August 27, 2003

Where can I hit you?

Bill Romanowski punches teammate Marcus Williams during a fight in practice and breaks the guy's eye socket. Williams, currently on the injured reserve list, might not have a football career to go back to, if he can't see straight.

As martial artists, we could do the same thing to someone else. It's kind of scary, the damage one could inflict, and the legal ramifications of that one punch.

Yet we don't want to hesitate when action is warranted--if you're being attacked, you want to defend yourself with your best weapons. You don't want to slow down, think, "...should I hit him in the jaw, potentially fracturing his mouth, or in the temple, potentially killing him?"

I don't know a good way around this.

A friend related some comments by a mutual acquaintance, who happens to be a member of SFPD SWAT. The SWAT guy talked about softening up bad guys by "hitting them where it won't show," so the good officers wouldn't get into trouble for using excessive force.

Now where can you hit someone where it won't show? On the scalp, so it's covered by hair? I still haven't figured this one out.

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Tyson in K-1?

Geoff points us to a new development in Mike Tyson's career-- fighting in the K-1 full contact series. Tyson is an animal, but I don't think he'd do well outside boxing rules.

We've seen a lot of the "boxing vs. " matchups in the past--Bruce Lee deferred to Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer of his time (and all time, I should say), stating, "He'd crush me." Gene Le Bell, who taught Lee some Big Time Wrestling moves, took on a boxer in a well-publicized match, and to most accounts, won.

Then there was the first UFCs, which billed themselves as pitting the masters of one art vs. another. Now, everyone in extreme fighting is like the other--cross-trained in striking and grappling and strong as an ox.

So if someone breaks Tyson's arm in a K-1 bout, will he go bite off an ear or something? We'll see.

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August 25, 2003

Bad, Broken Designs

Way back in college, I took Stu Parsons' course on Human Factors Engineering. Prof. Parsons was one of the investigators for 3 Mile Island--probably one of the worst consequences of human error in this country. His photo of beer tap handles used on the control board of a nuke plant (used later by Don Norman in POET) still sticks in my mind today.

There's a lot of folks compiling such examples on the Web:

Mark Hurst's This is Broken:

Good Experience: This Is Broken

Michael Darnell's Bad Human Factors Designs:

Bad Human Factors Designs

These anecdotes are always great for pulling out of your...hat (ahem) in a meeting with knuckleheaded folks.

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August 21, 2003

"Total Customer Experience"

The company I work for nowadays is embarking on a new corporate mandate: "Total Customer Experience". As someone who has been working, in one way or another, in Web CE for the past few years, I found the choice of labels intriguing.

For our execs, TCE seems more customer satisfaction oriented rather than experience-oriented. I would label their stuff "Customer Support +". But you can't blame them for trying.

Tog, of course, finds a way to illustrate TCE quite nicely: AskTog: Think Globally, Act Globally.

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August 20, 2003


So the Meet the Makers guy is starting a new blog--where the referrer gets the same prize as the lucky winner. Alvey says, "...if the winner gets a truck, the person (blog) who refers them gets a truck".

Pretty nifty take on the whole affiliate marketing thing. Now only if Amazon would send me the same thing everyone buys through the Usability Toolbox...

Of course, this thing could go too far. For example, what if Good Vibrations did the same thing?

Blogstakes presents: Free BrowserCam for a Year

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August 15, 2003

Lights out...What do you do?

Years of "rolling blackouts" here in California make the recent East Coast Blackout an intriguing story. Every time a disaster like this happens, you think, man, what would I do if it happened here? Would I be ready?

It was like that after the '89 Loma Prieta quake: with the contents of the fridge out on the kitchen floor, along with the fridge itself and everything in the cabinets, the only thing to eat for dinner (with no power to keep food fresh) was peanut butter sandwiches.

Now there's scenes of folks in Ohio without water because their pumping stations need electricity. Gasoline pumps, too.

Got those MREs handy from that whole Y2K thing? You just might need 'em...

Good preparedness info: Doug Ritter's Equipped to Survive site.

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August 04, 2003

Seagal: Rejected!

NYPD rejected The Big Zen One's application for a concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit. No gun for for the Big One.

E! Online: Celebrities Packing Heat.

But he shouldn't need a piece, right? Not when you've got a great heaven-and-earth throw.

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August 03, 2003

Alex Gong Killed in Road Rage Incident

Alex Gong, the well-regarded proprietor of the Fairtex gym in San Francisco, was gunned down in a road rage incident last Friday. Some punk crashed into Gong's car, so Gong chased down the offender's Jeep, running a couple blocks barefoot until he caught up. Witnesses say the punk waited until the light turned green, then shot Gong before speeding away.

SF Chronicle:

I hope someone catches this punk soon. Gong was considered one of the good guys in the pro kickboxing world.

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