Monthly Archives: July 2009

This is what the leader of the Free World looks like

While that title has been around for a long time in describing U.S. Presidents, somehow to me it seems more appropriate on Barack Obama than it has been on other Presidents.

You can only call yourself a leader if people respond to your leadership. That’s why I think the title fits him best.

A neglected tip for insomniacs: good bedding


I find from using social media that alot of people have trouble sleeping. They want to sleep, but can’t. (Unlike me, who just doesn’t want to sleep. :)).  There is lots of great advice on how to deal with insomnia, but here’s a thought I never see mentioned: maybe your bedding is terrible. If so, and even if it is adequate, perhaps you should consider upgrading you bedding and make the experience more enjoyable.

If you are looking for advice on good bedding, you could start with these fab sheets from Restoration Hardware that were mentioned on my friend Laurie’s blog, Natural Chic. Sure, you can get cheaper, but if you are sleep deprived and other things aren’t working, I suggest you consider these. You deserve it.

Chris Anderson in a nutshell

I liked this interview by Der Spiegel (via Salon.com) of Chris Anderson, author of “The Long Tail” and now “Free”, not to mention editor and chief of WiReD. The interview really provides a great summing up of some of the key ideas of the transition from old to new media. I may not agree with all of Anderson’s conclusions, but I enjoy how thought provoking they are and how he puts them.

It is an interesting interview: Anderson seems miffed at the start, but he rolls out alot of ideas in two short pages. See Who needs newspapers when you have Twitter? | Salon News for the interview.

Not your King James version of The Bible…but a Lego version

Seriously. For example, here is Job 2:1, 3:

One day Yahweh said to Satan, ‘Have you noticed Job? He holds fast to his perfect righteousness even though you persuaded me to destroy him for no reason.’

Or in illustrated form:

For this and more, see The Brick Testament.

Be warned: like the Bible, some of it is NSFW, especially the section The Law.

Clothes for Math Nerds….

…of which I am ..was?…one. If you are one, you want this on your chest? Why?

Because we math nerds know that while everyone knows Sine and Cosine, Tan(gent) is often the neglected one. You can help rectify that with this T shirt. :)

Snorg Tees has lots of great T shirts. Not just for math nerds. Go see.

On being human, or one of my favourite quotes from Robert A Heinlein

From Quotes

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

(Emphasis mine. Found via kottke.org)

A very simple and personal use of Web 2.0

My fellow Web 2.0 consultant, Aaron Kim, recently left IBM. Typically when someone leaves IBM, we have a going away lunch where we allow everyone to sign a card wishing the person all the best as well as chipping in for a gift for the person. Now seeing that Aaron has worked with people all around the world, and being that we were both Web 2.0 people, I thought we should take a Web 2.0 approach to things!

Instead of sending around a card, I set up a blog, Aaron Kim’s Leaving IBM Lunch, and asked people to comment/wish Aaron the best on the blog. (As well as providing them with information such as how to get to the lunch). As for a going away gift, using a combination of the ChipIn! service and Paypal, I collected money for Aaron and then transferred it to him after the event.

All in all, it took me less time to do all this than it would have taken to shop for a card! Plus, the benefit was that people from Australia, Japan, Spain, the UK, California in the U.S., and of course Canada, could all participate.

To make it even better, another IBM web 2.0 expert, Jamie Alexander, inspired Aaron to take the gift money and provide it to Kiva. The money raised for the gift is now helping entrepreneurs in El Salvador, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cambodia. You can read more about this at Aaron’s blog.

Best of luck, Aaron. And for people who think using Web 2.0 technology is too difficult…well, as you see, it can be as simple and as effective as this.