You don’t want to get the calculations on this wrong…
Put it in HD and full screen. Let it buffer a little first…
Twas not while England’s sword unsheathed
Put half a world to flight,
Nor while their new-built cities breathed
Secure behind her might
Not while she poured from Pole to Line
Treasure and ships and men –
These worshippers at Freedom’s shrine,
They did not quit her then!
Not till their foes were driven forth
By England o’er the main –
Not till the Frenchman from the North
Had gone with shattered Spain
Not till the clean-swept oceans showed
No hostile flag unrolled
Did they remember what they owed
To Freedom – and were bold!
More from the incredible Tim Minchin, well worth a listen
Each passing week proclaims it ever more clearly, we are in the shit. We’ve borrowed far more than we earn, securitized our borrowing a dozen ways so that each bad loan has incalculable effects (Warren Buffett called these derivatives ‘financial weapons of mass destruction’) and the stimulus plans seem to merely beget more stimulus plans. In the start-up world we are told to hunker down, cut everything to the bone and just try to survive until the market comes good again and we can once more spread our wings and fly towards an acquisition by (insert here). Those who have peeked out from underneath the tables have been batted down by ‘the powerpoint of death’ and other missives of doom.
We’re in the shit, and asking our most entrepreneurial minds to sit this one out. We’re in the shit, and the part of our economy best able to spur growth, create new jobs and get us out of this mess seem to be indulging in a fascinated self-castration at a time when courage, creation and competition are most needed. We’re in the shit, and crying out for the government to take bold steps, invest and rebuild the economy and yet shy away from doing the same thing ourselves.
We call ourselves entrepreneurs, let’s start acting like one. We should not be sitting around waiting for the economy to get better, there is no valley in the mountains in which we can cavort while the motor of the world grinds down. It is not enough to be willing to take risks when times are good, when a war is going badly the competent general does not hunker down and wait for it to get better, he realizes that he is the agent of change and that while the risk is greater, so is the prize. We are the agents of change in this economy, we can choose to wait it out, turning to each other and wailing ‘why doesn’t somebody do something?’ or we can act and watch as the world turns to us.
Let a thousand entrepreneurial flowers bloom in this deserted economy; no VC money? Ben and Jerry’s was started on the capital from two maxed-out credit cards. Poor market? Fix it yourself or find another one. My career has taken me from round-the world yacht-racing to international security to polar expeditions to web 2.0 and you’d be surprised how much your skills are transferable.
We’re in the shit and we are simply too damn important to sit this one out or do anything less than our most courageous, outrageous efforts. Now more than ever, what we do means more to the world than our own egomaniacal desires for greatness, this is us taking a strike to the cup and still standing at the plate spitting blood, bat raised and looking for space in the outfield. No more fear, no more caution, it’s time to step up.
McCain is right, one can’t trust a man who has been seen in the company of criminals.
We can see from this the quips vs. substance argument Biden will likely take.
Last year I wrote about my friend John Lake, who battled his way past brain tumours, depression, suicide bids and time in mental institutions to run the London Marathon and in some way find his purpose again.
John took something from that day and, to abuse a pun, he ran with it. On September 7th at 6am, John will zip up his wetsuit and enter the water for his first ironman triathlon. He will swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and then run 26.2 miles, a marathon. For someone who, two years ago, couldn’t run to the end of his block just getting to this stage is an awesome achievement. He will feel very different when he crosses the finish line.
When John ran the marathon he broke the record for money raised for the Brain Research Trust, with ten days to go he has already raised £7,300 and is aiming for £10,000. John is going to go through 13 hours of pain to show his support for people going through brain tumours, the least we can do is click on a link; please sponsor him now.
Professor Randy Pausch was three months and 12 days into his three-to-six months of good health left after Doctors diagnosed him with Pancreatic Cancer. This incredibly useful talk is made all the more poignant by the fact that this is a man who truly knows what it means to have limited time.
Footage from the yacht race I was a part of in 2000 has made its way on to youtube. Marvel at our death-defying feats, and see if you can catch the blink-and-you’ll miss it footage of me cowering below decks under my duvet with my teddybear firmly in my grip.
On 6 March, Rosie Stancer stepped off Ward Hunt Island and on to the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean. With temperatures sinking past -50C, her eyelashes elongated with ice and every millimetre of exposed skin burning with the cold she pulled her sledge over serried ranks of 30 feet high barriers of ice stretching before her for miles and miles. The Arctic, still shaking off the hold of winter would make each night a concert of shivering limbs and chattering teeth as the lightweight stove strove against the world with its rationed fuel and thin blue light.
The cold took no prisoners this year, and the toes of Rosie’s left foot were hit the worst as they froze, thawed, refroze, rethawed and frostbite took hold. As the temperature crawled up through the –40s and into the more temperate –30s, the sun became a fixture in the sky, no longer rising or setting but simply circling Rosie as she pressed north. However, the sun became a fleeting visitor as the rising temperatures brought burnished clouds each staking a claim to their piece of the horizon before enveloping the world completely in a deathly white.
As the clouds fell, Rosie’s senses became almost redundant. What use are ears when there is nothing to hear, what use eyes when all around you is white, what use touch when its only function is to remind you of the pain in your feet? There is no up, no down, no far away, no close up, no sky, no ground, just white and the dead weight of your sledge behind you as your only comfort against complete isolation.
At least as Rosie hauled, climbed, pushed, pulled, levered, smashed and at times dug her way north, the ice conditions began to improve. Then came the storms. Whipping across the Arctic, the snow was coerced into vortices around Rosie, burrowing into every crevice as the wind fashioned the encircling ridges into sails taking her east and south, away from her desired route and course. …