Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Freaks and Geeks

Found yet another brilliant article by Paul Graham. While the title "WhyNerds are Unpopular" is quite narrow, the essay certianly aint. It's one of themost lucid and informative explanation for the problems found with teenage kidsin industrial societies.

In the essay he makes a brilliant link between schools, prisons and socialites:

I think the important thing about the real world is not that it's populated by adults, but that it's very large, and the things you do have real effects. That's what school, prison, and ladies-who-lunch all lack. The inhabitants of all those worlds are trapped in little bubbles where nothing they do can have more than a local effect. Naturally these societies degenerate into savagery. They have no function for their form to follow.

This is essential reading if you want an insight into a serious social problem we are all facing.

Friday, March 25, 2005

OzTag

The Predators made another Oztag final. We played our semi against a team of cocky youngsters and held them out for a 3-2 win... It was a very "interesting" game, but not for the normal reasons. Half way through the second half one of our players - Brad - went down with what looks to be a broken ankle... I was on the other side of the field and could hear the crack! as his ankle gave way... The game was held up for about 45 minutes until an ambulance arrived.. There was some visible bleeding on his lower leg, which doesn't bode well (because it may be due to bone fragments).

Even worse, on the field next to ours a mixed game was being played and a girl had copped an elbow to the head. She seemed to be in serious trouble when the ambulance arrived, as she was having trouble moving.. No one wanted to say the words "spinal injury".. I'm hoping she comes out ok.. You don't want to see anyone go through that..

After that sobering thought, back to our game.. the opposition were all very fast steppers.. their game relied on getting around us and beating us on 1-on-1 tags.. We planned early to make sure we had lots of cover defence and to call the steppers and get plenty of bodies in their way.. this worked well for us.. even though they beat us 1-on-1 maybe a dozen times our 2nd man and cover defence always cleaned up..

Scotty had a brilliant game, scoring two tries and putting in a bunch of good plays.. of course the explanation for this was the fact that Scotty was just so slow that the opposition were zooming past him.. :) Bunch of our guys (Quang and Phi specially) made some brilliant last-ditch efforts to save tries..

So, another final next week. The memory of 2003 final is pretty fresh in most of the guys minds (we were minor premiers, lost only 1 game all season, and then went down in the final)... I think we have a pretty good shot at this one.. we've beaten both teams in the other semi, so we should be able to do it again.. Can't wait till next thursday.. last oztag final I was in was the 98-99 season! That's a long time between drinks!

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Shins and Personal Marketing

Been listening to the Garden State soundtrack of late. Really getting into it.. I sat down and listened to it properly last night, and realised just how brilliant The Shins are. The two songs on the GS soundtrack have convinced me to go buy both their albums.

Headed off to Amazon.com to see what people were saying about them. Both their albums Oh, Inverted World and Chutes Too Narrow are pretty highly rated. Will head down to Fish or Hum one of these days to pick that and the whole Hilltop Hoods back catalogue.

Then I noticed that their "Similar Items" list included a whole bunch of CDs that I was planning to get. Stuff like Modest Mouse's Good News For People Who Love Bad News, Deathcab for Cutie's Transatlanticism and Franz Ferdinand. I know that Amazon leads the world in targetted marketing, but that was a pretty good hit rate. I think it's called "attach rate" in sales-speak.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Meeting the Boss

Or the bosses. I've been invited to a round-table discussion withPhil Bullock, CEO of IBM Australia and Frank Kern GM IBM Asia Pacific to discuss "Leading Change When Business Is Good".

Everyone in my team is making a big deal of it and it's makingme very nervous.. How frank should you be with your country GM andregional GM? I know Sam (Palmisano - IBM CEO, big kahuna) encourageseveryone to be open on this sort of thing, but I think it's a diffmatter when you're across the table from your CEO!

Anyways, we shall see what goes down. I'm just happy that theypicked me. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2005

Sin City

Just heard that a film adaptation of Frank Miller's brilliant noir graphic novel(s) Sin City is being made... Miller is the genius behinf the later Daredevil comics, creator of Elektra and writer of the best Batman comics - he was the person who turned Batman from a goofy superhero into a dark vigilante.

From looking at the promotional material and the trailer, it looks just absolutely brilliant. Miller shares a director credit with Robert Rodriguez (Once Apon A Time In Mexico, From Dusk Till Dawn and Desperado) and the look of the film couldn't be any better. It's mostly in black and white, with sections of oversaturated colour. It looks like it was just taken straight from the comics. Just take a look at the trailer and be blown away!

This is one of the new generation of films shot entirely on a "digital backlot" i.e. without sets like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Also of note is that Quentin Tarantino directed part of this movie (the $1 exchange for Rodriguez doing the music for Kill Bill Volume 2).

I really can't wait to see this. It's just going to be brilliant, specially with the cast of Clive Owen, Elijah Wood, Jessica Alba (she is sooo hot in this), Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Brittany Murphy and Benicio Del Toro.. Of course Sin City is pretty dark and highly stylised, not everyone's cup of tea, but I just can't wait! I get the strange feeling that this will be in my list of favourite films very, very quickly.

Oh! And check out the gorgeous Alexis Bledel (of Gilmore Girls) as Becky (and yes, that IS what the film looks like).


Walk down the right back alley in Sin City and you can find anything.