Saturday, September 29, 2007

New opportunities

When god closes a door he opens a dress.
Roger Sterling of Sterling and Cooper

Friday, September 28, 2007

Film Voyuerism and Real Life

Ads for film festivals often emphasize the way the Cinema reality is often out of step with our own reality. When you go to the movies you often exposed to situations that would cause reaction in your real life. People had to learn to only watch movies.

Here are some more ads also for the Vancouver Film Festival; interrogation, possessed child and freak show.

Working Hours and Ompimal Efficiancy, One slashdotter's view.

In the comments of an article on slashdot about the tendency of many to fall asleep at work, syntaxglitch has this comment on death marches and Karōshi in the business.
In France, we often do work less than 40 hours a week.Less work also means better productivity. There surely is a "balancing point", but if it exist, it is different for every person, and is not constant with the time.
Believe it or not, there is actual research done on this--not that anyone ever pays attention to the results. If I recall correctly, it boils down to something like this:
- Productivity is low for the first 1-3 hours of a day as people get into the swing of things
- Daily productivity mostly goes up, but drops toward the end of the day (possibly because people are consciously "winding down")
- Productivity per worker hour peaks somewhere around a 30-hour week.
- Total sustainable productivity per week peaks at around a 45-hour week.
- Around 50 hours and up, fatigue builds up over time until burnout kicks in. Sustained work weeks of 50 hours are likely to be getting less TOTAL WORK done than sustained 35-hour weeks.
- Work weeks of around 80 hours are sustainable for maybe a week or so before catastrophic loss of total productivity occurs
- Anything much more than 80 hours likely results in immediately LOWER productivity, as fatigued workers make mistakes that take more time to fix than the extra hours provide.

From this, one can conclude that European schedules are more likely to maximize individual productivity (more work per hour), while American schedules are more likely to maximize organizational productivity (more work per person). One can also conclude that any manager who demands sustained work weeks of 50 hours or more is incompetent and a fool; the management equivalent of the kind of programmer who creates so many bugs he provides a net negative productivity to the team.

In practice, actual work hours are lower than they appear; most salaried workers are prone to finding numerous ways to not work while at work, largely because in many office environments physical presence is seen as more important than actual productivity.

I suspect the best balancing point would be something like four 9-hour workdays per week. Longer days to minimize the productivity drain of mornings, but a shorter total work week to allow occasional bursts of extra effort without creating long-term burnout.

Heroism and Reality

Being a hero never filled anyone's sack with salt and saffron.

Takezo Kensei, Actually some English bandit in medieval Japan.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The City as a Marble Maze

It does seems a little egotistical to turn the entire city into your own toy.

The Globe Mistakes "Modesty" for the Fear of Being Whacked by the Clan

In the Globe and Mail story, Concern for reputation leads Muslim woman to clarify sex assault, confuses a concern for ones reputation with the reasonable fear of being murdered by one's own family. A Muslim student has come forward to say the she was not raped. There is this context given for sexual politics in moslem countries.

Ottawa's Muslim community yesterday supported the woman's decision to clear her name.

"Who are we to judge somebody else, especially if a person is innocent?" asked Mumtaz Akhtar, president of the Ottawa Muslim Association.

He acknowledged that in some Muslim countries, especially in smaller villages, people do hold the belief "that victims of rape are unclean."

"They despise the person who has been a victim of rape, even if it is their own daughter. But it is not like that here. People are more educated."

He said she shouldn't worry about that connotation, adding that people are likely to be more sympathetic because it was not her fault.

Where honor killings are most common women who have been raped by members of their own families are then murdered to protect the good name of the same family of rapists. I am more impressed by societies where people clear their names through their own deaths rather killing a scapegoat.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jungle ATM

Here is an ad of a Japanese tourist using an ATM that seems to be made out of Flintstone technology.

Hair Styling by Gum

Having little or no experience with hair saloons or barbers this seems quite reasonable. I expect that usually gum and hair don't go well together.

Lab Monkeys from the 50's Improving the Internet Today

This is actually an ad for Lycos, a web search company that has been forgotten in the present historical stage of Pax Googlia. Using monkeys as test subjects can lead to side effects, see drunk monkeys. I actually saw the original video, it was from a behavioral study to manipulate monkeys with aversion therapy.

The Hero and Reality

Being a hero never filled anyone's sack with salt and saffron.

Takezo Kensei, actually some English bandit in medieval Japan.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Scottish Cuisine Leads to Obesity, Really

Here is a BBC story about how the Scots have become secound fattest country, after the yanks. Grimm Reaper on is surpprised.
I would have thought haggis would be a major deterrant to...well, eating.

Recent Movie Mashups

Stranger Than Fiction and Harry Potter

Boogie Nights in Star Wars

Pulp Fiction done with Muppets

Here is creators of Pulp Muppets being interviewed on CNN with Wolf Blitzer/Animal.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Doing Time - a Prosiac Prison Memoir

Doing Time is memoir of a Manga artist's period in jail. This memoir was also made in to film. The mnga artist Kazuichi Hanawa was originally arrested on a bullshit gun possesion charge, there is nothing wrong with people having guns only the wrong people having guns, people who kill can use lots of other methods beside guns. Hanawa memoir of prison life has none of the violence or oppression we can expect from worksd from The Gulag Archipelago and other politaical- sociological works. Instead prison is depicted as living with your parents, forever with petty ante and contradictory rules. Both Clockwork Orange and The Blues Brother has a scene where our hero, degenerate con, has to sign an form while keeping his feet a prescribe distance away. The harsh rule based system is what to gives inprisionment its sting.

Doing Time is an enlightening tour through the Japanese system, well worth the read.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Human Flip Book

A Midwest sandwich chain has created a human flip book using t-shirts as the drawing surface. Although there has only been less than 5000 viewings of this ad it has been listed in 2 different blogs that I follow, Ads of the World and Cartoon Brew, and animation and an advertising blog. Here is the making of video below.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

High Praise for New Mexico from Californian

In the commenting on an hokey western themed election ad that Bill Richardson made for his reelection campaign one viewer, starman2006, has this high praise for New Mexico.
This is a great ad, makes me want to vote for him, but I live in California, I've heard good things about New Mexico, like there the Rent is very cheap and the Single Women have Low Standards.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Travails of Old Time Computing

And uphills! Both ways, to and from work, too! And we didn't have those fancy things called shoes, today you wouldn't go into a server room without your boots, we went in there barefooted. And did it harm us? When we wanted to know if a computer is on, we had to touch its wire, no fancy flashing lights and all the other goodies you have today! When the modem died, I had to sit there for hours and whistle in 300 baud what was on the screen! Yes, 300 baud, and we were GLAD we had that kinda speed! And no fancy debuggers either, we just watched the code fly by and we knew EXACTLY what it did. Wasn't that hard when your whole code has to fit into less than what you got as cache on your CPU today. Oh, and there was only ONE program running at a time, and you had to wait for yours to run. What do you mean "on my machine"? You didn't have one, there was ONE machine for the company, and it was in the basement. Rather, it WAS the basement! When it was cold, and it was often cold because we couldn't afford heating EITHER, that was just after the war, remember, we had NOTHING (ok, except kickass expensive computers)... where was I? Right, when it was cold, we'd huddle together between the tubes (no, Timmy, not the Tubes of the Senator, that Senator didn't exist... ok, he did, but at least he kept his yap shut back then) to stay warm.

Hey. HEY! Where d'ya think you're going? (muttermutter) Spoiled brat...

Opportunist on slashdot discussion about old DOS upgrade video.

Cardinal Wosey's Political Advice

If you want to keep the love of a prince this is what you must do, be prepared to give him the thing you most care for in all the world.

Cardinal Wolsey in The Tudors

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Choose The Lower Road

Your eminence, don't be eagle, they soar too high. Be a pigeon and shit on everything.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Logistical Troubleshooting

In the 1st book of the Raj Whitehall Chronicals there is this "recommendation" for straightening out transport difficulties.

"We gots a bit a of problem, like. The other civvie stuff, its moves aside, but this bastard won't." The sargeant brightened, and dropped a hand to his sabre. " kill hem sor?"

The guards stirred, and the dogs of the two parties exchanged tail down snarls. The civilian opened his mouth to protest, looked up at the sargeant and suddenly realized there was real hope behind the request.