Friday, December 14, 2007

Walking and Biking in NYC is Dangerous!

I've always had this fear of getting hit by a car in New York City. That's because the cabs drive like crazy. The bikers are even more mad. And the bus driver really don't give a sh*t if they run someone over or not.

That's why I always check both ways when I cross the street. And for good reason too judging from these Manhattan stats for pedestrian and biker deaths in the past year. (Check out Crashstats.org to find out the most dangerous intersections. It's freaky. And what ever you do, stay away from E 33rd St & Park Ave Southbound!)

Pedestrian Crashes
Rank Intersection Crashes
1 E 33rd St & Park Ave Southbound (156)
2 Essex St & Delancey St (86)
3 7th Ave & W 34th St (85)
4 8th Ave & W 42nd St (77)
5 3rd Ave & E 14th St (66)
6 Broadway & Union sq W (66)
7 9th Ave & W 23rd St (66)
8 W 42nd St & Avenue of the Americas (66)
9 7th Ave & W 145th St (66)
10 W 14th St & Avenue of the Americas (65)

Bicycle Crashes
Rank Intersection Crashes
1 Bowery & W Houston St 29
2 Broadway & Union sq w 29
3 Essex St & Delancey St 24
4 E 23rd St & Park Ave Southbound 24
5 W 23rd St & Avenue of the Americas 24
6 5th Ave & W 34th St 24
7 W 96th St & Broadway Southbound 24
8 1st Ave & E Houston St 22
9 E 125th St & Lexington Ave 21
10 Broadway & W Houston St 20

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bound to Lose - Documentary About The Holy Modal Rounders



I've said it a thousand times before to anyone who would listen when I was in college in Boston, and too many times to count since I moved to New York City in 1996: Iowa City, Iowa, the place where I grew up, is an oasis of culture and creativity that produces some amazing talent.

That's Iowa Pride for you!

But it was true when I lived there. I don't know what it's like so much anymore, but over the years it has certainly fostered some interesting characters.

Perhaps because of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival (where my mom works). Perhaps because of the University of Iowa. Perhaps because it is a liberal mecca, surrounded by lots of red, which creates an interesting dynamic. Or maybe because it's a place where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

One such character/talent is Jesse Fisher. He's the younger brother of one of my friends from elementary school and high school named Matt Fisher (also such a character from my experience). Like lots of us who ventured out beyond the fields, Jesse moved to NYC to go to NYU film school. I haven't kept up with Jesse enough over the years, but he continues to put out interesting work and be involved in compelling projects. I have one of his CD's from his band called Muscular Christians which is absolutely hilarious and quite good I think. (They are playing in NYC Wednesday night).

And right now, the documentary film he (and some friends) made after they graduated is showing at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City. It's called Bound to Lose, a film about The Holy Modal Rounders relationship over the past 40 years.

I'm going to see the film and Jesse's band perform after the show on Wednesday. Judging from the clip below, it looks hysterical and the NYTimes gave it a nice write up this weekend.

Way to go Jesse! I look forward to seeing your work and seeing you perform.



The New York Times covered it this weekend here.

Village Voice here.

Bound to Lose Web site here.

I want to try this one day (after they perfect it of course)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Radio Interview About OrganizedWisdom

I did a fun radio interview last night with Dr. Mark, Dr. Jeb, and Prof. Val about OrganizedWisdom and human guided search. It's about 30 minutes long and you can get to it from this post here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Costa Rica

Just back from a very brief, but very fun weekend trip to Costa Rica. Went with two of my best friends who I've known since childhood back in Iowa City. We all live and work in NYC now so we decided to try Thanksgiving in a warmer climate.

Here are a couple of shots I took...









Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Going Off the Grid Until Saturday - Happy Thanksgiving

I'm about to go off the grid as they say...no cell, sms, email, blogging, google reader, twitter, facebook, myspace, tumblr, IM, Skype, etc. Man that's a lot of communications channels to shed. No wonder I need to go off the grid...

Heading to Costa Rica. Will post pictures upon return...

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving! Here's a picture of my mom and Grandmother making graving a few years ago:


Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Interview with Fard Johnmar about OrganizedWisdom and the Future of Healthcare


A few weeks ago, Fard Johnmar, the host of The Digital Health Revolution interviewed (or grilled) me for 40 minutes. I look a bit tired at the beginning because I have been working til the wee hours quite a bit, but I enjoyed the dialog and this long form format helps get beyond the sound bites.



Some pictures from the actual interview:


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Six Word Stories

I've always loved Hemingway and his claim that the best story he ever wrote was only six words:

"For sale: Baby shoes, never worn."

That's probably why I connected with this project over at Avenoo called Six Word Stories.

GapingVoid: Rich

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Presenting At Tech Meet-UP Tonight

My partner and I will be presenting OrganizedWisdom to the New York Tech Meet-up tonight. It starts at 7PM so stop by if you have time. It should be fun and we're looking forward to seeing what types of questions and feedback we get from the crowd.

OW In San Fransisco Chronicle

I've been super busy lately for a lot of reasons, and the re-launch of the new OrganizedWisdom has been a whirlwind and things are going great. Many more updates soon, once things settle down a bit but wanted to share the article below.

The San Fransisco Chronicle has an interesting piece on new online health companies that mentions us this week:

Read the article here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

OrganizedWisdom Launches First Human Guided, Doctor Reviewed Search Service for Health

We've been busy for quite awhile on the NEW organized wisdom platform which is a dramatic leap forward for us.

Today, we officially launched an early BETA of a new human-guided, doctor-reviewed search service for health. Our goal is to use search experts, editors, and physicians to improve health search.

Here is the press release: http://organizedwisdom.com/OrganizedWisdom:News_Center

Here are some early reviews:

Mashable

HealthcareVOX

Boston.com

It's still very early stages, but I would love any feedback you may have. This is a big mission and one that I am very excited about. Any suggestions will help us keep making the service better.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Interpol Show At MSG

Went to Interpol show the other night at MSG. My guess is the band is bummed right now, because they bombed. Musically, I really liked it. But the performance was a joke.

First of all, the place was only 2/3 full because they couldn't sell enough tickets. It gave the appearance of an empty restaurant on the busiest night of the week.

The stage seemed to swallow the band because they didn't know what to do with it. They had a weak lighting show and this horrible shim thing that was supposed to come down after the first dong but didn't. They actually had to stop the show to get the thing to drop. It must have been embarasing for them and I think set the tone for the rest of the show.

Finally, they have trouble playing more than an hour. And when you play the Garden you need to be able to play at least 90 minutes if not two or three hours! Come on, this is your opportunity to blow NYC away!

Anyway, I was happy I went to the show as I am a big fan. I was underwhelmed though and think they need to re-evaluate what worked and didn't work so they can get it right next time.

Hopefully they get that chance. Or if they're smart, next time maybe they will do 5 sold out shows in a row at Radio City and stick with what they are great at.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Whites Stripes Cancel Rest of Tour: Meg White Sick

Read the official post on their site, but looks like the rest of the tour has been canceled which is very sad. What's worse is I don't buy the "Meg has anxiety" story at all and they could be done as a duo.

I was fortunate enough to see them twice on this tour (their private party at Irving Plaza to kick off the tour and at MSG -- both rocked!) and they were both incredible performances.

I recorded the Filmore Show (Irving Plaza) which you can still get here although the quality is rough.

Monday, September 10, 2007

OrganizedWisdom Featured in This Week's Economist

I did an interview with Jeanette Borzo several week's ago for this trend piece she just published on the Health 2.0 movement. Our company, OrganizedWisdom was lucky enough to be featured prominently in the article (below). Things are really heating up for our company: We're officially unveiling our new site this week, we are speaking at the 3 most prominent health care conferences in the coming weeks, and we are hiring great talent!

Here's the article:
Technology and society: Is the outbreak of cancer videos, bulimia blogs and other forms of “user generated” medical information a healthy trend?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

In Front of CBGB's: RIP Hilly! We'll Miss You!

Snapped these pictures in front of the old CBGB's last night. The sad thing was seeing the awning gone.

 



Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Looking Forward to New Film About Bob Dylan: I'm Not There


The New York Times wrote a brief piece about a new film about Bob Dylan: I'm Not There.

The film is only opening in New York City (at the Film Forum) and in LA. It's times like these I remember why I love living here!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Focus on More At-Bats

In another great post by Marc Andreseen, he highlights some data to show:

Quality of output does not vary by age... which means, of course, that attempting to improve your batting average of hits versus misses is a waste of time as you progress through a creative career. Instead you should just focus on more at-bats -- more output. Think about that one.


So the morale is: just keep trying!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

TheStreet.com (TSCM) Buys Corsis and Promotions.com for $20 Million

Congrats to all of our friends and partners over at Corsis Technologies/Promotions.com. Online finance site operator TheStreet.com (TSCM) acquired the company today for nearly $21 million.

I have a long great history with each of these companies over the past decade. In one way or another, I have been deeply involved with these companies for the last 10 years. In the mid-nineties I joined start-up Promotions.com (some may remember it as Webstakes, and to make it more complicated Corsis is officially changing it's name to Promotions.com) as head of marketing to work with Steven Krein for the first time (Steve was the co-founder and CEO and is now my current partner in OrganizedWisdom). From a scrappy start-up, we quickly became the first and largest online promotions agency and took the company public on NASDQ in 1999. In fact, we were one of the last companies to successfully IPO before the big dot com bust. Fun and interesting times I will never forget.

I was also fortunate to have worked with TheStreet.com many years ago. Way back when I worked at new media communications agency Middleberg and Associates, I was on the PR/marketing team that helped launch and do online strategy for TheStreet.com. As a peon recently out of school I only had a few interactions with James Cramer, but I still have an email he sent me one day saying simply: "Great Job!".

And most recently, we've continued to partner with Corsis/Promotions.com. When Steve and I decided to launch our most recent venture, OrganizedWisdom, the first person we called was Gregg Alwine and our friends over at Corsis/Promotions.com to manage our technology. They've been a key partner, an investor, and instrumental to our success ever since.

Congrats again to all parties involved! We're looking forward to even bigger things to come...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It Truly is a Flat World for Social Networking

My latest trend post about social networking here.

For those of you who don't care about these things the way I do, my basic point is that we are about to see the proliferation of niche social networks in a major way as a result of companies like Ning.com. The same way there are now tens of millions of blogs, we will see millions of niche (and many private) communities launch leveraging easy to use and virtually free online tools.

Click the link above for my more complete thoughts...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Humans Are Better Than Computers At Finding And Polishing Talent

The good news is that anyone is now a publisher and producer. That's also the bad news.

Now that anyone can create, publish, and distribute their own content in the matter of minutes we are entering an Age of Clutter. There's a lot of great content being shared, but there is also more junk than ever.

Don't believe me? Just do any search on Technorati or spend time on MySpace and YouTube.

For anyone interested in this issue, I highly recommend watching this presentation by Andrew Keen, the author of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet Is Killing Our Culture.

I wrote a whole post on this on our business blog at OrganizedWisdom here. The video is worth a listen and the folks at Google ask some great questions.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

White Stripes Rocked Madison Square Garden


Jack and Meg White put on an amazing show Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The room was packed, people were bouncing, the sound was good, the stage was simple and elegant, and the music rocked.

Here's the review from the New York Times:

Once the show started, the White Stripes were left alone: the two of them spent nearly two hours on a big stage in a big — and full — room. “I don’t believe we’ve played this bar before,” said Mr. White, surveying the Garden. He probably didn’t feel quite that blasé, but he certainly didn’t seem intimidated, or thrilled, or even triumphant. He simply went to work, howling and shrieking and sighing, while inducing his guitars to do the same.

The Invasion of SPAM Sites

Over on my business blog at OrganizedWisdom, I've been writing a lot about the problem of spamdexing and how spam sites are cluttering up search engines these days.

If you ever search for health information online you may be interested in this post I did today titled: How To Judge The Credibility of Health Sites - 10 Tips To Help Weed Out SPAM Sites.

If you have any tips of your own to add, please do.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pictures from Cuba

I stumbled upon some of my old pictures from a great adventure in Cuba a few years back. Thought I would share a few here and put the rest up on my Flickr page.

Sadly, I had several hundred more pictures from that trip, but due to a very tragic computer mishap (thanks bro!) I lost most of them along with several thousand other photos. I've since learned my lesson and back everything up multiple times.

At least I have a few pictures to remember Cuba by. What a great place!

 
 
 
 
Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 23, 2007

My Adventure Notes and Pictures: Back from Telluride



Late last night I made it back home to New York City from a wonderful week's vacation in Colorado. I hadn't been on vacation in quite a while so it was refreshing to get above sea level (13,000 feet!) and into the fresh cold air.

Here are some quick notes about my adventures, along with some pictures and a video of me jeeping around Imogene Pass.

Click here for pictures on Flickr.

I arrived last Saturday midday, landing at the Telluride airport, which I learned has the highest elevation landing strip in the US. I've landed in some hairy places before (including Hong Kong and Sao Paulo), but this is by far the scariest landing I've ever experienced. It was quite a thrill and since I was one of only 5 people on the plane I was able to see the view over the pilot's shoulder. I wouldn't want to do that one everyday, but it was fun.



First, I headed into Telluride with Scott and Roberta for lunch and then took the gondola up to Mountain Village and baked a little in the sun. Back down for a walk around town to shoot pictures, shop a bit, and get a sense of the town. My first impression: the residents of Telluride are pretty lucky.

Then we headed up to Hastings Mesa, my homebase for the week. It's about a 30 minute drive to the top from town and every inch of the drive is stunning. The switchback roads must be a real thrill in the winter.

Sunday was an all day adventure. A full 12 hours of jeeping over mountains with Lauren (who is the director of the Telluride Museum) and Scott. We went over Imogene Pass from Telluride to Ouray to Silverton. What a trip. Anyone of a hundred times I thought we were heading off the road and over a cliff.

When we got to Silverton we enjoyed a beer and game of pool at the local Miner's Union which was memorable for this bumper sticker on the wall:

EARTH FIRST. WE'LL MINE THE OTHER PLANETS LATER.

The next few days were jam packed with relaxation. Since I had lost my cell phone charger I could only turn my phone on twice a day to check messages which was a real blessing. Finally some relief from my blog, twitter, email, etc.

I spent a couple days at the nearby Hot Springs soaking with the locals and some other tourists. On Tuesday night we went to support Bobbie Jean Murphy and watch her play at the Silver Nugget Saloon.

Wednesday was another all day adventure to Mesa Verde where we walked around the ancient Cliff Dwellings of the Ute Indians. You could spend a year there and not see everything. Since we only had a few hours, we saw some of the main attractions.



Perhaps there is no better way to end a vacation than a live Bob Dylan show. He headlined a fundraiser for KOTO radio and My Morning Jacket opened. We had about 20 people in our party, although Vadra and I opted to cruise around the venue most of the time which was a lot of fun.

There were many other great adventures including staying up all night hanging with Vadra, having a black bear thrash our freezer in search of food, and too many scenic walks and drives to count. But those stories are for another time...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Going To The Mountains

I'm leaving for Telluride tomorrow AM so won't be blogging. Maybe some twittering and photo-blogging from the back of my horse, but beyond that, I'm unplugging :-)

Pictures and a Bob Dylan bootleg upon my return...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

SPAM Sites Are Ruining The Web - Humans Need To Take Action

I've been thinking and writing a lot about this issue lately. Here's my latest blog post about this issue over on my business blog at OrganizedWisdom:

First SPAM Tried To Take Over Email. Now SPAM Sites Are Invading The Web And Hurting Our Health.

Today, I also posted more about the Squidoo SPAM mess:

Seth Godin And Squidoo Finally Respond To SPAM Problems

What's the solution to filtering out all these SPAM sites invading our Web? My guess is technology alone won't do much good. Just like the Post Office, humans are going to have to carry us the last mile home.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Have Journalists Become Today's Most Reviled Profession?


Are You Fed Up with CNN's Poor Excuse for Journalism Too?

Once the innovator of the 24/7 news cycle and insightful coverage of live events, wars, and debates, CNN has moved away from their journalistic roots so much these past few years, the Network can't even admit when it makes a mistake (see above). Whether it plays loose with their language, distorts facts, or distracts with their incessant multimedia video montages, we need to be asking what News actually means to CNN (and to many of today's journalists.

Good thing we have people like Johns Stewart, Bill Maher, and Michael Moore to call them on their poor excuse for journalism these days. And perhaps that's another reason why blogging continues to take hold so rapidly. People don't believe the main stream media anymore because they have eroded (forgotten?) their standards and faltered so many times.

Wolf says it best in the video above:
CNN is a business.


Is the subtext to Wolf's tone and response to Michael Moore, coupled with Dr. Gupta's response on Larry King Live last night telling us that because CNN is a business, they can report whatever they want?

CNN is not all bad. For example, I love Larry King Live, but that's because it is clearly an entertainment show, not a news show, and the viewers know this.

If news programs like the Situation Room and today's actor/anchors don't get their act together, they will forever tarnish the profession of journalism worse than they have already. (A few years ago we expected it from FOX News, but not CNN).

Who woulda thunk, "bloggers" would become this generations Most Trusted Source for News.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Why Personal Portals Are The Future Of Controling Your Online Identity ( or The Guide To My Blog)

Everyone seems to be focusing on building out their profiles on Myspace, Photobucket, Flickr, and now Facebook and Twitter. With all these new social networks it's hard to keep up. Where do you tell your friends and colleagues to go to now!?! Google?

The reality is, for online "Actives" like me (those who participate frequently in online networks, forums, blogs, communities, etc.), it's hard to keep up these days. So many new sites, new communities, different profiles...how does anyone keep up and where is this all going anyway?

My best guess is that all of us "Actives" will realize that by creating our own personal "online hubs" (gateways that lead to and link to everything else that we are doing), we will regain control of our online information. By aggregating all of our profiles and online information, we are better able to manage, share, and distribute all of this disparate personal information. Many bloggers have figured this out already, but most people have dozens of "accounts", "pages", "sites", "articles", etc. all floating around cyberspace. Why not get control by aggregating all of your cyberdata?

That's the approach I'm taking now. My personal blog, Stoaked! (here at unitystoakes.com), is my personal hub. You can pretty much come here and get to everything else. This is my personal portal. My thoughts, my links, my favorite content, my stalker feeds, my profiles, my pictures, my reviews, my recipes, my lists...the portal to my online life.

A few years ago, the concern was all about privacy. Now, it seems we are entering the Age of Transparency.

For example...

* I make it easy for you to read all the recommended articles and blog postings I find interesting by checking out my "Shared Items Widget", now at the top right of my blog. I read about a hundred blogs right now using Google Reader. When I find an interesting posting, I flag it and share it via this widget. The reality is, I save these postings more for myself than for you so I can go back to them later, but I also do it to promote other great bloggers, thinkers, designers, trend setters, and ideas. Why not share these ideas this with you!

* Keep tabs on my every move by checking out my Twitter Widget (also on top right of this blog). Find out what I am doing "now" or get random thoughts I post when I am out and about. People seem to either love or hate the concept of Twitter. I think it is an incredibly useful and collaborative new tool to connect and share information.

* Check out my links and discover my other Web sites, business, and family.

* Click on the Google ads to help make me money:-). Every time I buy something on Amazon, I use my own Amazon Widget and save an extra 4%.

* Subscribe to my blog to get updates via your RSS reader.

* Connect to my business contacts via my Linked In Profile. Want to meet someone in my network? Let me know...

* I don't use My Tumblr very much but every once in a while, I post random quotes, pictures, and fun links that I don't want to put on my main blog. It is sort of a random offshoot of my main Blog.

* You can even check out My Netflix ratings, My Yelp reviews, or Delicious links.

* Don't know what to get me on my Birthday?:-) That's what my Wish List is for.

Obviously since this is my personal online "hub" most of the links and information won't be that interesting to that many people. But that's the point. It is only interesting for people who actually care (like my friends and family, colleagues, and crazy stalkers), and it enables me to tell a more complete story of my life.

The combination of Participation and Transparency is very powerful. Now that anyone can Google you and find everything in 10 seconds anyway, my philosophy is it's best to "own" your information. Aggregate it. Control it. Share it. Shape it. By flooding the world with information, you regain your privacy and have some semblance of control again.

Don't leave your online identity in the hands of Google. Guide people to your information yourself! If you haven't already, it's time to build your online "hub" and get control again.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Minus the bomb scares, is The Splasher proof that art can still matter?


The Splasher analysis continues with yet another extensive piece in the Arts section of today's New York Times: Splashing the Art World With Anger and Questions.

Some highlights:
The current agitators, although they’ve got some of the revolutionary patter down, seem to lack clearly defined targets or priorities. Is the problem gentrification or the art market or artists or late capitalism? What’s troubling them — the street art they’re defacing or the fact that some of the street artists might also show in galleries?

And, by the way, what’s wrong with artists, even street artists, making a buck? The spectacle, as Debord might have said, of the present art world in thrall to Mammon is incredibly depressing. But selling art isn’t selling out, necessarily, and making art for people on the street doesn’t preclude showing (a different sort of) art in galleries. Physical endangerment in the form of bombs, stinky or otherwise, then crosses the line from mischief to mayhem.

New York neighborhoods are indeed changing, not all for the better, as the city becomes more affluent and homogeneous, and art shouldn’t exist in it simply as a symbol of wealth and privilege. It should seize public spaces where it can, to make itself more part of daily life, more relevant in the world, and to become a source of serendipity, pleasure, trouble, controversy and interest to people outside the art world, not just inside it.

With this much attention, The Splasher will no doubt be showing soon in a Chelsea gallery near you.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Envy, Hypocracy, and the New Era of Street Art: Interactive Graffiti

Has street art peaked?

Now even the New York Times is covering The Splasher. Most recently, in today's article, As Street Art Goes Commercial, a Resistance Raises a Real Stink.

The Splasher, is creating quite a stir among the Street Art scene, because he/she/they are "splashing" several well known street artists' work with white paint and random messages. You can read the 16-page Splasher Manifesto here to learn a bit more about the intent, but it seems pretty obvious:

The blurring lines between commercial art, advertising/marketing, and street art are creating a lot of friction between the haves and the have nots. The street artists who are getting famous, making lots of money, and becoming recognized as "legitimate" artists, are hitting quite a nerve with the hard-core graffiti artists (aka those who have not yet made it).

On one hand you have a new street art elite who now hold conferences and art shows in famous galleries and pontificate about "meaning", "trends", "style" and other haughty topics. On the other you have those desperate for attention and dying of envy. And then you have a bunch of people who are trying to figure out whose side they are on anyway.

Is the Splasher making some genius statement -- perhaps the last creative concept in street art? (What do we call this...how about: Interactive Street Art) Have the elites grown fat and lazy and lost their way, seduced by money, power and fame? Is the destruction of another artist's work an act of war? Should we be reading about these debates in the New York Times and on panel discussions? What happened to the underground!

Not that it necessarily divides along the lines of who is achieving success or financial reward, but money and cozy connections to the establishment seem to be at the root of the conflict. (Isn't that usually the case in these situations?)

Successful street artists and many who love their work don't want to see their pieces destroyed. That seems fair. But The Splasher and those who support him/her/them, believe they are pointing out an obvious hypocracy. After all, isn't The Splasher just communicating via Interactive Graffiti?

37Signals Features OrganizedWisdom


A few months ago, 37Signals interviewed me and my partner about how we use BaseCamp to help run OrganizedWisdom. We are big fans of the Getting Real philosophy and use BaseCamp to collaborate daily. We recommend these tools to our best friends and colleagues. Here's why:

Click here to watch the video interview with Steve and Unity.

Click here to read Getting Real for FREE!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Movie Every American Should See: Michael Moore's 'Sicko'


I went to one of the first public screenings of Michale Moore's new documentary, Sicko, yesterday and it was truly an inspiring event. Inspiring because it forces you to think about yourself, about our country, about our values, and perhaps most profoundly asks: "Who are we?"

No matter your political leanings, your income level, your religious beliefs, or the company you work for, Sicko is a must-see film for all Americans. It should be shown in schools and universities and at company lunches all across the country. It's so important because it sheds light (in a way that only a powerfully edited-film can) on an issue that is threatening us all: the loss of our collective moral consciousness and the erosion of our humanity.

Are we really becoming a nation of sociopaths who have so little compassion for each other that we are willing to let our elders be dropped off on skid-row and our 9-11 heroes whither without proper care?

Well of course we all want to help our family and friends and neighbors. And we do. Sicko even shows communities coming together to help search for missing children and privately organized raffles to help our 9-11 heroes. But do we really care about each other as human beings? Do we care about the collective well-being of the people we don't know who live in "The Greatest Nation on Earth"?

I am not sure how we can and should come together as a nation to resolve this erosion of our culture. Finding ways to fix our health care system is certainly a start, albeit a task of hurculean proportions.

No doubt, as Mr. Moore suggests, an important first step is that we need to be able to answer this question with pride and confidence again:

"Just who are we, anyway?"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

White Stripes Live Bootleg - Irving Plaza - Icky Thump Tour - June 19, 2007


Just got back from an amazing White Stripes concert at Irving Plaza (Fillmore at Irving Plaza if you're New School).

It was a special show because their new album, Icky Thump, was just released today and they are just about to kick off a big tour (they're playing Madison Square Garden in July). It was also a special show because it was next to impossible to get tickets (i.e. no scalpers, no friends with extras, you must wait in line all night to get tix - thanks Greg!).

Rather than tell you all about it, you can just listen to it here. Thanks to the power of an Edirol-09 Digital Audio recorder, you have access to the White Stripes Live Show from tonight at the Fillmore.

The sound is rough (really rough for the first 2 minutes) because the levels are off. I'm also not an engineer. And the sound was a bit lousy for Irving. Perhaps because Jack White and Meg White pounded so hard.

Anyway, if you're an expert and you know all the songs, please send a set list and I'll post it here. Hope you enjoy the sneak peak at their upcoming tour, and I hope you get a chance to see the White Stripes LIVE soon. It's well worth any wait.

Set 1 - White Stripes Live:

Set 2 - White Stripes Encore:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How to Protect Your Identify In 4 Easy Steps

More and more people are getting their identities stolen these days. Unfortunately, I've had to learn a lot about identity theft over the past couple of years so I thought I would share some quick tips to help you protect your identity.

Here are 4 easy steps to helping protect your identity. Each thing on this list can be done for free. There are also services who will do all of this for you for about $10 per month.


First
, contact the credit bureaus and ask them to set fraud alerts on your behalf.

Equifax: 1-877-576-5734; www.equifax.com
Experian: 1-888-397-3742; www.experian.com/fraud
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com


Second, make sure you keep this Fraud Alert on your account. You will need to contact one of the credit bureaus every 90 days to make sure the alert is active. It's a simple call, so just put a reminder in your calendar to do this once a quarter.

Third, remove your name from pre-approved credit card and junk mail lists.

Fourth, order a free credit reports at least once per year and go through it with a fine-tooth comb. Look for any problems like addresses or credit cards you do not recognize. Make sure all of the information on your credit report is accurate, otherwise you should get it corrected as soon as possible.

I wouldn't worry too much about this. Just be aware so that you can catch fraud as soon as it occurs and you should be fine.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Old School Coney Island's Days Are Numbered

Here are some shots I took about a year ago when I was at Coney Island. My brother was just there this weekend to catch the rides one last time before they disappear. Click here to see his pictures. Here is today's NYTimes article about the new Disney-style development that is planned for the area...
 
 
 
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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party!


The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, which starts today in Madison Square Park, is the biggest NYC barbecue event of the year by far. And I can't wait! I'm on my way down now actually...

Here are some great BBQ tips from NYMag:

• Here’s the single most important thing to know: Barbecue is a specialist’s art, and this is your one chance to get the best of each kind. That means pulled pork from Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson’s; whole hog from Ed Mitchell of Mitchell’s BBQ; baby-back ribs from Mike Mills of the 17th Street Bar & Grill; beef ribs from Hill Country BBQ; sausage from Bryan Bracewell at Southside Market; and pork spareribs from Garry Roark at Ubon’s.

• When ordering, it’s not rude to ask the servers to give you particular parts of the meat. When getting pulled pork, ask for some of the “bark,” or “Mr. Brown,” the crusty exterior of the pork butt (a good pork sandwich should always contain some.) For brisket, ask for deckle, the rich, tender cap muscle where all the flavor lives. If someone is about to hand you a gnarly-looking rib or sausage, don’t be ashamed to ask for a different one.

• You can tell if barbecue is done right by certain signs that judges look for in competition. For example, if you take a bite of a rib, the meat should come away cleanly and easily and leave a clear bite mark behind. Pork should be soft enough to shred by hand, but not so soft that it disintegrates. The presence of a ton of sauce is a dead giveaway that the pitmaster has no faith in the taste of his meat.

• Here’s a quick and easy glossary of barbecue terms. “Carolina style” means served with a light vinegar dressing and centers around pulled-pork shoulder. “Pork butt” means pork shoulder. “Texas style” means simply smoked over oak wood, with only salt and pepper as seasoning. “Pink ring” is a coloration of the meat, caused by nitration, that is a sure sign that it has been cooked right. Spareribs are bigger but less tender than baby-back ribs, which come from the loin, the same area as pork chops. “Rub” is a spice mixture that is massaged into the meat before cooking.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The 10 Petals of Success from MindPetals.com

Mind Petals: Young Entrepreneur Network » About Mind Petals: "The 10 Petals of Success

These 10 petals of success originated from David (founder of MindPetals Young Entrepreneur Network), in [his] former office (garage) while thinking about some true paths to success for budding entrepreneurs wanting to make things happen with their lives.

1. Take risks
2. Start today, not tomorrow
3. Listen to yourself first
4. Never give up…try and try again
5. Use failure as fuel
6. Never stop thinking
7. Create something
8. Help others succeed
9. Solve problems
10. Change the world!

Evan Williams' Advice: Build on Facebook

From Evan Williams interview on VentureBeat Blog:

"If I were starting something from scratch, I would certainly consider starting out on Facebook, which is a really big deal. I think that they’ll drive others to be more open and I think every major player like them is going to have a similar platform. I think that’s good for innovation, good for entrepreneurs and hopefully good for users."

Ira Glass Video Interview on Story Telling




The Value of Embracing Limitations

I saw this featured in a post on the SvN Blog...
Jack White on embracing limitations:
The idea of wearing just these colors, having just the two of us on stage—these are just boxes that we’ve cooked up to put ourselves in so that we can create better. If we had five people on the stage, all the opportunity of a 300-track studio, or a brand-new Les Paul, the creativity would be dead. Too much opportunity would make it too easy. We just don’t want to be complicated, it seems unnecessary.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

Guy Kawasaki Calls It Like He Sees It

Why do some people get so much press?

One reason: They give good copy and they say the things that others are too afraid to say.

Here are some gems from legendary author, motivator, Web guru Guy Kawasaki from his interview with the Wall Street Journal this week (subscription required).
"During the dot-com bubble, you needed $5 million to do stupid ideas. Now you can do stupid ideas for 12 grand."

"If you raise $2 million from VCs, you have to pretend like you 'know' all this stuff. The truth is whether it's $12,000 or $2 million, you really don't know. The only difference is what you think you can admit."


and one of his quotes from the speaking circuit:
"Those who can, do; those who can't, motivate."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Happy 60th Mom!


Today is a special day. That's because it is my mother's 60th Birthday.

This past weekend my brothers and I threw a surprise weekend celebration for her back in Iowa. Unfortunately, the weekend went by too fast, but we did have time to BBQ a few times, build a big old bonfire and tell stories about the good ol' days, go for a Sunday brunch and play around the farm with the basset hounds.

Some more fun pictures in honor of Mom:

I call this one Grant Wood for obvious reasons.


Making homemade gravy with Grandma.


The family. Wintertime portrait.


Rockin' out.


Buzios, Brasil.

Amazing How Musicians Are Using Web to Collaborate

It is incredible to see how collaborative sites like Jamglue.com and ejamming are changing how people are making music. Not only are people collaborating from afar, but they are making songs together without ever meeting or speaking to each other.

Listen to this great story on NPR about this trend.

"We've already seen the stage where people are consuming music over the Internet in a whole new way," says Wired News writer Eliot Van Buskirk. "What we haven't seen very much of is people creating music in a new way using the Internet and that's what this is all about."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Who Says User Content Isn't Awesome!

These days we hear a lot of people moaning about how user contributed content is no good.

Oh yeah! Check this video out. It's awesome. And who wouldn't want to work at a cool company like this one. Looks fun.

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Old 1971 Cutlass Supreme

Great to see my old car again. When I moved back to New York City a couple of years ago I sold it to my brother where it is sitting in his garage being well taken care of. Can't wait to take a ride again soon...
 
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