Bottom Line

Quotable Quotes

Here are some more gems from Laura Francis’s inspirational weekly e-newsletter, Killing It Online :


People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

Zig Ziglar, American author, salesman and motivational speaker.


Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.

– Mark Twain, author and humourist.


You may only succeed if you desire succeeding; you may only fail if you do not mind failing.

–  Philippos Syrigos, journalist and author.


All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.

– Michael John Bobak, digital artist.


Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.

– Robert Collier American author of self-help books.


Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

– Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc.


If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

– Albert Einstein, scientist and innovator.


Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

– Nathaniel Hawthorne, 19th century American novelist.


Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

– John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist and philanthropist.


When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you. 

– Lolly Daskal, founder of Lead From Within.


The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.

– Bruce Feirstein, American screenwriter and humourist.


What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.

– Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright, poet and novelist.


If you're going through hell keep going.

– Winston Churchill, author, historian and British Prime Minister in World War II. 


Name blame game

THEY just keep ’em coming …clever business names never seem to go out of fashion.

A classic is an American website that has registered hundreds of brand names for different business categories and developed stylish logos for them as well. The site provides a brand name, logo, and website address as part of the package and it performs this service because, it says:

“The initial impression customers have of your business derives from the business name. It is your first opportunity to attract their attention and begin to build brand awareness for your company. The most successful businesses have easily recognizable names that customers can connect with. Let us help you select a name that is right for you and ripe with possibility.”

This innovative company’s name? BrandRoot.

Er, not sure its message is as intended in Australia.

Here is a collection of clever sand catchy business names recently spotted by Business Acumen staffers … one unfortunately in the liquidation and administration notices … that might become an opportunity for someone new.

Hunky Dorys … Irish fish and chip shop.

A Salt & Battered Fish Shop.

Sofa So Good (in liquidation).

No Yelling Driving School (pictured, from Brisbane).

Pasta La Vista Restaurant.

Smart Arts Youth Festival, Sydney.

Reel McCoys – fishing tackle shop.

Lee Kee Shipyard – Hong Kong.

Cowabunga Milk Bar.

How’re They Hanging? – picture framers

Get it India – Indian Restaurant.

Thai Phoon

Thai Tanic



Sus about stainability

THE QUESTION keeps coming up at primary schools all over the country: "What's stainability really all about?" 

Well you may ask, little fellow, a certain famed Professor Julius Sumner Miller would once have said.

Sustain. Sus, from the Latin, Sus.  Meaning: under or below. And the Latin teneo: to hold. Combined, to keep in being, or in a certain state - at a proper level or standard.

Or the Australian Sus. Meaning: a bit of a worry. And stain, meaning, well, a bit of a worry.

It is not to be confused at all with stain, from the Latin: Stainus Maximus, not unlike gluteus maximus, or bottom.

This is self explanatory.

Actually, no, this is from the ancient French distain, and also from the Latin, tingo, or dye.

Ability, then, the suffix, is quite self explanatory too. The dictionary qualifies it as ‘sufficient power' or ‘being able' from the ancient French able.

So that's sorted. Our use of the word sustainability in its modern economic and ecological sense comes directly from the ancient forms that mean below keeping in a certain state.

Or, to put an Aussie derivative on it, a bit of a worry about things getting dirty.

But enough of derivatives. That sort of argument is just not stainable. So what's it really all about?

Let's hear what the world experts have to say ...

I believe sustainable use is the greatest propaganda in wildlife conservation at the moment. -  Steve
(1961-2006), Australian self-confessed wildlife warrior.

"Future generation is the most important thing." - Confucius.

"A wise man changes his mind; a fool never will." - Spanish proverb.

"We are seeing the birth of a new perspective of the world, where ecology and economics are two sides of the same coin." - Leif Johansson, president and CEO of the Volvo Group.

"Only to the white man was nature a 'wilderness'." - Luther Standing Bear, Indian chief.

"There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew." - Marshall McLuhan, Canadian philosopher (1911-1980).

"If we use fuel to get our power, we are living on our capital and exhausting it rapidly. This method is barbarous and wantonly wasteful. A far better way would be to avail ourselves of the sun's rays." - Nikola Tesla, electricity pioneer (1856-1943).

"I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait 'til oil and coal run out before we tackle that." - Thomas Edison, American inventor and scientist.

"Out of clutter ... find simplicity. From discord . . . find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein, physicist (1879-1955).

"The future isn't what it used to be." - Arthur C. Clarke, author and futurist (1917-2008).

"A man reaps what he sows." - Galatians 6:7.

"You cannot have everything. I mean, where would you put it?" - Steven Wright, American humourist.

"Human history is a race between education and catastrophe." - H.G. Wells, author (1866-1946).


It's possible to have sustainable quotes, but is it possible to have sustainable jokes? Is it possible to have a decent set of jokes about  (sus)stainability that give you a real belly laugh?

Apparently not. If you tap green jokes or sustainability jokes or climate change jokes into Google, you get more articles complaining that there are no such jokes than you do jokes themselves.

Here's what leaders in their field have to say (well, those we have not published in Bottomline before) ...

"President Bush toured parts of Missouri that were devastated by a recent tornado. There was one awkward moment, when the President looked at the tornado damage and said, ‘Don't worry, we're going to get whoever did this'." - Jay Leno,  US talk show host.

"Clean coal is a bit like wearing a porous condom - at least the intention was there." - Robin Williams, comedian.

"I hope that Live Earth ends global warming the same way Live Aid ended world poverty." - Chris Rock, comedian.

"President Bush has a plan. He says that if we need to, we can lower the temperature dramatically just by switching from Fahrenheit to Celsius" - Jimmy Kimmel, US talk show host.


Or there's the rare and, apparently classic climate science denier series:

How many climate sceptics does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: None. It's too early to say if the lightbulb needs changing.

A: None. It's more cost-effective to live in the dark.

A: None. We only know how to screw the planet.

A: None. Eventually the lightbulbs will right themselves.

A rollicking set, that ...

Which begs the real question about climate science - why is it so difficult to laugh at? In other precarious situations - such as wars, race and religious differences - we humans seem to be able to get some real belly laughs going, to break the ice.

Should anyone suggest that the polar bears are going for a swim to break the ice over global warming, we are unlikely to be greeted with enormous jocularity.

Even a few of the kids jokes - like ‘Why are we catching hardly any fish these days? Global worming ...' and ‘What did the one tornado say to the other? Let's twist again like we did last summer.' And, Before you snowboard down that hill, you must first CLIMATE.' - are so PC-laced they are unlikely to make the school yard ever again.

In fact, the biggest problem facing the entire climate change and sustainability movement could be the unsustainability of its jokes.



Political end ever?

BOTTOMLINE: The humour stakes seem to have risen in Canberra recently, with the arrival of Tony Abbott as Federal Opposition Leader – although one of the funniest examples took place in the central Australian Outback, reported by The Australian.

Mr Abbott and a small crew on quad bikes had boldly gone where no man had gone and got lost very much before, seeking out Aboriginal sacred sites in the Watarrka country.

The crew became a little concerned as darkness began to draw over the desert and their guides had not returned to lead them back to Kings Creek station. First, a message was drafted on a satellite phone which, with neither Mr Abbott nor anyone else able to discover the space bar, became WERELOSTNEARFOSSILCREEK. This was to be sent to his press secretary in Canberra, which would have had alarming consequences save for the fact that no-one could make it transmit.

An earlier message planned to be directed to the helicopter pilot back at the station, also unable to be sent, showed quick thinking under pressure by Mr Abbott in calling for an emergency drop: “Beer, water, food and rugs. Especially beer.”



Mr Abbott has found himself labelled as ‘gaffe-prone’ in his early weeks as Opposition Leader, and he has clearly been surprised by how some of his attempts at humour have been interpreted in the media.

So it was just a few decades earlier for Hollywood actor turned California Governor, and then US President, Ronald Reagan (known affectionately in Australia – at a time of possible thermonuclear annihilation of the planet, remember – as Ronnie Ray Gun).

Yet Ronald Reagan, the man who actually did bring about the end of the Cold War with the USSR, in consort with Mikhail Gorbachev, also found his natural humour misplaced and misinterpreted consistently during his time as Leader of the Free World.

His most famous incident came prior to a broadcast to America in 1984, when the Cold War was at its deepest. For a microphone test that was recorded, he chose to say: “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.”

But, then, he could be ironic to the point of delightful honesty, such as this quip about the attitudes of government:  “The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it.”

His distaste for big government was a constant that drew regular refreshingly humorous barbs such as: “Government does not solve problems. It subsidises them.”

And this one, while President: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’.”

Along with this: “I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency – even if I’m in a Cabinet meeting.”

His self-deprecating style often worked against him, such as when the former actor was asked what kind of Governor of California he would make and he replied: “I don’t know. I’ve never played a Governor.”

Even way before environmentalism and global warming took hold among the general population of the US, he managed to infuriate the green movement by stating that “trees cause more pollution than automobiles”. He was talking about methane emissions from decaying old growth forests, compared with motor vehicle emissions controls in California. We know it, now, to be an interesting argument.

His reputation for easy delegation was not helped by his open quip: “They say hard work never hurt anybody, but, I figure, why take the chance?”

But quips about the economy were his speciality: “I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.”

Although he did have the occasional mis-spoken moment later perfected by George W. Bush: “We are trying to get unemployment to go up, and I think we’re going to succeed.”


Quotable quotes

“The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory.”

– Paul Fix, Hollywood character actor.

“Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

– Albert Einstein.

“This is like déjà vu all over again”

– American Major League baseball player, Lawrence Peter ‘Yogi’ Berra, who also famously uttered: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”



Warming to global whatever

There is way too much serious debate going on about global warming. Humour may be the best tonic, if it really is the end of the world as we know it, due to man’s inhumanity to the planet. Here is how some of the world’s funniest people are coping with it all.

American comedian, Arj Barker:

"The earth is just fine. People ... it's the sun! When I burn the toast, I don't blame the bread!"

Jay Leno, US talk show host:

"According to a survey in this week's Time magazine, 85 percent of Americans think global warming is happening. The other 15 percent work for the White House."  

"President Bush said global warming is happening much quicker than he thought, and then his staff pulled him aside and said ‘It's just springtime'."

"Climate experts say we should tell villagers in developing countries to reduce the amount of cooking smoke they generate to help fix global warming. You know, it's as if these people don't hate us enough already. I mean, they live in mud huts, they have thatch roofs, their clothes are made of straw. We pull up in a bunch of Humvees and SUVs going, ‘Hey, you want to cut the smoke out of here?'"

"According to a new UN report, the global warming outlook is much worse than originally predicted. Which is pretty bad when they originally predicted it would destroy the planet."

"Heating bills this winter are the highest they've been in five years, but President Bush has a plan to combat rising bills. It's called global warming."

"Al Gore said over the weekend that global warming is more serious than terrorism. Unless the terrorist is on your plane, then that extra half a degree doesn't bother you so much."

"Barbra Streisand told Diane Sawyer that we're in a global warming crisis, and we can expect more and more intense storms, droughts and dust bowls. But before they act, weather experts say they're still waiting to hear from Celine Dion."


David Letterman, US talk show host:

"Experts say this global warming is serious, and they are predicting now that by the year 2050, we will be out of party ice."

"President Bush says he's really going to buckle down now and fight global warming. As a matter of fact, he announced today he's sending 20,000 troops to the sun."

Conan O'Brien, US talk show host:

"President Bush told reporters he won't see Al Gore's documentary about the threat of global warming. He will not see it. On the other hand, Dick Cheney said he's seen the global warming film five times, and it still cracks him up."

"Yesterday, a group of scientists warned that because of global warming, sea levels will rise so much that parts of New Jersey will be under water. The bad news? Parts of New Jersey won't be under water."

"Governor Schwarzenegger spoke about the dangers of global warming.  Schwarzenegger's exact words were: fire, hot, bad."

Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear presenter:

"If we can push the winter so far back that by the time it comes along we're already into the spring, all should be well. To cure the common cold we simply need to get rid of its breeding season. This means producing as much carbon dioxide as possible. Yup. The cure for the common cold may well turn out to be the Range Rover."

"Recently, Boris Johnson (London Mayor) jokingly wondered what had happened to all those Trots and Bolsheviks from the 1970s. Boris, my dear chap, they never went away. And now there are many more of them, living among us, posing as normal, respectable members of the human race. It's just that they're not called Trots and Bolsheviks any more. They're called environmentalists and health and safety officers. Think about it. A single health and safety man can inflict more damage on business and industry than an army of Red Robboes. And the goals of an environmentalist far exceed the aspirations of even the most hardbitten 1970s communist."

"I'm sorry, Mr Nboto. We'd love to build a well in your village, but unfortunately Mr Porritt (Jonathon Porritt, head of the UK's Sustainable Development Commission) is spending all our money on a new type of possibly unnecessary engine that runs on saliva." ♦


Definitive definitions

Dictionary: The only place where success comes before work.

Life Insurance:
A contract that keeps you poor all your life so that you can die rich.

A person who wakes you up to give you sleeping pills.

An agreement in which a man loses his bachelor degree and a woman gains her masters.

Future tense of Marriage.

The hydraulic force by which masculine willpower is defeated by feminine waterpower.

An art of transferring information from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through the minds of either.

The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.

The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.

Conference Room:
A place where everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on.

The only place where success comes before work.

Books, which people praise, but do not read.

A curve that can set a lot of things straight.  

A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life.

The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth.

A sign or expression to make others believe that you know more than you actually do.

Individuals who can do nothing individually and sit to decide that nothing can be done together.

The name men give to their mistakes.

Atomic bomb:
An invention to end all inventions.

A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead.

A person who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.

A person who starts taking bath if he accidentally falls into a river.

A person who, while falling from Eiffel Tower, says midway, "See I am not injured yet."

A person who lives poor so that he can die rich.

A banker provided by nature.

A guy no different from the rest ...except that he got caught.

Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early.

One who shakes your hand before elections and your confidence after.

A person who kills your ills by pills - and you by bills.



Economic briefs and jockularity

IF YOU THINK the economy is not quite out of the woods yet, but things are getting better, you may just be feeling it in your jocks.

You are not alone. Millions of Americans feel the same way – although they tend to feel it in their underwear and briefs rather than jocks – as the MUI carries a lot of credence in the US.

The MUI is the Men’s Underwear Index and it even has former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan as an aficionado. He has a long history of running things a bit loose.

The theory is, and it is widely reported by such luminary publications as The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, during times of severe financial stress, men will stretch the time between buying new jocks – so sales dip.

One of the most severe dips in underwear sales on record in the US has occurred over the past 18 months – but now sales are hitching up. Are we in for an underwear-led recovery, or is it just another adjustment out of discomfort?

A Washington Post interview by Ylan Q. Mui with Marshal Cohen, senior analyst with the consumer research firm NPD Group, qualified the trend as, “It’s like trying to drive your car an extra 10,000 miles.”

Brings a whole new meaning to tightening fiscal policy …


But Time magazine has the economic indicator turf truly covered. Time has discovered 10 economic indicators that seem at least as conclusive as global warming.

Writer Brad Tuttle says indicative of the state of the US economy are ‘hot’ waitresses, blacked out football games, Appalachian Trail hikers, long distance relationship and – incredibly – the ‘toughness’ of Marine TV ads.

“You know the economy is struggling big time when your underwear is old, the armed forces don’t need recruits, there’s a hot resale market for cemetery plots, you can’t find the local pro football game on TV, your rich neighbors are clipping coupons, and your waitress looks like Megan Fox. That is, if you’re eating out at restaurants at all,” Mr Tuttle wrote.

He found that hikers on the Appalachian Trail were in the rise, “when the going gets tough, the tough take a hike”. Time put it down to people having lots of free time on their hands. The sale of cemetery plots has also gone up dramatically in the US. When times are tight, realising the cash now and saving a little bit on the side for cost-effective cremation seems to be the go.

In the US, the NFL tends to only play home games on television when the stadium’s seats are sold out. The seats remain unsold, even at a discount, and the fans are furious that not only can they not afford to go, they even miss out on TV. Are Americans happy about this? NFL.

A time-honoured indicator of the state of the US economy is the trend to postpone having children until finances recover. So tough has the job market been in the US that the Marines have met all their recruitment goals this year. So now the TV recruitment ads are showing Marines tackling barbed wire and even a spot of throwing up. “Because now they can be picky, and they want to attract the toughest, most highly motivated recruits.”

But most telling of Time’s indices is the Hot Waitress Index. When times are flush, attractive women have many opportunities to make money through marketing jobs, modelling, and hosting corporate parties and exhibitions. When it’s down, restaurateurs snap them up to wait on tables “and to attract diners who like being served by hot waitresses,” according to Time and Mr Tuttle.


One of the main economic indicators developed in the US and mimicked in Australia is the Consumer Confidence Index. We at Bottomline have developed an adjunct to that index which we have called the Consumer Confidence TRICK (Totally Reliable Index of Consumer K – where K stands for thousands of dollars).

This Bottomline Index points directly to where all the money is being spent. Here is what we have noted so far – and when these trends reverse, we are out of the Global F. Crisis.

• Sales of surfboard wax go up as the economy goes down and people have more time to surf. But maybe the poorer surfers make do with ear wax …

• Sales of Coles rubber thongs go up at the expense of leather and Billabong ones.

• Sales of male Speedos go down as learned economists stretch them for another season, as do sales of board shorts which stay in the drawer as they no longer fit. (This can have a disastrous affect on the tourist trade if allowed to persist).

• Foxtel probably gets replaced with digital set-top boxes.

• Cask wine and clean skin wine bottle sales go up at the expense of name brand bottles. Beer sales remain unaffected.

• Gym memberships cop a flogging as, contrary to popular belief, people utilise their memberships more to get fitter – time and reduced working hours are now on their side. There is also an increase of sporting activity in the home, with more digital set-top boxes and the savings from dumping Foxtel re-invested into guilt-free beer and cask wine.

Gardens are being weeded. Zero sales are down. Band-Aid and Dencorub sales are up. ♦


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