YOUR VOICE. OUR VOICE. ONE VOICE. WEEK OF MARCH 15, 2009 CHICAGO EDITION VOL 1 No 7
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Inside This Issue: WOLVERINES! DEADSPIN ON STADIUMS OF TOMORROW DAILY KOS: IS CONSERVATISM DEAD? MORE SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERTISE FROM MASHABLE AMERICAN EXPRESS’ SCOTT BELSKY ON DAYLIGHTING PRETTY MUCH AMAZING REVIEWS YEAH YEAH YEAHS A FATHER’S LOVE FOR HIS 5 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER Photo by Sergio Rodriguez | tpburl.com/np3s9b Views expressed in Content do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the printed blog inc.
Let’s Twist the Knife Deeper and End Conservatism By smartass17 | 3/9/09 | Daily Kos tpburl.com/w0y1vc So I just finished the David Frum article in Newsweek about why Rush Limbaugh and his friends are no longer in the good graces of mainstream America and what the Republicans need to change. I didn’t really learn anything new because I honestly believe that the Republican ideas of conservatism resembles a mental disorder than a political ideology. I have been enjoying the conflict at the top of the Republican leadership because they are using the the same failed policies that Americans rejected in November as their “innovative ideas.” I love the fact that Oxycontin spokesman Rush Limbaugh’s strategy is to “force us” to agree with him and his buddies and that only they can fix this country. They seem like they would fit in better in Germany in 1939 than in America in 2009. smartass17’s diary :: :: I grew up in and currently reside in Berkeley so I have been pretty politically and socially aware most my life. As Bush 43 was “elected” in 2000 I was a freshman in high school and it was a rude awakening. He turned the country I loved into something I could barely recognize. I was sitting in a little piazza in Siena, Italy (I was studying abroad) in November 2006 at 8am nervously watching my computer screen waiting for the BBC website to come up and then I saw the picture of Speaker Pelosi with her hands up in victory. It was such a relief to feel like the tide was beginning to turn. I interned on the Hill last year to enter the swamp so I could one day be a policymaker. I was captivated by “Dreams from my Father” and was so happy when Barack declared he was running for President because I thought and still believe Barack has an amazing vision for this country. I also think in a second term Barack will swing so far to the left it will make the Repubs heads spin. From my involvement, study, and constant observance of our government I have finally come to this conclusion. Conservatism is what is wrong with America. Conservatism is the reason why almost one out of six Americans does not have health insurance because the Right believes it is a commodity instead of a right. Conservatism is the reason why it is so hard for impoverished Americans to break their families’ cycle of poverty by combating a strong public education system and fair labor laws. Conservatives would rather create a economic system that looks like a form of corporate feudalism by creating a system that concentrates wealth in the hands of the few than allow individuals to make fair wages that allows them to provide for their families. Conservatism tries to monopolize “family values.” So progressives are against fathers staying with their families and want to promote unwed teenage mothers? Conservatism is veiled hate at homosexuals who just want to be treated as equals and deserve the right the marry. I could write pages on why conservatives are ruining our country but I think you get my main points. A close family friend is a old school conservative and I know what you are thinking “A conservative in Berkeley? Crazy!” He enjoys the short lines at the voting booth during the primaries. Charlie grew up in Kentucky is in management of nationwide garage door company. We talk politics as he a keen observer and our conversations have evolved over the years as I learned more. He listens to Rush and Sean “If Rudy Giuliani was a woman I would sexually harass her” Hannity but is not a blind follower or as Al Franken calls them “Didiots.” He jumped off the Bush train early on because he is a “Reagan conservative” and kept on trying to tell me Bush was not true conservative, but this is the thing. Modern day conservatism is the true form of Barry Goldwater extremist conservatism. Bush brought it to the mainstream and was able to scare the country enough to accept it. There is a reason Goldwater got trounced in 1964. Conservatism erodes the very foundation of our nation and the idea Republicans can return to Reagan style conservatism is a myth. Reagan was “Conservatism-Lite.” his ideas have been tried and we all know they have failed. We have a opportunity to rebuild our economy with more progressive policies and put the “conservative movement” six feet under. The cards are in place with the possibilities to build the super majority in the Senate in 2010 and an election in 2012 where President Obama could show his true progressive colors after reelection. While I don’t think the Republicans will adapt (I couldn’t be happier because it means they will lose more elections). I ask you the readers of DailyKos what do you think can be done to end modern conservatism in America? I think David Frum captures it in his Newsweek article diagnosing the Republican party: Our party seems to be running to govern a country that no longer exists
Evan Lane | tpburl.com/gs2t08 Oprah
A Letter By Chris O’Shea | 3/9/09 | Surviving Myself
Dear Oprah, I just saw the cover of the April issue of your magazine, and I think I’ve had enough. I know that you do a lot of good for people and all that, but this is a little ridiculous. Michelle and Oprah, in a world where belts are a must, even if they are plastic and clear. I’m not even talking about how you and Michelle Obama are obviously photo-shopped. Or the fact that you let the first lady get photographed wearing a belt I’m sure they sell at Wal-Mart. Because that doesn’t even really bother me. What I have a problem with is that you couldn’t let Michelle Obama have the cover of your magazine to herself. Is it not enough that you have been on the cover of every single other issue? I guess not. When you found out she was giving you an interview, you just couldn’t let the first black First Lady ever chill by herself. Nope! You had to be on the cover too! I don’t understand. What is the point? It’s not like people don’t know who you are already. When I’m at Dunkin’ Donuts ordering a healthy chocolate donut for myself, and I see you walk in, it’s not like I’m turning to my friend and exclaiming, “Who’s that black lady???” No, I’m saying, “Damn! Oprah likes donut holes too!” What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t make sense. I don’t get how you didn’t think, at least just for a second, “Maybe I could step aside this time.” You do know the damn magazine is named after you, right? Anyway, I think I’m done with you. This is just too weird. In closing, now that I’ve voiced my disapproval, please don’t use your special Oprah Magic to turn me into a one-legged monkey. Best, Chris
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Batterers: Why Women Don’t Recognize a Mr. Wrong By irishwitch | 3/9/09 | Daily Kos tpburl.com/d98cfs A few weeks ago, someone posted a diary on the Chris Brown/Rihanna alleged assault. As always, a Kossack registered a fairly common opinion: that there should have been signs before he hit her that he was violent. I am going to try to respond to that here. Twenty years ago, I had a casual friend I’ll call Rachel , and she was the last person anyone would have thought would ever become a victim of domestic violence. Out-going and bubbly, she is frankly gorgeous, an cross between Cher in her Bob Mackie days and an Egyptian goddess, all sloe eyes, rippling black hair, killer body and long, long legs. I have seen her stop men in their tracks. But under the vivacity, there was a lack of confidence because, while she might be exotically beautiful, she wasn’t the Christie Brinkley type the magazines and billboards pushed on us, and she was shy about meeting new people, especially men. irishwitch’s diary :: :: We were all happy when she met a guy who was her counterpart. Big, blond and handsome in a clean-cut way, Bill (not his real name) seemed sweet and a little goofy and very solicitous of Rachel. He was romantic. He sent her flowers. He called her just to talk. He liked spending time with her, and not just in bed. But all was not what it seemed. And within 8 months of their first date, he hit her, and Racehl kicked him out of her life. My first husband and I learned the whole story when, two weeks after the break-up, we attended a science fiction convention that both Rachel and Bill were at. And Bill was not taking no for an answer. He had been calling her for the preceding two weeks. At the convention, surrounded by two thousand other people, he kept “just happening to run into her”. In other words, he was stalking her, and attempting to woo his way back into his life—very typical behavior for abusers after a violent incident. She asked my first (late) husband, a martial artist whom another pal once introduced with the words, “This is Tim. He knows a hundred different ways to hurt or kill you,” to have a few words with him. Tim found Bill and made it clear that there were a lot of people who knew what he’d done and who were keeping an eye on Rachel, and that if he didn’t leave her alone, there would be consequences. The funny part about this is that I later heard Bill whining about how he was threatened and he was terrified he’d get beaten up. What made it amusing was that Bill was 6’4” and weighed in at about 200 pounds of solid muscle and worked out. A lot. Tim was 5’11”, and on his heaviest day weighed 150. But he was able to put the fear of Deity into Bill, and he left Rachel alone after that. Unlike many accounts of DV, this one had a happy ending. None of us saw the abuse coming, not even her best friend. Bill just seemed like such a nice guy, sweet and genuinely caring. Looking back, though, a lot of what seemed like positive traits were actually warning signs—and that is why women don’t see it coming, why they don’t recognize Prince Charming as a violent batterer. A lot of their early behaviors, precisely the things that should be red flags, seem wonderful—at first. Only later are they recognized for what they truly are. I’ve compiled a list of Early Warning Signs from several websites. I will attempt to show why even smart women often don’t see Mr. Wrong for what he truly is. They are the victims of extremely intelligent anmanipulative con men who make Bernie Madoff look like an amateur. Whirlind Romance - Many abusers are socially adept, manipualtive and very, very charming. They know how to woo a woman with all the trimmings. They shower her with attention—compliments, flowers, phone calls “just to talk”. They aren’t afraid to tell her they love her early on, and they seem like Mr. Nice Guy. Most of her friends will like him, as will her family, because part of the wooing process is getting them to like him. This is why people—including old friends and family—are often so shocked when the truth comes out. The key point here is that he moves too fast, and becomes emotionally involved too quickly.
Control - All the behaviors described above are the methods he uses to get control of her life. Once he has her firmly under his thumb he will progress to stalking her—calling her at work to make sure she’s there, checking the mileage on the car to make sure she didn’t go anywhere but work. Once she is isolated and demoralized, then and only then will the physical violence begin. What I am trying to make clear is that abusers don’t seem like abusers in the beginning. After awhile, all those flattering behaviors that made him Prince Charming will escalate into something ugly and destructive. Why was Rachel fooled? Well, he wooed her. And the criticism was flattering, helpful even. And he wanted to see a lot of her, also very flattering. Eventually, though he began to carp about her appearance. Her nose was too big. Her thighs were too muscular. She dressed too sluttily. She flirted. She was too moody and difficult, a diva. After months of non-stop work, he began to convince her she was too flawed for guys to want her, that only he could love her. Then he started in on her behavior and her character flaws. By the time he hit her that first and only time, he had utterly destroyed her self esteem and convinced her that she was fat and ugly and not very nice. It worked because what he said just reinforced society’s stereotypes. Beautiful though she was, she wasn’t beautiful in the right way, the way the magazines and ads said you had to be. She had a slender, curvy body, well-toned and muscular—but the look you saw in Vogue was a stick figure, and she felt fat. She bought into what he said because he knew what buttons to push, and society also pushed those buttons. Fortunately, when he struck her, her eyes opened, and she saw him for what he was. She left his apt. And told him if he came to her place, she’d call the police and get a restraining order. She called old friends, and actually stayed with one for a week to drive the message home. And she made it stick. When he called, she saw it was him and refused to pick up. And when their paths crossed at the convention she had someone else deliver a message: that if he harassed her again, she had friends and she’d call the police. She wasn’t stupid when she fell for him. Bill was an actor capable of an Oscar-winning performance for a much smaller audience. He was a master con man. It’s amazing that we feel sympathy for the victims of a Ponzi scheme operator like Madoff—but, all to often, not for battered women because “they should have seen it coming.” In the case of Chris Brown’s alleged abuse of Rihanna, he fooled not only her, but the fans, the media and some pretty big corporations who hired him as a pitchman. He was Mr. Nice Guy. If they all fell for it, it’s no wonder that a twenty-one-year-old girl did too. And that is why women don’t recognize the red flags for what they are: they don’t look like red flags. They look like roses. PHOTOS
In the beginning, they may seem to be Prince Charming or a Knight in Shining Armor. He can be very engaging, thoughtful, considerate and charismatic. He may use that charm to gain very personal information about her. He will use that information later to his advantage.
It’s very easy to get lured in by this type of man. Women complain to their friends all the time about guys who wait till Thursday night to ask them out for Friday. A man who calls on Monday to make a date for Friday is a wonderful change—it sounds like he realizes you might actually have other plans if he waits too long. Another thing I’ve heard friends talk about is the emotionally distant man—the one who panics if you mention a friend getting engaged, or breaks out in hives if you tell him you care about him. Or the commitmentphobe who, after a year of steady dating, still can’t bring himself to leave a toothbrush and a razor at your place, let alone admit to being in love. After years of dating distant, unemotional men, someone who talks about his feelings is a relief. After having your guy forget your birthday and Valentine’s Day two years in a row, a man who sends you flowers for no reason does seem a lot like Prince Charming. And unafraid to meet your friends and family? A mensch. And there really are guys like that—I married two of them—who are just what they seem. It can be very hard to tell the Real Deal from an abuser in a clever disguise. That is precisely what happened to Rachel. The key is that it all happens way too quickly. He rushes his fences. The problem is that it doesn’t seem that way to the woman being wooed. Isolation - The abuser begins to isolate his victim from friends and family, like a predator separating his chosen prey from the herd. Should be obvious, right? Often, though, it isn’t. He just wants to spend as much time with you as he can—the whole weekend and a couple of evenings a week. You don’t even realize you’re not seeing old friends like you used to—especially female friends who provide a support network. A lot of women don’t even notice it because they’re accustomed to shunting their girlfriends aside when they’re starting a new relationship. And after dating a bunch of guys who are so skittish about commitment that they can hardly manage to call you until the night before they want to go out, someone who wants to hang out, eat pizza and watch DVDs is a great change. By the time you realize that you haven’t had lunch with your best pal or gone to see a movie with another close friend in months, you often feel too ashamed to call them—and you’re already isolated. Criticism - Abusers often alternate between flattery and criticism. In the beginning the criticism is framed as flattery—”You’ve got beautiful hair. Maybe if you didn’t pull it back?” Or they make suggestions on your wardrobe, buying you things or pulling out clothing for you to try on. Often they have pretty good taste, so it can be easy to go along with it, until they’ve made you over into DV Barbie. Again, it can be hard to recognize. There are actually men who like to shop and who have a sense of style. My husband The Packhorse who spent 23 years in the Navy enjoys shopping and has great taste. The only time I’ve returned something is because it didn’t fit—and usually he’s got a better sense of my size than I do. He’s one of the few men I know who doesn’t break into a sweat at Victoria’s Secret or women’s clothing stores. In fact, when we lived in ME in the early 90s, he made friends with the clerks at the Maidenform Outlet Store, and they’d call him when new things came in. I’d get amazing gifts! While his type is rare, they do exist, and a lot of us are thrilled to find a guy who doesn’t hide in the tool section at Sears when we go to the mall. After a while, though Mr. Abuser isn’t happy with just occasional suggestions. He will throw her things away. He will send her back to change her dress if it’s too revealing—or not sexy enough. He’ll start in on her behavior—too flirtatious, too assertive, too unfeminine. Eventually this criticism destroys her self confidence. And it’s all so gradual she doesn’t realize it’s happening until she believes she’s such a mess that no one but he can love her. Jealousy - He tends not to like your male friends. He gets a little uncomfortable when you flirt or even talk to other men—but not to the point of making you uncomfortable. Only later, when he has isolated you, does he fly into rages. And, unfortunately, all too often, in our society, a man is expected to be a little jealous, so we ignore it unless it gets really out of hand.
Valeria Lazareva | tpburl.com/gzc9nt
Wolverines! By The Bloggess | 3/7/09 | The Bloggess tpburl.com/g2r7j4 This morning I wrote a post for the Chronicle about Wolverine blow-jobs and then right after that I twittered: “You know what would be awesome? If for no reason at all we all just randomly screamed “WOLVERINES!” once today. That would be awesome.”
And then suddenly eleventy billion people twittered back “WOLVERINES!!!!!” And it was awesome. So awesome, in fact, that within an hour “WOLVERINES!” had become a top trend on twitter and people were vowing to shout it on the subway. Then Victor woke up and was all “This house looks like shit. What have you been doing all morning?” and I’m all “I’ve orchestrated a mass Red Dawn awakening before most of America has had coffee, that’s-whatI’ve-been-doing“. Then he gave me this look of disgust and was all “I don’t get it” and I’m all “That’s why it’s so funny. No one gets it. It’s like when you’re at the grocery store and you suddenly yell out ‘SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!’ and everyone stops and looks at you weird but then one person over in the cereal aisle starts laughing and yells back “KHAAAAAAN!” and then you laugh and go back to shopping. That’s what life is all about.” And Victor’s all “Yeah. I just don’t think it’s funny” and I’m all “YOU DON’T THINK THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD RANDOMLY SCREAMING ‘WOLVERINES!’ IS FUNNY?!” Then I thought about leaving him. Then Hailey started screaming “WOLFAREEMS!” and I’m like ”Even four year olds think this shit is funny“. Then we went to this sandwich shop for lunch where you write down your name and order and then they call out your name when it’s ready so I filled mine out and gave it to Victor so he could pay for it. Then the sandwich guy was all “Uh…I’ve got a BLT here. Uh…wolverines?” and then I laughed so hard coke shot out of my nose. And Victor was all “What is wrong with you?” And I’m all “WOLVERINES!!!” It was awesome. Then we went back home and Victor left to do some work but like 10 seconds later he stepped back inside and screamed “WOOOOOLVERIIIIIINES!!!!!” Like, so hard he was panting afterward. And I’m all “Exactly.” And that’s how Red Dawn saved my marriage.
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5 Examples of Social Media Blunders and What to Learn From Them By Ben Parr | 3/8/09 | Mashable tpburl.com/sx8j4h Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s not very often that those mistakes are seen by millions of people, incite user revolts, or create multi-million dollar lawsuits. In the world of social media, however, this can happen if a person or company is careless, overly defensive, or not proactive. With that in mind, the following are some of the most notable blunders in social media, as well as lessons to take away from each event. Hopefully companies and individuals can learn from these disasters and become more productive and engaged in social media rather than becoming the pariah of every tweet or wall post. 1. Facebook News Feed Controversy The History: Facebook launched one of the most revolutionary features in social media during September 2006: the Facebook News Feed. Its launch however, didn’t go so well - within a week, 750,000 users were protesting the feature. After several days, Facebook added privacy controls and created a Facebook group to discuss privacy and news feed issues. The Lesson: Prepare users for major changes and be proactive in responding to criticism. Facebook launched news feed as a complete surprise, throwing off many users. Now Facebook rolls out new features gradually.
2. Sony BMG Copy Protection Scandal The History: In 2005, Sony decided to place copy protection (XCP) on its CDs to prevent pirating. However, the XCP software created new vulnerabilities on computers that malware could exploit. Mark Russinovich broke the story and launched a wave of bloggers and criticism against it. Worse, Sony tried to stonewall bloggers instead of being upfront, fanning the flames. The result was millions lost in classaction lawsuits. The Lesson: Two lessons, actually. First, don’t try to fight against user behavior using ill-advised malware. The second lesson is be upfront about mistakes. If Sony had been up front and apologized immediately, the results of the scandal might have been far different.
3. Motrin Moms The History: Motrin decided that it would be smart to launch a social media campaign for International Baby Wearing Week by producing a well-made YouTube video. However, they didn’t anticipate the backlash. Moms were not pleased with babies being made into fashion statements and Motrin got an earful from the Internet community. The Lesson: Understand your audience before engaging with it. Had Motrin done some research, it probably would have anticipated such a backlash. People don’t mess around when you talk about their kids.
4. Astrospace Twitter Account The History: Twitter user Astrospace, now Astronautics, simply flipped out against Twitter and his followers. After astrospace/astronautics lost his cool, he deleted his account, which was quickly snapped up by somebody else. Eventually he did return with most of his followers on his astronautics account, but with far more confusion and far less credibility. The Lesson: Keep your emotions in check. You may get really angry or depressed over events in social media, but like any public situation, tempered emotions will prevent embarrassment on your end.
5. Facebook Terms of Service
The History: Facebook has been through its share of social media snafus. Its most recent one was the change to Facebook’s terms of service that was soon reverted after users and bloggers cried out in protest. Instead of dragging its feet however, Facebook quickly responded to user concerns and created an open forum for discussing changes to Facebook. The Lesson: Proactive engagement with your users and customers during controversy helps address concerns. Facebook has clearly learned from its past mistakes and made a visible effort to incorporate user information. This helped keep the terms of service controversy from blowing up into an even bigger mess.
Learn From Their Mistakes When building a brand, engaging customers, or just communicating with friends, it is vital to remember how quickly even a single update can go viral in social media. People value honesty, being upfront, and listening to others. Employing these principles can prevent social media blunders from turning into lawsuits and PR disasters.
Would You Give Up Facebook or the iPhone for Lent? By Nicholas Deleon | 3/10/09 | CrunchGear tpburl.com/rdxywq We’re right in the middle of Lent, a time for certain followers of certain religious beliefs to give something up for the greater good. And more power to ‘em, I say. What’s interesting to us here is: would you consider giving up something like Facebook (that’s for the TechCrunch crowd) or, say, Xbox 360 or your iPhone (for the CrunchGear guys)? Several Fordham University students have indeed chosen to give up Facebook, saying that if they’re going to give something up, they should give up something they use on a daily basis. It’s not unheard of for people to spend hours on the site, talking to their friends, playing games and generally just wasting time. (I spend maybe five minutes total on the site these days; card-carrying member from 2004 right here!) So, since Lent is all about giving up things you enjoy the most, why not try saying bye-bye to Facebook. Now, we are a few weeks into Lent so I don’t know if giving up Facebook now “counts,” per se, but surely it couldn’t hurt to cut down on your use if you’re on there all day long or whatever. What’s going on
Run for a Reason is an opportunity to raise money for any cause you care about, while you run the Shamrock Shuffle! Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, March 29th. Post-race party at McFadden’s! Chicago, IL
Jeans Bring Dreams - Los Angeles, CA dekoposh, Inc., Baby & Tween Celebration LA, and Kids Crooked House are sponsoring a Celebrity Driven Auction to raise awareness and money for Mattel Childrens Hospital UCLA. email@example.com jeansbringdreams.com
Blue Note Records 70th Anniversary Jazz at Chicago’s Symphony Center March 20th 8pm Tickets starting at $20 http://www.cso.org/
Summer Camp with a Conscience Benefit to help sustain Camp Kinderland! Music performances, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert. Saturday, April 4th, 2009 7-10 p.m. SEIU 1199 Union Hall, 310 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036 campkinderland.org/benefit.html
Teresa Horstmann | tpburl.com/y32t5p
Why Googlers Are Leaving to Start Social Sites By Jennifer Van Grove | 2/1/09 | Mashable tpburl.com/fbkvhx When Bindu Reddy, one half of the two member team behind the just launched Likaholix (a recommendation engine and social platform for likes) reached out to us about her new initiative, we were intrigued by the fact that her and her partner are two ex-Googlers who seem to be heading down the same path as many other ex-Googlers: launching social software of some kind. We’ve certainly noticed that former Google employees tend to attach themselves to overly social products like FriendFeed and Plinky. With this in mind, we asked Reddy to elaborate on this growing trend and talk about the motivations behind Likaholix. Why Googlers Are Leaving So, why are Googlers leaving the search behemoth? For one, growing pains in community building initiatives. Reddy believes that “Google product managers are top class and have great innovative ideas for community sites and they are a bit frustrated that they can’t realize their vision in Google, which is why a lot of them quit to follow their dreams.” In her opinion, the reason former Googlers focus on community-oriented is because they, “know that it is very difficult to take on Google on a pure technology play,” and, “when it comes to community based sites, Google doesn’t do all that well. Google’s infrastructure, most of it built in-house, makes it really difficult to iterate rapidly. Google Video, a product that I worked on comes to mind. Part of the reason Google Video failed miserably against You Tube was that the team couldn’t iterate rapidly and build some of the community and upload features as rapidly as they wanted. Youtube, at that time a small start-up was able to build and release a lot of features quickly.” Infrastructure Works For and Against Google According to Reddy, “Most Google infrastructure is based on the original search thinking that scaling is done by using lots of cheap hardware using software layers to protect against machine failures. While this works really well for certain problem classes, there is a “scalability and complexity tax” which most new services pay in terms of development speed, even though they don’t need it in the initial phases.” The reason she sees more opportunity with Likaholix is because Google can’t always leverage open source tools due to infrastructure limitations, where Likaholix can “leverage as many open source tools as possible,” admitting that they “could not have made this much progress over the last 7 months or so in terms of product, UI and engineering if we were to build this at Google.” Reddy does admit, however, that Likaholix’s less complex infrastructure is not poised to compete with Google’s. “Google would never have any load/traffic issues. They are always built to scale. In contrast Likaholix has been slow when we have experienced high load/traffic today,” she said. When asked if Google should be worried about any one particular competitor in the social sphere, Reddy stated without hesitation — Facebook. “It is soon becoming the identity and communication platform for the web (people are beginning to spend more time here than on Google services)” and Twitter, which “is becoming the go to destination for real time search,” she added. From Google to Likaholix Likaholix is a community-focused site that does one thing really well — likes. There’s certainly an element of social awareness to Likaholix that you’re not likely to find in most Google products. So even though Likaholix has the feel of a destination site, it’s also creating logical extensions to onsite liking and commenting. Users can share their likes with Facebook, Twitter, and FriendFeed, import existing reviews from both Yelp and Amazon, as well as grab the bookmarklet for instant liking while browsing. The site strays from FriendFeed by trying to focus on all things you like, instead of just news, to include people, activities, products, restaurants, and the like. The end game being users turning to Likaholix first when they searching for something to watch or buy, or some place to go. Likaholix does have familiar elements of early stage Google beta products, so users can expect a spartan design (for the time being), and smart search functionality. Reddy and Sundararajan are also replicating a Gmail (you need an invite to join at first) and Grand Central-like user growth strategy, so after our 200 invites are used up, you probably won’t be able to access the site until you receive an invite from a friend. The idea being that users will take advantage of their 10 invites and the site will grow via word of mouth, and the focus will remain on sharing likes with real friends.
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3 Ideas That Are Pushing the Edge of Science
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Daylighting: A Violation or An Opportunity? By Scott Belsky of Behance | 3/2/09 | American Express Forum tpburl.com/sjgf19 Some call it the side hustle, others call it the side project, but it’s been coined as “daylighting” - working jobs on the side while on the clock at your full-time job. And for the next generation of business thinkers, it’s become a way of life. Blogger Neil Bennett has termed the young workforce as the “slash/slash generation.” In Bennett’s own words, “The Slash Slash generation are best described as do it all teens and twenty-somethings that undertake multiple careers - often creating brand names for themselves. In the age of online communities and digital media, the mash up of platforms empowers online creatives to be good at a number of things rather than just one.” While the notion of employees doing their “own thing” at a business can be threatening, it may also be an opportunity for those who manage it responsibly. How can companies free people in the slash/slash generation from the rigidity of corporate policy? Can companies accommodate multiple interests and passions to further develop the potential of their employees? What if they actually allow, or even encourage, “daylighting”? Lines are blurring, and it’s no longer enough to just focus on work/life balance. Companies today also need to focus on the work/work balance. Side projects reflect the different interests and passions of each employee. Rather than suppressing creativity, nurture it, knowing that a happier workforce is proven to be more productive, and loyal. By encouraging “daylighting” in working hours, companies are making an investment in more well-rounded employees, whose increased knowledge and experience is bound to give back. Of course, daylighting needs to be transparent to one’s team, and it can’t be in a competitive product or service. The obligation to exceed expectations in your full-time job must come first. And, there is a fine line between daylighting and procrastinating from other stuff that has a deadline. Daylighting should not happen at the expense of other responsibilities. Instead, daylighting should fill the time when you might otherwise daydream and zone out. Done right, daylighting should serve your full-time job just as much as it serves you. Google has taken measures to encourage outside interests, enacting the 70/20/10 rule, which allows employees to spend 20% of their time on “Innovation time off” pursuing their own ideas that relate to Google and then 10% of their time on stuff completely unrelated to Google. This could be reading a book, drawing in Photoshop, or going to a museum. By doing this, Google gains a loyal employee by allowing them to do whatever they want without Big Brother looking over their shoulder. At the same time, it captures innovative thinking due to random stimulation. Other companies like 37signals have gone as far as “paying for employee passions, interests, and other curiosities. We want our people to experience new things, discover new hobbies, and generally be interesting people.” We believe that all companies should encourage daylighting. Here are a few tips each company can do to nurture the new talent coming up in the ranks.
By Patrick Huyghe | 3/7/09 | 4 Entrepreneur tpburl.com/gw3hm1 1) Sperm-powered Nanobots The next wave in health care may include a brigade of medical nanobots, devices tiny enough to ride the flow of blood through the body’s arteries to a problem area. The bots might arrive at a clot, for example, and then using an internal power system, obliterate the clot with a precisely targeted drug or therapy. Designing a power source to accomplish such a task has been a challenge, but from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University comes a possible answer. The same molecular power packs that fuel sperm in their journey through the uterus and to a fallopian tube might be copied and used to keep the nanomachines running once they reach their targets. Led by reproductive biologist Alex Travis, the engineering effort focuses on a chain of enzymes that metabolize glucose molecules into the biological fuel ATP (a process known as glycolysis), which enables sperm locomotion. Ordinarily the ATP provides sperm with enough energy to bend and flex their tails as they swim to the unfertilized egg. Travis’s plan is to copy the design of the sperm’s engine by slightly modifying a 10-enzyme glycolysis chain embedded in the sperm’s tail, and then to install it in nanobots. Using mouse sperm, Travis has thus far modified the first two enzymes on the chain so that they bind to nickel ions attached to the surface of a tiny gold chip, which serves as a stand-in for a future nanobot. Now he needs to tweak the remaining enzymes so they can be attached too. If the spermlike motor works, it could someday use the body’s own energy source—glucose—to do such things as run super-tiny medical devices designed to release anticancer drugs or trigger the breakup of potentially deadly clots. 2) Fusion On Tap Plasma physicist Eric Lerner has a dream: a form of nuclear energy so clean it generates no radioactive waste, so safe it can be located in the heart of a city, and so inexpensive it provides virtually unlimited power for the dirt-cheap price of $60 per kilowatt—far below the $1,000-perkilowatt cost of electricity from natural gas. It may sound too good to be true, but the technology, called focus fusion, is based on real physics experiments. Focus fusion is initiated when a pulse of electricity is discharged through a hydrogen-boron gas across two nesting cylindrical electrodes, transforming the gas into a thin sheath of hot, electrically conducting plasma. This sheath travels to the end of the inner electrode, where the magnetic fields produced by the currents pinch and twist the plasma into a tiny, dense ball. As the magnetic fields start to decay, they cause a beam of electrons to flow in one direction and a beam of positive ions (atoms that have lost electrons) to flow in the opposite direction. The electron beam heats the plasma ball, igniting fusion reactions between the hydrogen and boron; these reactions pump more heat and charged particles into the plasma. The energy in the ion beam can be directly converted to electricity—no need for conventional turbines and generators. Part of this electricity powers the next pulse, and the rest is net output. A focus fusion reactor could be built for just $300,000, says Lerner, president of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics in New Jersey. But huge technical hurdles remain. These include increasing the density of the plasma so the fusion reaction will be more intense. (Conventional fusion experiments do not come close to the temperatures and densities needed for efficient hydrogen-boron fusion.) Still, the payoff could be huge: While mainstream fusion research programs are still decades from fruition, Lerner claims he requires just $750,000 in funding and two years of work to prove his process generates more energy than it consumes. “The next experiment is aimed at achieving higher density, higher magnetic field, and higher efficiency,” he says. “We believe it will succeed.” 3) A Two-Timing Universe For nearly a century, physicists have tried to reconcile Einstein’s vision of the universe (including three dimensions of space and one of time) with the bizarre realm of quantum physics, rife with such oddities as instant communication at a distance and being in two places at once. The effort to unify the views has resulted in a stream of elaborate hypotheses positing worlds with multiple dimensions of space, most notably string theory and its successor, M-theory. Itzhak Bars, a theoretical physicist at the University of Southern California, thinks these hypotheses are missing a crucial ingredient: an extra dimension of time. By adding a second dimension of time and a fourth dimension of space to Einstein’s standard space-time, Bars has come up with a new model providing “additional information that remained hidden in previous formulations” of physics, including current versions of M-theory. Such a model could better explain “how nature works,” he says. Physicists had never added a second dimension of time to their models because it opens the possibility of traveling back in time and introduces negative probabilities and other scenarios that seem nonsensical. In his equations Bars has solved these problems with a new symmetry that treats an object’s position and its momentum as interchangeable at any given instant. Does this mean we could actually experience a second dimension of time? “Yes,” Bars says, “but only indirectly,” by thinking of the world around us as many shadows that look different depending on the perspective of the light source. “The predicted relations among the different shadows contain most of the information about the extra dimensions,” he explains. Next, Bars and his team are developing tests for two-time physics and investigating how to apply the theory to all the natural forces, including gravity. Adding two-time physics to M-theory, he says, should help us close in on “the fundamental theory that so far has eluded all of us.” PHOTOS
1. Set aside 10% of each day for “daylighting.” Encourage your employees to pursue their own passion projects (whatever they may be). 2. Fund outside projects. Create a fund for each employee to pursue their passions. Behance offers each employee $500 to always continue to learn. 3. Mentor the side projects. Set aside a bi-weekly/monthly meeting to mentor employees on entrepreneurial side projects. Have employees present their findings/experience in front of the company. Mary Kennette Esta | tpburl.com/7062gq Views expressed in Content do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the printed blog inc.
Stacey Svendsen | tpburl.com/41stxd Books
Morrison, Marcom, Lethem, Frankfurt, Binelli, Seidel By Editor | 3/10/09 | The Millions
Yeah Yeah Yeahs It’s Blitz Album Review
Frankfurt explains the mentality that these lines express:
The genres aren’t new to him - his novels Amnesia Moon
“The point of these lines is clear. In the old days, crafts-
By Jeff Lind | 3/8/09 | Pretty Much Amazing tpburl.com/jbdm1p When Luis posted “Zero,” It seemed like I may have been one of the only people that didn’t like it. “Zero,” to me, came across a little flat and like it was trying too hard. From that moment, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like It’s Blitz!. Then I heard the record… still don’t particularly like “Zero,” but as for the rest? Well, I love it. The album as a whole is stunning. The YYYs have used several broad brushes to paint one of this year’s most cohesive, yet diverse works. I’ve listened to the whole thing about 22 times front to back, and through every listen I’ve found new things that have excited me. Some may pose It’s Blitz! as a synthpop album, but it’s not. While there are elements of that included, each song is unique. Some are slow, some are synth, some upbeat, some dance, some pop. The variations are sweet and the album comes across as fresh and clean. After such a long break for the YYYs, It’s Blitz! crescendos to levels that many had looked forward to. There’s not a bad song on this record, so it’s difficult to pick out any favorites. Still, there are some that certainly stand out. “Dull Life” is a fantastic “bar band” song that makes you wanna pound a table. I could easily see these guitar riffs and growling shout/vocals being spit out over cheap beer, raucous crowds, and crackling speakers. With solid builds that occur throughout the song and good finish, this song presents itself as anything but dull. I hear “Heads Will Roll” as a dance cut that’s just asking for a remix, and I can’t wait to see what good djs are gonna do with it. I’d venture to guess that you clubbers out there are gonna be hearing mashups with “Heads Will Roll” elements sooner than later. I mean, any song that says “Off with your head, dance ’til you’re dead” was made to get people up & moving. One thing you have to give the YYY is that they don’t fear dead space. Too many artists these days are afraid to give their song any real texture. It’s almost like bands wanna hand their listeners catchy hooks and fancy choruses before anyone realizes how boring they actually are. Great bands like the YYY understand that often the power of a song comes in the subtle details, not the super charged chorus. “Skeletons” has a majestic Celtic feel that is best served slowly & deliberately. Brilliant execution on an overall brilliant song. Likewise, “Runaway” showcases much of what makes this album strong. The YYYs seem to have paid particular attention to delivery and approach this time around, and each song glimmers with a promise of greatness. “Runaway” shows deft strategy and depth as piano plucking is layered with vocals, that are layered with strings, which are layered with drum licks. “Runaway” is yet another song on It’s Blitz! that is filled with the kinds of musical moments that carry it into the realm of truly fantastic. It’s Blitz! is more listener friendly than previous albums, and it (in aggregate) ventures beyond the scope that YYY has worked with in the past. It will resonate with a pretty broad audience, although die hard fans may find disappointment with the overly polished sound (gone is the garagey feel of past YYY albums). Still, for my money, It’s Blitz! is a record who’s sheer consistency forces listeners to recognize its beauty. It’s is an arching album that gives us both raw, pounding dance beats, and slow drawling songs. As a result, the album feels more far reaching and more encompassing than any other record I’ve heard this year. I don’t expect it to take “best album” honors come December, but in a music world that is progressively turning to the single to churn out cash (thanks iTunes) you have to respect a band that can and will deliver an entire album of audio deliciousness.
and Motherless Brooklyn ventured into futuristic sci-fi
men did not cut corners. They worked carefully, and
and mystery, albeit taking routes into these genres that
they took care with every aspect of their work. Every part
I hadn’t taken before - but it’s a different experience to
of the product was considered, and each was designed
get these flights of fancy and fear in seven short bursts. I
and made to be exactly as it should be. These craftsmen
was exhausted and sometimes unsettled after each, but
did not relax their thoughtful self-discipline even with
I couldn’t wait to get back into Jonathan Lethem’s crazy
respect to features of their work that would ordinarily
not be visible. Although no one would notice if those
features were not quite right, the craftsmen would be
Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die by Mark Binelli rec-
bothered by their consciences. So nothing was swept
ommended by Max
under the rug. Or, one might perhaps also say, there was
I’m not sure I have much fortitude for the mini-genre
no bullshit.” And so begins an excellent explanation
that has been termed “ahistorical fantasia” (coined by
of the carelessly made and shoddy product we know as
Matthew Sharpe author of Jamestown, perhaps the most
A Mercy by Toni Morrison recommended by Edan
Ooga-Booga by Frederick Seidel recommended by
Now, Toni Morrison doesn’t need my staff pick (I’m sure
it pales in comparison to her Nobel Prize in Literature),
Gertrude Stein aside, Frederick Seidel’s Ooga-Booga is
but I thought it appropriate since she’s a contender for
the most excitingly strange book of poems I have ever
this year’s Tournament of Books. Also, one time I tried
read. In this case, the oddity lies not in the syntax, but in
to hand-sell A Mercy at the bookstore where I work,
the author’s peculiar persona, at once cool and fevered.
and the customer said, “Oh I hated her other book, you
The collision of the “debonair” voice, the hallucina-
know, that Caged Bird Singing one?” So, let me set the
tory imagery, and a prosody keenly (even innocently)
record straight: Toni Morrison is not Maya Angelou. Got
interested in rhyme and wordplay shouldn’t work, but
that? Also, I must say this: Toni Morrison has written
it does: “ And the old excellence one used to know/Of
an incredible and mesmerizing new novel. The prose in
the chased-down fox bleeding its stink across the snow.”
A Mercy blew me away, it was so strange and beautiful.
Consumed steadily over the course of a couple of weeks,
From start to finish this book’s language put a charge
Ooga-Booga reveals itself as a cohesive, almost novel-
through me - I actually felt the prose in my body, as a
istic statement about death, sex, wealth, motorcycles,
tingling in my wrists and up my arms. The language
and geopolitics. (And doesn’t that about sum it up?) I’m
itself transported me to this historical era (the 1680s),
torn between the trenchant short poems and the long,
and my mind had to shift to accommodate the language,
visionary ones, like “Barbados” and “The Bush Adminis-
and thus, this particular, brutal, past.
tration.” Against the latter, one might say that elegy gets done to death these days. But when has it ever been so
The Mirror in the Well by Micheline Aharonian
savage, or so full of joy?
Marcom recommended by Anne Like a wanton lover, Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s
On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt recommended
Mirror in the Well leads you sensuously and breathlessly
into the throes of an affair between “she,” the unnamed
A rare treat awaits those who missed On Bullshit when it
adulteress, and “you,” the beloved. Lust yields to ecstasy
came out in 2005. Professor Harry Frankfurt’s unassum-
that seesaws into despair as the married mother of two’s
ing little volume (four by six inches and a mere 67 pages
web of trysts, lies, and longing grows larger. The blazing
long - somewhat physically reminiscent of the original
physicality of Marcom’s language is like a feminine
binding of Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup With Rice) is
countersignature to Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer; the
not only, to use its own words, a “crisp and perspicuous”
trapped wife’s ennui and awakening shares its soul with
account of what bullshit is, but also a lesson in clean,
Louis Malle’s The Lovers.
graceful prose and logical, orderly thought.
The Wall of the Sky, The Wall of the Eye by Jona-
And what is bullshit, you ask? Quoting a bit of Longfel-
than Lethem recommended by Andrew
low that Ludwig Wittgenstein considered a personal
Jonathan Lethem pushes the unsuspecting reader into
one troubling, convoluted short story after another, then, when he’s good and ready, spits the reader out into
In the elder days of art
the real world, leaving him twitching and scratching his
Builders wrought with greatest care
head, barely able to catch his breath before luring him
Each minute and unseen part,
back into his alternate universe where futuristic horror
For the Gods are everywhere.
butts heads with mystery and suspense.
We asked: What was the last CD you bought from an actual store? What made you buy it instead of download it? @relaxocat Last CD bought was yesterday, Invaders Must Die by The Prodigy. Why? CD’s have better sound quality & I like liner notes. @TanyaBrothen
@thehotiron I think it was Julianna Hatfield at the Reckless Records in the Loop, as I wanted to support a local merchant! @kent_green Beasties’ Paul’s Boutique reissue + Stone Roses’ ST. I always buy CDs. Supports local shop and I enjoy physical album
widely recognized example of the form), but I do know that Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die, is undoubtedly ahis-
For its clarity, gentle humor, conversational tone, and
torical fantasia and undoubtedly a thoroughly entertain-
intelligence, On Bullshit is a delight. So charming is
ing book. Here’s the ahistoria: Mark Binelli reimagines
Frankfurt’s book, that even those traumatized by en-
Sacco and Vanzetti not as suspected anarchist bombers
counters with philosophy’s mind-wrecking titans (Hegel
but as a slapstick comedy duo from the golden age of
or Kant, say), might find themselves taken in.
cinema. And here’s the fantasia: the pie and seltzer plot of Binelli’s pair slowly melds with the death-row fate of their real-life counterparts. The book is incredibly inventive and manages a rare feat: It is both challenging and laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes simultaneously.
Coldplay’s Viva la Vida. I wanted something I could actually hold in my hands.
@32RED my last CD was called a Record :) @JossiePosie
NKOTB’s greatest hits. Because I needed the flip book so I could ogle their prepubescent beauty. Sad but true.
@liz_kantner ‘What it Takes’ by The Sleeping! It’s my friends band so I wanted to support him. It’s a really awesome album BTW. @Deutlich
I bought K’NAAN’s “Troubadour.” I still love CDs because I enjoy reading the liner notes. Plus, K’NAAN is AMAZING.
@akgroom Artist - Fear Before the March of Flames. Album - Art Damage. I bought it used and CDs are just better. They have artwork! The Printed Blog
5 By Black Hockey Jesus | 3/1/09 | The Wind in Your Vagina tpburl.com/dxw0y5 When I pick you up from daycare and we try to leave, little girls chase you down the hall and squeal your name. They wrap you in their arms and little gold stars twinkle and rain down on your beaming smiles. I think Look at you matter. Look at how much you matter in the world. I can’t believe you didn’t exist before 5 years ago. Who can fathom? You are so firmly entrenched in the world. You’re a stone tossed in my pond. Your ripples hit all my edges. It’s wrong to say there was life before you. Your mark runs through my entire biography. Impossible? What do you care about time and rules and prohibitions against yelling Fuck in the park? Oh Sweet Face. You are 5 today. I want to tell you things. I am so filled with wanting to teach you. Listen. There will be people in your life who make you cry and you will feel like shrouding yourself in a cloud of bitterness. You will want to walk about scowling and waving your fist at happy people. But here’s a little secret. The past? Well. You can change it. It can be changed and healed and re-written. It’s not some hard and fast thing chiseled in a stone. Sometimes something reaches back and edits entire stories. Do you believe me? Do you believe that all our yesterdays can be changed by a today that flashes through our lives like lightning? Well, it can. I know it’s true. For you, little girl, are just this kind of past changing thing. When I was 18-years-old I was not so happy. One time I stood on a dock that stretched way out onto a frozen lake. I cried icicles, clenched my fists, and screamed until my throat hurt. I screamed at the dark and dared it to come get me. I said Well come get me then! I am not so afraid of you! I wanted to run as fast as I could to the end of the dock and leap right into the dark. I was not so happy. But many years later, when you were born, when you were no more than a couple handfuls of raging pink littleness, the very first thing you did was change everything. When I saw you I shuddered with my whole body. The room rippled. I gasped. The future filtered through your open eyes. Your wail rewrote the past. That shuddering ripple changed everyone I ever was. You ran all the way back to that dock and whispered in my ear Don’t you jump into the dark just yet, mister. You will one day be my Daddy. And so I didn’t. Instead, I sat cross-legged at the edge of the dock in a vague cool atmosphere of unarticulated reason to live. It would be OK. It would be OK. It would be OK. I walked home that night, oddly contented, in a rain of little gold stars that twinkled and beamed.
How to Bike in the City Without a Lifestyle Change By Ira Cox | 3/9/09 | Being Totally Sweet in Chicago tpburl.com/24b987 Spring is right around the corner. The freezing wind and black slush are gone and biking to work (or the bar!) seems more appealing than it did a month ago. The goal of this post is to help anyone who wants to commute by bicycle, or who has just started and is still figuring it out, have an easy and awesome time. Commuting is easy once you’ve convinced yourself it’s even possible. The key points are how to pick the right bike, carry your things from home to work, and to arrive in presentable shape. The right bike: The only thing you really need to commute is a bike which fits and is in good working order. The main thing to consider, above all, is fit. The style, weight and quality won’t mean anything if your bike is uncomfortable to sit on. If you’re starting out, you should only buy a bike you’ve had a Zakkaliciousness | tpburl.com/6zbhfv chance to ride. Whether your bike is new or used, it’s important to have a mechanic look it over. You’ll have a safer, longer lasting bicycle if everything is in tune. Many shops will help you with these things. Two who make a business of it are Rapid Transit and Boulevard Bikes. Carrying stuff: Lunch box, purse, briefcase, toolbox, laptop; whatever you bring to work will probably fit on your bicycle. You may need a bag and/or a rack. Your bag should be waterproof and large enough for everything you carry. You’ll be most comfortable if the bag is attached to the bike, not you. Arrive in style: Glowing complexion aside, you probably don’t want to show up looking like you just hopped off a bike. The best form for any technology, bicycles included, is to be as invisible and low-impact as possible. Consider the following:
Heather Evans Smith | tpburl.com/m20rgb
Mindfulness and Patience By Dr. Rob Handleman | 3/9/09 | Urban Mindfulness tpburl.com/qjkvrm I love to watch people on subway platforms look down the tracks to see if their trains are coming. I suppose there are some occasions where knowing if a train is coming is useful, but I doubt there are many. Mostly we’re just trying to get some information, as if we can somehow use that information to control something, anything. “Aah, the light is coming, now I know something I didn’t know a moment ago.” But will I get there faster? Ultimately, we are creatures of control, trying to have as much power as we can over our external environments, which is often not possible. So we get frustrated, or angry, usually with someone: the slow clerk, the person counting out pennies to pay for Chapstick, or the invisible yet thoughtless incompetent subway conductor who somehow is wronging us. Someone is getting in the way of me having what I want. When I want it. The city is filled with daily opportunities to work on patience. I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t wait for something. Whether it’s a train, elevator, line at a store, lunch, there is a chance to pay attention to all the feelings that come with waiting, that is, to work on being patient. Mindfulness allows us to go further into the experience of waiting, beyond the anger, annoyance and out-of-control feeling. A suggestion for the next time you are waiting for a train: • While on the platform, find something to look at, anything that is not in the direction the train will be coming from. Notice the urge to look down the track. Breathe. • Do not look down the track. Breathe. • When you become aware of any thought or experience that points to impatience, frustration, or the desire for the train to come SOON, continue to look at your object of focus. Breathe. • See if you can notice how your body is experiencing the frustration. Perhaps your heart is pounding a bit, or your face feels flush, or your limbs feel just a little different. Notice the struggle to not look down the track, and all the things your brain is telling you to do. Breathe. • Pay closer attention to the parts of your body that are experiencing this more than others. Breathe into those parts, knowing that while you may want to have a mini-tantrum, your body will in fact not explode. • Feel free to laugh at yourself. Repeat in a half hour when you are waiting for the elevator. Boom, you have just become more patient. PHOTOS
• Fenders and a chain guard will keep grease, grime and water off you and your bike. They also look classy (Honjo Flickr pool). • It’s not a race. Know how long it takes to get to work and leave on time. You’ll be calmer and less sweaty when you get there. • You’ll be surprised how easy it is to ride in normal clothes. If you sweat a lot, carry an extra shirt and change when you arrive. For further evidence, read Copenhagen Cycle Chic. • You don’t have to ride every day. This sounds obvious, but a lot of people think commuting is an endurance contest. If it stresses you out to ride in the rain, for example, take the bus on those days. Cycling should be fun. I hope this helps you get on the streets and enjoy it. Please weigh in with your experience and opinions! PHOTOS
Heather Evans Smith | tpburl.com/m20rgb Views expressed in Content do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the printed blog inc.
Melissa Stetten | tpburl.com/xwdgv7
High Tech Stadiums Point Way to the Future, Take Fun Out of Everything By Rick Chandler | 3/9/09 | Deadspin tpburl.com/pcth26 At the sports stadium of tomorrow, you’ll be able to order food from your seat, get on-demand video replays and relax in high-tech luxury suites. Juan Uribe will be hitting .227 as usual, however. Actually, some of this is already taking place. At the new Yankee Stadium, kiosks in the concourse area will be available for fans to check on live traffic conditions as they leave the stadium. As you can see in the graphic here, things look pretty bleak; I wouldn’t count on getting home anytime soon. And they’re not even showing you the shit that’s taking place on 3rd Avenue. Cisco Technologies, based in San Jose, has partnered with a handful of MLB and NFL teams to bring a host of technological renovations to their stadiums. Among them will be ticket upgrades on airport-style kiosks, concession stand menus on cellphones, and interaction with athletes via Twitter and live video. A couple of years ago, Cisco recognized how its next-generation network technologies could enhance the sports fan experience. The company developed StadiumVision and other applications to integrate video, voice, data, and wireless services into a single network, then convinced teams it would be the next big thing in fan experience. Cisco clients such as the Yankees, Cowboys, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Miami Dolphins, and Arizona Cardinals signed on. When Ricci walks into the mock luxury suite at Cisco headquarters, he can touch a specially-designed phone to buy a team jersey, order hot dogs, and change the camera angles displayed on a set of nearby TV screens. One screen shows inside the dugout, another shows the view behind home plate. He can change his perspective with his fingertip. Pasty Xie | tpburl.com/mhs6bx
Many of the innovations can be seen in this graphic, such as hand-held devices that let the user check in on fantasy updates and interact with other fans (both code phrases for “accessing porn.”). Notice in the graphic how there are no lines at the kiosks, and how none of them are out of order. This is indeed a utopia. But should a live sporting event be encumbered by this much technology? Isn’t the point of going to a baseball game to get away from cell phones and other electronic gadgets, and spend the day breathing fresh air and interacting with other humans? Personally I’d prefer to just boo a failed play and leave it at that, rather than receive a Twitter from the coach explaining his decision. Travel
Passport: Finding the Rhythm By Parlour Fam | 3/10/09 | Parlour Magazine tpburl.com/0zr7fv 10am. Havana, Cuba. I just took the best cold shower. Ever. I know that may not sound appealing for most people, but it’s what I’m working with and I must admit, I love it. I’m coming to you from one of my favorite cities-Havana, Cuba, on a last minute trip to see some family and friends and to gather some material for some graduate study I plan to start next year. Super bonus-I get to wake up to 80 degree weather, hence the need for a cooler shower to start the day. Havana is a hot city to say the least, but once you get past the cigars, cocktails, and rum she will show you a side that is complex and full of color. Right now it seems everyone is glued to their televisions as the World Baseball classic is currently going on and Cuba is advancing steady to the finals. They play tonight at 10pm against Australia, so of course there is some partying to be done later if they win. It’s also International Women’s Month and it seems that I am being greeted with “Felicidades Mujeres” at just about every function. I love how holidays are celebrated here, in the US we may get a cute press conference and some Lifetime Network-style television programming but the excitement doesn’t really trickle down to a street level. A friend here was telling me that her job celebrated by having all of the men in the office serve lunch for the women…what did they do for you at work today, ladies? When you are traveling and immersing yourself in a country where customs and language are different from your own, one of two things can happen. The first is a loneliness that stems from not being able to fully grasp what’s going on. The second is a motivation to learn everything, even if you make mistakes. It is really easy to fall into the first group, and it is what intimidates most people from really getting to know a foreign country or forces them to stay in that pre-packaged, all inclusive resort-style comfort zone. This is where friends and repeat visits are important. I guess you could say the process is like dancing, you already know the steps, you just have to find the rhythm, or for example like for me last night, you have to keep up with the pace. It started with a meetup of friends on a popular corner in the Vedado section of the city. If Havana is Manhattan, Habana Vieja (Old Havana) would be Times Square and Vedado would be a mashup of Chelsea and the LES. In a city where mobile phones just became accessible to the general population, busses run on their own schedule and hitch-hiking is a perfectly safe and accepted mode of transportation-here, you have to be prepared to wait and rush all at the same time. One second we’re chilling, sharing beers and funny stories, the next we are running through traffic like Olympians to jump on a bus that didn’t believe in slowing down to a complete stop. Crazy, right? Actually, its quite normal here. Imagine running for the C train or the M13 through Manhattan because you know that next uptown to downtown bus just may not come. I bet your Blahniks will turn into Nike’s too! Today presents another challenge, I am planning to visit the Museo de Bella Artes to catch an exhibit and then indulge in some local pastimes. Like most places in Havana, there is one price for la gente, and another for everyone else. Let’s see if I can catch the rhythm of “passing” better than I can catch a bus. Ciao Parlouristas! PHOTOS
Thuva-Lisa Steen | tpburl.com/0r8z7c
Are These 4 Excuses Keeping You From Realizing Your Travel Dreams? By Amanda Kendle | 3/10/09 | Vagabondish tpburl.com/nys0gm There are so many people out there who might become travelers, if only they could find someone to travel with, or if they had more money, or if they spoke another language. The list of reasons some people have for not getting out there and following their travel dreams is long and varied, but there are some common excuses that many people use for not taking the plunge. But I’m here to prove to you that there are really no excuses. It’s time to go traveling! #1: I Don’t Have Enough Money This is probably the number one reason people give for not traveling, but it’s also the one that’s easiest to solve. And there are two parts to it: first, you need to get more money, and second, you need to learn all about the cheaper ways of traveling. Saving up more money is not my area of expertise, because I’ve always found that part easy, thanks to growing up with a bank manager for a father! If you have a concrete goal of going traveling, I think knowing the savings you make will go towards this great purpose makes saving a lot easier. Pick a method which works for you – either setting up your bank account to automatically transfer a set amount of money per week into a savings account which you don’t touch, or getting an extra part-time job and saving all the money you earn from it. If you’re thinking of traveling more long-term, then you shouldn’t discount the idea of working along the way, too. Traveling cheaply is my area of expertise. If you do your research and are prepared to be a bit unconventional – which means things like avoiding guided tours and four-star hotels – then there are so many ways to travel without breaking the bank. Just as an example, you can look into accommodation options like homestays (cheap) or couch surfing (free), or at the very least not be scared off by hostels. Doing a bit of web surfing can save you huge amounts on big-ticket items like airfares. The information is all out there for the taking. #2: I Don’t Have Anyone To Travel With So you have big dreams of crossing Russia on the Trans-Siberian, or backpacking all the way down through South America, but you can’t convince anybody else to go with you, right? This is another common excuse, and like lacking money, it’s a fair enough reason, but it shouldn’t be enough to stop you from traveling. Again, there are several solutions. The most obvious one is to go solo. Many people are (understandably) anxious about traveling on their own, but in fact most people who do so find it an incredibly rewarding experience. As far as budget travel is concerned, there really is no “traveling solo” because you will easily meet up with fellow travelers along the way and often make joint plans for at least part of your trip. The other possibility is to go online to try to find a travel companion. This is something I’ve never tried, but a European friend of mine had great success with the “companion wanted” ads on sites like Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree forum – it has an entire branch devoted to travel companions. #3: I Don’t Speak Another Language Lots of people are anxious or even quite terrified about visiting a country where they don’t speak the language. It’s true that things could get tricky if you are stuck somewhere looking for accommodation and you can’t find the words to ask anyone for directions, or you might end up eating some quite unusual foods because you can’t understand the menu in a restaurant, but I think most reluctant travelers vastly overestimate the importance of being fluent in a language. There are lots of solutions to problems like this. For a start, realize that there are many ways to communicate and that even in our own language, plenty of our communication is nonverbal anyway. In the restaurant, you can just point at something delicious-looking another customer is eating, and the waiter will get the message. If you’re looking for your hostel you can show someone the address and they’ll quickly figure out they should point you in the right direction. The best way is to try to learn a little of the language spoken in your destination. Knowing just a few key phrases will help out a lot, and with the aid of a decent phrasebook you’ll get around without too many problems – and any difficulties you do have simply become funny stories to tell when you get home. I certainly couldn’t speak much Korean when I visited Seoul or any Finnish when I went to Lapland to meet Santa, but that didn’t stop me. And although I don’t want to encourage the expectation that English is spoken everywhere, it is increasingly easy to tap into locals who speak some English, almost wherever you go. #4: I’ll Have to Quit My Job. It’ll Look Bad on My Resume! Another legitimate concern that many would-be travelers have is that taking any significant amount of time out of the workforce will be detrimental to their careers. Of course, the pros and cons of this are something only you can weigh for your particular circumstances, but I’d argue there are two reasons for going: first, international experience is becoming ever more attractive to employers in this era of globalization; and second, if you retire at sixty and look back on your life, will you be more glad that you stayed in your job or that you left it to fulfill your travel dreams? I, of course, am biased, because I left a well-paid job to go traveling, and didn’t come back for six years. In fact, my travels changed my outlook on life so much that I haven’t gone back to the industry I used to work in (despite former colleagues asking me when I’m going to get a “real job” again), and I’m absolutely sure that my life is all the richer for it. Maybe the same will happen to you; or maybe you’ll just have amazing experiences on the road and meet lots of great people, and then return to your career happy that you took the chance to go traveling.
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