Friday, December 12, 2008

There's more to the HeliOS story

After a teacher put a kid in detention and confiscated the Linux CD's he was handing out when that kid was demonstrating a Linux computer donated by the HeliOS project, then contacted HeliOS claiming that handing out software free-of-charge was probably illegal, public outcry at Slashdot and Digg followed. Of course, there's more to this story...I was impressed with this story because it exemplified the term "learning moment". And it resulted in the type of real learning, both technical and social, that work with Open Source uniquely brings.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Day - III

A New Hope...

Yes we can...yes we did...and yes, we have only just begun!!! This is a day that I did not think I would see in my lifetime. And I gladly eat those words and sentiments whole. With approx 65% of the voting population represented we have not simply made but mandated the choice of Barack Obama as our president-elect. Know that this is a victory for America by Americans from all walks of life, truly representing the America that is and that we hope her to be.

I can say for my part I will hold my head higher tomorrow knowing that my country and my home has chosen to reaffirm the democratic ideals which we hold sacred, and demonstrated the commitment to uphold them, to renew them, and to make them even better than they were when handed down to us. God truly continues to bless us all.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day - II

I Came...I Saw...I Voted

Well, got my Dunkies and got to the polling place right at 6:55a. A little line had formed outside the Veterans Club as we waited for the doors to open. The group there was somewhat mixed. Some seemed to know each other or were simply politely chatting. I kinda stuck out. Only guy above 6 feet, among other things ;-) But among those not chatting there seemed to be a quiet tension. A sense of purpose that they seemed to want to talk about but feared brining to light. That's certainly how I felt.

The polling station opened a little late, so unfortunately no "in and out in 2 minutes" like the old timer in front of me reminisced about when the clock struck 5 after. I was about 20th in line, but quickly became 7th in line when it split between A-L and M-Z. Lucky break!

The lady checking names took about 3 minutes to find mine. Par for the course when you're also a tall (formerly) skinny guy with a funny name. I handed her my registration card to make it a little easier. It wasn't. Oh well.

Something on the ballot reminded me of a poster I saw on that read, "Don't trust Zapf Dingbats". The thing about it was the logo, the same five pointed star I've seen on the McCain posters and commercials (since he picked Palin anyway) was there on the ballot next to "Democrats" in the Straight Ticket section at the top of the page. The logo next to the "Republicans" selection was the miniaturized eagle and shield combo with lightening bolts and flamethrowers, etc. Don't trust Zapf Dingbats indeed! Wonder whose idea that was? Imagery's a powerful thing. I wondered how many older voters that may throw off on both sides of the ticket. Just to be on the safe side, I went to the Presidential Election section and filled in my line for Obama and Biden. Not a moment I'll soon forget (sorry to rub it in Agz) .

I would however like to forget that I nearly jammed up the voting machine by letting the corner of my folder get sucked in a bit when I fed my ballot sheet through. A more than gentle tug got it free. Shoulda put down the damn coffee. Such an addict.

The highlight was when the woman walking out next to me said: "Make history. Check that off the to do list." I gave her a hale and hardy amen, then scooted off to work, blasting People of the Sun the whole way — a not-so guilty indulgence.

Go vote!!! And watch the dingbats.

Don't Trust Zapf Dingbats - Design For Obama Campaign Poster

Election Day - I

Election Day

I forgot that I forgot to set my alarm back an hour. So when I set my alarm last night and saw it set to 8am, wondering why the hell I'd set it so late, it didn't occur to me that resetting it for “6:45”, I'd actually be up at 5:45 am.

I said my prayers, for Barack, for his family, for the country and for us all. I thought of my grandma. Told her picture about what's going on today. I wished that she and all my grandparents could be here to share this historic day.

I'm not sure what the polls will be like. It's 6:30 now. Thinking I might be on the early side for my polling station. But going to go ahead now and make a move to the polling station. With a quick Dunkie's stop first.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Obama On Grandmother And Campaign: "Bittersweet"

I don't often cry these days, but today I cried. To see a man fighting through his own tears to share his grandmother's story and to inspire us to fight on her behalf and the quiet heroes like her, I cried.God bless you and your family, Senator Obama. We are with you.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Steven Petrow: Joe Biden's Tears Remembered

Character isn't just a word or a resume checklist. It's the sum of an individual's lifetime that occasionally condenses to a single moment. This would be one of those moments. Please read the full post.

read more | digg story

Monday, October 06, 2008

Health Care Destruction

So...McCain wants to do for our health insurance what deregulation did for banking. Hmmm. Good to know.

read more | digg story

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fund-a-mental Case

As Fiore's cartoon shows, McCain may believe in the fundamentals, but he's certainly not trained in them. He says so himself! Maybe his hockey-mom will have some pointers for him. After all, didn't she win a merit badge in fundamentalism?

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Now You SEC Me, Now You Don't

Naked Short Selling exposed!!! This is the 2nd most important broadcast you'll listen to all year. It may not make you feel sexy but it'll sure leave you feeling naked. The most important broadcast to listen to this year is right here:

read more | digg story

Monday, September 15, 2008

From Whence Came the Chickens Roosting on our Banking System

This American Life's episode "The Giant Pool of Money" which could also be entitled "The Anatomy of a Lending Crisis". Hear how a loosely regulated financial industry has managed to bring the worlds markets to their knees using the voices of all involved: home buyers, storefront lenders, and Wall Street titans now struggling to survive.

read more | digg story

Thursday, July 03, 2008

9 Lessons Learned about Creativity at Google - STVP EdCorner

Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User Experience at Google, shares nine lessons learned about fostering creative ideas and innovation based on her experience developing highly successful Web applications at Google. - From the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series at Stanford University. The series is one of my favorite podcasts. And this one is probably my favorite episode thus far.

read more | digg story

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Than a Sound Bite, This Clip Has Some Teeth

A Barack Obama supporter quizzed on the street has drawn a million views on YouTube.

AFroNaut's Note: Derrick is a friend of mine I've known since school. For the bit that was intimated of an insider "controversy" the accompanying article, I'll let you know, he's an intelligent and seriously talented man who damn sure is nobody's stooge. That video was Derrick being Derrick, pure and simple.

Go get 'em, bro!! Thanks for doin' us proud!!! :-)

read more | digg story

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Transcript: Barack Obama's Speech on Race

Indeed, the pen IS mightier than the sword. And may one day overcome centuries of our collected hurt. Read, and then listen to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's speech in Philadelphia on Tuesday on the role that race has played in the Democratic presidential campaign. Here, a transcript of the speech, titled "A More Perfect Union."

read more | digg story

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quick Food Review - Ka-Me Honey Soy Ginger Noodle

I was in the ethnic aisle at Shaw's grocery store the other day and saw a bunch of boxed microwavable Asian cuisine dishes. I thought I'd grab a few and try them out for lunch at work. Hey, it beats Ramen Noodles. Though, there is actually a comforting styrofoamy reliability with Ramen Noodles that you leave venturing into the wild uncharted corners of prepackaged microwaveable lunch.

My first test subject is Ka-Me Honey Soy Ginger Noodles. On the good side, it has a nice neat package, a la takeout restaurant carton. It was very easy to prepare: empty the noodle and sauce/veg packet into the carton and heat.

On the down side, the cooked noodles are packed together in a brick in their little baggie. The sauce reeks when it's fresh out of it's own foil/plastic baggie. Almost like it's hermetically sealed to keep the elements safe from it, and not the other way around. It seemed like there'd be more vegetables and other edible knick-knacks in the sauce mix, but nothin doin. I also thought there'd be tofu. No such luck. I guess the only soy is in the sauce itself. So for the 220 lbs that is me, it really wasn't filling enough to call it lunch. Afternoon snack perhaps, but not lunch.

It did actually taste pretty good after all. The sauce turned out to smell and taste much nicer warmed up than it did cold out of its silver space suit packaging. And for precooked noodles, they actually weren't disgusting. Because it fell short on contents, I'm giving it a C.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Jon Udell's Interview with Gardner Campbell

Discusses Campbell's concept of digital imagination and how the Internet impacts the creation and sustaining of a learning community beyond the boundaries of the classroom and institutional walls.

read more | digg story

Friday, January 11, 2008

Yes, You Do Need Cartoons to Read!

Just thought I'd pass along, a very interesting blog post about the infantilization of the modern newspaper: Dr. Etzioni makes some great points and I sympathize with his view. However, I did have some thoughts in response which I posted in his comments section and have included below. But before you read my comments (or at the very least, right after) pleas check out his original post.

I'm 34 years-old, an on-again/off-again news hound, and an avid comics fan. I remember being shocked when the New York Times first printed a color photo on its page 1 and thinking "this is the beginning of The End." Likewise with the Wall Street Journal started including color on its pages. And so it was an end of sorts. The end of intransigently stodgy institutions. Even these titans would have to kowtow to the Internet Age.

I mourn that loss for nostalgia's sake - the idea I held when I was (more of) a youngster that The Times and The Journal were papers I would come to read as a "grown up". Little did I know then that I wouldn't even be reading the actual "papers" but the electronic facsimile thereof. And for that very reason I welcome the change. Most of my communication with my dad these days surrounds the NYT articles we forward to each other via email throughout the week. Thus the makeover of these dusty old juggernauts doesn't simply serve a cosmetic purpose, but a functional one, as it brings their formidable presence to bear on what was seen (and is by some still seen) as a lightweight medium. Note that the parent companies of The Times and The Journal respectively undertook infrastructure changes that were extremely costly in time and money to produce their new "looks". From that, I can only presume that the changes were to adapt to the advent of the Internet and not for appearances alone.

Finally, I submit that comics are not infantile in and of themselves, but are in fact an equal, if not higher form of written communication than print alone. The content of a lot of products within the comics medium can be and is extremely infantile, but the form itself is one that has been crafted throughout the history of written communication (literally, history itself). There, I've said it. But for an expert treatment of this premise, I refer you to Scott McCloud's seminal work, "Understanding Comics" (

Truthfully, I would insist not only that you should read it, but also the producers of the very same publications you pooh-pooh above for being too "comics"-like. I think what you'll both find is that a true understanding of the comics form could substantially increase readability and generative comprehension of news and other topics of importance. Further you'll see why the mere window-dressing of colorful pictures and stacks of bold headlines simply result in lousy newspapers and worse "comics". McCloud's follow-up to "Understanding Comics" called "Reinventing Comics" ( discusses the lessons of the comics medium, applying them to new media and information systems such as the Internet. Too much to cover here, and I've butchered what little I did. So I leave you in Mr. McCloud's capable hands.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Single Serving Popcorn

I empty my single serving bag of microwave popcorn into the crisp white cafeware cereal bowl awaiting on my kitchen counter. And I flash back to a linoleum counter from 30 years earlier. 30 years ago, when popcorn making was itself an event.

In the early days, I remember the excitement of the silver Jiffy Pop container first placed on the heated stove. The explosive percussion of superheated kernals smashing tin, followed by the Openheimer bloom of aluminum foil, buttery puffed kernel fallout contained safely therein.

I remember later when we first brought home the popcorn popper. An orange domed UFO worthy of the proudest Martian explorer. It inspired years of the most rigorous disciplined scientific research that a gang of pre-adolescent kids could muster. Our mission, to pop the elusive perfect batch. Enough corn oil to fill up to the inner ring, there was no talk of canola oil nee rapeseed. Add enough kernels for the oil/kernel mix to extend to the outer ring. Those were merely the basics.

The alchemy began where Oster's or Kitchenade's or Hamilton Beach's instruction booklet left off. Heat oil then add kernels or andd oil and kernels together? When to unplug it? Switches or automatic shutoff, you ask? Hah! When do you flip the dome? What dome cover to use? (A newly cleaned Kool-Ade lid always seemed the best fit, but after 3-4 uses became slack and pointless.) And what of those slots at the top of the dome? Lay down chunks of butter to melt and drip through during popping? Maybe pre-melt then pour through the top? Or melt and mix in after the dome is flipped? Salt before butter, or butter before salt? Margarine, you say? For popping maybe but topping? Never.

Countless questions, and layers of mystery beneath them. In the time it has taken me to write these few words, I've already emptied my bowl save a few pieces of kernel shrapnel. No layers of mystery. No unpopped kernels of truth below for wonderful tooth-shattering crunches later on. No crowd around the dome digging in for seconds, thirds, and fourths as the mummy, the werewolf, or the creature from the black lagoon terrorizes us through the tv glass for the umpteenth Saturday afternoon. Just me, in my apartment, settling in for the my latest Netflick to stream over the wire and into my solitary laptop screen.

Single serving popcorn for a single serving movie screening.

Those old popcorn poppers were probably spectacular fire hazards. And who knows whether that superheated orange plastic will pay us off with gastrointestinal cancer of one form or another within the next 30 years. Somedays, our popping results were pretty dodgy. Others, they were downright inedible. The smell might linger around the house for the rest of the day, if not the rest of the week. But there is one thing that sadly seems certain. The best popcorn days are now behind us.