November 26, 2014

The Good and Bad of Social Capital

Social Capital

As I've grown older, I find myself fascinated by the power of social capital; specifically, how it encircles the person who possesses it with a halo that sets them apart from society even when they are far from the only snowflake.  People often mistake fame with competency or ability.  This tendency is part of human nature so it shows up in every field and across every discipline. Take social capital in investing.  While Warren Buffett is constantly called the greatest investor alive by the ma … [Read more...]

Watch Teens Try to Turn on a Nintendo and Elders Try the Oculus Rift

Watch People Do Stuff YouTube

Watch these teenagers react to an original Nintendo Entertainment System. Watch these elders try out the Oculus Rift ... Here are kids who are too young to know about it reacting to DuckTales.  Given that so many end up wanting to watch the show itself, I think it's foolish that the cable companies still haven't adapted to a Netflix or iTunes model with on-demand content for everything.  The entire idea of a "channel" is completely outdated.  It's money, sitting there in the open, b … [Read more...]

I Have to Work Late Because I Played Tales of Xillia 2 All Day …

Gaius

I had so much work to do today, but I'm going to be up all night finishing it because I ... uh ... may have spent six or seven hours playing Tales of Xillia 2, which was released last week.  When I woke up, I just didn't feel like going anywhere or doing anything so I threw on comfortable clothes, grabbed a cup of coffee, made myself a plate of white cheddar, honey, and golden raisins on baguette slices, paired it with a big glass of milk, and went to the living room to lose myself in the world o … [Read more...]

The People You Don’t Know You Know

Tony the Tiger Vintage

There are people who are part of your life but you don't realize it; people who have done work that is ubiquitous in the culture, yet they could walk right past you and you'd never notice.  Perhaps the most famous was Mel Blanc, who was called the "man of a thousand voices". He gave life to everyone from Bugs Bunny to Porky Pig, Tweety Bird to Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam to Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian to Daffy Duck, Speedy Gonzales to the Tasmanian Devil. Or how about Jodi … [Read more...]

The Economics of the Movie Theater Industry Will Be Interesting Over the Next 25 Years

AMC Prime Theater Buildings

The economics of the movie theater industry are interesting.  In many cases, up to 70% of the ticket price goes to the movie studio that created the film and the distributor who sold the rights to it, leaving the remaining 30% for the owners.  This creates a situation where most of the profit comes from concession sales.  Without $8 popcorn and $5 beverages, the doors would close, the staff would be sent home, and you'd no longer have a cinema in your hometown.  (This is one of the reasons that w … [Read more...]

How Am I Going To Get Anything Done In The Next 6 Months?

Space Cats with Lasers

Despite having the next 6 months fully booked with projects, Aaron and I just glanced at the release dates for some of the video games for which we have reminders set.  I don't know how I'm going to get anything done.  I'm going to have to stick to a very strict schedule, which isn't my usual approach. The Last of Us Remastered was released on July 29th Tales of Xillia 2 will be released on August 19th Sims 4 will be released on September 2nd Bayonetta 2 will be released on September 2 … [Read more...]

The Mental Models of Cultural Hits – From Spongebob Square Pants to the Golden Girls

Buena_Vista_Television_Logo

After my post on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air earlier, I began thinking about the media industry.  One of the things I find most fascinating when studying history, businesses, mental models, and the human experience, is the unexpected cultural phenomenon.  There are certain things that happen, at certain moments in time, that are only possible because of a confluence of events that create a feedback loop.  Billy Joel once explained the success of the Beatles through this framework, arguing pe … [Read more...]

Will Smith Is Now Several Years Older Than Uncle Phil Was at the Beginning of Fresh Prince

Will Smith Older Than Uncle Phil

If you want to feel old, take a few minutes to read this list of 43 charming items, including such factoids as 1998 is now as far away as the year 2030 is or that Squeezit drinks haven't been manufactured by General Mills for over 13 years.  Oh, yeah, and the people entering high school this year?  They were born during or after the year 2000. Every time I read a list like this, I just keep thinking, "27,375 on average".  It's not that long.  You have to make it count or it will be over be … [Read more...]

La Marche des Scythes

P. Royer. La Marche des Scythes. Yago Mahugo, Harpsichord.

I'm working from my home study trying to get a bunch of stuff knocked off my agenda now that we are starting the 3rd quarter of the year but I have a certain passage from La Marche des Scythes in my head. I've been playing it on repeat at full blast as I go through my responsibilities.  If you've never heard it, here is Yago Mahugo playing the particular section (just press play, the video will start in the right place at 4 minutes and 40 seconds). Perhaps it is evident I'm cleaning up … [Read more...]

I Won My First Two Deity Victories in Civilization V

Deity Victory Civ 5

On June 26, 2014, I beat my first Deity game in Civ 5.  I decided to play a Highland map surrounded by mountains, huge, with maximum city states.  Luck of the draw pitted me against Genghis Khan, who was never able to march an army to my capital in time due to the long, almost impassible mountains that stood between us. The most satisfying part was securing nuclear weapons then passing a ban on them through the World Congress so the Mongolians were afraid of me. Three days later, on Ju … [Read more...]

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