Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Taking Over the World: A Guide

Take That tell us that you can rule the world if you ride stars and have your girlfriend stay with you. I doubt that's particularly helpful advice, so here's a suggestion with more merit.

To start off with, it helps to be a King, Dictator, or otherwise some super-rich type. If you're not already one of those, be prepared for the long game, by which one of your descendants may, one day, rule the world.

Let's assume you are, like me, one of the poor people of the world. The first step is to become a Financial Institution, i.e. a bank. This is fairly easy. First of all you need a secure place to store a lot of cash, gold and other 'hard' means of value. So a nice vault, some security, that sort of thing. You need to be able to take money from people and store it safely, while promising to give them access to it pretty much whenever they like.

You give them interest on their money, to make it worth their while. Of course this interest is less than what you'll make using their money, so it's a win-win situation.

As a bank you can offer people loans. Mortgages, student loans, business loans, all sorts of different types of credit. With £10 you can lend £100, because you can plan for getting it back, and the person who deposited that £10 in the first place probably won't need access to their money at any given time. If they do, you can always give them the £10 that someone else has deposited in the meantime.

With £100 plus interest near-guaranteed to come back to you, you can then lend someone else £1000. Then someone else £10,000, then £100,000, then £1,000,000... and so on. As long as, at the beginning, you're careful in who you lend it to, ensuring you get it bits of it back on time each month, you're laughing. This is because you've also added on the interest, of course, so your £100 lent has generated you £110, for example.

Now don't worry if you haven't got the money to lend, because the Government will give it to you at a standard rate. You then hike this rate when lending the same money to ordinary people. Don't worry, it's perfectly legal and is a great way of creating money out of nowhere.

Not only do you make money because the credit you've given generates interest, but with all that money lying around (or, in electronic terms, just sitting there on a spreadsheet) you can take your savings bank and start playing as an investment bank! This is where it really gets fun.

You can play it the simple, slow, steady way by investing in the 'blue chip' stocks that are near-guaranteed to return on the stock market. You can play fast and loose if you like, making billions if you've got the right people who are incredibly smart or incredibly lucky, meaning they're incredibly well paid. You can play the bond market, too, and lend to governments. By this point you, as the bank owner, will be incredibly rich. You can buy up other banks, increase your holdings and power and move into all sorts of other markets.

The time will come when a particular government is so in debt to your bank, borrowed so much that they'll even go to the length of devaluing their currency via inflation in order to make the actual value of the debt they owe you smaller. That won't help much, of course, as the structure of their economy will mean they'll have to keep borrowing from you, ever-increasing the debt just to keep their heads above water.

Then, when the time is ripe, you collect.

You and all your banker friends, associates and institutions. Everyone collects, no-one can repay. The world is yours.

Do with it as you will, because the ordinary people in this don't matter. They don't even get the representation of a column on the spreadsheet.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Web Journalist Is Me

After having written a few blogs on the WWE, and having read a lot of the Bleacher Report's WWE Coverage, I figure this is something I could do.

So I apply, I send them my Zack Ryder article I wrote previously and, what do you know, they accept me.

What better to be my first article than one about Zack Ryder, refining the concept I originally submitted to them? If I can write the sort of articles that I want to read on Bleacher Report - assuming other people haven't written them, of course - then I can't do too badly.

All it means is whenever I'm posting a WWE or Liverpool (or, hell, any other sport) blog here, it'll likely be on Bleacher Report at the same time.

But hey, saying that I write for a sports website that's ranked inside the top 750 for global visits & pageviews (by alexa.com), that surely can't be a bad thing for any prospective CV re-write.

View my first Bleacher Report post here: WWE: Does Zack Ryder Represent a New Social Media Era of Wrestling?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Zzapp & Braiiins

We've played Flying Frog's Last Night on Earth board game a fair few times, charting the struggles of a the people of a small town in the USA against a Zombie horde. It's a great game, completely ruthless, and above all difficult. For the Hero players to beat the Zombie player(s), they have to really work together, or get some fairly outlandishly-timed amazing dice rolls and card draws.

So when one of our party rolled up with the Martains vs Circus Performers version - Invasion from Outer Space -  we were straight up for playing it.

Compared to LNoE the rules are more complex, with Power Tokens for some of the Heroes' special abilities, Ray Guns for the Martians (who are subsquently weaker in hand-to-hand combat), and the addition of other sorts of rules such as crowds, fires and death ray blasts.

This time, the Heroes won both games, but they were both very close, tense, excitement-ridden affairs. With plenty more scenarios to play, it's definitely one that we'll be getting out again.

Even better, though, is that you can combine both games for Zombies Vs Martians Vs Humans. Can't wait for that, it should be great fun.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Over, Money & Push

These are the three words that are key to the career of any professional wrestler (or 'sports entertainer'). The fans have got to connect with you, be you hero or villain. They've got to fork out their cash for your branded merchandise and events you appear at. You've also got to be given the opportunities.

Right now, someone like Zack Ryder is over. He's over in places far, far beyond his hometown of Long Island, NY (which is why he is the Long Island Iced Z, and randomly gives those L and I signs).  His ratio of TV time to how over he is, if there is such a thing, is phoenomenal. A variety of Zack Ryder signs appear at every taped WWE show, even when he's nowhere near the action.

On Smackdown! this week, Michael Cole very pointedly stated that Ted DiBiase Jr had 150,000 followers on Twitter (having just checked it's a little over 126,000). The young DiBiase was once in a team/stable with Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes, and currently is featured on Smackdown! every week. Not to mention any positive feelings via his famous wrestling famous father, the Million Dollar Man.

Zack Ryder on the other hand, with the occasional appearance on Superstars and NXT (i.e. essentially zero TV time), has 136,000 - almost 10,000 more.  As far as any rub off from more famous (and over) people goes, he once dressed up like Edge.

This is all because, of course, of his Youtube series: Z! True Long Island Story. We know his catchphrases, we know his sense of humour, we see minor insights into his life and appearances from his friends (Dolph Ziggler holding his US Championship and also a Ghostbusters action figure, on screen for about a second, for instance). Because of his show, self-made, we connect with him and he's over. It's because he's on the backburner, doing his fist pump while not on the same page as the WWE, because his dad is a John Morrison fanatic, etc, that he's our guy, our underdog. For the WWE he's simply got a fairly tacky Guido gimmick, but we think he deserves more.

He deserves more than his shockingly bad entrance music (though at least that is instantly recognisable), as well as more merchandise than the atrociously simple T-shirt design in the WWE shop. Headbands for all the Broskis would be a good start. Hell, they could branch into branded hair gel and fake tan, for crying out loud.

Rumour has it that WWE has let him defend his self-created Internet Championship belt in Australia against Primo - who presently himself only exists to job to people getting a push, like Sin Cara... and maybe Zack Ryder?

He's over. There's scope for money. Now are they giving him a bit of a push on RAW? We can only hope. Woo Woo Woo, You Know It.