ice the injuries of players, in summer, instant coldie.

4. Aspirin

Originally designed to treat headaches, it's now used in open heart surgery. Truly life-saving.

3. Internet

The government developed the network for internet relay chat. They never thought anyone would use it so never worried about security. Now it's used for MySpace, Bebo, ICQ etc. Some people still think it's a government project and call it the 'Internet'.

2. Shoe-goo

Your favourite shoes are your favourite for a reason. At first, they were uncomfortable. Garish even. You went through store after store to try and find some good shoes. Then you brought them back and most of them just didn't cut it. But these ones, these are your favourite. With them, you can go anywhere. And, it feels even more comfortable than going barefoot (bindies don't hurt).

When your shoes break, when the soles come off, there is shoe-goo. Except, it doesn't work. It's now used for repairing cricket bats.

1. Baseball bat

Baseball was invented in the 1800's. Back when people wore baggy pants, handlebar moustaches and the cities were made up of grassy fields, the game started to teach people the new geometry that was being developed (the rhombus).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Interview with Dave Careers

Today on the blog we're pleased to present an interview with Dave Careers, author of Career Advice and Things to Expect When You're Managing Expectations.

So Dave, tell us what inspired you to write these books?

Thanks guys for inviting me. I guess the best way to describe it is my friends always just said I should write this book. I think there was a big gap out there. We've all read the books that give the general advice 'Follow your passions' but people out there need to hear more specifics.

So let's get into specifics. What are some simple ways people can get ahead in their careers?

Always take on more work than you have time to do. Then delegate that work to someone else. Take the credit for that work.

Practice looking busy in the mirror.

If you stay back late or work on the weekend, make sure someone knows about it. Send an email, or bring it into conversation when people ask you how your weekend was.

What are some tips for when it all goes wrong?

Always have a back up plan. Not a degree or another career, just remember if you are going into a meeting, have someone call you in an hour to say you have to go. Like a bad date, only worse.

You talk a lot about the power of words in your book. What do you mean?

Well, really it's just about phrasing. If someone below you asks for your help, don't say yes. In fact, if someone wants to talk to you, you need to have a bit of a pained expression. Mention how busy you are (as if you'd love to continue this chat but you know, you're working) and then say you'll get back to them later.

Learn these phrases. 'I've got to get something out' 'Push back' 'Over-deliver'. These will help you when people are asking you to do something.

Any last words?

Being professional.

Thanks Dave, I think that's all we've got time for.

Touch base if you have any queries.

Thanks a lot Dave, for your time.

Hope you're well.

Good luck with the book.

Thanks for sending this through to me, just a couple of things.

Alright Dave.

As discussed, here are a few action points from our meeting.

Look forward to reading the next one

Warmest regards.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Truth in advertising

Sometimes advertising would just work better if they spelled it out better. Instead of focusing on what would sell the most products, really advertising information should try and sell the right amount of products.

It would be great to see marketing that tells you how it is.... not just solely focusing on the positives but telling you about the whole product. For instance, hey this product doesn't actually turn your door into a gym or turn your body into a sculpted musclebound masterpiece... at best, it's something you could use a few times and have some fun with.

Some people may like that, and really it's much better than random people buying a door/gym and being disappointed. The true goal of capitalism has to be the efficiency of production, in creating the right amount of products to fulfil needs rather than just trying to create as many products as it can sell.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The book was better than the movie

Sometimes it's really hard to know what movie to see. You can see a trailer. They all look similar. Sometimes you watch a movie and you think... this is nothing like the trailer. Also, most of the time you watch a trailer, the movie it's trailing is only coming out in a few months' time.

It's much better when someone recommends a movie to you. It shows friendship and trust, understanding of who you are. Except when that movie is something terrible. Then you start to think, who the hell does this person think I am? Do they actually think I would like this rubbish? Perhaps you could lose a friendship or two over this.

Movies only take an hour or two to watch. Recommending a book to someone is much much bigger. Books take hours and days to read. And you have to get through that awkward bit at the beginning of the book before it comes good. It's a really big deal to recommend a book to someone and it definitely risks the friendship.

Possibly the biggest part of why recommending a book is such a big deal is because reading is hard. Literacy is hard. Actually converting printed letters to meaning is hard. How do people even read? It's always so hard to get in the right position to read. Sometimes you read on your side, and then it takes physical effort to turn the pages, and to tilt your head to read the other page. Basically you are moving your position with each page you read. I guess you could also read holding the book up in your hands with your head resting on a pillow, but then you actually have to physically hold the book with your hands. Weary.

Reading is hard. Thank you for making the effort

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's good in theory

Some times you walk down Bi-Lo and you see that there's a Coles product in there. That's weird, why is a competitor's product in there? Or sometimes you want to change your insurance company, or check out a different bar in the city or use a different phone provider.

Capitalism is great in theory, but it really just doesn't work in practice. There's all this fake competition going on, just enough to make it all seem legitimate. Really it all just seems like a waste of resources. Why is there a Bi-Lo next to the Coles? Why is there a Target one level up from K-Mart? Just make a bigger Coles.

The Coles brand stuff comes from the same place that the fancy packaging stuff comes from, just packaged a little bit better.

Planned economies must be really, really bad if a system of fake competition, disguised monopolies and oligopolies 'works'.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The longer you stare...

Recently started noticing that the longer I look at something, the more it looks wrong. When you spend a lot of time obsessively checking little details, eventually you seem to not help but pick up errors elsewhere (although maybe not in your own blog). For instance, sometimes people spend hours debating whether it is spelled focuses or focusses. Interesting that for some physicists, in their theories about the Big Bang and the creation of the world, it's the inconsistencies in the starting configuration that help to drive things forward. If everything was the same, then how would gravity work? How would galaxies form? Even at the most basic level, the theory goes that the very slight skew for more matter than antimatter means there even is a universe in the first place. It's always comforting to get some perspective from the realm of science. Errors, inconsistencies... they actually lead a lot of the time to creativity. Sometimes, words don't even seem like words any more when you stare at them enough. You aren't even sure if it's a right spelling or not... even at the higher level you aren't even sure if it's a real word. Sometimes, it even happens with people. The longer you stare, the more you notice what is wrong. Maybe it's something with their face, maybe it's as tiny as the way they pronounce a single word. I hope that the perspective eventually changes, with words, people and ideas that we don't dwell on the errors but look to the possibilities for creation.