Another Close Encounter of The Third Kind

I am too young to remember Close Encounters of the Third Kind when it first came out at the cinema. I remember watching it in the mid 1980’s round at a friends house whilst playing hookie from school. I quite liked it but my peers preferred the American Ninja series, The Octagon, The Hitcher and Governor Schwarzenegger’s early action movies. I borrowed it from Blockbuster, using their 3 for 5GBP for a week offer that applies to slightly older DVDs.

I was blown away. This film was made in 1977, and yet it is so visually rich, it makes CGI films look sterile in comparison, its hard to believe this was done with smoke effects neon lit rigs and painted backgrounds. The concept, the acting from the assorted Indians, hill-billies and cops, Richard Dreyfus, to the little Cary Guffy, the little boy that Dreyfuss almost runs over in his power company pick-up.

Rx R Us

According to the New York Times (free registration required) George Bush is seeking to block medical legal cases brought against the manufacturers of FDA approved products. This is a dangerous move as scandals such as Opren the anti-inflamatory drug and Thalidomid are extreme examples of ‘the ones that got away’ in a regulatory system that fails quite a lot of the time. Because of the nature of spending on medical treatment this will impact the most on babies, children, women and older people. According to research done by the United States General Audit Office in their report FDA Postapproval Risks 1976 – 1985 51.5 per cent of FDA approved drugs approved during this nine-year period showed serious postapproval risks that meant they had to be relabelled or withdrawn from sale. Serious postapproval risks were defined as adverse reactions that could lead to hospitalization, increases in the length of hospitalization, severe or permanent disability, or death.

This has the potential to impact on the UK and Europe as this US administration has been known to throw its weight around to steamroll through uniform trade orientated legislation to match their own standards.


The second link is a report on electronic patient record privacy in the US that raises some interesting issues including the fact that online records have brought a better definition to privacy, but that has not mean’t existing standards.

Frankie Knuckles Day

Today is Frankie Knuckles Day in Chicago. From Wikipedia:

Frankie Knuckles (born January 18,

1955 as Frank Warren Knuckles Jr.) is a DJ, producer and remix artist. He has earned the appellation “The godfather of house music.”

Born in New York City he was educated at the Dwyer School of Art and went on to study textile design at FIT in Manhattan. It was while studying at FIT he began working as a DJ, playing soul and R&B at Better Days and then at The Gallery with Larry Levan and then at Sound Factory. When the Warehouse opened in Chicago in 1977 he was invited to appear on a regular basis until 1982, introduced to house music he took the sound back to New York. After the collapse of his own New York club, the Power Plant, he move into producing and recording. His earliest productions were “Tears” with Robert Owen (later of Fingers, Inc) and Jamie Principle’s “Baby Wants to Ride”. Knuckles then started a lucrative line in remixing, partnering with David Morales as Def-Mix.

Interfluff Global Brands & Other Stuff

Interfluff has teamed up with Business Week to launch its global brand league table again. The table is avidly read by marketers and loved by journalists as a reference, but how much of it is meaningful. If you auctioned off the brands in the morning how close would you get to the monetary value quoted in the survey. I suspect pennies on the dollar. The vacuous nature of it all was illustrated in Inclusive Branding by Ludlow & Schmidt. In their book they compared the values of brand according to different brand agency rankings and found no correlation, ergo the process is little better than a wild ass guess. On to the other stuff, I picked up a new 12 on nrk DJ Meri – Everything. The dub mix is the cut for me, nrk comng with the quality deep and tracky stuff. Simply Vinyl have been putting out some interesting sampler 12s in association with indie label V2. For 5.99 GBP you get four quality remixes either in a house, jazzy house or junglist style. They are not the newest, but quality cuts.

It was too good to last

Slate, one of our favourite Microsoft products is on the sales lot at Redmond according to AP. Full details here. Slate is well written intelligent quality online publication, so obviously doesn’t fit in with the Microsoft corporate ethos. And as Bill Gates will probably tell you this Internetworking thing is a bit of a flash in the pan anyway (which is why his ghost writers had to completely rewrite ‘The Road Ahead’, 12 months after it was originally released. While we are talking about the ‘web here is a link to an interesting article about the challenges of cancelling a service online. The article appeared as part of the consumer watch column in the Philadelphia Inquirer. (Free registration required.)