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Oxford mini.

I have to confess to feeling not a little upset at the news that so many temporary workers’ jobs were being lost at the Mini factory, just a stone’s throw from where we live.

It’s a difficult financial climate – and our household currently has first-hand knowledge of how difficult the job market is at the moment.

I think part of my difficulty comes from the (apparent) employment practice at the mini plant, where a large number of temporary workers have been employed for a number of years without being given the offer of a contract and its associated security. And then the job of passing on the news being delegated to union representatives to deliver at the end of a weekend night shift.

Do we really care so little for those who work for us?

In studying 1 Peter at our church’s preaching group, I was struck at the passage teaching on how Christian slaves were to respond to their masters, and what the contemporary application of this might be. I recognise that with today’s employment law the balance of power has shifted – would this passage now call Christian employees to respect their employers and not abuse the law that has been put in place to protect them?

The sad thing is that today’s employment law may have encouraged BMW to maintain a relatively high number of temporary workers – many of who I would imagine are economic migrants – and not offer contractual security in payment for their service.

I know the situation is complex, but it still saddens me.

How the day sounds.

Another nice tune with a great video.

Both this video and the one in the earlier post capture something of the change that seems to be happening in music video production, as more and more people make use of YouTube and Vimeo etc. Whether the video is created with a big budget or not, the principle seems to be to keep it simple. Make it look like something ordinary people could do, and the chances are they will have a crack at mimicking it and uploading their version, thereby increasing the popularity of the original.

Social media is the place where viral marketing is democratised. Your ‘product’ does well when ‘the people’ respond to it well. It changes the marketing game, and so far at least, I’m enjoying the results.

Inaugural invitations.

I’ve been reading Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope (more on that to follow), and came across the following video when browsing today. If nothing else, it shows what a good team Obama has gathered around him for both his campaign and subsequent preparation for office.

I’m particularly impressed at how decisions that may seem small and less-significant are being taken in light of Obama’s stated values – the values that contributed towards his successful election; decisions like printing the inauguration invitations with a small Brooklyn company and on environmentally-friendly paper.

Embedded video from CNN Video

Life before the mouse.

I read on BBC News today that the humble mouse is celebrating a 40-year milestone today – can you imagine life without a mouse?

Source: BBC News

The humble computer mouse celebrates its 40th anniversary today.

On 9 December 1968 hi-tech visionary Douglas Engelbart first used one to demonstrate novel ways of working with computers.

The first mouse that Dr Engelbart used in the demo at the Fall Joint Computer Conference (FJCC) was made of wood and had one button.

A day of celebration is planned in California to mark the 40th anniversary; with many of the researchers behind the original demo reunited to mark the event.

lars and the real girl

Watched this yesterday evening – really had no idea what to expect, other than my fears for a film whose main subject is a man and his relationship with a ‘love doll’. I was pleasantly surprised to find this to be a really great film that explores the issues of relationships, community, and mental illness in a really tender and thoughtful way. It’s a very thought-provoking film that is likely to move you in unexpected ways.

Damaris frame the film well: “How do you make a film about a man’s relationship with a life-sized doll, ordered through the internet, and turn it into a tender, hopeful statement about love and community? In Lars and the Real Girl we discover that one can start with a potentially dodgy premise and end up with a wonderful film that offers many subtle but powerful insights about human nature and the transformative power of love in the context of community life.”

Watch it – I doubt you’ll be disappointed.