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Showing posts from January, 2012

Pointless Tweets and Advice for Linkedin

The world falls into three camps. Those who love Twitter; those who've tried it and can't see the point; and those who haven't got a clue what I'm talking about. But to immediately bugger up my carefully crafted analysis, I fall somewhere between the fan and the disappointed. Twitter is an alerting service. It forces brevity and enables people to define their interests. Tweets themselves fall into two basic categories: People and Interests. Once again I will bugger up my own neat distinctions because People can represent a specific Interest you want to 'follow', as well as everything else they're interested in. Equally I might be interested in something which total idiots are also interested in, and I'm not the least bit interested in their utterances - although indeed I might be, but I've got to wade through piles of their rubbish before I find their gems. And therein lies my problem. I'm interested in, for example, atheism. I therefore foll

PV Solar Energy - not all that it appears, for me at any rate

I installed a maximum sized domestic 4kw PV solar cell array on my South facing roof just before the government cut off date of 12th December 2011. I therefore qualify for the maximum Feed In Tariff of 43p per kw hour which ought to pay for my investment in about 8 years. So far so good. I do have a chimney which does interfere with some direct sunlight, and later in the day some distant trees do obstruct the sun in winter, so I am not expecting my array to produce as much as a set-up without interrupted sunlight. But I was led to expect a daily average throughout the year of 10kw hours (about 3,500 kwh per year). Our array has rarely produced more than 3 kwh in any day since 12/12/11, despite several very sunny ones. So I called Solarking, the installers (who did pull out all the stops to make sure I had  my installation up and running before the deadline. They were also extremely courteous and delivered a very tidy job). They said, "Don't worry, nobody gets much more than th

We Tolerate Mockery at our Peril

My teenage kid, a bright, generous, and thoughtful lad, asked me yesterday what I and my school mates called thick kids at school. I offered words like 'twat', 'idiot', 'clot', 'prat' etc. But what he said next froze me to the core. "We call them Downs". I could not stay calm. "Do you know what a Downs person is? How dare you show disrespect to people, especially children with disabilities. Can't you see how hurtful this would be to parents and siblings of Downs sufferers? How would you feel if you heard it being used as an insult if your own brother was a Downs child?"... and so on. But instead of my normally respectful intelligent son apologising and mumbling that he wasn't thinking and would never do it again, he angrily defended his attitude and those of 'his generation'. "You live in the past. Things are different today" - probably much like I would have argued with my own parents. Is he right? Or have w

How to be a Successful Entrepreneur

This blog, as you will see, is not a boast or some sort of recipe to make money. It is simply a list of my personal observations of how I (in other words using a research sample of one) eventually managed to beat the odds to make a few bob: Unemployable .  I think I'm reasonably quick witted. In fact I once peeked at some interview notes about me after I had been accepted onto an undergraduate management training scheme. "Bright to brilliant" it said. BUT, what this really says is "smart arse". In other words, I always thought I knew best. As a fast learner, I had the annoying habit of thinking I understood my bosses jobs better than them - indeed in a few instances I may have done. But this didn't make me a) popular, b) particularly useful. There is an old saying "When two managers agree the whole time, one of them is useless. When two managers disagree the whole time, they're both useless." . One way or another, I didn't get the promot

Relationship between Cruelty, Money and You. Koreans Bury 3.5 Million Pigs Alive!

I have been horrified by something I discovered a year after it happened in South Korea. The live burial of, get this, 3.5m pigs and 5m poultry by the Korean government to stem the spread of foot and mouth disease (FMD).  Large numbers of cattle and apparently even dogs were simply buried alive. According to Korean Animal Rights Advocates, this was carried out illegally - even for a country who tolerates the eating of dogs who have been beaten to death (apparently they taste better if they've been brutally killed). But since the government refused to pay for the vaccination of animals in farms surrounding outbreaks, they had no choice. Culling was the only solution. The law was flouted to save money, and most Koreans simply shrugged their shoulders, worried only about the affect this would have on the price of their ham. 'They were going to die anyway, and didn't suffer for long'. DO NOT WATCH UNLESS YOU HAVE A STRONG STOMACH. I couldn't watch it all. Th

Fund Managers Wear Emperor's Clothes

We hear a lot about city bonuses and banker fat cats, but who are these people and how do they become so obscenely rich? Who's paying for them? Well the good news for all our leftie politicians and union leaders, it's not 'the workers'. At least not directly. It's the suckers they call customers. In fact the income and corporation tax that these fat cats and their employers pay to UK plc, supports a significant chunk of our welfare state. So let's not be too hasty to condemn them for earning loads of money. Let's instead consider whether they are providing value for money and therefore how they might pay even more in taxes by selling their services to ever larger numbers of customers abroad. We call that 'export'. So I'm all for them, but not if they continue to con me and everyone else caught up in their greed frenzy. Not if they simply don't deliver, but make you believe they are, or will. The people who pay for 'casino bankers'

Great Britain - Empowering the World's Youth

According to the OECD , the UK's share of all 'international mobile higher education students' decreased from 10.8% to 9.9% between 2000 and 2009. In other words we are gradually becoming less competitive, losing out especially to the likes of Australia (5.1% in 2000 to 7.0% in 2009), Canada (4.6% to 5.2%), and New Zealand (0.4% to 1.9%). Isn't it about time UK plc started marketing itself professionally to wealthy Chinese and Indian parents rather than leaving it up to individual cash-strapped institutions whose messages will be both weak and inconsistent? It is becoming increasingly difficult to find sectors where the UK still excels internationally. Admittedly we're pretty good at some things (engineering, financial services, medical research, even agriculture - we have some of the most fertile land on the planet), but we're no longer world leaders in very much - except what is becoming known as the Knowledge Sector (Higher Education and discrete areas o