Online Insights on fiveAA, Sunday, September 21, 2008

September 21, 2008

Before I start with the websites, I have to give eBay a blast tonight for allowing pompous, over-spun, conceited, corporate speak on their site. eBay is pretty good at saying things like “our fees are going up and it will help you as a seller”, that sort of thing, but now they have started running ads on their US website, using ads from the Yahoo network. This alone is an unsound move in my opinion, however, they have the gall to say it will help improve our eBay experience. What utter piffle. What I am about to read you is a direct quote from the website and has been written by a smug little corporate word-mangler, or some old, cynical, burnt out, disengaged corporate hack. How could anyone with an ounce of customer insight or marketing knowhow, come up with this explanation for the new “AdChoice” feature on eBay? Here we go:

“We may use information we have about you to make sure that the ads you see, on the eBay site or elsewhere, are as relevant to you as we can make them. We think these relevant AdChoice ads will personalize and improve your eBay experience.”


How to Detect Lies and Become a Lie Detector
At the Blifaloo website, I have found an introduction on how to tell if somebody is lying to you. The techniques covered on this page are reportedly similar to those used by police, and security experts. There is an interesting disclaimer or warning on the page that says:

“Sometimes Ignorance is bliss; after gaining this knowledge, you may be hurt when it is obvious that someone is lying to you.”

Some of the signs of deception start with the smile. If someone smiles and it mainly involves their mouth, they are likely to be faking it. Real smiles involve cheeks, foreheads and particularly eyes. In fact, this tutorial suggests that the eyes give it away because few people can squint their eyes while doing a fake smile.

Looking at the rest of the body, liars will make quite stiff limb movements and hold most limbs close to their body and are unlikely to place an open hand on their heart or chest. They will probably touch their face, throat or mouth, behind their ear or scratches their nose. But the tutorial also makes a blunder. It says liars will typically avoid eye contact. At this point, they should single out different cultural groups because from the few cross cultural workshops I have done, particularly with aboriginal culture, eye contact is typically avoided and is often seen as an aggressive stance.  So use this tutorial with care.

When it comes to verbal context and content, there are a couple of intriguing points:

1 – liars will often avoid lying by NOT making indirect statements, they will imply answers rather than deny things directly. Just reflect on this point, next time you watch an interview with a politician or company spokesperson. Or listen to Leon Byner – you hear this sort of thing all the time.

2 – if you suspect someone is lying, change the subject quickly and watch if the person changes quickly too, and becomes relieved and relaxed. A liar will be grateful to have moved on. Someone who had been telling the truth will typically be confused by the change and will often try to bring the subject back so it can be dealt with.

Use with care – here is the link –

EcoImpact Carbon Footprint Calculator
Everything has an eco-footprint. By that, I mean everything has an impact on the environment through its production, use and disposal. This handy widget-based calculator, made by EcoSynergy, a software company that has made a platform for making carbon footprint calculations, helps focus our attention on just how much the tiniest things in our lives affect the environment.

This calculator covers a range of aspects of live, from food to the office, from building to the household. Here are some examples:


450g of white rice has a 1.3kg carbon footprint, while the same amount of pasta is only 953g of CO2.

450g of beef has an 11kg carbon footprint, yikes! Whereas smoked ham has a 4.5kg footprint, as do eggs.


Photocopiers, printers and toner are among the worst culprits when it comes to carbon emissions. So when documents say “think before printing” you now know how important that is. Projectors and whiteboards are also large emitters of CO2.

What struck me was that even your humble box of 1000 staples, emits the same CO2 as driving a sedan about 17km or using a laptop computer for 300 hours.


That set of 4 drinking glasses at home, caused about 12kg of CO2 emissions, and three bath towels cost about 18kg.

And the big one is the television. Just a 32 inch tv has a 257kg carbon footprint, equivalent to driving a sedan about 1200km, or using a laptop for 22,000 hours. And given the amount of rubbish on television, either driving or communicating via the laptop would be much better for you!

You can play with the free calculator at

Food Craving Chart
On this page by Dr Colleen Huber, a naturopath, you will find some ideas about what is lurking behind the various food cravings you might be experiencing. Here are some I found most helpful:

If you crave chocolate, you are really after magnesium which you can find in raw nuts and seeds, legumes and fruit.

If you crave lollies, you could be after chromium which you can find in broccoli, grapes, cheese and chicken.

If you crave lollies, you could also be after carbon which you can find in fresh fruits.

If you crave bread or toast, you are really after nitrogen which you can find in high protein foods such as fish, meat, nuts and beans.

If you crave oily snacks or fatty foods, you are really after calcium which you can find in foods like mustard greens, broccoli, cheese and sesame. Actually, sesame pops up a lot in Colleen’s writing. I am thinking I should find a source for sesame in my diet.

If you crave coffee or tea, you could be after phosphorous, sulphur, salt or iron which you can find in a whole range of foods from eggs to capsicum, to liver, to seaweed, to meat, and to black cherries.

If you crave solids to liquids, it means you are so badly dehydrated you have lost your sense of thirst, so you need to drink water ASAP, perhaps flavoured with lemon or lime. Curiously, if you seek liquids over solids, the prescription is the same – more water, about 8-10 glasses a day.

The list goes on with recreation drugs, tobacco, overeating, burnt food, chewing ice, etc.

You can read the list yourself at

Top 40 Requested Bridal Waltzes
Adelaide company, Entertaining Events, has a list of the top 40 requested bridal waltzes as reported by their DJs. And I must say, people have mixed taste!

Love is all around by Wet Wet Wet comes in at number 5, I Swear by All-4-One at number 4, Hero by Enrique Iglesias at number 3, There You’ll Be by Faith Hill at number 2, and Beautiful In My Eyes by Joshua Kadison at number 1.

There are some other standards there I would expect, such as Have I told you lately by Van Morrison, Can’t help falling in love by Elvis, When you say nothing at all by Ronan Keating, Sea of love by the Honey Drippers, and Unchained melody by the Righteous Brothers.

There are some shockers in there too, such as You are so beautiful by Joe Cocker (this is a great song, but how could you possibly dance to it); Waiting for a girl like you by Foreigner (it is just moody and mopey); and the worst entry is Cruisin by Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis (this really is a classic B-side nothing commercial time filler that should never have been picked up by radio, let alone played as the song to launch your marriage).

You can check out the list at