Sunday, 29 April 2012

#frifotos: Pools

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Olympic Exposure!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

A Euro for Your Principles?

Tulip Mania!
One of the more sinister ideas to come out of the eurozone debt crisis is the idea that euro membership is not an unambiguous good for the countries involved, but something that has a cost that must be borne.

Prior to Greece receiving its second bailout, for instance, political leaders said "(w)e must accept the terms of this bailout, regardless of the cost to Greece, or we risk being kicked out the euro!"
This makes me wonder what it is about remaining in the euro that national leaders find so crucial, even if it’s not in the economic best interests of their citizens. This is especially pertinent because Spain finds itself in exactly the same boat at present. It would arguably be easier for Spain to abandon the euro and readopt the peseta, rather than attempt the excruciating internal devaluation it is now embarking upon. 

So why not do it? I have a couple of ideas:

1. It would violate the post-war consensus.

Since World War II, the nations of Europe have agreed to ever-greater integration, to ensure that the same calamities of 1939-45 never occur again. So when Europe faces a problem, More Europe is the basic principle upon which leaders act. To violate that would be to throw away more than six decades of cooperation (of course, Britain is the exception to the rule).

2. It is politically impossible.  

During the negotiations for the second Greek bailout, I had the impression that Greek leaders didn't in the least like what they were being asked to do to their country, but that international political pressure obliged them.

At one point, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy flew into Athens to negotiate with bondholders to make them accept losses on their bonds. How’s that for an incentive?

Of course, for me at least, historical and political obligations do not make square pegs fit into round holes. To the extent that national leaders continue to argue that euro membership is in their best interests, at almost whatever cost, I consider that a betrayal of the peoples of Europe.

What do you think? Should Europe continue with the euro project? Or is it time to admit the experiment has failed and recommission individual national currencies?

Peter Lavelle
at foreign exchange specialists
(Guest blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of doshebu.)  

Friday, 20 April 2012

Everybody Comes to Rick's ...

In Casablanca, Victor Laszlo never orders the same drink. The quintessential antihero, Rick, never orders a different drink!

When you travel abroad you will be invited to many events with people from different countries. Like Victor Laszlo, you might want to play the part of the consummate diplomat and drink what your host would drink. Rick, by his drink choices, tells the story about his character and allegiance: a simple man, a patriot in his own way.

Global ingredients
On an international assignment you need to learn when to copy your host and when to present your culture and personal choices. Like a third-culture kid you need to blend. 

What Can a Cocktail Book Teach You About Blending Cultures?

Cocktails are our way of breaking bread. Our new book, Alias Nick and Nora's Homestyle Cocktails, is an expression of our life experiences and structured in a way that makes our multicultural backgrounds global. 

The book uses the universal groupings of wine, spirits and beer to make local lore global. It is enables us to include different life experiences in a group without obscuring the unique places and people that inspired us to write.  

How Can I Apply This In My Business?

When you are establishing a global structure in your company, look for the universal groupings that enable you to create a global structure without destroying or replacing the local cultures in each of the countries that you operate in. Often, because of the differences in relative power between operations, globalisation means international subsidiaries operate the way the parent company wants. Your structure needs to empower difference to create global growth.

Related Links

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Happy Tartan Week

"It is not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom"  

Mike Ogletree sings 'A Man's A Man For A' That'

Do The Scots Want Independence?

This isn't the first time the Scots have been asked this question. Last time the majority voted for independence, but the condition of the referendum was that 40% of the population had to want it and as a proportion of the people who voted only 32.9% said yes. Scotland remained a part of the UK. 

The next referendum (autumn of 2014) will ask again if Scots want independence and implicitly ask them to decide on their system of government. If you are Scottish, you can participate in the consultation.

I'm Giving 'Er All She's Got Captain!

The new vote for independence has restarted the conversation about the viability of Scotland. There are myths and half truths being told. Here are some of my favorite ideas, but which is truth and which is myth?
  • The Dorian project (site of the Panama Canal), which financially ruined the Scottish nobles and led to their bailout by England and the Act of Union, isn't an example of English superiority over the Scots. The English, after sabotaging the Suez Canal, eventually purchased it from Egypt under the same circumstances, sold at a discount because of economic necessity. Not exactly their finest hour!
  • Scotland has some underdeveloped industry. The Roslin Institute and the Centre for Regenerative Medicine are world leaders in the field of cell research. 
  • There is no shortage of water in Scotland, but there is around the world.
  • Scottish Whiskey seems to be one of the most profitable exports in the world! Forward-looking Scots worried about opening a new market have started to test distillation in space.
  • Andrew Carnegie, once the world's richest man, thought that an alliance with America was better than being a member of Europe. Could Scotland apply to be an America state?
There are large differences in the values and character of the English and Scottish people that mean that the people of England and Scotland have always questioned the Union. Devolution has created a resurgence of English nationalism and the English are asking why they are the only country in the UK that doesn't have its own parliament. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Around the World in ??? Cocktails!

After our global cocktail adventures we like to take it easy at home with simple drinks. This is the book that helps you use techniques from great bartenders and local recipe from our travels to make great, simple drinks at home (homestyle cocktails).

Alias Nick and Nora's Homestyle Cocktails by Sharon Lorimer and Kim Khan | Make Your Own Book

The front cover was taken from a shoot in London for MSN City Guides. Check out my gallery of the shoot for pictures of the best bartenders in London showing off
their skills. 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

March #globalhub: Superstition

Superstitions are different around the world. There are superstitions about black cats, voodoo rituals, and talisman's associated with different cultures and beliefs.

The #globalhub conversation starts at 4.00pm EST today @globalhub1. Here are the questions:

What is the most interesting superstition you've heard?
Friggatriskaidekaphobia! Fear of Friday the 13th. What day and number is a bad omen in your culture?
Where are you most superstitious? (Flight, Sporting Event, Wedding?)
What's your favorite movie about superstition?
Do you wear a talisman or carry a lucky piece from another culture?
Which sport is the most superstitious in your culture?

#frifoto Theme: Color