Author Archives: uthinki

McDonald’s Reboots Hamburglar Mascot to Purloin the Sirloin and Save Company

McDonald’s the once mighty, how it has fallen. For a long time McDonald’s was iconic, and while it still enjoys brand recognition, with the Golden Arches becoming more recognised than the cross of Christianity, its relevance is again being questioned. With this, so too are revenue and profits falling. Whereas profits vary from quarter to quarter, within a business, especially a giant corporation such as McDonald’s, revenue tends to be more stable. However, revenue itself fell near 7 percent to US$6.57 billion in the December 2014 quarter. Granted it is still profitable, but consider that’s a difference of near US$415 million less revenue for the quarter. It faced a challenging 2014, including food safety scandals and supplier issues in Asia, closures of restaurants in Russia and Ukraine, and declining sales in its US heartland attributed largely to increased competition. When it comes to the McDonald’s of today, people are increasingly ...

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Monetary Policy and Interest Rates: Proportions or Basis Points?

Monetary policy as it currently stands, is more mess and mysticism than most would like to believe. Yet it is also this belief, the elusive notion of confidence through words aimed at shaping expectations, that give it much of its power. Phrases such as “jawboning” and “paring” and “animal spirits” have all become part of the modern-day central banker toolkit. Along with the other main lever of monetary policy, the ability to raise or lower interest rates at the short end of the yield curve. Beyond the phraseology, the longer end of the yield curve has seen elements of intervention with quantitative easing and bond buying programs. However, the short end, with the official cash rate (with a name that varies between countries) remains the primary element of conventional monetary policy. Macroeconomics recognises that monetary to policy is a blunt instrument. It’s often likened more to being a cudgel than ...

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Justin Bieber Content Blocker in the Making

Following in the news that an application is in the making to block the Kardashians from the internet for users, the KardBlock makers also have the following to say on their official website: “We are also working on customization to block content related to Justin Bieber.” Offering the ability to directly filter out internet content based upon the dislike of a particular celebrity could be pretty big news. Coupled with the point James Shamsi makes: That there is real news out there, however, much of it gets subordinated in favour of more trivial things regarding celebrities. Which is not without truth and merit, even if people are likely to always be interested in celebrities. Yet the future ability to filter out internet content related to particular celebrities could be of real benefit. For example, parents may not have a problem with their young children liking the fictional character Hannah Montana, ...

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KardBlock: Blocks the Kardashians from the Internet

It’s here. At last. KardBlock. What is it? KardBlock is klaimed claimed to be a way to block the Kardashians from the internet. Think like AdBlock, but specific for any internet content related to the Kardashians. All could be wiped clean. From Kim, to Khloe, to Kourtney, to Kris, to Kylie, to Kendall, and beyond. With all the talk of someone’s name beginning with K, people began looking for a Men in Black memory-wiper. Unfortunately, none was found (that can be recalled). Leaving people with but the option of washing their eyes as the next best alternative. Until now that is. If KardBlock works as claimed, there’s no need to keep up with any of the Kardashians anymore. Nor worry about one of them breaking the internet, because KardBlock can fix it. According to James Shamsi of KardBlock, it will make all mention of the K_____s “disappear”. Hopefully it also includes ...

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9 Reasons Why May the 4th be with You in 2015

Stars Wars, the space opera film saga which has spilled over into pop culture phenomena, again both strikes back and returns with another May the 4th. After the prequel trilogy, wiping the droids’ memories seemed like the best course of action. If only the rest of the world could’ve done the same. Now details of the sequel trilogy are doing not trying, and are breaking through with The Force Awakens. If only that cross-guard on the lightsaber made more sense. Probably none of the following is canon, but in this way, a trilogy of trilogies, or nine reasons if preferred, are offered up as to why Star Wars should be celebrated on May 4th 2015: Attack of the Clones gave the world dialogue wooden enough to make even Pinocchio seem like a real boy. Now that Disney owns Lucasfilm, the circle is now complete. George Lucas showed that flannelette shirts ...

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Egglants, Emojis and Oddities

Quite apart from the debate of whether the eggplant is a fruit or vegetable, a common pastime between scientific types and laypeople in between watching the grass grow, it seems the mysterious eggplant has struck again. But in emoji form. Or rather, the eggplant emoji has been struck off the usage list by Instagram. The reason, it appears, is some say eggplant, some say aubergine and others say brinjal. But when it comes to Instagram and the eggplant emoji, some say it’s vulgar. It’s not like it’s that unobvious why… Which has called things to attention, and in the interests of uprightness, the eggplant emoji has been deflated and put away for now. The party is over. Turns out even sprinkling a little salt on it changes nothing of the bitter taste. Don’t even speak about brinjal pickle, that may just be a phallic overload. Putting aside the best and ...

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Iggy Azalea and Bonds Underwear: Comments of All Colours

Iggy Azalea. She’s so fancy. But what you may not already know, is she’s now also the new face, body, and probably booty, of Bonds underwear. As one of the new celebrities posing for the underwear company, the comments have already begun to fly about Iggy. One commentator, Eleanor Robinson for The Guardian, finds Iggy Azalea at odds with Bonds’ supposed image of the Australian girl next door. Nothing particularly wrong with that. Opinions are what they are. However, the notion that former Bonds girl, Miranda Kerr was ever somehow the girl next door is sure to bring a wistful smile to the faces of many. Along with memories of her initial Bonds campaign back over a decade ago. For that matter, Bonds has helped to launch, or at least play a role in launching, the careers of models such as Sarah Murdoch, Shanina Shaik, and Kelly Gale. So of ...

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Tensions Grow as Australia Recalls Ambassador to Indonesia

Following the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia on Wednesday, 29 April 2015, Australia has recalled its ambassador Paul Grigson from Indonesia. While some commentary has suggested such a political move is unprecedented, this is not wholly true. Talking to the 7.30 Report, former Australian ambassador Philip Flood noted that such a move has occurred twice before: “It’s unprecedented for us to recall an ambassador from Indonesia. We’ve done it twice, recalling an ambassador. We did it in the case of French nuclear tests in the Pacific and it was hardly noticed at all. We did it in the case of Fiji and that really did more damage to us than it did to Fiji. I hope that the ambassador’s only recalled for a short time.” Whether this has any real political clout or diplomatic impact remains to be seen. It is, however, a rather thorny issue overall. ...

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Adam Sandler’s Ridiculous Six No Laughing Matter for Netflix

In the upcoming Adam Sandler movie The Ridiculous Six, Native American (or “Indian”) actors and a cultural advisor have walked off the New Mexico set in protest. A general disrespectfulness of Native American culture, including bad jokes and character names such as Beaver’s Breath and No Bra, have been cited as the reasons. Further that the comedy is unfunny, racist and only serves the worn out stereotypes of “Hollywood Indians” from yesteryear, along with grossly misrepresenting the Apache culture. That it’s an Adam Sandler and is a direct-to-streaming movie made for Netflix may be enough to say it all. Warner Bros. dropped the film months ago. Plus the film’s cast is said to also include Jon Lovitz and Vanilla Ice… Adam Sandler in a movie as a big drawcard, hasn’t been something that’s happened in a very long while. Yet coupled with his Happy Madison Productions, Adam Sandler continues to ...

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Anthony Mundine, Australia’s Greatest Athlete?

It’s happening again. Anthony Mundine is claiming he’s Australia’s greatest all-round athlete. He’s at it again because it’s not the first time he has made such a claim. Or boast, if preferred. It probably won’t be the last time either. After effectively ruining the phrase of being “the man” for at least one generation, the former rugby league player and now current world title holding boxer, the WBC Silver Super Welterweight Champion, Anthony “The Man” Mundine is talking up his prowess. “There’s no man that has done what I’ve done and crossed over sports like I have,” says the 39-year-old Mundine. To his credit, he has successfully crossed from rugby league to be a world class boxer. It’s not like he’s a John Hopoate here. Although given Mundine’s mouth, where he can also go put his finger may not be that different for some boxing fans. For a boxer to ...

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