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Archive for April, 2007

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Innovate Europe

April 30, 2007 by  

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Innovate_europe Innovate Europe is starting next week in Zaragoza Spain, which will unveil the latest and greatest from 30 start-ups in their Innovator Showcase. In addition to start-ups, some of the bigger boys will also participate, such as Nokia, Telefonica, Google, Capgemini, and Orange, as well as VCs Amadeus Capital Partners, Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures, and Mangrove Capital. You can register here.


New Living Expo

April 29, 2007 by  

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New_living_expo This weekend in San Francisco, the New Living Expo is being held at the Concourse Exhibit Center. In addition to holistic, natural and spiritual talks, there will be other discussions like: How George Bush Drowned New Orleans — and the Theft of 2008 and a talk led by the Global Peace Foundation. Also on the schedule are some great talks and events that center around meditation, mysticism, astrology, law of attraction, love and transcendence, ageless vitality, genetics, pollution, stress, energy healing, mantra and yantra, feng shui, inspiration and intuition, anti-aging, understanding our place in the cosmos, Ph balance, creative writing, tantra, comedy and improvisation, laser regeneration, digestion, and nutrition – the list goes on.


All International Tongues are One

April 28, 2007 by  

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After reading Kite Runner (two years after the rest of the world) and Namesake back-to-back, I was constantly reminded that in many cultures “blood” is ‘everything.’ In cultures where blood is not ‘everything,’ it is still there to remind you, often at the times when you wish you could forget. With that, religion is often attached, attached as an anchor that pulls, tugs, strangles, confuses…..and we find that we often can’t break free. We’re entangled because our parents, grandparents and grandparents before them were entangled. Like blood, it clings to you, instead of freeing you. In both books, the characters (Afghanistan and Indian respectfully) end up becoming American, so much so that they feel like strangers in their own countries when they return — not uncommon. I felt that way after being abroad for a several year stretch without a return, a return to a place you always thought was home. We do assimilate well however. Humans are actually very good at it when they allow themselves to be. We can adapt, change accents, learn languages, eat new kinds of food, and pick up customs that don’t mesh with our own. When I turned the last…

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Carved In Sand

April 28, 2007 by  

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Carved_in Cathryn Jakobson Ramin’s Carved in Sand is a great read about memory and loss thereof, particularly useful for those of us who have family members suffering such common aging tragedies. She writes about people’s inability to fend off distractions in middle age. Relentless in her search for answers to questions about her own unreliable memory, she explores the factors that determine how well—or poorly—one’s brain will age. Cathryn consults experts in the fields of sleep, stress, traumatic brain injury, hormones, genetics, and dementia, as well as specialists in nutrition, cognitive psychology, and the burgeoning field of drug-based cognitive enhancement.


The Namesake is Compelling, Engaging and Riveting

April 27, 2007 by  

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Namesake Female author and Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri, who also authored Interpreter of Maladies, kept my heart beating and my mind wide awake all night, after not being able to set aside The Namesake until the very end. It is always interesting to observe language that reviewers use. Is it candid or a polite but positive constraint? Emotional and authentic or precise and poised? “A fine novel from a superb writer,” says the Washington Post. “Fine.” What the hell does fine mean? It doesn’t do her work justice, versus Newsweek which more authentically and accurately describes her style: “Lahiri writes such direct, translucent prose that you almost forget you’re reading.” Yes, that’s exactly how her writing is….and after you’re done, the characters remain in your mind, your dreams and into the next day. She writes largely about displacement, specifically what it is like for first generation Indian Gogol (the main character) to grow up in a Boston suburb (from the way she describes it, it must be Arlington or somewhere closeby), with no connection to his Indian heritage except for the infrequent trips his family makes…

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The Lost Diary of Don Juan

April 26, 2007 by  

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On May 3rd, 2007, Douglas Carlton Abrams will be doing a book reading at the Book Passage bookstore in Corte Madera from his new book The Lost Diary of Don Juan. The book is already being translated into twenty-five languages, including Castilian and Catalan. The book is one that captures the heart and soul of the Spanish Golden Age and its most famous legend.


The Magnificence of Disaster

April 25, 2007 by  

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In New York’s Soho and East Village, I know many of the smaller off-broadway theatres, moreso than I do my own San Francisco hood, often the case when you move somewhere. I recently discovered The Marsh Theatre, which is tucked away on the Mission’s Valencia Street, easy to miss if passing by car. Around it is a myriad of restaurants, bars and coffee shops and so this community theatre discovery fits in perfectly. Dark and circular, small and intimate, you feel as if you’re joining the actor (s) on stage or will be asked to any minute, if you’re in the front row, which is where I sat for the one woman show: The Magnificence of the Disaster. Most touching is the personal aspect of it. Rebecca Fisher, who is the incredible one woman talent, is the daughter of Emily Fisher, who was the well-known murdered Memphis arts patron, a tragedy that happened now over a decade ago. Play The story? A memorable, oddly humorous at times, raw, authentic, touching, yet inspirational account of Rebecca’s life in Memphis growing up with her drug taking brother and alcoholic father. She…

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When Do You Quit?

April 24, 2007 by  

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Guy Kawasaki talks to Seth Godin about his new book: The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick). My favorite response was his first one, which involves less of his opinion of specific companies, people and products, and more about people in general – when and why!! It has to do with mediocrity, which deadens all of our spirits whether we realize it at the time or not. Guy asks: “Other than hindsight, how does someone know when it’s time to quit?” Godin responds: “It’s time to quit when you secretly realize you’ve been settling for mediocrity all along. It’s time to quit when the things you’re measuring aren’t improving, and you can’t find anything better to measure. Smart quitters understand the idea of opportunity cost. The work you’re doing on project X right now is keeping you from pushing through the Dip on project Y. If you fire your worst clients, if you quit your deadest tactics, if you stop working with the people who return the least, then you free up an astounding number of resources. Direct those resources at a Dip worth conquering and your odds…

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