Friday, July 21, 2006

"Coin-Operated Boy" by The Dresden Dolls

Most people who know me have had to endure my fascination with the Dresden Dolls. They have been described as "Brechtian Punk Cabaret," and I think this video has a lot to do with that. Music videos have long been an unappreciated art form. The Dresden Dolls have really leveraged the visual aspect of their work to create some very entertaining material. I will post the more vitriolic "Girl Anachronism" next.

Urban Population Growth Map

A very slick, fascinating and eye-opening map of world population growth from 1955 projected through 2015:

BBC Interactive World Urbanization Map

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Acton Experience

I haven't been posting my work in a while.  Not because I haven't been working, I assure you.  The load is really starting to ratchet up.  Each week's assignment is taking me about 10 - 15 hours to complete.  On top of a full work load.  Ouch.  Here's a sample from Week 4:

The Goal 
Here's a novel idea: take a cutting edge economic concept called The Theory of Constraints and write a novel about it.  It's just crazy enough that it works.  A manager turns his factory around, saves his marriage and home life and throws out a bunch of management dogma in the process.  It's a quick read and the fact that it's written as a novel makes it far more interesting than a typical b-school textbook.  Virtually any process that creates a product could benefit from Eliyahu Goldratt's ideas.
Processes 101: Introduction
This is the first wave in introducing the ideas behind processes, essentially a discrete set of activities that can be both illustrated and quantified.

Processes 101: Variability, Quality and Process Types
This note introduces statistical variability and the different process types.  Far more interesting than you might think.

Operations Problem Set
Finally, we get a chance to cut our teeth on a few simple processes.  The assignment is to diagram and optimize the following: table manufacturing, running a dishwashing operation and an assembly line for baking cookies.