Category Archives: Green

Why are the Angry Birds – angry?

So Angry Birds is the smash of the year. The surprise game that has become a meme and catapulted (sorry) its makers Rovio to fame, fortune and a frenzy of merchandising and motion picture tie-ins.

But why are the birds angry?  While we were in Tallinn last week at the Creative Hotspots event and economist Neil McEnroy of Manchester’s Centre for Local Economic Studies was probing the inner recesses of the creative industries, this was one of the questions that burned deepest in my mind.

Just why are the Angry Birds angry?

Is it that humankind has wrecked the environment and that now, as a form of punishment, we have to use the birds to wreck our own buildings in order to restore the natural balance?

Is it that the makers of the game would have made planes not birds but that this was not absurd enough and looked too much like 9/11? It seems unlikely that Angry Planes,  a game where you catapult planes into buildings to see how efficiently you can knock them down would be quite as popular as Angry Birds. But in one of the Angry Birds night scenes, the birds do have these light tracers that seem more redolent of missiles than birds…

Or is this some kind of weird tribute to Hitchcock’s the Birds? Is this  (like the Danish cartoons last year) another one of those offbeat and slightly weird Nordic cultural satires? Only sitting long nights in saunas in log cabins makes these things comprehensible apparently.  Has anyone spotted a Hitchcockian cameo appearance of the great director himself yet in any of the Angry Birds scenes?

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Quotable quotes from TED Global 2010

“Power is no longer a zero sum game”  Joseph Nye

“I’ll simplify a lot of tasks you never had to do before” Patrick Chapatte on Steve Jobs

“The slow hunch – great ideas fade into view over long periods of time” Steven Berlin Johnson

“Re-implement biology but inorganically, so we can grow technology like an organism” Neil Gershenfeld

“Businesses today are built on how you add value not on how you control limited information” Neil Gershenfeld

“Telling me your goal makes it less likely to happen because the mind mistakes the telling for the doing” Derek Sivers

“In order to do good, you have to do something.” Emily Pilloton

“My subject is food, which concerns everyone, it is health which concerns everyone, it is soil which concerns everyone, although they may not know it” Lady Eve Balfour, 1946 quoted by Adrian Dolby

“Personal debt has grown massively because people buy things they don’t want, to create impressions that don’t last on people they don’t care about.” Tim Jackson

“Don’t let life de-genius you.” Buckminster Fuller

“A teacher that can be replaced by a machine, should be!” Arthur C Clarke quoted by Sugata Mitra

“The average cat in Europe has a larger carbon footprint than the average African” Jason Clay

“You cannot wake up a person who is pretending to sleep” Jason Clay

“Images with straight lines in them create a sense of fear in the brain” Alex Kelleher

“Schizophonia – a dislocation between what you see and what you hear” Julian Treasure

“Extracting ice for analysis from Antarctica – each cylinder is a parfait of time” Lee Hotz

“Have a cup of coffee, act fierce and keep on dancing” Andrea Lucard

“If you meet the expectations of women, you exceed the expectations of men” Marti Baletta

Quotes from TED Global 2009 – Oxford, England

spreading ideas worth spreading

quotes from speakers at TED Global

“Globalisation will lead to a new Renaissance, a huge opportunity for innovation. But there are also two huge problems. Firstly, those who are left out and excluded. Secondly, managing growing complexity which leads to systemic shock (eg current recession, swine-fever, etc).” Ian Goldin

“Afghanstar, Poet of the Millions, the unintended consequences of Britain’s got Talent, in Asia and the Middle East, Reality TV is driving reality.” Cynthia Schneider

“Sound can be like a bowl of spaghetti,  sometimes you just have to eat it and see what happens.” Julian Treasure

“Regret factors associated with cyber warfare threat could be equivalent to weapons of mass destruction.” Guy-Philippe Goldstein quoting US military

“It is better to be sometimes cheated, than not to trust.” Samuel Johnson quoted by Susan Kish

“Today, the information monopoly is broken, so brands need to find a place for themselves in this swirling mimetic environment.” Andy Hobsbawn

“The pain of psychological death + the pleasure of beating yourself = hunger in paradise.” Rasmus Ankersen

“The opposite of snobbery is your mother.” Alain de Bothon

“The trouble with our meritocracy is that in the 21st Century people own their own success, but they also own their own failure.” Alain de Bothon

“Obsession made my life worse and my work better.” artist quoted by Stefan Sagmeister

“Super massive black holes represent the breakdown of our understanding of the physical universe.” Andrea Ghez

“I found a dead fly and plucked a hair off its head to make a paint brush. I would never do that to a live insect.” William Wigan, micro sculptor

“Mirrors would do well to reflect a little longer before sending back images.” James Geary quoting Jean Cocteau

“In Mexico, the Indians played music to stay in touch with their ancestors, but in Africa they play to stay as far from the grave as possible.” Mark Johnson

“The internet can be characterised as random acts of kindness by geeky strangers.” Jonathan Zittrain

“Work places and institutions are preventing our efforts to use technology to create greater intimacy between ourselves.” Stefana Broadbent

“What’s wrong with placebo’s? They have very few side effects and most of those are purely imaginary.” Rory Sutherland

“As an adman, I think of saving as consumerism needlessly postponed.” Rory Sutherland

“Bio-diversity is collapsing, mass extinction is taking place in our fiels without anyone noticing. You don’t look a corn seed in the eye, as you might a panda bear, but we still need seedbanks.” Cory Fowler

“Leaving something unfinished makes it incomplete and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth.” 14th Century Japanese essay on idleness quoted by Marcus Du Santoy

“Some stars have swallowed their planets.” Garik Israelian

“People could stroll and get their learn on. People could come to this sidewalk garden and chillax.” Candy Chang

“What do scientists do if paradigms fail? They carry on as nothing had happened, saying yes I know it’s wrong, but if it were right…?” Elaine Morgan

“African students study under streetlights at the aiport because they have no electricity at home.” Paul Romer

“3% of arable land is taken up by the world’s current cities inhabited by 3bn people.” Paul Romer

“80% of traded food is controlled by 5 multinational companies.” Carolyn Steel

“40 cities represent 90% of the world’s wealth.” Parag Khanna

“Dry areas cover over 1/3rd of the earth’s surface.” Magnus Larsson

“In India, 62% of all injections given are unsafe.” Mark Koska

“90% of the feature requests for features in Word – are already in Word.” Aza Raskin

“Organised crime represents 15% of global GDP.” Misha Glenny

“40bn batteries are disposed of every year.” Eric Giler

“Only 3% of GDP is invested in technology R&D annually” Geoff Mulgan

“Life is a series of things you’re not quite ready for.” Rob Hopkins

“Design is a priesthood wearing black polo neck sweaters and designer glasses. Design is too important to be left to designers.” Tim Brown

“I wanted to know what had turned my best friend into a terrorist and why she had not tried to recruit me.” Lorreta Napoleoni

“The music makes my therapy, I have no advisor, no one to talk to, music helps my imagination.” Emmanuel Jal

“To change the world, using no resources, use music.” Ross Lovegrove

“Tritium is bred from lithium, using the neutron.” Steve Cowley

“In ballooning we understand that winds, at different altitudes,  blow in different directions. So in life, if we want to change direction, we need to reach different levels and to do this we have to throw things overboard, we have to get rid of a lot of ballast, certainties, dogmas, paradigms.” Bertrand Piccard

“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.” Winston Churchill quoted by Richard Bernstein

“Always take ‘no’ as a question not an answer.” aphorism quoted by Geoff Mulgan

“We are here on earth to help others, what on earth the other are here for I have no idea.” John Lloyd quoting W H Auden

“Ice is the canary in the global coal mine.” James Balog

“If we refuse a single story and know that there are many stories, then we regain a kind of paradise.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Roman military expeditions were just one long shopping spree really.” Carolyn Steel

“Architecture is retrofitting the world to our needs.” Bjarke Ingels

“There is a severe mismatch between what science knows and what business does.” Daniel Pink

“The musical work is in your head, conductors are building the roller coaster with sound as the orchestra plays.” Itay Talgam

“We are doing nothing, because we want to see what is the inner point of all the difference.”  Brother Paulus Terwitte

Quotes from TED 2009

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished – that is the beginning.”

Juan Enriquez quoting Louis L’Amour

“Is it our machines or is it us that are wired for war?”

P W Singer on military robots

“Oh how’s your economy falling apart? Oh Ok, that a little different from how mine is!”

Bill Gates reporting on conversations this year at Davos

“English was the language of colonists but it has become the language of entrepreneurship.”

Nandan Nilekani on India growth

“Leaders are heretics not sleepwalkers.”

Seth Godin on creating tribes

“Follow the speed of the animals to understand how they live.”

Jacques Perrin on the making of his movie Oceans

“All of us has the exact same percentage of salt in our blood as does the water in the ocean. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.”

Jacques Perrin quoting JFK

“It’s too late to be pessimistic – we are all part of the solution.”

Yann Arthus-Bertrand – photographer and film-maker

“Seeing with the brain is often called imagination.”

Oliver Sacks

“We have built the Allo Sphere – a three story high sphere in a building – visualisation as virtual reality.”

Joann KucheraMorin – University of Santa Barbara

“All seagulls look as if they’re called Emma.”

Christian Morgenstern quoted by Golan Levin

“To those who have to go without two meals a day, God can only appear as bread.”

Mahatma Ghandi quoted by Louise Fresco

“American poet, Ruth Stone, perceived her poems as storms rolling across the landscape towards her and if she caught one she could write it down. But if she missed it, it would barrel on through the landscape until it found another poet who could capture it.”

Elizabeth Gilbert – novelist

“It is now possible to conceive a child who is to be borne two hundred years from now.”

Juan Enriquez

“Between stability and instability, in every public space, there is a desire to communicate something that is memorable.”

Daniel Libeskind

“It is important to remember that we are not at the pinnacle of our own evolution.”

Jill Tarter

“This is a nightmare, which will pass away with the morning. For the resources of nature and men’s devices are just as fertile and productive as they were. The rate of our progress towards solving the material problems of life is not less rapid. We are as capable as before of affording for everyone a high standard of life…and will soon learn to afford a standard higher still. We were not previously deceived. But to-day we have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand. The result is that our possibilities of wealth may run to waste for a time—perhaps for a long time.”

John Maynard Keynes from his essay The Big Slump, 1930 quoted at TED by Chris Anderson.

“Larger markets increase the incentive to produce new ideas.”

Nate Silver – economist

“When people say that’s impossible, they’re confused because by impossible they simply mean they don’t know to do that yet.”

Bruce Buenode Mesquita

“Wisdom is moral jazz.”

Barry Schwartz

“We must not just ask is it profitable, we must also ask is it right?”

Barak Obama quoted by Barry Schwartz

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.

Thomas Jefferson quoted by Liz Coleman