Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekend Getaway in Weymouth

Taking advantage of South West Train's midsummer promotion, Nick and I ventured out to Weymouth, the perfect weekend destination for families and couples seeking a quaint seaside getaway not too overly crowded with tourists, e.g. Bournemouth's Dorset Beach (pictured below)

Note: People are pictured in the photo (above) NOT pebbles!

Bournemouth supremacy: Wave upon wave of visitors pack on to the Dorset beach,
creating an image that could be used to make the world’s trickiest jigsaw puzzle.

- Photo and caption courtesy of

As summer nears its end, I was desperate to bury my feet under a sandy beach whilst soaking in the warmth from the sun and breathing in some fresh ocean air!

Aside from fish and chips sold at every corner, my
only disappointment was the lack of seafood dishes. We searched far and wide visiting several establishments in Weymouth for restaurants that had mussels on the menu. We finally came across a rinky dink pub on Westwey Road that had mussels and frites on the menu, but as expected the quality was poor and the service was rubbish.

Westwey Road - the pub that sold mussels and frites is located onthis road, across Westham Bridge.

Our big night out in Weymouth consisted of basketball and air hockey at the arcade, a couple of drinks (happy hour special - any drink for £2.50 - proceed with caution!) at Dolce Vita, five games of pool at The Rendezvous, two games of Jenga, and to top it all off, we ended up groovin' on the dance floor before calling it a night! Not bad for a small seaside town eh?

I'm proud to report that I was victorious in Jenga, air hockey and basketball,
but won only one game of pool due to default. Nick prematurely shot the eight ball into a pocket.

Before leaving Weymouth, we stopped at a souvenir shop and bought a rock, which is a type of hard stick-shaped (cylindrical) sugar confectionary commonly sold at seaside towns in the UK. Can't say we have anything like this in my hometown - San Diego, CA. You can read everything you ever wanted to know about seaside rock here. Caution, may contain too much excitement for one person.

My only regret was not making enough time to visit Chesil Beach or Hamm Beach, which are located at the centre of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.

I guess that just means I have to plan another trip back to Weymouth...not a bad idea indeed!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Skyride: Cycling in Hounslow on a Beautiful Sunday

I couldn't have imagined a more perfect day for a 10K bike ride in Hounslow - clear blue skies, support from local residents and businesses, and the sun stayed with us throughout the entire day!

My last experience with a bike at Richmond Park left me with scrapes and bruises, but I decided to suck it up and give cycling another go! Not being too keen on cycling in the streets, the Mayor of London's Skyride Hounslow route was perfect for cyclists intimidated by busy streets (like myself) because the 10K route was open and free from traffic from 11am to 4pm. It was the second in Skyride's series of five mass participation cycling events taking place this summer, following Skyride Manchester on 2 August and ahead of the central London event on Sunday 20 September, formerly known as the London Freewheel.

It was a nice and easy route, not too difficult except for one moderately steep hill on Wood Lane. I enjoyed the route so much, I did it three times! (And then enjoyed a Kit-Kat chocolate bar of course)

Highlights of the route included:

* Osterley Park House, a wonderful Grade 1 listed mansion, with its beautiful woodland area
* Spring Grove and Riverside Conservation Areas
* Syon House, a 'four-square' mansion built around 1550
* Isleworth's historic wharf

This Skyrider (above) motivated cyclists for hours on out! He somehow managed to maintain the same level of energy throughout the day --- believe me, he was quite the entertainer!

Check it out! Even the Mayor of London is on Twitter!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Did You Know? Watch this Video - Stats That Will Guarantee to Make Your Jaw Drop!

If you haven't already watched this video, watch it NOW! I promise you will be shocked with the incredible and frightening statistics. It's been out since October 2008, so I'm sure some of you have already seen what can I say except S-O-R-R-Y for posting it now! It's worth a replay in my opinion. I still think it's relevant and should be shared, discussed and redistributed all over again!

Did You Know?
  • If you're one in a million in China, there are 1,300 people just like you.
  • China will soon become the number one English speaking country in the world.
  • The 25% of India's population with the highest IQs is greater than the population of the United States.
  • California uses more gas than China
  • The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.
  • Schools are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that haven't been invented in order to solve problems that we don't even know exist.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today's learner will have 10-14 jobs by the age of 38.
  • 1 in 4 workers has been with their current employer for less than a year; 1 in 2 has been there for less than five years.
  • 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met online.
  • There are more than 200 million registered users on MySpace. So, if MySpace were a country, it would be the fifth largest in the world (behind Indonesia, ahead of Brazil).
  • The #1 ranked country in broadband Internet penetration is Bermuda. The U.S. ranks 19th. Japan is #22.
  • There are 31 billion searches on Google every month. In 2006, this number was 2.7 Billion.
  • The first commercial text message was sent in December 1992. Today, the number of text messages sent and received each day exceeds the total population of the planet.
  • Years it took to reach a market audience of 50 million: radio - 38 Years, TV - 13 Years, the Internet - 4 Years, iPod - 3 Years, Facebook - 2 Years
  • The number of Internet devices in 1984 was 1,000. The number of Internet devices in 1992 was 1,000,000. The number of Internet devices in 2008 was 1,000,000,000.
  • There are about 540,000 words in the English language, about five times as many as there were in Shakespeare's time.
  • Estimates say that a week's worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th Century.
  • It's estimated that 4 exabytes (4.0x10^19) of unique information will be generated this year. That's more info than was produced during the previous 5,000 years.
  • NTT Japan has successfully tested a fiber optic cable that pushes 14 trillion bits per second down a single strand of fiber. That's 2,660 CDs or 210 million phone calls per second. Those figures are currently tripling every six months and are expected to do so for the next 20 years.
  • By 2013, a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computational capabilities of the human brain. Predictions are that by 2049, a $1000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the entire human species.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Get a Glimpse of How People in Your Demo are Using the Internet

Forrester Research developed a fun little tool (see below) to help marketers determine what kind of relationship they want to build with YOU (consumers), based on what you are ready for.

Just for fun, I plugged in my information to see how other people in my demographic use social media.

Customer Profile (2008 data results)

Social Technographics classifies people according to how they use social media, including inactives, spectators, joiners, collectors, critics and creators. Click here for a simple description of each classification.

Here are the result:

It looks like I belong to 5 out of 6 different levels classified by Forrester. Overlap may occur since we may choose to read blogs and join a social network. I provided examples of how I belong to each classification in parentheses to the right.

The Social Technographics for U.S. Women from ages 25-34 is listed below:

27% Creators (Blog, Twitter, YouTube)
40% Critics (Yelp, Trip Advisor)
21% Collectors (Delicious, Digg, RSS)
52% Joiners (Facebook, Linkedin, Meetup, MySpace, etc.)
72% Spectators (Read blogs, listen to podcasts, read customer reviews)
18% Inactives

Just as I suspected, people in my demographic are mostly spectators and a little more than half are joiners. To my surprise, 18% are inactives?! That is shocking, I thought everyone was on some sort of social network!

Plug in your profile and see where you stack up!