TPN promoting “An Inconvenient Truth”

I just saw Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” at my local cinema and it had a huge impact on me. I started asking myself what we could do at TPN to help promote the film. We’ve got ~300,000 listeners and I want to do what I can to help spread the word. The obvious way is to place an ad for it on each of our shows. I’m going to start doing it and I’ve invited my TPN co-hosts to join me.

Other things each of you can do:

GDAY WORLD!!! #155 – On Energy, String Theory and Free Will

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Yesterday my mate Shane Williamson in Sydney skyped me (long time listeners might remember him from G’Day World #3) and then he conferenced in our mate Brenton Perry (who was on G’Day World #132) at home in Texas. Shane, Brenton and I all used to work in the same team at Microsoft back in ’98. The conversation quickly centered around the definition of “energy” and string theory and then morphed into a debate about free will. As I had Skylook running it automatically got recorded and I thought the conversation was interesting and you might all enjoy it. The sound quality isn’t the best (due to the fact that I was sitting on my $25 USB headset on the desktop (which has a fan which sounds like a Boeing engine) but it’s okay if you can ignore the background buzz and occasional echo. I bring you into the conversation about 20 minutes in.

The G’Day World Theme Song: “Save Me” by The Napoleon Blown Aparts, America’s baddest rock n’ roll band!

GDAY WORLD!!! #154 – Paull Young on PR blogging

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Paull Young is a young whippersnapper PR guy in Brisbane who is one of Australia’s most active PR blogger/podcasters. I chatted with him recently about PR blogging and podcasting.
The G’Day World Theme Song: “Save Me” by The Napoleon Blown Aparts, America’s baddest rock n’ roll band!

Tell Cam Where To Go

Okay, I know this is kind of sad, but…. I’m batching it this weekend and I’m looking for something to do in Melbourne on a Friday and Saturday night. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to entertain myself. What should I do? Here’s what I like:

  • weird shit
  • good jazz
  • good rock
  • arty shit
  • watching weird ass people

Suggestions? Anyone up for a poker night at my house?

Bat Out Of Hell III

Listening this morning to "Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose", Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s new third installment of the story of … of… what the hell is this the story of? I have no idea. I’ve been listening to the original Bat Out Of Hell for 30 years and I’m completely clueless as to what it’s about. Something about a guy and a motorbike. And chicks. Fuck it, what more do you need to know?

Highlights of this new album…

  • Brian May’s cameo in the opening bars and solo of the new version of "Bad For Good" (yeah Tony Goodson – we finally get to hear Meat singing it). When this came on and I heard that guitar I was like "holy crap! that’s gotta be Brian May!" and so I looked it up. Oh yeah.
  • Steve "I used to play for David Lee Roth but then I quit and his career disappeared" Vai does the solo on "The Land Of The Pigs (The Butcher Is King)".

Ermmm… that’s about it. The album doesn’t grab me as a new classic, in some ways it kind of reminds me of any one of Alice Cooper’s post-Constrictor albums, a little bit too much gothic theatre and attempted metal. I think the catchiest track is perhaps "What About Love" a piano-driven duet with Patti Russo penned by Desmond Child. That should be the first single off the album. That or "Bad For Good" but I prefer Jim’s original version of that off his own album when Meat was resting his voice. Love to know what you think Goodson.

UPDATE: I’ve listened to the new and old versions of "Bad For Good" back to back several times now this morning and I’m pretty sure that, while the new version has Meat’s voice, May’s guitar and a massive arrangement going for it, the original version is definitely the superior. It’s faster, the arrangement is lighter, and Jim’s voice has a sense of urgency and desperation about it which really make it a plea on behalf of all of us who feel like we didn’t really turn out like the world would like us to be. What a chorus. I’ve been belting this out at the top of my voice all morning (sorry Dave next door):

And I know that I’m gonna be like this forever
I’m never gonna be what I should
And you think that I’ll be bad for just a little while
But I know that I’ll be bad for good

My Top Artists from Last.fm

Okay I know I’m slow off the mark on this one, but I’ve just installed and started playing with Last.FM and it’s… pretty frakkin cool. Here’s my profile if you care. And here’s a list of the top listened to artists on my iPod. Keep in mind my iPod is only a couple of months old, but this looks pretty accurate to me.

AMI Breakfast tomorrow

I’m speaking tomorrow morning (Thursday Sept 26) at the Australian Marketing Institute breakfast about "Brands and Blogging". Also speaking is Paul Crisp who (according to the bio on the AMI site) manages public affairs for Telstra’s Consumer Marketing and Channels Division. He also leads Telstra’s New Media Project, managing the company’s corporate blog at www.nowwearetalking.com.au and its podcast service.

Does anyone know what Telstra’s podcast service is? Ever even heard of that before?

Exxon funds “misleading” climate change lobby groups

Feeling confused about whether or not climate change is really a threat? Good. That’s exactly what they want you to feel. Confused.

I was having a conversation about this with a friend over lunch during the week and he explained to me how the big oil companies fund hundreds of small lobby groups who purport to be scientists and who put out misleading and contradictory evidence deliberately to confuse the general public.

Here’s an interesting statement I read tonight:

According to Ward’s own analysis of Exxon’s Corporate Giving Report, the company last year funded 64 groups conducting climate change research, of which 25 were in line with mainstream climate science and 39 were "misleading." The latter category included the Centre for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, to which Exxon gave $25,000 in 2005, the Exxon website shows. The Centre’s website says: "There is no compelling reason to believe that the rise in temperature was caused by the rise in CO2."

This is from an article in Al Jazeera stating that The Royal Society, Britain’s national academy of science, is criticizing Exxon’s attempts to mislead the general public by confusing them with contradictory reports.

So, here’s how it seems to work. You give money to both the dodgy groups who make up their science off of the back of a breakfast cereal box but you *also* give funding to the real scientists so you can’t be accused of just funding the bad guys. You can say

"These organisations do not speak on our behalf, nor do we control their views and messages. They may or may not hold similar views to ours."

But what you *really* want to do is create confusion. It’s Alexander of Macedon’s old "divide and conquer" strategy updated for the 21st century corporation. Plausible deniability.

Now, when you read about the confusion in the newspaper, all you read is that Politician X said "Climate change is important and we need to do something about it now" but then you read that Politican B said "Such-and-such a group of scientists says it isn’t as big a problem as everyone is making out, go back to your Reality TV". Of course, what you *don’t* read is that the group Politican B quoted from was funded by Exxon.

Who has the responsibility to tell you this last fact? The newspaper? You would think so.

If Admins weren’t supposed to cry they wouldn’t hire girls for the job

That and other very fine words of advice can be found in "Satan’s Training Brochure", WW Turmel’s guide to Middle Management behaviours. I’m pretty sure some of my past bosses had read this, especially the chapter entitled "Getting To Maybe:- Delayed Decision Making For the Budget-Constrained". In fact, I think I know some venture capitalists who have also read it. If you like the read, make sure you also check out WW’s podcast "The Cranky Middle Manager" on TPN.