The Happy Planet Index

Thanks to Rob Nash for introducing me to this website TED.com, a forum for ideas and innovation that’s not only inspiring but also practical. 🙂

Below is a short video by Nic Marks, the founder of the New Economics Foundation and the inventor of the Happy Planet Index.

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

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ABC Report on the King of Thailand and Its Future

I’ve debated this issue numerous times with Tom Lavin, my great mate who lives in Bangkok. The King has been on the throne for over 60 years now and is seen as a symbol of continuity and traditionally a hero for the poor. That could only be about it as within his reign there have been 15 coups and 16 constitutions! For a man who is perceived to have such authority, he could have used it in some way to prevent or moderate such behaviour.

Coups and army interventions are disastrous for any country’s stability and economy. Thailand grew well under Thaksin who was thrown out  the for essentially being successful and democratically elected. The drugs trade in the North was curbed (a trade the Kings son has been implicated in) and he even tried to limit the sex trade in Thailand, a business that has produced a salacious reputation for country. Nothing the King has bothered to concern himself about.

Click here for the report which is mildly sensationalist but that’s Australian TV for you.

Who said English Isn’t Funny

This year’s Washington Post’s ‘Mensa Invitational’ which once again
asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by
adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new
definition.

Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the

subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until

you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops

bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer,

unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down

in the near future.

6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose

of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and

the person who doesn’t get it.

9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these

really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth

explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day

consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido : All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when

they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after

you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into

your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot

be cast out..

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in

the fruit you’re eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its
yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate
meanings for common words. And the winners are:

1. Coffee , n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted , adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate , v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade , v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly , adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent , adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing

only a nightgown.

7. Lymph , v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle , n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence , n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has

been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash , n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle , n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude , n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon , n.. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster , n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism , n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies

up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

Credit to Oli Bigland for this one!

So Manchester City over-value another player, James Milner in this case and sell the talented chav Stephen Ireland to Aston Villa as part of the exchange. Nice of them to give something back you might say. Of course, Milner is worth nowhere near the £24m or so that was paid but he has come a long way from the 16 year old who scored the ‘wondergoal’ for Leeds.

But I don’t want to make this a long piece about football. The game doesn’t deserve the attention. It’s over-exposed and over-valued anyway. But I still admire the lack of intelligent and irony shown when the public school journalists put a microphone infront of the players and ask what generally under-educated players think of the world.

Roy Keane comes across as quite a lucid thinker, well aware of the media game. But even he is almost completely hypocritical at the best of times. Keane says what is right for the moment. Sadly he invariably has said the opposite the previous week. Football journalism is so lazy, dumb-downed and uninspiring that these contradictions are never picked up on unless it’s about destroying the latest manager. Keane would calmly say that tackle was disgusting but ignore any comment about his previous career tackling highlights.

But now, as tackling and contact is being weeded out the game, the irony comes from the flood of money in the game. Last year Newcastle were in the Championship and it all seemed a more honest place. Crowds sang old songs dating back decades, players were held on their feet by their own pride and hard-work wasn’t just appreciated but a given.

But back to Stephen Ireland, the pikey-ish Irishman who complained that Manchester City had shown no loyalty to him, passing him on to Aston Villa, a very good team in itself. Well of course they had paid his substantial wages during his long injury lay-off, supported him as he lied to the Irish FA about his granny dying (such loyalty there) and allowed him to waste that barely gotten salary to buy hideous looking cars and gifts for his average looking girlfriend. And now he complains that ‘City’s young players of wearing £10,000 watches and believing they are Premier League stars.’

Ahh the stupidity from the players and of course poor journalism from the giggling schoolboys.