Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Date with Barry Humphries

Barry Humphries has Date with Jozef and Peter ...

Barry feels comfortable on stage as the first words he utters to a full audience are ''alone at last''. He was alone with us on Tuesday at lunchtime at Barbara Nichol's Sydney store, Pen-Ultimate situated at the Queen Victoria Building – opposite the best place for unique and affodable pressies NY Metropolitan Museum. Like my father in law, Humphries, 77, holds the titles Officer of the Order of Australia and this year he even became an Australian of the year. Barry’s reputation for being cantankerous and, at times, acerbic was sealed when I told Peter that we chose a special pen Caran D’ache as a present for my father in law as that pen lasts for many generations - Barbara who is the best teacher of calligraphy insists that the pen tends to outlive even the grandchildren . Barry in his typical fashion hissed ‘ bugger the grandchildren ;-)’ London was kind to Barry as when he first came to the royal city … he had to work the night shift in an ice-cream factory making raspberry ripple inside a cold river.

Dame Edna is set to hang up her gladioli, but first, a few more laughs. After 56 years on stage and screen, satirist, comedian, Dadaist and National Living Treasure Barry Humphries is waving farewell. Does anyone really believe Barry Humphries that this is his "farewell tour"? Nellie Melba's farewells stretched over four years. Surely Edna would want to trump that. Dame Edna's vivid long goodbye ach and Eat pray and laugh …

Top Five Reasons Not to Write a Nasty Obit Compressing the uncompressible - De mortuis nil nisi bonum

So the next time you hear a good story about why the financial recession, or any other economically significant event, was caused by a single collection of bad actors — or how a simple linear narrative “explains” an important event — remember this: Just as we are wired to like a diet rich in fats and sugars, we have an appetite for simple, coherent narratives. Neither habit is good for our long-term health.

De mortuis nil nisi bonum. The idea is so old its classic expression is in Latin: Speak no ill of the dead. After Andrew Breitbart's sudden death at the shockingly young age of 43 has provoked a chorus of nasty tweets and blog posts from the left, a lot of folks are rethinking this ancient aphorism. I've never been quite sure what to think of the practice. H. L. Mencken, one of my heroes, wrote an obit of William Jennings Bryan that was so brilliantly vicious that, according to legend, a colleague thought HLM didn't realize that Bryan was dead (I guess he missed the memorable first sentence of the piece). I could be accused of having committed a similar sort of offense when Ted Kennedy died (though in my defense I was really objecting to the way the whole country was going way too far in the other direction - adulation for a "lion" who was obviously a seriously flawed person). (See also this.)

Top Five Reasons Not to Write a Nasty Obit ; Lester [The Australian online retailer Kogan.com has introduced the world's first "tax" on Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) browser. Customers who use IE7 will have to pay an extra surcharge on online purchases made through the firm's site. Chief executive Ruslan Kogan told the BBC he wanted to recoup the time and costs involved in "rendering the website into a antique browser" World's first 'tax' on Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7; Mr Kundra, the executive vice president of emerging markets at CRM vendor Salesforce.com told an audience, governments all over the world were in a post cloud future. What he meant by that was “looking back at what happened in the 90s” when everyone was having raging debates be it the public or private sectors on the topic of email Govt data sovereignty is myth, says ex-US CIO ]

• · There is something spiritual about walking with our ancestors. If we have anything in common with these people who lived before us, we want to locate it because this is the essence of our own identities Searching for Australian identity; Our Gift for Good Stories Blinds Us to the Truth – Bloomberg I don’t care how many ways you try to explain it: Corporations aren’t people. People are people ; Three out of ten Australians experienced loneliness between 2001 and 2009, and Facebook and social media weren't a cure. All the lonely people

• · · Recyled tires added to pavement around the world for noise abatement The Economist: Around one heart attack in 50 in rich European countries is caused by chronic exposure to loud traffic, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The ill-effects of noise pollution in such countries are second only to those from dirty air. ; Reference: These results indicate that at least one million healthy life years are lost every year from traffic related noise in the western part of Europe. Burden of disease from environmental noise - Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe; Whatever made you homeless in the first place, once you are there it is like being stuck in quicksand. Cold concrete is cold comfort

• · · · Darrell Morris took leave from DFAT to work for a Liberal Party frontbencher. Since returning life has taken a turn for the worse. Bullies ; Judges shouldn’t play politics. For one thing, they’re bad at it, as this instance illustrates. The decision was apparently more political than legal

• · · · · The future of finance, and in particular saving it from a popular backlash against the global financial crisis and related crisis-management policies, has rightly become a matter of great concern. There is broad agreement that finance has, as in the past, the potential to do good, which should be harnessed by all. However, it is essential to minimise its potential to do harm. Society, economic policies and the financial sector ; Graphene once again proves that it is quite possibly the most miraculous material known to man, this time by making saltwater drinkable. The process was developed by a group of MIT researchers who realized that graphene allowed for the creation of an incredibly precise sieve. Basically, the regular atomic structure of graphene means that you can create holes of any size, for example the size of a single molecule of water. Using this process scientist can desalinate saltwater 1,000 times faster than the Reverse Osmosis technique Making Saltwater Drinkable With Graphene.

• · · · · · For the past two decades New Yorkers have been the beneficiaries of the largest and longest sustained drop in street crime ever experienced by a big city in the developed world. In less than a generation, rates of several common crimes that inspire public fear — homicide, robbery and burglary — dropped by more than 80 percent. Scientific American - How New York Beat Crime ; Burglary reports dropped after officers began taking patrol orders from computers. L.A. Cops Embrace Crime-Predicting Algorithm

Sales – The more expensive something is, the less logic people use to decide if they are going to buy it. People will buy a 50k car because it’s red, and scrutinize the calories in a $1.50 snack...