Thursday, June 30, 2011

Flagpole app

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Everyday Sunshine: The Story Of Fishbone

Space Miami

Asian lessons

"Watching Greece slide into chaos from 6,000 miles away is painful. Asia, after all, was the last region to experience what Europe may be about to endure. Asia’s implosion in 1997 toppled leaders, touched off riots, set back living standards a decade or more and tarnished the International Monetary Fund’s reputation. Expect similar developments as Europe’s grand monetary experiment cracks.

Asia and Europe are half a world apart and it is true that the differences are considerable. Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand were much less developed 14 years ago than their euro- zone counterparts are today. China had yet to emerge as a dominant manufacturing economy. The U.S. was also in a better position to offer international assistance than it is today.

With that in mind, here are five lessons Europe might learn from Asia.

No. 1: A default is unavoidable. What makes Europe’s bailout efforts so hard to watch is that they are so futile. The Greek public has been very consistent about one thing: the belief that it bears no responsibility for all the debt its leaders took on over the last decade. If that doesn’t provide the backdrop for debt repudiation, what does?

The U.S. and Japan are near recession. China’s boom continues to squeeze wages in uncompetitive economies such as Greece. This won’t end well for the euro zone.
Purge the Debt

No. 2: Recovery is quicker once debts are purged. Greece fudged its way into the common currency with the help of financial creativity.

Greece will have to restructure its debt, and the fallout from this will increase pressure on Portugal, Spain and Italy. If Greece had acted a year ago, markets might not be spending every waking moment on edge over how and when a default will arrive.

No. 3: Don’t forget reforms. In all the obsessing over debt, European leaders are taking their eyes off the need to retool in a world increasingly influenced by China. Fiscal austerity is important, of course, but so is altering policies to make economies more nimble, competitive and conducive to entrepreneurs who create jobs.

No. 4: Growth beats taxes when repairing fiscal balance.

Japan is a cautionary tale when it comes to rich nations getting incentives wrong. It issued mountains of debt, assuming for 20 years that it was just one stimulus plan away from 5 percent growth. That never happened.

Then, amid a ballooning budget deficit, it increased consumption taxes in 1997. That killed a nascent recovery.

No. 5: Markets are quick to forgive and forget. Yes, there’s a heavy price to pay for going hat-in-hand to the IMF. The key will be conditionality. There’s much griping in Asia about how the terms of Greece’s IMF package are far less stringent than those forced on Indonesia, Korea and Thailand.

Fresh starts are possible, though, as the powerful gains in Asian markets over the last 14 years attest. So drop the denial, Europe. Let Greece do what it needs to do, even if it means default, and move on. Asia shows there is life after crisis."

Euro Crash Looks as Inevitable as Asia in ’97: William Pesek

Monday, June 27, 2011


"$20.2 billion. The amount the U.S. military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's more than NASA's budget. It's more than BP has paid so far for damage during the Gulf oil spill. It's what the G-8 has pledged to help foster new democracies in Egypt and Tunisia." via MR via NPR

Kirk vs. Kirk

Friday, June 24, 2011

An Honest Facebook Political Argument

via CH

Greek effect

With Japan market higher on the open this morning after Europe down (a lot) and US down (a bit) overnight, I was and am most bemused. To the interwebs Batman.

"The US market rallied on a story that came out this morning. The supposed deal that reuters reported at around 3pm NY and caused the market spurt higher was actually out before lunch with the gist being the Greek government will lower the income threshold of those being taxed, amongst other spending cuts." Greek Noise | The Big Picture

"Somehow the fact that Greece has "reached" a deal on its austerity plan is supposed to be good for 100 pips on the EURUSD even though this is not news, and has been priced in for a long time. Furthermore it does absolutely nothing to dampen the fear and loathing that this plan will be met by the broader Greek population. But with markets that have absolutely no liquidity and monkeys controlling the buy and sell algos, one can only sit back and laugh." Market surges on non-news | Zero Hedge

"Mr. Papandreou’s first task is to persuade his governing Socialist Party to pass a bill that would save or raise about $40 billion by 2015, equivalent to 12 percent of Greece’s gross domestic product, through wage cuts and tax increases, at a time when the economy is shrinking. To put that in perspective, spending cuts and tax increases of a similar scale in the United States would amount to $1.75 trillion, considerably more sweeping than even the most far-reaching proposals for reducing the American federal budget deficit. And Greece has promised to generate another $72 billion by selling off prime state assets, which many Greeks consider a fire sale of national patrimony." Greece fact of the Day - Marginal Revolution

So, the US followed Europe down, but then rallied back a bit after the Greek "agreement". Oh, and the announcement that the US will release oil from the Strategic Reserve. Because that is a good idea.

As for the whole Obama Afghanistan speech. Don't get me started. The following from the Borowitz Report was brilliant.

"WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) Announcing a drawdown of American troops, President Barack Obama tonight maintained that the United States was not deserting Afghanistan, promising the Afghan people, “We will continue to follow you on Twitter.”

Mr. Obama indicated that the United States’ relationship with Afghanistan would soon transition from a military one to a social networking one, with the United States promising to “Like” Afghanistan’s Facebook page and share contact information on LinkedIn.

In summing up the United States’ ten-year military mission in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama said, “We have done everything we set out to do in Afghanistan, even though we actually did it in Pakistan.”

Mr. Obama detailed the United States’ exit strategy, saying that troops would soon be leaving Afghanistan “by way of Libya.”

He said that with troops coming or going to and/or from Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, “by 2012 the United States will be fighting only two wars – two and a half, tops.”

The President’s speech about Afghanistan ended on this stirring note: “In conclusion, my fellow Americans, I killed Osama bin Laden.  Fuckin’ A.”

In a poll taken after the President’s speech, a majority of Americans agreed with this statement: “Afghanistan is a little like the TV show LOST: it’s ending, but I’m not sure I know what it all meant.”"

Shooting Bears

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Only in Japan?

"The Best Surprise, a Japan based “proposal support” company, has come up with their own product aimed at twisting the arm of a reluctant boyfriend into marriage. The “Proposal Pressure Kit” inverts the traditional idea of men proposing to women and is taking a new turn as women in Japan are becoming impatient of simply waiting and decide to take the initiative themselves.

The kit combines a clever range of marriage support goods including a temporary engagement ring, a marriage promise form, and a cute piggy bank that stores up to a hundred 500 yen coins (equivalent to US $5), symbolizing the patience that the girlfriend has gone through and the money being saved for their wedding. Aimed on making the reluctant boyfriend more aware of the idea of marriage and bringing the proposal to the front of his conscience, this set is delivered to his house and is disguised as a special gift that he has “won” through a random prize selection system."

via Japan Trends

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rebuilding Japan

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the nuclear crisis that followed, have exposed the unique risks of doing business in Japan. Among the hardest-hit by the historic calamities has been the auto industry, with a supply chain whose depth and complexity surprised even the car makers themselves.
The massive disruption to car production has raised concerns that the disasters would, once and for all, prompt the hollowing out of Japanese manufacturing and threaten the countrys export- dependent economy. But auto executives have vowed to keep Japans monozukuri culture alive and stand by their suppliers to see a recovery through.
Join us for a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event with Mr Carlos Ghosn, dual CEO of Nissan Motor Company and its alliance partner, Renault SA. Learn first-hand what Mr Ghosn has in store for Japans second-biggest car company as it balances its Japanese roots with an expanding car business overseas.
Yours sincerely,
Abi Sekimitsu
Editor, Japan
Reuters News

Thomson Reuters Presents:

Wednesday, 22 June 2011
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm    Tokyo
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm    Hong Kong
10:30 am - 11:30 am GMT
5:30 am - 6:30 am     EST
·         On Reuters Insider, our revolutionary video service
·         YouTube

Follow coverage of the event @trnewsmaker and tweet your comments with the hash tag #newsmkr
Click here to explore Thomson Reuters Eikon, the ultimate set of financial tools.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


“Research shows that people get more satisfaction from working hard at one thing, and that those who always need to have choices and keep their options open get left behind,” Schwartz told me. “I’m not saying don’t let your kid try out various interests or activities. I’m saying give them choices, but within reason. Most parents tell kids, ‘You can do anything you want, you can quit any time, you can try this other thing if you’re not 100 percent satisfied with the other.’ It’s no wonder they live their lives that way as adults, too.” He sees this in students who graduate from Swarthmore. “They can’t bear the thought that saying yes to one interest or opportunity means saying no to everything else, so they spend years hoping that the perfect answer will emerge. What they don’t understand is that they’re looking for the perfect answer when they should be looking for the good-enough answer.”

The message we send kids with all the choices we give them is that they are entitled to a perfect life—that, as Dan Kindlon, the psychologist from Harvard, puts it, “if they ever feel a twinge of non-euphoria, there should be another option.” Mogel puts it even more bluntly: what parents are creating with all this choice are anxious and entitled kids whom she describes as “handicapped royalty.”

As a parent, I’m all too familiar with this. I never said to my son, “Here’s your grilled-cheese sandwich.” I’d say, “Do you want the grilled cheese or the fish sticks?” On a Saturday, I’d say, “Do you want to go to the park or the beach?” Sometimes, if my preschooler was having a meltdown over the fact that we had to go to the grocery store, instead of swooping him up and wrestling him into the car, I’d give him a choice: “Do you want to go to Trader Joe’s or Ralphs?” (Once we got to the market, it was “Do you want the vanilla yogurt or the peach?”) But after I’d set up this paradigm, we couldn’t do anything unless he had a choice. One day when I said to him, “Please put your shoes on, we’re going to Trader Joe’s,” he replied matter-of-factly: “What are my other choices?” I told him there were no other choices—we needed something from Trader Joe’s. “But it’s not fair if I don’t get to decide too!” he pleaded ingenuously. He’d come to expect unlimited choice.

When I was my son’s age, I didn’t routinely get to choose my menu, or where to go on weekends—and the friends I asked say they didn’t, either. There was some negotiation, but not a lot, and we were content with that. We didn’t expect so much choice, so it didn’t bother us not to have it until we were older, when we were ready to handle the responsibility it requires. But today, Twenge says, “we treat our kids like adults when they’re children, and we infantilize them when they’re 18 years old.”

How to Land Your Kid in Therapy - Why the obsession with our kids’ happiness may be dooming them to unhappy adulthoods. A therapist and mother reports. - The Atlantic

Great article via @Maccanow

Monday, June 20, 2011

Greek Tragedy

"There comes a moment in any decent tragedy when the penny finally drops. The light breaks. The protagonist suddenly realises what a chump he has been - that he has somehow managed accidentally to marry his mother and kill his father - and that all his assumptions about his life are upside down. And the really awful thing about the tragedy now playing on the streets of Athens is that we haven’t even reached that bit yet.

We are all still kidding ourselves that the moment of reversal can be avoided. All the other governments of Europe, including, alas, the Coalition, are pretending that Greece can remain in the euro. If only the EU finance ministers can just have a bit more lunch in Brussels; if only Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel can hammer out another plan to reschedule the Greek debt; if only UK taxpayers can stump up a bit more for the bail-out fund - then somehow the Heath Robinson contraption is supposed to limp another few miles further on down the road with the Greeks bubblegummed to the roof.

All we need is for Athens to sack a few thousand more public sector workers, lop a few billions more off their pensions, chop more benefits, collect more taxes, and perhaps the problem will go away. If the Greeks would only change their national character, and suddenly discover a Scandinavian faith in government combined with German habits of industry and thrift - then, or so we are told, the catastrophe could be averted.

It is time for a resolution. We should stop chucking good money after bad."

The greatest gift to the Greeks might be to let them go it alone - Boris Johnson

El Bulli: el final

"Not all the dishes were sublime, of course – I am not sure chef Ferran Adrià is interested in that. He wants to make you think and to feel food, to orchestrate your mood, mess with your idea of what it could and should be. More flavour theatre than restaurant. We ate a Felliniesque, insane 50 dishes culled from Adrià's "greatest hits", the oldest from more than 20 years before, the newest only finalised that morning (the menu was revised six times).

There is true art in the artifice here, an underlying integrity to every technique. But somehow my celebrity-spiked supper has conjured up memories and emotions as much as the expected exquisite tastes. The plate-licked gazpacho is saturated with Spanish holidays. The peas take me back to podding on the porch with my mother in her yellow summer dress. The smell of the hare stock I will carry with me for ever.

At the perimeter of the kitchen, Ferran Adrià paces in silence, quietly observing. The general, seemingly unemotional, almost uninvolved. But watching. His eye seeing everything, like an eagle hanging high in the sky to catch the movement of every blade of grass.

He turns, sees me, too, standing there with lost eyes, and comes over. "Magic," he smiles softly, and he is right. As Jason Atherton says: "The guy is a legend, simple as that. We won't see his like again in our lifetime."

El Bulli: the ultimate dining experience

El Bulli's farewell banquet - in pictures

Never managed to go. Not sure would have got a table if had been able to get over there. Ah well.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Check out the links and T-Shirt selections.. wicked good.


Arty Bollocks Generator

Generate some arty bollocks... CLICK HERE

The Truth About the Economy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Pain Principle

"To race bicycles is to drink greedily from a bottomless chalice of agony. The sport and its heroes are only knowable, and then just barely, once you come to understand that suffering is cycling’s currency. And what that currency buys is the occasional — the very, very occasional — moment of exquisite glory.

The first thing you notice about professional cyclists is that, with few exceptions, they appear to live their internal lives in a heavily padlocked tomb of mental anguish. They are at once astonishingly young and improbably ancient, a result of the fact that they are paid for their agony. They are modern-day ascetics, working in the open-air monastery of the mountains of Europe, with helmets as tonsures, spandex as robes."

The Pain Principle - The Walrus

Enjoyed this article immensely, great read.

Solar Power

"Billionaire Masayoshi Son has a track record in taking on monopolies after building a business that opened up the nation’s telecommunications industry. Now he aims to shake up Japan’s power utilities after the worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

Son, the 53-year-old chief executive officer of Softbank, plans to build solar farms to generate electricity with support from at least 33 of Japan’s 47 prefectures. In return, he’s asking for access to transmission networks owned by the 10 regional utilities and an agreement they buy his electricity."

Japan’s Richest Man Takes on Atomic Future With Solar Plans - Bloomberg

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mac or PC

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jeremy Grantham

"Grantham is noted for his prediction of various bubbles in asset classes and his knack for seeing which direction the market is moving in. Lately he’s turned very, very bearish. Now, Grantham’s insisting: “We’re headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.” The entire presentation with slides is at Business Insider.

Summary of the Summary
The world is using up its natural resources at an alarming rate, and this has caused a permanent shift in their value. We all need to adjust our behavior to this new environment. It would help if we did it quickly.

  • Until about 1800, our species had no safety margin and lived, like other animals, up to the limit of the food supply, ebbing and flowing in population.
  • From about 1800 on the use of hydrocarbons allowed for an explosion in energy use, in food supply, and, through the creation of surpluses, a dramatic increase in wealth and scientific progress.
  • Since 1800, the population has surged from 800 million to 7 billion, on its way to an estimated 8 billion, at minimum.
  • The rise in population, the ten-fold increase in wealth in developed countries, and the current explosive growth in developing countries have eaten rapidly into our finite resources of hydrocarbons and metals, fertilizer, available land, and water.
  • Now, despite a massive increase in fertilizer use, the growth in crop yields per acre has declined from 3.5% in the 1960s to 1.2% today. There is little productive new land to bring on and, as people get richer, they eat more grain-intensive meat. Because the population continues to grow at over 1%, there is little safety margin.
  • The problems of compounding growth in the face of finite resources are not easily understood by optimistic, short-term-oriented, and relatively innumerate humans (especially the political variety).
  • The fact is that no compound growth is sustainable. If we maintain our desperate focus on growth, we will run out of everything and crash. We must substitute qualitative growth for quantitative growth.
  • But Mrs. Market is helping, and right now she is sending us the Mother of all price signals. The prices of all important commodities except oil declined for 100 years until 2002, by an average of 70%. From 2002 until now, this entire decline was erased by a bigger price surge than occurred during World War II.
  • Statistically, most commodities are now so far away from their former downward trend that it makes it very probable that the old trend has changed – that there is in fact a Paradigm Shift – perhaps the most important economic event since the Industrial Revolution.
  • Climate change is associated with weather instability, but the last year was exceptionally bad. Near term it will surely get less bad.
  • Excellent long-term investment opportunities in resources and resource efficiency are compromised by the high chance of an improvement in weather next year and by the possibility that China may stumble.
  • From now on, price pressure and shortages of resources will be a permanent feature of our lives. This will increasingly slow down the growth rate of the developed and developing world and put a severe burden on poor countries.
  • We all need to develop serious resource plans, particularly energy policies. There is little time to waste."

    via Dangerous Minds

Dear British Prime Minister

"Please find below our suggestion for fixing the UK 's economy.

Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire..
Ten million job openings - unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new British car.
Ten million cars ordered - Car Industry fixed

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage -
Housing Crisis fixed

4) They MUST send their grand kids to school/college/university -
Crime rate fixed

5) They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week .....
And there's your money back in duty/tax etc

It can't get any easier than that!

P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances


Let's put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.

This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free, on request.

Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.

There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised.. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay £600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

Think about this (more points of contention):


Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Appleby almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the county of Cumbria?

And, they even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow."

via Dave Panache, source unknown.

Personal Relationships

Monday, June 13, 2011



Isabella looks after our dogs when we travel. Apart from being a lovely woman, she is a true hero. This article gave me goosebumps and might make you cry.

Animal shelter in Niigata helps Tohoku pets, owners - Japan Times

"Three days after the quake, Gallaon-Aoki packed her car with food, water, gasoline and supplies and set off eastward with two others. "This was at a time when the authorities were saying, 'Don't come.' . . . Just feeling our way around, we got in and asked around where the badly hit areas were." The rescue party made its way into what they found to be "a completely devastated landscape, without a single living soul." After going to a few areas, it "was very, very obvious that nothing would have survived," Gallaon-Aoki says. "The tsunami was just complete. Everything was wiped out, be it human, animal, whatever."

In the ensuing days, however, Gallaon-Aoki realized there were indeed those in need of help, the survivors of the tsunami who had fled with their pets and were now desperate to get help for them or even to be allowed to stay with them.

"It was the usual story, people with animals not being allowed into evacuation centers, animals in distress, no medication, no kind of medical care of any kind, no food," Gallaon-Aoki says.

Gallaon-Aoki traveled from evacuation center to center, leaving food and her contacts, letting authorities and people in need of help for their animals know that she could provide it. She was also able to come to the aid of animals that had been rescued but had no one to care for them. One, Gallaon-Aoki says, "was a Corgi that survived floating on a roof for three days, swept out to sea with the owner. The dog was rescued, alone. Gallaon-Aoki took him in and remembers how he had been at the time. "I have never seen a look in any dog's eye like the look in that dog's eye when he first came. It was complete terror."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

One Audi left in Le Mans

Safety Cars had to pit for fuel...

Tiger Mom

"Another woman with strong, sometimes crazed opinions but who definitely does not watch any television – or certainly doesn't let her children watch any – is Tiger Mother. The other night, we came face to clavicle (she is very short). Amy Chua, author, law professor and famously hectoring mummy, was in London for an Intelligence Squared debate where she argued for the motion: "Western parents don't know how to bring up their children."

In the pre-debate count, 100 voted for her, 300 against. By the end, she had completely turned the numbers around: more than 300, including me, voted for the motion. Did she threaten to make us practise the piano for 15 hours or complete 2,000 equations before bedtime unless we voted for her? Disappointingly, no. Instead, she revealed herself to be less Tiger Mother, more pussy cat.

Her views are actually oddly balanced. To her credit, she didn't complain about the hype surrounding her book (more than one million copies sold). She simply revealed the title of the Chinese translation: Parenting by Yale Law Professor: Raising Kids in America. Over there, they are marketing her as Cuddly Mom.

She argues that neither western nor Asian parents have got it right. In the west, she says, we are too keen to be friends with our clidren. We need to give them expectations to live up to. In China, parents are too over-invested in their children's success. In the end, though, the opposition won the case for her. Frank Furedi, speaking against the motion, argued that we should all stop judging other people's parenting. So she's strict and others are liberal, so what? Enough comparing ourselves with others.

At the party afterwards, I had a question for Chua. "Isn't this really a debate about our fear of our children hating us? After all, most people secretly hate their parents – and children need something to kick against." The Tiger Mother's fangs finally emerged. Serenely chic, the picture of the American dream, she looked me up and down pointedly and replied: "People who lead successful lives have nothing but love for their parents."

Thrilled to have provoked the beast, I returned to my failed existence, happy in my British misery."

via The Guardian

Friday, June 10, 2011

My next bike


"The long-standing road-car lap record for the Isle of Man TT circuit has been comprehensively smashed in a production-spec Subaru WRX STI saloon. In his very first run around the challenging 37.8-mile course, former British Rally Champion Mark Higgins posted a blistering lap time of 19 minutes and 56.7 seconds, translating to an average speed of 113mph.

"Setting the record was both the most exhilarating and the most frightening thing I have ever done," explains Higgins.

The outright lap record on the TT course was set in 2009 by John McGuinness on a Honda CBR1000RR 'Fireblade' motorcycle. McGuinness posted a time of 17 minutes and 12.3 seconds, equivalent to an average speed of 131mph."

Subaru obliterates Isle of Man lap record with stock WRX STI - Autoblog


"Japan’s National Police Agency will send 150 officers and riot squads to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s annual general meeting this month to quell possible protests by shareholders and terror attacks, a police official said."

Police to Send Riot Squads to Tepco Meeting -

Thursday, June 09, 2011


"As usual, the tired old bigoted comedian Rush Limbaugh took offence that anyone could call Sarah Palin 'nuts,' even though she is quite obviously a few sandwiches short of a picnic, and her grip on reality is, shall we say, tenuous. And as usual, Limbaugh blamed it on the left, ie the Guardian's Wintour/Watt blog.

"What he doesn't understand is that Palin's nutsiness is not a partisan matter in Britain, or anywhere else in the world. It is an obvious truth marvelled at by all. Palin's emergence as a serious figure in American politics has made the country a laughing stock across the world. The idea that a stateswoman like Thatcher, in advanced dementia, would be used by such a crackpot is simply unseemly."

Limbaugh, Palin And "The Left" - The Daily Beast via Sarah Palin snub by Margaret Thatcher aides infuriates US rightwing - The Guardian

Wednesday, June 08, 2011



"A great day for Apple.

Not such a good day for Amazon, Google and the recording industry.

Unlike Apple, the music industry is very shortsighted.  There is no tomorrow, only today.  Steve Jobs is seriously ill and he’s looking to tomorrow, the labels still haven’t pulled their heads out of yesteryear.

How do you make music pay in the future?  How do you get a ton of revenue for recordings?
By getting everyone to pay.

How do we get everybody to pay for music?  By dropping the price and making it easy.

You call that subscription.

Cable TV is a subscription.  As is Netflix.  As is your cell phone plan.  Don’t say people hate subscriptions, that they don’t want them, it’s about offering a great service at a fair price.
The record industry refuses to do this.

The concept of renting your music, like you rent cable TV, that’s kaput.
And what did it cost?

$150 million.  For approximately $40 million to the bottom line of each recording company, you know they’re not going to share the revenue with artists, the labels sold out their future.

This is so dumb it’s almost incomprehensible.
The labels have been snookered by Steve Jobs, who could sense their ignorance and preyed upon them."

Bob Lefsetz on iCloud - The Big Picture

Great article, suggest read it all.

Flaco, Icarus, Pate

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

My Dear Friend

wrote/composed it right after the 3/11/2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami thinking about all those affected, those who perished, those who are homeless, lost their loved ones, those who went out to save Japan from the nuclear crisis, those who went out to volunteer, all those rescue teams that came together to save the survivors and clean up the terrible wreckage. They are all our dear friends. One heart one love for Japan.

3/11/2011 東北大震災、そして目を疑うほどの恐ろしい津波がおこり2万人ちかくの人々が亡くなった。あの日、普通な一日をおくっていた私は、まさかこんなことになるなんて思ってもい なかったのに。 自分は、東京で震度5ぐらいの地震で怖い思いをして帰ったものの東北では何万人との人が生と死の間で必死に戦っていた。i never thought that such a disaster will actually happen while i was alive, i could not believe it. I was so lucky enough to be removed from this horrid state being in Tokyo. But watching the news everyday, I was so upset not only at what was going on but at myself for being so absolutely powerless and useless to all these people who were struggling to survive. なんにも出来ない無力な自分に腹がたってたまらなかった。i have lived in japan pretty much all my life and to see my own country and my own people go through such devastation, it was heartbreaking.
でもそんな中、日本のみんなが立ち上がった。こんなんで負けてたまるかって叫ぶかのように、we are so much stronger than thisって。there were rescue teams from all over the world. the whole world stood in silence praying for japan. 一時の時間を無駄にすることなくいっせいに復旧作業が始まった。何千人との生存者をがれきの中から助けられ、何千人との遺体も見つかった。families were torn apart, houses were swept away. so many people remain lonely and homeless, and will have to carry their horrifying memories of this day. I will probably never get close to understanding what these people felt. I can only imagine and it still brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.
But this I know for sure. japan is strong and I am so proud to be a part of this battle. we cannot forget our heroes who went out there and are still out their to fight for Japan. We must not forget that there are millions of people still living each day in the evacuation zones in fear and absolute despair. 忘れてはいけないと思う、日本のために立ち上がった勇者たちを。なにもかも流されてしまった人々のために愛と希望をあたえに行ったヒーローたちを。そして何よりもwe must not forget the lives that were lost. 星になってしまった彼らを決して忘れないで、彼らのためにも、もっともっと強く生きて行こう。笑顔と希望をなくさないで、感謝の気持ちをなくさないで一生懸命生きることを 忘れないで。

this song My Dear Friend is a dedication for all those affected by the Tohoku earthquake/tsunami and those who went out to make a difference, to all the friends who shed tears for this unforgettable disaster.

I hope you like it!

-Sachi Montgomery
(guitar accompaniment played by dad)


"The male sexual brain is like a single toggle switch, whereas the female sexual brain is like the cockpit of an F1 fighter jet," neuroscientist Sai Gaddam said last month after studying female and male sexual cues. "There are tons of dials and instruments, and there's sophisticated calibration going on."

What it comes down to is that men are far more visual beings. We get turned on by looking at nudity and we know that. And some men are pompous enough to believe that what turns them on should also be a turn-on to women. But that's wrong; sexuality isn't rigid.

That fluidity in mind, I'd be a fool to say that there aren't women out there who are dying to get poorly lit iPhone pics of your junk texted to them in the middle of the night. But, as with every aspect of sex, you should probably ask first."

You Won't Attract Women with Cellphone Pictures of Your Penis - Good Culture

Monday, June 06, 2011

Time out

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Karuizawa Gran Fondo

A good ride. Low key, relaxed atmosphere at this event. Great weather helped, not too hot, not too cold. We set off just after 7:30am. I assumed it would be a 5hr ride with the whole thing taking about 6hr after including refreshment stops. Finished at 1:50pm, so 6:20 with an hour of stops. We were on a Shinkansen at 14:24, result! Seemed fair given that I struggled with an empty tank over the last third of the ride. One would think I would have this thing down by now, but I seem to have made things more difficult of late than I am used to. The food/fuel, hydration, rest, training ratio has been a bit of a conundrum lately.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


"This year, Tokyo's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Mitsubishi is commemorating this milestone with a giant OLED globe.

The six-meter 'Geo-Cosmos' installation will hang about 18 feet above the museum floor, where it will beam clouds and other satellite images at a resolution of 10 million pixels.

It may not be the first curved OLED we've seen from Mitsubishi, but it's the first that could double as a pretty sick disco ball." 

via engadget

The League of Elder Heroes

"A group of more than 200 Japanese pensioners are volunteering to tackle the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power station.

The Skilled Veterans Corps, as they call themselves, is made up of retired engineers and other professionals, all over the age of 60.

They say they should be facing the dangers of radiation, not the young.

It was while watching the television news that Yasuteru Yamada decided it was time for his generation to stand up.

No longer could he be just an observer of the struggle to stabilise the Fukushima nuclear plant.

The retired engineer is reporting back for duty at the age of 72, and he is organising a team of pensioners to go with him.

For weeks now Mr Yamada has been getting back in touch with old friends, sending out e-mails and even messages on Twitter.

Volunteering to take the place of younger workers at the power station is not brave, Mr Yamada says, but logical."

Japan pensioners volunteer to tackle nuclear crisis - BBC

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Slow news day...