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Archive for Media

May
27

The Futility Of Trying To Be Timeless

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The minute it's captured, it's dated

The minute it’s captured, it’s dated

Have you ever looked over old pictures of your parents or grandparents and, noting the month and year that was once commonly stamped on the bottom, calculated they were younger there than you are now?

It doesn’t matter how old they really were. To you, they always looked older.

Part of this, I imagine, is vanity. We’d like to believe that we look better for our age than our grandparents and parents ever did. 

[Click the picture to read the rest of this really truly amazing article, okay?]

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Oct
17

The Future Prediction Syndome

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Predicting the future

Predicting the future is like sleeping. Anyone can do it, and most of us doing it are exaggerators

“There are ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only ten years from now.”

Sound like a prescient prediction for our own future? It’s a little late for that. These few sentences opened up a nine paragraph story which appeared in Newsweek’s April 28, 1975 issue, and it remains, four decades on, the article for which author Peter Gwynne is most famous because of what he went on to say later in the story:

“The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down . . . [Meteorologists] are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.”

[Click the picture to read the rest of this phenooooomenal article]

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Aug
15

Fragmentation Of The Titans

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titans of business

Markets have become so segmented that becoming a legend, never easy, just got a whole lot harder

More than fifty years after his career began, Sir Paul McCartney can still sell out massive venues. A ticket to his September concert in Petco Park, San Diego, costs $133.10, about the same as a concert by a currently hip artist like Bruno Mars. In 2013, he ranked in the top 20 in terms of earnings.

Sir Paul has an ace up his sleeve that few other artists can boast. He was part of the legendary rock act The Beatles. That band broke up way back in 1970 and never got back together for a reunion. With frontman John Lennon dead since 1980 and guitarist George Harrison since 2001, a concert with Paul McCartney is the equivalent to fans of a one-man Beatles show.

More than 60% of Paul’s playlists come from the Beatles’ catalog. It’s a percentage that has increased over the last three decades. When Paul played with Wings from 1971-81, he didn’t play any Beatles’ material. As Paul’s image metamorphosized from a contemporary artist into a legendary one, fans attending his concerts expected him to play the songs which have made him a legend. Most of these fans probably weren’t even born when Paul recorded his early Beatles singles like “Love Me Do.” If Paul had never been in the Beatles, you have to wonder if he would have ever had a career or one which has lasted as long.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this kick ass articke, okay?]

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Oct
17

The Art Of Saying Nothing

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Big mouths but nothing of value coming out

Big mouths but nothing of value coming out

The third week of every month, I attend an entrepreneur meetup in a nearby hotel. The evening starts with a company talking about its business success, followed by questions and answers, and then a networking session amongst the visitors. The most recent speaker was the managing director of Microsoft Thailand, informing all the attendees, with their tongues hanging out like begging dogs, how Microsoft had made 70 million lives better. I became so bored with the propaganda, I spent the remaining time in the back where Microsoft salesmen eagerly demonstrated Microsoft’s poorly received Surface tablet PC’s.

Occasionally, a real entrepreneur, of a no-name smallish company, shows up to deliver a real talk about entrepreneurship. But sadly, the norm is multinationals with a Thai presence serving up the PR spiel about why their company is a leader in the industry, an innovator, a game changer. You’ve heard all this crap before. On YouTube, a talk of this nature would be lucky to get more than fifty views.

At the very least these business spokespersons are talking about something even if that something isn’t directly applicable to entrepreneurship. If you could manage to pay attention throughout these excruciating borefests made worse with their accompanying cluttered PowerPoint slides, you might be able to pick up a thing or two of value.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this kick ass article, okay?]

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Most European films are as flabby as the European welfare state

Last week, I was walking past one of Bangkok’s major department stores, and a large sign on the skywalk grabbed me. Bangkok was hosting a European Union Film Festival for eleven days at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, and all screenings were free. Twenty-two different films from 16 different European Union countries, shown in their original languages, with subtitles in English.  What a breath of fresh air, I thought at the time.

The common perception is that European films are deep and insightful. Think of Ingmar Bergmann (Sweden), Frederico Fellini (Italy), and François Truffaut (France).  Meanwhile, American films are derided as clichéd pop culture drivel. The intelligent movie-goer, the thinking goes, appreciates European cinema.

Bangkok has plenty of cinemas.   Every major shopping mall has one, and shopping malls are as popular as 7-11 outlets these days. The city has 3D cinemas and an Imax screen. But all these cinemas all show the same range of films all the time, which consist of the latest  AmericanTwilight or Transformers franchise mixed in with some mainstream Thai releases.   

[Click the picture to read the rest of this kick ass article]

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Mar
28

Beliefs For Sale

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We’d like to believe that what we believe represents the truth. What if it doesn’t?

A couple of days ago, a friend e -mailed me a link to an article headlined “This ‘Beloved’ Food Can Cause Allergic Reactions For Years – and Infertility For Generations.” This food in question: soy. I consume a lot of it.   The link went to a respected and frequented web site of a doctor heralded for his holistic healing views. He summarizes things he read elsewhere and then adds his own two cents about it.

So is it true? Is getting the masses to believe (unfermented) soy is a health food a “perfect example of how a brilliant marketing strategy can fool millions,” as the Doc maintains. The Doc goes on to say that “the risks of consuming unfermented soy products far outweigh the possible benefits . . . [there are] thousands of studies linking soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility – even cancer and heart disease.” Could soy even be responsible for the U.S. national deficit, the radiation scare in Japan, and the reason that Finnish girl in that beer bar in Helsinki on New Year’s Eve in 1991 went home with someone else?

[Click the picture to read the rest of this kick ass article]

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Magical powers or not, high tuition fees are a real pain in the ass

With the last Harry Potter novel out on the shelves over 4 years ago and the first installment of the final two movies in theaters last month, I thought now was a grand time to discuss the serialization.  Everyone on the planet by now capable of reading knows Harry defeats He Who Must Not Be Named, marries Ginny Weasley, and sires two sons and a daughter. That’s old news. There’s far more compelling stuff to discuss that, to my knowledge, no one else has seriously addressed.

Like how does Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft stay in business? Hogwarts is a boarding school. The books never specify whether it’s a public school or a private one. Public here is referred to in the American sense of the word, as a school funded by the public at large through taxes imposed by local, state, or federal governments. In the real world, the muggle world, there is no such thing as a public boarding school. Anyone attending a boarding school would be paying tuition for the education plus additional expenses for room & board.

Why would Hogwarts be any different? In the wizarding world, people still use money to buy the goods and services they desire. The wizarding currency, at least in the UK dominion, is the galleon and is fully convertible with muggle currencies. Hermione’s dentist parents at one point are in Diagon Alley swapping pounds sterling for galleons. The galleon should technically be illegal. Legal tender in the UK is defined as Bank of England notes, Scottish and Northern Irish promissory notes, and various pound and pence coins, and gold sovereigns. While it’s never specified in the books, I assume that the galleons are minted from gold or other precious metal that has a clearly definable value in the muggle world.

[Click the picture to read the rest of this kick ass article]

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Oct
27

Anatomy Of A College Experience

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Dated 26 May 1991. Click here to see a list of complete video content on the Republic.

Categories : Media, Video
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Who The Hell Is Visiting The Republic