Categories / Observations


United States education statistics for reading. I guess you might say it’s staggeringly shameful.

Steve Jobs

I can’t compose a proper eulogy for Steve Jobs. There’s too much to say, too many capable of saying it better than I ever could. It’s one thing to miss someone, to feel a void when they’re gone. It’s another to do something with their legacy, to honor them through your actions.

Steve devoted his professional life to giving us (you, me and a billion other people) the most powerful device ever available to an ordinary person. Everything in our world is different because of the device you’re reading this on. What are we going to do with it?

Call the Ball

“Call the ball” “Roger, I have the ball.”

Visual Landing System for a US Navy Aircraft carrier. As the aviator approaches the flight deck, the aviator watches the light and puts the ball in the center of the square mirror.

The goal is to keep the ball in line with the row of green lights on either side of the mirror. The typical exchange to an incoming naval aviator, a la Top Gun, “call the ball” which illuminates the lighting system followed by, “You have the ball…”

Very practical mechanical system for tracking progress around trajectory of an in-bound plane in the middle of the ocean. This has many great (slightly obvious) parallels for the skills of landing projects and tracking things.

Hawk Symbolism

Reading the divine-sparks blog about hawk’s representation to humanity, the hawk is called messenger, protector and visionary. Keen vision is one of its greatest gifts. Hawks see things others miss.

The hawk comes to you indicating that you are now awakening to your soul purpose, your reason for being here. It can teach you how to fly high while keeping yourself connected to the ground.

As you rise to a higher level, your psychic energies are awakening and the hawk can help you to keep those senses in balance. Its message for you is to be open to hope and new ideas, to extend the vision of your life.

The Hawk is an animal of flight. It soars through the air looking down, and sees everything. It has a larger perspective of what is going on down below. With its keen eyesight, it looks down as it soars through the air looking for its prey. It can see the smallest of creatures below.

Pretty powerful symbolism.

The Hawk is known as a messenger, similar to the planet Mercury, for the hawk soars close to the Grandfather Sun, as does the planet. When you listen to the power of the Grandfather Sun or Wise Spirit that lives within, you are protected from all types of harm.

The Hawk teaches you to be observant and take a close look at your surroundings. It soars with the power to overcome difficult situations. It soars in circles over the life of the earth, asking you to circle over your life and view it from a higher perspective.

Any quote that makes abstractions about viewing the landscape, from 20,000ft is good reading.

The Hawk has a distinct cry, one that most people are aware of. Its cry signifies awareness. If you hear the cry of the hawk use your intuitive ability to discern the message and seek the truth. If a hawk has soared into your life, you require a higher perspective. You need to see the details of what is going on and look at the bigger picture. Take a look at your situation from above.

Meaning, passion and purpose are good enough reasons to find noble higher purpose . That’s the beginning of a life changing decision.


Comedy derived from customer service revenge. The only disappointment in this otherwise brilliant stunt. They should have targeted the head of customer service. A word to the wise, the guard is frankly a saint:

Never acted unprofessionally patiently repeated accurate descriptions of the problem. Never blamed the reps for defects in the system, graciously accepted the apology and declined compensation. Immediately shared “forced” compensation with peers. I hope he gets something good for this.

Press 1 for chocolates.

Never Assume Anything

Never Assume Anything. Brilliant perspective:

Are you sure that the way you perceive things is the way they really are? Are you willing to challenge the norm in order to succeed? Making assumptions is something we all do in many areas of our lives. An assumption is “something taken for granted or accepted as true without proof.” In other words, it is belief without proof.

One example that immediately comes to mind is the assumption that you are what you do. Statements such as “I am a doctor” or “I am a lawyer” are examples. Your are not a doctor or a lawyer, you just happen to practise law or medicine.

Never assume anything – common assumptions

As illustrated, society’s language reinforces this false assumption. The truth is that we are more than what we do. In one lifetime one can be a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer and an entrepreneur all at once. I happen to know a few people who have such combinations of qualifications. They are people that have not fallen for this assumption.

Another common assumption is that of thinking having more money will solve your money problems. Ask the guy who inherited a million dollars and lost it all in a year or so whether it sorted out his problems. Knowing how to make money, make it grow and learning how to invest it wisely are part of the answer. Having more money is not the answer, but financial intelligence is the answer.

How about the assumption that having your own business is risky? Many would agree to that no doubt. Having a job is the more secure thing to do. But are you sure? If you really think about it and analyse things deeply you might find that having a secure job is actually more risky than being in business for yourself. Consider such statistics as the ones pointing to the fact that less than ten percent of retirees have enough money to look after themselves once they stop working. Isn’t that risky?

Never assume anything – don’t be a monkey

Michael Michalko in the second edition of the book Thinkertoys, gives a very interesting example of behaviour that is based on assumptions. He asks the reader to imagine a cage containing five monkeys. A banana is then hung on a string inside the cage and a set of stairs placed in the cage leading up to the banana. Whenever a monkey goes up the stairs and grabs the banana, ice-cold water is poured on all the monkeys in the cage. Very soon, as the monkeys begin to associate touching the banana with being sprayed with ice-cold water they will try to prevent one another from trying to get the banana.

The cold water is then turned off and one monkey removed from the cage and replaced with another that doesn’t know anything about the cold water. This new monkey will inevitably try to get the banana, but the other four monkeys will attack him to stop him from doing so.

If another of the old monkeys is removed and replaced with a newcomer, this newcomer will try to grab the banana. The previous newcomer will gladly take part in beating him up together with the other monkeys in order to prevent him from climbing the stairs to the banana.

Slowly, all the original monkey can be replaced with new monkeys in this manner. The cage will now be totally filled with monkeys that know nothing about the ice-cold water, but they will all not try to get the banana and continue to attack any monkey that tries to do so. “No monkey ever again approaches the stairs. Why Not? Because as far as they know, that’s the way it’s always been around here. Don’t be a monkey. Challenge all assumptions.” These are Michalko’s words of advice.

Never assume anything – how do you see things? Another wise person said “Often, our actions and assumptions continue long after the reasons for them have passed.” That is why picking up things and doing them because others have always done and continue to do them that way is never a good idea.

Any person who desires to be a great success and be a leader both to themselves and to others must not take anything for granted. Stephen Covey said “we simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviours grow out of these assumptions.”

Your assumptions can influence your attitudes and behaviours in a big way and so ultimately influence your future. It is always necessary in any given circumstance to ask the question “why?” before doing or not doing anything.

Why can’t you be wealthy? Why can’t you be great? Why can’t you be the person that brings about great change? If you truly analyse these questions and try to answer them you will find that most of your answers will be only assumptions and, at the very least, excuses.

Never assume anything – free yourself

John Gardner pointed to the importance of being free of assumptions in order to succeed when he said “the creative individual has the capacity to free himself from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught. He is capable of questioning the assumptions that the rest of us accept.”

Never assume anything – avoid the monkey mentality

I have found that, as a general rule, if most people are doing something, then I should question why they are doing it, and most likely I should not do it.

The monkey mentality is widespread in society. Considering the fact that only 3% of any population are truly successful it is probably a better idea to follow the minority rather than the majority.

Is it any wonder that the richest one per cent of the world’s population owns 40 per cent of the total household wealth, while the bottom half of the world makes do with barely one per cent? The majority can be wrong. The reason they can be wrong is that they have the wrong assumptions about life, money and success.

Never assume anything – conclusion

Always challenge the norm and seek out the answers for yourself. Follow no one blindly. Do nothing without first seeking to understand why. Always keep an open mind. Most importantly, believe in yourself and the fact that you are different and what you think matters more than what society says.

Alan Alda’s advice makes for a fitting conclusion: “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”

HT  @motivation-for-dreamers

Woman leaps from burning building

Times front page photo. Woman leaps from burning building in London riots. Utter frustration with the spiraling out of control violence, hopelessly stumbling into full scale mayhem. Like modern day dogs of war these feral kids are sly winners.

Police tactics are always failing inner city neighbourhood but the Tory government came up with a life line – a concept of a big society. Well, it just up-ended itself on a lamp post. The Guardian narrative on the 3-day event so-far:

We will likely understand nothing of these events if we ignore the history and the context in which they occur.

Helsinki Temperature 2010

data viz

This is one incredible temperature dataviz of Helsinki temperature 2010 by designer, nicotron. “Colourdar is a data visualization project annual  temperature of different cities in a calendar format.”

See more of Nick’s temperature visualizations at: colourdar

Greenpeace Climbs

Greenpeace chief climbs oil rig to protest against Arctic drilling on Friday.

Greenpeace forces British firm to shut down Arctic oil rig: Activists chain themselves 50ft above freezing ocean.

Sim McKenna, from the US, who is one of the climbers, said: ‘We’ve got to keep the energy companies out of the Arctic and kick our addiction to oil, that’s why we’re going to stop this rig from drilling for as long as we can.

‘The BP Gulf oil disaster showed us it’s time to go beyond oil. ‘The drilling rig we’re hanging off could spark an Arctic oil rush, one that would pose a huge threat to the climate and put this fragile environment at risk.’ The breach triggered an automatic shutdown of the rig’s operations. The activists are still on the rig and will be arrested, said police spokesman Morten Nielsen. ‘When someone breaks the law – and it has happened here – the person or persons will be prosecuted,’ Nielsen said by telephone from Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.

via @dailymail