Thursday, May 12, 2011

Loose links

DSC04033Blogger is suffering a prolonged outage, so I’ll take the opportunity to simply push up a few links and stray facts entered into my notebook. rather than a full thought that may vanish in the swirl of database corruption:

  • Does European culture divide between “pub folks” and “café folks”?
  • Following on the BBC coverage of their royal wedding, their From Our Own Correspondent podcast takes a peek at Dutch royalty: ‘times are changing in the Netherlands where they now like their royal family to be rather more regal than in the recent past. (5 mins).
    • Also, the Feb 26 broadcast has an excellent overview of the linguistic roots the social and political issues in Belgium.
  • Why don’t the inventors on Dragon’s Den negotiate rather than beg when the investors offer nothing for their company (I’ll give you 40,000 for 50% of your company, effectively valuing a 500K idea at 80K). The response is not Please, offer more?, it’s Would you take royalties in exchange for a smaller percentage?
    • Or, better yet, know your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA): someone in TV-Land will offer you more than the Dragon does.
    • I would just start cutting deals and partnerships...maybe it’s cultural that they don’t?
  • The bromfietsen on the fietspad are getting out of control.
  • “In 2009 America’s hospitals soaked up one-third of all national health-care spending, or $759 billion, roughly equal to the entire GDP of the Netherlands.”  The Economist, April 28, 2011.
  • “If our best effort (at US deficit reduction) means that we go into debt by an amount equal to the GDP of the Netherlands each year, then who can continue to have long term confidence in the dollar?” The Economist, April 15 2011.
    • I think that the news magazine has settled on their standard meter-stick for all things economic.
    • Although others use the reference too: Both the US African-American market and its Hispanic market are larger than the GDP of the Netherlands. Maybe it’s just a convenient number, but what are the hidden associations?
  • I’m having recurring nightmares where I am growing up to become Pierre Richard.  As a test, I may put one of these up as my Facebook photo and see if anyone notices.

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  • Nothing translates worse between cultures than humor.  My two favorite examples:
    • Swiss:  What is the difference between a horse?  One is black.
    • Italian:  Why do bananas grow curved in the mountains?  Because nobody is there to straighten them.

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