Sunday, January 31, 2010

Not every blogger would begin a history of the 2010s with a vignette in which the oldest house in King Street is peppered with stories from the dream team Peter, Linda and the richest man in the world. Big Night Out fireworks filled with an F- 18 flyover, a 100-gun salute, a new tax crackdown or gala ball?

2010 is not any old year. It marks the centenary year for the Australian Taxation Office, a silver anniversary of the introduction of capital gains tax and a ten anniversary of GST (31 January 2000 to be exact - according to Phil).
Australia Post will honour our centenary with a commemorative stamp that will be circulated among our public. It will be co-designed by tax office staff and launched before November 11, 2010.
The Royal Australian Mint will honour our centenary with a circulating 20 cent coin. It will be designed by tax office staff and released in 2010.

Indeed, GST has been with us for nearly 10 years. This time ten years ago, there was talk of riots in the streets and fears of a consumer strike as prices went up and the threat of price policeman Alan Fels waving his stick. But as it turns out that was the least of our worries. Dr Ken Henry - I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization

Recent Survey: Taxpayers giving the rich a cheap ride: survey - Most Australians believe high-income earners do not pay enough tax, and nearly all think low- and middle-income earners pay too much

Taxation is the price we pay for civilization. A Taxing Year to Remember
Michael D'Ascenzo who is widely recognised in Australia and globally for his expertise in taxation and superannuation. (Note - Michael D'Ascenzo is not related to a Canadian actor who is known as Rainbow "Rain" Papadakis in the children's television show Naturally, Sadie.)

Michael D’Ascenzo took up his role as antipodean Commissioner of Taxation on 1 January 2006. When Michael D’Ascenzo joined the Tax Office in 1977, during the bohemian Havel’s Charter 77, he was captured by the exciting work associated with challenging the tax avoidance schemes of the late 1970s and early 1980s, particularly trust stripping and ‘bottom of the harbour’ schemes.
"This tax haven project (Wickenby) is one of the big success stories of the G20," the OECD's head of tax policy, Jeffrey Owens said. "This is not a numbers game. We have seen a real change in attitudes towards compliance."

*The Canberra Times captured a few interesting snippets about the Commish - John Hatton, AO also likes the quote from the Amerikan Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Few children nurse a desire to become that legendary figure of hate, the tax man.
And when young lawyer Michael D'Ascenzo applied to join the public service more than three decades ago, he admits he had little wish to stay at the Australian Taxation Office he now leads.
"The ATO was the first to ring back. I came here with the intention of being here for a few months until I got a better job," he said.
Yet, Mr D'Ascenzo's passion for tax issues grew and he has now been Australia's Taxation Commissioner for more than four years.
The 56-year-old, whose expertise is sought-after worldwide, has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to public administration and the tax profession throughout his career.
He says his enthusiasm for his work springs from its crucial contribution to the community. During his 33 years with the agency, the Tax Office's work has grown beyond collecting public revenue to protecting workers' futures by administering sttperannttation law and helping cut red tape for businesses.
"I like the phrase that [American jurist] Oliver Wendell Holmes usually used, that `tax is the price we pay for a civilised society' ... You really are making a great contribution to the community and to Australia." He agrees the Tax Office will always need to battle to win the community's affection. That's the light at the top of the hill. It's the aspiration we go for ... If we can take a few steps forward, then that's progress," he said. "At the end of the day, you're trying to redress thousands of years of stereotyping. while people might not boast about it, deep down, most people appreciate the work we do on behalf of the community." He said the Australia Day honour was not his award alone, but one he would share with the Tax Office and its staff.
But today's achievement clearly means a lot to the Italian-born Mr D'Ascenzo, whose pride was clear when he reflected on how much the award would have meant to his recently deceased mother. "My only regret is that my mum's not here for this moment."

Minister Congratulates Tax Commissioner on Australia Day Award ; Italian-born Mr D'Ascenzo ; Our ABC [The Historian, Leigh Edmonds, is to capture the official history of the Tax Office recognising our past, present and future Tax Office Centenary significant memoir; Official history ; The Federal Court has dismissed an application by 3 taxpayers seeking an interlocutory injunction to restrain the Tax Office from carrying out an examination of the taxpayers under s 264 of the ITAA 1936. Daniels v Cranston [2009] FCA 1412, Federal Court, Lander J, 20 November 2009 From Bottom of the Harbour to Wickenby Tax Havens;]
• · Australia could have had a goods and services tax (GST) 20 years sooner, had John Howard had his way. GST on John Howard's agenda in 1979
10 years of GST - The trials and tribulations - Memories of Lara Dunston ; Treasury boss Ken Henry has set himself an ambitious goal: he wants to shake up how we all think about rivers and roads A New Tax System In 2009 Jeffery Owens, the head of the OECD’s Centre for Fiscal Affairs remarked, Who would have thought 25 years ago that the ATO would be so highly regarded internationally?; Praise for ATO war on offshore tax cheats
• · · A Flood of leaks from the government about its plans for superannuation and tax reform are causing distress and confusion in the business community and among pre-retirees trying to plan long-term savings and investments. Tax reform leaks are causing concern; Ken Henry report: Contact us before we contact you.
• · · · For weeks – no, months – I have suppressed the dark thoughts. As the new year dawned, the twinges of panic became more persistent, yet I remained paralysed by doubt and guilt. With each passing day, the pressure grows more unbearable… I really must find out where the money goes ... You can help by supporting a piece of US legislation called the Energy Security Through Transparency Act, which would require oil, gas, and mining companies to publicly disclose payments made to governments. Follow the money," which shows just what happens when you buy gas every day ; The macroeconomic arguments for the GST I think were, and remain, watertight. Remember, in the 1980s as Treasurer Keating was for it before he was agin’ it as PM in the 1990s?. The GST introduced a broad-based, growing revenue stream for government and ensured that the wealthy couldn’t avoid paying tax on their (large, and growing) expenditures, even if clever accountants meant they could largely avoid paying much on their income. A particular innovation of the Australian model was to reserve GST revenue to the States, ostensibly making it available for service delivery (schools, roads, hospitals) to the communities that had paid it. We can quibble over how much in % terms each state pays and gets, the competence of the state governments as service providers, and the difficulty businesses face in complying with their collections and remittance obligations — but still I think the macroeconomic argument has proven its validity ten years on. still I think the macroeconomic argument has proven its validity ten years on.; The excise legislation is more than 100 years old as excise has been levied on a number of commodities since 1901. 1901 - that means even older than the oldest Public Accounts Committee in Australia
• · · · · Over the past ninety years the High Court has been divided in its approach to the definition of 'duties of excise'. Initially such duties were confined to taxes on the production or manufacture of goods. This definition was gradually extended to include taxes on goods imposed at any point in the distribution process. Over time the Court came to accept that exceptions should be made for taxes on alcohol, tobacco and petrol, and hence the States have been permitted to tax these goods. The plaintiffs were charged under the Business Franchise Licences (Tobacco) Act 1987 (NSW) with selling tobacco in NSW without a licence. The Act provides for a licence fee, which includes a set amount, plus an amount calculated by reference to the value of tobacco sold during the 'relevant period'. The 'relevant period' is defined as 'the month commencing 2 months before the commencement of the month in which the licence expires'. The plaintiffs argued that the licence fee imposed by the Act was an excise and hence invalid due to section 90 of the Constitution. A majority of the High Court (Brennan CJ, McHugh, Gummow and Kirby JJ) agreed. - The case that made GST possible What is an excise duty? Ha and Hammond v NSW ; The states have been urged to undertake their own Henry-style reviews of their tax systems and act on the findings, rather than blame Canberra for their economic woes States urged to review tax
• · · · · · Accountability, flexibility and transparency have become, in recent decades, the mantras of management in Australia and New Zealand as the public sector attempts to become more like the private sector. Driven by economic rationalism, by managerialism, by the election of right-of-centre governments and the movement of left-of-centre governments to the right, and by a different expectation of what governments can and should do, public administration has morphed into new public management (NPM). Governing the Government: The Paradoxical Place of the Public Accounts Committee; Back in 2002 my old Public Accounts Committee celebrated centenary and its courageous chair Andrew Tink knew how to deliver a speech ... When Lieutenant James Cook arrived at Botany Bay at the end of April 1770, he brought with him two future Parliamentary Committee witnesses who would turn out to be crucial to the British Government’s decision to settle Australia. Those future witnesses spent their short time at Botany Bay examining everything in sight and making copious contemporaneous notes of whatever caught their eye. They were of course, Joseph Banks and James Mario Matra who along with Captain Cook himself wrote in their Journals about the sandy soil, strange vegetation and even stranger animals. The Role of Parliamentary Committee Witnesses in the Foundation of Australia, Mr Andrew Tink MP

CODA - STUART WASHINGTON - blast from parliamentary past writes well. It reads like an airport spy novel: an unsolved murder in a Tokyo red-light district, exotic tax havens around the world, and thousands of defrauded investors in Britain. Add to that some $118 million tipped in to Astarra Strategic Fund by Australian investors which, almost three months after authorities blew the whistle, is still not properly accounted for. The investigation by regulators is understood to include every possibility - from the $118 million being "misplaced" to misappropriation. "misplaced" to misappropriation. Authorities were alerted in September in a letter from the Bronte Capital blogger, John Hempton, about the improbably smooth returns achieved by Astarra Strategic, which advertised itself as an investor in hedge funds.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving 'down the Cooper' where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know
-Banjo Paterson (Banjo Crabbe)

On T-shirts, as capes, as tattoos covering arms, faces and ankles, the Australian flag was the real star of the Australia Day at the iceberg and the Crabbe Hole …

The Crabbe Hole (- a place to be on Australia Day or any day ...)
Bondi Icebergs
1 Notts Av
Bondi Beach 2026 NSW
Phone: 0403 074 447

Boxing Klokan Kangaroo - Ripples Andrew Crabbe has put together a pleasant list of beachside favourites ...

Australian English, or Strine, is arguably the most international of all English dialects. It has been shaped by its Pommy parent, American television, one million of Australia's 20 million inhabitants living in foreign countries at any one time, and Australia having strong sporting relations with all other Commonwealth countries.

Just in time for Australia Day, Homer Simpson has been declared the honorary Australian of the year. Ralph magazine made the announcement to commemorate The Simpsons' 20th anniversary on the airwaves. Homer's well-known fondness for Australian specialties such as beer, barbecues and sports (watching them on TV, that is) also landed him the job of guest editor for the mag's February issue. So 21st century Bohemian Soldier Svejk (The Good Soldier Švejk (also spelled Schweik or Schwejk) also known as Homer is on Australia Day named honorary Aussie

Alone of all the races on earth, they seem to be free from the 'Grass is Greener on the other side of the fence' syndrome, and roundly proclaim that Australia is, in fact, the other side of that fence.

Ach, antipodean Rosie Williams asks herself some hard questions about Australia Day in her article, Lest We Forget, published on January 25th in On Line Opinion ...

Australia Day 2010: learn something new about Australia and then tell someone you know or meet Underdog Down Under: Can one be both European and Australian?
Last year I sat in my apartment trying to figure out what to do about Australia Day. There was a celebration in the local park, a beautiful riverside niche where I often enjoy the local cafe. Yet today I felt torn. Would the celebrations carry on around the Indigenous Australians living on what we feel are the margins of society, looking past them as though they do not exist? Had anything changed since the 2008 Apology? Was Australia Day celebrating an achievement or an invasion?

These questions troubled me and having no answers kept me away from the park. I realised that for time unknown Aboriginals had sat by that river doing pretty much what everyone was doing today: socialising, eating, living. And there the Aboriginals are - still doing exactly the same thing in the new millennium. This timeless culture lives among us yet we do not see it. With all our educational programs we are still blind. What we see as culture: nice rooms, expensive furnishings and stiff behaviour does not acknowledge the respect for nature, the rites and customs that grew up with this ancient land.
We live alongside one of the oldest cultures on earth yet know almost nothing about it So often we think of history as boring and irrelevant without realising that the history of Australia is the history of the world. Australia has a rich history dating back into the mists of time and one which we need to know
I'd be the first to say this country is a great place
But if we call it 'home' there is a few things we must face
This is a nation made from murder, the theft of land
And the denial of rights we must understand
Yeah, they call it "Black Armband" but these things are facts and it's time to
Acknowledge what's happened
Cause tomorrow songs are made from today's sounds
Today's cacophony - of course it has a background

• The country itself is the ultimate joke; the wave you body-surf into shore after a day at the beach could contain a shark or a rip-tide and, when you get back, your house could have been burnt to the ground in a bush fire. That's where the whole 'no worries' thing comes from ; [ See also Rosie's site; Media Dragons Down Under]
• · The Crabbe Hole - Kick back and watch the parade of sun lovers at this tiny poolside cafe that cooks with flair.
Food Great ingredients shore up the well-made breakfast and lunch snacks.
Service DIY and so laid-back, it's barely there. But everything arrives quickly and with a smile.
Atmosphere Priceless postcard views and snapshots of all manner of humanity.
Value Good. About $12 a person.
Noise Low. A constant ocean and outdoor hum.
Recommended dishes Tuna sandwich, chicken sandwich, fruit bread with agave-scented ricotta, coffee
HE SPRAWLS on a bench overlooking Bondi's ocean baths, his enormous belly spilling over an almost obscene thong, arms and legs spread open to the sun.
I spot this pleasure seeker as I make my way down the ramp to the Crabbe Hole, a tiny cafe above the pools at the world-famous Bondi Icebergs Winter Swimming Club.
This beached Buddha is exactly the kind of subject that photographers from the late Max Dupain to his son, Rex, would take pictures of as they studied the relationship between ocean and human forms.
This is the view from the Crabbe Hole, which is wedged between the gym and the sauna on the deck overlooking the pools. You go through the turnstiles and the pool guys waive the entry fee if you tell them you're just coming to eat.

The baths at the southern end of Bondi Beach date from 1887 and are the home of the Bondi Icebergs club, which dates from 1929. To join, you simply have to swim three out of four Sundays every month from May to September for five years.
It's much easier to sit at the cafe, dating from 2007, when a local actor called Andrew Crabbe saw an opportunity to offer artisan-made bread, barista-grade coffee, organic juices and niche-brand ice-creams to swimmers and sun worshippers.Helen Greenwood Sydney Morning Herald Good Living; Andrew Crabbe
• · · Ripples Andrew Crabbe has put together a pleasant list of beachside favourites The menus are like family members: the same but different; Cookbooks are only one genre of food writing. Helen Greenwood runs workshops on food writing. She says there are many ways to describe food that doesn't involve saying yuk or yummy. For our 'how to write' series, Helen Greenwood spoke to the Book Show's Sarah L'Estrange about describing what you eat and what food means in literature; Bondi Crabbe;
• · · · The Taming of the Shrew By William Shakespeare Andrew Bibby, left, and Andrew Crabbe really need to rehearse their Nazi salute.

• · · · · THE FIRE RAISERS Biedermann (Andrew Crabbe); Lord/Baptista Andrew Crabbe
• · · · · · 26, As we collectively sober up from yet another Australia Day weekend it is an opportune time to reflect on the ambiguities and inadequacies of celebrating a nation's achievements and cultural diversity on a day that represents the beginning of what Indigenous academic Anne Pattel-Gray has termed The great white flood: What Is The Australian Story?
As we collectively sober up from yet another Australia Day weekend it is an
I'm a Migrant : A true short story from the experience- Josef Imrich, Glenn Clarke. wentworth stories about Josef Imrich,; icebergs; Dans of underbelly
• · · · · · · Don't have significant stories to tell, perhaps apart from the indigenous story... Australia at its heart is so racist that I don't think we can stomach it.There is a stereotype that Australian men dance like Frankenstein. Their lack of rhythm and stiff knees has many of them resembling a chicken or jack in the box bouncing from side to side. Other men just watch over the dance floor, beer in hand, as they perhaps beat their chin to the music. - This is a wonderful reminder that Australia is one of the great homes to people who crossed the world seeking freedom and opportunity ... This work reflects the joyous hope that refugees bring to Australia. The more horrible their previous life experience, the greater their hope that Australia will offer an opportunity for a life of peace and harmony.
Why is Gallipolli such a big Australian story? It’s one of Australia’s great, great, great stories, of courage and stupidity. Australian author Peter Carey; Terry McGee and I David Williamson stands alone in the world of Australian playwrights. The man is a genius who weaves good humour into his psychological explorations. (Even Shakespeare would have been impressed. ) You Know You're Australian When; Films; unspeakable aspect of the Australian migrant experience; Kenneth Slessor's Five Bells is perhaps Australia's most popular poem. Slessor started writing poetry during the great war. The anguish endured as he wrote about his friend found floating in Sydney Harbour. It was the last poem Slessor that ever wrote
• · · · · · · · Here's a bit of a tip: if you do rent, always go directly through the owner. Real estate agents treat you the same way banks do. To them you are nothing more than a ledger entry.
Owners – for the most part – treat you like a human being. All they really want is someone decent who won't trash their investment property or give them trouble. Forget the Great Australian Dream, renting sets you free ; Australian folklore since European settlement has established a folk identity of Australians as resilient people who laugh in the face of adversity, face up to great difficulties and deliberately go against authority and the establishment - reflecting a 'larrikin' spirit. The bush and the outback are also identified as characteristic of Australian life along with bushrangers, shearers and drovers.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. Amazon; Google Books; Books on Google; Google Stories; Haiti's capital is a study in extremes

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Economics Blogger and Blog Rankings by Scholarly Impact
Franklin G. Mixon Jr. (Mercer University, Department of Economics) & Kamal P. Upadhyaya (University of New Haven, Department of Economics and Finance) have published Blogometrics, Eastern Economic Journal (2010), vol. 36, pp. 1–10. Here is the abstract:
This study gathers information on a wide array of economics bloggers and blogs in order to develop a ranking of economics bloggers that is based on citations to their academic research. This ranking is used in an iterative process that next presents a ranking of economics blogs that is based on the ranking of economics bloggers, and finally a ranking of economics departments that is based on the ranking of economics blogs. The ranking of blogs included in this study is positively correlated with an external ranking based on their productivity (popularity), whereas the department ranking presented here comports quite well with department rankings in Coupé (2003) and Roessler (2004) that are developed with more traditional measures, such as the impact of the scholarship of an economics department's faculty.

Here are the Top 10 Economics Bloggers by Scholarly Impact:

1. Gary S. Becker (Chicago), Becker-Posner Blog

2. Gregory Mankiw (Harvard), Mankiw's Blog

3. Richard Posner (Chicago), Becker-Posner Blog

4. Nouriel Roubini (NYU), RGE Monitor

5. Paul A. Samuelson (MIT), Inside the Economist's Mind

6. Nicolai J. Foss (Copenhagen), Organizations & Markets

7. Justin Wolfers (Pennsylvania), Freakonomics

8. Daniel Hamermesh (Texas), Freakonomics

9. Richard B. Langlois (Connecticut), Organizations & Markets

10. Steven D. Levitt (Chicago), Freakonomics
Here are the Top 10 Economics Blogs by Scholarly

France is considering a tax on Google to support old media companiesAmazon, Google and taxes, oh my! from Don't Mess With Taxes

Will the rich flee the U.S. to fairer tax climes?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy birthday Dial ...

Google and rock even more so now that Australian and French researchers are claiming that watching TV will increase the risk of you dying young.

iMrich (Meaning, if you own it, you have enough dough for yet another gadgetiMrich (Meaning, if you own it, you have enough dough for yet another gadget

Robert Hughes once wrote: I feel guilty when I'm not writing and when I'm writing I feel guilty I'm not writing well enough ...

Radical mazement of Memoirs Down Under
What do Mick Gatto, Roger Rogerson, Mark “Chopper” Read, Graham “Abo” Henry and Arthur “Neddy” Smith have in common? That’s right. They’re all published authors.

There is a view that these books are little more than crime pornography. I must admit to a certain fascination. In fact I possess a substantial True Crime library. “I, Mick Gatto” and Rogerson’s book will shortly be added to it.
I’m not bothered by the assertions that these books contribute to the phenomenon of the celebrity gangster. It’s just that if I were a crook, I’m not sure that penning an autobiography would be all that good for business.
The American Mafia hid its light under a bushel so effectively that until 1957 their very existence was dismissed as a nasty rumour.
At that time a particularly diligent state trooper in upstate New York noticed an unusually large number of limousines parked outside the summer residence of Italian-American, Joseph Barbaro. The trooper took down the registration numbers and discovered that all of the vehicles were registered to a John Doe of Hoboken, New Jersey.

Underbelly [Winning awards is something every media dragon loves to do Red Carpet Treatment ; When writing first drafts you look for the rhythm and the energy. But mostly it’s a matter of feeling a way forward. On Cold Rivers and other places]
• · In recent years a large number of best-selling books have been victims' tales of suffering at the hands of adults. A whole new genre – the misery memoir – established itself. Several of these books have been contested by family members and some cases have gone to court. The most high-profile was that of Constance Briscoe, the barrister who claimed to have been viciously abused by her British Jamaican mother. The mother sued her and lost. The weight of silence is the gravity of all the unsaids, the unseens, and how they shape our lives unforgettable story of of remembering, forgetting, pretending, of becoming who you are; Franz Kafka's manuscripts are the subject of a protracted legal battle that one can only describe as, well, Kafkaesque. Kafka left his papers to Max Brod to burn them. After that the plot picks up, explains Independent Institute Senior Fellow Alvaro Vargas Llosa explains in his latest syndicated column. Brod published most of the papers, making Kafka a literary icon. After Brod fled Nazi Germany for Tel Aviv, he gave some of the remaining papers to his secretary and companion Esther Hoffe, who bequeathed them to her daughters, who then sold some and kept the rest--in what is now a smelly, damp animal shelter hardly conducive to preserving the old works. Kafka’s Ordeal
• · · Getting things done is not the same as making things happen. You can reply to emails, pay the bills, cross off the to-do’s, fulfill your obligation, repeat what you heard, go with the flow, anticipate roadblocks, aim for “good enough.” Or you can organize a community, take a risk, set ambitious goals, give more than you take, change perceptions, forge a new path, create possibility, demand excellence. Don’t worry too much about getting things done. Make things happen. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR MEDIA DRAGONS; How Official Unemployment Stats Mislead Fuzzy unemployment math
• · · · Inside my body aches,
pain from cold rivers
Turns to lakes
Like a bonfire, flames to dust,
To give to take, Slumber dreams
To nightmare wakes
Pure love can turn to lust,
Everything turns to rust
We start to die as we are born,
Dusk comes quickly after dawn
Dawn awakes after dusk,
Everything turns to rust
Life in this world is inherently paradoxical: Everything passes and everything matters; everything turns to dust and everything is of infinite value and importance.
What I know is that everything I touch just turns to dust.
Pure love will turn to lust,. Everything turns to dust
Pure love will turn to lust,. Everything turns to dust; Trials, tragedies, triumphs
In a chapter titled, "To Be Amazed", Louv talks about a time when a rabbi, a Protestant Minister, a Catholic priest and an imam met in his living room to discuss parenting. Rabbi Martin Levin, of Congregation Beth-El, offered a wonderful description of "spirituality", quoted from a Professor Abraham Joshua Heschel.
"to be spiritual is to be constantly amazed. Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. Heschel would encourage his students to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed."
When I look into the eyes of my two children, I'm sometimes reminded of a quote from Abraham Heschel: Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. To get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted.... Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be filled with wonder. Indeed, nothing is trivial. There are no inconsequential moments of life. Every thought, feeling, and decision we make is an As it is written, "We live once, and then we face judgment"
Life in this world is inherently paradoxical: Everything passes and everything matters; everything turns to dust everything is of infinite value and importance.
An old chassidic tale says that every person should walk through life with two notes, one in each pocket. On one note should be the words, I am but dust and ashes; On the other note should be the words - For my sake was this world created.
Maybe it's because I am examining my 30 years in Australia my new home, my exile, my strange exisistence, but I've become more and more conscious of the fragility and glory of life. Each of us is given the choice to graciously accept the inevitable passage of time or confront life with inner protest and despair. everything passes.
• · · · · Why constitutional coffee break is important for physical and even (mental) wellbeing ;-)Office workers are being encouraged to get up and out of their chairs more often, as new research suggests too much sitting down is literally killing us. The human body was designed to move, his report concluded, which also found the increased mortality rate affected both the healthy and unfit. Offices make a stand against sitting Some companies make internal email-free time; Playscripts “consider how a company could succeed by reinventing its role as reality changes.” His method involves characters and their roles, storylines and connections, links and rules, plots and subplots. More fun than the usual approach to strategy planning! Strategy Tools for a Shifting Landscape
• · · · · · 'Banking' is a necessary public good that all Australians require access to in order to make their way in life.Establishing a People’s Bank; People in richer nations are more likely to feel enjoyment and love, and less likely to undergo pain, boredom, depression or anger. Money can buy you love

Friday, January 08, 2010

Every path has a few puddles.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Life is simpler when you plow around the stumps\

Cold River - Memoir: His Story Remember Me? One Life. Six Words. What's Yours
Deceptively simple and surprisingly addictive, Not Quite What I Was Planning is a thousand glimpses of humanity—six words at a time.
One Life. Six Words. What's Yours?
When Hemingway famously wrote, "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn," he proved that an entire story can be told using a half dozen words. When the online storytelling magazine SMITH asked readers to submit six-word memoirs, they proved a whole, real life can be told this way too. The results are fascinating, hilarious, shocking, and moving.
From small sagas of bittersweet romance ("Found true love, married someone else") to proud achievements and stinging regrets ("After Harvard, had baby with crackhead"), these terse true tales relate the diversity of human experience in tasty bite-sized pieces. From authors Jonathan Lethem and Richard Ford to comedians Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris, to ordinary folks around the world, everyone has a six-word story to tell. After Harvard, had baby with crackhead

Once upon a time Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a story using only six words. Impossible, some thought. Not for Papa, as Neal Conan explained on NPR's Talk of the Nation. The next day Hemingway produced this: For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.

• What gets me up in the morning? Sum Up Your Leadership in Six Words [I'll try harder next time.; After weeks of wall-to-wall for Palin, Agassi and Carrie Prejean, it is clear our narcissistic culture is obsessed with memoirs When too many memoirs are barely enough]
• · What is history without the personal memoirs of those who were there? Those who actually experienced the events and shared their thoughts on both the events and the times the occurred in. Autobiographically speaking,; We consume memoirs in huge numbers because we need them, writes Ben Yagoda. Other lives lived help us shape our own stories
• · · Fiction Vs. Memoir; Remember Me? Memoir: A History
• · · · Elizabeth Gilbert is the embodiment of the phrase "new BFF." She gives you a hug the first time she meets you. She has a warm smile, booming laugh, and sparkly eyes that telegraph candor and empathy. Her effortlessly approachable persona, translated to the page, propelled her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, into what she describes as a "megajumbo international bestseller." Hollywood and Oprah came calling; readers embarked on Eat, Pray, Lovepilgrimages to places mentioned in the book. In more than 30 languages, Gilbert made herself a whole lot of new Best Friends Forever. Lightning striking twice; I started my public life as a Communist but quit the party after it began supporting the British during the Quit India movement; Some find them ridiculous but I call them beautiful. They are six-word memoirs. Six-word memoirs? Yes – pithy little verbal packages that convey more than you might imagine.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.

Every great idea starts with a dream. If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for everything. I had no idea a theater publicist had coined the term, "blogosphere." Nor did I know the man behind this term was himself a blogger who didn't even like the word "blog." Ideas can be as brief as Graham's own life (he died at age 41).

In these new straightened economic times, we’re all having to work harder, knuckling down to the task at hand, and making sure we’re building a future that is sustaining and rewarding. It’s not easy. But it’s easier if you love what you’re doing, and you’re doing it all the time. Naysayers will say nay, but its actually easier than ever to devote yourself to what sustains you. All you need is a computer, and the desire to make a difference. It’s not about putting the reader at the heart of everything we do. It’s about putting ourselves at the heart of everything the reader does

Armageddon Media Dragons Eeerie deja vu - The Man Is Gone, But Long Live The Blogosphere
Most bloggers I know don’t much like the word "blog", and they have even less affection for blogosphere

Wikipedia says credit — or blame — for coining "blogosphere" goes to Brad Graham, a theater publicist and blogger in St. Louis who died this week at the age of 41. Look him up on Google and you’ll see: "Blogosphere" is his legacy.
But thank goodness, Graham was joking when he first said it — at the very birth of the form — in September 1999. He, too, didn't much like the word "blog" — "Oy! That name!" he exclaimed on his site, Bradlands. And so he worried about where this would lead us: perhaps to jokes about "falling off a blog," or worse, blogorreah

Brad Graham [ Welcome to the Blogger's Choice Awards 2008 ; 2009 Blogger Appreciation Awards 2009]
• · Much like corporate America, PR is undergoing a sea change in how it does business. As traditional media shrinks and online/social media grows, a new breed of PR professionals is coming into its own. And although the word “integrated” is used way too often when describing the perfect campaign, it’s still a word that resonates. So what drives the perfect communications mix? People. Tweets and YouTube aside, PR is still a vocation dependent upon people and their creativity, innovative thinking and leadership. Those strengths perfectly describe the winners of PR News’ PR People Awards and the Hall of Fame inductees in this issue.
• · · Too many blogs, not enough ideas and thoughts! Nevermind, that didn't rhyme (blobs?). What I've been pondering on since I tagged Divya Uttam (and she tagged me back!) is the purpose of these so called blog memes. What is it? Could it be word of mouth marketing? Could it be search engine optimization? Or more simply, is it a form of 'innocent' link baiting? ; For those who bring unique and creative elements to their blogs. For those who incorporate art, music, creative writing, photo's, and other beautiful visual effects into their website. For those who put a unique spin on things and come up with new ideas. This award is for the artsy, the funky, the inventor, and even the rebel. Writer's Reviews Blogger Awards; This awa2rd is for those creative individuals who stand out from the crowd.
• · · · Computer Weekly’s search for the best blogs in IT is back for its second year, and this year’s competition, brought to you in association with IBM, promises to be bigger and better than before.; My friend, Jean Fischer, honored me with the Kreative Blogger Award. Thanks, Jean! iving the award to seven other bloggers, but please don't feel you must do the same Kreative Blogger Award
• · · · · Lonely Planet 2009 Travel Blogger Awards ; It turns out that older men chasing younger women contributes to human longevity and the survival of the species, according to new findings Old men chasing young women: A good thing

Friday, January 01, 2010

After the year 2009, the New Year 2010 has in store various things for different bloggers. It is expected to be an eventful year with achievements and success in every field. This year you would achieve bigger goals and fulfill those commitments which were pending last year. Whatever work we had thought of taking up but failed to do so, should be taken up this year. We all would try to make this New Year 2010 more successful and joyful. Nothing but the strength of your convictions can keep a self-improvement promise going for at least 365 days
Happy New Year (ABBA)

DESPITE being threatened, kicked and having fireworks aimed at them on New Year's Eve, police have congratulated revellers on celebrating Sydney in style - thanks to George and Vicki; Michael and Michelle

A new year and a new set of challenges for Media Dragons Old Is New Again - Long live ...
You'll probably be able to hear the thud as most people trudge back to their first day at work of the New Year

The Romans told us just about everything we'd need to know about how they regarded new beginnings through their name for the first month of the year. They chose the name of Janus, their mythological god of the doorway.
Janus, you’ll recall, had two faces, a convenience that allowed him to look both forward and back. As 21st-century Americans, we adopt a similar approach. More than just counting down, partying and the midnight toast, it involves both a rueful glance over our shoulder and an eager look ahead.That’s what the flurry of year-end top 10 lists is all about. It fulfills our instinct to pause, evaluate and sum up.
The same can be said for our hapless habit of making New Year’s resolutions. Turning the page to a new calendar means the opportunity to rededicate oneself. It means a chance to resolve to do better.Now it’s true that some of those resolutions seem most notable for the ease and quickness with which they are broken. But they also carry a bonus benefit. They prompt us to stop and take stock. They remind us that we can do better.

• Out with the old year, and in with 2010. Today is a day for celebration and for hope of better things to come. After a rocky 2009, we all hope for a brighter year ahead – especially for our personal economies. Old year or new year? ; [There once was a planet called Earth, Then, 4.5 billion years after birth,... A poetic view of Copenhagen; Vicki and George of Gilbert and Michael and Michelle of Rawson Streets Sydney ]
• · Technology changes cap amazing decade ; Price quits over money… 100 essential websites… Fox fudges the numbers
• · · Man over manatee; Huge Iceberg Twice as Big as Hong Kong Drifting South of Australia
• · · · iTunes Picks the Best of 2009; 12 biggest controversies of 2009
• · · · · Why Are Publications Trying To Bite The Google Hand That Feeds Them?; Candace Sams's decision to report bad Amazon reviewers to the FBI is further proof why it's best not to respond publicly to your critics When authors attack ; Writing a book is hard, and often thankless. It takes years of effort. You have to fight throughout against pessimism - not just the doubts of other people, but your own as well. You probably won't make any money. And when your book actually reaches the marketplace, you can bet that some people will say mean things. What to do when your friend writes a book