Thursday, December 24, 2009
I've met some amazing people: visual artists, media consultants, business visionaries, tech enthusiasts, and blogger extraordinaires. It's been the most life-changing, life-affirming time of my life thus far. Previously, I only thanked @Jack, @Ev, and @Biz for their work in creating Twitter. But last night, I ran across the feed of another Twitter co-creator, @Dom. And this man has the goods.
Below is the cool video interview he granted to explain the genesis of Twitter, as well as rationale for the "140 characters". Good stuff. Great insight. Can't wait to meet him at the upcoming Twitter Conference that's slated to be here in Seattle in March 2010.
Monday, December 21, 2009
This is one of my favorite Janet Jackson tunes. I had the biggest crush on her for years, and I attribute it to this video. So hot!
Classic Madonna. No one has ever accused her of not speaking up. She's a talented, brutally frank woman, and that powerful combination has paid huge dividends for her career.
I love Amy Winehouse's voice. Her sound is a great throwback and nod to the singers of the 60s, and the great tunes they created.
Mary J. Blige has been through so much, and music has been her way of expressing the range of dramatic peaks and valleys that have characterized her life. I love this woman.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Yes, I believe she's angling for her own show. No, not a late night gig, but something Oprah-esque. I have no concrete proof, but I definitely think it's in the cards. She hasn't been doing any hard-hitting policy interviews, and probably won't do any. She's just going to continue going on shows where she can showcase her humor, and maybe even take a few jabs at her rivals. There is nothing wrong with this route of course. It's just not exactly the way you get elected president.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I do understand the concern that many have voiced. Many now view Follow Friday as "spammy" because many just put lots of names in a tweet. There is a point to this criticism. People should be more creative and targeted in their Follow Friday tweets. Yes, this is true.
But at the end of the day, I'm not going to tell someone how to construct their tweets. I'll show them how I do it. If asked, I'll even give advice. But for many, it's simply harmless fun. And one must remember: its a recommendation, a stamp of approval, if you will, for all that are fortunate to be included.
I suspect that Follow Friday will continue, as Twitter itself evolves and matures even more. It should always be apart of the fabric of the Twitter-verse!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
By granting a one-on-one interview with Oprah Winfrey, Tiger would effectively slow down the daily feeding frenzy. Over 85% of Oprah’s viewership is female. An appearance on her show undoubtedly helped Arnold Schwarzenegger in his 2003 run for California Governor. If you’ll recall, Schwarzenegger’s poll numbers among women voters was terrible, which were fueled in part from rumors of infidelity as well as his own admission of having been on rowdy movie sets. Oprah’s interview made the difference. And it is no reason to believe that an appearance wouldn’t also benefit Tiger, and help him to stop the bleeding.
Tiger needs to steer clear of the writers who are currently claiming they have a right know what he’s doing at 2am every morning, who he’s in the shower with, and the name and zodiac sign of every single contact in his iPhone. Give that crowd the cold shoulder. This is a nightmare, and a circus. The last thing he needs is a Q&A with someone looking to extend the controversy, and someone who gleefully and intentionally defines alleged mistresses to mean confirmed mistresses.
I know Tiger is a notoriously private person, but conversations about his "transgressions" have become an unwanted volleyball. The human costs to his family and himself are more important to me than the financial costs associated with his endorsements and billionaire status. With so many unanswered questions, an Oprah interview is indeed his best bet. He can deny what's false, confirm what's true, and talk about his life going forward before what would be a massive TV audience. A highly recommended scenario for sure. I hope this happens, and happens soon.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
How @Flipbooks Hit 80,000 RTs
by Blair Semenoff aka @Flipbooks
Here is an article that has gotten me well over 250 Re-Tweets (RT) by one of my favorite sources of information Fast Company ~> ‘Nine Scientifically Proven Ways to Get Retweeted on Twitter’….and believe it or not, after I wrote this blog was the very first time I ever read it! lol What I’m going to share with you isn’t Science, but simple tips to help increase the amount of RTs you get. So who am I to tell you how to get an RT? Well…. on December 6th I celebrated my 80,000th RT which according to this article ~~>http://dailyrt.com/profiles/drt-all/ Ranks me 31st most RTed person/brands in the Twitterverse, so I think I know a thing or two…. So if you’re serious about “succeeding” on Twitter, I’m going to HELP YOU reach a higher level of RTs GUARANTEED!
1. Say THANK YOU!! I can’t stress this enough. This is AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF TWITTER! And this is the part of Twitter I miss the most. I don’t care who you are, or who you THINK you are, say THANK YOU! I used to do my BIG SHOUT-OUTs (groups of 10) and did them for every RT until I hit 150+RTs/day and it became so stress full & time consuming (had to type names manually at that time) that I had a semi-break down! lol Personally I think until you get 100+RTs/day you should be saying Thank You to everyone. (Exceptions & Alternatives are at the bottom of page)
2. #B-Tips It doesn’t matter how many followers you have if they’re not listening. Build friends, not followers. My first Tweet was sent on May 13th 2009 at 7:49pm. So for me to reach an average of 384 RTs/day (now-a-days 500+ daily) with only 14,000+ followers, obviously I’ve tried my best to keep in some sort of contact with people (usually w/ the RT to show I care enough to see what they’ve said & am thinking about them) I suggest you concentrate on friendships instead of how many people are following you. This is Social Media btw…This isn’t a step, just should be common sense. Take care of your inner group of people who RT you the most first. And en-less you’re a major news source, you should be RTing people. If you’re not RTing in my opinion you’re just “stealing” Tweets from certain people and Tweeting them for yourself and that’s that!!
3. Killer content. And how do you find killer content? By following YOU, ya you the one who’s reading this! Twitter is about sharing information gathered on Global scale. A mind blowing amount of information is in each & everyone of our time-lines if we just LOOK. And of course you are only as strong as the people you’re following. (and the people in my stream are the BEST!) I’m not going to go into detail on how to find these ’gems of the Twitterverse’ I’ll save that for another post.
Where else? Guess what its right in front of you! Every Tweet contains articles or blogs that have an archive, recent post and usually MOST POPULAR. Obviously Digg, StumbleUpon yada yada… are AWESOME sources of info for the community. Search around you’d be amazed what you’ll find! And get subscriptions and/or RSS of articles you enjoy reading. I do Copyblogger, AdAge and way too mention! lol
4. DON’T REMOVE PEOPLE FROM THE RT. Look for Tweets that have been RTed 3 or more times. While leaving yourselves 12-15 characters, so another RT can be achieved. Why? A) This means it’s great content. B) When people see friends in an RT, they’re more likely to RT it. C) Great way to make new friends since its likely someone you’ve just RTed you’ve never met. *I like to follow anyone I RT & people who RT me.
5. Make your Tweets sound RT worthy by adding descriptive words, excitement and purpose! One of the masters on Twitter is @Twitter_Tips. You don’t see as much ’copy & paste’ over there. K, think about it like this….your Tweet is actually a news/magazine headline more or less. Look at the copywiting, structure etc… of those junk magazines beside the check out isle. I’m gonna leave it at that….but adding ‘Beautiful’, ’in the World’ or ‘ ! ‘ has gotten me a few extra RTs I’m sure. Expanding on tip #5, remember one of Twitter’s most important features is the keyword searches. The more useful keywords you use (while avoiding duplicates) the more likely you’ll get seen. And that brings me to my next point. Add your source if its from a reputable feed. This also builds creditability to your Tweet, and ads VALUABLE KEYWORDS. Example, you’ll see me adding (TIME), (LIFE), (Mashable) and a great one that hits two keywords (Yahoo! News).
6. FIGHT FOR IT! You need to put the effort in to make what you just RTed SIMPLE for the next person and the next person and so on…to RT as well. And it’s the little things you do that make it all the difference! K, so at the end of our names there is ( : ) @Flipbooks: ALWAYS REMOVE IT! Remove any periods ( . ) located before links *since obviously the sentence ends* as well as at the end of Tweets. Next look for ‘and’ & switch it to ’&” FYI doing this double (RT @….. via @……) is a waste! **I’ll be going on a rant soon on how RTs are being performed on a later date…lol**
Here is a very good example of me fighting for RTs, which JD ‘@earthxplorer‘ Andrews & I got! RT @earthXplorer: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” ~Dr. Seuss (138 Characters)
What I did ~>
RT @earthXplorer Be who you are & say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter & those who matter don’t mind ~Dr Seuss (128 Characters = 12 characters left for possibly two RTs per Tweet)
7. Use #Tags, but don’t over abuse or use them incorrectly. I’m going to be brief since this subject is VERY IMPORTANT and needs to be discussed with it’s own blog. Think of #tags as a community & a place to anchor your brands message. Too many #tags (more than 3) and you look spammy, while releasing too many Tweets consecutively to the same #tag gets you ignored and possibly blocked from Twitter searches. You should be doing a keyword search judging flow of timeline prior to Tweeting.
#B-Tips If your user name is too long and/or difficult you should change it. If its to long you’re robbing yourself of extra RTs and if it’s too difficult there leaves too much room for error. Refer to this article by @Kim ~> How to Change your Username on Twitter
8. DON’T USE 2 or especially 3 Links in 1 Tweet. That’s called mass confusion & no one wants to put out that kind of effort validating EVERY link so they can RT ya!
9. According to http://tweetspeed.com/ provided to me by my very good friend @ScottATaylor there are approximately 20,000 Tweets per minute. The question is who reads yours and which of your friends are likely to RT it? And although this next tip will annoy those not using Twitter effectively (under 1000 friends in their stream) sending out 2 Tweets consecutively will increase the likely-hood you’ll be seen by your friends.
10. Another thing to take into consideration is Tweeting during busy times. From my experience 4-6:30am, 4-6:30pm & 10pm-12:00am PST are all peak times for me to obtain followers. As one of my closest friends @Paul_Steele says, depending on what country you’re Tweeting in the peak times and subjects (eg. TV shows) will repeat themselves weekly. Regardless you want to be Tweeting when the majority of your closest friends are on.
11 . Have I failed to mention I’ve Tweeted over 35,500 times and sent over 5000 DMs in only 208 days with an average of 177.2 Tweets sent a day….basically like someone who should be in the Internet Rehab Center? lol. No you don’t need to Tweet like a mad man/woman to get RT-ed, but you do need to Tweet on a consistent basis to keep up with what's happening and to maintain friendships.
So I hope these tips were of assistance to you and I want to thank each and everyone of you for all your support and RTs!
Friday, December 4, 2009
I am very happy that President Obama is being more aggressive on job creation. Everyone knows he came in with a tall order: to clean up an unbelievable mess while simultaneously preventing our economy from falling off a cliff. Yes, his first year has a been a legislative and diplomatic success, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
And yes, the Stimulus Bill has worked. It created and saved jobs. So says a report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. In fact, The USA TODAY examined data that shows how stimulus cash has lifted Blue & Red States alike, and has offset a major drop in tax collections. And if that's not enough, the ultra conservative Wall Street Journal even admitted that the stimulus (which they campaigned against) is helping the U.S. climb out of the current recession.
But, the jobs picture still isn't improving fast enough for many Americans.
So yesterday, President Obama brought together Big Labor, Big Business, and ordinary citizens to field questions, and share his thoughts on what he can do immediately to reverse job losses. According to my sources, President Obama is going to lay out his plan of action next Tuesday.
Among the things he's considering: getting the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make it easier for small businesses to get guaranteed loans; freeing up more capital for start up ventures; and tax breaks to small and mid-sized businesses that hire workers. He is also looking for ways to jump start an impressive number of green jobs now, instead of waiting for the impending Climate Bill, which Obama will sign next year.
With Americans hurting, this is the right move.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
- Yasmin Beitollahi
The lead singer of the group U2, Bono, believes AIDS awareness and education is one of the defining moral issues of our time. I agree. There needs to be a big push to reduce the rate of infection, and, an even bigger push (with FUNDING and not just rhetoric) to find a cure.
Get involved on World AIDS Day, and, any day of the year for that matter.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Here are two pictures of Millar's packaging:
According to one of McDonald's most recent reports, just around 30% of its packaging comes from recycled sources. McDonald's has made incremental moves toward sustainability, and they can go farther. Let's hope they make even more impressive moves in the coming months. Getting Andrew Millar's biodegradable packaging would be a huge step in the right direction. Burger King, Wendy's and others would likely follow suit. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
After being misdiagnosed four times at the beginning of this decade, my mom's health is as robust as ever. All of my siblings are gainfully employed, making this big brother very proud. One of my aunts beat back breast cancer this year, and the experience has given her a new perspective. And, quite humorously, my 77 year old grandmother brags about having more Facebook friends than I do. Can you believe that?
I've connected with some awesome people around the world. From Los Angeles to London, from New York to New Delhi, social media sites like Twitter and Snazl have enriched my view about the world. I am happy I have befriended bloggers who are respected not only for their perspective, but also for the sense of humanity they apply to their work. Bloggers like Jim Turner, Kristi Wooten, Yasmin Beitollahi, and Ramon Nuez Jr., and countless others.
How can you not be thankful for such wonderful, resilient, and awesome family members and friends?!
I am also thankful for the racial and ethnic diversity in our country, and, I am happy we have a president in The White House who believes that our diversity is to be embraced and valued, not feared and detested. Millions say "I want my America back", but millions more say, "I'm happy our America is moving forward". Yes, our, us, we...I love that.
And last, but certainly not least, I am immensely thankful for the Huffington Post's Impact Section. The awesome charities and nonprofits; the men and women performing heroically and selflessly to assist others; and, the people in need who have inspired Huffpost readers to give hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's been a smashing success. Impact editor Victoria Fine has done a marvelous job. I am thankful for her consistent and powerful declaration of love and community.
I urge everyone to use this Thanksgiving to not only reconnect with loved ones, but also to remember those whose lives are not what they should be. Every year I take food to homeless families under bridges and freeway underpasses. I will do the same this year. And I urge readers to get involved in their own way. Find a way...or make a way. As Howard Thurman insist in his classic, bestselling The Centering Moment:
We must remember those who are close to us by ties of blood and accommodation, whose needs have been exposed to us in the days that are behind; those who are sick and who are moving slowly into a terminal dimension of their illness; those who have fallen upon hard and difficult times, from whose hands have been snatched those symbols of security by which the tranquility of their lives have been measured... We remember those men and those women whose private lives are burdened by the responsibilities of others and who find, because of the problems which surround them, that their private lives are inadequate and they are lonely and frightened and dismayed. We remember all those who stand within the shadow of the radiance that belongs to the healthy mind and the vigorous spirit; those who are wrestling with inner tortures that pull the world out of balance, who find themselves retreating more deeply within in the hope that in the iron-bound security of their inmost privacy they may be protected from the things that overwhelm and prove unmanageable.So remember our neighbors and our citizens whose lives deserve so much more. Remember that we can make a difference, and that our engagement could be the the very thing to keep them animated and motivated. So be hopeful, be safe, be involved, and yes, be thankful. Whether we know it or not, each of us has something to be incredibly thankful for.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The conventional surfboard is 100% toxic. This is an irony because so many surfers - including myself - fight polluters for their disregard of our beaches and oceans. But now, the Surf Industry Manufacturing Association has been orchestrating a big push to make its $7.2 billion industry more green. This is hot. And long over due.
Over 315,000 surfboards were sold in the United States last year. Big business. As more surfers become aware of the need for greener boards, the co-owners of Green Foam Blanks will likely see a big boost in sales. Can't wait to get my hands on one.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Ameeda is, quite simply, a revelation. She talks passionately about social media's proven ability to connect the world, and, to help promote awesome ideas for the greater good. SnazL, she believes, can take things to a new level. She started the company straight out of school with friend Bo Zhao, a fellow Williams College grad. In fact, it was conceived in the basement of their college chapel. While Bo runs operations in Beijing, China, Ameeda spearheads efforts in New York City, and does all of the company's outreach.
Thus far, her inspired efforts have paid off. A well-received, how-to video about SnazL has hit the web:
Additionally, SnazL is currently partnering with New York Entrepreneur Week, Nov. 16th to Nov. 20th. This is perfect because the marriage of social media and business has been nothing short of amazing. Also, SnazL has partnered on a deal with Singaporean filmmaker Tan Siok Siok, and executive producers Jeff Pulver and Geo Geller, the team behind the groundbreaking Twittamentary. This is huge. Make no mistake about it: Ameeda is a tremendous spirit whose enthusiasm for innovation and networking knows no limits. My Q&A with her is confirmation.
You are the creative force behind the social media site Snazl. There's been nothing but great buzz about it. What differentiates it, and sets it apart from sites?
What sets SnazL apart is its interactive media experience. It's much more human and simplifies your online life. User's don't just watch media on SnazL, they can connect interactively around rich media, sync up media across multiple sites, and update across them all. Each SnazL is like it's own video, a rich media video wiki, if you will, that you can embed anywhere. In fact, I was asked recently about Snazl's place in the real-time web movement. It's a great question. SnazL's magic is that it enhances our digital lifestyles from ever-flowing real-time web information streams to a more human stream of richly shared experiences. It unlocks the real-time web's potential further by allowing people to connect across locations based on having common ground/interest.
Snazl is very much apart of the launch of the Twittamentary. What does it aim to achieve and how will it be different from other documentaries on Twiter?
Twittamentary is a crowd-sourced documentary, so we wanted an easy way for the community to be a part of the story and live the experience. Community members can add their video, image, or audio story directly to the Twittermentary Snazl media stream, and pass it on to their friends to add it as well. The SnazL also enables supporters of the Twittermentary to come together and watch clips together in real-time from anywhere. Twittermentary aims to explore the human impact of Twitter. We want to see the lives of all kinds of people. The stories we're getting are tremendous. Some are web celebrities, some are homeless, some are cancer survivors. The cross section of participants is amazing.
2009 is ending on such a favorable note for you. What's next on your radar?
The heart of SnazL is its community, and we want to connect with more people who have the same desire for better connectivity on the web. We want to reach more people and help them discover how SnazL can improve their digital lifestyles, making them more interactive and streamlined. We are looking to grow. We want every human being, in ever corner of this great planet connected to Snazl.
To find out more about Ameeda Chowdhury and her exciting projects, connect with her through her SnazL profile, and, through her Twitter feed. To get more info on the Twitter documentary mentioned above, log on to Twittamentary.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Better Know a District - Delaware's Mike Castle|
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Justice Sonia Sotomayor shines on the cover of upcoming issue of Latina Magazine, which hits newsstands November 17th.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Bravo to Taipei 101 for saving money, creating jobs, and doing something awesome for the environment.
Monday, November 9, 2009
This was a monster hit for then newcomer Johnny Kemp. The problem was, he seemingly disappeared after his debut album, and never made the pop and R&B charts again. This song still rocks though.
This is not only Jamiroquai's biggest hit, but it's also his best video. The moving objects and sliding floor made this an unmistakable breakthrough.
I WANT IT THAT WAY
I know my friends are going to have a fit, but I had to put this tune on today. It's one of the 1990's most enduring hit, and the reason the Backstreet Boys became an international phenomenon. Great tune.
GIVE IT TO ME
It's always good to hear great music from Timbaland. He made a great decision to include Justin Timberlake. But tell the truth, the best decision was to include Nelly Furtado. She's absolutely hot.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
This extraordinary woman is a world thinker, a world traveler, and a world connector. And it's clear that her experiences are very much apart of who she is, and what she creates. Her popular website, Pinch My Saffron, specializes in the very best of Persian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Yasamin's craft is nothing short of impressive. This woman knows her flavors, and, as they say, always brings the sizzle. You'll love her perspective and be more than taken with the culinary delights of this extraordinary food enthusiast.
It's been said, quite correctly, that dance is one of the true "universal languages". I think cooking would also qualify. Do you agree?
It is amazing to see that dance really is a universal language that unites the world, no matter what our differences are. Sharing a passion for cooking, much like sharing the art of dance doesn't require a common language. That's the beauty of how it's become a cultural ambassador. Cooking by its very nature needs no translation. It communicates directly with the senses; a universal language of bringing people together. Instead of using words, we pair our local vocabulary of ingredients with our familiarity with another culture to speak that other culture's language, which is then represented on the plate.
I enjoy listening to music when I'm cooking. And, dancing naturally follows. My kitchen is a great escape and music helps achieve that special nirvana. The music is the vehicle to get in touch with my ingredients, techniques and utensils. Rock on!
You have a great, culturally rich background. How has it informed your approach to cooking?
I grew up in a household where bookshelves, hobbies, conversations, and obsessions invariably centered on food. Coming from a Persian background food was the center of our existence, and a big part of my life even at a very young age. So, I was exposed to different flavors and dishes that I wanted to create myself. I call upon my rich cultural history and love of bold flavors to create authentic dishes that pay homage to my Persian roots, while keeping it as simple as possible. My passion for good food has allowed me to develop innovative combinations without diminishing centuries' old Persian authenticity. I have always had a love for all things Persian and Mediterranean cuisine, and they say you crave the food of your ancestors, I find myself wanting to put saffron or feta cheese on just about everything.
Your first cookbook, Nobody Puts Saffron in the Corner, is coming out in February 2010. What delicious tidbits can readers expect?
My cookbook offers recipes and tips to everyday cooks, many of whom are rushing home to prepare no-frill meals for their families. Part of the book is definitely seasonal, but people expect to see certain classics as well, such as Ghormeh Sabzi, a stew made with leek, parsley, and fenugreek, served over a bed of Saffron Rice. A myriad of kabob recipes and so on. We blend the cookbook in a way that you have an opportunity to have a Persian classic with something that is more modern in its approach or Mediterranean inspired.
As with many food enthusiasts, collecting cookbooks is a passion of mine. I have been collecting cookbooks for many years now, most I have purchased but some have been given to me by dear friends and some have been handed down to me by family members. One downside to collecting and owning so many cookbooks is where to put my ever-growing collection. My love of a tidy kitchen, is the driving force behind the decision to launch Nobody Puts Saffron in the Corner as an e-book. Instead of having books scattered around the counter while you're cooking or baking, with e-books you can print out just the recipe you will be working with. What a concept!
Perhaps the most exciting thing about my first book is that Pinch My Saffron will donate 20% of proceeds from sales of our cookbook, Nobody Puts Saffron in the Corner, to Livestrong, Susan G. Komen For The Cure, Alex's Lemonade, and Charity Water. I have supported these charities for a while now, but the book will enable me to support them at a scale that I otherwise would not be able to.
Thank you to our friends on Twitter, Facebook, and to fellow foodies that follow my blog. It's much appreciated. Look out for the tweet, "I've submitted the manuscript!"
Much success on your book. That's quite an accomplishment. What's next for you, and what are your long-term plans for your site Pinch My Saffron?
Thank you for your wishes. It's an exciting time for Pinch My Saffron. Ultimately, creating an insightful blog that captures the flavorful and vibrant spirit of Persian and Mediterranean cuisine is what we sought out to do. We want to guide Persian food lovers on a non-intimidating and flavorful foray into home-style Persian cooking.
An online cooking show with guest co-hosts is our next exciting adventure. Each week, viewers will be invited into our kitchen to celebrate delicious, everyday Persian & Mediterranean meals that can be made with minimal fuss; a place where viewers can join us for a love affair with all things Persian & Mediterranean cuisine. The show will be made as a labor of love with this motto: Don't hesitate to pursue a fling with Persian cuisine --it may turn into true love!
To read more about Yasamin Beitollahi's awesome culinary dishes, log on to her site PinchMySaffron. You can also connect with her through her Twitter feed and Facebook page. Her eagerly anticipated e-book, Nobody Puts Saffron in the Corner, is slated for a February 2010 release.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Don't believe it? Check out these two NASA images of Mt. Kilimanjaro - the top one is from 1993, and the bottom image on is in 2000:
Some 85 percent of the ice that made up the mountaintop glaciers in 1912 was gone by 2007, researchers led by paleoclimatologist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University report in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And more than a quarter of the ice present in 2000 was gone by 2007.
But this is not unique to this great mountain. Other peaks around the world - Mt. Everest, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Hood, etc. - have witnessed a reduction in snow the last couple of decades. This means we desperately have to find a solution to the global problem of climate change.I'm climbing Kilimanjaro in a few years because if I wait until the later part of the next decade, I fear there might not be any snow to see.
Monday, November 2, 2009
This is one of the great tunes of the early 80s. The video's use of rotoscoping (a combination of pencil-sketch animation and live-action) was groundbreaking for its day.
IT'S TRICKY (1987)
There was no hip hop group that ruled the 80s like Run DMC. They helped to define hip hop with songs like this one.
BOUNCIN' BACK (BUMPIN' ME AGAINST THE WALL) (2001)
This is one of the most underrated songs in hip hop history. It rocked. Listen closely, and you can hear references to the mood of the country just after 9/11.
Awesome group. The Los Lonely Boys have a great sound. This is one of those songs you can play every Summer at a garden party.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
As you can see from the 6 photos below (courtesy of the AP), the Obamas are having a ball. The event looked like it was a lot of fun:
Friday, October 30, 2009
If you didn't catch William Kamkwamba on Jon Stewart's show, then you're in for a treat. This is a great interview.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I relate to your story so much. In my twenties, I have done this drug [cocaine]. I know exactly what you're talking about. It is my life's great big secret. It is such a secret because I realize that the public person that I have become, if the story were ever revealed, the tabloids would exploit it and what a big issue it would be. But I was involved with a man in my twenties who introduced me to [cocaine].This was shocking to some of her fans. She was even attacked gleefully by some pundits and commentators. But Oprah's admission showed me that all of us (yes, all of us) have demons we have fought off, and have experienced low points in our lives we would love to forget. This is why I didn't stop watching or supporting Oprah Winfrey. I didn't stop buying Fergie's records because she admitted to using meth in the past. And it is unlikely that I will stop supporting Andre Agassi.
I remember the wild ways of his youth. The rock star hair, and the narcissistic persona. I was always spellbound by his on-court heroics. But the older he became, the more I also respected him for the thoughtful way he approached tennis. He graduated from his self-absorbed image of the 80s by cultivating a more charitable image, and in the process, became a true statesman for the game of tennis.
But there's an even more compelling point about Agassi: he believes in using the full equity of his celebrity to make a difference in the lives of others. His Andre Agassi Foundation is ample proof. He has used a lot of his own fortune to position the foundation as an outspoken advocate and proponent of great educational opportunites for children. In fact, his internationally recognized Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, located in the heart of Las Vegas, graduated its first senior class this past June. This is a significant milestone for his school. It's located in one of the most economically challenging parts of the city, but 100% of the graduates are going to college. 100%!
I am not excusing drug use. I just don't believe this admission should define Agassi. I loved seeing his electrifying shots on the tennis court, as well as his epic four and five sets matches with Pete Sampras that dominated ESPN Classic in the 1990s. Most most of all, I love what he's doing right now: creating opportunities for our youth and encouraging innovation in our battered public education system.
This couldn't be an easy thing for Agassi to admit publicly. I plan on reading his autobiography which I'm sure will provide further context. To be clear, I don't get any joy in seeing someone fail or go through hard times. If anything, I try to lend a hand, and be supportive. That's where I am with this story.
Tarnished legacy? No. Agassi's legacy will be defined by the totality of his life, not by past drug.
Monday, October 26, 2009
It is my sincere hope that those readers and many more will be impressed with the list of sixteen men listed below. I asked each gentleman to tell me their favorites charities, and in the end, twenty-one nonprofits are profiled.
As singer Jon Foreman wrote recently in his moving post about community and service,
We need each other. Human beings will always be the most valuable natural resource on the planet. The human story is still unfolding. We are telling it as we speak. The human song is still weaving its way towards a chorus, through the suffering, through the fear. We need each other. We need heroes. Let your life be a beautiful song. We need hope. Tell a good story with the way you live.These men understand the "beautiful song" Foreman writes about. Their lives are a reflection of what they advocate on a daily basis. They are as impressive as the charities and causes they assist.
Why he rocks: He's a renowned explorer, TV host and sustainability advocate who founded Azure Worldwide, a strategic environmental design, development and marketing company. His favorite Twitter charity: @EarthEcho, which he founded in 2000, with his sister @Acousteau, to honor of their father Philippe Cousteau Sr., famous son of the legendary explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau. This nonprofit's mission is to educate the leaders of tomorrow about the need to restore and protect our Oceans. Their work is further strengthened through partnerships with Planet Green, Youth Service America, and @UsherRaymondIV's New Look Foundation.
Why he rocks: Ranseth actually traveled around North America meeting and connecting with people through social media. He's a popular speaker, author & entrepreneur. His life's mission is to touch lives & love using social media. His favorite Twitter charity: @BGCA_Clubs. This nonprofit engages and challenges young people to reach their full potential. It has great, highly touted programs in the areas of health, the environment, leadership development, athletics, and education.
Why he rocks: I love Nuez's writing, and I love his vision of New Media. He is a Latinos in Social Media -- Best NY Blogger Award nominee. He is also Managing Editor and co-founder of New Media Brief and New Media Brief News Room. His favorite Twitter charity: @Causecast. This nonprofit has partnered with a wide array of other nonprofits dealing with issues like education, breast cancer, sustainability and human rights. Its great directory helps you connect with inspiring people and nonprofits doing exceptional work.
Why he rocks: Maybe you've seen Cory Booker on Oprah's show. Maybe you saw him on Conan O'Brien's show. No matter how a person comes to hear about him, when you read about his life, purpose and dedication, you'll immediately love him. He is the charismatic, transformational Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. His awesome work was profiled in the recent cable series Brick City. His favorite Twitter charity: @NewarkNow, the nonprofit Booker founded in 2002. As transformational and effective as its founder, Newark Now makes sure the residents of the city are equipped with the resources and services to grow and transform their neighborhoods. Newark Now's groundbreaking work has been universally praised.
Why he rocks: Gigantino owns four profitable health clubs (3 in California, and 1 in Arizona), and has a very popular workout blog, which has great infomation on fitness fundamentals. He is one of the most passionate health and wellness advocates I've ever come across. For Gigantino, it's not just fitness, but also motivation, inspiration and purpose. Twitter charities he supports: @mssociety. This nonprofit exist to make the world completely free of multiple sclerosis. It has a great 50-state network of chapters. The @mssociety helps people affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, and by providing advocacy and education. He also supports the work of @llsusa, the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and education.
Blair Semenoff / @Flipbooks
Why he rocks: Semenoff is nothing short of a marketing guru. His firm, TruAction Flix, produces flipbooks, which Semenoff believes is an "ideal way of reaching a variety of audiences with repetitive and long-term messaging that has exceptional staying power for your brand." I agree with him. His great marketing ideas have won him some top-notch clients. His favorite Twitter charity: @nothingbutnets. This nonprofit was founded by sports writer RickReilly. It teams with the UN Foundation, NBA Cares, The People of the United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated to buy anti-malaria bed nets for children in Africa. It is already making a significant impact. In fact, if you'll recall, Ashton Kutcher donated 10,000 anti-malaria bed nets when he beat out CNN in a contest to get million Twitter followers.
Paul Rieckhoff / @PaulRieckhoff
Why he rocks: Mr. Rieckhoff is a military veteran, media professional, social entrepreneur, music connoisseur, bestselling author of Chasing Ghosts, popular Huffington Post blogger, and Founder and Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). His favorite Twitter charity: @IAVA. Since 2004, IAVA has become one of the best and strongest advocates for our veterans and their families. It's won legislative victories on the new G.I. Bill, mental health screenings for returning service members, Veterans Health Care Budget Reform, among other issues. In fact, it teamed with the AdCouncil to start CommunityofVeterans.org, a veterans-only, online community. Moreover, the incredible documentary Warrior Champions, which was produced by @IAVA, premiered at the Austin Film Festival on October 23.
Bill Wixey / @BillWixey
Why he rocks: Wixey is an emmy award-winning broadcast journalist who has been in Seattle for more than a decade. He produced a great documentary "Mission of Hope", about his trip to Sri Lanka following the deadly Tsunami. Also, his blogging and reporting on his battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a type of lymphoma (cancer originating from a type of white blood cells called lymphocytes), has won him thousands of new fans. His favorite Twitter charity: @SeattleCCA. This nonprofit, the Seattle Cancare Alliance, is doing its part to lead the world in translating scientific discovery into the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of cancer. @SeattleCCA brings together doctors from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine, and Seattle Children's Hospital, to form a world-class treatment center.
Stephen Gilmore / @SchereLLC
Why he rocks: Gilmore is on the move. His firm, Sphere LLC, has some incredibly innovative shower curtains. His Obama Shower Curtain is his big seller, and it has provided him with the opportunity to significantly grow his business. Twitter charities he supports: @FrankSkiKids. Since 2000, this nonprofit, has helped young people in Metro Atlanta, and provided resources and programs dealing with science, technology, athletics and the arts. Gilmore has donated products to that foundation. Moreover, he has donated time and products to @4hosea, which has fed the hungry and homeless for the past 40 years. And he's helped the Georgia Clayton County School District using his Obama Shower Curtain as a fundraiser.
Josh Charles / @Joshcharles
Why he rocks: Charles is a true renaissance entertainer, as I noted in a recent blogpost. Everybody loves socially conscious musicians who put their money where their mouth is. Charles fits the description. He is raising money through downloads of his song "Healing Time." You can buy it on Amazon and itunes, with 100% of the funds going to assist in the rebuilding of New Orleans. His favorite Twitter charity: @prcno. This nonprofit, the Preservation Resource Center, receives the funds his downloads produce. It promotes the revitalization and preservation of New Orleans' historic architecture and neighborhoods. They're doing some amazing work.
Matthew Sapaula / @MatthewSapaula
Why he rocks: One of "The Money Men" of Chicago, Sapaula is a respected financial strategist, speaker, TV commentator and talk show host of Chicago's Money Smart Radio. His favorite Twitter charity: @AmericanCancer. This nonprofit is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization with more than 3400 offices.
Jim Thomas / @Jimtdenver
Why he rocks: Thomas is a well-known business lawyer who has his hand on the pulse of what's happening in Colorado. In fact, he blogs for the Huffington Post. His posts deal primarily with family, community, and business. His favorite Twitter charity: @wesing, where he serves as board president. This nonprofit -- through children's ensembles -- presents professional concerts and educational programs. It provides unique experiences which engage participants, entertain audiences, and positively affect communities throughout Colorado, the United States, and all around the globe.
Paul Smith / @GreenSmith
Why he rocks: Smith is a well sought after Green Business Consultant, taking full advantage of the eco-friendly environment in international commerce. He's a star blogger for Triple Pundit, Ghost Writer, and self-styled social media demystifier and idea ninja. His favorite Twitter Charity: @SHILaCosecha. This nonprofit provides farming families in Central America countries with the tools to overcome poverty while restoring and preserving our planet's tropical forests. Since 1997, it has planted more 2.3 million trees and converted thousands of acres to sustainable uses. All of this has saving tens of thousands of acres of tropical forest.
Mike Dardis / @MikeDardisKOMO
Why he rocks: Dardis is well-respected, emmy-winning morning anchor. His command of the issues, smooth delivery, and great rapport with his co-anchor Molly Shen have made him a huge star with Northwest viewers. His favorite Twitter charity: @FoodLifeline. Last year, this nonprofit received over 21 million pounds of food - roughly 17 million meals - to feed hungry families and individuals throughout Western Washington State. Food Lifeline provides food thousands of people through hundreds of emergency feeding programs including food banks, hot meal programs and shelters.
Pete C. Rodriguez Jr. / @Fivestarprodj
Why he rocks: Rodriguez is a HR Recruiter, graphic designer, master of networking, entrepreneur, and social media enthusiast. He's also a music connoisseur. He provides all types of genres of music for weddings, Quinceanera's, and other events through Five Star Productions, which he owns with his wife. Twitter charities he supports: @WWF_Climate. This nonprofit is helping to preserve our planet's natural environment, and, it's also on the front lines in the creation of green jobs -- the next frontier in global commerce. He also supports the work of the @RedCross, whose expertise and resources are stretched to the limit during natural disasters. And like JosephRanseth above, he is fully behind the @BGCA_Clubs.
Edward Philipp / @EdLovesSumo
Why he rocks: Philipp is one of Southern California's most successful entrepreneurs. He conducts popular TeleSeminars, has a must-see Free Resource Blog at TeleSeminarWebFolk.com, and is CoFounder of TeleSeminarNation.com. Twitter charities he supports: @GFPCEdward. This is his church Grace First Presbyterian Church. Located in Long Beach, CA, his church supports New Orleans relief efforts that continue after Hurricane Katrina. In fact, @GFPCEdward purchased a house that houses groups who are building, cleaning, helping people in many ways. They also send groups from their church. They've spent $824,000-plus, with the eventual total expected to exceed $1,000,000. He also supports the efforts of @Habitat_org (Habitat for Humanity).
Remember Michael Mann's epic crime drama Heat? Remember that tense, no holds barred stare down in the restaurant between Al Pacino and Robert De Niro? That was great acting. Michael Mann and producer deserve credit for knowing that a Pacino-De Niro pairing would electrify audiences. We need more of that type of pairing.
Here are five, long overdue pairings I would love to see on the big screen:
Julia Roberts & Sandra Bullock - This has been one of the biggest cinematic questions for years: why haven't these two lovable actors who attract the same audience done something together? Both have shown their dramatic range, and are great in romantic comedy fare. But I know there is a serious film that these two giants could star in. It would be pure dynamite!
Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert - These two have the best hour on TV. We know they're funny. Very funny. But these two need to be in something completely out of character. I could see these two being the emotional anchors for a movie similar to The Big Chill. Throw in actors like Jay Mohr, Ryan Reynolds, and Hank Azaria and now you have a hit. Stewart and Colbert have an extraordinary connection with each other that should not be confined to Comedy Central.
Halle Berry & Gabrielle Union - Berry has starred in some good pictures, but I believe she hasn't been getting the right role of late. Union, a star of the ABC hit show Flash Forward, is one picture away from breaking it open. On paper it might not look like much, but these two could really bring the heat. Halle would make a great return, and Union would be on her way.Eva Mendez & Eva Longoria - Having the same name would give the film a huge boost in the PR department. This would be a marketer's dream. Mendez's international box office appeal would benefit Longoria whose success has been relegated to television. If the script is hot, then the PR for the movie starring Eva and Eva would be box office gold.
Denzel Washington & Tom Cruise - So that there is no misunderstanding, let me just say that Denzel Washington is my favorite male actor, and has been for two decades. There were great pictures he starred in that were never nominated for an Oscar (Remember the Titans and Courage Under Fire) and pictures that were Oscar-nominated but should have won (Hurricane and Antwone Fisher). As for Tom Cruise, he is still one of my favorites, regardless of what press he gets. Cruise was never nominated for Jerry McGuire, but should have been. He should have been nominated for Magnolia too. In fact, his performances have been consistently over looked for Oscars. But if these two get together, Cruise could excel. Both have incredible range, and I know bringing them together would be awesome.
This is Michael Jackson's signature song. It remains one of the most enduring tunes of all-time, and according to MTV, the greatest video of all time.
SOMEBODY'S WATCHING ME (1984)
Rockwell tune is making big money because the insurance company Geico is using it for a few of their current commercials. In fact, listen closely and you'll hear Michael Jackson lending some background vocals.
This remains Ray Parker Jr.'s biggest hit ever. He has reinvented himself as a successful jazz guitarist. But he will always be known for this tune.
EVERYBODY (BACKSTREET'S BACK) (1997)
I normally don't post videos from boy bands and bubble gum pop groups on my blog for Music Monday. But this video seems very appropriate for Halloween.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Great to see Annie Leibovitz at work again. This is a great photo. One of the best family photos the First Family has ever taken. Liebovitz is a master. I love the way she makes the white that President Obama and Sasha have on mesh wonderfully with the darker colors First Lady Michelle Obama and Malia have on. The area rug. The wall color. Somehow she makes it work.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
In the 5 pictures below, you will see the number 350. It's for 350.org, an international campaign whose mission is to engage and inspire the world to find solutions to the climate crisis. But why 350? According to their website:
Our focus is on the number 350--as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. But 350 is more than a number--it's a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.So make no mistake about it: 350.org rocks the house! Get involved and make your voice heard on the climate issue!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Four plates can be made from the top part of the GreenBox, while a smaller box is created from the bottom part - a box good for leftover pizza. I love it. Because it reduces the need for paper plates, it's definitely great for the environment.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Wahlberg & Clooney in Warner Brothers' The Perfect Storm
According to the Associated Press, the first movie will be The Perfect Storm. Then, we'll see movies like March of the Penguins, Deep Blue Sea and...Misery. Why Misery? Because James Caan's character got stuck in a snow storm at the beginning of the movie. Okay, I guess. So I'm sure we'll be seeing Volcano, Dante's Peak and The Day After Tomorrow.
But while this sounds intriguing, if the Weather Channel executives are going to go down this path, why not go the distance?! You know what I mean: go wa-a-y back to the 70s and air those cheesy disaster movies like Earthquake and Meteor. As they say on MTV, "hook it up baby!"
The Weather Channel is in a class by itself. It brought sexy back to saying weather-related phrases: "Barometric pressure!" "Scattered thunderstorms!" "Yes, those are south easterly winds blowing your hair right now you fine thing!" That sounds good coming from a Weather Channel anchor. But now it won't be the same anymore because the station wants to be like FX, TBS and TNT. Well, at least I can look forward to seeing the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs which is sure to come on right after the next accu-weather forecast. LOL!
Monday, October 19, 2009
This was the second single released from my favorite album of all time, Off the Wall. It was full of hits, from beginning to end. Rock With You is a classic.
WHO IS JOHNNY (1986)
This is El Debarge's biggest hit. And yes, that is former brat pack star Ally Sheedy, as well as a cardboard cut out of actor Steve Guttenberg. This song was from the soundtrack to the movie Short Circuit.
Timberlake says this song was inspired by Stevie Wonder. It has a cool pop and latin combination. It's almost like Tito Puente hooking up with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine.
WHEN I GROW UP (2008)
This song here is pure hotness! Whoa! Easily the best The Pussy Cat Dolls have come out with. The video isn't bad either! LOL! You know it's a great day when you see 5 beautiful women dancing in traffic.