Sunday, October 31, 2010

The National Archives…

U.S. Declaration of Independence ratified by t...

Image via Wikipedia

Our latest excursion took us to explore the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights AND as a bonus, we saw the Magna Carta and the Nuremberg Laws.

The kids, who are fascinated by all things Presidential, were excited to see Thomas Jefferson’s and George Washington’s pictures on the murals on the wall.

Also, seeing the documents that Jefferson (and they learned about George Mason) wrote was a bonus.

Though they couldn’t remember the name of the person who signed the DofI so big that “King George could see it” (John Hancock), they did remember that someone had.

A nice, quick visit and another benefit of living where we do…hoping to inspire an appreciation of their hometown.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Hateful bigotry? Condoning Obesity? Grossed out?

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a stir brewing on the Marie Claire blog and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Over 1700 comments (at last count).

It started because a blogger took up the issue of whether it was a good idea to show obese people on TV in intimate situations.

I am not even going to begin to debate this one, it’s fascinating.

Just go read it.

Hat tip to Dani Klein for posting this on his Facebook feed.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Composting Update…

A few months ago (June 29th to be exact), I started composting.

So far, I’d say the results have been mixed.IMAG0059

While I have been completely unsuccessful in terms of generating any type of mulch for spreading in my yard, what has been an overwhelming success is the fact that now almost all the organic waste that we produce goes in the composter.

What happens there is nothing short of a wonder of nature.

It is so fascinating to watch the insects inside go to work and the food just gets reprocessed.

There are so many challenges to our world and while this is just a minor step, it makes me feel good (and involving my kids as well) that, instead of putting our stuff in a landfill (where I suppose it might decompose anyway), we’re making a small contribution to the eco system in our backyard.

It’s made all of us feel more connected to the larger biosphere.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Skype via Facebook


Nifty little add-on to newest version of Skype.

Now, you can get your Facebook newsfeed directly within Skype…and then call people.

Makes sense to integrate your social network with phone, directly from your desktop/laptop (my hunch is that this isn’t available on mobile version yet).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What Innovation Requires…

More than anything else.

A thick skin.

When you try something new, you will be ridiculed, criticized, and doubted.

Just have to believe.

More important than brains or the idea. Persistence and a relentless refusal to take things personally.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tools of the Trade…

Three models of the Zune (not including Zune H...

Image via Wikipedia

I don’t travel light.

I like to be prepared.

Not just clothes wise, but in terms of time-saving and productivity-enhancing technology.

On a recent four day trip, I brought the following with me

  1. my Windows 7 Netbook
  2. an iPad
  3. a Zune
  4. my Sprint EVO smartphone
  5. the LiveScribe smartpen
  6. a Flipcam

And, because I did, I was able to make the most of a number of unexpected opportunities (that’s the idea behind being prepared, right?)

The laptop? Obvious. iPad—also, obvious, I would expect. The Zune…I synchronize it with my Media Center at home and thus have a DVR-like experience when necessary.

Phone, also obvious, but I did use it to capture an impromptu chat in a parking lot, the FlipCam allowed me to capture a video of my client who is willing to do my laundry, and listen to a lecture by a leading marketing thinker and capture it with my LiveScribe pen as a Pencast.

Like a carpenter carries a toolbox, so do I. Need to have many tools to get the job done.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Urban Legend….

This is a slightly off-color/risque post. If you get offended by these types of things or think you might, don’t read any further.

You’ve been warned.

I met a guy at the Bag Claim in BWI the other night who has 2 girlfriends—and they are ok with the fact that the other one exists. Here’s his unique story.

His email address includes the words “urbanlegend” in it. Indeed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Early Morning Arrival

I flew from Seattle to Chicago on the red-eye the other night (not doing that again…the flight is too short to get real sleep).

My plan was to go straight from the airport to my sister-in-law’s house and go to bed.

Thing is, I got in to O’Hare at 4.45am and was in front of their house at 5.30am.

There was no way I was going to wake them up.

So, I pulled up their lawn chair, connected to their wi-fi network with my laptop and iPad and proceeded to just get stuff done.

One of the stranger moments in my travel career.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Client Who Does Laundry…

I’ve been blessed to have some great clients in my career, but  this is the first time a client is so dedicated that she’s willing to do my laundry ;-)

Enjoy the video.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Good News, Bad News

best toilet-training aids EVER
Image via Wikipedia
We’re working on potty training Lakkanen (2.5).

We got her undressed the other night in preparation for the bath then, for a few moment, turned our attention to the other kids.

Moments later, she comes running in yelling, “I made a poopie.”

“That’s great!” we shout.

Then, she continues, “I did it in the container on the floor in Tikkanen’s room!”


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It’s not every day you witness a revolution…

I apologize if this is a bit of an exclusionary post since you need some background in order to understand why I think this is groundbreaking (and I can’t really go into all of it right now).

This video shows two Orthodox rabbis in an Orthodox synagogue providing musical accompaniment to a Bat Mitzvah girl leading the service during a women-only, women-run service.

The men, meanwhile, are occupying the seats/sections which are usually reserved for the women.

The NFO and I were in Nashville for this service and the two rabbis there just AWESOME.

For those of you in the egalitarian fold or not familiar with the politics of women’s issues in the Traditional/Orthodox world, this may not seem like a big deal.

But, it is.

I have so much respect for how Rabbis Strosberg and Levitt pushed the envelope here to give women as much opportunity to participate as is possible under halacha, traditional Jewish law.

I really don’t know if this is the first time something like this has happened, but it was the first I’d seen it and the first I’d heard of it.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Travel People

It’s really easy when we travel to stay in our own worlds.

iPods, Kindles, hotel rooms, etc. We can build a cocoon.

The point of travel, at least for me, is to expand horizons.

And, to do that, it’s about people.

When I travel on business, I’m focused, that’s for sure and I always try and do at least one thing unique to that place to make it memorable.

I’m also going to try and chronicle at least one interesting conversation.

This one is William Abbey, a retired Seattle police officer who is almost finished with his goal of bicycling across the entire country.

You can read his stuff at Crazy Guy on a Bike

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Zen Class Bag Review

Sophisticated travelers know that one of the best things you can do is to be prepared for delays and that a plane trip can be optimized for productivity.

I travel with a lot of stuff. A laptop, a phone, sometimes an iPad, maybe a book (for takeoff/landing), water bottle, healthy snacks, and more.

I frequently find myself reaching under the seat in front of me or trying to navigate the pouch in the back of the seat, so I was particularly excited when Brent Hollowell told me about his business, Zen Class Travel and the tote bag that is designed to fit right over the tray table in front of you.

On a flight to Seattle, I gave it a whirl and hung it up in front of me for a large portion of the trip.

Here’s my video of the experience.

It certainly made access a LOT easier and more pleasurable. I had more within reach and simply than before.

The bag folds up nicely and has a shoulder strap, so you can easily prep it beforehand and then just put it up when you get on board. I chose not to do this.

When bringing the tray table down, however, the bag can’t stay on it. Since I use my laptop a lot on the flight, I found that the bag was on the floor next to me (I had a window seat, so for this flight, it wasn’t a big deal).

While there were a lot of pockets and they could hold my laptop (NetBook) and my iPad, the bag couldn’t fold up in half (for the carrying portion) with those devices in there.

A minor point, but I noticed it.

I happen to love pockets, and this thing had a lot of them. With a bit more practice, I could probably become quite adept at it.

I can’t say that it revolutionized my travel experience, but I can say that I liked the convenience of it, the design was clever, and it certainly made for a more pleasant flight.

I’m intrigued enough that I will continue to test it out on my next set of flights (we’ll see how it holds up going to India!)

Disclosure: Brent sent me a free bag for purposes of trial, but with no conditions attached regarding the review.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Global Network. Global Consciousness.

The more time that I spend online (and it’s a lot), the more the power of networks helps me understand how we’re all interconnected.IMAG0059

Perhaps this technical understanding of networks has opened my mind, eyes, and heart to the biological network we inhabit and impact.

Back in June, I began composting and this post was originally going to be about the progress of that initiative.

So far, I haven’t really taken any mulch out of the “end” of the process, but what continues to AMAZE and astound me is how much food we are now recycling and how effectively nature recycles it.

Watching the insects at work is truly an appreciation of God’s handiwork and I am at the point where I don’t even care if I get mulch out. It’s just a great feeling to contribute in this small way.

But, while I was thinking about this post, I watched this fantastic video called How Big Brands Can Save BioDiversity and it made me concerned about the future that we all will inherit…and hopeful that, as more and more people come to the realization that our past patterns of consumption are not sustainable, that there is indeed a brighter future around the corner.

I’m far from a model of non-consumption, but, as Lao Tzu says, “the journey of a 1000 miles begins with 1 step” and my step is the one out my back door to the compost bin.

What’s yours?

Now, watch the video…

Thursday, October 14, 2010

‘Probably a Black or Hispanic Kid’

A few weeks ago, someone entered our neighbors’ house.

We live in a mostly white, relatively affluent neighborhood.

As part of their efforts, the police asked me if I had seen anything (I hadn’t) and, after telling me that my neighbors had left their windows open, said in passing, “look it was probably some black or hispanic kid.”

With no information about the perpetrator, that kind of took me off guard.

Even if the odds are that it was some black or Hispanic kid, I am not sure how helpful or relevant that information was from the officer.

Seemed like just something that shouldn’t have been said.

Now, guess the race and gender of the police officer who made the comment…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Video: The NSM Client Experience

Put together a small video describing the "client experience” of working with Never Stop Marketing. This is the first version.

Feedback welcome.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Education: China vs. US

High School Musical

Image via Wikipedia

I heard a fascinating report on NPR the other day about how film makers are seeking to adapt classic US movies to the Chinese market…with mixed success.

One of the movies that failed was High School Musical.

But, the part of the story that got me was the fact that:

China's High School Musical wasn't actually set in a high school. It had to be transplanted to a college.

That's because Chinese high schools involve such a huge workload, it would be impossible for students to take part in the singing contest around which the film revolves.

The more I think about American competitiveness, the more this kind of thing drives home the point that I should be concerned.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hi Tech Nephew…

My newest nephew was born the other day at 12.22pm.

As you can see from the clock behind us, it was only a matter of hours before my sister and I began educating him on the merits of various mobile device technology.

Mazal tov to my sister, Dina and brother-in-law, Eitan.


Friday, October 08, 2010

Volume 11

When some folks talk to me about the mantra of “Never Stop Marketing”, they refer to Spinal Tap and say, “Jeremy, you have only one volume…11.”

Enjoy the video.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Where good ideas come from…

How do you “make” innovation happen?

What can you do to increase your odds of the “big idea?”

Well, it turns out you/we are living in the midst of a powerhouse age of potential.

In the words of Steven Johnson, “Chance favors the connected mind.”

Take 4 minutes to watch this fantastic video (which, btw, is one of the BEST book trailers (here’s the book: Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovationalt -Amazon link) I’ve ever seen- and no, I don’t think Dan Pink or Gretchen Rubin will take offense)

and here's the book (amazon link)

HT to Michelle James for this gem

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I’m not old enough…

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - NOVEMBER 08:  A cayci ('tea...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The other day at lunch, I had some tea.

Paco wanted some.

Then, Nadia said, “I want some.”

Paco turned to me and said, “I don’t think she’s old enough for tea.”

My philosophy is: “If it’s not going to kill or injure them, it’s a good life lesson opportunity.”

I gave her a small taste (it was herbal decaf).

Then, Nadia (2.5) took one sip, looked at me and said, “I’m not old enough!”


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Son and Soccer

Arsenal's Cesc Fàbregas (white shirt) duels wi...

Image via Wikipedia

Jokkanen is now part of a kindergarten soccer league.

He’s mega cute in his jersey, etc.

The other week, during his first game, I marveled at the amount of joy I felt as I watched him running around the field.

He wasn’t the best player out there at all. About average, but where I was proud of him was how smart a game he played.

Most of the kids just converge on the ball. He kind of sat back and watched the play develop and then went to where the ball was going.

It led to an assist on his team’s only goal.

Not only that, but it was clear that he was just absolutely enjoying himself and, as I told him, the thing that matters most is that you “leave it all on the field.”

That, he did.


Monday, October 04, 2010

Airplanes and National Identity

Short final for two-eight and barely a teenage...

Image via Wikipedia

I once took a class in International RElations where the prof said that the “single most dramatic impact on the history of international relations” was the invention of the jet airliner.

I thought about that yesterday when Tonka asked me about which languages were spoken in Switzerland (she had a friend who just moved there.)

I explained: German, French, Italian, and Romansch.

Then she asked “why?”

I explained some of the history of the people who lived there.

As the conversation continued, it evolved to cover the languages and people who live there now….and we started to speculate on what this meant for the future of national identity.

It’s been noted before, but it’s really amazing to think about the massive leaps in technology that have occurred in the past 50 years…and the dramatic impact they have on the concept of the nation-state based on a set of people with a common language in a defined geographic area.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Crowd Inspired Innovation

This is a great talk about how web video leads to innovation and excellence. I think it has dramatic implications for how all of us will behave and develop.

I, for one, know that I spend a lot of time watching and studying great presenters (kind of like studying a game film), so it helps me in my own presentations.


Friday, October 01, 2010

Social Media and the Extrovert Project

My friend Chris wants me to blog on the idea of “do you need to be an extrovert to successfully use social media?”

Answer: No.

What you need is passion and a desire to share that passion.

Social media isn’t about you. It’s about serving your friends by helping them see the world in a new way.

If you are an introvert and you love insects, then share cool pictures of insects or interesting facts or great articles about how important they are.

You don’t need to be an extrovert to do that.