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Archive for June, 2012

#54 – Netmagz

Cisco was in the news the other day when they announced that their chief strategy officer, Ned Hopper, was stepping down.  (http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240158753/Ciscos-chief-strategy-officer-steps-down)  Such a resignation would be a big blow to a lot of companies but I have a feeling that Cisco will be okay.  That’s because they’ve spent the last few years massively overhauling the way that they do business, empowering more people, and reducing the impact of senior leadership, creating what could quite possibly turn out to be a management road map for other companies to follow in the near future.

I know all this because I just read a great article about the company and CEO John Chambers during my commute home from work.  You may be surprised to find out that I didn’t get this article off of Mashable or the Huffington Post though.  Nor did I see it on CNN or MSNBC or Google News.  It wasn’t on Flipboard or Facebook and it wasn’t tweeted by someone that I’m following.  I know this because I read about it in an issue of Fast Company.  The issue has a picture of Chambers on the cover and features the headline, “Cisco Gets Radical”.  And oh, by the way, it’s from 2008.

I read a lot of magazines from 2008 and 2007 and 2006 and so on.  I read these back issues for a myriad of reasons.  Foremost being that I want to make sure that I haven’t missed out on any of the important trends from the last few years.  Being new to the tech/science/entrepreneurial Worlds that I now call home I realized early on that I had a lot of catching up to do.  And so I’ve set out to catch up by reading back issues of Wired, Wired UK, Fast Company, Focus, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Scientific American, Discover, Forbes, Entrepreneur, etc.

In doing so I’ve learned more in the last year than I had in my first twenty nine combined.  I’ve completely changed my outlook on life and have developed a profound love for science and technology.  Science over sports has become my new mantra.  It’s hard for me to even imagine what life was like before I started doing this.  It’s all just a blur of fantasy sports, licorice nibs, and reality TV.  I’m much happier with my life now and I’m excited about what is in store for me as I continue to use this blog to share my ideas with the World.  And I owe it all to back issues of magazines.

I would love for other people, especially those with similar interests, to be able to enjoy these magazines as much as I do.  But there’s only one problem:  there’s no way to do that.  Short of buying issues on Ebay as I did or borrowing a few of the more recent back issues from your local Library there’s really no way to access back issues.  Try ordering them directly from the publisher as I did with Wired and you’re likely to find yourself signing up for Sleep Apnea studies in order to pay for them.

That’s why I want to create Netmagz, the Netflix of magazines.  Just like with Netflix users would pay a monthly subscription fee, let’s say $5, and in turn they would receive the back issue of their choice in the mail.  Once it’s returned, in good condition of course, they would receive the next issue.  There could even be a digital collection of some less popular titles akin to the Netflix Instant Queue.

Not only would this be a boon to publishers, who may stand to benefit from having older issues draw in new customers, but it would also benefit the United States Postal Service which is on the verge of going bankrupt otherwise.  It’s a win-win all around.

With Netmagz you could read this issue of Fast Company from 2008 or any other back issue of your choice from any magazine!

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#53 – STETI > SETI

Nearly 35 years ago a mysterious radio transmission was detected in space by SETI (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). It was dubbed the Wow signal because the astronomer who discovered the signal, Jerry Ehman, wrote the word wow on the page (see picture below). Despite multiple efforts to do so no one has ever been able to relocate that signal assuming of course that it is even a signal from an advanced alien civilization to begin with.

Of course I want to believe that it is. Not just because I have a burning desire to confirm that life exists on other planets in my lifetime but because I just really, really like aliens. I mean, I like aliens so much so that I’m even on record as saying that Independence Day is the best movie of all time. So suffice it to say I want this to be real. I need this to be real.

Thanks to the National Geographic Channel I’ll finally get my chance to participate in humanity’s response to this signal. According to the article on livescience.com (http://www.livescience.com/21171-wow-signal-alien-message-reply.html), “all tweets composed between 8 p.m. EDT Friday (June 29) and 3 a.m. EDT Saturday (June 30) tagged with the hashtag #ChasingUFOs will be rolled into a single message…Then on Aug. 15, exactly 35 years after the Wow! signal was detected, humanity’s crowdsourced message will be beamed into space in the direction from which the perplexing signal originated.”

Even though I will be participating in this “historic event” I will be doing so with a grain of salt since I’m skeptical that this message is really from an advanced civilization. And of course even if it is will they even be able to understand our response? Regardless I still think that this event, even if it is just a publicity stunt, is a great idea. You never know what may come of it.

But with that having been said this event isn’t what I wanted to focus on in this post. Rather I wanted to take this time to suggest a new course of action for attempting to make contact with alien civilizations: a visual approach. What I like to call the Signal Towards Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence or STETI.

Essentially, what I’m proposing is a giant WE ARE HERE sign, several light years wide, that will flash in a repeating sequence. Any advanced alien civilization with their telescopes pointing in our direction will notice this repeating flash of light, wonder to themselves what it could be, and then set out to find out about it. In doing so they will eventually stumble upon our civilization and make contact with us.

I’m suggesting this visual based approach since this is the approach that we are taking to find exo-planets as we measure the brightness of a star to see if there are any variations in brightness which may suggest the presence of an orbiting planet. Logic would seem to dictate then that if we’re using a visual approach to finding planets then aliens are doing the same thing. And if they are doing the same thing then we should give them a really big, really bright target to find.

35 years later humanity will be responding to the famous Wow signal. What took so long?!!?

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Back by popular demand it’s my look at some great inventions that I’ve heard about recently.  Are any of these the Greatest Invention Ever?:

1.  The Waterless Shower:  Part of the appeal of taking a shower is the water as it serves to wake you up or refresh you but for people in the military or in developing countries a water less shower is a great idea:.  Read more at:   http://daily-download.com/invention-waterless-shower/

No water? No problem!

2.  IM Blanky aka the Blanket That Feels:  This blanket is outfitted with sensors enabling it to change it’s position and report on what it comes in contact with.  Creepy or a great idea?  Find out at:

http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2012/06/play/a-blanket-that-feels

This blanket, “wrapped around hospital patients could dutifully report fevers and heart rate.”

3.  Self Replicating Sand:  Sounds like  the plot of a low budget sci-fi movie.  However, it does seem to have a lot of useful real world applications such as being used to create replacement parts when you find yourself in a bind.  Find out more at:

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/smart-robotic-sand-0402.html

Building sand castles just got a whole lot more interesting…..

4.  Jeans With Transparent Pockets:  Want to check something on your phone during a meeting but don’t want to be seen taking your phone out?  Then this new invention is perfect for you:

http://mashable.com/2012/06/24/jeans-transparent-pocket/

Hopefully they will come out with a dress pants version…

5.  Adjustable Coffee Table:  The other day I was lamenting how difficult it was to eat my dinner on the living room couch since the coffee table’s height is too low making it awkward to lean forward in order to reach the plate.  That’s when I came up with the idea for an adjustable coffee table so that you can lower the height when you want a foot rest and raise the height when you want to eat or clean the floor.  Turns out it already exists and apparently has for some time now:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/best-adjustable-coffee-tables-84487

Not only does it exist but there are multiple variations!!!

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The third installment in a series of posts about potential apps:

Last Saturday a co-worker and I hosted a picnic in Central Park as a  joint birthday party.  On our way to the park we stopped at a local grocery store and picked up a few things.  One hundred and forty dollars later we were on our way to  search  for a killer location just in time for our noon kick off.  After we walked around for what felt like hours (ten minutes) we found the perfect spot right under a tree.  We began to set up shop laying out sheets in both sunny and shady areas and putting all of the perishable items and drinks in ice filled coolers.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And then we waited some more.  It was nearly 1:30 before the first guest arrived!  Either we did a better job of hiding in plain sight than Waldo or there’s something wrong with the way we go about finding people in public places.

The solution as thought up by my roommate is to create an app that aims to help you find someone or something in a given area.  Essentially to create a location within a location locator.  With modern technology such as GPS enabled smart phones at our disposal and the advent of location based services such as Foursquare and Gowalla it shouldn’t be too hard to bring this app to market.  And there definitely is a market for something like this.

Aside from helping our guests pinpoint our exact location at the park once they got there this type of app could also be useful for pinpointing items in a store.  And with more and more items getting embedded with RFID tags as we move towards an Internet of Things this aspect of the app could revolutionize the way we shop.

Let’s say for example that you’re going shopping at Walmart.  You’re looking for an obscure item that may not be easy to find in the store, say a replacement blade for your outdated electric razor.  You could waste several minutes wandering around the aisles until you stumble upon it.  Or you could use the location within a location locator and find it in seconds since you’ll have pre-populated the app with a shopping list.  All you’ll have to do is follow the app’s directions as it takes you from item to item on your list in the quickest possible path.

The days of being unable to find your blanket at the beach or your significant other inside a movie theater after returning from getting popcorn are over.  With the location within a location locator app you’ll never be left out again.  Take that MapQuest!

Good luck trying to find your friends in that crowd without the help of the location within a location locator!

 

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I would love to have a personal assistant. Not to clean my apartment mind you and certainly not to do my laundry as I’m pretty sure that no one wants to handle my Spider-Man underwear. I wouldn’t even want someone to go food shopping for me as I’m fairly certain that I’m the only person who can look cool pushing a granny cart down the street. Come to think of it I really don’t want a personal assistant at all. At least not in the traditional sense. Rather, what I’m looking for is a non-personal personal assistant. Someone who can help me manage the myriad of interests that I have.

I would love to be able to do it all but unfortunately there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything that I want to do. If I want to blog consistently then I won’t have a lot of free time to spend managing my fantasy baseball teams. If I want to invest quality time in my teams to try and win money then I won’t have a lot of time to spend searching for dates on match.com. If I want to spend more time looking for dates then I won’t have enough time to look for new stocks to invest in. If I want to spend more time managing my etrade account then I won’t have enough time to work out.

It’s a struggle to juggle as I like to say (actually I just made that up) and if I’m not careful I’m going to wind up single, fat, and broke with shitty fantasy teams to boot. There’s got to be a better way to go about making sure that you don’t neglect any of your areas of interest and I think that there is. All you have to do is find a non-personal personal assistant. Or two. Or three.

There are a few sites out there that can help you get shit done. Taskrabbit.com is one such site and if you’re looking to pay someone to help you move or put together a kitchen table then look no further. Meanwhile, Justin.tv founder Justin Kahn is getting ready to launch a new service called Exec that will be similar in scope to Task Rabbit except that it will assign people to your tasks for you.

While I think that those sites have merit they don’t really accomplish what I’m looking for because I don’t want to hire someone on a task by task basis. Rather I want to hire a whole army of people with each person assigned to a specific task. Someone who helps me create content for this blog, someone who manages my fantasy teams, someone who maintains my online dating profile, etc. Essentially, I want to crowd source a whole cadre of helpers.

But here’s the catch. These non-personal personal assistants should be people that you know personally from your social network so that you can ensure you will be working with trust worthy people who will have your best interests in mind. According to Facebook I have 812 such potential assistants in my network! It’s time to start tapping into that.

For example, my aunt loves to travel and has offered to help me plan my upcoming trip to Hawaii. Shouldn’t I be able to find someone like her, who loves to travel, to plan all of my travel arrangements going forward? Perhaps one of those 812 people really likes online dating. Shouldn’t I be able to hire that person to fix up my profile and search for potential dates?

Wouldn’t we all be better off if we could not only farm out the tasks that we don’t want to do to our friends that would love to do them but if we could also make money on the side helping out those that we care about? It’s time to put an end to the struggle to juggle and start doing the things that we love for the people that we love.

Don’t worry cartoon girl. You’ll love being a non-personal personal assistant where you get to do something that you enjoy all the time.

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In the June issue of the UK edition of Wired Magazine there was an interesting story about Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter, and how he is working towards creating a new social media site called Backplane.  (http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2012/06/features/troy-carter?page=all)

The aim of this site will be community building but what it’s really all about is taking control of the content that Lady Gaga or any other celebrity is creating by housing it all in one easy to manage location.  The article elaborates on this:  “The goal, Carter says, is to turn the Backplane into a one-stop hub for the entertainment community. He’s in talks with actors, studios and sports teams. He adds that it will also be useful for vintage-car clubs and for Girl Scout troops, although perhaps less profitably. For now, though, he plans to use it as an exclusive place to sell concert tickets, music, videos and whatever other Lady Gaga products emerge.  “She still has a deal with Universal Records,” he says, “but there will come a time when she’ll release music through her own site. It’s not just going to be about sells. It’s going to be about the streams coming through the site. For us, it’s important to be able to identify who’s listening to what. We want to own that data. We have to own that data.”

In theory, Backplane sounds like a great idea.  Why should a celebrity like Lady Gaga have to take the time to release content on a variety of sites including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube not to mention the hundreds of fan sites that have proliferated across the Internet when she can just manage one feed on Backplane?  Doing so will enable her to control her message, speak to fans directly, and get real time information about who likes what from her various offerings.

You often hear the big tech companies such as Apple and Facebook talk about new ideas that have the potential to disrupt industries.  Will Apple TV disrupt the cable companies?  Will Jack Dorsey’s Square disrupt the credit card companies?  Will Facebook disrupt Madison Avenue?  The search for the next big things is always on.  Well, if Backplane can successfully cut out the middle man from Hollywood and allow for artists to release content directly through the site then it can become a significant game changer.

The only problem that I have foresee with Backplane is that it’s really only useful to actors, musicians, and athletes who have a need for controlling their content.  Which is the same critique that I had about Twitter at first.  The solution for making Backplane a mainstream hit in my opinion is to open up the business model to everyone.  Why stop at celebrities or even Girl Scout Troops when there could be a market for any average person to use the service?  For example, I could see myself using a service like this to promote this blog which would allow me to release content across a variety of platforms and engage my fans directly.  And if I ever want to get published I wouldn’t have to rely on a book publisher to do the leg work for me as I could just release a self published book through this site.

I think there could be a real market for a site like this, for celebrities and even people like me, and I’m curious to see how it all plays out.  In the mean time I guess I’ll have to settle for engaging my fans one by one which shouldn’t be too hard considering I only have one so far.  So, Mom, what do you think about the blog?

Lady Gaga’s Backplane site is called littlemonsters.com. Is this the future of entertainment?

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Move over Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter there’s a new sheriff in town, the Vampire Slayer.  No, I’m not talking about Buffy.  I’m talking about electronic devices that are designed to counter act vampire energy.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with vampire energy this is energy that is sucked up by appliances that aren’t being actively used in your home in particular phone chargers and home entertainment systems.  This type of energy is very wasteful and can cost you hundreds of dollars of year without you even realizing it.

To learn more about vampire energy check out this video clip from Vampirepowersucks.com:

The reason why I bring this up now is because of the heat wave that hit New York last week with temperatures nearing 110 degrees.  During such heat waves there is always a fear that the power companies will struggle to keep up with the energy demand as everyone cranks up their air conditioner at the same time.  That fear is what got me thinking if there was a better way to conserve energy from the grid.  What I came up with was a device that would attach to an outlet and block energy from coming into devices that weren’t being used.  Basically, I had just reinvented the vampire slayer!

Charles Duell, former commissioner of the U.S. patent office, once famously said, “everything that can be invented has been invented.”  And while that’s obviously not true I can relate to where he was coming from.  There’s no worse feeling than coming up with a potentially World changing idea only to later find out that it already exists.  It’s times like this that I wish I was born hundreds of years ago so that I could have become a World famous inventor instead of just a guy who writes about ideas.  Actually, I take that back.  There was no air conditioning back then.  Oh well, I guess I’m just going to have to tough it out in the 21st Century and try to come up with something else…

It turns out Vampire Energy slaying devices already exist! Oh well.

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#47 – NBA Ideas

Now that the Miami Heat have put the finishing touches on their championship to end the NBA season it’s time to take a look my ideas for how to make the NBA better:

1.  Clean up the rules:  If there’s one thing that’s become abundantly clear this post season it’s that the NBA’s rules need fine tuning specifically in regards to calling charges vs. blocking fouls.  ABC analyst and former head coach Jeff Van Gundy has suggested moving up the restricted line from underneath the basket to give players more room to operate.  On the other hand perhaps something can be done about how charges get called on players after they have already passed the ball away.  Either way something should be done because at the current rate of progression the NBA is going to become unwatchable as players lose the ability to attack the basket.  And while we’re at it can we institute an anti-flopping rule?  We can call it the Manu Ginobili rule.

2.  Bullpen like warm up area for shooting:  I’ve never understood how you could expect a player to come off the bench cold and perform at a high level.  Major League Baseball has a bullpen for pitchers to warm up and they even have batting cages underneath the stadiums for potential pinch hitters and designated hitters to use.  Even football has an extended sideline for second string quarterbacks to use to practice throwing.  Yet the NBA doesn’t have any in game warm up areas.  I get that the league wants to pack as many seats into the arena as they can, especially high priced court side seats, but is it really worth it when the quality of play suffers?

3.  Better benches:   I’m not talking about the sixth man on the New Jersey Nets whoever that is.  I’m talking about the physical bench that players could sit on.  I find it embarrassing and also extremely comical that millionaire athletes are asked to cram their seven foot bodies into the same crappy folding chairs that my family uses for the kids table at Thanksgiving.  No wonder so many players have bad backs.  Larry Legend I’m looking at you.

4.  No slip surface:  If there’s one thing that NBA players do extremely well aside from flop and complain about calls is sweat.  And as a result the playing surface is faced with a constant deluge of water.  There are towel boys to clean it up but sometimes they miss spots or can’t get to a spot during play and as a result players slip and give up possession of the ball.  It’s only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt or a series is won or lost based on a slip.  Let’s do something about it proactively by creating a no slip surface.  There are lots of technologies available that repel water such as the new water proof coating for the iPhone.  Could that same substance be used to coat NBA courts so that water can’t accumulate on them?

5.  Create more room underneath the basket:  While we are on the subject of player safety shouldn’t something also be done with the way that the area underneath the basket is overrun by cameramen?  I get that it makes for a great shot to have a player soaring through the air right above you but that also means that there’s a good chance that same player will wind up landing on you.  Whenever I see a player collide with a cameraman I’m reminded of how the NFL used to have the goalposts directly in the end zone.  Obviously those were removed for safety reasons so I’m not sure why impediments near the goal still exist in the NBA.  With advances in technology can’t we just mount cameras in key locations even within the rim or backboard if need be?

6.  All-Star Game Weekend Mini-Tournament:  Obviously the all-star game is a meaningless showcase of the game’s stars but despite the fact that the game features no defense and is a colossal time suck it’s not really worth tinkering with.  Rather if you want to improve the all-star game weekend, which is now suffering from a lack of star power in the slam dunk contest, the way to do that would be to add new events with star power.  Specifically a mini tournament.  Imagine the ratings of a 1 on 1 tournament featuring the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose going head to head.  Even a 2 on 2 tournament with the likes of Dwayne Wade and James facing off against Durant and Westbrook or a 3 on 3 tournament with the Big 3 in Boston vs. the Big 3 in Oklahoma City vs. Miami’s Big 3 vs. the Big 3 in San Antonio, etc.  Now, that would be worth watching.

7.  Contraction:  There really weren’t enough good players to go around to begin with and now that they are teaming up together to win championships as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh just did in Miami there’s really not enough to go around.  If stars are just going to join forces in big markets why should we stand in the way by forcing some scrubs to take the court in Charlotte or New Jersey?  I say let’s give rise to the age of the Super Team and only have about a dozen stacked teams.

It’s fitting that the Heat would win the championship on a day that it felt like 110 degrees in New York City.

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#46 – Tweaking Twitter

I’ve been in the Twitterverse for less than a week now but already I have a few tweaks/suggestions for how to make it better.  Now, I’m willing to admit that I could be way off here since some of the missing features that I’m about to lament may actually exist and I just haven’t realized it yet.   So, I would greatly appreciate any feedback from people who are better versed with Twitter than I am.  Feel free to yell at me or make fun of me as my friend Michael did when I asked him if Twitter had a like button.

Without further adieu here are my tweaks for Twitter:

1.  Searching for people you know:  One of the first things that I wanted to do when I joined Twitter was to try and find my friends that are already on the site.  The only way to do this other than to search for them by name one by one is to import email contacts.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a saved contact list in my yahoo email account.  Does anyone?  The best way and easiest way to find out if I have any friends on Twitter would be to import my friends list from Facebook.  Why can’t I do this!??!  I get that Facebook and Twitter are social media competitors but cutting off your nose to spite your face never helped anyone.  I would be more inclined to use both services if integration between the two sites was easier.

2.  Searching for people you don’t know:  One of my biggest pet peeves about the site is that it’s software isn’t intuitive as it keeps recommending people for me to follow that I’m already following.  The same holds true when I browse categories as it keeps on showing me the same 50 or so people in each category.  Why can’t I dig deeper within a category?  Does anyone know if these lists ever refresh at a certain point?

3.  Finding Followers:  Why is it so hard to market yourself?  If I want to attract new followers I basically have to resort to a series of marketing ploys such as following someone else in hopes that they’ll follow me back.  But what if I don’t want to clutter my feed with the inner most thoughts of random people that I’m genuinely not interested in following.  Instead of just offering a follow button shouldn’t Twitter also over an option to recommend to someone else that they follow you?  Follow button vs. Follow me button.  Boom.  Lock it up.

4.  Applying Filters:  Is there a way to filter out the content that is sent to your feed from the people you are following?  This idea probably flies in the face of everything that Twitter stands for but I think it has some merit.  Let’s say that you hate sports and all of the people that you are following are commenting every five seconds during the Super Bowl about the game and the latest commercials.  Wouldn’t it be great then if you could filter out any comments referencing the Super Bowl, football, and commercials?  This way the information that you actually are interested in hearing about on that day would become more prevalent.

5.  Where’s the like button?:  Ah, the aforementioned like button reference rears it’s ugly head again.  From what my friend told me this feature is basically repackaged as the favorite button.  This way when you see something that you like you can stroke the ego of the person who wrote it by favoriting it.  However, I would argue that there is a need for a favorite button and a like button.  The best part about Twitter in my opinion is the way that information in particular links to articles gets shared.  The cool part about the favorite button is that I can favorite someone’s tweet that features an interesting link and reference it later on when I have more time to actually read the article.  On the other hand there are times when someone says something witty and I just want to hit a like button.  I don’t want to favorite it because I don’t want to reference it later and I don’t want to retweet it because it’s not going to be relevant to my followers.  I just want to acknowledge that it was witty.  Why can’t I do that?!!  And while we are on the subject of tweaking social media sites why doesn’t Facebook have a favorite button?  Why can’t I save links or interesting posts for future reference?

6.  Let’s just call this the why section:

  • Why do the letters in hashtags count towards your character limit?  I think it would be better if they didn’t count and you were instead limited to the number of hashtags that you can use per post.  Something like 1-3 per tweet.
  • Why can’t I continue to scroll through trending topics to see older tweets?  As a new user I would be extremely interested in literally viewing every #idea ever posted.  Why can’t I do that?  Server limitations?
  • When you tweet at someone why can’t their followers see what you said to them?  Apparently this information is shown on that person’s profile but it doesn’t get sent out to all of their followers.  Shouldn’t it?
  • Why do I see tweets in different languages?  Why can’t Twitter use something like Google’s Translation Software to ensure that all posts appear in the same language?
  • Why are there so many f’ing fake xxx profiles trying to follow me?!?!  I like to think that I’m interesting but most girls in real life don’t  agree so why are all of these fake girls so interested in following me?!!   How hard can it be to stop this?  That’s what she said.

Are there any other ways to make Twitter better?

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I hate Father’s Day.  Actually, I hate all holidays.  Especially,  Hallmark Holidays.  The fakeness of it all has always rubbed me the wrong way.  There’s just something inherently wrong about giving someone a heartfelt message written by someone else.  Especially when that message is a pop up card that plays music from Kelly Clarkson.  If you love someone and want to see them or do something nice for them you should just go see them or do something nice for them.  You shouldn’t need a card company to tell you how to lead your life.

And yet seemingly we all do as we continue to accept the mindless drivel that they pass out year after year like a bunch of sheep.  There has got to be a better way of telling someone that you love them instead of doing it through a cartoon Snoopy.  We can put a man on the Moon but we can’t make Father’s Day more exciting?  Well, I’m pretty sure that we can do better and I’m pretty sure that the guy dragging his kids to the all you can eat Chinese Buffet near my house will agree.

Perhaps the way that we can make Father’s Day better is to create events that allow for fathers and sons to spend quality time together.  I’m talking about father-son outings to baseball games, father versus son pickup softball games, a father-son picnic in the park, etc.  Essentially, a nationwide initiative to promote the idea of actually getting out and doing something with your children on Father’s Day.

Or we can just step back and follow the lead of Wired Magazine and their Geek Dad blog who are promoting the idea of turning Father’s day into National Geekdad Day (http://www.wired.com/geekdad/geekdaddaypackage/).  The way they are doing this is by sponsoring a series of events around the country primarily at science museums aimed at getting geeky dads to bond with their kids over science projects.  They even provide a kit to help dads plan their own events.

Any event that encourages kids to get involved with science is always a good idea and when you combine that with father-son bonding time it becomes even more special so hats off to Wired for making this happen.   The spirit of this event is the exact embodiment of what the holiday should be about.  And it’s something that gets lost in translation when you just give someone a card.

I’m left wondering if National Geekdad Day was around when I was a kid if I would have still grown to hate the holiday?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  All I know for sure is that this is a great idea and a step in the right direction.   Now if we can just do something about Yom Kippur…

National Geekdad Day > Regular Father’s Day.

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