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Sunday, November 25, 2007

BMW WEB TV



Once again, BMW is a step ahead in terms of marketing. You'll remember their smart move with BMW films a couple of years ago. (Watch them again on YouTube - it's worth is, especially Star, by Guy Ritchie, starring Madonna.)

Now, in addition to their paper magazine, they have a new "Media" Website where you can learn about upcoming events, their cars, design, racing and much more. Of course, everything is video enhanced. Plus the site is cool.

These guys really take advantage of the Web to promote their brand. No wonder they are doing so well (yes, I admit, it helps that their cars rank among the best in the World too...)

Take a look at the site: BMW WEB TV

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Too Smart to Succeed?

If you had an IQ of 154 to give, your choice would be...

Having recently moved to a new house, I have thrown away a lot of junk; but I also rediscovered small treasures hiding in cardboard boxes.

One of these little gems is a paper dated 1996, by Howard Gardner (Adjunct Professor of Neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine, and Co-Director of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education).

It describes different types of intelligence and goes way beyond the simple notion of I.Q. which I always thought was overly biased in favor of educated and mathemical/left brain people - and it's not because I have a low I.Q. :o)

According to Gardner, there are 7 Types of intelligence:

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
The ability to manipulate ones own body, and control muscle movements with utmost precision (surgeons, pianists).

Musical Intelligence
The ability to understand and perform music.
Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
This also includes scientific ability.

Linguistic Intelligence
Knowledge and ability to manipulate language.
Spatial Intelligence
"The ability to form a mental model of a spatial world" (i.e. sculptors, engineers, surgeons).

Interpersonal Intelligence
The ability to understand others.
Intrapersonal Intelligence
The ability to understand oneself.

This is good news for those of us who do not have stellar IQ ratings and thought that God was really unfair when he gave, on top of everything else, an IQ of 154 (genius) to Sharon Stone. I mean, Bush Jr would have needed it more, don't you think? And it's not like he has anything else. With such an injustice, can anyone really say that God loves America?

But for us ordinary people (at least in terms of IQ), there's another consolation: the average plumber earns more money than the average MENSA (high IQ society) member. (BTW, if you look at their crappy Website, it is clear that they cannot afford a decent Web Designer.)

Finally, if on top of an average IQ you are not an academic star either, you'll be happy to know that statistics favor you in the long run:

Demographics refer to the characteristics of population segments. In business, its focus is fixed on the study of consumer markets. Taken at their worst, essays on human traits can end up being nothing more than a stereotyping of individuals into a common group because of age, sex, education, location, or some other social indicator. At best, the interpretation of demographic data is about as accurate as weather forecasting. Demographers may generalize about the relevance of education to success, but they cannot explain why 50% of North American millionaires never finished college. Nor can they provide the slightest clue as to why more than half the CEOs and U.S. senators and presidents graduated in the bottom half of their class. – Roger D. Touchie, Preparing a Successful Business Plan

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Expectations

"If a Nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, November 15, 2007

6 Degrees of Separation


The latest trend of social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn made us realize all too well how a small World it is.

It seems we're all related in some way and, in fact, we are.

It's not a new concept. There was a site built around that concept in 1999, www.6degrees.com - check it out on the Wayback Machine:


Of course, it was too early and the site died in the implosion of the Dot Com Bubble.

For movie enthusiasts, there's a really cool site called The Oracle of Bacon that will tell you how far away an actor is from Kevin Bacon (by the way, Kevin Bacon is not the most connected actor).

For example, if I type in Reese Witherspoon, here's the answer:



And for the real fanatics among you, go ahead and read LINKED, a really fascinating book on networks written by the fantastic mathematician Albert-Laszlo Barabasi.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Titan of the Seas


In the summer of 1994, while we were getting tired of being assaulted by the crowd in Virginia Beach, my friend Burt took us to visit The US Naval base in the Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia - the largest naval station in the World.

After the usual tourist visit and guided tour, on our way to leave the base, we took a wrong turn and came across what looked like a really tall building. As we got closer, we realized that the building was in fact a huge ship.

We asked an officer about the boat and were told that it was the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was not open to the public but he was kind enough to show us around (this was before the 911 events).

Boy, what an impressive ship it is!

Launched in 1975, it is the second of 10 Nimitz class aircraft carriers.

The asphated deck is so long (1092 ft.), that you can jog along it. It is 252 ft. wide.

The height, from keel to mast is 244 ft. (equal to 24-story building)

It is propelled by two giant nuclear reactors connected to 4 screws (66,200 lbs. each) up to more than 30 knots (54 km/h).

More than 6 200 men can live aboard.

Number of anchors: 2

Weight of anchors: 60,000 lbs. each

Anchor chain: 1,082 ft. on each anchor (365 lbs. per link)

Total anchor weight including chain: 735,000 lbs. each

Distillation plant capacity: 400,000 gals.

Number of light fixtures: approx. 29,000


But these are just numbers. When you are face to face with that giant, you are awed...


For more info: