Friday, July 27


So what happens when you break an egg 60 feet below the surface?

Fascinating. I love eggs Smile

Reminds me of the time that I actually fried an egg on a pavement in Kuwait in front of the hotel when it reached 50 degrees C. The doorman was scandalised. lol

Thursday, July 26

Museums and Exhibitions forbidding photography

That is what bugs the crap out of me, when I am not allowed to photograph museums. While I can understand them being blunt about it and say, sorry, mate, we need to sell photography books so cannot allow you to take pics, but to tell me that it ruins the paintings and stuff is just bunk.

Why? here’s the story. I will try to get the responses from every museum which tells me no from now on..

A great comparison between the ICC and the MC USA

Here. We do need to move the ICC along pretty sharpish, more of these morons need to be mobbed

Tuesday, July 24

in defence of the logo and brand name

Dear Kannu
I was very chuffed when Sameer Mama complimented you to me yesterday. He said that you were a good chap, quiet, thoughtful, polite and well read. Very happy son :)

I was reading this quote:

… is from page 70 of Daniel E. Sutherland’s informative 1989 book, The Expansion of Everyday Life: 1860-1876:
National brand names – including Pillsbury flour, Van Camp’s beans, Quaker oats, and Chase and Sanborn coffee – established new standards of quality and nutrition.  The old general store remained an institution in rural areas and small towns, but people quickly recognized that food sold from open barrels, crates, and boxes was too often soggy, stale, dirty, adulterated, and uneven in quality.  The first chain grocery store – the New York-based Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company – won almost instant approval when it opened its doors in 1864.

One thing which you will realise is how many people hate brands. For example, Naomi Klein wrote a best seller called as No Logo. We have this book. Basically she hates the idea of corporate branding and pushing and and and. You will see that quite a lot of people hate the idea of branding or logos, how they say that our lives are driven by these brands, advertising, marketing, logos etc. etc..
But have a think about it, we are free not to look at logos, free not to use brands, and so on and so forth. I don't like to purchase branded goods specially the high priced goods in some things. Such as clothes, cars, shoes, kitchen implements, etc. etc. etc. I find it stupid to pay extra for functional goods. For example, I find people who dislike second hand books hard to figure out, what's the difference? The words remain the same, don't they? So what's the big deal?
But I am happy to pay extra for certain things such as my mobile phone, I am happy to pay more for books which are published by reputed publishers (Brill is an example of a publisher whose books are very expensive), I am happy to pay more for education. I am happy to pay more for my staff when they are from good universities. I am happy to pay more to stay at a Taj hotel in India compared to other hotel chains because I know their service is much better. Many times, branding is a signal of quality. See the quote above, branding helps to provide a messaging to consumers. 
So be warned, branding is a message, its a logo, its a communication. Treat it as such rather than an end to itself. Buy ADDIDAS shoes because those shoes fit well, are of good quality and do the job you want to do. But just because NIKE is more popular and thus more expensive, that you purchase NIKE is stupid because you are buying NIKE not because you like their characteristics but because you care about what others think of you. Far too much is tied up in what people think about you, so buy a brand for its characteristics rather than what it signifies.

Monday, July 23

University Mergers–So what?

So two South Wales Universities are going to merge. I quote:

Two south Wales universities are to merge in a move they claim will allow them to compete on the world stage. Glamorgan and Newport say the new institution will rival the size of Cardiff University, give students more opportunities and boost the economy.

Oh! very nice. Most excellent. So presumably by merging the 2 universities, it will become big, give more opportunities and boost the economy. Most good and wonderful idea. Here is another idea, why don't we merge every Welsh University into a big ass university? Or why don't we have ONE giant British university? That should really give a giant size, more opportunities and boost the economy.

Mergers usually have a very bad success rate, some links are given here, here and here. One can usually aim for about 50-70% of mergers failing to meet their objectives. At best, you can have some positive effects on cost efficiencies. So lets not fool ourselves about this merger.

Here’s an idea, why don't we hock say 25% of the respective Vice Chancellors or whoever is sponsoring the merger and only give that money to them provided their stated benefits (in hard $ terms with audited numbers on improved opportunities or increase in economic benefits) are achieved in say 3 years time. HA!, fat chance.

Watch and see how public money is pissed away some more on a silly merger plan. If the universities are crap, then joining them together is just a bigger pile of crap. What you do with crap is to flush it, not join them together. Sorry to be disgusting, but the state of Welsh education is really painful to watch and observe. Constantly the powers that be are letting down the Welsh people..

I'm reminded of the quote by John Ciardi, “A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in the students.” That’s what the Welsh system is heading to…