Thursday, March 8, 2012
Life intrudes. You change jobs. You become a grandfather (!). You spend a monstrous chunk of time paying off debts accrued while you were unemployed.
You come back.
See ya soon, kiddies! :) There's more...
LowerManhattanite 2:06 AM
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Plus the driver strolls out of the car, cool as can be.
You've got to wonder, what was the driver doing to get that kind of takeoff? And then, to stick the landing so perfectly? I mean, even the East German Judge would give that ride a Perfect 10.
I'm not at all certain professional drivers being paid a truck-load of money could recreate that takeoff, flight, flip and oh so perfect landing, AS A STUNT. I'm sure if they tried, it'd be damn near-impossible.
Here's to the RockStar Driver who got it right the first time -- and to the Brew Master who bottled whatever the hell he was drinking. Cheers!
July 31: (Fixed the video)
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
When it comes to the debt ceiling and this administration I feel like we are nationally having a Hamlet moment. There have been bloggers and writers a plenty who have compared the president to the prince of Denmark, but what does that make the rest of us.
To be Or not to be, that is the question...
Playing Hamlet- President Obama
Hamlet - The Prince of Denmark, the title character, and the protagonist. About thirty years old at the start of the play, Hamlet is the son of Queen Gertrude and the late King Hamlet, and the nephew of the present king, Claudius. Hamlet is melancholy, bitter, and cynical, full of hatred for his uncle’s scheming and disgust for his mother’s sexuality. A reflective and thoughtful young man who has studied at the University of Wittenberg, Hamlet is often indecisive and hesitant, but at other times prone to rash and impulsive acts.
The president knows who the bad guys are, He knows what the right thing to do is, He know the risks we are facing and yet he is pacing the battlements wondering what to do.
Claudius is of course the whole crazy tea-party GOP fiasco with their sexual appetites, bizarre realities and ridiculous legislation.
Claudius - The King of Denmark, Hamlet’s uncle, and the play’s antagonist. The villain of the play, Claudius is a calculating, ambitious politician, driven by his sexual appetites and his lust for power, but he occasionally shows signs of guilt and human feeling—his love for Gertrude, for instance, seems sincere.
To press my metaphor further, we have the Bluedogs and the Gang of 6 like some kind of Polonius character spouting ridiculous advice and cliche like they are the wise elder statesmen rather than the bluedog corporatist hacks we know them to be.
Polonius - The Lord Chamberlain of Claudius’s court, a pompous, conniving old man.
And the left, well, we collectively are Ophelia.
We can't understand why the guy we loved is talking about cutting Social Security and why he is both nice and nasty to us without reason or warning. We are likely to throw ourselves in the river and just give up...
Ophelia - Polonius’s daughter, a beautiful young woman with whom Hamlet has been in love. Even in her lapse into madness and death, she remains maidenly, singing songs about flowers and finally drowning in the river amid the flower garlands she had gathered.
To make matters worse, our Hamlet instead of relying on his various Horatio(s), seems to send his closest advisors and supporters packing (like Elizabeth Warren, Van Jones and the like) so he is going it alone against a sea of adversity.
Horatio - Hamlet’s close friend, who studied with the prince at the university in Wittenberg. Horatio is loyal and helpful to Hamlet throughout the play. After Hamlet’s death, Horatio remains alive to tell Hamlet’s story.
The American people are Gertrude, they love Hamlet and what he wants to do for them, but they have become shallow and unable to face the truth of the direction that Claudius is taking the whole damn country.
They are guilty by default as they are distracted by cable news and spout nonsense fed to them by claudius and the gang of 6. They should throw the bum out of their bed and seek their former high ideals and dreams of a more just nation.
Gertrude - The Queen of Denmark, Hamlet’s mother, recently married to Claudius. Gertrude loves Hamlet deeply, but she is a shallow, weak woman who seeks affection and status more urgently than moral rectitude or truth.
There isn't really a good character metaphor for the Mainstream Media. Maybe they are a part of the Polonius crowd or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? not sure on that one, but they certainly aren't a friend to our Hamlet. And they have no desire to make a change as they are enjoying the shallow depraved show being enacted between Claudius and Gertrude.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern - Two slightly bumbling courtiers, former friends of Hamlet from Wittenberg, who are summoned by Claudius and Gertrude to discover the cause of Hamlet’s strange behavior.
Sadly we know how this turns out. Lots of dead folks. Including our Hero. and All of us... I don't see things turning around any time soon.
This masterpiece theater moment brought to you by the Great American Tragedy and sponsors like BP, WALL STREET, EXON and by a generous grant from The Military Industrial Complex.
notes on Hamlet characters clipped from SparkNotes. There's more...
The Littlest Gator 4:04 PM
Sunday, July 17, 2011
(cross-posted from my personal blog Mischievous Ramblings II)
Monday, July 11, 2011
I am so disheartened and confused. For decades the GOP has wanted to get rid of some of bedrock most helpful and successful programs, headstart, Medicare, Medicade, Social Security. For Decades the democrats have stood up for these programs and the at risk people that they support. Until now.
One of the ways we beat GW was because of his ridiculous attempts to "privatize" and therefore Bankrupt Social Security.
And now, here we are- with a man we worked hard to elect, voluntarily offering up cuts to this program that helps our seniors quite literally survive in dignity in their final years. Who are we? Where do we go from here?
When the teabaggers took over their party I thought that we might be in a position to see a third party break off on the right... now I wonder if there is any place in the Democratic party for people that support the platform?
Democrats believe that a dignified retirement is central to the American Dream, and its foundation is built on two long-standing institutions charged with realizing that dream: Medicare and Social Security. These two institutions represent an unbreakable commitment to American workers, and for decades Democrats have fought to defend them.
In 1935, Democrats and President Franklin Roosevelt created Social Security. In 1965, Democrats and President Lyndon Johnson created Medicare. Ever since, Democrats have continually fought to defend these cornerstones of the American Dream in the face of attempts to dismantle or undermine both.
Where are the democrats that wrote that sentiment, where are the people who will fight for us in DC? There's more...
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
|Mobile Devices. photo Newfangled Web Developers July 2009|
From The Future of the Web, Part 2, by Christopher Butler
Download Your Red-Hot GNB Mobile Here!
Bookmark GNB Mobil on your phone, your tablet, Kindle, Nook, iPad, car nav (is it legal to screen watch/type & drive where you are?), and bookmark GNB Mobile on every mobile device you have.
Thank you Google Blogger for this sweet mobile template.
Enjoy, y'all. Let us know if you like, k? Kthxbye.
(Yes. You can has Mobile. Also Cheezburger.)
Like LOLCats? Tuesdays, Maggie posts a "Best Of" @ Meta Watershed There's more...
Monday, July 4, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
|1945, one month after V-J Day, the Oil Workers’ Union called a national strike|
In Reviving the Strike, union negotiator Joe Burns draws on labor economics, history, and current analysis to show how only a campaign of civil disobedience can overcome an illegitimate system of labor control that has been specifically constructed over the past thirty years to reign in the power of the American worker. The book challenges prevailing views within the labor movement that say that tactics such as organizing workers or amending labor law can resolve the crisis of the American worker. Instead, Reviving the Strike offers a fundamentally different solution to the current labor crisis, showing how collective bargaining backed by a strike capable of inflicting economic harm upon an employer is the only way for workers to break free of the repressive system that has been inflicted upon them for the past three decades.It is time to stop waiting for sanity to prevail. Time to stop letting the corporate agenda dictate our lives and our fortunes. Time to stop waiting for things to get better.
I don't advocate violence but I do advocate rising up and refusing to be a part of the systems that are destroying america. The clock is definitely ticking. There's more...
Saturday, June 11, 2011
What I really wonder is why while people like Vitter and Sanford, and Craig, etc etc etc. cling to office, Dems are all Off-With-Their-Heads about people like Weiner.
If it effects your job like say- when you disappear from office for 5 days and no one knows where you are (SANFORD) then you should go. If it hurts Kids or Women- (FOLEY) Then you should go. If you campaign on the sanctity of marriage, or an anti gay agenda and your sex scandal shows you to be an outrageous hypocrite (Craig) then you need to go!
If you DO get "caught" You shouldn't lie about it. But even that is not a deal breaker for me since most people lie when faced with the kind of media feeding frenzy that people face in this situations
But if you are not one of the above abusers and hypocrites
I DON'T CARE. I never did. Sex is not the most important thing that we need to be worrying about when it comes to governance. not even close.
It is long past time that the American public care less about this kind of crap and high time that we focus on the real ills of social injustice, the killing of the planet, war, hunger, violence, racism. Don't those problems seem more important? Even typing them makes me feel like Weiner's tweet is a ridiculous distraction. The minority leader and other Dems should get back to work and leave Mr. Weiner's um... business to the pathetic focus of the GOP and the freakshow media.
Get to work and you get to keep your jobs, focus on this kind of thing and you are just like them except weaker.
Also to regular folks. If we stop buying maybe they will stop selling... There's more...
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Except that we should all remember that what we do and say and send on the internet is there for the world to see. Even if you try to hide it.
Therefore I recommend SHAME INSURANCE
Have fun out there, but be smart and careful too. AND best bet is to keep your "Weiner" to yourself. There's more...
Saturday, June 4, 2011
|Editorial Cartoon by David Stoll / The Lumberjack|
The radiation in the No. 1 Reactor buliding At the Fukushima Power plant is the highest it has ever been.
Yes, that's right, worse now than it was when Anderson Cooper was running around screaming The Sky is Falling. Worse than when Diane Sawyer cried over the devistation, worse than when the lot of them were camped out 150 miles away in Tokyo discussing events like they were standing in the middle of the worst hit towns.
They are fickle, the viewers are fickle, the News is not the NEWS anymore, it is just "for entertainment" shock and awe. The sooner everyone accepts that and moves on the better. The News is gone. We are left with THE MEDIA. And they are not just a part of the problem, they are a CAUSE of the problem. They make it all worse and they do it on purpose. Tomorrow's news story is simply whatever they think will capture and keep people's attention. There's more...
Monday, May 30, 2011
More changes more quickly every day. This morning Mashable posted about the new Asus PadFone
I have been wondering what would be next, this is a pretty nice addition to the field. I like the idea of a tablet and phone that are easy to coordinate and sync, easy to work with depending on what you need. Now of course it depends on the how it works, what's the os like how is the speed and functionality. But I am slowly using my PC less and less and my ipad and iphone more and more. I don't think we are quite at the Post PC mark but we are getting there.
I still need the robustness of a laptop or desktop for work. I am thinking about a Mac Air now that at friend can get me a family and friends discount. But more and more I agree that the future is not in the regular config of laptops and desk tops. We are fast moving to real portability of everyday computing power.
Be interesting to see what Apple does next if the android OS supports more and more connected phones and tablets. One-upsmanship and all that. In the meantime I am leaning toward the PC as ART at home.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
In the playground, in the sandbox, children put dirt into their mouths! They breathe in the dust! You should do the same! Lick the dirt!" she shouted to applause. "You wouldn't do this to your own kids!It was incredibly crazy that the government raised the level by 20X in the first place. Glad to see they were bullied into changing their stance. I wonder if our government would be any better. I somehow doubt it.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
NHK is reporting high readings off the coast of Japan in many areas near to the tsunami effected region north of Tokyo
Professor Takashi Ishimaru of the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology says plankton most probably absorbed the radioactive substances carried by the current near the sea surface, and then sank to the seabedThis is something for everyone to monitor closely. Long term effects of ocean contamination are going to be felt around the world I believe. There's more...
In the early days of the crisis(es) in Japan I was pretty calm and tried to keep panic in myself and others to a minimum. I still believe that was the right course. Living in a city of 29 million people means that one of the biggest potential threats is always panic. When 29 million people panic and try to do anything entire systems fail and people get hurt. I stayed calm, and I did my best to keep those around me calm too.
There were things I was wrong about. I believed that TEPCO (Tokyo Electric and Power Co.) was releasing information in a timely fashion. I believed them when they said that the reactors had not yet melted down, and I believed that they were doing all they could for the people who lived around the Fukushima Nuclear Plant. I poo-poohed those that said otherwise. I was wrong.
In the last two weeks more and more distressing information has come out of the investigations into the accident and more and more troubling decsions are being made by the Japanese government.
This story in particular is tragic, frustrating and scary.
Angry Parents in Japan Confront Government Over Radiation Levels
The main thrust of the story and of the parents concern is this...
At issue are updated government guidelines that allow schoolchildren to be exposed to radiation doses that are more than 20 times the previously permissible levels. That dose is equal to the international standard for adult nuclear power plant workers.I am not an expert at any of this and really even the scientists and nuclear engineers don't have many answers but it cannot be good to expose young kids to these kinds of levels and it is criminally negligent to say it is OK to do so.
My Friends at Safecast.org are focused on getting readings at schools for just this reason. Parents have a right to as much information as possible to make the best decisions they can for their families.
I should know better after being politically active during the Bush regime, but I did trust that in a crisis of this kind, TEPCO or at least the Japanese gov. were being honest. They were not and are not now. And from now on...Distrust, Verify and THEN trust. There's more...
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
|photo from Bloomberg|
Thiel is a classic libertarian, so it is not surprising to me that his view is all business, private markets, and money success. But I think about what else you gain in college- access to new ideas, more exposure to people not like yourself, the chance to explore what you really enjoy and find a path that suits you. Most people claim to have changed a lot throughout their 20's - it is when you really solidify your own outlook on the world. And I can't help but think these "100,000 dollar drop outs" are missing more than just an education (also important by the way) by diving full into the high stress roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship.
As for going back to school if your Theil grant doesn't result in Gates-like success... adult ed is a wonderful thing, and grad school is too- but it is never the same as approaching the discussions, exploration and growth of college life in the company of your peers. Folks of a similar age, experiencing the same parts of life and the same developmental cycle as yourself. Plus as less than 50% of start ups survive- those grant winners may be paying more than the price of 2 years of their lives if things don't pan out.
Mr Thiel admits to thinking that ..."higher-education system tempts many people who would be better off going straight into business and creating significant wealth." and that says a lot to me. Do we need more of a push to strive for significant wealth in america? What about public service? What about personal growth, deeper thinking, enjoying family and friends. A higher standard of living can be measured in many ways, not just by tallying up your bank account totals at the end of each quarter.
I also note that of his first 24 grants, only 2 went to women. Really? There are only 2 women out there smart enough for Thiel's cash? hmmm. But as with most classic libertarians his view is quite male-centered. This during a time when huge numbers of women are starting and leading their own companies.
The stories of the grant winners are quite interesting and for many this may be an ideal path. But I think the philosophy behind it may be inherently flawed. For those passionate enough- like Gates- the path of going straight to your own company is not dependent on instant cash from VC's and Big cash grants. In fact, finding the money to make your dream and path a reality is a big part of the learning curve needed for long term business success. The Theil plan is at best a cushy short cut in what should be a life-lesson tough path.
In the movie The Social Network, a few things were clear, facebook founder Mark Z. is brilliant, and had a good idea. What is also clear is that he lacked emotional and social maturity that would have saved him from some huge law suits and generally being viewed (by the globe now) as a jerk. Would college have taught him more about social interaction? perhaps, perhaps not. But dropping out and rushing out to Silicon valley certainly didn't seem to impart that lesson. There's more...
Sunday, May 22, 2011
The Earthquake, Tsunami, Aftershocks and Nuclear Issues were not in Tokyo proper, but still this is the closest experience I have had being in a disaster area. Tokyo was effected but certainly not in the same way as the areas that were in the path of the Tsunami. During these past months TokyoHackerspace, a group I am a founder of- hosted some amazing people and has been working on relief projects from solar lanterns to helping the safecast.org group with their distributed radiation data.
Relief 2.0 via Carlos is one org that has really made me reflect and learn more about disaster response. Relief 2.0 seeks to help when big government and ngo agencies are too bogged down in red tape and slow processes to see to immediate needs. It is collaborative- not taking the place of these groups but helping in a more nimble and flexible way. Their catch copy is "running the last mile to provide efficient disaster response with dignity, inclusion, generation and distribution of wealth"
I guess I am just posting this as an update and to say I am pondering the changes in disaster relief due to social media, DIY access to before out of reach technologies and the good parts of the global economy. It is interesting to note how much has been changing even since Katrina. More thoughts on this down the line in the coming weeks and months I am sure. There's more...
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I have been noticing that before an So-called gaffs, before the anticlimactic twittter announcement and the pre annoucement about the twitter annoucement, people in dc and the media were already bashing newt. Someone somewhere (or someones) wants to doom this campaign before it even gets the boat out of the dock and into the water. I have no idea why, but the Beltway Bobs and Bettys do not like this guy. At.All. Maybe it was that ill fated meeting with the aliens back when he was speaker of the house?
Here's just a few of today's Newt-bashing headlines
Can Newt Gingrich save his campaign? Christian Science Monitor
Newt Gingrich, 'Dancing Queen' Los Angeles Times
Everything Newt Is Old Again Huffington Post
Extra Credit: Newt's as subtle as a tutu-wearing hippo Online Athens
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Ok, can we get serious here? What the hell are we so afraid that we won't call it like we see it?
here's the thing...
The emperor and all his tea party-birther-bachman-palin-beck followers have no freaking clothes. They are running around intellectually buck naked. And more than that, they think they are clothed in the finest silk and linen. Our leadership is afraid to say what we all know to be true.
Now the thing is, it isn't a debate, we can't discuss with them. We don't have to answer their charges and show our long form birth certificates. In fact we have to STOP doing things like that- because- you know what?- THEY ARE CRAZY. Seriously. Bats in the Belfry Crazy.
We can't reason with them. And with the exception of maybe DocBopper if he is still hanging around here somewhere- we are NOT qualified to try to intervene and to deal with their mental health issues. Nor can we just look the other way- That is cruel.
Letting someone hurt themselves and others in their craziness is just not right. But stop trying to explain to them why what they are saying makes no sense. It makes no sense because there is something wrong with these people. They are ill.
I recommend that we all gather a list of mental health professionals, or web links of where we can send our crazy relatives or coworkers who suddenly start quoting Orly Taitz. Or on the left- the guy who sends you videos about "controlled demolitions."
These folks need help. They need it now. When you hear them start- when they send you an email... You should respond simply by saying "you are crazy and you need help."
Here's a handy template, feel free to cut and paste
Dear (nutty family member or annoying co-worker), Thanks for your mail but quite honestly I am worried about you. Your ideas are pretty insane and if you really believe this stuff I recommend you go here http://store.samhsa.gov/mhlocator just type in your zipcode and go see someone. I say this because I really hope you can sort things out and later join us in the reality based community. Until then, please, I am not interested in (insert here any of these-- 9/11 truther info, Birthed BS, Libertarian Nonsense, Why I should buy gold, your ideas that the market will regulate itself, etc. etc.) If you want to write me about the weather, or sports, fine. Otherwise- thanks but no thanks.In any case- call it like you see it. It makes no sense, it is never going to make sense and you cannot change their minds. So just step away from them, slowly. Don't run though- it makes them chase you. There's more...
Sincerelymr/ ms. x
Monday, May 16, 2011
I am quite thrilled that Trump is out (again) though I am not surprised. at.all. I never thought he was serious about running. I did think he would stay in longer to torture us. So I AM happy that we can finish watching this idiot. Better for my blood pressure. Though I am still waiting for signs of karmic retribution.
This best explains my hatred- better spoken by my friend and FutureOf hero...
For the entire recent history of political debate- at least since 2001 I have been aware of, learning about, frustrated by and disgusted about messaging as a skill that Dems and Progressives don't seem to have. Post upon post, book after book, seminar after seminar tell us we are getting killed in the war of public opinion because of our poor skills at messaging.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Well, GNB'ers it has been a long strange trip for us over here on the other side of the planet in the land of the rising sun. I have missed writing here and missed you all. I am still out there, still thinking and writing and struggling and growing. But life got in the way on the blogging front. And then this year there was the QUAKE and all that stuff.
It was a life changer- and things two months later are finally settling into what we are calling the new normal.
The world has moved on, Syria, Libya, tornadoes, and the mighty Missisippi have captured the attention of the world and just like those who continue to rebuild and regroup in Lousiana the Japanese (and those of us who are outsiders but call Japan are home) are working through issues that have a much longer life space than the Corp. Media's coverage would have you believe.