RIP Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton (1942-2008)

Michael Crichton (1942-2008)

Another hero has died.

Michael Crichton had the grace to answer my correspondence, and share some advice for me as a writer in the mid 1990s. I was so encouraged. He was already famous, and I had read his books Andromeda Strain, Terminal Man in college. I’ve read almost everything he published, even the non-fiction. His memoir Travels was a spectacularly (sometimes awkwardly) honest book and encouraged me to tell the truth.

His imagination and his sense of the zeitgeist was astounding.

What a shock that he has died.

RIP Michael. -P

Michael’s talent outscaled even his own dinosaurs of ‘Jurassic Park.’ He was the greatest at blending science with big theatrical concepts, which is what gave credibility to dinosaurs again walking the earth. In the early days, Michael had just sold ‘The Andromeda Strain’ to Robert Wise at Universal and I had recently signed on as a contract TV director there. My first assignment was to show Michael Crichton around the Universal lot. We became friends and professionally ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘ER,’ and ‘Twister’ followed. Michael was a gentle soul who reserved his flamboyant side for his novels. There is no one in the wings that will ever take his place.

—Steven Spielberg on Michael Crichton’s death

TIME to be Optimistic or Pessimistic?

What we can learn from the ‘turmoil’ of world financial markets: Experience counts.

As the editor and publisher of two books on the effects of the property cycle (The Day the Bubble Bursts by Olly Newland and How to Survive and Prosper in a Falling Property Market) I take an interest in identifying the lessons drawn from experience — especially in these history-making, record-breaking times.

What I’ve noticed is there’s been plenty of uninformed negative ‘end of the world’ hysteria reported in the media — and equally, a slew of unrealistic over-optimistic sales-pitches (like: buy now or you could miss out!) peddled by others.

Who’s right? Does it matter?

Something else I’ve noticed is that the older, wiser heads I talk to are singing from a different song sheet to the spruikers and mis-timed property developers (whether here or on the Gold Coast). They’re saying keep your eyes open, and box carefully. Some even say wait, things could very well get worse. (From experience, when a salesman says ‘act now or you could miss out’ it’s time to be wary and re-examine the offer. Ask the Blue Chip investors.)

Not being a natural a pessimist, I’ve been heartened to read a couple of good articles in the latest TIME magazine – 13 October, with the Great Depression soup kitchen on the cover.
Continue reading →

Farewell, Doug Woodyard

Yesterday I was one of several hundred who farewelled Doug Woodyard. He died on Thursday 17 April.

Doug was a true pioneer and a straight operator in his property sourcing business — honest and as straight as an arrow. He was a moral and earnest soul who was perplexed when confronted by a lack of ethics in others.

I first met Doug ten years ago. He was an early member of our 3 Hours to Freedom Club network and attended our first Dolf de Roos Property Investors School, thereafter attending or assisting on many Empower Education programmes and becoming a welcome and valued part of our ‘family’. He added so much to those around him.

With film star good looks and a ready smile, Doug was an adonis — a fit, tanned, vibrant, energetic, quick-witted man with a heart of absolute gold. He was one of the kindest and most positive people I’ve ever known.

To the end Doug Woodyard was a giant, a warm-hearted king of a man, a loving, open-hearted, honest friend.
Yesterday his family and friends did him proud in a wonderful celebration of his life. But we still cried.

I count it an honour to have known him.

— Peter Aranyi, 20 April 2008