Messing About In Ships Podcast Episode 23

Lou Vest calendar photo Jan 2008 Heather Knutsen - header

Episode 23 of Messing About In Ships has launched.

(43 minutes)

Download MP3: Messing About In Ships podcast episode 23 – May 15, 2008

Subscribe Via iTunes HERE

Shownotes: Messing About In Ships blog

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Relief Underway

MS Relief Seattle Mariners

Remember when relief pitchers were driven in from the bullpen in golf carts and other funny little vehicles? Here’s a picture of the short lived MS Relief, the Seattle Mariners tugboat shaped bullpen car in 1982. 

The bullpen cart fad reached its nadir when the Mariners customized theirs in the shape of a tugboat. The pitchers were so embarrassed by its appearance that they refused to ride in it, so they would trot to the mound with the tugboat following behind in slow pursuit. (After enduring sights like that, it’s no wonder Seattle fans are feeling a little giddy about the team’s record this summer.) (

Unfortunately, MS Relief really wasn’t any; the M’s finished in last place with 60-102 record.

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Monday Morning Motivator – Presentation Skills

Have a presentation coming up? This short YouTube video will help to make it better or at least suck less. ;-)


Seriously, the guru of presentations is Garr Reynolds,  the blog master of the must read Presentation Zen. He recently published a book which is not surprisingly titled Presentation Zen (Amazon link). When you have a winner, stick with it.

Reynold’s was invited to speak at Google as part of their Authors@Google Series on March 21, 2008. From YouTube:

Presentation designer and internationally acclaimed communications expert Garr Reynolds, creator of the most popular Web site on presentation design and delivery on the net — — shares his experience in a provocative mix of illumination, inspiration, education, and guidance that will change the way you think about making presentations with PowerPoint or Keynote.

Presentation Zen challenges the conventional wisdom of making “slide presentations” in today’s world and encourages you to think differently and more creatively about the preparation, design, and delivery of your presentations. Garr shares lessons and perspectives that draw upon practical advice from the fields of communication and business. Combining solid principles of design with the tenets of Zen simplicity, this book will help you along the path to simpler, more effective presentations.


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Messing About In Ships podcast episode 22

Lou Vest calendar photo Jan 2008 Heather Knutsen - header

Episode 22 of Messing About In Ships has launched.

(73 minutes)

Download MP3: Messing About In Ships podcast episode 22 May 8, 2008

Subscribe Via iTunes HERE

Shownotes: Messing About In Ships blog

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Foto Friday – "Aquitania" from the Bedford Lemere Collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK

Bow view of the 'Aquitania' (1914) in drydock

The passenger liner ‘Aquitania’ (1914) in the Gladstone Graving Dock, Liverpool, in preparation for her maiden voyage across the Atlantic. A view from the head of the dock, looking up at the starboard bow of the ship.

Bedford Lemere Collection : National Maritime Museum is an online collection of over 500 photographs of ocean liners taken between 1891 and 1919. Taken by Bedford Lemere & Co., a company of architectural photographers active from the late 1860s to the 1940s, the collection covers the interiors and exteriors of 35 liners. The images were digitised from 12 x 10 inch glass plate negatives which were taken with small apertures and long exposures to allow their subjects to be captured in fine detail.  (Intute: Arts & Humanities)

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Maritime Terrorists? No, Maritime Tourists.


You might remember the scare last summer about two possible international terrorists scoping out opportunities for mayhem and destruction aboard the Washington State Ferries. The captain of the ferry snapped a picture of the duo and provided it to the FBI who then released it to the international media. This created a bit of a hubub about racial profiling.

Well, take down the APB, it turns out that these guys were tourists, not terrorists.

“Where these gentlemen live, they don’t have vehicle ferries. They were fascinated that a ferry could hold that many cars and wanted to show folks back home,” FBI Special Agent Robbie Burroughs said Monday. (Seattle Times)

Who could blame them? Car ferries are pretty cool.


What worries me is that a bad photo like that would make me look as much like a terrorist as these 2 innocent software consultants who were just enjoying an afternoon on a boat in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

via Boing Boing

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An Argument for National Maritime Education, a Better Aim and Water Landings


In his blog yesterday, Anil Dash posted about a Russia Soyuz spacecraft with three astronauts, including American Peggy Whitson, which missed it landing by a few hundred miles while returning from the International Space Station. He reports:

The eight people who greeted her didn’t quite understand that they had encountered a spaceship gone astray, and asked about the origins of her boat.

As if it wasn’t a good enough story already:

After the crash landing (termed a “ballistic reentry“) Anatoly Perminov, the chief of Russia’s Federal Space Agency referenced the naval tradition of having more women than men on board a ship as a “bad omen”:

“You know in Russia, there are certain bad omens about this sort of thing, but thank God that everything worked out successfully,” he said. “Of course in the future, we will work somehow to ensure that the number of women will not surpass” the number of men.

Challenged by a reporter, Perminov responded: “This isn’t discrimination. I’m just saying that when a majority (of the crew) is female, sometimes certain kinds of unsanctioned behaviour or something else occurs, that’s what I’m talking about.”

He did not elaborate. (link)

It seems that we are not the only country that has government leaders that say stupid stuff.

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Being Neighborly and Creating an Epic Day for Some River Dudes

Will, over at Tugster, my favorite maritime culture blog, posted a link to a rad YouTube video that I just had to repost here. “Guaranteed to make you feel good”


Kudos to Ross Island Sand and Gravel Co. for being neighborly and creating an epic day for some river dudes.

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Management Gurus Are Human Too!

wsj_logo In today’s (May 5, 2008 ) Wall Street Journal, Erin White wrote several interesting pieces about current business management thought leadership. New Breed of Business Guru Rises: Psychologists, CEOs Climb in Influence, Draw Hits, Big Fees and What Influential Business Thinkers Focus On: Top Guru’s Ponder Managers Worries, New Approaches. (subscription required)

Popular business thinkers can reap big rewards. Speakers’ bureaus say most of the top-echelon business speakers charge between $50,000 and $75,000 a pop. Among the most in-demand are “Good to Great” author Jim Collins, “Death by Meeting” author Patrick Lencioni, Dr. (Gary) Hamel, Harvard’s Prof. (Michael) Porter, and “Our Iceberg is Melting” author John Kotter, speakers’ bureaus say.

Fees are rising, notes Ron Christman, who runs executive-development workshops for nGenera Corp. and frequently hires gurus. Speakers “who five years ago might have been at 25[,000] are now at 50,” he says; less-prominent names can command $15,000. Throw in book royalties, and a top-ranked guru can reach at least $1 million a year.

Thomas H. Davenport, PhD and management professor at Babson College, compiled a ranking of influential business thinkers for the Wall Street Journal using the same methodology he used in his 2003 book, What’s the Big Idea? At the top of the 2008 list is Dr. Gary Hamel whose website is headlined by “Fortune magazine has labeled Gary Hamel “the world’s leading expert on business strategy” and The Economist calls him “the world’s reigning strategy guru.””

Unfortunately even gurus are not infallible. The first edition of Dr. Hamel’s 2000 book, Leading the Revolution “lionized” Enron Corp but thanks to some nifty editing, they were removed from subsequent printings. It’s not the first nor last time that this type of thing will happen. Seems gurus are human too, only just a little better paid.

For another view of influential business thinkers check out Thinkers 50 where Dr. Hamel currently ranks #5, up from #14 in 2005.

Cross posted in Center for Leader Development and Sea-Fever blogs.

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