England unfortunately fail to make it to the Semi-Finals. Although if you read Soccernet you'd never know as they failed to cover it at all... not once... not a single story. Bastards.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Some of you may have noticed (or not) that on the blog roll I have put The Poor Man. He's on there because he is the funniest person on the net.
This is a great example. The announcement of a merger between NBC and CNN in order to fully cover all the missing attractive white women in the United States.
If you haven't had a chance to visit here I strongly suggest it.
Posted by Keven at 8:48 PM
Friday, June 10, 2005
...always a loyal subject of the Queen.
I always find it strange how as a committed Republican (in the anti-monarchist sense of the word) every New Year or Queen's birthday I always go straight to the page in the newspaper with the new honours. Maybe I'm just looking for news of my knighthood so I can publicly decline it. "Sorry ma'am but I cannot take your so-called honour as it is just a symbol of the Hannoverian regime's continued oppression of the common British people, ooh, are they Jammie Dodgers? I'll have a couple of those, thanks" Because you know that the Queen has only the best biscuits, and Jammie Dodgers are most definitely the best biscuits*. But anyway, Queen's Birthday honours 2005 here we come.
- Sir David Jason, for services to Dangermouse and Count Duckula
- Sir Terry Wogan, for services to people watching the Eurovision Song Contest
- Jimmy Page OBE, for services to the pie-making industry. He's MASSIVE
- Jonathon Ross OBE, for services to Barry Norman for allowing him to take a rest
- Les Ferdinand MBE, but they're just being slow. He's already Sir Les to QPR fans.
- Brian May CBE, for Flash.... he saved every one of us.
- Midge Ure OBE, for Vienna with Ultravox. Because he's done nothing good since then.
- Dame Judy Dench becomes a Companion of Honour. I have no idea what it is, but it sounds kind of impressive and I guess it must be higher than a regular Dame so well done Judy. It must have been the Chronicles of Riddick that did it.
* I accept that there may be arguments for Garibaldi biscuits.
Posted by Keven at 9:30 PM
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Some additions to the book tag post:
I don't usually do, or pass on chain letters/emails. This one is a little different because it's possible to follow the chain and see people's responses. I thought that was kind of interesting, but I'm in Market Research so I'm a little weird that way.
I can't believe I didn't include the His Dark Materials trilogy on my list. Jeddy3 did though, putting me to shame. My excuse is that at the moment it is sitting in the kids' room waiting for the time it is possible to read it to them.
I mentioned the UW pre-school reading list in the post. This was a Market Research MBA course specific list so some of it won't apply outside this course, but some will. These are the books on the list, some I got from the library, some I bought used on Amazon, none I paid full price for or bought the latest edition of.
- Forgotten Calculus by Barbara Lee Bleau
- Data Analysis Using Regression Models by Jed Frees
- Data Analysis and Decision Making by S. Albright, W. Winston, and C. Zappe
- Managerial Economics and Business Strategy by Michael R. Baye
- Marketing Research: Methodological Foundations by Gil Churchill and Dawn Iacobucci
- The Unofficial Guide To Acing The Interview by Michelle Tullier
- The Executive Job Search by Orrin G. Wood
- How to Work a Room by Susan Roane
- Influence by Jagdish Sheth and Andrew Sobel
- Leading Teams by Tony Alessandra
Posted by Keven at 12:57 PM
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I've been watching this chain go round for a bit on the uber-blogs I read and I was wondering when it would get down to lowly old me. Flatpoint MBA just tagged me so here goes.
We have a couple of hundred books in the house, between myself, my wife, and the kids. It's kind of difficult to estimate because they are spread over four rooms and in some closets. We use the local library a whole lot though, it's not unusual for us to have ten to fifteen books on hold from the library at any one time.
The last book I bought according to my Amazon.com records was The Executive Job Search by Orrin Wood. It's the last book on my UW pre-school reading list. The basic jist of it would be "know thyself", which is good advice but it would be difficult to charge $16 for that.
I am currently re-reading Hyperion by Dan Simmons. I read it once when I was about 14, but I know I didn't get everything about it. For those who don't know, it's basically a sci-fi Canterbury Tales. It won the Hugo award in 1989.
5 books that mean a lot to me... I can't cut it down past eight, pick any five
- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - Boy plays games, boy excels at games, boy finds out games are real. When I was a kid I wanted to be Ender Wiggin, when I grew up I thanked God I wasn't. Xenocide kids, don't do it.
- The Star Fraction by Ken MacLeod - Book 1 of the Fall Revolution series (Book 2 if you live in America). Ken MacLeod's blog is here, he's already been tagged if you want to see his five books.
- The Day the Universe Changed by James Burke - A brilliantly written book about moments in human history where what we thought we knew was certain suddenly wasn't quite so certain
- Brilliant Orange by David Winner - National football style as a result of geography, sociology, art, culture, architecture, etc, etc.
- On Liberty by John Stuart Mill - The textbook of liberalism. If the liberals really did control the public education system it would be required reading for all 12 year olds. It should be.
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - I have seen the distopic future and it is not 1984, it is a mix of Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451. Totalitarianism comes with the agreement of the people, it is not forced on the population from above.
- Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh - How they made this into a movie I have no idea. How they made it into a great movie astounds me
- Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson - The best prose of any modern science fiction writer.
Update: The tagging was for the BLOG, not just for me, so if anyone wants to add their list here you have already been tagged.
Posted by Keven at 8:23 AM
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Part one of our interminable housing problem has now been... erm... terminated. We've been offered student family housing in Madison. The address is the title of this post, plus an apartment number between D and F. You're smart people, you can work it out.
- It's got two bedrooms.
- It's downstairs so if the kids want to run around we have time to catch them before they reach the lake rather than having to rush to stop them diving off the balcony.
- It's $665 pcm, which is great because that's about $80 less than we budgeted.
- It's smoke free, which is not a problem.
- It's not accessible for special needs, also not a problem.
- Heat is included
- Water is included
- Free laundry facilities included
- Four independent high speed internet connections. Nice.
Our lease starts on August 13th 2005 so if anyone happens to be in Madison that day, I'd be surprised, but feel free to come round to say hi.
Posted by Keven at 11:21 AM
From the Financial Times via Crooked Timber.
At the time Elvis Presley died in 1977, he had 150 impersonators in the US. Now, according to calculations I spotted in a Sunday newspaper colour supplement recently, there are 85,000. Intriguingly, that means one in every 3,400 Americans is an Elvis impersonator. More disturbingly, if Elvis impersonators continue multiplying at the same rate, they will account for a third of the world’s population by 2019.
Posted by Keven at 9:01 AM
Monday, June 06, 2005
Flatpoint MBA has a fantastic post about designing your own criteria for deciding which school to go to and not just defining your search purely by the latest BusinessWeek/ USN&WR/ WSJ/ Playboy/ Nickelodeon Jnr Rankings.
The main point of the post. FIT is all important, is the school a correct fit for you and hence are you the correct fit for the school.
Another reason to do your homework: Schools have a sense of what they are looking for in their applicants. Note, for instance, that Yale has the School of Management and Chicago the Graduate School of Business. Both schools offer the MBA, but there is a fundamental difference in philosophies. Chicago trains people for business, Yale for careers in management regardless of sector (e.g., public, private, etc.). Do not underestimate the importance of how well you "fit" from the adcom's perspective. People are sometimes surprised when they get into Harvard, but not Wharton; Stanford but not NYU. They then try to pass off these "inconsistencies" with reasoning that strokes their egos, e.g., "Well, my stats were so good that USC knew I would get in somewhere else/better and it rejected me in an effort to increase its yield. USC is so insecure." Most likely, USC rejected you because you weren't what the school was looking for.
One of the things that drew me to Wisconsin was that they weren't trying to just provide the same thing as one of the top ten schools but just not as well. They are the best at what they do, which is to provide a highly focused business education in one of thirteen fields.
In conclusion, are you really going to let a publication tell you that Kellogg is number one, even if you're interest is in Venture Capital? That Harvard is number five, even if your interest is in Non-Profit? I have heard too many MBAs tell too many stories of years wasted in programs that some magazine ranked highly, but that didn't fit with their personalities and objectives. Figure out what your goals are, short-term and long-term. Think about who you are and what you value.
Grad School applicants should have that paragraph tattooed on their arms.
The best part of the post though...
Truth be told, if I had to do it all over again, I would have considered UW-Madison, too. The more people I meet who went there, the more impressed I am.
Can't argue with that.
Posted by Keven at 7:34 PM
My Mum and Dad went to the movies and saw Revenge of the Sith Saturday night. That means that everybody in the world must have seen it now.
Posted by Keven at 7:10 PM
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Ok, on Friday Oprah announced that her summer reading club project would be a boxed set of three novels by William Faulkner: As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, and Light in August. On a whim, and because of my failed attempt to read TSATF at 15 years old, I strolled past the classics section of my tiny, tiny local branch Saturday afternoon. As I Lay Dying was there on the shelf. I was surprised because I thought that other cheap readers like me would search out library copies to play along at home.
I finished the book this evening. Quick read! I know I said I would do The Handmaid's Tale next, but I wanted to get this one over with quickly and give it back to the other cheap housewives out there.
It was FANTASTIC.
Without an overall narrator, the story is told through a series of (sometimes perplexing) first-person accounts as various family members work toward the goal of burying their late mother with her kinfolk some 40 miles away. Some crazy, crazy shit in this book. A woman dead in her coffin for nine days. A lunatic son burning down a barn. A 17-yo daughter trying to get abortion medicine at every drugstore she finds. Another son patching his broken leg with cement. And their pa, Anse - I haven't met a more pathetic (in every slimy, innocent, deceiving, selfish, desperate sense of the word) character in any other novel. A brilliant read.
What is interesting, tho, is a comment I found on Amazon.com: "Does Oprah really think her audience is going to take on The Sound and the Fury, let alone As I Lay Dying? Now we are really going to find out how many people will buy a product simply based on a celebrity endorsement!"
I find this both cynical and intriguing. Frankly, I'm curious too. The set will probably become a best-seller, much like Anna Karenina did last year when she set the goal of reading the entire tome over the summer. However, there were a few sections of As I Lay Dying that required a serious re-read on my part, so anyone who takes on this one will need to work for it. I'll be curious as to how many of Oprah's viewers manage the task. Apparently she's established a whole mini course on Faulkner at Oprah.com, complete with a reading guide and a series of online lectures by various Faulkner profs who will teach about the books' meanings, his influence on modern literature, etc.
That said, I believe anyone who wrangles through this fast-paced, awful, harsh, crazy-ass thing will be well rewarded. Best thing I've read yet this year.
Posted by Carrie Lofty at 10:05 PM
I read here that for the first time laptop computer sales have outgrown desktop computer sales in the United States. I'm glad to say that we have been part of that trend after purchasing the required laptop for my course.
I didn't buy the recommended option though. The recommended option was an IBM Thinkpad T42 (wasn't that a Soviet tank?) with extended battery and three year warranty for just over $2,000. I don't have $2,000 to throw down, I'm going to be without a steady pay-check for the next two years, so I bought this.
An Averatec AV3250. It's silver, it' shiny, it's got an 80Gb Hard Drive, 512Mb of RAM, and more than enough speed to run all the Microsoft Office stuff. Let's face it 90% of my work will be done using Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and maybe Access. If I really need to run something huge using SPSS or SAS they do have computer labs in Madison. Oh yeah, and it's under $800 with rebate.
The funny thing is that I'm now in talks to (possibly) work part time for my present company while at school. In which case I get to keep this computer, the afformentioned Dell D600 Latitude. Add that to our desktop which has now been personalized by Lindsey, and Lindsey's ancient laptop from 1872 or something and we have four working computers for a family of four. I take it I'll keep this one, Lindsey gets the desktop, my one year old Ilsa gets Lindsey's old one, and Juliette my two year old gets the Averatec. It will become the E-puter, which is what Juliette calls ALL computers. I wonder if anyone trademarked that during the dot-com era?
Posted by Keven at 9:20 PM
2,000 children are reported missing daily in the United States. That's one every forty seconds.
Given that, I can't imagine why the disappearance of a rich, white, attractive, blonde girl in Aruba is the most important story in the world for CNN and FOX.
I don't want to sound unfeeling, but the next time the disappeared kid, is ugly, or black, or on welfare I wonder if it'll be front page news. You won't have to wait that long, just the forty seconds it took to read this post.
Posted by Keven at 12:40 AM