It’s intermission at the Savoy and they put ads up on screen. I don’t feel like a 50 rupee beer or packaged popcorn so I’m sitting, watching the ads on screen. This one’s for Keells Sausages, and they wouldn’t, yeah, I think they just scanned a flyer for Keells Sausage and put it on screen. And the flyer is dirty. It’s brownish colored and covered in fingerprints, like somebody wrapped a sausage in it. That’s one example of Sri Lankan design.
Another example is Geoffrey Bawa‘s architecture in Kandalama or the Parliament Building. Bawa was a Sri Lankan Burgher, like Ondaatje, except no other nation has dibs on him. His design sense was impeccable. So, there is a side of Colombo which places a high premium on design – Barefoot, Gallery Cafe (Bawa’s old office), Odel’s, basically the people that advertise in Leisure Times.
Today me and Amma met with Deshan Tennekoon – the Editor of Leisure Times, and the new Student Times. Right now Student Times has descriptions of schools, but we talked about possible ranking system like US News and World Report’s College Bible.
Vocational schools aren’t such a big thing in the Etats, but in SL about 90% of students can’t get into the few universities, so they go to vocational ed and try to get a j-o. The issue is that there are 18,000 courses and degrees and nobody has any idea what’s worth what.
I was thinking you could set up two databases – one for the courses and one for job postings – and cross reference them. When you’re looking at a course that promises certain skills (say, MS Office and Access) the database would automatically pull up the employers looking for those skills. Also, when you look at jobs the database would pull up the courses that give you the skills they’re looking for. Data structure wise it’s pretty straightforward, though it could get slow with thousands of data sets. To test the idea I’d have learn the 2 new languages, but I figure I can learn mySQL and php in a few weeks.
But back to the point, Leisure Times and Student Times are cool magazines cause the design is good (Vectors!) and the headlines aren’t in stilted pseudo-posh English like most of the papers. It’s refreshing to read them, and Deshan’s cool. He’s about 4 years older than me and he set up his own successful media company (hybridmedia) after graduating from uni in UK. I would like to be in a similar position in 4 years, but who knows.