Monthly Archives: July 2015

Scoring with infographics

In early May I decided to learn more about one of the popular infographic tools available on the web because infographics can deliver complex information simply and concisely. This makes them useful for communications professionals delivering key messages in environments where competing demands on audience attention limit the time available to digest information. was a fairly simple tool to use and it delivers bright, clear graphics. I used the free tool which provides a useful suite of basic options, but more functionality can be unlocked through its subscription service.

I based my infographic on the performance of Barclays Premier League (BPL) goal scorers because, in my spare time, I like to play Fantasy Premier League (FPL). I am particularly drawn to the statistical analysis side of the game and I like diving into the data to get a better understanding of the past, present and potential future returns a player is likely to generate for a team.

The viewer can see at a glance:

  • whether the top six scorers netted consistently throughout the season or in patches;
  • how just six players accounted for almost an eighth of all BPL goals by May 1;
  • that Giroud scored as many as Sanchez but in far less pitch time;
  • and that Agüero, Kane and Sánchez are more likely to score multiple goals in one match than Costa, Austin and Giroud.

An audience of experienced FPL players can use that information to adjust their player picks to deliver greater returns.


A world cup to remember

Congratulations to the USA on winning a wonderful Women’s World Cup. I’ve seen six games and some outstanding play in the 2015 tournament, including a couple of cracking goals in the final. To have been in Vancouver’s stadium with more than 53,000 other spectators on three occasions – less than 25 years after my sister had to campaign to be allowed to play football at school – was a great experience.

The USA celebrates winning the Women's World Cup 2015

The USA celebrates winning the Women’s World Cup 2015


Old, but not obsolete – yet

There is a line in Terminator Genisys in which Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator says he is “old, but not obsolete”. This is the most memorable line from the movie, not because you are working through the concept of a T-800 aging (though you are), but because it pretty much sums up the state of the Terminator franchise.

To recap, the original tapped the early 1980s zeitgeist concern about robots replacing people to create a taut, atmospheric horror movie. The sequel expertly blended a solid character-driven story with pioneering computer effects – which still matches those on screen 24 years later – to deliver an action movie so polished it shines like a liquid T-1000. The next two movies were a shadow of the first two, but with the fifth the franchise is really beginning to feel old.

Genisys opens by literally retracing the Terminator’s steps to try to recapture the early franchise magic, but ends by wheezing through looking ready for retirement. A poorly explained timeline twist reunites warrior-from-the-future Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) with a reprogrammed T-800 à la Terminator 2 and a Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) that splices 1984 and 1991 versions of the character.

I am a fan of strong female characters in movies and they don’t come much tougher than the 1991 Sarah Connor. Linda Hamilton superbly played a waitress turned mother teaching her son to become a “great military leader”. She was so tough she looked like she was carved from pink granite. Emilia Clarke may be khaleesi in Game of Thrones but in Genisys she comes across as the waitress pretending to be the tough Sarah Connor. And when she calls the T-800 “Pops” all pretense is lost and the movie begins to slip away.

We proceed through the usual shootouts and chase scenes expected of a Terminator movie, but they feel run-of-the-mill, lacking the terror of the original or the heft of the second. Genisys becomes infected with the modern Hollywood disease of replacing story, drama and tension with crash, bang and pixel wallop. Ironically, given the central premise of the Terminator movies, I came away feeling that if more energy had been directed away from the computers and into human storytelling, this franchise could have a future.

Terminator Genisys feels old, but I won’t write the concept off as obsolete just yet.