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Archive for February, 2009

2009 » February

Everybody’s talkin’ at me…

February 28, 2009 by  

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2/28/09
LianYunGang I’ve got another advertisement in the works. And, like my would-be commercial for TsingTao Beer, this ad is specifically geared for audiences in China. Even more specifically, it is designed for audiences here in LYG.
Any foreigner who sets foot in China for more than ten minutes is bound to be harangued by incessant catcalls of “Hello!” everywhere that they go. English speakers tend to reserve this word for greetings or hilarious exclamations (like “Hello Doctor!”). But for a lot of Chinese people this single word encompasses the whole of their English vocabulary, so they like to use it whenever a foreigner is in sight. You’ll hear it a lot over here, often enough that you just tend to ignore it after a while. I had been thinking that the general population could benefit from a new, exciting catchphrase to holler at any foreigners that they see. Is this an effort to reclaim the traditional and ubiquitous greeting of Western culture? Is this a heroic campaign to save ‘Hello’ from overuse? Maybe yes, maybe no, maybe I…

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Kitchen Policy: No Shoes

February 27, 2009 by  

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[Note: This is an older post written on 18 Feb in Jaipur] On Station Road (below) the busiest restaurants serve the Rajasthani specialty, Dal Batte Churma. _DSC0324 The Dal portion of dal batte churma is of course the same one served all over India: lentils cooked until soft, with turmeric and garlic, and tempered with whole spices and onion fried in oil. Batte are wheat- and millet-flour balls first boiled and then roasted on or below hot coals and served crumbled with a spoonful of ghee on top. While churma refers to the sweet version of this dish, as the batte can be served with both ghee and sugar. In many parts of the province, the batte are cooked over the embers from cow dung cakes (see photo below) the most common cooking fuel in rural Rajasthan. They are pressed flat and left to dry in the sun. _DSC0339 At Shri Shankar Restaurant, fifty rupees, or a little more than one U.S. dollar, buys you an all-you-can-eat tray of dal batte churma. To ease recessionary woes in the States, don’t turn to Campbell’s soup; instead, move to India, where the rupee is at an all-time…

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Falling Economy: Recession Profit Stategies – #1

February 26, 2009 by  

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Okay, you don’t need me to tell you things are tough. Hell, in Vietnam when stockbrokers jump from the roofs of bamboo huts they just get up and do it again. This can go on for days. But the boys in this video have figured out how to make a buck even when the banks are going up in flames. Make sure to scroll down and “pause” the lite-green podcast button in the right sidebar to stop the background music while you play the video.
Give it a look and see if you can’t apply a similar strategy to your recession profit woes. For more ideas go here, and teach your employees how to market their way out for your firm.
For more Recession Profit Strategies, click below. #4 Rubber Stamp Post-It Note Business Cards
#3
The Recruitment Process
#2 Saving On Employee Costs
A big thanks to Wayne Borg, one of the good old


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Rhodes University: My alma mater

February 26, 2009 by  

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I must say, I’m particularly proud that I went to Rhodes University. I have such amazing memories of studying and partying there. It’s an unusual campus, away from the big cities, situated in a small, relatively isolated town called Grahamstown. What this means is that most students live in residences and there is a tremendous sense of community and vibe. The education was world-class and it’s where I studied journalism and “new media”, under Professor Guy Berger. I found there was always a particularly innovative culture there. This was demonstrated by the fact that it was one of the first places in the country (the world too?) to get internet — and I was exposed to the web at quite an early stage (1994? 1995?). In fact, at one stage all international internet access for the country was routed through the university. (Yes that’s right: all early international internet access for the country went through Grahamstown, not Joburg or Cape Town). I remember surfing the web using Netscape 1.1. and using IRC chats (there was no Internet Explorer and no Google). One of the few and most popular websites on the web was the early Yahoo…

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Everything is Amazing, Nobody is Happy

February 25, 2009 by  

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Hilarious… and too true. See myself in this video. (Received via Facebook from a friend.)


Musings: The 24.com blogs revamp

February 25, 2009 by  

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Here are some designs and thoughts around the new look 24.com blog platform. The designs are by Philip Langley, with Alistair Fairweather in the driving seat. Our musings:
1. Less 24.com, more individual blogger. More blog-like :-)
2. More viral, using contact and social network mining. Help bloggers build audience.
3. Rigid templates for best practice, yet open to allow personal expression.
4. New blog domain and identity or not?
5. More domain flexibility and identity for bloggers.
6. New adspots, with diy adserving?
7. Open widget area for third party developers.
8. It’s “user generated content” so why just look at a local market? What’s a border when it comes to the internet?
9. WordPress MU (hacked by us) or stay with and build on current platform? Thoughts, comments, criticisms? Click on headline link to visit matthewbuckland.com for full article


Why Obama Needs A Special Envoy to Africa (and not just George Clooney)

February 24, 2009 by  

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This hardly seems like the time to worry about cholera in Zimbabwe. Or the rapidly deteriorating availability of medical care for the dying and women unfortunate enough to be pregnant. Heaven knows we’ve got our own problems, what with zombie banks, people losing their homes and suddenly budget-conscious GOP governors fighting over whether to take money from those spend-happy Democrats. (As someone not particularly eager to see my state fall off the proverbial cliff, I’m rooting for Team Schwarzenegger vs. Team Jindal.) But as grim as our troubles are, things could be much worse. As Bill Clinton might note in his effort to get our current president to lighten up, we could have a despot like Robert Mugabe, who threatens his political rivals and denies that a cholera epidemic is ravaging his people and complicating other problems like starvation. In fact, Mugabe seems to be doing his best to deepen the crisis by thwarting aid groups from providing medical supplies and care. The situation in Zimbabwe is so dire that last week Doctors Without Borders or MSF, the humanitarian organization, felt compelled to hold a press teleconference. “What I witnessed in the last few days is the kind of health…

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I Am Trained in Bombay

February 21, 2009 by  

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[Note: the three posts below -- from the 17th, 19th, and 21st -- are all new as of today] _DSC0278 Jardan Ashram is located about 250 kilometers west of Jaipur and encompasses over five hundred acres. (An ashram is a community and retreat for the practice of yoga, meditation, and other Hindu disciplines.) It includes a central prayer hall (the main ashram); two buildings for lodging, yoga practice, and community activities; a school and hostel; and farmland. Below is a photo of the temple guru, Swamiji: _DSC0288 There is also a reservoir for the community’s water needs — in the desert, where Jardan is located, water is scarce and precious — and two new and very big projects under construction: a second ashram and a hospital. There are three kitchens. The first is well equipped and modern — long clean steel counters, pressure cookers, two wall-mounted ovens. The boss is Chandra Puri (his Hindi name and the only name he goes by; it means “The Moon”), the resident Hungarian chef. The second kitchen is across a small courtyard with a central fountain and a peach-colored arcade on two sides. This is the very traditional Rajasthani kitchen:…

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