Whisky with Boesky, and cookies with Milken
Thursday, September 28, 2006
One of my favourite Futurama episodes is Futurestock
If you've seen the episode, you'll remember "that guy," who froze himself in the eighties after he was diagnosed with bonitis. Fry nominated him to become the CEO of Planet Express "not just because he has a suit, but because he knows about business and stuff, and he has a tie."
In turn "that guy" made Fry vice-chairman of the board. They changed the name of the company to PlanEx and did nothing, except to arrange a merger with Mom's Friendly Delivery Company. Mhh...all the synergies.
It was an awesome episode. Awesome to the max.
There are a couple of things they don't teach in MBA school, but "that guy" comes to the rescue. For example:
On the subject of pep-talks: "There are only two kinds of people: sheep and shark. Anyone who is a sheep, is fired. Who's a sheep?"
Setting a mission: "Sharks are winners and they don't look back, because they don't have necks. Necks are for sheep."
Management strategies: "The first order of business is to blame everything on the guy before me."
Setting a marketing strategy (a genius): "Delivery has nothing to do with the delivery business. Image, people. Image."
And finaly, "that guy" on friendship: "I'm an eighties guy. Friendship to me means that for two bucks I beat you with a pool cue until you got detached retinas."
Man, I want to be an "80's dollar jockey," but I don't want to have any regrets, like "that guy" did. In his deathbed he said, and I quote, "My only regret is that...I have bonitis." It's funny, you see, he actually forgot to cure his bonitis because he was "too busy being an eighties guy."
By the way, I'm wondering how long this site, dailyepisodes.com
, will stay up. I can see a truck full of angry lawyers getting ready to battle. (And funny enough, some may even dress like "that guy.")
Finally, the title of this entry is a quote from the episode. "That guy" was alluding to the fact that he was the toast of Wall Street. Boesky
were in fact big players in the U.S. finance world. Although they ended up being crooks, they were very big. (Those Futurama writers were very clever.)
Speed Reading Training, part IX (final).
Monday, September 18, 2006
Speed Reading Training
I finally got a chance to complete the speed reading program I started a few weeks ago.
Did it work? Well, I have mix feelings about it. I can actually read some passages faster, however, my recollection is very limited. So whenever I am reading something of importance or something I need to actually understand, I have to read it in a "normal" reading speed--I'm guessing my normal reading speed is around 200 WPM.
The program I used suggest that by training the eye muscles, one can indeed strengthen them to read faster. I don't know if I buy the argument, as I haven't seen any scientific evidence to support the claim, except for the lab-coat guys in the introductory video. Note that I'm too lazy to google it and find out how the eye muscles work :)
Will I use the techniques learnt? I actually use them when I'm reading magazine articles. The column break down of paragraph in magazines makes it very easy to go from left to right and top to bottom very quickly. For regular books, I think I will stick to normal reading, unless I can train myself to remember more.
One of the main problems I had with the last 2 sessions of the program is that you are required to look at the center of a 4 line block of text and try to "read" the whole thing in one glance. For some reason, I can only see and recognize the 4 words in a vertical line of my focus point, and I can only "read" about 2 words to the left of the middle line. I don't know why I have a hard time "looking" and "reading" words at a glance on the right side of my focal point.
I do wonder, however, if anyone can in fact read 4 lines at a time. Even with the training I just went through I can't do it, but maybe I should try the whole program again.
Which program did I use? You can email me if you want to find out. I will not actually promote any products in my site (for free, that is).
The final graph's result:
Note that my results went from ~640 to ~540 wpm. I think it is because I didn't train for 2 weeks between the last two sessions--perhaps consistency would have put my score around the 700 wpm.
This is just too funny
Friday, September 15, 2006
...[because] you're different.
I thought this was just weird
Since I don't have cable, I get to watch whatever is on the local channel. Renee likes to watch Desperate Housewives, and so I watch and have grown to like the show (just don't tell anyone).
So I found this show, Amas De Casa Desesperada
, quite...I don't know...weird.
Latin America gets a few of the North American shows untouched, however, some are actually translated. I, personally, couldn't imagine watching "The Simpsons" translated into Spanish. There would be too much lost in translation: what about all those North American pop-culture references? And what about "Doh!"? So many questions that in the end it would make the show unfunny.
Anyway, I didn't know that Spanish networks actually did adaptations of popular shows. I watched the trailer of this adaptation and the shows seems to be the same, with the only change being the actors. At the bottom of the page it does say that the show is based on the original Despereate Housewives, so it is assumed that this is some sort of "franchise." I wonder what they would call Seinfeld? "Sinfil"?
One more from here to here
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
This time, the first "here" is thanks to Rembrandt
. He was a prolific self-portraitist, leaving behind him around 100 on them, all of different ages and periods--either he was practicing, or he really liked himself
I have here another biblical scene: The Adoration of the Shepherds, which was painted (or completed) in 1646:
And once again, behold Helnwein's The Adoration of the Shepherds, painted in 1998 (oil and acrylic on canvas following the same theme of The Adoration of Magi
From Here to Here
Saturday, September 02, 2006
The first "here" is here: Adoration of the Magi (1496) by Filippino Lippi.
And the last "here" is here: Epiphany (Adoration of the Magi) 1996 by Gottfried Helnwein.
The theme of the paintings is the same, yet the story and motive behind them are quite different.
As we all know, high renaissance painters were paid by religious leaders to create specific imagery to show how powerful and wholly they were. In the first instance, da Vinci was commissioned the original Adoration of the Magi, however, he was known to be a bit of procrastinator and he didn't like to finish commissioned painting. In the end, the final version (the one above) was completed in 1496, by Filippino Lippi
In our modern times, artists' sustenance is different. Mainly, artists can sell their wares to the highest bidder. And their motives are also different: for some, the main objective of art creation is fame and fortune; for others, the objective is to shock and preach to a decadent society of the things that we keep doing wrong and by their artistic efforts bring us back to the righteous path. Art, some argue (including Margaret Atwood in her essay "The Writer's Responsibility") should be the voice of the voiceless for social change. A bit arrogant, I think, but to each its own.
In the latter category, I found Gottfried Helnwein
, of the hyperrealism movement. According to his wikipedia entry
, he "is a conceptual artist, concerned primarily with psychological and sociological anxiety, historical issues and political topics. As a result of this, his work is often considered provocative and controversial." (Try to go through all his works
to understand what this statement really means.)
By the way, if you noticed the completion dates, you would be correct to count 500 years difference between them. Considering Helnwein body of work, I don't think his 1996 completion date is entirely coincidental. Is there a meaning behind the date? Probably, but you will have to ask him. On the other hand, there were quite a few "Adoration of Magi" paintings
and I am just putting too much thought into the two I found the most interesting. But then again, art is very subjective and I have chosen to give meaning to these two works of art and hence find the 500 years relevant.