Poem: Prices

We found this on a client’s old website.


Poem by John Ruskin (1819-1900)

It’s unwise to pay too much.  But it’s worse to pay too little.

When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all.

When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought

was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

The common law of business balances prohibits paying a little and getting a lot.

It can’t be done.

If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add something for the risk you run.

And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.

There is hardly anything in the world that someone can’t make a little worse

and sell a little cheaper-

and people who consider price alone are this man’s lawful prey.

Movie: Exodus: Gods and Kings

Watched the move Exodus: Gods and Kings, with Christian Bale. It was the story of Moses. A new tale, a re-imagining, and not a remake of the 1956 The Ten Commandments. I enjoyed the movie, the backdrops, the effects, the characters, though it is a big macho movie, with the stare downs, fight scenes, and chest thumping.

In the story, after Moses suffers a head injury, he begins to talk to God, and embarks on his journey to free the Israelites. After recruiting and carrying out terrorist activities, the plagues start. The movie gives explanations about each of the plagues except the last one, and the parting of the Red Sea, as being a series of events with one causing another, and coincidences which Moses was able to take advantage of. For the last plague, what medicinal or preventative measures does lamb’s blood, or the blood of any animal, counteracts the angel of death?

Movie: The Ten Commandments

In preparation for the release of Exodus, we watched Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments from 1956. It is considered one of the great epics. But what poor acting. I suppose that was the style: wooden, unrealistic, and over the top faked for the emotional parts. It has that flaw in the writing when Charleston Heston, at the parting of the Red Sea, states about “The Lord of Hosts…” which is a Christian concept not used until after the time of Jesus.

Article: Uptalk

Fascinating article about the origins of Uptalk. After reading it, I will attribute it to the Vikings. I used to think it was a distinctly Canadian thing. Obviously not.

BBC News: 10 theories on how uptalk originated – the habit of making statements sound like questions

An Effective Way to Help the Third World: Peepoople

Peepoople’s products are portable, biodegradable, single-use toilets, serving the target markets of impovished people, disaster areas, and refugee areas. As the website states:

Peepoo is a personal, single-use, self-sanitising, fully biodegradable toilet that prevents faeces from contaminating the immediate area as well as the surrounding ecosystem. After use, Peepoo turns into valuable fertiliser that can improve livelihoods and increase food security.

This seems a much more effective way to truly help those in the Third world, instead of  vaccinations or supplying shoes.

Read more at: Peepoople.com

Study: Soft tissue and bone infections from puncture wounds in children

A research study from way back in 1997 found that if people puncture their feet, they are more likely to get infections because of their shoes, because of the puncturing object going through the bacteria-laden medium of the shoe, and injecting the bacteria deep into the foot. The article states:

There was no significant difference in the prevalence of osteomyelitis and soft tissue infection based on footwear (tennis versus other shoes). There were no cases of osteomyelitis among barefoot children… was strongly associated with the wearing of tennis shoes, … None of the barefoot patients in our study had osteomyelitis. …a pseudomonas infection…did not develop in any barefoot patient. These data seem to support the theory that P aeruginosa does not grow on puncture objects, but rather is intimately associated with shoe gear.

Consequently it is safer and healthier to go barefoot.

Read the article: Soft tissue and bone infections from puncture wounds in children.

Podcast: Better Pitching Principles

Listened to a good podcast from Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation: SPOS #376 – Better Pitching Principles With Peter Coughter. Ignore all the ‘ums’ from Peter when he starts off, it gets better. There are references to the Takahashi Style of visual presentations, without naming it. Mitch and Peter agree that one of the best skills to have is presentation skills. So true. I have seen some poor presentations, and I wonder why the deliverers get paid for such crap.

One piece of advice I’ll carry is that in team presentations, do not introduce each speaker. “And that concludes how to manufacture product X. Now Pat will talk about how to sell product X. Pat, come on up…” Boooooring. Pat should just start talking at the appropriate time. Good advice. Look at regular conversation, or movies. We don’t introduce each character, each action, like that. It is a dialogue.

Good podcast to listen to if you want to improve your presentations and public speaking skills. If you want help, some coaching on your presentation skills or public speaking, contact me.

Book: Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller

Read a good book by Jeff Rubin entitled Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller. It is about the price of petroleum, cheap oil, and its impact on the world economy.

He says it was the main instigator of the 2008 economic meltdown, and he expects more of these events to occur, when the price of gasoline does a sudden increase. He says eventually manufacturing will return to North America, when the cost of shipping from China becomes prohibitive. He is in favor of a carbon tax and for the current trade imbalance of importing from cheaper countries without a carbon tax is to put a carbon tariff on imported goods from countries that do not have a carbon tax. Kyoto and carbon tax puts countries at disadvantage. They must add the cost of a carbon tax onto their products, or invest to produce the products cleanly. Either way their costs go up. China is free to pollute and emit with no extra costs, and export what they produce. A tariff at our current carbon rates would mitigate that, and make our goods competitive. When it becomes more economical to produce locally, then our factories, now clean, can reopen.

It isn’t quite a doom and gloom book, but our world will change, the overall cost of things will go up, the majority of the population won’t have access to the luxuries of the current era, but we can adapt. He says it is inevitable. Either we lessen the pain and start to take the steps he outlines now, or we have those changes thrust upon us and we suffer the pain.

Article: Barefoot Shoes? The Primal Reason You Want to Take Off Your Shoes

Here is a good article from Mark Sisson entitled Barefoot Shoes? The Primal Reason You Want to Take Off Your Shoes.


“…would you choose to go barefoot as often as possible? I think you would. Most people, when they get home after work, or vacation in a tropical locale, kick their shoes off…but you could never, ever, for example, go to a job interview in bare feet. It just isn’t done, right? But doesn’t the existence of that instinct toward freeing your feet, make you wonder why? Instincts…are there for a reason…an infant’s propensity toward putting things in its mouth (introduces novel bacteria to their budding immune systems); a teen’s, ahem, primal urges when it comes to sex (allows the propagation of the species…); and our love of sunny days (sun exposure provides vitamin D, an essential micronutrient for health)… our love of being barefoot is a similarly beneficial instinct. …foot itself, it’s a remarkably complex piece of machinery… one of our oldest bodily features, having been essentially unchanged since our graduation into full-on bipedalism at least four million years ago…It allowed us to travel great distances more efficiently than quadrupeds. And it was all done without expensive Nikes…”

“We’ve still got those same feet, but we don’t use them anymore. Instead, we cover them up. We wear shoes that alter the structure and function of our feet, and that weaken the myriad tendons, muscles, and ligaments through disuse. We strap on rubber soles that sever our proprioceptive connection with the ground and restrict our nervous system’s ability to subconsciously respond to changing environments and protect us from tripping or turning an ankle.”

“…orthopedist named Philip Hoffman… 1905 study, titled “Conclusions Drawn From a Comparative Study of the Feet of Barefooted and Shoe-Wearing People, …results were clear: lifelong bare footers displayed wider feet with wider toe beds and fewer foot dysfunctions, while shoe-wearers displayed narrower feet, narrower toe beds, and many more foot dysfunctions… did not find a single foot associated with the symptoms of weakness so common in adult shoe-wearing feet, which are weakened by the restraint the shoe exerts over function.”

“…the human foot was designed by millions of years of natural selection to work in its unaltered state. Putting on thick, restrictive shoes with prominent heels and lots of padding puts us at a greater risk of lower body injuries, both chronic and acute. It allows the muscles in our feet to atrophy from disuse. And once that primary link between our bodies and the ground is compromised, the rest follows: ankle pain, knee pain, hip pain, back pain…Go barefoot as often as possible. It’s as simple as that….”

Good article but I disagree with his final advice to “Ditch the shoes when and where it’s acceptable: at home, on walks around the block, at the park. Working in the office? Go in socks and leave the shoes under the desk…” because if so many people feel this way, about going barefoot, we should do it everywhere. That is the way to ensure it is socially acceptable.

Presentation: Contagious

Contagious: Jonah Berger is a marketing professor who studies why things go viral, why they catch on, how they spread by word of mouth. Anything can go viral: a song, video, figure of speech, article of clothing, game, food item, toy, dance, an idea. Anything. Wouldn’t it be ideal if your business, your product or service became so popular that you could pick and choose exactly who you wanted to work with? Jonah has identified the six principles that drive things to become popular, using the acronym STEPPS:

  • Social Currency – People care how they look to others, so find the inner remarkability.
  • Triggers – Top of mind means tip of tongue, so consider the context so people are frequently triggered to think about your product or idea.
  • Emotion – When we care, we share. Focus on feelings rather than function, and kindle the fire using high arousal emotions.
  • Public – The more public something is, the more likely people will imitate it. Design products that advertise themselves and create visible behavioral residue.
  • Practical Value – News you can use. Useful things get shared. Highlight value, and package knowledge that people can pass on.
  • Stories – Information travels under what seems like idle chatter. Stories are vessels. Have a story or narrative that people want to tell, which carries your idea along for the ride.

Download his workbook and see more detail on the STEPPS chart on his website.