You must not throw up at the Dojo

Izumi IM’ed me at work today:

izumikennedy: we have to come back from Aikido, tyler throw up, he cough too much.
red pile carpet: oh no
red pile carpet: is he ok now?
izumikennedy: he is fine , before class start
he was showing off to one of class mate about aikido and then he got
too excited. and he started to cough.
red pile carpet: poor guy, at least he’s excited about akido

Tyler needs to learn humility and respect. Less fidgeting, more attention.

This reminds me of the time my father was learning kyudo, the art of Japanese archery. For weeks he dutifully went to the dojo to practice and the sensei said that he would first need to practice his form with an old piece of rubber surgical tubing. He would stretch out the rubber as if pulling back a bow, then release and it to make this horrible, ungainly sound, phwap!!

It was so crude and clownish compared to the other archers who looked so graceful, releasing their arrows and having them sail the length of the gallery towards their targets. Each week Dad looked over at the others, longing for the day when he could try a real bow and each week, it was back to the surgical tubing. Stretch, aim, phwap! Stretch, aim, phwap! It was like practicing a crude form of scales. He had to practice in the corner, away from the others because the phwapping was distracting to the others, like loud farting.

After several weeks of this, sensei came over in the middle of his phwapping and gave my father an old bow. My father was told it was time to move up to practicing with an empty bow. Still no arrows but at least he had moved on from the surgical tubing. Barely able to repress his glee, he grasped the bow and joined the others in front of the gallery. He drew back, true to form, took aim, and zing the bowstring whizzed past his face and hooked his glasses and flung them a good twenty feet out into the gallery!

Sensei barked out for everyone to halt their practice and, through tightly pursed lips, hissed to my father to go fetch his glasses. When he scampered back to pick up the bow, sensei shook his head slowly, took the bow back and handed my father the limp old surgical tubing. It was back to the corner, for more stretch, aim, phwap! takes on mainstream media investors, the automated news aggregation service, has taken on investment from Knight-Ridder, Gannett, and the Tribune Co. The idea is to gain some financial backing to grow the service but also to gain access to content from media companies that they were negotiating with anyway. I think each of these companies look at Topix as a distribution channel which is a wonderful validation of this business model of having third parties re-package snippets of content for ad-supported redistribution.

Remaining editorially independent is key and there are assurances from Topix that they will remain so. I guess I feel much better that it’s a triumvirate each owning 25% of Topix and not a single media entity. The will need to learn to share.


Yahoo Generates Buzz

The folks over at Yahoo Research have teamed up with O’Reilly and Newsfutures to run a simulated stock market, Buzz Game, where players can buy and sell companies, technologies, and other memes on an open market. You get a virtual $10k to start and the players with the most in their portfolio by the end of July get actual prizes.

I just bought a bunch of stuff and already I’m down to $8k in less than 30 minutes which doesn’t bode well.