To Be You, or Not Be You?

selfie 2

OK PersonaAPP, what would you suggest I become today?
Yes, this is the latest personality modification tool that anyone over 18 years of age can easily access from the App Store, for a remarkably reasonable fee.

So how does this rather spiffy technology work? Well, without boring you with all the rather complicated and quite technical details, let’s focus on how you can use it to your advantage in both your personal and corporate life.

Step 1:
Once downloaded, open the PersonaAPP on your mobile phone. Please tick the box stating that you agree, and fully understand the plethora of T&Cs regarding the unscrupulous behaviour that you are about to voluntarily undertake via the use of this technology. If you are worried about the potential consequences, relax, because all your friends are also deviously using it without any moralistic second thoughts!

Step 2:
Take an honest photograph of your face with all visual enhancements completely removed. This means no make-up, glasses or monocles. For best results, men (and some women) should have a shaven face. Those with false teeth, it doesn’t matter if you leave them in or out as the clever PersonaAPP does make some allowances.

Step 3:
The PersonaAPP will now require you to truthfully answer some pertinent questions regarding yourself, and your personal objectives for at least the next 3 hours. Why the 3 hour time period? Well, the Melbourne university researchers that developed PersonaAPP determined that an individual tends to change their outlook, and short term expectations on life in 3 hourly time blocks. That’s why paragraph 4.3.2 in the T&Cs recommends that the user refreshes their photograph every 3 hours as your appearance will most likely have changed, or become a bit scruffy.

In your confidential user profile section, you can record private information about your age, sex, sexual preference, height, weight, Myers-Briggs personality profile, whether you like soy milk chai lattes with honey, wearing kilts and eating kippers for breakfast. You will then be asked about how you want to be perceived by those that you interact with in the next 3 hours, if they will be predominately male or female, their approximate age,  and the meeting environment. Yes, authentic answers are required, otherwise the results will be skewed erroneously.

Step 4:
Now press the red Persona Modification button and immediately your calculated optimum profile will be shown on your phone. Your photograph will now be stylishly photo-shopped indicating how you should comb your hair, apply make-up, add/remove blemishes, the style and colour of the monocle or spectacles that truly complements your face, hair/wig colour and length, or which razor blade is best for total head shaving. A suggestion of clothing will also be provided with images so you can fully look the part. Yes, don’t worry, instructions are even included on how to tie a bow tie!

But wait, there is indeed more. Another brilliant feature of the PersonaAPP is the vocabulary and accent recommendation suggester where a collection of cunning, and particularly intriguing, words and phrases are provided for you to nonchalantly utilise during your meeting. However, a word of caution regarding the use of an accent, once you start using it, you need to have the confidence to maintain the facade for at least 3 hours, otherwise you may not be viewed as you intended.

Yes, with PersonaAPP you will obtain the ideal persona that you are searching for that will make you irresistibly appealing to those that you meet in the next 3 hour time period. Relax, because with PersonaAPP you can reset your personality for the following 3 hours, and for each hour, every day. Yes, you can be a chameleon for the rest of your life with PersonaAPP should you want to, as can all your acquaintances who may also be using it, so all your relationships could be happily false, but then again, who would know?

But, remember to make sure that your phone if fully charged, otherwise you will need to be the natural you, and who knows what might prevail in that situation?

Should it be Short, or Long?


There is a question that has been frustrating both women and men for years, that being, what is the perfect length? Should it be short, or long? After extensive academic research, it appears that the simple answer is, it depends entirely on how you feel at a particular point in time.

In 1926, the economist George Taylor at the Wharton School of Business developed the Hemline Index after he noticed a connection between economic prosperity and short skirts. The shorter the skirt, the higher the Index.

A soon to be world renowned Director of Thought Creation developed The Suit Trouser Length Creativity Index that purported a direct correlation with an individual’s innovation tendencies, that being, the greater the distance between the trouser cuff and their shoes, the higher the creativity.

Following years of Gaelic research, a lesser-known historian from Glasgow University found a similar link between kilt length and the courage exhibited by a Scotsman in battle. Apparently, the shorter the kilt, the greater number of thistle scratches which stimulated the wearer’s shouting and running ability.

Utilising all this extensive research, including many additional and worthy obscure publications, The House of Cloth is pleased to announce the AppCloth.

Yes, the AppCloth is now available for those discerning fashion wearers that want to match their daily creativity mood with their personal designer clothing selections. Through the use of a patented, and very clever biometric length analyser linked to the wearer’s iPhone, the AppCloth calculates how the individual is feeling. If the feedback signal received is a tad sluggish, well, this immediately indicates that the user may be experiencing a potentially low ideation day. To overcome this negativity, AppCloth would suggest that clothing be worn to stimulate the wearer’s innovation, that being a short skirt, short length trousers, or a mini-kilt.

Alternatively, if the AppCloth receives a signal that indicates an extreme state of hyperactivity, then a full-length clothing attire would be suggested to counteract potential severe embarrassment, just in case something a little too short be worn.

As with all new fashion disruptive innovative inventions, the individual does have the option to completely ignore any clothing recommendations, but please carefully read AppCloth’s short, twenty page, font 6, disclaimer, so you fully understand your rights as a consumer.

For more information on AppCloth, please go to the App Store, or your favourite and well trusted clothing department’s website.

The Eyes of Electronic Stimulation


The E-mail designated “High Priority” in large red font from the HSE Director arrived in my Inbox at exactly 5 PM. It advised all employees that tomorrow was going to be an “Electronic Free Day”. I, and my fellow work colleagues, read the following safety directive as stipulated with keen interest.

Attention All Staff,

Owing to a dramatic increase in the number of deteriorating eyesight complaints derived from employee’s continually using work computers, iPhones, iPads and other electronic visual stimulators, we have been advised by our insurance underwriters that we have now reached the maximum number of optical claims allowed for this year.

As such, we have decided to mitigate this corporate eyeball risk by announcing that every Wednesday will now be deemed an “Electronic Free Day” (EFD), commencing tomorrow.

The IT department has been advised to implement an unconditional electricity supply freeze on all computer assets which will be effective between the hours of 8 AM to 5 PM.

When arriving at work, please place all personal smartphone devices, tablets, kindles, and other such like into the nominated collection baskets as advised by the Safety Wardens. Any refusal will result in immediate dismissal.

At your workstation, each employee will be greeted with a pen (complete with ink), writing paper (devoid of any words) that are to be used to capture any creative thoughts that may be generated during the work day. For those staff that may have forgotten how to use these work implements, a special tutorial has been scheduled in the auditorium at 9 AM.

On your desk, you will also find a personalised information sheet that provides some suggested finger exercises to ensure that no repetitive strain injuries (RSI) occur, please take a moment to familiarise yourself with the movements.

We value your eye safety, particularly as it will reduce our insurance premiums.

The management team thanks you for your understanding and optical conformance, so together, our business future will be visually bright.


HSE Director

You have Changed!


Yes, my friends were right, it was just like “Dorian Gray”, I had changed. To confirm their thoughts, I decided to review images of myself over the past few months, just to see if there were any visual signs.

I perused Facebook and a multitude of iPhone images and aligned them in chronological date order hoping to find a clue. I quizzed my friends as to what differences they were observing in me, in particular, when they thought the change may have occurred? I needed to discover my behavioural tipping point and it’s potential origin.

I spend the whole night pondering my notes, looking at photographs and at 11:34 PM that evening, I noticed it.

The initial change was subtle, but the time comparison between then and now was momentous. Yes, I had changed, and in a big way.

I was now a much more confident, outgoing individual, with a continual smile on my face. My business attire of the traditional and conservative dark blue suit with white shirt, and boring striped tie, had been replaced with a stylish array of coloured shirts with cuff-linked sleeves, bow-ties, pocket hankies, and an impressive daily shaved smooth slick head.

The point zero appeared to coincide when I began working for a new company, one that had an amazingly vibrant work ethic and culture. As a pondered and thought about this further, the term “cultural chemicalization” came to mind. For those of who reading this blog post let me explain the concept further.

If I were to look up the term “cultural chemicalization” in a dictionary, it would say: “the subconscious absorption (or chemicalization) of an organization’s culture by an employee where a change in behavioural state occurs”.

Yes, I had subconsciously, and quite happily I must admit, absorbed the positive culture of my new place of work, and the more I thought about it, so had all my fellow colleagues. The result was an amazing environment where creativity and innovation excelled to the fullest.

The process of “cultural chemicalization” begins with the CEO and the Executive Team. It is their behaviour that sets the benchmark for all employees and those they meet externally. As that saying goes, “what you see is what you get”. As an employee, if you observe a positive, enthusiastic management team, you and your organization will respond accordingly. If you see “nothing”, then that’s exactly what you will receive and experience.

Yes, my friends were right, I had changed, and I was loving it!

Taking Your Brand to New Promotional Heights


According to my trusted meteorological iPhone app, the timing looked just right. It was 2:04 PM and by my reckoning, the clouds were at the optimum “Genus Cumulus” appearance so I should achieve the desired picture “hang time distribution” before the visual sight was dispersed by the wind. My calculations indicated that I should have about 10 minutes to brand my customised CV message to the population of New York.

I quickly glanced once again on how my image and brief professional experience synopsis looked on the “LinkedIn Cloud Projector” in preview mode, yes it all looked good. I was hoping that the QR code would come through with the right definitional clarity so potential business prospects could scan my profile details with ease. My only concern was the timing of the 2:05 PM supersonic Virgin Atlantic flight from London to New York as it could cause some cloud turbulence when it commences its gradual decent into JFK airport, but that’s one of the risks associated with personal cloud advertising these days.

OK, it was now time to press the Cloud Projector button and start the process. Immediately a thirty square kilometre coloured, and rather snazzy image of myself was beamed skywards with vibrant intensity. I was also pleased that I had spent the extra dollars on the additional promotional advertising, as suggested by the LinkedIn sales agent, as the large sonic boom with the accompanying missile explosion at 2000 feet above the New York skyline appeared to have caught the upwards attention of the New York crowds particularly nicely.

I smirked with some personal pride as my large handsome face (well, I thought so anyway) beamed across from above, that was, until that pesky Virgin Atlantic flight descended through my left nostril. However, I was relieved, as the QR code seemed to remain intact. For the next few minutes I watched as my portrait hovered quietly above New York until some high level winds decided to take one ear in the direction of Newark, the other towards Brooklyn. A few minutes later I had vanished into the upper atmosphere, except for my left eye, which remained with a look of naughtiness down on the city, then, with a final momentary wink, that also eventually disappeared.

Suddenly, I was awakened from my feeling of self-righteousness by the continual interruption of text messages on my phone. Yep, it appears that the “LinkedIn Cloud Projector” advertisement had worked! However, when the forty-first text message arrived, I was immediately brought back to reality, it was the LinkedIn invoice. Oh well, I suppose that’s the price of corporate fame!

The Discovery of the “Homo Game-ien”

Historical archaeology excavations at the old Champoeg townsite, Champoeg State Park, Oregon (USA) 1974

From the lofty height of the lectern in the famous ballroom of the Grand Venus Hotel, although partially dazzled by the lights that illuminated the stage where I nervously stood, I smirked as I perused the vast audience of my fellow archaeologists.

The year was 4015, and I, a Professor at the galaxy renowned University of Pluto, was about to give a speech on my department’s recent archaeological dig in a remote part of an ancient civilization on the plant Earth.

“Ladies, Gentlemen and other socially acceptable, but yet to be officially classified life forms, welcome to this galaxy shattering presentation on the discovery of the missing link that has been troubling archaeologists, sociologists, scientists, marketers, and retailers for many millenniums. Yes, we believe we have unearthed the remains of a “Homo Game-ien.” To which, the audience erupted into spontaneous applause and enthusiastic cheers of delight!

“Whilst on a geological survey in the ancient city that the locals of that time called “Melbourne”, although we were initially searching for the rare metal deposits typically found in years of accumulated and discarded iPads, iPhones, xBoxs and PlayStations, we made a totally unexpected discovery. Yes, that was the body of a “Homo Game-ien”.

The body was remarkably well preserved. A post mortem analysis indicated high chemical levels of McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Subway and other food substitutes, all of which would have ensured that the body remained in perfect condition for at least another two thousand years.

The body was male, and a dental analysis highlighted minimal wear on the teeth, probably owing to no real meat being consumed, only meat in a minced form (aka “ham-burger”) which we believe was a staple form of protein around that time.

We have named the body “Vans” owing to the name being evident on numerous articles of clothing worn by the individual. We can only surmise that wearing clothing with your name on it was a form of communication between other males of that time period. This is also based on the large number of archaic and rather primitive electronic games surrounding the body that would have hindered actual audible dialogue.

“Van” was also rather obese. This might be due to the copious number of food substitutes with exceptionally high sugar and chemical content (now banned in our society) that were found in close proximity to the body. These chemically rich food sources appear to have been sealed in an oil based plastic substrate to ensure a shelf-life of at least seven “Van” lifetimes.

An interesting and most unusual observation was the lack of fingerprint definition on “Van’s” thumb and index fingers that was mirrored on both hands. We are still trying to understand the cause of this effect, but we did find a black object in his hands with the words “Controller” branded on it, which is the subject of further investigation.

Unfortunately, that is all the information that “Van” was able to provide us. The answer as to why the “Homo Game-ien” became extinct we do not know, but the lack of social interaction with their fellow “Homo Sapiens”, particularly those that were female, that freely roamed that part of the Earth, might be a strong contributor to the cause?

Thank you for your time.”

It’s all in Your Ears!

busy Buchanan Street

Hello, yes, I’m here right next to you! If you actually paid attention to those around you, you might actually see me! Yes, I’m still here, so STOP walking into me!

I lost count of the number of times I had to say this as I walked around the Sydney CBD the other day. The culprits were a mix of women, men, children, young and old. The cause I believe was all due to having iPhone earplugs inserted deep into their ear canals so that they were all happily sojourning in their own audibly cocooned world. Now I need to fess-up here, as I am also one of these earplug scoundrels.

Now this got me thinking. How can these iPhone people collisions be avoided? After all, this is not just a problem isolated to those walking in the city, but also to wearers of earplugs in the corporate office, in the car, and on all other forms of transport involving the movement of iPhone accessorised ears.

Now let’s get back to the basics in nature, and let us consider that humble sonar equipped flying bat, also the water immersed dolphin. Simplistically, the origin of their crash avoidance success is in the use of the “ping” which measures distances via sound wave reflection. I’m sure that if an iPhone earplug was customised for bat and/or dolphin use, these poor creatures would become quite distressed and may lose all sense of their directional dignity and quickly succumb to navigational mayhem, just like us inflicted humans.

But that “ping” might just be the answer? Why not incorporate a basic sonar device into the humble iPhone? That way, the iPhone could measure person proximity and sound a warning alert when two iPhones are getting a tad too close for comfort. On thinking further, this proximity measure could also have “personalised settings” which could include distance, or some other more “creative” requirements, such as:

Tailored Ping Tags
Individuals could establish a tailored ping that tags their personality (eg their star sign, food preferences, appearance prowess, marital status, sexuality, religion, etc). When their iPhone identifies a suitable ping tagged person near them, a distinctive ping tone is heard in the ear plug alerting the owner of the potential person interaction?

Crowd Numbers
When there are a large number of people in a specific area, the result would be a high frequency of pings thereby warning the iPhone owner of the looming crowd. This would be a perfect application for those looking for a quiet location for some thinking solitude, or in selecting a restaurant for a romantic gourmet evening with a loved one, or future loved one!

You may be thinking, “What about those people who are walking around without an iPhone earplug shoved in their ears? How will this innovative crash avoidance system work for them?”

Yes, great question! One solution could be for these people to wear a “ping beacon” which could be strapped to their head, hair, clothes or potentially designed into a fashion accessory, or even moulded into a discrete tooth filling. Should that be too intrusive, then why not have a credit card with a “ping chip” that could be placed in their wallet or carried around in a pocket?

The key with this solution is to think just that little bit differently, and to turn what seems like a tricky problem at first reading into something that might just be useful in the future!

Your Very Own Personal “Sound Globe™”

Noise reduction ! the simple way !!

I re-inserted my snug fitting iPhone earplugs, quickly turned up the volume and hoped that the prevailing musical tones would assist with masking out the perpetual, and most unwelcome, office noise. On looking around the building, I noticed that the majority of my fellow workers, all had a similar array of self-imposed audio devices strategically placed within their inner ear canals with the hope of achieving that prized goal of thinking privacy.

Arhh yes, “the joys of working in an open planned office” I hear you all say with clenched teeth as you stifle the awkward exit of these words from your feigned smiling mouths!

For those of you that have the luxury of audio solitude as you sit within the contained comfort of your enclosed corporate office with a sound inhibiting door, you no longer need to feel isolated from this “joyous experience” as I have a cunning, and somewhat innovative solution, that will enable you to leave your well-guarded “den of silence” and happily re-engage with your work colleagues. I can hear your cheers of quiet approval already!

The key is in thinking differently! Rather than hindering unwanted audible sounds from entering your ears, why not stop recalcitrant and loud voices from leaving your head?

According to a “reputable and well known” materials engineering design source “close” to the author of this blog post, there will soon be a “yet to be invented” transparent, ceramic type material that has a unique combination of physical properties that include sound absorption, light weight and breathability. The material can be easily shaped to accommodate the contour of a human head and will be internationally promoted in all good retail stores under the “Sound Globe™” trademark, so all office workers will be able to readily purchase one.

Just imagine being able to purchase your own custom moulded “Sound Globe™” with the following features and benefits:

As no sound can permeate through the patented material used to construct the “Sound Globe™”, each device will have an inbuilt mobile phone transmitter so the wearer can communicate freely with the outer world. However, to those people standing next to the “Sound Globe™” wearer, no sound will be heard, the only indication of talk being the mimed mouth movements of the head within the device.

Some users of the “Sound Globe™” may not like the look of perceived baldness from the exceptionally smooth and shiny ceramic texture. To alleviate this public look, each “Sound Globe™” can be fitted with a visually pleasing externally mounted Velcro hair piece that can be obtained in a variety of fashionable lengths and stylish colours.
An additional benefit is derived for those that don’t like getting their real hair wet when walking in the rain as the “Sound Globe™” provides complete weather protection from the harshest meteorological conditions.

Air Circulation
Each “Sound Globe™” has its own inbuilt air heating and cooling system. So on those days when the office temperature may get a little bit unpleasant, relax, as that look of facial perspiration is now a thing of the past.

The “Sound Globe™” also measures facial colour change. So should you be a person who readily blushes, when this red colour is identified, the “Sound Globe™” quickly goes a solid black thereby disguising any personal embarrassment. However, should this occur, it is recommended that the wearer not move for at least 5 seconds, just in case they collide with a fellow worker owing to lack of external sight, and to ensure the requisite office HSE compliance.

The “Sound Globe™” does have a no-smoking design policy. Firstly, it will be difficult for you to place a cigarette into your mouth owing to the poor hand access to your lips. Secondly, should you manage to sneak a lit cigarette into your “Sound Globe™”. an inbuilt water spray is immediately released in order to extinguish any potential fire threat.

Of course there are many more benefits associated with this remarkable device, but I don’t want this blog post to sound too much like a product advertisement (as I do have a potential “conflict of interest”), so I will curtail my list to only those key ones mentioned above.

So the future of the open plan office does indeed look positive and one that ensures maximum sound productivity for all employees. Rumours are that the “Sound Globe™, will be available in the “near” future, so may I suggest that you quickly pre-order your own device to ensure that you do not miss out, and thereby avoid any personal disappointment.

Ok LinkedIn, I have a cunning idea for you!

Closeup portrait of a group of business people laughing

I am one of those people that always remembers a face, but am shocking when it comes to recalling a name. When travelling around on business, I immediately identify someone I know, and then when it comes to that all important name greeting…yes, a pregnant pause of embarrassment commonly prevails!

I, like many people, have a vast network of LinkedIn contacts that covers a range of colleagues where I live, interstate and internationally. Now this is where you need to pay attention LinkedIn….!!

What if you modified your iPhone LinkedIn App to have a GPS map that alerted you to whether one of your network contacts was near you (say within 50 metres)! If they were, a message would then be sent to you with their name, photo, role and their company. If you wanted to meet them, you could ping them with an SMS. Now wouldn’t that be great for those name forgetters like myself!

Yes, I’m sure that some of you might also be thinking that this App could also be extended to Facebook, but that’s for another type of social interaction and a plethora of other opportunities (and associated problems) springs to mind with this one!

Now, LinkedIn or Facebook, if you are going to explore this one further, don’t forget where this brilliant idea originated!

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