Thursday, March 31, 2005

Redevelopment Bummer

Under the title Urban Regeneration: Can the Partnership Approach do More Harm than Good?, Professor Michael Ball's study received good academic press. The research, sponsored by the Economic & Social Research Council and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, concludes that "problems created by the partnership approach to urban deprivation could outweigh the benefit." The anticipated benefits of various public and private groups seldom appear, and the costs of such partnerships are often higher than any benefits.

You can read a recap of it here.

This Michael Ball teaches at the University of Reading, Whiteknights in England.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

MB Rules

In Sister Bay, Wisconsin, Michael E. Ball has been president of Woodrow Engineering, a measurement devices company since 1986. It used to sell a ruler for measuring the insides of shoes, but the Website doesn't show its products at present

However, he is also a founding member of the Ekklasia Foundation. That site describes the foundation in detail, including:

Ekklasia: was referred to in the book of Romansas the church or specifically, "the body of the messiah.

The Ekklasia Foundation is a tax-exempt organization which exists to support evangelical ministries. It was created by a group of Christian businessmenand ministers of multiple denominations. (It:)

Provides estate and gift planning assistance to members and friends of the Ekklasia ministries and their partners who are considering gifts to family and ministries through a last will and testament,trust,gift annuity, life insurance gift,or similar means.

Invests or assigns for investment the following types of assets:endowment funds, pension funds,trust funds and other accounts for individuals, churches, conferences, departments, and agencies of the Ekklasia ministry. Acts as trustee for charitable trusts which designate remainder amounts to Ekklasia approved ministries.

Acts as trustee for charitable trusts which designate remainder amounts to Ekklasia approved ministries.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Jag-ged Felllow

One of us is in the classic-car restoration business. In Peoria, Illinois, Michael Ball says he produces "road king" classics. His site includes a 1968 Jaguar convertible project.

He also offers rent-a-bay storage.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Milky Way Memories

And writing of a lewd Mike Ball, I recalled my own short-lived porn connection. Decades ago, I did some free-lance photography and I think a little writing for Milky Way Productions, Al Goldstein's publishing shop. They turned out such subtle classics as Screw, Smut, Gay and Bitch.

Somewhere, I think I still have a partial notepad that reads something like "From another horny friend at Screw."

Anyway, Al was a sweet guy. He also was a proto-geek, who loved technology. He ran a fun newsletter Gadget.

He said he liked my byline because of my last name, that it was a natural for his business. His managing editor was Heidi Handman, also her real name. It looks like she got her MD and is an osteopath, by way of going from Milky Way to senior editor of Penthouse. She was also the co-author of The Sex Handbook, Information and Help for Minors, Putnam, 1974.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Lewd Dude

Among a Web filled with porn, one would suppose that someone with the potentially prurient last name Ball would produce many such hits. I haven't seen it with our name, until yesterday.

There is an amusing site that apparently would show some lewd images of a Mike Ball, in the guise of a campus hunk -- nude hunk. It's a membership site, which I did pay to view in detail. However, the free image is amusing, with him wearing only ye olde pennant.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Waterless Water Skiing

Picture water skiing, except without liquid. See it here.

In 2001, Mike Ball (the columnist) won the Washtenaw County, Michigan, Mastercraft Indoor Doubles World Championship. They seemed dressed for Vegas. The site even has a 4.7MB QuickTime movie of the couple in action.

As oxymoronic as it first appears, the idea behind dry-land waterskiing competitions is to keep up the skills all year where weather does not cooperate. The couple are or at least were members of the Whitmore Lake, Michigan, Water Ski Club.

The report on the contest reads that, "They performed a 5-minute dry land 'Adagio Doubles' routine, which is similar in style to pairs figure skating.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Author Follow-Up

I clicked into a mini-review of the career book, @entry level, Pure Play Press, ISBN 0972156607, $15.95, 1-818-768-1710. In Midwest Book Review:
A superbly presented survival guide specifically for business students and recent graduates looking to further their career in the corporate world. Practical advice on everything from changing one's major; to the basics of branding; to surviving office politics; to balancing responsibilities, @ The Entry Level is a strongly recommended supplementary resource, especially for those who are just entering the turbulent hierarchy of business and coming to terms with corporate middle management.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Big Rocks in England

An engineer with our name is in charge of protecting 136 houses in Withernsea, East Yorkshire, according to a story on the BBC Website. Starting last November, a $6 million project will import 35,000 tons of Norwegian rocks to stop cliff erosion and loss of the houses.

The rocks came across the North Sea from Norway by boat. The project will also keep the town sewage system safe.

The only quote from our fellow is, The first week in January should see the rock being delivered from Norway, which will offer tremendous relief to residents." "

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Below the Belt

I didn’t know one of us had insinuated himself in Pantygate. An article about nitwits selling thong underwear for kids includes a reprise of the teacher chaperoning a school dance who publicly checked girls for their type of underpants before they went on the dancefloor.
Rita Wilson is on administrative leave while her “thong check” is being investigated. Some parents are demanding she be fired over the incident. Wilson told the Associated Press that if she had it to do over again, she would have refused to supervise the dance.

Meanwhile, 35 teachers at Rancho Bernardo High expressed support for Wilson. They are being led by English teacher Michael Ball, who told The San Diego Union Tribune, “Maybe she [Wilson] went over the line, but she was the only one doing anything.”
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Mr. Ball wrote a letter of support and gathered signatures from 35 teachers on it.

Mr. Ball is a bit of a mystery man. His picture is missing from the high-school English department display. Assuming that it is the same Michael Ball, his coach’s profile is also the only one not in the Sunwest Volleyball site for the 2003. There is a Whitney Ball on the team with a class of 2004. IF she is related, maybe she graduated and he stopped coaching.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


I'’m not exactly sure who he is – recent graduate, faculty, grad student? – at England’s Northumbria University. However, this Michael Ball has many pictures of students in psychology and sports sciences programs. There are numerous yearbook shots and quite a few of folk in robes or semi-formal attire at graduations and parties. He’s not in the university’s search results. If anyone knows, send me email.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Neo-Irish Musician

Most probably the best musician with our name is the transplant English-to-Irish composer. He has numerous classical-style CDs, many with brass.

You can listen to clips from, The Brass Music of Michael Ball CD. Six different selections offer 30 to 40 second samples.

An detailed site includes a biography, a few highlights of which follow:
Michael Ball...born in Manchester...studied at the Royal College of Music in London...masterclasses with Nadia Boulanger...many major commissions, including five for the BBC...contributed substantially to the repertoire for wind and brass...lived in Dublin since 1992.
It also quotes him as saying, 'I believe that the composer has an implicit duty to serve the society he or she lives in by providing well-crafted music which is both grateful and stimulating to play or sing and hopefully uplifting to the imagination and the spirit, both for the player(s) and the listener. In short, my concern is to be useful and to communicate.'

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

English Politico

In the Freemantle ward, Southampton, England, Councillor Michael Ball was elected last year to a four-year term. He is on the Finance & Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Scholarly Web Guy

At the University of Bath, England, Michael Ball has a far too spartan and serious Web page. Perhaps this passes for wild and crazy in the UK. I suspect he had a professor looking over his shoulder, to end up going from wired to tired. The entire contents (leaving out his email address) follows:

Michael Ball

Full Name:
Mr Michael Ball
Dept of Computer Science
Course Title:
BSc (Hons) Computer Science
E-mail Address:
Postal Address:

Mr Michael Ball
Dept of Computer Science
University of Bath
United Kingdom

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Up from the Factory Floor

It’s not quite up to the metaphysically recursive circle in a spiral level, but we have a Michael Ball selling Minis and the father of one responsible for introducing them to the world.

The most famous of the singers with our name had an honest working dad, who has gone over to the dark side, first as marketing consultant and then as motivational speaker.

A speaker’s bureau in England lists:
Tony has his own page at another bureau. That has a detailed CV. His credentials include being marketing advisor to three of Margaret Thatcher's secretaries of state and launching the Mini.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Look-Before-Leaping Book

We don't know much about his own career, but Michael Ball has a very usable Website pitching his career book and consulting services. The angle is that well-educated young neo-professionals jumping into careers often blow it.

His $16 book, @entry level, will help you make the right decisions in the early stages, claims the author. There is a six-page first chapter online. Unfortunately, it is too general to give you a sense of how savvy he is. He does not include the table of contents.

His not-really-a-bio on the site says he survived cancer at 21, which made him rethink priorities. That's some motivation, but not quite the credentials one might expect. However, if the book is as useful as the site, it should be worth the price.

Good looking book...nice looking guy...well designed and attractive Website.