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Kenichi Ebina at SF Hip Hop Dance Festival

November 28, 2007 by  

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Hip_hop_logo At TED last year, I had the pleasure of meeting, chatting and dancing with performance talent Kenichi Ebina. At this year’s San Francisco Hip Hop Dance Festival, he and new partner Takahiro Ueno blew the audience away with a creative dance duo that mixed mime and hip hop with the playfulness of Gene Kelly on his best day. Kenichi also has such a warm smile that he draws you in, in many of the same ways a leader does when he or she speaks and you long for more. His performances are like that. Hip_hop_festivaljpg_66 Below me with Kenichi and also a shot of Founder and Artistic Director Micaya on stage with all the performers at the end of the festival. My favorites from the line up?  Without a doubt, Nobulus out of Austria (mind boggling) and Kenichi & Takahiro’s “Junction of Worlds – Mirror.” Both were world class. To see a glimpse of what Kenichi is capable of, check out a sample of short videos here, many of which have been uploaded to YouTube. Hip_hop_festivaljpg_59 Hip_hop_festivaljpg_23 A member of the Nobulus dance troupe below. Hip_hop_festivaljpg_42


Oregon Thanksgiving Snow

November 28, 2007 by  

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It’s no surprise that pioneer William Blodgett left the East Coast, embarked on a wild west adventure across country and founded Blodgett Oregon in the 1800s. Much of Oregon’s natural surroundings remind me of the Adirondacks. So beautiful, its no wonder he settled there. In southern Oregon over Thanksgiving week, it snowed, the white powder leaving beautiful remnants of wet dust on the branches of all the trees around a log cabin I slept soundly in for days. Experience this if you haven’t. And often. Cabin_in_ashland_oregon_thanksgivin


Book Recommendations: The Soul of a Nice Guy

November 22, 2007 by  

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Check out The Soul of a Nice Guy, now on Amazon. A snapshot of Aaron Swar’s writing here: The spring school term was mercifully ending, and as I rallied my students to push themselves toward Interior Design excellence, I wondered if I still looked lifelike. Aside from the natural decaying process of dead things, my official entry into the Middle Age contributed to my decomposition, which had begun to lack after Christmas. Hindus believe that the seventh of the seven-year Chakra cycles brings our life’s issues full circle for resolution, to clear the way for a higher second-half existence.


Wal-Mart: Bigger than the Big Apple?

November 17, 2007 by  

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WalmartAt some point in the last fiscal quarter, Wal-Mart’s total U.S. retail square footage surpassed the land mass of Manhattan, at 22.98 square miles versus 22.7. In addition to the mind-bending image that this creates, this development is interesting because the two giants don’t like each other. Wal-Mart’s efforts to gain a foothold in the borough have been vigorously repelled by the natives. In response, Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott Jr. had the following to say in a March interview with The New York Times. New_york_3 “I don’t care if we are ever here.” With which gestures do you think New Yorkers let him know the feeling was mutual? “It’s too hard to make money here.” You don’t say. Nobody in New York ever worries about this. And this particularly fine piece of plain-folks pique: “You have people who are just better than us.” Do you think his favorite song begins with, “Start spreadin’ the news…”? The biggest criticism of Wal-Mart is that it ruins communities by pricing local retailers out…

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Beware the Friendly Skies

November 16, 2007 by  

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Every week I hear another negative story about United Airlines, whether it’s an experience at the airport, in the plane or on the phones. Some are amusing, others horrifying, many surreal. Trying to book a mileage flight this morning, I learned that they won’t even check availability unless your account has enough miles for that itinerary.  However, they’ll be happy to sell you the miles to meet the threshold and then tell you there are no flights available. I spoke to a supervisor in Chicago who said the agents couldn’t confirm or hold reservations, but could at least check availabilty.  So I tested it with three different agents, but none would search.  Fly the unfriendly skies.


Being Present Makes for More Gratitude

November 2, 2007 by  

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I recently saw Sandra Bullock’s new movie Premonition on a flight between coasts. When you see it, you can’t help but feel a overwhelming sense of gratitude. It made me think of Gone with the Wind, where two people who love each other can’t seem to communicate. We painfully see their ‘missed’ exchanges, like two ships passing in the night and after seeing the ‘missed opportunities’ every night thereafter, you’re left feeling helpless, helpless but knowing. All knowing. When we reach that place, where we can no longer communicate and beyond….connect……with the people we love, we are living a life that is obviously no longer present, no longer alive. Fear takes over and strangles us. We find that our lives are suddenly driven by it. Fear begins to alienate us from present energy and in its place comes a series of mundane actions that many couples do after years of marriage. No longer lovers, they have become roommates in a transactional world, one which no longer gives, no longer feels. These transactions get the job done, life done…So life gets done, and we can even be proud by how good we are at getting ‘life done.’ Hour after…

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Exploring The Female Brain

November 2, 2007 by  

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Cover2007_thefemalebrai I just finished Louann Brizendine’s book The Female Brain, who I heard speak at PopTech in Maine last week and blogged about briefly here. It’s an intense book and while incredibly informative, particularly about what happens to the female brain later in life, I was thrilled to know that I have a decade or more before dealing with tomorrow’s reality. With great flow and ease, she takes the reader through every stage of a woman’s life, citing examples of how female babies respond to people and emotion versus male babies, how even at this very early phase in our lives, we are more likely to study faces, mirror other people and watch for feedback. This feedback gives us a sense that things are okay or not okay, that we are loved or not loved, that the person we’re with is happy or not happy and so on. While there were many humorous examples of the differences between sexes and no doubt, any couple who has been married for awhile will relate to all of them, my favorite example was where one…

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