Wednesday, March 31, 2010


"These projects all took the course's original dictum -- the application must be useful to the community -- and began to work with its corollary as well -- the community must be useful to the application." - Clay Shirky 

He wrote these words in March 2004. Around this time, I met with Friendster for the first time and it rocked my world. "You mean you can see what your friends are doing online?" - I remember asking one of my co-workers. 

Alex Bain sent me this article yesterday and I replied to him that if I would have read it back then, it would have changed my life. Still did a little today. Somewhere, Clay Shirky 2.0 is writing something equally brilliant. I want to read it. If you come across it, please send it to me. I don't want to be 6 years late again.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Inspirational Alan Thomas

Alan Thomas, one of the community managers at LivingWithAtaxia, a patient to patient support network started by Ben's Friends, was profiled recently by Race Online 2012. I know him well via the Internets and he is an incredibly inspirational guy.

"Alan Thomas was diagnosed with ataxia, which is an incurable and degenerative neurological condition, 21 years ago. The disease affects balance and coordination and makes it difficult for Alan to carry out simple, daily, tasks, and things most of us take for granted, like just lighting a match. He refuses to be cowed: he uses a tricycle to keep active and travels widely (with his trusty wheelchair).

Computers, though, have taken on a real added significance since his diagnosis: Alan is trustee of Ataxia UK and UK Community Manager of, so he uses the internet as an advocacy tool and to share information and build a support network with others who have this rare condition. He also uses modern technology as a tool for self-expression: an uplifting film he made about his life with customary vim has seen online by thousands of people.

“A computer gives me a voice,” he says simply. “It helps me 100%.” 

Good Tunes

Not a lot to say today, so I'll turn it over to my buddy John Hamilton for a playlist he published a couple days ago.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It's Nat-urday

Sunset at Chrissy Field

It's Spring in San Francisco. Won't you come visit and enjoy it with us?

Btw - how amazing is Flickr? Wikipedia & Flickr are the two sites on the Internet that make me think big thoughts. All these strangers making the world a better place, one picture or line of text at a time.

If this is possible, what else is possible?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Chill Music (March 26, 2010)

Eclectic mix again today with some cutting edge tunes and some oldie but still goodies. Special thanks to the Gonzo Gal for the recent recs from SXSW.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's a think piece about a mid-level band struggling to find itself amonst their limitations

The Freelance Whalea music gear at Bottom of the Hill. They opened.

Very Funny

Good one on JibJab's Blog...

It Might Get Loud

It Might Get Loud is one of the best movies I've seen in a couple of years. Thanks to Taylor for referring it.

The movie features Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, The Edge of U2 and Jack White of the White Stripes, all talking about their music and playing guitar. It's pretty awesome. There is one scene where Jimmy Page picks up a guitar and starts playing the rift for A Whole Lotta Love and The Edge and Jack White just sit there with there mouths wide open in aw. Pretty awesome movie.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I'm not crazy about the new Healthcare Bill, there is some good and bad, but I do love this shirt that Papi posted.

Share a Pizza?

via Will's Emotive Blog - I could have easily written this post. 

From "Craigslist - Seeking an acquaintance/maybe more, interested in sharing a pizza"

"Also, I’m a patter. If that bothers you, then you’ll have to find someone else to eat pizza with. I use several napkins to remove grease from the pizza by dabbing the top, or pressing, based on the amount of grease and stickiness of the cheese. No, it isn’t exactly eco-friendly, but the amount of grease on some of these things is a little ridiculous. "

Monday, March 22, 2010

Food Inc.

If you need motivation to eat healthier, I highly recommend seeing Food Inc. I saw it on my friend Laura Kreitler's recommendation and it was terrific. A little scary, but terrific. Basically it walks you through the industrialization of Food production.

My biggest beef (pardon the pun) was with the subsidies given to the Corn industry. Those subsidies have warped the price of everything related to corn and made high fructose corn syrup a super cheap sweetener. After seeing the movie, I started looking at the food I eat and sure enough, High Fructose Corn Syrup was in a lot of stuff. I've already started to give up soda but it's in weird things, like frozen dinners, or brownie mixes. It's pretty crazy. Anyways, definitely see the movie. Thanks for the rec Laura!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Feel Good Gowns

My friend Shalon, a member of, has started a side business called Feel Good Gowns that sells custom made hospital gowns. Instead of the drab, impersonal gowns the hospital gives you, now you can have a bright, cheerful gown of your own. Feel Good Gowns are perfect for people who have to go back to the doctor a lot. I already purchased one for a friend of mine who is undergoing treatment and she absolutely loved it. Check out Feel Good Gowns and I hope you make a purchase.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Detroit vs. San Francisco

Awesome chart by Paul Kedrosky on the average per capita income levels of Detroit vs. San Francisco. Basically, over the last 40 years Detroit's has gone from near income parity to 65% of what someone in San Francisco makes.  There are lot's of reasons for this, but one intangible that I really believe in is the entrepreneurial incentive system in the Bay Area vs. Detroit.

Update: Oops, I lost the second part of this post. Generally what I said is that startups (innovation) get acquired in the Bay Area or tap venture capital to build something even bigger. I'm not sure what Detroit is like today, but I remember a case study from my Kellogg Strategy class where the professor had charted mass engineer migration from Detroit to Silicon Valley in the 50's - 70's. It seems as though the car companies kept ripping off entrepreneurs and stealing their ideas vs. buying them and creating a healthy innovation ecosystem. The windshield wiper case of Robert Kearns was one case study my Kellogg professor used. The engineers got sick of it, and went west so they could make a living. Silicon Valley adopted the strategy of acquiring innovation, and 30 years later, you see the chart below.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Super Train & Lost

via Mark Lisanti in his weekly Lost column, invoking my favorite public works project that couldn't quite get off the ground despite the appeal of good music and good coffee - the Super Train from Singles the movie!

The actress who played Zoe (Sheila Kelley) was also the unlucky-in-love Debbie from Singles. (Kids, ask your Generation X parents!) We know there are no accidents in this series, so what’s the Lost connection?
Back in 1992, mysterious industrialist Charles Widmore was closely monitoring Campbell Scott’s work on the SuperTrain, which he’d hoped could one day provide a pleasant commuting experience between the West Coast and the island. But even with the promise of great coffee and great music on the SuperTrain, the construction of an underwater tunnel to the island was cost-prohibitive, and Widmore had to abandon this pipe dream.

Additionally, Peter Horton was the original choice for Desmond, but his Scottish accent was just
terrible, like a drunk Irishman doing an impression of the Queen.

Clint Eastwood in the New Yorker

Awesome piece about Clint Eastwood in the New Yorker. It's inspiring to see how his career really didn't get started until his late 30's and how his work has morphed over the years.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


My friend Cameron turned me onto this site PostSecret, which is an ongoing community art project where people
mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. It's a great idea and there is a lot of amazing stuff on the site. Here are some PG examples.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

She & Him Volume 2 on NPR

Digging the new She & Him Volume 2 that is streaming on NPR right now.

The New Yorker: Obama's Lost Year

Very well written article in the New Yorker by George Packer on Obama's inability to connect with the American public. Unfortunately, the link is only an abstract but this quote jumped out at me.

"A year later, Obama has few options left in the battle with stubborn joblessness - opinion in Washington has turned against another ambitious spending bill. 'The elites in the media and the Senate are already out of the depression.'" - Perriello (Freshman Democratic Congressman from Rural Virginia)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dranove on Pelosi

"The American public likes many of the principles of health reform. I like many of the principles of health care reform. But I don’t trust Nancy Pelosi as far as Harry Reid can throw her."

Great quote (and post) by Kellogg Professor Dranove, a national leader in Healthcare Policy in his blog post, Cutler's Folly.

Pearl Jam on SNL

PJ was on Saturday Night Live on Saturday night. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance although they played Just Breathe which is a little slow but terrific. Then they played Unthought Unknown which is the clip below.

This brought back a bunch of memories of the time they played Daughter on SNL right after Kurt Cobain died. They closed daughter with the "Hey, hey, my my, Rock and Roll will never die..." and Eddie pointed to a t-shirt with Cobain's picture on it. Cool stuff. Click through the link above to see the video from that show, or you can check out the rehearsal below without the Cobain stuff.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Schweifler's Go to Argentina

My buddy Aaron Schweifler is known for his awesome photo montages that recap a vacation. He really outdid himself on the recap of Ananda & his trip to Argentina. Love the song choice. Some of his best work ever.

Expedition Awareness for ALD

One of the patient to patient support networks we're most proud of at Ben's Friends (actually we're proud of all of them) is (Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)). It effects young boys and as you could imagine, greatly affects the entire family emotionally. ALD lacks a good online support group so six months ago we started one at We've met some very special people through ALDSupport and recently the network has started to catch on.  One of the newest members is Phil Golden who started Expedition Awareness,  an outdoor, backwoods journey across the United States to raise awareness for ALD. This is a really cool adventure that Phil has undertaken. Please take a minute to visit his site and see what he is up to!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

This is a Great Band

Ben's Friends - Chiari Malformation & Aicardi Syndrome

Ben's Friends, the Patient to Patient Online Support Networks project, continues to roll on. We grew nicely in February and totaled 115,000 Page Views for the month. We're kicking butt and we're helping over 3,000 people find information and support for their rare diseases. It feels really good to be a part of this and increasingly we're getting emails on how to help. We've come up with some ideas, ranging from very easy to ongoing part-time help. Send me a message if you're interested!

This week we launched two new networks: The first is for Aicardi Syndrome which is a genetic problem on the X chromosome. Sadly, it's almost always found in baby girls and results in infant seizures.

The second network is for Chiari Malformation which consists of a malfunction of cerebrospinal fluid and results in debilitating headaches. 

We picked these networks because people wrote into us with a request to start them. We've just launched these networks so please help spread the word on Facebook & Twitter. Thanks so much for caring!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Chill Music (March 10, 2010)

This week at Kenny Kellogg, we're going upbeat and then smoothing the mix out at the end. Special shout out to the Kenny K readers who wined and dined me this week in LA. Great seeing you guys! Also, why don't I live in LA? It's pretty freaking awesome.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


My buddy Nader Ghaffari has developed ShortForm.TV - a new online video site geared towars short form content. The neat thing is that he's aggregated lot's of cool quick content and there is always the "Next" button to see the next video. Congrats to Nader for getting this going. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bain on Birthdays

These days, we wish each other a happy birthday many different ways. Often times, it doesn't even involve a phone call. My buddy Alex Bain put up a fascinating graphic on how many times he was wished happy birthday per medium. Cool stuff.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cool Roger Ebert Story

Really cool story by Will Leitch on his relationship with Roger Ebert. Leitch always looked up to Ebert while growing up and Ebert helped mentor him. The story takes an interesting twist. I think you'll like it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Little Shoulder Rub...

Friends know that I tend to do the occasional shoulder rub when greeting a person. I'm not sure where I picked it up but i just kind of do it. I'm sure it's creepy to some, so sorry for that :) but it's kind of a subliminal way of saying hi. Well guess what? Researchers at UC Berkeley have uncovered there is a method to my subliminal madness. Check it out.

"The evidence that such messages can lead to clear, almost immediate changes in how people think and behave is accumulating fast. Students who received a supportive touch on the back or arm from a teacher were nearly twice as likely to volunteer in class as those who did not, studies have found. A sympathetic touch from a doctor leaves people with the impression that the visit lasted twice as long, compared with estimates from people who were untouched. Research by Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute in Miami has found that a massage from a loved one can not only ease pain but also soothe depression and strengthen a relationship."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Chill Music (March 5, 2010)

This week's mix comes from my friend Chelsea who is also LuvvBugg's community manager. She's awesome on LuvvBugg and has great taste in music. Thanks for the mix Chels!

P.S. On A Clear Day by the Beautiful Girls isn't on 8tracks but it's my favorite song from the mix, so I used a YouTube video below. Check it out.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Future Government Debt Crisis

"Systemic Government Debt Crisis in the Western World within the Next 5 Years..."

The Onion on Google

Amazing article by the Onion on Google.

"Acknowledging that Google hasn't always been open about how it mines the roughly 800 terabytes of personal data it has gathered since 1998, Schmidt apologized to users— particularly the 1,237,948 who take daily medication to combat anxiety—for causing any unnecessary distress, and he expressed regret—especially to Patricia Fort, a single mother taking care of Jordan, Sam, and Rebecca, ages 3, 7, and 9—for not doing more to ensure that private information remains private."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Email that Launched Picnik

Pretty awesome letter from one of the founders of Picnik to the other. Picnik is a digital photo editing service that is Internet enabled. Google bought it on Monday. Mike Walton linked to this email by the founders which spelled out what they were trying to do and how they were going to do it. My favorite part was the analysis on the difficulties established players would have competing with them.

I also liked the fact that the company was always bootstrapped by the three Founders. Cool stuff.

"Established companies with photo editing products. Established companies have to overcome two major hurdles to address this market (in addition to realizing it is a market!). First they must write an online photo editing application. There will be no quick ports of existing applications; most code will have to be from scratch. Second, they must implement their code to work as a seamlessly integrated service in a 3rd party site. Not only is this more work, but it is a new mindset for the established players. Their present mindset is more about how they can create a vertically integrated application and service of their own, not how can they add value to a 3rd party."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Low Anthem

Pretty cool session on La Blogotheque from the Low Anthem. My buddy John Hamilton at 33 Forever told me about these guys recently and I've been digging their music.

P.S. These guys look a little too Hipster-ish for me. But I'm going to pretend they got a decent haircut and just enjoy their music.

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Cal Pac-Ten Champs

Quick shout out to the Bears for winning the Pac Ten in hoops. I'm a proud season ticket holder along with my partner in crime, Scotty Fausel. It's been the usual up and down year, but somehow we came out on top. Loved this quote from Mike Montgomery, found on the Team Antarctikate blog.
"To me, the conference championship is the crown jewel. It’s the thing that means the most."

Mike Montgomery, Head Mens Basketball Coach, California Golden Bears