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The Kennedy Years: Talbot’s BROTHERS

September 24, 2007 by  

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Brothers I went to one of David Talbot’s book readings recently. For those unfamiliar with him and his work, David is the founder of Salon.com and recently completed a book on the hidden history of the Kennedy Years entitled Brothers. It largely focuses on John and Robert. The drama of the book is largely associated with what and who was really behind both John and Bobby’s deaths. What did Bobby and the family know? Others? What was interesting to learn from Talbot in-person and through his book, was how little power John Kennedy had over national security at the time. From one book excerpt: "The Kennedy brothers and a small circle of their most trusted advisors, repeatedly thwarted Washington’s warrior caste. These hard-line generals and spymasters were hell-bent on a show-down with the Communist foe." What I love about Talbot and in particular, his commitment not only to the subject matter but to revealing the truth, is his sincerity, and his ability to weave in and out of journalist style, story-telling dialogue and historical facts. Finally, its his belief that this is a story that must…

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Eat, Pray, Love

September 23, 2007 by  

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Eatpraylove_logoI briefly referenced Elizabeth Gilbert in an earlier blog post, but didn’t go into the details of her journey in newly released Eat, Pray, Love. Her book is exactly that: a journey of an American woman in her early thirties post-divorce. What bothered me about the first third of the book was how narcissistic and juvenile it felt both in her emotional development and in the quality of her writing. Given the glowing praise from all the editorial greats, it made me feel as if I shouldn’t have this reaction if her writing was worthy of such global literary acclaim. A really great writer can integrate themselves into a novel and yet make the reader relate, resonate, feel, move, inspire. About a third way through, I accept that it is her dialogue, that it is her diary, that it is about one woman’s journey, but no one else. Occasionally we are blessed with the gift of someone she loved or met along the way, but only in snippets and you find yourself wanting more of them. I, like others I know who read the book, longed for more character development…

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West Coast GREEN

September 22, 2007 by  

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Not a week goes by in my professional or personal life where I don’t meet someone new exploring sustainable living, about to attend a ‘green’ conference or more commonly, I discover that an existing friend or business contact has moved from traditional tech into all things green. A friend from CNET recently migrated to Building Green TV, a girlfriend left a global branding company she founded to re-build a home in Marin that embraces green design and construction practices, and a former Wired News reporter bud is now a co-founder of Matter Network, which examines the strategies, technologies and products that are powering the shift to a sustainable economy. And that’s just the beginning. And why not? There are certainly a ton of opportunities. Gore’s book and movie have certainly raised awareness about the issues at hand and his outward-bound PR campaign to change the way people think about global warming and other green-related issues seems to be paying off. Clearly, he’s not the only one encouraging Americans and the rest of the world to think differently. Plus, we have new political candidates adding all things green to their campaign pitches, much…

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Musicshake: The No Brainer Music Project

September 20, 2007 by  

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Musicshake Another favorite of mine from this year’s TechCrunch40 stage was Musicshake, a Korean company focused on making music mixing easy for anyone, even non-musicians who can’t read music or play a note. The two Korean founders had quite the presence on stage, as one danced his way onto the stage while another drove a laptop, while jamming to the mixed tune. The mixed tune, we soon learn, was created by a nine year old. Musicshake_dance_on_stagejpg Musicshake is the ‘no brainer music project,’ they tout. Mom can make her own ring tones and a child can whip up a ear-pleasing result without knowing a thing about music. You can choose strings with a guitar or other instrument, then decide on a pattern and then select what you want to overlap with what pattern. Users can record their own voice if they wish. Other notables: Musicshake owns 100% of their IP. They already have 170K of music patterns in their system and expect to have one million by the end of 2008. Musicshake_demo_at_tc40jpg_3


Saucy Shades

September 15, 2007 by  

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A saucy glance, a glimpse, or a wink from beneath a pair of spectacles can be magnificent. Imagine the energy of such a glance behind a pair of really saucy shades? It’s extremely hard to find such shades in the states. Forgive yet another “in-love-with-Europe” post, but honestly, in a land of all things expansive, customized happy meals and massive wealth, some of our choices are so limited, its painful. Namely, truly unique fashion (exception NYC and LA), damn good coffee, homogeneous housing, television news, sitcoms, pharmacies, bakeries, and furniture. Eyeglasses fall within the fashion category — or should — but we don’t think of spectacles as items worthy of sauce and great design. Just take a browse through any Lenscrafters or its equivalent. The boutiques are not that much bolder. I personally have been looking for some saucy shades for over a year now, and have actively sought advice from various sources on where to look. This advice has led me to smaller and more unique eyeglass stores in New York, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Las Vegas. While all of these stores carry top Italian, French, Japanese and Spanish designers, they’re not importing the brave, the…

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White Sneaker No Mas

September 14, 2007 by  

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How it is possible that I’m walking the streets of Paris in August, in white clunky Aviva sneakers? I bought them umpteen years ago at a time when part of the profit went to helping women in need. Today, by design standards and quite possibly back then too, they would be considered dinosauric. Not a word? I like it – it describes them well. I decided against hiking boots and that left all shoes fashionable in my closet (meaning uncomfortable and inappropriate for 16 hour walks). There were also my dance shoes, which are essentially designed for in-door workouts. In a flurry to get out the door after a quick 40 minute pack, I realized that largely, I had uncomfortable shoes, so quickly grabbed the white eyesores on my way out the door to a waiting taxi. Numerous days later, I’m in Paris in these monstrosities. I look down to see remnants of loud bright feet from the 1980s, which I also realized was a dead giveaway to my nationality. After climbing too many hills to name or count in the towns of Bastia and Montmartre, the more fashionable choices fell to the bottom of the bag. Out came the…

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Brilliant on Building a Sustainable Economy

September 12, 2007 by  

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Discover_brilliant Check out Discover Brilliant, an event about building a sustainable economy on September 17-19, 2007 in Seattle. Some of the many topics to be explored and discussed include: Green IT • Resource Nationalism • Moving the Technology Frontier • Solving the Fueling Challenge • Greening the Government • The Reality of Smart Grid in North America • The New Consumerism • Creating a Valuable Urban Core. Discover Brilliant 2007 is an international conference and exposition celebrating Brilliant innovations and approaches that generate more value, while reducing waste and negative environmental impacts. In a world driven by economics, it is not enough to just be green. This event focuses on leading ideas and the best examples of Brilliant Solutions in communities, businesses, buildings, utilities and transportation that are more: Discover Brilliant 2007 focuses on the evolution beyond green—a world where leaders from industry, government, academia and more collaborate and strive for policies and innovations that bring more value with less impact.


How Corporate America is Using Social Media

September 12, 2007 by  

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If in Boston next week, try to catch an event addressing corporate America and social media on September 20, 2007 at the Newton Marriott Hotel on Commonwealth Avenue. Lessons Learned: How Corporate America is Using Social Media. Social media is sometimes viewed as a tool that allows smaller organizations to level the playing field against larger competitors. The panel is intended to describe how corporate America is putting social media to use, as well as the unique promise and pitfalls facing large organizations. Steve Restivo, Director of Corporate Affairs, WalMart Northeast Dan Lyons, Senior Editor, Forbes Magazine (check out his new book: Secret Life of Steve Jobs) Josh Bernoff, Vice Principal & Principal Analyst, Forrester Research (co-authored Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies)


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