It’s Good To Know: The Vus

In psychology, terms used to describe:

  • Déjà vu: remembering having seen something before. In French, this literally means ‘already seen’, though in usage it is basically equivalent to déjà vécu (already lived).
  • Presque vu: almost, but not quite, remembering something. This is the “on the tip of my tongue” feeling.
  • Jamais vu: never seen, it’s used to describe any familiar situation which is not recognized by the observer.

(Source: Wikipedia and others.)


It’s Good To Know: Tea Party protests

I have been hearing about “tea parties” mushrooming all around US. What’s going on? Are (North)Americans suddenly going British?

I did some research and it seems that the Tea Party protests that have been happening all around the USA this April take their name from the Boston Tea Party.

To cut a long story short, the English Parliament gave the East India Company a monopoly on the importation of tea, taxing the hell out of consumers. Not surprisingly, smuggling tea from tax-free Dutch imports became the norm. Continue reading

On 2009+.10 Trends: Predictions & Provocations by Richard Watson

I am a keen reader of Richard Watson’s blog, What’s Next: Top Trends, and having just finished reading his 2009+.10 Trends: Predictions & Provocations, I advise you to spare 20min and read it (, it will help you stabilise a bit in the turbulent times we are living.

I share many of Richard’s predictions, some others are almost or totally Greek to me. I guess I am nothing else than a frustrated futurist, I deeply admire those who, like Mr Watson, can make a living out of it. I wish I had the time to recognise and follow up trends and patterns I notice. But I am condemned to go out hunting every day, and drag the food back in the cave. Or am I?


It’s Good To Know: Economic Depression

Recession here, recession there, we already know now that a recession defines the reduction of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for at least two quarters.

But how about a depression? There are now talks of a possible return to 1929’s depression. But what is it exactly, or how is it defined by economists? You’ve got as many flavours as you like, there is no widely accepted definition, but according to The Economist there are tow rules of thumb: Continue reading

It’s Good To Know: Keiretsus

I was just reading Mark Anderson’s SNS blog (A Bright Fire) when he used the word Keiretsu (系列).

I have done some business reading myself, but I had never heard of that word before, so wikipedia came to the rescue:

A keiretsu (lit. system or series) is a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings.

Continue reading

On Barclays wasting my time and its shareholders’ money, the squeaking chair gets the oil but at what price?

Today I received another phone call from an “unknown number”. As I said yesterday (On Barclays customer services trying…), I do not normally pick up phone calls from people who’d rather keep their identity anonymous, specially if they are from a bank (what are they scared of anyway, their own customers contacting them?.)

Not surprisingly, M. a Customer Relations Assistant wanted me to call him back on 0845 300 4149. As I had nothing at all to discuss, I declined again to contact him back.

But hold on, it seems that my complaint letter (On Barclays profiteering…) went somewhere, at list for Calvin Ltd. (What happened with the chain of fees within and outside Barclays? They don’t care, I do.)

Continue reading

On satirising business in the UK, trying to pay a VAT return to HM Revenue & Customs

Oh Hobbes! Her Majesty the Queen must be so jolly these days! The first waves of the financial tsunami are drowning the young, the old and the sick who don’t know how to or need help to swim. Other waves will come, but she must feel safe surrounded by an army of trained civil servants.

Not that I am proud of, but today I realised that miscommunication within our Very Ltd. corporation had potentially made a mistake with our VAT return (deadline date, 31 December). Continue reading