Monthly Archive for March, 2008
While searching the internets for an image to use in a Keynote presentation I found this pic and had to share it. I’m not sure if it is the hand-bra, or the dude that makes me laugh the most. Either way I’m laughing.
(I was searching for a picture representing a helping hand…)
Making use of a gift card we received for Christmas, Leah and I hit the theatre this weekend to see “The Bank Job”.
The 60s, London fashion, corrupt cops, good guys disguised as bad guys and the appearance of a double cross or two kept my attention for the full two hours. Based on a true story the film starts slow (aside from the naked swimmer) but builds to a fun finish. Jason Statham reclaims much of his character “Turkish” from Snatch – which is all right with me – but turns up the goo-guy side a bit.
The fact that the movie is based on a true story makes it even more unbelievable… if that’s possible. The collection of events that take place is astounding, and at times a bit far fetched, but nevertheless it all works to create an enjoyable film.
Why do citizens who abide by the law through the course of their lives stop doing so once they get behind the wheel of their car? Perhaps increasing the fines to a level where it will actually impact them is what’s needed. Right now the fine for breaking the speed limit by 10% is only about $40. Let’s make it $400. This will dissuade many from doing it, and for those who don’t care the collection of the increased fines will feed city coffers.
And if the majority of drivers start to obey the speed limit, those who don’t will become the rarity and stick out – easily identifiable, and catchable!
Same goes for all the other “little” violations that people make every day like failing to signal, illegal lane changes, stopping in the middle of an intersection, failing to pull over for an emergency vehicle, parking in a no parking zone, etc, etc.
There are a lot of small businesses out there who would benefit from a simple website but have no idea how to get one. Or where to get one. Or why they need one. I need a sales person who can call on these companies and sell them a basic website package for $500 plus $10 per month hosting and email. I recently learned of a company that invested nearly $10,000 on a site I could have created in a few hours.
- Domain Name
- Up to 10 email addresses
- Email based tech support
- Online knowledgebase
What more does the average small business need?
The MTO (Ministry Of Transportation) should require all drivers, regardless of age, etc, to pass a drivers test every two years. The rules of the road haven’t changed much over the years, but with each passing week I am more and more concerned with the general lack of skill exhibited by drivers.
Regular testing could remove a lot of the unsafe drivers from the road – making it safer for all of us.
And who can complain about this? Only those who are likely to fail. Have the test coincide with your photo renewal, make it a quick process, and everyone will be better off in the end.
I have a lot of big ideas. At least I think they’re BIG. And they usually just stay locked in my head.
I’m going to start posting them, as they occur to me – perhaps writing them down my spark some interest or some action on one of them!
Posting my ideas is one of these BIG IDEAS!
Another love story from the people who brought us Love Actually and About A Boy, but this time it stars Van Wilder! Or at least the actor who played Van The Man – Ryan Reynolds. I can’t see him on screen and not think Van Wilder. And that really impacts my ability to enjoy a movie with him as the star. He seems like a truly likable guy, and is perfect for his role in this film – but I see him as Van, and Van is not a romcom leading man. Ryan Reynolds is, but all I see is Van. And that’s a shame as this is an otherwise enjoyable film.
A fun cast with good onscreen chemistry – aside from Van and Rachel Weisz – made for a fun couple of hours at the theatre.
Over the Lucky Dice’s finest bacon and eggs on Saturday, Chris and I got talking about equitable pay in the workplace. Our chat wandered into the idea that men’s competitive approach to life had some influnce on why men earn more and hold more high-ranking positions. And today I found this article in the Globe, looking at a new book that concludes most men are hardwired to compete for supremacy in the workplace while women are not. Most women want a balanced life of work, family, friends and community because their biology has evolved this way.
The author is quick to point out that â€œscience tells us nothing about the individual,â€ but it’s an interesting article all the same.
From Monday’s Globe and Mail
March 10, 2008 at 2:38 AM EDT
â€˜I thought I was writing a book about developmental psychology. I never considered a book about the gender wars,â€ Susan Pinker says.
The sigh she offers at the close of that statement is understandable, because the publication of The Sexual Paradox: Extreme Men, Gifted Women and the Real Gender Gap, her first book, has placed her squarely in the middle of the continuing cultural fray about why there aren’t more women in the chief executive officer’s chair.
Weaving it together with personal reflections on her life as a psychologist and mother, she sets out a carefully researched scientific discussion of how the brains of men and women are differently hardwired and influenced by their soup of hormones. The conclusion? Most men are hardwired to compete for supremacy in the workplace. Women are not. Most want a balanced life of work, family, friends and community because their biology has evolved that way.
Her exasperation, unprovoked, hints at the controversy she has encountered.
â€œI will say that it irritates me when people think that my message is that women should go home and stay in the kitchen, and that biology says they have to. That is a complete misunderstanding,â€ she says, acknowledging that many people have had that reaction.
â€œWhen you view it as a polemic, then that might be the response, because biology has been used in the past to hold women down.â€
She is careful to point out that she does not speak for all women. She is talking about general tendencies. â€œScience tells us nothing about the individual,â€ she notes.
For as many Hillary Clintons there are in the world, gunning for the highest office, there are others like Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who made the surprising announcement on Friday that she is stepping down from her job after only one term to spend more time with her family.
Still, Dr. Pinker’s book points out a difficult and, for some women, painful reality. The feminist movement that encouraged women to be like men may have been necessary, she says â€“ â€œwe needed that view in the beginning when we entered the work forceâ€ â€“ but it was uninformed about what makes women different, which, ultimately, has compelled many to opt out of top jobs even though they pursued education that qualified them to take them. â€œThe expectation that we will be clones of men is holding us back,â€ she states.
She also found that the focus on working like a man made many women feel that they wasted some of their best years and, in some cases, forced them to put off motherhood until it was too late. Would she say that a generation of women sacrificed their lives as a result of that feminist ideology?
â€œI think that unintentionally that was one effect,â€ she allows. â€œAnd I think there is an awful lot of psychic pain that was the result, where women felt that their feelings were not valid, that something was wrong with them if they didn’t follow the male model.â€
The book confirms what many, including Dr. Pinker, have observed anecdotally.
Young boys often struggle in school, yet many go on to high-powered careers. Consider, for example, Richard Branson, the billionaire entrepre- neur who didn’t complete high school.
In fact, what prompted Dr. Pinker to write the book was seeing, in the span of one week, three newspaper profiles of a successful young man who had been a patient of hers, suffering from a variety of behavioural and learning problems, when he was 7.
â€œHe had become a designer of some renown, and I thought, â€˜There is something going on here. I wouldn’t have predicted that outcome. There has to be some biological thread.’â€
Many girls, meanwhile, excel in school and acquire fancy graduate degrees, only to withdraw later from the fierce competition for money and status and lead what she calls a â€œmore modulated and moderated life.â€
Dr. Pinker found that â€œwomen who had choices were crafting these really interesting lives that made room for their aging parents, for their interests, for their friends, for their careers and for their children, and they weren’t going to make those kind of Draconian adjustments that men were willing to make.â€
Research she cites in the book shows that â€œabout 60 per cent of gifted women turn down promotions or take positions with lower pay so as to weave flexibility or a social purpose into their work lives.â€
The glass ceiling, she points out, is largely self-imposed. Biology makes most women more inclined to work with people and to want to see a positive outcome of their work in the community â€“ jobs that may not be available in the corner office.
â€œThey are less satisfied about selling widgets in Hong Kong and never seeing them, or about watching the market rise and fall and not knowing what their role is. They want to feel their work has some social context. Even without children in the picture, women still leave certain careers more often than men do.â€
All the â€œvictim feministsâ€ have been wasting their breath. â€œIn Western society, I really don’t think that outside forces are controlling us against our will,â€ she states unequivocally. â€œAnd that is much of the message that women have been hearing, certainly in gender studies courses.â€
What is admirable is that Dr. Pinker, who writes a column about ethical and interpersonal issues in the workplace for this newspaper, tiptoes carefully through the minefield of gender discussions. She does not use negative language to describe this feminine approach to work. Rather than having a softer or weaker ambition, they have what she calls â€œa considered perspective that contributes to their happiness.â€
Not only that, she believes the â€œvanilla gender ideaâ€ â€“ her term for the standard-issue definition of male success â€“ hurts men too. In fact, it often kills them, she points out, citing longevity statistics for men compared with women.
What women contribute to society, in their pursuit of people-involved and empathetic work, is valuable and indispensable, she argues.
And that is where the patriarchy is to blame â€“ it set up the work world in which traditionally male pursuits were more highly compensated than female ones.
â€œI hope that my book will open up that debate,â€ she says.
â€œIf you want men and women to earn the same, then you have to start paying the same salary to social workers that you do to building contractors.â€
Her book is creating a stir, but Dr. Pinker is calm and measured, protecting herself in the guise of a scientist who can say that she is only reporting what she found, not offering a prescription for anyone.
â€œIt’s a mistake to be afraid to look at science because of political ideology,â€ she says from her chair across a table slick as a laboratory counter.
â€œThis book is what I see is happening in science, and that’s separate from how I think the world should be. I call that the is-ought gap. I’m looking at what is. I’m not really saying what ought to be.â€