June 13, 2010

General musings for the week - 6th June 2010

I was saddened to hear last week of the passing of John Wooden at the age of 99. His name is not well known here in the UK but - through my links with Purdue University in Indiana - I came across him when I worked in Indianapolis. For those who don't know, he was a Purdue student who went on to coach college basketball at UCLA in the sixties and seventies. He is the only person to be indicated into the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach and ESPN have rated him as the greatest coach of all time. His philosophy and ability to get the most out of people was second to none and he had winning streak whilst coaching that remains to this day. But above all of that he was a gentleman and a great philosopher. For those of you who wish to know more about him I would recommend the TED talk he did a few years ago.

Many thanks for the birthday wishes I received this week. I was lucky enough to get wishes from folks such as Michael in Australia (who I know reads this blog), Jim and Julie in the the Midwest US, Bruno and Luc in Belgium and Helen in Boston as well as folks local to me here in the UK. The years pass by (more frequently now, it appears) but I still feel as young as I ever was. Although the difference now is that when people ask me how old I am I have to do the math and work it out from my year of birth. (For those who are interested I am.... 21 again).

I see that Stephen Fry has awarded the prize to the most beautiful tweet of all time at the Hay Festival. The winning tweet was "I believe we can build a better world! Of course, it'll take a whole lot of rock, water & dirt. Also, not sure where to put it." and it came from @marcmack.

World cup fever his hotting up here in the UK as the first match in the tournament takes place this week.  I was chatting with a good friend of mine a few days ago and we were discussing the apparent blanket usage of the world cup as a marketing tool - even for non-football related items. For example: I can understand a local electronics retailer selling HD televisions for watching the game and offering £10 back for every goal that England score in the tournament, but where is the link to selling gazebos? We were joking that cosmetics companies could start marketing 'New World Cup standard glossy hair' with their latest shampoo. It seems there isn't a single thing that cannot be sold using a World Cup driver. Commercialism at its best/worst.

On the subject of the World Cup - I, personally, am not that interested in it. I might watch a couple of the England games but that's about it. I certainly won't be going to the lengths some folks are proposing.

I came across a great little article earlier on this week called 'The 75 Things Every man Should Do'  on Esquire's web site. The fascinating thing was that I have already done quite a large number of them, including the one with the Cessna, the one in the hotel, the one about living abroad, the one in Paris, and the one about driving the Pacific Coast Highway (done that twice in fact). I particularly agree with the sentiment expressed in the one about catching, dressing and cooking your own game "The first rule of dressing an animal is to remove the intestines, lungs, liver, and heart as soon after the kill as possible. If you can't handle that thought, then you have no business shooting at anything."- I can't which is why I don't eat meat.

Shameless plug of the week

I met Tallulah Rendall a little over 2 years ago. She and I were working on a commercial together and we spent most of the day hiding behind big pieces of card (long story.. another time). At the time she told me she was a singer and I thought 'Oh, just another wannabe with her eye on the golden ring'. However, since then I've followed her career and have learned that not only is she a great singer she is a songwriter, musician and all round creative type. Her first album Libellus was released in 2009, she played Glastonbury last year, toured Europe and Australia and has now recorded a second album. Although her records are released through Universal Music she has her own record label and funds all her own work. With the money from her first album she has recorded the second and is now looking for funds to help produce, package and distribute the album. She is doing this through a site called Pledgemusic.com But here's the rub: Unless she manages to get pledges for ALL the money she needs then she will get NO money at all.  There is a little over a week to go and it would be a shame to not reach the target for the sake of a few pledges. On offer are things such as backstage passes to her gigs, appearances in her videos and personal gigs at your house. Just get over to the site, log on (Facebook will do) and pledge away.

Finally, if you want to see something really spectacular (but in a small way) check out this video. I was impressed.

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