Archive for January, 2008

The Acropolis

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Last night, I saw the Nova episode about putting the Acropolis back together. It’s fascinating in many ways. The construction techniques are lost and being rediscovered. New stones from the same 2500+ yr quarry are being used to fill in the lost or damaged portions.
What I found most interesting is the history of the building. It was completed in 8-9 years. Then black plague struck the city. And Spartans invaded ~1 yr after it was completed and turned it into an army barracks. In the many years since it’s construction, very few have been spent on the religious purpose for which it was intended.

And yet this is the building which many of our modern institutions look to for their design in an attempt to recapture something of that suffrageless, limited democratic era. Banks, courthouses, legislature, and monument buildings copy the design.

I see this as a significant problem in our society. The image or symbol of the Acropolis is far more outstanding than the building’s history and use. We carry this pattern into many interactions.

Other people are archetypes to the typical person. They are a symbol related to a role to be played; mother, wife, tomboy, teacher, hag, Moses, martyr, old maid, etc.

It is this preference for symbology over reality that is a significant problem. When we can see each other for what we really are the world will remake itself before our eyes. The change would be everywhere; concepts, institutions, people, and buildings…

Haven’t we grown up enough that symbols aren’t necessary? Don’t they just get in the way?

The Acropolis is a beautifully assembled pile of rocks. The concepts it’s supposed to stand for while sounding idealic hides all sorts of flaws which we would not accept today like slavery, paternal voting, and rule by a limited elite. To lookup up to the symbol of the Acropolis as a symbol of democracy is to invite those other aspects as well.

There is another American symbol that also stands for suffrageless democracy and slavery. It’s the confederate flag. How many of those stand on flag poles around government and quasi-government buildings?

We should set out to make the world we want to live in and leave the past attempts in the past where they belong lest we repeat their failures. Look beyond the symbol. Look at the person.


Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

I come across a lot of ideas that are interesting. This is the list, sometimes with links.

Sir John Bennet Lawes

FRS (December 28, 1814–August 31, 1900) was an English entrepreneur and agricultural scientist. He founded an experimental farm at Rothamsted, where he developed a superphosphate that would mark the beginnings of the chemical fertilizer industry.

John Bennet Lawes was born at Rothamsted in modern-day Harpenden near St Albans, Hertfordshire, the only son of John Bennet Lawes, owner of the Rothamsted estate of somewhat more than 1000 acres (4 km²) and lord of the manor of Rothamsted. He was educated at Eton College and at Brasenose College, Oxford. Even before leaving Oxford in 1832, Lawes had begun to interest himself in growing various medicinal plants on the Rothamsted estates, which he inherited on his father’s death in 1822. About 1837 he began to experiment on the effects of various manures on plants growing in pots, and a year or two later the experiments were extended to crops in the field. One immediate consequence was that in 1842 he patented a manure formed by treating phosphates with sulphuric acid, and thus initiated the artificial manure industry. In the succeeding year he enlisted the services of Joseph Henry Gilbert, with whom he carried on for more than half a century those experiments in raising crops and feeding animals which have rendered Rothamsted famous in the eyes of scientific agriculturists all over the world. In 1854 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, which in 1867 bestowed a Royal Medal on Lawes and Gilbert jointly, and in 1882 he was created a baronet.

In the year before his death Lawes took measures to ensure the continued existence of the Rothamsted experimental farm by setting aside £100,000 for that purpose and constituting the Lawes Agricultural Trust.

Tera Preta

The story goes that in 1542, while exploring the Amazon Basin near Ecuador in search of El Dorado, Spanish conquistador Francisco de Orellana began checking the area around one of the Amazon’s largest rivers, the Rio Negro. While he never found the legendary City of Gold, upon his return to Spain, Orellana reported the jungle area held an ancient civilization — a farming people, many villages and even massive, walled cities.

Later explorers and missionaries were unable to confirm Orellana’s reports. They said the cities weren’t there and only hunter-gatherer tribes roamed the jungles. Orellana’s claims were dismissed as myth.

Scientists who later considered Orellana’s claims agreed with the negative assessments. The key problem, they said, was large societies need much food, something Amazonia’s poor soils are simply incapable of producing. And without agriculture, large groups of people are unable to escape a nomadic existence, much less build cities.

The properties of terra preta are amazing. Even thousands of years after creation, the soil remains fertile without need for any added fertilizer. For those living in Amazonia, terra preta is increasingly sought out as a commodity. Truckloads of the dark earth are often carted off and sold like potting soil.

Chock-full of charcoal, the soil is often several meters deep. It holds nutrients extremely well and seems to contain a microbial mix especially suited to agriculture.

Thus far, despite great effort, scientists have been unable to duplicate production of the soil. If researchers can ever uncover the Amerindians’ terra preta cocktail recipe, it will help stop the environmentally devastating practice of slash-and-burn agriculture in the Amazon jungle. Terra preta’s benefits will also be exported across the globe.

Famagusta, Cyprus

During the second phase of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus of 14 August 1974 (referred to by Turks as the Cyprus Peace Operation), the Mesaoria plain was overrun by Turkish tanks and in two days the Turkish Army was in Famagusta. The town had been completely evacuated by its Greek population who fled before the invading army and after the town had been bombed by the Turkish air force.

Unlike other parts of Turkish-controlled Cyprus, the Varosha section of Famagusta was sealed off by the Turkish army immediately after being captured and remains in that state today. The Greek Cypriots who had fled from Varosha were not allowed to return, and journalists are banned. It has been frozen in time with department stores still full of clothes, now many years out of fashion, and hotels empty but still fully equipped. Swedish journalist Jan-Olof Bengtsson, who visited the Swedish UN battalion in Famagusta port and saw the sealed-off part of the town from the battalion’s observation post, called the area a ‘ghost town’. He wrote in Kvällsposten on September 24, 1977),

“The asphalt on the roads has cracked in the warm sun and along the sidewalks bushes are growing [...] Today, September 1977, the breakfast tables are still set, the laundry still hanging and the lamps still burning [...] Famagusta is a ghost-town.”

Turkish Cypriots continue to live north of Varosha, especially in the walled city. These sections of Famagusta remain vibrant with many fascinating buildings. The city is also home to the Eastern Mediterranean University.

Night soil

is a euphemism for human feces. “Night soil” is produced as a result of a waste management system in areas without community infrastructure such as a sewage treatment facility, or individual septic disposal. In this system of waste management, the human feces are collected in solid form.

MythBusters: 7 Tech Headaches—and How to Fix Them

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

MythBusters: 7 Tech Headaches—and How to Fix Them
The MythBusters show is all about the crazy stuff that happens when technology meets man. In fact, we go out of our way to think of creative ways to play with technology. My MythBuster partner, Adam Savage, has just about every kind of iPod, iPhone and iPipewrench he can get his mitts on. But there are times when innovation produces aggravation, and when that happens, technology can flat out drive us nuts.

JoS: Microsoft can’t speak straight any more

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Here’s how Microsoft says, “SQL Server 2008 will be late:”

“We want to provide clarification on the roadmap for SQL Server 2008. Over the coming months, customers and partners can look forward to significant product milestones for SQL Server. Microsoft is excited to deliver a feature complete CTP during the Heroes Happen Here launch wave and a release candidate (RC) in Q2 calendar year 2008, with final Release to manufacturing (RTM) of SQL Server 2008 expected in Q3. Our goal is to deliver the highest quality product possible and we simply want to use the time to meet the high bar that you, our customers, expect.”

I think somewhere in here they are saying that they can’t deliver a quality product on time. Is anyone surprised?

Study: False statements preceded war

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

WASHINGTON – A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Study: False statements preceded war


Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

This is a great simple comparison of 8 years of Clinton to 7 yrs of Bush.


Where am I?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Posting to the blog has slowed down for a couple of reasons. It all started when I tried to put together a big file server that would be separate and lower power than the XP game box. This proved difficult for a variety of reasons and then the XP box died. Weeks and weeks have gone by without a good solution. Some long standing drives have also taken this moment to bow out. One of them seems to be my music and photos drive. Almost all my music is now on someone else’s computer. The Mac has a minimum. And years of photos; taken and scanned; are lost. Thank God I burned those Christmas DVDs of Grandma’s photos. There may be copies on the other drives. I can’t see all 12 for some reason. 3 died and 3 are unknown.

Last weekend my ass was all over a backup solution. I have the beginnings of a post about that. It will be very long, involving every possible <$2000 type of solution. It seems to come down to being a RAID solution. There are many, many, many ways to do this. I revel in these types problems, but this is tougher than normal and finding the right solution is taking a whole lot of time.

In the mean time, there are two dead computers on my desk and ALL the possible parts are strung out. Right after I got through cleaning and organizing. The RAID solution is minimum $500 and I don’t want to spend on computers. I got through; a Mac Mini and 28″ monitor are enough. But the loss of all music and picks, much less DVD scans is hard to take. When the computers come back on line the XP game box will have a RAID and a super RAID will keep this from ever happening again.

I need to keep moving on something and the computers aren’t. That whole room isn’t even twitching. So, I decided to finish painting the hallway after a 6 month pause. This weekend I got four doorways done and last night I taped, sanded, and put down 3 coats of primer on the baseboard. I can’t wait to go home and knock out the rest tonight. That’s half the hallway. The front door area is getting done separately. Those door frames take a depressingly long time to do.

It helps to cut the job up. Then I focus on every little detail of that piece. I’m really good about detail. That’s something I wanted to work on when I got this job. Now, if I can’t do it right I walk away. When I’m excited again, I’ll rake it over the coals till it’s exactly, precisely done.

Another area of interest is the wash room. It connects the house and the garage and is the first and last room I see every day. It has a version 2.0 of the texture job that the hallway had. I want to sand it too, not as much though. And repaint it to match the hallway. The room is tiny, but the W/D have to move, the ceiling is high, and other issues. Painting will be the easy part.

When I’m not on the computer I’m not posting.

This might go on for a little while. Many parts of the house were outright offensive when I moved in. The master bedroom, hallway, and guest bathroom were the worst. Two out of three are done.

The grey guest bathroom is a lot of work. Almost total demolition, down to the studs. Adding outlets, if reasonable, to both bathrooms. Retiling, replumb the fixtures, the sink, and perhaps retile the floor. If I could move a wall shared with a master closet or add outlets to the closets, blah, blah, … You get the idea.

French Bank Rocked by Rogue Trader

Friday, January 25th, 2008

For some people money is less about food, clothing, and housing and more abut game play. For them money is really Monopoly Money. At what point does the amount become meaningless, 500 million, 1 billion, 2 billion,..?

French Bank Rocked by Rogue Trader
Société Générale Blames
$7.2 Billion in Losses
On a Quiet 31-Year-Old

In one of the banking world’s most unsettling recent disclosures, France’s Société Générale SA said Mr. Kerviel had cost the bank €4.9 billion, equal to $7.2 billion, by making huge unauthorized trades that he hid for months by hacking into computers. The combined trading positions he built up over recent months, say people close to the situation, totaled some €50 billion, or $73 billion.
The Wall Street Journal

Breakup a Super Long Line

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

These days lots of other languages are used to generate HTML; VB, c#, PHP, Perl, etc. They can make some pretty awful stuff. One example, is a ~1.5 meg single line of HTML. This is really unusual and I wanted to determine if it was messing up IE6/7. How do you break this line with a Find/Replace in Notepad++?

The textboxes in the Find/Replace dialog are single lines. Carriage returns are chopped off when you Paste.

Turns out it’s pretty easy if you turn on RegEx. Add your line of text in Find and add the similar line with a ‘\n’ at the end to the Replace box. Check ‘Regular Expressions’ and click Replace to watch it run once. Do “Replace All”. Voila, lots and lots of smaller lines.

MacBook Air Comments

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

The new MacBook Air is very cool. It seems to really stretch the technology. 3lb on a 13.3″ screen with a full size keyboard.

One thing I noticed, which no one is saying. They offer an 80 gig spinning drive and a 64 gig memory card drive. Where are the other sizes? iPods using the same driver range from 80 to 160. Why is there no option on the MBA for the other sizes?

The hardwired 2 gig memory is a limit, but I think Apple is looking ahead. The access times on memory card drives are so go it’s not much of a performance penalty to have little on board memory and lots of pagefile. It’s just that right now this new hard drive costs $1000.

EPA Doesn’t Want to Reveal Comments

Monday, January 21st, 2008

This is too good to pass up. You may have heard of various lawsuits by the States against the EPA claiming that the EPA is not doing their job. Now, the EPA is trying to defend itself by not answering questions and redacting meeting notes.

“EPA is concerned about the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California’s waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting,” EPA’s associate administrator Christopher P. Bliley wrote.

I think they have forgotten they work at OUR pleasure (as does the President). These people are afraid of getting knocked on the head for speaking their mind, which might be reasonable. Except that if we don’t know what they are saying and thinking how can we know whether to trust them or replace them. This aspect is far more important than any supposed “chilling effect”. Such thinking indicates that this dept doesn’t agree with the public. That’s an impossible position for a government agency to take as it removes accountability.

Is it just me or does anyone else find it odd that many highly educated people can make this argument with a straight face in front of their peers? That’s more troubling.

Thinking one step ahead,..
It’s very fashionable these days for the regulatory agency and regulated industry to hop jobs. Perhaps, the comments they are worried about would affect getting an industry job or maintaining the job once they got it.

Wired: EPA Turns Over Limited Documents

Volcanoes Under the Ice on Antarctica

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Is the the ultimate fire and ice story? Volcanoes erupting on the coldest land mass underneath miles of ice.

The subglacial volcano has a ‘volcanic explosion index’ of around 3-4. Heat from the volcano creates melt-water that lubricates the base of the ice sheet and increases the flow towards the sea. Pine Island Glacier on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is showing rapid change and BAS scientists are part of an international research effort to understand this change.
Lead author* Hugh Corr of the BAS says, “The discovery of a ’subglacial’ volcanic eruption from beneath the Antarctic ice sheet is unique in itself. But our techniques also allow us to put a date on the eruption, determine how powerful it was and map out the area where ash fell. We believe this was the biggest eruption in Antarctica during the last 10,000 years. It blew a substantial hole in the ice sheet, and generated a plume of ash and gas that rose around 12 km into air.”

Desk Pics

Monday, January 21st, 2008

This is a shot of my messy desk with the 28″ monitor. I highlighted some of the more interesting aspects in Flickr. Go to the photos and you’ll see the notes plastered on them. They don’t show up in the link.


Thursday, January 17th, 2008



This personality personifies warm sunshine, convivial laughter and hail-good-fellow heartiness. When dark clouds gather, they are the ones with silver-lining already in pocket. They’ve been called fickle, capricious, lazy and funny. Their historical fame is optimism; their evolutionary name is Scintillator. If pessimists weigh one side of life’s teeter-totter, Scintillators weigh the other. Their purpose is to remind all that life is more ripe with joy than rift by sorrow. No matter the test, tisk or task, the soul is happier, the mind is quicker and the step lighter throughout, when laughter and appreciation accompany.


“People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” For others, these may just be words from Barbra Streisand’s classic song. For Scintillators it is the song of life. As for the luck part, well…that depends on whether Scintillator is carrying their own mirror or not.

Scintillators are first and foremost physical beings. They filter life through their physical dimension and bodily react before their intellectual and emotional dimensions have opportunity to get involved. Scintillators are kinesthetic beings who learn by physically interacting with the world. They also generate one of the largest energy fields that, like the geyser Old Faithful, ever-brews and seeks internal-pressure release.

Regardless of age, Scintillators are characteristically the fidgeters and squirmers among us. The ones who work and worry chairs with incessant tap, shuffle, scratch and shift. Being regularly reprimanded for restless behaviour and distracting animation is common for Scintillator children.

Their energy-intellect is so sonar-sophisticated and sensitive, Scintillators can bodily feel energy moods of others or rooms. Before intellectual or emotional dimensions have time to analyze and prescribe action, their body responds instinctively. For them, and all physical beings, body-instinct can be blessing or curse. How Scintillator children cope with their physical nature has life-long consequences.

No other as tribal-dependent

Scintillators are people-pleasers whose greatest desire is unconditional acceptance from others. As infants they fuss less, smile more and talk earlier than others. By the age of three they’ve already established a lifelong, apple-of-the-eye relationship with one or both parents. One characteristic of Scintillator children is stand-out attractiveness, and don’t they know it.

These little tykes soon develop a fussiness about aspects of their small world, such as: favourite food and how they like it prepared; clothes they will or will not wear; neatness of appearance and wardrobe; a habit of smelling their food or taking rabbit nibble pre-tastes before eating; and a fastidiousness about personal hygiene. They master early the art of converting physical assets into personal advantages; usually to charm their way out of trouble or to worm their way into another’s affection.

Scintillator children are openly affectionate and playful. They prefer the company of adults and older siblings, who are often enchanted by their pint-sized antics and precocity. It doesn’t take them long to realize that adult appreciation and applause comes quicker and rings louder than that of their peers.

Many child actors and models are Scintillators…not only because of their attractiveness but because of their distinct eagerness to please. With praise they can be encouraged to go that extra mile or put forth that extra effort when needed. Scintillators like others to be happy, especially with them. As they mature, they tend to trade on their physical comeliness more often than others. Generally, these are the Peter Pans who look and often act younger than their chronological age. They are also the ones who suffer great insecurities about growing old.

A gift for comedy and entertainment

Some personalities are peacocks, some perfectionists, some are schemers, some dreamers, but Scintillators are the songbirds. They brighten the day, the way and the world with their Pollyanna optimism, winsome smiles and melodious laughter. They have evolutionarily been the Court Jesters—the quick-thinking provocateurs in royal households. Scintillators are as athletic of mind as of body and harbour an artistic nature, as though born to perform and create. They are particularly astute at summing up complex situations and tying all neatly together with comic twist or glib bow. Keen observation and comic interpretation are this style’s gifts.

Scintillators filter life through their physical body, so their life approach tends to be more reactive than proactive—and can be more harmful than beneficial. In the acting profession there’s a maxim, “the more specific, the better the performance.” Whether life imitates art or art imitates life, the wisdom rings equally true: excellence rests at the bottom of moments. Finding it and bringing it out is a drown-deep dive, where all dimensions—physical/mental/emotional are focused and risked before best reveals. They tend to relate and react one-dimensionally: physically.

Limiting their choices and experiences to what’s floating on life’s surface. Could be cream? Could be scum? By not risking, by not immersing their whole in challenges presented, Scintillators are left with two options: take it or leave it.

Belief is mind-knowledge, the sum of which is identity. Ego is identity’s representative that interacts with the world according to, and in accordance with, each individual’s belief. Scintillators have fine, even superior identities and large, strong egos to represent it. If a human mind is a terrible thing to waste, how much more terrible is it, to ignore potential? Of all, none hears more often, “Not living up to potential,” than Scintillators do.

With all their God-given gifts, such as intellect; physical attractiveness; deftness of hand, foot, and mouth; kinesthetic memory; robust constitution; optimistic nature; and energy-sensitivity as accurate as sonar to dolphin, Scintillators still tend to settle for toe-dipping rather than deep-diving explorations. Why is this personality the one most likely to: be daddy’s little girl or momma’s boy far into adulthood; be financially struggling at middle-age; have multiple marriages and divorces; have addictions to drugs or alcohol; and be the ones who abandon their children, physically, emotionally, and financially? Because Scintillators subscribe to physical satisfaction rather than emotional fulfillment.

Satisfaction versus fulfillment

If every life experience were a jawbreaker confection, Scintillators stop at physical satisfaction. They suck their jawbreaker until the licorice-flavoured coating is removed, then spit out the rest. Emotional fulfillment is had by savouring the whole of the jawbreaker experience; appreciating the inherent complexity within the variety of colour and flavour layers and discovering the unexpected surprise at the end: a lowly spice seed. A bitter tasting seed perhaps, but in the tasting contrast, two messages are folded. One reminds of all the sweetness and wonder that went before; the other rewards with forever learning the secret of jawbreakers: their humble, bitter-brown beginning. Such lessons and rewards only reveal after commitment of self through time to discover more flavours than licorice and more sweet than bitter…in jawbreakers and in life.

The Achilles’ heel for Scintillators is abandonment, which they expect to happen if or when they disappoint others. When relationship responsibilities grow and commitment roots are called for, Scintillators tend to leave rather than chance disappointment—their equivalent of personal failure. When disagreements occur and nose-to-nose accountability seems inevitable, Scintillators tend to head for the door rather than stand their ground and clear issues. Though cowardice seeming, cowardice has nothing to do with it. The cause and culprit is physical pain.

Scintillators filter everything, first, through their tuning-fork-sensitive physical body. They feel first, react, and only later review the emotional and intellectual consequences. Positive feedback is pleasurable; it feels good. They react by staying physically in the moment, allowing their emotional and intellectual dimensions to experience the fun. Negative feedback, such as confrontation, is felt as physical pain; it hurts. As others reflex-jerk from flame, Scintillators reflex-retreat from confrontation. Sometimes they can step back long enough for reason and emotions to kick in; sometimes the pain is so sharp and quick they strike out in mindless self-defense. Most often, they’re so overwhelmed they must leave. Only when pain subsides can they rationally appraise the situation. By then they’ve often got two problems to deal with: the one that precipitated the argument, and the one caused by their exit.

When they return, (and they always do), others have stewed in frustration juices long enough to have drawn their own, usually unfavourable, conclusions. Scintillators are left with few options: one is accepting blame for having disappointed. Others would not be so quick to judge them cowardly or so quickly write these sensitive beings off, if they could but once walk in their shoes and experience how physically painful confrontation is to Scintillators. These individuals are often more a victim of their innate energy-gift than benefactor.

If for some it is true, “I am what I think,” for Scintillators it is usually, “I am what you think I am.” Like children, they do not separate self from issues. For them, confrontation is a one-way ticket destined for rejection; tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bath water. Leaving is not cowardice; its self-preservation. When they do return to the “scene of their crime,” they fully expect to first meet rejection, then abandonment. For people-pleasing dependents, abandonment is the greatest fear of all. Scintillators tend to leave before that shoe can drop.

Svengalis and King Makers could not find
more malleable, willing clay than Scintillators

The single greatest challenge for Scintillators is to develop a strong belief in self; to trust no image other than the one reflected in their hand-held mirror. The greatest challenge for others in relationships with Scintillators is to ensure that if continuance is intended, that intention be made clear before and during confrontation. It is difficult for others to understand that Scintillators need to feel confident that no matter what, they’re still okay with others…especially with mates.

Most Scintillators have only experienced such unconditional acceptance from one or both doting parents. They understood their Scintillator child’s need to run at the drop of anger’s hat, knowing that as soon as they’d had time to think, they’d return ready to deal with contentious issues. Scintillators may spend most of their adult lives looking for a mate just like the mate that married dear old mom or dad.

Few personalities depend on the encouragement and positive feedback of others, like Scintillators do. Fewer yet, reply and repay with such passion, irrepressible enthusiasm, or potential to raze mountain and move world as them…when unconditional support is given. These individuals must exercise high discretion in choosing a mate. The right life-partner (and right work and educational environment) can make all the difference to them, in terms of professional success and personal happiness.

Scintillators are energy-intellects who feel acceptance or rejection from others. For them, reality is that which they can directly control. When children, they performed, socialized and directly influenced outcomes. When adult, those long-habituated, manipulative skills work equally well, generally. Scintillators often become masters of seduction. They can cajole, humour, and often directly control and maintain their required positive energy-flow.

When unable to charismatically influence they may seek alternate means of maintaining their good-feeling high. Medicine cabinets of Scintillators tend to be well-stocked with pharmacological fixes. If Scintillators use tobacco, they will have their first cigarette shortly after feet hit the floor after waking. Chocoholics, or those “sweet-tooths” among us, often are dominant Scintillator in the working or emoting realms of their Profile.

They seem to need a certain level of body energy to function effectively and will—by hook or by crook—attain and sustain it. Scintillators are addiction-prone. Conversely and notably, they’re also health, fitness and nutrition innovators. Their bodies are generally so sensitive they can feel the energy ambiance of a room upon entering, and from the doorway decide, “go,” or “stay”. Their energy-guided hands can give a body massage seemingly beyond mortal capability. No other constitution is as responsive or benefits as quickly from proper diet and regular exercise, as theirs. Scintillators bounce back, comparatively.

The two challenges for Scintillators entail responsibility

The first is to stop running when it hurts. Instead, start digging. Go deep, then deeper. Underneath the pain is your self mirror…one that no other can hold, shatter or break. The image reflected therein is clear and true. Trust it. Trust you. The second is communicate feelings. No matter how painful, no matter how tentative or shaky those coltish legs initially, know that your voice will steady and grow strong with use. Otherwise, you may not ever discover the complexity, the wonder in all the layers, flavours, and possibilities within that marvelous human confection, the Scintillator jawbreaker. To repudiate your own birth gifts, of which you’ve many, is to diminish greatness to fool and deny potential that is the unique privilege of Scintillators.

People who need people may be the luckiest of people but for Scintillator, luck is not enough. Their evolutionary purpose is to BE the person other people need.

© ANSIR Communications


Thursday, January 17th, 2008


What would you get if you combined an emotional vagabond, a dyed-in-the-wool non-conformist and a genius? An outspoken employee garbed in the latest fringe fashion…hoot couture they’d call it, who insults the company president on principle and cares not one whit; who keeps the office in stitches with their barbed wit and comedic brilliance; and who could, given the right inspiration and the VP’s corner office, (and a midi studio), come up with an idea that could place your company on the stock exchange by noon tomorrow. That’s an Eccentrik. But would you hire them?

If traditional is the prevailing odour in your workplace, you’ll likely never meet far less interview an Eccentrik. These individuals know what they don’t want: following dictates of any kind. Be it dress code, traditional business practice, or regular paycheques, it reeks anti-Eccentrik to them. Also, they usually decide well in advance who may or may not read their résume. Eccentrik has been different from birth. They know it and rejoice because of the difference. While other personalities conform to comply, Eccentrik has unshakeable faith in their world-class mind. By the time they leave home, they’ve conformed as much as they will. But, if you think a rebel without a cause dwells within, you’ve another think coming.

These individuals are success driven, goal-oriented, and astute business people. They participate on turf of their own choosing and keep time by their own watches. As they live their personal lives on the tottering edge of eccentricity, they seek cutting edges professionally. Industries, fields, and ventures where success is yet to be proven, rules yet to be written, and environments without cookie-cutter-constraint; are where these individualists excel.

Their heads may be shrouded in clouds of genius but their feet are firmly planted on terra firma. These are not pie-in-the-sky theorists, though pie-in-the-face is not beneath them. They are three-dimensional practical. An idea without form, function, and marketability is an idea wasted. Theirs is a tactile, profit-oriented relationship with creativity.

In its infancy and heyday, Silicon Valley crawled with Eccentriks. They birthed the prototypes that launched everything from speedier chip to orbiting satellite. When NASA began they were the pioneers whose elbows rubbed against theorist and drawing board alike. Advertising, fashion, publishing, the avante of any industry seethes with Eccentrik energy. But of all industries, none have they impacted more than the whimsical, practical world of gadgets.

Whether new or improved, small appliances and handy-dandy gadgetry fascinates. A roll-call of this industry’s inventors would read as a “Who’s Who” of Eccentriks. This depicts the remarkability of them in fact and in deed, but key to the success of this personality is freedom. Their potential only flies when wings are not trimmed or clipped in any way. When they graduate childhood, it is with steely determination to avoid lock-step conformity. Subsequently, many Eccentriks fall through professional cracks due to corporate impatience.

An Eccentrik inspired is a polestar-wonder. Their minds are uniquely sophisticated. Eccentrik sculpts three-dimensional objects inside their head. As others work clay—adding, shaping, removing excess, Eccentriks manipulate form and shape mentally. They do not need to externally sketch and draw; they create internally. More importantly, their creative genius is such that when an idea intrigues or inspires they can throw together a rough prototype or construct a working model from whatever material is on-hand. No matter which side of the table they sit on—whether as buyer or seller—few can perceive the physical potential or spot the weakness of an idea as quickly as they can. Others need eyes to see how things work; Eccentrik needs only think to see and know.

Their desks are quite neat, though shelves may sway under the burden of half-baked/half-burnt ideas, while dones lay neatly stacked on shelf or floor. Their work area may be a showcase of outrageous cartoons, 3-D puzzles, and favourite toys. To the world they may look hopelessly disorganized (and could be at home) but when it comes to work, Eccentrik is anything but. Surrounding themselves with eclectic clutter and acting zany are part and parcel of their off-the-wall genius. Just shut their door before office tours begin.

When Eccentrik is at their desk, they’re working. When focused they’re utterly absorbed. They may not show up till ten and be first out the door at five, but worry not. When Eccentrik’s head lowers, remarkability’s rise portents. These individuals thrive on tight deadlines, often purposely mismanaging time to set up their own challenge. Stretching management’s nerve to breaking adds a extra dollop of rare to their pressured pleasure. As tension of water traps bubble to surface, Eccentrik equates tautness in chest and shortness of breath with elixir of life.

Bonus-incentive remuneration is a financial motivation that Eccentrik finds particularly appealing. They like the intellectual challenge of “reaping by earning” but what they most like is having the wherewithal to afford their expensive and usually lavish after-hour activities. Eccentrik often spends as much as they earn. Offering bonus incentives kills two birds with one stone: it boosts their productivity and boosts the economy. Regardless of monetary incentive though, Eccentrik will up and walk if not sufficiently challenged by the work, or if their efforts aren’t appreciated. They tend to be short-stint career hoppers, citing boredom as the bane of their existence. In actuality, lack of exploration is the most likely and more frequent culprit.

Eccentriks tend to deke themselves out of abundance and recognition, for as long as it takes them to learn that the path to true freedom is depth, not breadth of experience. Financial difficulties are common when Eccentrik flits from flower to flower, rather than delving and drinking deeply of inners most vigorous nectar. Feeling boredom usually means “you’re just starting to get it.” Leaving not only delays failure, it postpones success.

A handful and a god-send, Eccentrik roundly and routinely pooh-pahs conventionality. Their comedic streak may entertain and exasperate; their ability amaze. They are more team contributors than team players. Show them the general direction others are heading and they’ll meet at first juncture, bulging with creative solutions, and a frisbee for play after business is tended.

Because they choose their own work environments carefully, they’re usually professionally compatible with associates and tend to get along well with most everyone. Eccentrik may not socialize with associates; they tend to separate their personal life and the office. They love people and tend not to be judgemental, prejudiced, or discriminating in any human regard. They are, however, decidedly allergic to stuffed shirts, starched views, and brown noses. Though social by nature, Eccentrik usually works alone. Their thinking is original, they solve problems internally and they neither explain, apologize, nor defend their differentness. If not for that spit-in-your-eye difference in thinking and attitude, they wouldn’t be Eccentrik at all.

These individuals are goal and results oriented. As long as the goal is achieved rather quickly, applause is loud and rewards lucratively, they are happy employees. Oddly enough, though they personally stick their necks out in all manner, season, and reason, Eccentrik is not known for risk-taking, professionally. Perhaps it’s because their gift is for internally rearranging physical objects, not abstractions. Success and satisfaction for them usually comes through the concrete realization of their imaginative re-arrangements.

These ones readily become obsessed or scattered by compelling, competing interests that pique their curiosity and vie for their easily distracted attention. Many Eccentriks develop reputations for being unreliable, changing jobs and careers often. Like Kansas summer tornadoes they repeatedly touch down and lift off, not staying long enough to make a name by earning acclaim for their self. Boredom shoulders most of the blame for their inconsistency, but the real culprit is lack: lack of depth, lack of focus, and lack of self-discipline. Management would be wise to give freer rein and greater encouragement to Eccentrik employees. When some Kansas summer storms touch down, they alter landscapes and history as well.

Eccentrik is here to show us there are infinite paths in life and every single one warrants investigation. The workplace just happens to be the classroom where those Eccentrik lessons are observed and learned. Giving that proverbial typewriter to an Eccentrik chimp could very likely produce a laureate novel. That’s precisely the type of challenge on which they thrive. The Internet is where Eccentrik has most recently been gathering and meeting. With them, expect a global warming.

© ANSIR Communications