Fantastic Mr Fox (2009 DVD)

Rating: ★★★★★Fantastic Mr Fox [DVD] [2009]Fantastic Mr Fox [DVD] [2009]

"Just buy the tree!"
“Just buy the tree!”

In the beginning  the dashing, non-conformist  Mr. Fox (George Clooney) and his wife Felicity (Meryl Streep) raid a squab (pidgeon) farm. After they get ensnared by a trap, Felicity makes her husband promise he’ll give up thievery if they make it out alive. After this alarming wake-up call, he takes up a steady job as a newspaper columnist, but he can’t suppress his wild leanings for long. Against the advice of his lawyer friend Badger (“You’re borrowing at nine-and-half per-cent, no fixed rate, and it’s in a neighbourhood totally unsuited to your species”), he moves the family into a large tree on a hill with a view overlooking Boggis, Bunce, and Bean’s farms, and soon sets about stealing and antagonizing them. This sets off a full-scale war that drives Mr. Fox, his family, and all the other neighbourhood animals deep underground.

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‘How to run a company with (almost) no rules’

Interviewing Ricardo Semler of Semco Partners, for  Technology, Entertainment and Design, is a clearinghouse of  knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers.

Ricardo Semler montage

Ricardo Semler advocates revolutionary stuff that only a handful of companies worldwide practise. He dismisses as corporate window dressing ‘mission statements’ and ‘employee consultation’ and points out how far we claim to defend democracy, but practice Eastern bloc centralisation in our workplace.

He encourages people to start where they are and affect the few people under them, instead of moaning that it’s impossible. He notes how many business schools and consultants preach empowerment, but run autocratic, tightly controlled organisations themselves.
He writes about how he works constantly to pull back from being placed in the role of a guru with the Midas touch, how he wants the business to be sustainable through the efforts of all employees, not only the one with a reputation.

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Unlimited Vacation-time Policies Work


vacation timeAt most companies in the United States, vacation starts in the most un-relaxing way possible: filling in a permission form. Accruing enough time to go on vacation then having to go and ask for permission felt more like a school field trip than a grown-up getaway. Worse, many companies insist employees take vacation time before a year-end deadline or lose out.  Is there a better way to care for every companies greatest resource – their employees?

At HubSpot , they designed a progressive policy that allows employees to build their work around their life, not the other way around. They are part of a growing trend, now around 3 percent of US companies.

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The Prisoner (17 TV episodes,1967–1968)

The Prisoner – The Complete Series DVD Rating: ★★★★★

“I will not make any deals with you… I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own…”

The PrisonerThe Prisoner was one of the most original dramas ever aired on television. Brainchild of producer and star Patrick McGoohan (1928- 2009) the series portrays a high-ranking but un-named secret agent in the Government who resigns from his position and while leaving for a holiday, is immediately abducted and taken to what looks like an idyllic resort, but is really a sinister prison known only as “The Village.”  No one has a name. Everyone has a number, all are watched continually by unseen eyes, both in and out of the homes that are given to them. Escape is regarded as impossible by those who have come to accept their captivity. The residents generally appear very ordinary, but there is no knowing who are friends and who are enemies; who are fellow Prisoners and who are spies.

 “I am not a number. I am a person”.

Number 6 ( the new “identity” given to him by his captors) soon learns that no one can be trusted, not even one of his oldest and closest friends whom he finds is there, and certainly not the girls who come into his new life, right from the start.

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Emotional Intelligence- Why it matters more than IQ

Gary infuriated his fiancé Ellen, because even though he was an intelligent, thoughtful, and a successful surgeon, Gary was emotionally flat, unresponsive to any and all shows of feeling. While Gary could speak brilliantly of science and art, when it came to his feelings- even for Ellen- he fell silent. He lacked emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to monitor one’s own and Emotional Intelligenceother people’s emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and responding appropriately by using emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour. Emotions are, in essence, impulses to act, clearly seen in child and animal behaviour, often suppressed in adults, sometimes rightly, often not.

The term became widely known with the publication, twenty years ago, of Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ (1995). It is to this book’s best-selling status that the term can attribute its popularity. Goleman has followed up with several further popular publications of a similar theme that reinforce use of the term. To date though, tests measuring EI have not replaced IQ tests as a standard metric of intelligence…

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William Whiston and the Deluge

 Autobiographical notes appear here: William Whiston 1667- 1752

The Deluge (1805) by J M W Turner
The Deluge (1805) by J M W Turner

The years 1680 and 1682 were years of unusually bright comets. Many pamphlets were printed, especially in Germany, on the imminent end of the world; at the very least, great catastrophes were expected. This was nothing new. In earlier centuries and also earlier in the seventeenth century, comets were regarded with awe and every possible evil effect was ascribed to them.

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Willing Slaves – How the overwork culture is ruling our lives

 Madeleine Bunting (2005) Rating: ★★★★★

The Apartment (1960)“Some people take, and some people get took. Only they know they’re getting took and (they think) there’s nothing they can do about it..” Fran (Shirley Maclaine) to CC Baxter (Jack Lemmon) in Billy Wilder’s ‘The Apartment’ (1960).

In the ancient world individuals were often enslaved without choice, but some sold themselves as slaves in order to eat…and so in society.” C S Lewis (1958)

This is a contemporary account of the attack on the loss of liberty suffered by ordinary working people. Since the 18th Century, demands imposed by landowners, the industrial revolution and employers, in both the public and private sectors, have grown in intensity.

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All the Refuse of the World

Dr. MercolaDr. Mercola is the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site, You can learn the hazardous side effects of ‘over the counter’ remedies by getting a FREE copy of his latest special report The Dangers of Over the Counter Remedies by going to his Report Page


While you may not directly feel the impact of refuse while going about your day to day life, it’s quite literally choking the life out of our ecosystem, and the situation is getting worse with each passing day. Eventually, we will all suffer the very real consequences as the world dies around us. As stated in the documentary, ‘Inside the Garbage of the World’,  “we’re going to create an environmental catastrophe that we may not be able to recover from.”

Many take for granted that their refuse “magically disappears” once it’s picked up by the disposal truck, but nothing could be further from the truth. Most refuse does not disappear. It’s simply relocated to a landfill or a recycling centre. Trash also makes its way down storm drains and into nearby waterways.

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The Marked Year 1914 (Part Two)

French troops before Verdun,1916

As described in the previous post The Marked Year 1914 , many historians and analysts have declared that 1914 was a turning point in human history. At the close of centenary year 2014, here are more. For instance, columnist Joe Chapman writing in The Spectator of Hamilton, Ontario:

“How innocent, how mercifully ignorant, was the world of August, 1914! And yet, in many ways, the First World War, in a macabre sense at least, may well deserve the title ‘great’. It was the first war which could, with justification, be called a world conflict, involving nearly every important nation, with campaigns fought on many fronts, from Arctic wastes to steaming jungles. It was the first ‘total’ war, in which the whole nation became deeply involved, with the entire apparatus of civilian life becoming an integral part of the war effort. It was the first war in which technology played such an important part. No other war saw the introduction of so many new weapons used on a large scale: The machine-gun, the tank, the airplane, the submarine, poison gas, motor transport, telephones and other items, and artillery used on a truly grand scale. In short, it was the first of our modern wars.”

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How Trans-Fat Harms Your Memory

Dr. MercolaDr. Mercola is the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site, You can learn the hazardous side effects of ‘over the counter’ remedies by getting a FREE copy of his latest special report The Dangers of Over the Counter Remedies by going to his Report Page.

There are a number of dietary links between dementia and heart disease. Excessive sugars, grains, and trans-fat consumption are three factors that promote both.

Not surprisingly, recent research has pointed out that heart disease also increases your odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a serious and deadly form of dementia.

According to the authors, vascular damage may predispose your brain to increased amyloid plaque build-up, which is a hallmark of this degenerative brain disease. Plaque build-up worsens with stiffer arteries, so preventing arterial plaque formation may be a critical factor in the prevention of dementia.Arterial plaque

For decades, saturated fats have been the prime suspect as the cause of heart disease. The food industry, responding to such health concerns, replaced saturated fats with trans-fats, and a whole new market of low-fat (but high-sugar) foods was born.

Americas’ health has plummeted ever since, and there’s no telling how many may have prematurely died by this decision… Making matters worse, genetically engineered soy oil, which is a major source of tran-fats, can oxidize inside your body, thereby causing damage to both your heart, brain and your immune system.

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