Pirate Hooded Towel
A great moment in fashion. Available at Neatorama.
Commentary by Michael Wade on Leadership, Ethics, Management, and Life
A great moment in fashion. Available at Neatorama.
As the author of eight mystery novels on Hitler and the Nazis, I'm sometimes asked why I choose to write about this subject. Hasn't the time come when, in a tidy phrase beloved of Tony Blair, we should "draw a line" under the war and move on? Indeed, the question was once put to me rather more directly in Berlin by a German publisher with whom I was having dinner. "You're not a Jew," he said. "What's it to you, what happened 60 years ago? Why do you want to keep on bringing up the past like this?"
Back by popular demand: "A Matter of Trust."
Sports Illustrated has the story of the classic baseball film, "Major League." An excerpt:
You will always find some Eskimos ready to instruct the Congolese on how to cope with heat waves.
Take some time today and read the poem by Colin Hay that is posted at The Hammock Papers.
Note this post from FutureLawyer on economy of effort. I will definitely be checking out ExpressDictate.
Winston Churchill once ascribed his success to economy of effort. He advised not to stand when you can sit and not to sit when you can lie down.
You've got to think about big things while you're doing small things so that all the small things go in the right direction.
“Jeff, when you’re a leader, there’s going to be at least one person at any given time who thinks he was put on this earth to be your greatest critic.”
Be courteous to all, but intimate with few; and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
Joseph Epstein reviews Stanley Fish's book on writing. An excerpt:
This product or service will be of major benefit to people who work in Specialty B. It will save time for them and will prevent some of their worse problems. It was designed with their needs in mind by highly experienced people who know the daily challenges of people who work in Specialty B.
Remembering the great Peter Falk with a scene from "The In-Laws."
A good friend of mine - upon whose judgment I rely - strongly recommends Death Clouds on Mt. Baldy by Cathy Hufault: The story of some Boy Scouts from Tucson who went hiking in the mountains and got caught in an unexpected blizzard in 1958.
Any New York institution that participates in this travesty should be roundly denounced. Art in the Streets is a classic exercise of the elites’ juvenile dalliance with countercultural norms that they have no intention of adopting in their own protected lives. MOCA has never tolerated graffiti on its own premises; none of its wealthy Hollywood and real-estate-mogul trustees would ever allow tagging on their homes or businesses, either. So opposed is MOCA to unauthorized graffiti on its walls that it stationed additional security guards around its premises before the show opened, to guard against the inevitable upsurge in graffiti that the show would (and did) trigger. Yet there is no sign that Deitch or his trustees grasp the contradiction. Indeed, in a breathtaking display of stunted moral development, Art in the Streets never even addresses the seminal fact that behind every act of graffiti is an invisible property owner whose rights have been appropriated against his will.
Amid all of the praise-praise-praise and motivate-motivate-motivate talk, there should be much more attention given to the danger of ego.
While talking with the board of a historical society about ways to convey the excitement of history, I kept thinking of Connie Willis's Doomsday Book. Imagine what it would be like if historians could travel to other time periods? You want to study the Middle Ages? We'll arrange for you to visit.
Back by popular demand: The first few minutes of David Lean's film of "Great Expectations."
FutureLawyer, who has a marvelous blog, is a devoted fan of Pandora.
It is easy to understand why labor negotiations often reach a conclusion in the dead of night after weeks of wrangling: The teams are tired and what once seemed impossible to accept has now become tolerable.
As I drove through a small town in a remote part of Arizona, a huge dust devil blew across the highway. I slowed down to avoid it and could see a person, clad in a white t-shirt and blue jeans, trying to outrace the whirlwind. He was able to elude the main part and get into a store building before it hit. All of the cars behind me slowed as well. No one wanted to drive into that red-brown mess.
Having stayed at one of the few hotels in America with questionable Internet access, I have been unable to post until now.
Must reading: Cultural Offering's memo to all email marketers. My favorite part:
When I groaned about a long drive to a meeting in another city, my daughter said, "It sounds like you have an attitude."
Is sitting for prolonged periods bad for your health if the music of Bach is softly playing in the background?
National Geographic reports on the oldest art found in the Americas:
Alexis Madrigal on what big media can learn from The New Public Library:
My pager went off, jolting me awake. I knew it wouldn't be good news. I underestimated the situation. As I was climbing out of bed, my daughter knocked on the bedroom door. "Daddy," she said, "They said on TV that an Oakland officer was killed."
Cultural Offering has a profile of a quiet hero. An excerpt:
Get ready for the announcements about Pottermore. From The Telegraph article:
A reading of the W. H. Auden poem, "1st September, 1939."
"They're all the same."
My post on presentations that are challenging is up at the SWRCI site.
At Unhappy Hipsters: The mushroom stood frozen in the corner, waiting for his moment.
Art Contrarian looks at the work of Peder Severin Kroyer.
The little things accumulate. If they are good, fine results may ensue and if they are bad, the opposite. My guess is that in most cases the little things are as neutral as their effects.
Four design firms planned the perfect office and they liked a lot of glass.
From the incomparable Nicholas Bate: "Reduce the number of wires and cables in your life" and much, much more.
I knew a baseball coach who started every season by having the parents of his players go out on the field. He placed the kids in the stands and simulated game situations for the parents. He told the kids to shout out instructions for every play at the top of their lungs as the play was developing. "Get the guy at second." "Home, home, throw it home." The parents noticed that while they were making split second decisions about where to throw the ball or what to do in the field, they had no recollection of anything the kids were yelling from the stands.
For many years, I've conducted research on the management proclivities of dictatorships. [Eventually, those findings will go into a book.]
It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.
Seth Godin has a thought-provoking post on being dangerous (in a good way).
Kick off the week with Fats Domino. You will smile.
One of the characteristics of totalitarian regimes is the requirement that their citizens be immersed in all sorts of activities. They have government-run groups for children, workers, men, women, farmers, athletes, various professions...the list is almost endless. The idea is to keep people busy on projects the regime favors so they don't have time for other thoughts, such as replacing the regime. Activity without real authority could be the motto.
The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals.
Back by popular demand: "Good Ole Boys Like Me."
Fathers are well-depicted in these films:
Janine Jansen playing "A Lark Ascending."
Life and love: Take some time today and read this post at View From the Ledge.
In business fairy tales, the best candidate is always selected for promotion, all of the team members pitch in, senseless procedures are quickly spotted and eliminated, and people do what they say they will do. People do not file meritless complaints, outside attorneys are dedicated to the truth, and union leaders and top execs are invariably noble. The new products and services are always improvements over the former ones and customer satisfaction is the gold standard. Meetings are well-run and productive and there is never a hidden agenda. The workplace is clean and safe and so attractive that people are reluctant to leave at the end of the day, which always arrives with sufficient time for a fulfilled family or social life. The mission is clear, the employee handbook is readable, and the rules reflect common sense. All crises are resolved within 24 hours and no one is hurt. Lessons are learned and grudges are not kept. People are treated like, well, people and not as machine parts that can be easily replaced. The days pass with well-paced excitement and nothing ever happens at an inconvenient time. There may be a wizard or two but trolls always work elsewhere.
Professor William Happer on greenhouse gases.
“I looked at the pattern and I thought, You’ve got to be kidding me. My tax dollars for this?” CADPAT looked unlike any natural background a soldier would encounter. Using a $100 computer-graphics program, he cooked up his own digital pattern in about three hours. He posted it on the Web and labeled it GUYPAT. As luck would have it, King Abdullah of Jordan was at that moment shopping for new uniforms. A Jordanian official spotted Cramer’s design and cold-called him. “We like what we see,” the caller said.
The readers launch a protest over the format at an HR site. [Check the comments.]
Dr. Helen takes on 18 things men need to know:
Andrew Ferguson on the statistics of baseball:
The trailer for the Stanley Kubrick film, "The Killing." Sterling Hayden. Elisha Cook. Vince Edwards. Those names alone should make you want to see it.
This post by Eclecticity about seeing a bald eagle in Virginia will resonate with anyone who has seen these magnificent birds on the wing. Most Americans are relieved that Benjamin Franklin's idea of making the turkey our national bird didn't catch on.
Cultural Offering provides his list of music essentials and an impressive one it is. No Boxcar Willie or Lady Gaga.
If you could read the minds of many in the workplace you would find:
@DoktorLuther produced the greatest line seen today :
Tired of cramped airplane seats? CoolTools extols the virtues of SeatGuru.
Lumosity’s website offers 40 games designed to sharpen a wide range of cognitive skills. The signup process walks you through a series of questions to figure out whether you want, for example, to improve your ability to remember names, get better at problem solving, or develop better concentration at work or while driving. It then designs a series of “courses” tailored to your particular interests.
Weiner's going. I was tired of this story before it began but at least it pushed Charlie Sheen off of the radar. As American scandals go, however, this is not the end. There always remains the book deal.
James Lileks reports on a "social justice" issue:
Gretchen Rubin at The Happiness Project lists 10 widespread myths about happiness.
Give them pleasure - the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare.
FutureLawyer wonders if phone numbers are heading for the scrap pile.
Ann Althouse on the double standard when saying one sex is better than the other.
...Prior to about 2004, I’d write final exams with essay questions like “Compare Hobbes and Nietzsche on the question of religion” and “What is the difference between Marx and Locke on the origins of private property?” I’d correctly assume that the students had read the texts more than once and as carefully as could be expected from undergraduates. Should I do that today, I’d probably incite a riot, and perhaps as many as 20 percent of the students would flunk because they hadn’t read a word of the assigned texts.
Jon Stewart on the news media and the Palin emails. Truly one of the low points in the history of American journalism.
I've seen presentations where you could tell that the presenter's main goal was just to get through the talk. There was no interest in whether the audience had retained anything. A close relative to that low standard is the university lecturer who simply drones through a mass of material in order to eat up class time and to be able to say that certain points were covered.
Check out this excellent post by Tanmay Vora on personal mastery and the commitment to learning.
Brilliant isn't making it on the stock exchange if you never see your kids. Brilliant isn't winning the company Porsche two quarters in a row if the third quarter you were in hospital with chest pains.
The proceedings of the Old Bailey, London's Central Criminal Court , are online. A description of the project:
Business Pundit takes a look at 15 weird museums.
The first chapter of "David Copperfield" is "I Am Born."
Catherine Spaak is still around.
The truth is, creativity isn't about wild talent as much as it's about productivity. To find a few ideas that work, you need to try a lot that don't. It's a pure numbers game.
This post on Anderson Layman's Blog about Louis Rukeyser brought back many pleasant memories.
Nelson Biagio Jr. has a great blog and a new template. Check it out.
A reminder of why Sinatra was - and is - so great.
A rather spooky video at Althouse: If life were Facebook.
Christopher Hitchens on the Edwards-Weiner scandals. An excerpt:
This FutureLawyer post on a hi-tech Italian wristwatch is interesting but one of his side comments struck me as more interesting than the new watch.
Here's the first movement of Fantasia para Un Gentilhombre.
People who have been in the sales wars note that it is not unusual to find that the person or work unit that will benefit the most from a product or service is the least likely to purchase it. Aiming your efforts in that direction is a waste of time.
Tim Berry notes that necessity is not always the mother of invention:
Alec Baldwin believes that Anthony Weiner is a modern human being.
Cultural Offering, ever alert, examines an important lesson at a baseball game:
Start the weekend right: Go to the site of George Steinmetz and see the galleries of his stunning photographs of Africa.
Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
"If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?" *
Glenn Reynolds is worried about organic farms.
"Personnel" - What does this evoke? Pea-green walls, worn tile, metal desks, and lots and lots of polyester.
As a couple of new management classes come together, I have loads of great ideas.
Just because you are following your bliss, it doesn't mean anybody's going to pay you for it.
Ann Althouse shows off her motorized desk.
Wally Bock has an excellent review of the qualities of one of the greatest leaders in the history of the world.
At Chief Executive, Bob Donnelly wonders, "Do CEOs read history?"
Robin Williams as John Houseman reading the telephone book.
I've heard people say, "Oh, it's a small audience at that workshop. People will be very talkative."
I examined an organization that was inadvertently designed to be inefficient and ineffective. Many of the operating assumptions held by its management team were dependent upon the organization having a reasonable system instead of one that foiled progress. As a result, the management team members - at least those team members who wanted progress - were frustrated.
Gretchen Rubin at The Happiness Project has "7 Tips for Minding My Own Business." An excerpt:
Location: A very busy Starbucks in north Phoenix.
"If they can't help me, I won't help them."
The film "Network" gave us plenty of warning about the TV biz: Here's the scene where Faye Dunaway meets with her staff.
Aside from the more intense moments of coaching sessions when a specific problem is being identified or an action plan developed, there are times when the coach simply serves as a sounding board.