Babies talk about Google’s +1

OK you should probably only watch this once, as it may get annoying, listening to it again, so here is an exposé about Google +1, “from the babies mouth” as they say:


“This is going to change everything”

“Talk to the hand bill”

It’s a translation version of the viral twin baby video…

Check out the original viral version here:

And if you are actually interested about what “us old adults” think the twins are actually saying, check the twins’ parents’ site and the twins being interviewed on GMA, or is that the parents or both ;)

Client and vendor relationships played out in the real world

Carrying across the types of situations that occur between clients and vendors (in the B2B world) to real world, everyday situations, now that could lead to some funny situations, couldn’t it!
I was perusing my dear Mr Marks blog and came across a link to Mr Potter’s blog where I found the below video.

What is actually even funnier/more interesting is to read the comments on YouTube, there are 520 and counting at the moment…

The UK Government’s Wiki melt-down

Yes pun intended, the minister from the UK government that decided to create an open environmental Wiki that ‘all’ could edit must have been reading all the web 2.0 hype about getting people involved without any authentication required. Well the result is pretty impressive in that the site was defaced and lead way to numerous jokes and sarcastic (and funny) remarks about the subject. Obviously it is highly unlikely that this was the expected outcome !


No smoking

Last Saturday during a dinner with friends we started talking about the latest ‘Enjeux, Les Echos’ magazine. One of the articles covers the trend in the US whereby certain companies are refusing to hire people that smoke. There are also companies that are doing all they can to get workers to participate in sports activities.
Anyway, the subject of smoking… Aaah, I love that one…

Before going any further I must admit, I am not only against smoking, but I do everything I can to stop people from smoking in my presence. This behaviour in France, where smoking is kind of a tradition is often considered selfish.
Yes, believe it or not, smokers in France 9 times out of 10 get away with making people who don’t want to participate in secondary smoking look as if they are the bad guys. A ‘je ne sais quoi’ of “you are depriving me of the freedom to smoke where I want”, even if it means getting you to smoke their cigarettes, like it or not.

The well known “Well I don’t complain when you…”, “You’ve got bad habits that I put up with…”, “There are 5 of us that smoke and only 2 of you that don’t…” often come up in the conversation.
Responding when the debate starts off at such a low level and off the point is pretty useless…

If you’re really lucky you’ll be with people that previously smoked, secretly enjoying being able to breathe in the smoke of others ! So when you complain about the smoking they feel a bit like dear in the headlights, wondering whether people will realise their secret about enjoying secondary smoking, playing on the “it’s their right to smoke” supporting act !

It’s true in France there are an enormous amount of people that smoke and my impression is that far more girls and women smoke than boys and men. A friend who is a teacher in Ireland, on holiday over here in France last year was telling me how the kids that he brought over to France on exchange actually came back shocked by how many young kids where smoking.

In France people often quote the sentence “La liberté des uns s’arrête là où commence celle des autres” : Your freedom ends where the other person’s freedom begins. I also use the concept, this simplistic though it may be, to understand different situations. Smoking never seems to get past it though. Smoke doesn’t just stop in a bubble that surrounds the smoker; it’s free to ride like the wind, wherever it wants…

Smoking is less of a solitary habit, often it’s group induced.
People share their smoke with those around them. If you’re in the restaurant and feel like enjoying the subtleties of the food you are eating (smokers’ taste buds are dead to these subtleties), you can be sure at least one table will have a smoker that is willing to share his smoke with you. Age isn’t a problem either, they’ll share their smoke with you even if your first teeth haven’t appeared !

Smoking isn’t just bad for us humans though, one of best friends recently asked me to have a look at a computer that died on him. After taking it to bits we found out that the previous owner had both not cleaned it and smoked. The combination of dust and smoke had created a near solid component in certain areas that had rendered most heat reduction systems like fans and the copper radiators completely useless. Resulting in the death of the poor computer…

It can get worse though; you can actually have a smoker close by that will provide the whole house with a fragrance that will remain for years to come…

But whether you’re in France or coming to France, don’t abide by the rules that the smokers are helplessly trying to keep intact. Blow on the cinders of change so that the heat is on the smokers to change. Don’t let selfish habits make you feel you’re the one that should give in. At the end of the day, it’s your life and health that are at risk…

Who invited the Blair wolf in amongst the Labour lambs ?

An alarm system is extra insurance from my perspective that gives you piece of mind since there is little I can do about the global picture that leads to burglaries.
Spiegel’s interview with Kenneth Rogoff from Harvard can probably be considered similar to an alarm. In effect Rogoff discusses the alarming effect that ‘unbridled capitalism’ is having in the world. For right wing US politicians that marvel at the UK as an example of the success of capitalism this may be an interesting read. Although Rogoff seems to finish the interview off as if he was the newly appointed coach for the German Olympic team, a kind of pep talk style finish !

I have always been astonished that right wing politicians, whether they are in Europe or America, don’t try harder to imitate Tony Blair. I mean when you are so far right of the left wing in any country you might as well just call yourself right wing ! But I think Tony has been waiting for the right moment, for his political ‘coming out’ or should I say ‘way out’. Previous European politicians like Mitterrand gave Blair the example. Blair has just taken it to the next level, to the extent that the English right wing just no longer seems to be an alternative. Between Thatcher and Blair which one do you think has enabled the rich in England to get richer while the rest of the country has stagnated comparatively? Whoever invited the Blair wolf in amongst the labour lambs will probably get a medal from English aristocracy and ‘fat cats’ ! I mean when you’ve got Blair in power who cares about the conservatives !
So why should Blair be a role model for the right wing ? Pretty simple really, you give the impression you are not a pure capitalist and that you do care about people, including those that aren’t rich, while slowly dismantling the institutions that help the people that aren’t rich and creating tax rebates and rules that are advantageous to the rich. Now why didn’t the conservatives think about doing that ? Err, they did she was called Thatcher ! The difference, she was honest about it !

But seriously, am I the only one that feels that the rich seem to get carried away with the whole ‘I want to be rich’ thing. It’s as if they need someone to tell them “Oh by the way, old chap, you are now officially rich”, “Hey, you’ve won the game, you can stop now !”. But no, it’s seems that they get addicted, the poor things. I suppose they may feel the need to say, “You don’t know how lucky you are, not being rich!” just so we feel better…

A quote from the Rogoff interview :

I tell my children that a man like Bill Gates has a personal fortune of $100 billion. They can’t even comprehend that. Then I explain that he has more money than some countries.

So far though, the common belief has been, well, what can we do, life is life etc. Then according to some journalists, along came the French, oooh yes, they’re wicked they are, I’ve heard about them in some history book. Wasn’t it Bryan Adams that sang about them as well ‘In the summer of ’89’ ? They all took to the streets because the powers that be and the upper class in general were driving them mad, and it also it was summer so it must have been pretty hot…
So anyway, several years later the French are doing it again. It’s weird though after chopping off those heads in the summer of ’89 you would have thought they’d be happy by now.

There are journalists who actually seem to have understood what is going on in France like Christopher Dickey, where the name of the game isn’t just about sensationalism. The article recounts the recent demonstrations further discussing some of the underlying issues that France is faced with.

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin had gambled that he could win this showdown. It would be a Margaret Thatcher moment, a Ronald Reagan moment, reminiscent of the way the Iron Lady defeated Britain’s unions or the avuncular American president faced down the air-traffic controllers in the 1980s.

As this journalist from the New York Times writes, the French are like the Italians, they have this weird aim in life, to have a stable job. He seems to be saying, in the US, that people like taking risks so much that stable jobs, well, they’re just not interesting enough. What’s funny, is when the guy takes the example of tennis, in Italy they complain about not being able to play tennis until the afternoon !!? Well it’s not that funny because it’s most probably as representative of Italy as talking about country clubs in the US, where the rich CEOs complain about being late for the tennis match due to the time it took to fire a few hundred people that morning!
But this journalist is a professional of course, he quotes renowned economists in explaining that France and Italy are living above their means, unlike the US. No I’m only joking, he doesn’t quote anybody, he most probably wrote the article after being ditched by his ex Italian girlfriend and decided to take it out on the entire nation ! Why take it out on the French ? Well he remembered that entrepreneur is a French word and since jabbing the French is an American pastime at the moment… And to mirror some of the simplistic remarks I have seen recently about the French. Maybe the US is annoyed at the fact that France may have a woman as a president before the US ?

So if you want a laugh, read the New York Times and if you’re more into serious articles go the Spiegel interview. Well Rogoff does try to be funny :

The New Orleans disaster made it painfully clear what happens to people in deep poverty: they don’t even have a boat.

Err, what, so deep poverty is you don’t even have a boat and normal poverty is what, having an inflatable boat ? I’m not that familiar with New Orleans but isn’t a boat a bit of a luxury there for the majority, let alone the poor !?
To simply read an interesting article take a look at Dickey’s article…

Note : (free) registration required for the New York Times article. Both Dickey and Rogoff use the term ‘unbridled capitalism’ in their article/interview.