Archive for June, 2008

Life after the flood. (not the zombie things from Halo)

I’d like to direct your attention to an article that was just posted on Inhabitat.  Some of these pictures almost make me hope the ridiculous claims that global warming fanatics make come true.  These are some gorgeous pics.

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June 28, 2008 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

Pod cars, ftw!

Not long ago I wrote about the city of the future, which included the idea of “pod cars” which were basically small electric cars that I felt were one of the best new ideas in transportation.  Without repeating myself too much, I believe they allow for the feeling of owning and controlling personal trasnportation that I know a lot of older people feel is almost a human right, but they also provide a very specific service.  They allow for an alternative when making short urban trips, which comprise a large percentage of total trips made in this country.

Well, leave it to Europe to beat us to the punch in implementation.  The Guardian has this article detailing Paris’s plans to have a pod car system.  It’s only a matter of time now…

June 24, 2008 at 4:02 pm Leave a comment

Congratulations

A special congratulations is in order for Gus, the Chinese crested dog who won the title of Worlds Ugliest Dog over the weekend.  Gus sports only three legs, no hair, and skin cancer.  If you want to read more you can go here or here.

The three-year defending champion, Sam (also a Chinese Crested) recently and sadly died at the ripe age of 14.  His website is here.

 

June 23, 2008 at 8:34 pm Leave a comment

A global trend as seen through my life.

When the writers strike happened in late 07/early 08 it was primarily a result of new media, the new phenomenon that caters to the mindset of “I want my media whenever, where ever.”  Being able to watch tv shows on demand, online, outside of their scheduled time slot was a hard thing for “old media” people to understand, and they paid the price with the strike.

That’s all old news, but it relates to a shift I’ve recently noticed in my own life.  With the exception of big sporting events (the US Open, NBA Finals), I’ve all but stopped watching TV.  Scripted TV is almost as bad as reality TV, and the few shows that are still good enough to watch (Lost, The Office), can be watched online now.

Another TV killer has been my addiction to podcasts and having my eyes opened to revision 3 shows.

My current top 4 podcasts are:

Between those and downloadable Lost and Office episodes, I really have no reason to turn on the TV, and it feels good.  I’ve got a lot more time to think, read, and golf and I’m having a great summer.  Moral of the story: try out some podcasts and back away from the TV, and use the extra free time for something productive.

June 16, 2008 at 8:57 pm Leave a comment

Wishful thinking?

I always love a good plan for a future city, especially one with pretty graphics like this one

The good news about the components of this plan is that it’s a good place to start thinking about how urban areas will be organized in the future.  While algae ponds and vertical farms might be a little far-fetched, the ideas of short-term-use cars and new high-tech forms of mass transit are things that leaders should start looking at and implementing yesterday.  I really love the idea of a pod car beacuse it allows people to maintain that feeling of being in control of their transportation, but it limits that use to a certain area, more specifically the area that we travel the most, which usually includes short trips to shopping, dining, nightlife, or work.

While a lot of these ideas are almost sci-fi in nature, there are many things here that are great for the urban area of today.  Car pods (lol, a boy can hope), rainwater collection, wide use of solar energy, and focused and efficient mass transit are all things all cities (large and small) should be looking at right now. 

June 15, 2008 at 9:33 pm 2 comments

Bureaucracy at its finest

This article from Business Week is surely one of the most disgusting displays of why governments from the local level to the federal level all need to get their act together. 

I have little doubt that the age-old bureaucracy problem is in play here, especially when I read this:

Clarkson, who works for the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, said she believes she was working the switchboard at the cabinet offices on April 1. She said the employee who works in the mailroom left early that day, and the FedEx agent required a signature for the package. She said 14 Reilly Road, the Frankfort address where the cabinet offices are located, is a five-building complex; the waste management division is located in another of the five buildings.

It’s actually kind of sad to hear that something as simple as signing for a package and getting it to where it needs to go can’t be successfully completed in our state government, especially in the year 2008.   

While it would be obvious to say that these people need to be fired for being so incompetent, it might also be good to say that there are some solutions to this problem.  FedEx could stand to make a little money on this type of situation by creating some sort of Twitter-like program that can alert the proper recipient of a package as well as the sender of a package upon delivery.  This could all easily be stored electronically on a package label and would word via the web and the established tracking system already in place.

So imagine if this document containing the proposal for grant money had been delivered to the Department of Waste Management instead of the proper Department of Environmental Safety (I know, not so hard to imagine) and FedEx had this program.  Ms. Clarkson would have been sent a “tweet” either on her desktop or on her mobile phone/pda/pager, and would have known what it was and who it was intended for (her).  Problem solved, they can thank me when they make millions.

June 14, 2008 at 9:47 pm 1 comment

I love good inspiration.

This summer has been a strange one for me, since instead of spending all of my money on going out to eat and buying DVDs I’ve been saving it, mostly because I want the feeling of having lots of money.  More than that, my goal is to have enough money to turn it into more.

One of the things I have been doing in my free time this summer is brainstorming business ideas, writing down problems I have that I could solve for other people, and generally coming up with money-making ideas.  So far I have a depressingly short list, but its really because I’m not trying hard enough, and I needed some inspiration.

Following a series of links, I found myself listening to a lecture entitled “Things I wish I knew when I was 20”.    The audio of which can be found here. Listen to this podcast if you need your eyes opened to some great ideas for entrepreneurs, and great advice for life itself.

June 2, 2008 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment


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