Friday, June 29, 2007

Michael Moore | Health Care Sicko

I haven't seen Sicko yet but here (by his own admission) is something Michael Moore left out of his new movie about America's health care crisis (it's almost to the end of the three minute clip —easier to watch the whole thing than search for it).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

iPhone | Design

Far be it from me to pimp a product line but it's worth noting that Walter Mossberg long considered Apple no more than an interesting technology footnote. He's changed his tune the last couple of years, even suggesting at one point that Apple had become a viable enterprise technology solution — which indeed it has. Among other good news for Apple this week, the iTunes store took the third spot in music retailing for the first time, moving ahead of Target — another company I like a lot — and Apple became the fourth leading seller of laptop computers, reaching something over 14 percent of total sales, behind Hewlett Packard, Dell and Gateway if memory serves me. In any event, after two weeks of daily use, here's Walter Mossberg's review of the iPhone:

[Updated 06.27 with a YouTube embed that fits the Blogger template (the video I embedded last night from the Wall Street Journal was too wide for this template — once again, the variety of video standards poses a challenge to presentation). Out of the box, iPhone reportedly plays only QuickTime movies (no Windows Media Video or Flash). YouTube — which is to say Google is delivering something on the order of 10,000 videos as the new device lands this Friday and, according to some reports, will make its entire inventory available by Fall 08.]

Monday, June 25, 2007

dogs + cats living together in sin

you think it can't happen in your own back yard . . .
and then you're glad you have a camera handy

Thanks to my friend, Fairly Reliable Bob who captured the action as it happened (i've never known what to make of that phrase . . . at what other point would one capture the action?) and the lovely and talented Suzie whose color commentary gives the piece that YouTube sparkle.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

immigration reform | let a thousand flowers bloom

To my ongoing dismay I have found little agreement with George W. Bush since . . . ever. But I think we're pretty close on immigration reform.

I live in California's San Diego County where we experience the costs and benefits of being home to a significant number of undocumented workers. Count me among those willing to bear the costs for the sake of the benefits. But/And please understand that I long to see every one of my neighbors treated humanly — including the expectation that they will add value to the community and support themselves and their families to the best of their abilities.

Since hiding is not conducive to those ends, I'm all for a robust guest worker program. (For what it's worth anecdotally, most of my small circle of undocumented friends and acquaintances express no intention to live here — they want to get home as soon as possible and stay there).

Beyond that, I'm fine with responsible amnesty — by that name or any other. When commentators and members of Congress say Americans won't stand for amnesty, they're not speaking for me.

I'm just spitballing here but, if US Census projections hold to 2050, it appears to me we're going to need lots of additional people working (and innovating and consuming and starting businesses and contributing sales, property and income taxes) alongside those who continue working productively through their 70s and in support of the growing number who live beyond the age of 85.

There being nothing to indicate that the age cohorts just behind my own intend to reproduce at a rate sufficient to meet that need for workers, why wouldn't we supplement their efforts as we have for 13 generations on this continent — by rewarding the participation and productivity of hard-working newcomers?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

some folks world

This is a screen grab of the new desktop i've been using from OSXplanet Project. It reminds me that other people are wide awake while I'm sleeping, hungry while I eat my fill, sick while I am well.

I find myself returning as I do so often to the music and poetry of the brilliant Mark Heard.

by Mark Heard
From Victims of the Age

Some folks' world is war-torn
Some folks' world is fine
This planet makes no sense to the untrained mind

Some folks hope for fortune
Some folks hope to die
Each man sees his fate through his own two eyes

And when it's day to me it's night to someone
And when it's night you might not want to go on

Some folks eat what flies leave
They get what they can take
Hunger has no heart and it will not wait

Rain can ruin your weekend
Or rain can spare your life
Depending on who you are and what your thirst is like

And when it's day to me it's night to someone
And when it's night you might not want to go on

All folks' days are numbered
But most folks do not care
And no man calls his coin when it's in the air

Some folks taste of Heaven
Some folks taste of Hell
Some folks lose their taste and they cannot tell

And when it's day to me it's night to someone
And when it's night you might not want to go on

The Mark Heard Tribute Project

Friday, June 08, 2007

lives in the balance | 1500 days + counting

Today marks 1,500 days since the declaration of Mission Accomplished in the war on Iraq.

U.S. armed forces have suffered 3,345 confirmed Post Combat Operations fatalities since that day.

The number of Iraqi deaths directly caused by the conflict lies somewhere between 65,000 and 650,00 — a number we're not likely to actually confirm for some time.

The number of Iraqi refugees in the conflict stands at four million, two hundred thousand.

Hubris, thy name is Rumsfeld
Hubris, thy name is Rice
Hubris, thy name is Cheney
Hubris, thy name is Bush
Hubris, thy name is Congress
Hubris, thy name is Us

Thursday, June 07, 2007

my generation | The Zimmers

Quoting Steve Jobs quoting The Beatles at last week's Wall Street Journal D-5 Conference:
Steve: You know, when Bill [Gates] and I first met each other and worked together in the early days, generally, we were both the youngest guys in the room, right? Individually or together. I’m about six months older than he is, but roughly the same age. And now when we’re working at our respective companies, I don’t know about you, but I’m the oldest guy in the room most of the time. And that’s why I love being here. … And, you know, I think of most things in life as either a Bob Dylan or a Beatles song, but there’s that one line in that one Beatles song, “you and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.” And that’s clearly true here.

[That may come across as cheesy here in print, but honestly it wasn’t. It was pretty touching. Watch the video and you’ll see Jobs emotional and, if only for a very brief moment, vulnerable. — John Paczkowski]

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

can you help a veteran?

This passed through my inbox today. I'm at a loss about how to convince Sgt. Clayton that I can be trusted. What to do, what to do...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

jim hancock | the tiny company called me


There's a new space on the www called It's a home — or at least a small apartment — for the work I've done since quitting my day job to become the tiny company called me on January 1, 1999.

What's not there — because they're not collectible — are the live events, creative services and design work I do for clients like Youth Specialties and InsideWork.

What is there is easy access to my books, digital movies, comedic and dramatic scripts and published group learning designs.

All that and a brief manifesto on why I do the things I do. Here's an excerpt; if you find it engaging, you can click through to more . . .

I design resources for youth workers, teachers and parents who think that teaching is interesting but learning is fascinating.

That means no short cuts, no easy answers to hard questions, no moralizing, no quick fixes. So if you're looking for those kinds of benefits . . . sorry.

Of course there are plenty of folks selling short cuts and simple answers. And why not? Because really, who has the time?

Who has the time? I'm sorry; I just think that's the wrong question.

I think there are better questions:

Do you think kids learn better when we tell them what to believe and how to behave or when we skillfully engage them in their own learning?

Do you really think kids learn at their best in environments where listening to an adult is twice — or three or four of five times — as important as talking while an adult listens?