philmophlegm: (Lego Rock Band)

You don't need this laptop.

Trying to understand the EU's actions against Apple and the Republic of Ireland.

It's not shocking that professional employers judge applicants for client-facing roles partly on their appearance and their dress. What is shocking is that not only do state schools not teach this stuff, they sometimes don’t like it when employers try to do it instead.

Useful smartphone test. When I last bought a smartphone, I read lots of reviews, but one question that was never asked was “How good is it at making and receiving calls?”, that is “How good is it at actually being a phone”"?”

According to the latest Rowntree Foundation definition, someone in the top 0.32% of global incomes is now "in poverty". Muppets.

British WW2 propaganda posters.

Think you're good at Lego building? This guy is better.

If you were an American games company raising funds on Kickstarter for a new family card game "that combines speed, hilarious gestures, and your silly side for 2-6 players, ages 6+", and you weren't that familiar with politically incorrect British playground slang, what's the worst name you could come up with...?

"Nobody ever got sacked for buying IBM" …but maybe in this case, someone should have been.

When I was an auditor, this sort of clever statistical analysis was called a logic check. This is a good logic check on why American police might treat certain groups differently. (Hat tip to ford_prefect42.)

Archaeological evidence of a major bronze age battle in northern Germany c.1250 BC.

philmophlegm: (Google Partners)

Never swallow a porcupine whole.

And the lesson to be learned here is this: make a self-deprecating joke to a conference that could be misinterpreted as politically incorrect if removed from the context in which it was made, then it _will_ be removed from its context, selectively quoted and used by a social media mob to hound you out of your job, no matter how great your previous accomplishments. Richard Dawkins is angry about this, and really so should we all be. This is typical of the condemnatory articles that didn't think to check facts.

Doctor Who Online does look to be defrauding advertisers. They’ve tried this with The Shop on the Borderlands (we sell Doctor Who RPGs), but I was too sceptical. Combine a proprietary analytics system that massively overstates traffic with quite persistent selling, and yes, I think Mr Sandifer is on to something.

Half of households receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes. (And that’s before you include the cost of state education, state healthcare, public sector salaries etc…)

Free market lessons from Scandinavia.

The man who invented trainspotting (sort of) has died.

Well Google, this is awkward...

Sir Nicholas Winton, the "British Schindler", has died aged 106.

Did Joss Whedon base Firefly on Traveller? This is a good examination of the evidence.

Holograms that you can touch (sort of). Next step, Holodecks!

This year's ENnie Awards (the RPG and miniatures industry awards)  nominees

So let me get this straight - Scottish votes for Scottish laws is right and proper; Welsh votes for Welsh laws is right and proper; Northern Irish votes for Northern Irish laws is right and proper but English votes for English laws is "racist".

Nice collection of photos of the British Grand Prix over the years.

I'm amazed that the Forth Bridge isn't already a World Heritage Site.

This is who we got to present the winner's trophy at this year's You're Hired! final. Seems a good chap.

This time it really is the end of the line for  the Avro Vulcan.

philmophlegm: (You're Hired! Final 2010)

Young people lack workplace skills, say British Chambers of Commerce. Schools don’t do enough to engage with the business community, in my opinion. Many are only interested in academic success, sport, music and drama, and think about employability skills once a year if that. So this survey comes as no surprise to me.

This is exactly the sort of thing they should be teaching in schools.

'France is finished', says John Lewis MD.

Come on, it's long overdue. Surely there should be a knighthood for Jeremy Clarkson.

The speech that Mrs Thatcher cancelled after the Brighton bombing. The language seems quite Tolkienian- ‘dark shadow’ etc, only she’s talking about union thuggery and Labour corruption, not orcish thuggery and Sauronic corruption.

Odd images from Google Earth.

Psychological research? Reach for the Monster Manual! (Incidentally, you can buy the new 5th edition Monster Manual for £29.99 from The Shop on the Borderlands...)

This BBC Cornwall news story is nowhere near as exciting as its headline suggests.

philmophlegm: (The Chick's in the Mail)
Can anyone suggest some examples of women who are probably quite introverted (or at least quiet), who have good presentation skills?

(Ideally, supply links to YouTube clips!)

Context: I gave a presentation skills course yesterday, and used some examples of different styles of presentation, and - and this hadn't occurred to me before a female participant pointed it out - all my examples were male. This particular participant self-desctribed herself as an introvert, so I'd like to find some good presentation models for her. The best we could come up with on the day were Hilary Clinton, Fiona Bruce and Teresa May.
philmophlegm: (Fiend Folio)

The dogs playing D&D poster

The NFL probably wants a team in London.

1st edition AD&D combat can be straightforward, with this handy eight page flowchart!

Correlating Doctor Who preferences with voting intentions. I love living in a country where someone thinks this is worth doing.

Some unfortunate publishing layouts.

Forget the console launches at E3; the PC is the top gaming platform for the next couple of years.

World's oldest human dies.

Here's the new holder of the title.

Javapocalypse. "It's a virus!"

Domino-toppling, but with books.

Pet Shop Boys less racist than Stephen Hawking.

The Spirit Level is bollocks. (But you knew that already.)

Schools probably aren't the right institutions to be giving careers advice. (Mine certainly wasn't.)

Siberian bear-hunting armour from the 1800s.

Did you know that you can see the food hygiene ratings of all UK restaurants online?

Does anyone else think that the "Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame" possibly isn't up to much if they've only just got around to adding J.R.R. Tolkien (in the same class as David Bowie!)?

Richard 'I am Legend' Matheson has died.

Mick Aston has died, but not before slagging off Time Team's producers.

Four changes to English so subtle we hardly notice they're happening.

My old school has gone downhill. Mind you, it was 1,600 pupils in five years when I was there; merging it with another school surely wasn't clever.

David A. Trampier - the forgotten AD&D artist.

Brazilian amateur football match: Referee sends player off. Player refuses to go. Player and referee fight. Referee pulls a knife. Referee stabs player. To death. Player's friends and relatives rush onto pitch. Player's friends and relatives stone referee. To death. Player's friends and relatives decapitate referee's corpse.

philmophlegm: (Default)

I thought I’d do something a little different with this Phligm Phlagm post. Instead of using links grabbed from Twitter or andrewducker, I thought I’d put up links to some of my own favourite LiveJournal posts. And by that I mean ones that I wrote.

Sort of a ‘Phlegmatic Greatest Hits’, or at least a ‘The Best of Philmo Phlegm’ compilation.

Read more... )

philmophlegm: (serval)
This upcoming film by Cameron Crowe and starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson is based on the true story of a bloke called Benjamin Mee who bought our local zoo (Dartmoor Zoo, just outside Plymouth). We asked him to come along to the You're Hired! final to be our guest speaker, and he was brilliant. (Unfortunately I missed most of his talk because the guest speaker is basically there to occupy the contestants while the judges are deciding on the winners. I did speak to him later, and he's keen to get involved more in this year's competition. We're even thinking of holding the final there next summer.


Jul. 9th, 2011 09:11 pm
philmophlegm: (You're Hired! Final 2010)
How the hell do you upload a large number of photos to a group in facebook?
philmophlegm: (You're Hired! Final 2010)
Day 1 of this year's 'You're Hired!' final is on Thursday, with day 2 the following Tuesday. I'll post about these next week or the week after if I get the chance. (For the third straight year I have managed to combine the YH final with my absolute busiest time of the work year.)

Before the final, we're having another YH event. When we did the heat at one of Plymouth's...shall we say, weaker...schools, something that was very apparent was that the pupils were almost all terrible at presenting to an audience. This was an extreme case, but my gut feeling is that about half the schools involved in the competition give pupils experience in speaking in front of an audience and presenting themselves properly, while the other half don't. And I'm afraid that, just as in life, if you don't make a good impact, especially when speaking in front of an audience, you're going to be at a massive disadvantage in 'You're Hired!'.


Read more )
philmophlegm: (You're Hired! Final 2010)
This one is rather less serious than the official one.

Incidentally, this year's final is coming up later this month.
philmophlegm: (ICAEW)
At work this week we received a letter from a year 11 student at one of the local grammar schools who was interested in the JOLF 'We'll-pay-your-university-fees' scheme and wanted to know if doing the international baccalaureate instead of A-levels would affect her chances.

As it happens, it wouldn't.

However, one thing that students who are deciding which A-levels would do well to consult is this list of A-levels on the website of Trinity College, Cambridge.

This ties in to my recent social mobility posts. At the schools I visit for "You're Hired!", the range of available A-level courses varies from school to school. Want to do Economics? Then you have to go to the independent school or two of the three grammar schools. The others don't even offer it. At the school I went to last week (in a poorer area of the city), almost no subjects were offered that Trinity would have considered A1 or A2 calibre A-levels. I didn't say anything to the teacher there who proudly explained how most of his students were now taking A-level "Travel & Tourism", and how a BTEC was "worth four GCSEs", but I probably should have.

Expect at some point to see some negative press coverage of Cambridge colleges discriminating against comprehensive school pupils. But it's not their fault if those schools don't allow their pupils to study proper subjects.

As an aside, it's nice to see both History and Classical Civilisation in the A2 ("Generally suitable Arts A-levels") list. At my state sixth-form, they tried to persuade me to change from A-level Greek & Roman History because "it wouldn't look good if I applied to Oxbridge". Luckily I was clever enough to work out that Oxford probably wouldn't object to a classical education, and knowing that subject helped me enormously in my Philosophy interview.
philmophlegm: (Sid James)
Today is A-level results day. I take a bit more of an interest in this than I used to because I know so many A-level students from having run 'You're Hired!'.

Some of the results day traditions you now get in the media amuse me. Newspaper photographers only have a limited range of ideas of how to illustrate this story and seem to compete against each other using a simple points system. It goes something like this:

Read more )
philmophlegm: (You're Hired!)
(Well, the short version anyway. YouTube only allows 10 minute videos. There is a longer 30 minute version which we intend to distribute to schools and interested employers.


philmophlegm: (Default)

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