53 Brentwood Blog

Thursday, October 30, 2008


The ability to attend to relevant events and to ignore irrelevant stimuli is crucial to survival. Theories disagree on whether this ability is dependent solely on increased neural activation for relevant items or whether active ignoring can also play a role.

Allen HA et al., J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2008;34:286-297.

Monday, October 27, 2008


“How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything in Business (and in Life).”

Its author, Dov Seidman, is the C.E.O. of LRN, which helps companies build ethical corporate cultures.

Seidman basically argues that in our hyperconnected and transparent world, how you do things matters more than ever, because so many more people can now see how you do things, be affected by how you do things and tell others how you do things on the Internet anytime, for no cost and without restraint.

“In a connected world,” Seidman said to me, “countries, governments and companies also have character, and their character — how they do what they do, how they keep promises, how they make decisions, how things really happen inside, how they connect and collaborate, how they engender trust, how they relate to their customers, to the environment and to the communities in which they operate — is now their fate.”

Thomas Friedman, the New York Times.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I made a mistake

Alan Greenspan - I have found a flaw [referring to his economic philosophy] … I don't know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.

Henry Waxman - You found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working?

Alan Greenspan - That's precisely the reason I was shocked because I'd been going for 40 years or so with considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.-


Alan Greenspan - I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organisations, specifically banks and others, were such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Colin Powell 4:27

"I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say, and it is permitted to be said. Such things as 'Well you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.' Well the correct answer is 'He is not a Muslim, he's a Christian, he's always been a Christian.' But the really right answer is 'What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?' The answer is 'No. That's not America.' Is there something wrong with some 7-year old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she can be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion he's a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

'The symbolic importance of electing an African-American is going to be immense,' said Professor Shawn Bowler, a political scientist at the University of California at Riverside.

Paul Harris in North Carolina The Observer,
Sunday October 19 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

79... 80!

I have a friend who regularly reminds me that if you jump off the top of an 80-story building, for 79 stories you can actually think you’re flying. It’s the sudden stop at the end that always gets you.


Monday, October 13, 2008


Finally, I understood the financial & economic crisis, thanks to this joke :)

Once upon a time in a village in India , a man announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10.

The villagers seeing there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10, but, as the supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their efforts. The man further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.

Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer rate increased to $25 and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!

The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now act as buyer, on his behalf.

In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers: 'Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when he returns from the city, you can sell them back to him for $50.'

The villagers squeezed together their savings and bought all the monkeys.
Then they never saw the man or his assistant again, only monkeys everywhere!
Welcome to WALL STREET.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Time was, the Baltimore Orioles' manager was Earl Weaver, a short, irascible, Napoleonic figure who, when cranky, as he frequently was, would shout at an umpire,
"Are you going to get any better or is this it?"
By George F. Will
Thursday, October 9, 2008; Page A21

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

That one

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Massimo Troisi

Non so cosa teneva "dint'a capa",
intelligente, generoso, scaltro,
per lui non vale il detto che è del Papa,
morto un Troisi non se ne fa un altro.
Morto Troisi muore la segreta
arte di quella dolce tarantella,
ciò che Moravia disse del Poeta
io lo ridico per un Pulcinella.
La gioia di bagnarsi in quel diluvio
di "jamm, o' saccio, ‘naggia, oilloc, azz!"
era come parlare col Vesuvio, era come ascoltare del buon Jazz.
"Non si capisce", urlavano sicuri,
"questo Troisi se ne resti al Sud!"
Adesso lo capiscono i canguri,
gli Indiani e i miliardari di Holliwood!
Con lui ho capito tutta la bellezza
di Napoli, la gente, il suo destino,
e non m'ha mai parlato della pizza,
e non m'ha mai suonato il mandolino.
O Massimino io ti tengo in serbo
fra ciò che il mondo dona di più caro,
ha fatto più miracoli il tuo verbo
di quello dell'amato San Gennaro .

Roberto Benigni