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Archive for May, 2012

I took off from work today to celebrate turning 30 which gave me time to reflect on the last decade of my life.  As I reminisce about the good times (college) and the bad times (car accident) I’m left wondering if maybe I could have done more with my time.  Your twenties are supposed to be the time that you figure out who you are and what you want do to with your life.  It’s a time for risk taking and doing wild and crazy things.  This is the time to backpack across Europe, attend toga parties at colleges that you don’t even go to, and get a tattoo that you will later regret.  It’s a time to make sure that all of your teen angst is firmly out of your system before you settle down and start having kids.

And yet I didn’t do any of those things.  I never traveled to Europe, never even left the Continental United States.  I never attended a toga party at a different school, never even attended a frat party at my own school.  And I certainly never got a tattoo.  A decade that started out with so much promise will fittingly end with another one:  don’t make the same mistake in your 30’s.  Make sure that you seize any opportunity that presents itself.  Don’t have the same regrets when you’re turning 40 that you have now.  Set goals for yourself and be sure to accomplish them.

From this point forward I intend to do just that and I’m going to start out by setting my first goal:  stop celebrating my birthday.  What have I done in my life that would warrant being showered with gifts anyway?  Did I some how discover a new land mass since last year without even realizing it?   Have I cured cancer recently?  Until I do what is there worth celebrating about my life?

Instead, if we’re going to look at this logically I would assert that it makes more sense to celebrate one’s own mother on their birthday.  After all, this is someone who actually accomplished something on this day.  Going through labor to bring you into the World is the greatest accomplishment of their life and something that is worth celebrating.  And yet on the anniversary of that date the person with the most to celebrate is always left out.  While you get all the presents and have all the fun they are left standing in the corner.  That’s not right.  So, mom if you are out there reading this I want you to know that I love you and that I’m thinking about you on this day.  I know that this day is really all about you.

Is 30 the new 20?

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#26 – Wedding Ideas

Last weekend I was at my cousin’s wedding on Long Island which got me thinking about some ideas for how to enhance the entire wedding weekend experience not just the wedding itself.  Here’s a look at what I came up with:

  • Turn the rehearsal dinner into a night of entertainment:  The rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding is a staple of the wedding weekend despite the fact that no actual rehearsing takes place.  Instead of just having a boring sit down dinner this would be the perfect venue to host a night of laid back entertainment to set the tone for the entire weekend.  At my cousin’s wedding the entertainment was a series of funny toasts from every single person in the bridal party capped off by a mock video tribute from the maid of honor who is a TV news personality in Spokane, Washington.  The only thing that could have made this night better was if the bride and/or groom was the victim of a full out comedy roast.
  • Split up the cock tail hour:  I like the idea of an informal hour long schmooze fest with different food stations.  I’m just not sure it should be a successive hour.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to split up the cock tail hour around the ceremony so that you offer guests something to eat and drink as they arrive prior to the start of the ceremony?  The bridal party after spending all day getting ready and rehearsing would especially appreciate this.  Then immediately after the ceremony you use the remaining half hour to segway the guests into the reception.
  • Create a man-registry:  I’ve never understood why the wedding registry is only populated with toasters and crock pots.  Why can’t it include items that you’ll actually want to use, in particular that the groom will actually want to use?!  After all, what newlyweds wouldn’t want a new mountain bike?!
  • Hired help:  What happens if you want to have a flower girl at your wedding but there is no one of age in your family to serve in the capacity?  Hire a flower girl of course!  Only have 4 groomsmen while your bride to be has 5 bridesmaids?  No problem, hire a groomsmen to stand in!  Unfortunately, you won’t be able to hire a replacement for your mother in law.
  • Hire me:  Speaking of hired help if you are looking for someone to write a best man speech hire me!  Here’s a look at the greatest best man speech of all time:

“Always the best man, never a man.”

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The second in a series of posts about potential apps:

In a few weeks I will be embarking on a trip to the West Coast.  Considering the amount of travel time and down time in general that I will have I’ve been trying to accumulate a lot of things to read in order to entertain myself.  However, this conflicts with my ultimate desire to travel lightly.  My solution is to just bring my ipad and no actual books or magazines.  Seems like a good idea until you consider that I also want to bring the Steve Jobs biography with me that I have not yet finished.  I think it would be fitting to read this while I’m in his old stomping grounds but the damn thing is massive.  I’ve been informed by the airline that if I want to bring it with me I’d have to buy an extra ticket.   This is what we call a conundrum.

What I could do and what the book publishers would want me to do is to buy a digital version of this book to read on the Kindle or Nook.  But why should I have to do that when I’ve already bought the hard cover at a much higher rate?  Rather I think there should be an app on your phone that would enable you to take a picture of a book in your possession that you’ve already paid for.  Once you scan in the picture the app would send you a digital version of the book.  If you really wanted to you could go around your house scanning all the books that you already own receiving electronic versions for each.

To prevent someone from abusing this app by just going around a book store and scanning books at will the app would be connected to your phone’s GPS.  If the phone recognizes that you are in a book store or library it won’t work.  It will only work if it can verify that you are in your house.  Or perhaps a better work around is that you’d have to first scan in a receipt from a book store in order to activate the app that way it can be assured that you purchased the book that you want to scan.  Of course book publishers could just avoid this whole process going forward by making a digital version of each book available with your purchase of each hard cover title.   But I’m not going to hold my breath on that one.

How can I turn this….

into this….?

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A few weeks ago I posted about Graphene, a miracle material, that figures to revolutionize the World as we know it.  And while that still may be true it could soon be trumped on the coolness scale by an even more dynamic material:  liquidmetal.

According to moneymorning.com (http://moneymorning.com/2012/04/30/is-apple-inc-nasdaq-aapl-bet-on-liquidmetal-about-to-pay-off/) this is a material that:

  • Is five times as strong as aluminum and twice as strong as titanium;
  • Is three times as elastic as ordinary metals;
  • Is highly resistant to corrosion;
  • Is highly resistant to scratching and wear;
  • Has a fingerprint-resistant, glossy finish that needs no polishing;
  • And can be blow-molded like glass or injection-molded like plastic.
This sounds to me like the perfect building block for the next generation of cell phones!  Lock it up.

I know that it sounds like something out of the Terminator movies but I assure you that there’s no need to worry about shape shifting cops.

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I’ve always been drawn to the idea of manifest destiny and lately I’ve been thinking about moving out to California to be near the innovation capital of the World, Silicon Valley.  But why stop there?  Maybe I’ll just keep going, straight into the Pacific Ocean to join the more than 100 start up companies that want to participate in Blueseed  (http://www.blueseed.co/).

This a project that is being funded by Paypal co founder Peter Thiel to create an off shore “city’ in international waters that would aim to have it’s residents innovate outside the realm of pesky U.S. regulations.  (http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-05/10/floating-city-attracts-more-than-100-startups)  Eventually, when the company reaches a certain threshold of success it will move off the retrofitted cruise ship and into Silicon Valley to help boost the U.S. economy.  Check out this video clip to find out more:

All in all, this sounds like a great idea but I do have some logistical concerns.  First off, what defenses are in place to fend off Pirates?!?!!?  You didn’t think that those pesky Somali pirates would stay in Somalia did you?  You better believe that they’ll be putting this ship in their sights as soon as it launches!  Secondly, what happens if an earthquake strikes off the shore of San Francisco causing a tsunami to lift up the ship and place it down in Utah where I then find myself part of a Mormon cult with six wives??!!!

I like the idea of an off shore incubator as long as it stays off shore!  Ah, who am I  kidding; Pirates and multiple wives.  Sign me up!!

Save a spot for me!

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During Game 5 of the 2012 Knicks-Heat first round playoff series one of the announcers from TNT commented that Knicks Guard J.R. Smith grew up a Knicks fan since he was from New Jersey.  The other announcer then objected to that commentary and asked why he didn’t think he was a Nets fan which led to some witty banter about Knicks vs. Nets fandom in the region.  But what strikes me about this conversation is that there was only two possible answers to the question.  Growing up in the New Jersey area meant that Smith was either destined to be a Knicks fan or a Nets fan.  There was no other possible outcome for him.  But, why does it have to be that way?  Why are we stuck rooting for the teams that reside in the city that we live in?  Why isn’t it more common to pick a random team to follow?

I can see how in the past it made sense to root for the local team since that was likely the only access that you had to seeing a professional sports game but in today’s day and age that’s no longer the case.  For example, If I wanted to follow a major league baseball team in another city I can easily do so through the MLB package on Roku.  In fact, since the local market games are blacked out it’s actually more convenient for me to do so.  Therefore, if I were to announce that I was no longer a Yankees fan and was instead becoming a fan of the Washington Nationals so that I can follow the exploits of Bryce Harper shouldn’t that be acceptable?  And yet if I were to do so I would be branded a traitor and called a front runner.

This doesn’t seem right to me.  Not only should we be allowed to do this without fear of ridicule and public humiliation but it should be the norm.  It should be accepted that we’re one day going to pick a team to root for.  In fact, it should be considered a right of passage almost.  Perhaps when we turn 18 we should announce to much fanfare which team we’re choosing to root for.  Teams could even try to woo us to root for them by offering deals on tickets and merchandise or other perks.

Our reasoning for picking a team could be based on which team our favorite player is currently playing for.  Or it could be something innocuous like choosing a team based on the color scheme of their uniforms or because we like their announcers.  The reasoning shouldn’t matter.  The only thing that should matter is that we’re making a conscience decision to root for a team and not just blindly accepting that we’re going to root for the local team because it’s convenient to do so or because our parents did.

Your favorite team can change faster than a Tony Parker cross over…..

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From time to time I like to discuss ideas that are making news and there’s nothing that’s making news right now more than President Obama’s decision to endorse gay marriage.  Even though the timing of his announcement cheapens it since it’s obviously just  an attempt to politicize the issue to help his re-election chances I still have to commend him for taking a stance on the issue at all.  However, I am left wondering what took so long while pondering why this is even a big deal.  In fact,  why was gay marriage ever an issue in the first place?

Telling a gay person that they can’t get married because of your religious beliefs is like telling someone that they can’t eat a donut because you’re on a diet.  I heard that line the other day and even though I don’t know who to attribute it to it’s worth mentioning here because it perfectly sums up how I feel.

It blows my mind that the crazy religious types in this country have enough political pull to make an issue out of this.  What ever happened to separation of church and state anyway?  These religious zealots are found of asking WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?).  But they should be asking themselves WWAT (What Would Aliens Think?).

What I mean by that is that whenever we’re faced with a tough moral decision to make we should take a step back and look at the big picture and there’s no bigger picture to look at than to assume the point of view of an outsider to our World.  In such a scenario the aliens would be given a tour of our planet and find out about our culture and customs.  I can picture them discovering things that they hadn’t thought of.  Perhaps they would marvel at our use of escalators or elevators.  Or maybe they would be impressed by the relationship we have with our pets.  It’s possible that one of our sports could capture their fancy.  The tour would be going great until they find out that we don’t allow certain members of our society to get married.  I can see them instantly losing respect for us.  Just imagine how primitive we would appear to them when they also find out that we practiced slavery not too long ago.

Eventually, we came to our senses about that and soon we will about gay marriage too.  At this rate it’s a matter of when not if.  The sad thing is that the when still might not come for a while.  And that’s not acceptable.  President Obama took a necessary first step when he came out in support of gay marriage but he still fell short of saying that it should be put into law.  He is trying to get re-elected after all. But if we ever want to fix this issue we need to stop thinking about what the voters think and start asking ourselves what would the aliens think!

It’s a sad state of affairs when the fictional world of a cartoon has more sense than real life.

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