Accelerated Nation

PhotoNation – Spring Sky

Posted in Pacific Northwest, photography, Picture of the Day by Ashley on 2010/03/05

 

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Afternoon Sky as seen on SR520 – Bellevue, Washington, USA –5 March 2010

Copyright Ashley Brown – All Rights Reserved

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PhotoNation – Camano Island

Posted in Pacific Northwest, Picture of the Day by Ashley on 2010/03/04

 

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Camano Island, Washington State, USA – October 11, 2009

Copyright Ashley Brown – All Rights Reserved

PhotoNation – San Francisco During a Thunderstorm

Posted in Cities, Picture of the Day by Ashley on 2010/03/03

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San Francisco, California, USA – 3 March 2010

Copyright Ashley Brown – All Rights Reserved

Sometimes You Just Can’t Find The Words…

Posted in Uncategorized by Ashley on 2010/02/26

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An Uncharitable Examination of the Parlous State of British Sport at the Olympic Games

Posted in Great Britain, Olympics, sports by Ashley on 2010/02/24

The British practically invented sports.  They are credited with bringing bobsled (defiantly called “bobsleigh” in the UK), curling, badminton, bowling, boxing, canoeing, cricket, croquet, darts, golf, hockey, ice skating, all sorts of mountaineering, rowing, rugby, skiing (despite a curious lack of ski slopes), all forms of tennis, most equestrian events, water polo, weightlifting, yachting, shooting, fencing and archery into the world.  The modern Olympics seem engineered for their enjoyment.

Too bad the British are so bad at them.

The 2010 Winter Olympics have been notable for lacking many things –like snow, cold temperatures and Canadians atop the podium.  But no one misses the British.  Why?  Because they’re never on the podium at the Winter Games.  They have participated in all 20 Winter Olympiads and won just 22

medals. Not 22 gold medals.  Twenty-two medals.  And the only one anyone can remember is Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean’s masterful Bolero

Torvill & Dean: A Rare British Success

at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.  That win gave Great Britain its only medal that year and, after winning, the better half of the pair promptly moved to Colorado.

It’s a sad testament to ability that even when rugby was a Summer Olympic sport Britain didn’t win.  The best they could muster was the silver, in both 1900 and 1908.

Anglophiles will point out (no doubt) that Britain is the third most medaled country.  This is true.  The country has won a whopping 736 medals at 46 Olympiads. 

Of course, it earned 146 of them at the 1908 London Olympics before the advent of standardized judging.

And when British “fair play” was curbed by – well – rules, its performance cratered.  After 1908, Great Britain has managed to struggle into the top 5 in the medal count only 4 times – in 1912, 1920, 1924 and 2008 (when Britain stupefied the world by finishing 4th).

Even including 1908, Great Britain has won an average of only 16 medals per Olympiad.  By contrast, the United States (2,511 medals in 45 Olympiads) has won an average of 56, the Soviet Union (1,204 in 18 Olympiads) earned an astounding 66 and tiny Finland (450 in 43 Olympiads) has scooped up an average of 10.

Compared with the big former “colonies”, the country’s performance is even more dismal.  Only Canada, suffering from its own Olympic woes despite a C$127m injection of cash, performs as badly:

Medals/person

Canada – 1:89,000

Great Britain: 1,82,000

Australia – 1:50,228

New Zealand – 1:49,425

But all might not be lost.  In 2012 London will become the only city to host three Olympiads, and the third time is always a charm.

A Bold Prediction

Posted in politics by Ashley on 2010/02/23

The 2010 General Election is more than 8 months away – and that’s a lifetime in politics.  But I’ve seen enough.  The Democrats are running scared, and in no particular direction.  They’re scattering like scared animals and that’s a clear sign in my book.

So to kick off the election season, I am going to start with control of Congress and the fate of the leadership.  I’ll do more as we move into summer.elephant_and_donkey1

2010 General Election Results

Senate – 49 Republicans; 49 Democrats; 2 Other (Lieberman & Sanders). Control – DEM (R +8)

– Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will lose his seat

– All other members of the leadership will be re-elected

House – 217 Republicans; 216 Democrats. Control – REP (R +39)

– All members of the leadership will be re-elected

– Joseph Cao (R-LA), who has strongly supported Pres. Obama’s agenda, will lose his seat

Free Fashion

Posted in fashion, NYC by Ashley on 2010/02/17

So this week I had the great fortune to drop into the Independent Fashion Bloggers conference in New York City.  I was sent there by Microsoft to demo Windows 7 – which was a hit.

imageAnd while working I was lucky enough to meet some very cool blogging fashionistas. So if it’s your thing, check out StyleIT run by the way too cool Sarah Conley.

Vyque over at Fashonnaburu is bringing a sexy sensibility to our nation’s famously grey capital, while Julia DiNardo from FashionPulseDaily might just (crossed fingers) become a Windows 7 convert.

Most fashion bloggers are, of course, women but all is not lost.  If you’re a dude in search of duds, check out Street Etiquette.

And for all of you out there who think blogs, with their relatively small readership, can’t possibly change the world think about this: the entire length of the Wright brothers first flight (120 feet) would fit into the economy cabin of a Boeing 747.

I’m Back

Posted in Pacific Northwest, policy, politics by Ashley on 2010/01/15

images Just a quick post to say “I’m Back”.  It’s a new year, product launches are behind me and I’ll be posting again soon.  Happy MLK Day everyone – it’s the official start to the end of winter!

Ashley

Green Shoots

Posted in economy, environment by Ashley on 2009/05/19

A year ago it seemed we were barreling headlong into a green-tinted future.  Then the economy imploded and “green shoot” became a byword for the struggling economic recovery.

So in today’s budget-crunched and belt-tightened reality, greenshootdoes anyone still care about the environment?  The answer, apparently, is yes.

Between October 2007 and October 2008, when the economy was weakening but green issues were at the fore, more than 684,000 news articles were published on the environment.  Just 154,000 pieces covered the weakening US economy and dawning recession.

As you might expect, a year later the situation is somewhat different.  Between October 2008 and May 2009 coverage of the environment plunged—to 369,000 news items.  But even this reduced press attention still nudged out the economy.  In that same period, only 308,000 articles touched on the recession. 

Apparently, green shoots can still refer to things that grow.

My Own Private Recovery

Posted in innovation by Ashley on 2009/05/18

Recovery.gov As part of my little attempt to stimulate the economy, I have migrated Accelerated Nation to a mapped domain.  Please update your bookmarks and feeds with the permanent URL. 

Apologies for any inconvenience. 

Oh…and I changed the layout.