Monday, August 31, 2009

Rolodex Roulette

Image of Jonathan Novich from Facebook

Image of Jonathan Novich

I found myself alone in the front of the minivan at 9pm with the rest of the team sleeping in back on the last leg of our family vacation.

Since I hadn’t put the word out to schedule late-night conference calls, (see “how to use Twitter and Facebook” to network”), I invented Rolodex Roulette.

The idea?

Commit to calling one person in my phonebook for each letter of the alphabet by last name and allow the randomness of the touch screen scrolling interface to determine whom I would call.

You never know, right?

Well, I ended up making 23 calls (I only know one person whose last name starts with X and he lives in Japan, so that wasn’t going to happen) and we got home before I could get to Y and Z.

The result?

8 GREAT conversations and connecting with people I hadn’t chatted with in a LONG time.

Plus, when you talk to “random” people, you have the opportunity to hear things that are outside of your normal discourse, which broadens your worldview.

Here’s the list (* means that I actually spoke with them)

  1. Ytzik Aranov
  2. Justin Bacon*
  3. Elle Can
  4. Justin Damelin
  5. Jack Elmore
  6. Stephanie Fisch
  7. Martha Galley
  8. Chris Hagner*
  9. Shai Ingber*
  10. Drew Jenkins
  11. Moshe Kinderlehrer
  12. Curtis Lee
  13. Valerie Moore
  14. Jonathan Novich*
  15. Zakia Ovington
  16. Abe Pachikara
  17. Matt Richards*
  18. Q-ok, skipped this too, since I only know two people. One lives in Australia…the other, Linda Quarles…I am seeing on Wed. anyway
  19. Troy Sabin*
  20. Brig Tison*
  21. Helen Underwood
  22. Clark Valberg*
  23. Adam Weinstein
  24. Bingwu Xie (the only X…in Japan, and I didn’t call him)

A 33% hit rate. Not bad.

Clark (#22) suggested that the idea could be an iPhone app and linked into social networks such as a Facebook status update (tweet) that says “I am playing Rolodex Roulette and speaking with Clark Valberg now” (with the appropriate links.)

Anyway, I had a great time and highly recommend the game.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

No Blood For Oil? How about Water?

First it was phosphorus, now it is water.

A fascinating article about what current trends in consumption mean for us and future generations.


Will ingenuity solve this or are we headed to catastrophe?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Flexibility vs. Security

On 2nd thought, I am not sure this is the best title for this post.

Perhaps you can help me re-title it after it.

Three times within the course of three days people remarked/commented on my ability “as a dad” to participate in an activity of my kids during the traditional work day.

Tonka and Paco took a class this summer at the local franchise of the Little Gym and the last session of the semester, the parents are invited in to participate in the activity (and you can bet I did that with enough gusto that they probably are re-thinking the practice.)

I also took them at 2pm to their dental appointments.

The teachers at the Little Gym and the dentist, in particular, were truly amazed (I was the only father in the gym class) that I was there.

Since I make my own schedule, I can do that.

They saw the flexibility portion of my job.

What they don’t see, however, is the fact that I have traded the relative security of a known ribi-weekly paycheck.

But, in thinking further about it, I realized that, particularly these days, many people don’t take that for granted either.

So, wondering…what do you think is the appropriate “flip-side” to the flexibility that I currently have?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Layar, worlds first mobile Augmented Reality browser

a nice glimpse of the future of how virtual and real come together...

The Wedding Process

Hindu marriage ceremony from a Rajput wedding.Image via Wikipedia

We were in Albany last weekend for the wedding of one of the NFO's sisters. A glorious affair indeed.

Over the weekend, as we offered our blessings and thoughts for the couple, I had a chance to have some side conversations with people about marriage.

What was interesting is how many people said how naive they were about what marriage really entails at the time of their weddings.

Not in the sense of "oh, it's terrible and I thought it would be 'happily ever after,'" but really more in the sense of how much effort, patience and time it takes to really morph into a the true sense of the world.

A few weeks back, I was talking to some friends of ours and they were sharing a conversation they'd had about what they would expect the other spouse to do in the event of an untimely/early death of one spouse.

The wife said, "I've spent 20 years breaking this one in, I don't have patience for another one."

It was said in jest...sort of...but I think the larger point, which she realized, is that it just takes a LOT OF TIME for two people to really come together and learn to live with each other in true harmony.

I don't want this to come off as saying there's discontent and dischord all along the way, there's certainly not. There are plenty of amazing moments as well, but recognizing that growing (or should I say wedding?) two people into one doesn't happen on the wedding day, it just starts there.

Maybe we should start talking about 'wedding' as a verb, not a noun. The noun, then, is just the first looping together in a process that takes a while.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Two Things I Will ALWAYS Invest In….

Marketing and Technology.

Legendary management professor Peter Drucker said it best:Drucker on Marketing

“The business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation.”  (The Essential Drucker)

And I view Technology as a fundamental driver of innovation.

That’s why I spent the bulk of 2 days last week TOTALLY overhauling and upgrading my infrastructure.

I was away from my core business (fortunately it is August and things were a bit slow), but this is the kind of upfront investment that technology requires…”all in” and which pays off SIGNIFICANTLY over time.

Here’s what we did (it’s going to get a bit geeky, so hang on)

  1. bought a new x64 PC w/4 GB RAM and dual core. Installed Windows 7 on it, added a 2nd video card and now have 4 monitors attached to it. Office 2010 tech preview is coming
  2. Took my previous machine and made it a true “media center” PC where TV, Video, Pics, Music can all be accessed from multiple locations throughout the house and, (most importantly for the NFO and me) while exercising
  3. Migrated my business email/calendar/contacts to a hosted Exchange solution
  4. set up real-time synchronization between 3 computers and my mobile phone
  5. got a new mobile phone (HTC touch) and brought it online
  6. reconfigured my Magic Jack phone to make it easier to access
  7. added cameras to two other computers so we can Skype with family/friends around the world (and no one has to come into the “man cave”)
  8. used Windows Live Sync to keep all files up to date across multiple devices

There’s more and it took some work. One night, I had parts of 3 different computers strewn about the basement floor.

But, we got it done and now, we’re ready to rumble.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shift in the Parental Paradigm…

There are a few slides at the pool where we go.

At the beginning of the summer, I asked Tonka to go down the medium sized one at least once before the end of July.

Paco has been going down these slides since before he was 3, so I know someone of her age can handle it.

She said she would.

Somehow, July came and went and I never called her on it.

Until last week.

It’s not so much that I want her to go down the slide per se, it’s that I want her to learn the lesson that we need to stand up to our fears and confront them. Obviously, if safety is an issue, your fear is right, but you have to have the judgment that a slide at a public pool with hundreds of kids going down it each day without incident is indeed safe.

I know I’m more risk-tolerant than many, but I also know that total risk-aversion is something that I want my daughter to avoid.

So, at first, I pushed…pretty hard. I threatened. I punished.

Not because she wouldn’t go down the slide, but because she had broken her promise to me.

She was in tears.

I was angry and upset.

Two days later, we were back at the pool.

I tried a different approach.

Admittedly, I should have tried it before, but hey, I’m doing this for the first time, so cut me some slack.

Told her it was ok to be afraid. Offered assistance in a number of ways, as did Paco.


Now, I wasn’t angry, I was saddened.

Call me melodramatic, but I envisioned a teenager, or college student, or a middle aged woman who was paralyzed by fear and unable to overcome it to take that next step of growth and worried that that woman was my daughter…and it was a result of my failure to help her understand why she needed to do this.

We were both upset by the situation (she didn’t go down the slide) and she was acting out a bit in the car ride home.

It was at that moment that I knew the paradigm for her had shifted.

I couldn’t just tell her what to do and have her listen to me simply because I am her father. That era, for her, at least, had passed.

Call it fate, but later that night, while giving Gianni a bath, I was reading Harold Kushner’s book When All You Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough and the

chapter talked about the difference between “power” and “love.”

I won’t go into all of it, but suffice it to say, it gave me some ideas.

And it also helped me recognize that this was a pivotal moment for her as well as for me.

We needed to focus on the nature of our relationship.

So, I took her to the couch and we hugged each other. We chatted about what happened and we tried to reach an understanding.

I don’t know if we achieved the specific objective, but I do think she got the meta-message…that I love her.

I suppose that is the most important thing here and, if she knows that, perhaps it will make it easier to take those leaps of faith that childhood require.


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Monday, August 24, 2009

Don’t Mess With the Zohan

It’s not always so popular to stereotype people, but if you’ve spent a lot of time in Israel or with Israelis (and can handle a little bit of raunch/off-color), then You Don't Mess with the Zohan is worth it.

Yes, I know it’s 2 or 3 years old or whatever, but what do you want, I have 3 kids?!!

Anyway, I found myself laughing out loud and crying (full disclosure: I think Adam Sandler is really funny) as he (and others in the film) hammed up the Israeli cultural foibles.

Very accurate.

A good, light laugh, even if the ending is rather naive.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

America on the decline?

My friend Josh, a graduate of St. John's College and a guy who knows a thing or two about a classical liberal arts education, submits the following. Thoughts?

I would submit that the American experiment is in the “complacency to dependency” stage as is evidenced by the over-reliance on government bailouts and total lack of consequences and free markets in today’s environment.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. Those nations always progress through the following sequence:
  • From bondage to spiritual faith,
  • from spiritual faith to great courage,
  • from great courage to liberty,
  • from liberty to abundance,
  • from abundance to selfishness,
  • from selfishness to complacency,
  • from complacency to dependency,
  • from dependency back into bondage."

Alexander Fraser Tytler Lord Woodhouselee (1748-1813), "The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic", Scottish historian at Edinburgh University

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Justifying Tech Toys to Stay Young

The other day I wrote that one of the ways to “stay young” is to befriend a 14 year old.
Another way…one that works for me and one that, in hindsight, worked for my Poppy, is to buy advanced technologies that you don’t fully understand.
Then, play around with it.
I obtained a new phone with some advanced features and I could feel my mind working (as if I was playing Sudoku) as I sought to discover the inner workings of the device.
Yes, I enjoyed it, but I now can justify my purchases :-)
Experts tell you that exercising your brain with new challenges helps prevent diseases like Alzheimers.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hi-Ho...a new standard in High/Low

Our Sabbath Meal Invite Strategy and preparation document are the subject of a great deal of "roasting" within our community.
And, over the years, we've had plenty of people rise to the occasion with extremely creative, exciting, and memorable "gifts" to make the moment even more special.
Whether it is a trash can, a fire extinguisher, gifts that are symbolic of our children, folding chairs, WD-40, electric extension cords, Drano, carpet cleaner or whatever (and I'm just naming a few not saying the others aren't great), each of these items like a piece in a museum that says "donated by the XX family foundation" holds a place in our memory long after the meal is done.
However, this past week, we reached a new plateau.
One of the things we ask our guests is to share "a high point and a low point" of the past week.
We've had great highs and very sad lows, but until now, as far as I can recall, no one had ever come with a prepared statement in the form of a song.
Bobby Medow, father of our friend, Panina Licht, on the plane from St. Louis penned the following to the tune for "Hi-Ho" from Snow White and 7 Dwarves.
We pause and recognize the grandeur of this moment.
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

What the 3rd child doesn't know...

is that you've been there before.

Gianni has recently started throwing some tantrums.

She's also got a look in her eye that says "I am testing you and testing boundaries."

What she doesn't realized is: we're not fazed.

We've "been there, done that."

She'll lie down in the middle of the kitchen floor, cry, kick her legs, etc.

Know what we do?

Lift her up and just move her to another room, put her face down there and let her scream.

Matter of fact. All business. Ok, have your tantrum and we'll move on, but no need to disturb the peace in here.

We've seen this and we're unmoved, so good luck.

As a father, I want to teach her to innovate any way, it's a critical Darwinian skill, right? (need to adapt to your environment), so I'm sure this behavior will morph into something uniquely her own, but for now, she hasn't yet figured out that the strategies she's employing have been met before.

In effect, she's fighting the last war. ;-)

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Supreme Commander in My House...

The other day Paco says to me:

"Dad, can I have a popsicle?"

"I don't know. Ask the Supreme Commander."

Without missing a beat or hesitating for even a second, he turns to the NFO and says:

"Mom, can I have a popsicle please?"


I told this story to my brother-in-law. He loved it. He said, "I call my wife 'Zeus,' since she is all-powerful."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The value of sharing...

Flag United States MarylandImage by erjkprunczyk via Flickr
People often ask me why I am willing to share so much information and to share some seemingly random things with you.

Well, I guess it is because that, more often than not, it is, simply put, worth it.

Here's a trivial example.

The other day, in my post where I suggested that Maryland may be the most uniquely shaped state, I mentioned a book that I wanted to read called How the States Got Their Shapes.

Well, wouldn't you know it, but one of the people coming over for lunch the next day had it, brought it over, and lent it to me?

So, while I didn't read ALL the states, I did skim a majority of the book and I'm going to say that, when you combine the shape with some of the historical information around it, that Maryland and West Virginia would be my top two nominees.

In a previous era, there's NO way that I would have been able to share that information and then have it turn into something so useful, so quickly.
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Internet Porn and Parenting in a Networked World

Remember back after September 11th when we learned that nature of war had changed?

We learned that Al-Qaeda was a “network” and that our military wasn’t set up to defeat a networked enemy.

For some reason, I get Details magazine (I think it is left over from a US Air miles redemption offer, but I digress). It's not super-intellectual, but it does have some entertaining, light (bathroom, if I must be honest) reading.

The other night, I was reading an article called HOW INTERNET PORN IS CHANGING TEEN SEX (warning: the content is EXTREMELY graphic. Mom-please do not read this.)

[Note: when you put in “warning: graphic content,” I bet that makes MORE people read it, not less. Hmmmm…)

Ok, so the rest of this post is a lot of graphic content also.

I know you clicked over. I told you it was GRAPHIC.

And that is part of the point.

One of the things that really came out in the article was how teens can basically access anything they want, any time, from anywhere.

When most of us were growing up, there was one line into the house (the phone) and parents could control it.

Now, there are billions of lines in.

You can’t control it.

You can try, but I think you’ll (and I) lose.

It’s a totally new paradigm, so it requires a new way of thinking.

My good friend, Rabbi Shu Eliovson, runs a phenomenal organization called In-Reach (please consider donating here)

It’s specifically focused on Jewish youth, but the problems/challenges are universal.

How do you help parents prepare their kids for dealing with a world where every possible imaginable thing (and we mean everything-stuff that some of you can’t even picture, nor do you want to) is at their fingertips (or iPods or phones).

It’s a new war (survival of your kids) in a networked world.

If you are a parent, you can’t fight “the last war.”

Trust me, I don’t have the answer on this one, but I do have a bit of time (probably less than I think though) to figure it out.

That’s why we are kicking this conversation off today.

Updated: thanks to those of you who have already donatedReblog this post [with Zemanta] (just put jer979 in the notes field)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

On Sustainability…

For those of you who are concerned about sustainability (and that should be all of you), two articles worth checking out.

Both from Scientific American

The first is about Todd Brady, who is Corp Environmental Manager at Intel, and has designed Intel’s first green building to be opened this year in Haifa, Israel.

The other article, far more technical, raised my awareness (from zero) on the looming crisis of a Phosphorus Famine.

I had NO idea about this at all or how critical it is.

The visual that brought the phosphorus issue (and more…ever since An Incovnenient Truth, I feel like my outlook has dramatically changed), was the author’s description of the Earth as a spaceship.

He writes:

Green Revelation
My interest in phosphorus dates back to the mid-1990s, when I became involved in a NASA program aiming to learn how to grow food in space. The design of such a system requires a careful analysis of the cycles of all elements that go into food and that would need to be recycled within the closed environment of a spaceship. Such know-how may be necessary for a future trip to
Mars, which would last almost three years.

Our planet is also a spaceship: it has an essentially fixed total amount of each element.

Worth the read.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Most Unique State Shape...

:en:Category:U.S._State_Population_Maps :en:Ca...Image via Wikipedia
There is no question that I'm biased on this one, but was looking at a cut-out of the state of Maryland the other day and I wondered...what state has the most unique shape?

I'm ready to argue for Maryland. So many nooks and crannies, a very narrow part in the northwest, a huge cut thanks to the Chesapeake Bay.

There's a book I added to my Amazon Wish List, but haven't read yet called How the States Got Their Shapes which I will have to check out.

Which state do you think and why?
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

My job is to leave…

Dropped Tonka off at a new camp on Monday and she was a bit clingy. Even teary.

Eventually, I had to go, of course, and I thought that part of my job is to have her confront her fears, face the unknown. Those are life skills.

My job, to put it bluntly, is to leave her in this scenario.

IT’s the only path to growth.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What Dancing Teaches Us About Perception...

The NFO and I are big fans of the Fox show "So You Think You Can Dance."

The summer season ended last week where Jeanine edged out Brandon for the championship.

It was widely recognized the Jeanine had "peaked at the right time" and had made dramatic improvements in her dancing skills over the course of the season.

While we don't know for sure, I suspect that many people saw this transformation and loved her "4th quarter push," thus giving her the crown.

The thing was also widely recognized from the VERY beginning of the season that Brandon was one of the top, if not THE top dancer, on the show.

His audition was memorable. He gave, what the lead judge called, "one of the greatest solo performances the show has ever seen" and he was consistently excellent in his execution.

So, what caused his defeat?

I think it was expectations.

From the very beginning, Brandon was a superstar. Expectations were ridiculously high. A small hiccup that was super minor for another dance became the one thing that the judges could find fault with in his otherwise phenomenal and consistent performances.

So, we expected excellence from him and if he delivered 99.9%, it didn't meet our expectations.

Jeanine, on the other hand, made improvement that relatively speaking seemed far more significant than Brandon's, so in our eyes, she appeared to be the better dancer.

It wasn't about consistency it was about the delta, the change.

We don't notice consistency. We notice change.

And we notice big change more than little change.

One less page of classified ads in our local paper, we don't notice.

The paper going out of business, we notice.

I wonder if there's a lesson here for a lot of things.  It's good to start strong, but if you have to choose, it's probably better to finish strong.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Selling Kidneys...Conservatives/Liberals United!

NEWARK, NJ - JULY 23:  Acting U.S. Attorney Ra...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
You may have heard about the recent scandal in New Jersey where a number of Orthodox rabbis were arrested for a variety of things including money laundering.

One of them, however, was involved (allegedly) in a kidney selling scheme where he would pay poor people $10k and then re-sell the organ for $160k to rich people in need of a transplant.

It seems, however, that on the issue of selling organs, we may have a point of agreement between free market libertarians and liberals.

The free marketers would, of course, say "hey, a kidney is an asset you your time, your skills, and your education. You should be able to sell that on the free market the same way you would any of those other assets."

And the liberals would say "just like in a case of abortion where it is 'my body, my choice,' a person who wants to sell his kidney can say 'hey, it's my body, my choice.'"

People take all kinds of risks every single day and they live with those decisions. If a poor person in need of cash in India or wherever can make $10k (or more) by selling a kidney to someone who has money and can afford it, isn't everyone better off?

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Monday, August 10, 2009

You only have a few years...

HourglassImage by marionaire via Flickr
I have noticed recently how impressionalbe the two older kids are by their friends and peers.

Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

A few weeks ago, we were in a situation where Tonka was surrounded by some girls of roughly her age and I noticed how NONE of them said "please" or "thank you."

So, this morning, I was pretty swift in deducting bonus points when she failed to do so.

My aunt, a PhD in Psychology, once said to me (before I even had kids) that "by the time a kid is 6, he's pretty much the person he is going to be."

Whether that is true or not is of some importance, but the idea that, as your kids spend more time at school and with their friends, and less time at home or with parents, you certainly have fewer opportunities to influence their development.

It gave me a sense of urgency.

I'm generally very proud of Tonka (and Paco) for the types of behaviors they demonstrate and perhaps I am being too dramatic by calling out a "Days of Our Lives" type hourglass metaphor, but, of course, the downside risk of not addressing these issues now is greater than the short-term benefit of delaying and addressing them later.

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Observing Innocence…

Pretty much every night, we get all of the kids in bed between 7-8pm.

And pretty much every night, Paco and Tonka (whose beds are literally next to each other) stay up to 9 or even 10 playing.

Sometimes they sing.

Sometimes they read books.

Sometimes you will over hear their conversations.

And recently, they’ve been heavily involved in creating make-believe worlds involving all of their stuffed animals (and there are many of them.)

It’s elaborate, intricate, and beautiful.

Friday, August 07, 2009

You are only 4 once…

Though Paco’s birthday is next week, yesterday was the day we celebrated at his camp/school with his friends.

The NFO is a wizard at birthday party creativity and we read a story, sang songs (which we recorded and I am now in the process of burning to CD), did a project, and, of course, had cake.

Somewhere along the line, while chasing after Gianni, taking pictures, taking video (I’m such the suburban/yuppie dad, no?), some words rang out in my mind.

I don’t know where I heard them said most recently, but it was in regards to Paco.

“You only turn 4 once.”

And I looked at this growing boy, sitting amongst his classmates, thinking about the moment of his birth, when he first obtained the nickname he still has, and why we chose to name him as we did.

My mom always has said, “The days are long, but the years are short” and once again, this has proven to be true. (Bonus: if you are up for a good cry, check out Gretchen Rubin’s short movie by this same title: THE YEARS ARE SHORT)

Sunrise, sunset, etc.

Here we are.

Another life milestone.

Just marking it.

Thanks for joining us on the ride.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Whale Wars...Eco-Terrorism?

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 05:  Captain P...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
I wouldn't put "environmentalist" in my title, but I have to admit, I am becoming more and more conscious of the role we play within the larger eco-system.

Recently, I've become fascinated by the show "Whale Wars" and I find my heart strings being pulled by the site of Japanese harpoon ships killing the whales.

Just seems so wrong and unnecessary.

More than that, however, I am frustrated by the lack of sophisticated weaponry on the part of the Sea Shepherd.

Can't someone give them one of those t-shirt firing guns from baseball games to get their stink bomb bottles on the ships?

Or, why not drop them from the helicopter? They do have air superiority.

Of course, this LRAD thing is a problem, but hopefully the show will raise money for them and we can fuel an "arms race" against Japanese whaling vessels.

Worth checking out.
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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Want to stay savvy?

Befriend a 14 year old.

We had my cousin’s daughter stay with us for a week as a “mother’s helper” type.

She was great for that, of course, but it was fascinating to see how she uses technology.

Sure, she’s a “digital native” and all that, but it was most interesting to see how our world paradigms were different.

Best example?


Want to hear a song of your choice? Where do you go?

She went to YouTube.

Every song is up there with either the accompanying video or just the lyrics.

YouTube is her radio station.


She watches her shows online as well.

There are others, but if you know a 14 year old, just sit behind them for 20 minutes as they do their tasks.

It’ll be some great consumer insight for you.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Sensitizing of America?

While flipping through the channels last night, I came across a new show on Fox called “More to Love.”

Kind of like the Bachelor in its “search for romance” theme, all of the contestants, however, were “plus-sized women.”

I have to say that I got kind of emotional as I heard their stories of being judged based on their weight. Never having gone on a date or had a boyfriend.

It was really moving.

I was kind of glad to see that a show was focused on helping give these woman a human side and that dating isn’t all about supermodels.

Interestingly enough, the next show I saw was called “Dating in the Dark.”

I only watched for 3 minutes, but the whole idea was that “love could be blind” and that people would interact without actually seeing each other.

Or maybe all of the other reality shows are tired and old by now?

Monday, August 03, 2009

As if it never happened…

I was really moved the other day when reading Gretchen Rubin’s blog (full disclosure: client) where she challenged her readers to write about something as if it never happened.

If I had never met the NFO (that’s the codeword for my spouse), for example, I wouldn’t have 3 of the most amazing beings walking around my house teaching me how to laugh like a kid, how to cry as a parent, and how to think and behave like an adult.

I’d also be far less sensitive (that’s not to say that I am sensitive right now…just a bit more than I otherwise would have been.)

I’d also be less concerned with how my words affected the feelings of others. (Again, not a ninja master here with a long way to go, so you can imagine the impact that she’s had on me.)

And I’d be a far more poor communicator. (Do I still need all of these disclaimers? I think the point was I was like a neanderthal and now may be a Cro-Magnon or whatever the accurate move up the evolutionary chain is.)

Sometimes when we look at our lives, it’s easy to think that “this isn’t how I thought it would play out.” Or, “I’m stuck in a situation that isn’t what I want” and when we do that, we focus on the downsides, the challenging, the part that is unrewarding and we take for granted and ignore the wonderful elements that are part of the equation.

Not easy at all, but thanks to Gretchen’s suggestion, we have one step in the right direction.

BTW, her blog and forthcoming book (shameless plug) are called The Happiness Project and you can pre-order your copy here.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

How to Write a Killer Bio…

One of the leading experts on career advice, Marci Alboher, penned a great column on writing a “killer bio.”

And, as you’ll see in the last paragraph, she’s got some great source material (and healthy skepticism).

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Letterman laughs, but the joke’s on him…

This is a funny dialogue between Kevin Spacey and Dave Letterman as Spacey explains Twitter to Dave.

There’s the expected banter, but the key moment is when Spacey says, “this will go out to 800,000 people which is more than watch your show.”

Now, even if the number’s aren’t exactly right, this moment signifies the Ridiculous Reach of the Individual and the shift in power from broadcast media to democratized media.

Spacey doesn’t need a platform (like a network TV show) like Letterman does so he can communicate without the cost infrastructure, which makes him more valuable. (A separate conversation is warranted about the fact that Spacey only has 800k followers because he benefitted from broadcast media, but that’s a side point…albeit an important one.)

What Letterman thinks is funny is, ironically, the very thing that will ebb away at his own value.

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