Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hiking the kalualua trail

We had a blast hiking 8 miles round trip to a secluded waterfall that I can't spell. Let's just say I was feeling pretty macho during pouring rainstorms, mini mudslides, and narrow cliff paths. Did I mention we didn't bring food and did it in tennis shoes?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reblog: The Free Internet Act

Really like what Fred Wilson is proposing here. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

"When an important piece of legislation is drafted in secrecy, such that Senators and their staff members don't even know what is going to be in it, and then is put out for voting on a very fast track, people are going to be suspicious. And suspicious citizens don't make for a healthy democracy."

Basketball net will rate the force of dunks during Slam Dunk Contest

This is pretty cool.


Sometimes power dunks don't get much credit, because it's hard to see on television how hard the ball was thrown down. The MIT Media Lab created a net to fix that, and we'll get to see it in action this Saturday during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.

MIT Media Lab used conductive thread to generate a reading for the force of every slam thrown down. The fabric, as flexible as the nylon in conventional basketball nets, has long been valued for its ability to transmit electrical signals in products ranging from winter gloves to high-tech carpets. By spinning the thread through a regular basketball net and connecting it to a computer chip, mounted behind the backboard, that renders the force in a graphical output, MIT and Turner have at long last found a way to instantaneously transmit the force of a dunk from the rim to your television screen.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Facebook = Clutter

I logged into Facebook today and it kind of hit me out of nowhere - Facebook is cluttered. And there is barely anything on my homepage that I even care about.

God bless them for running so many advertisements - they have a business to run after all. And I'm a huge fan. It's still my main place for catching up with friends and it's been invaluable for spreading the word, and generating donations for Ben's Friends. I think it accounts for something like 25% of our new visitors now...But I think we are approaching the Yahoo/Lycos portal ad overreach of the early 2000's now. Just take a second to soak in that page for a second. Facebook is making tons of money so I doubt there will be any changes, but I think the service is starting to degrade.

Monday, February 20, 2012

9 Businesses on Vimeo

I really enjoyed this video on 9 small businesses in Detroit. These stories are uplifting and could be from any city in the country. I grew up in a family owned small business and it shaped my life. It's a great way to build an identity, raise your family and feel good about yourself and the world. Many of my friends are doing this today and I'm really happy for them.

9 Businesses on Vimeo:

9 Businesses from 4exit4 on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Brunch - February 19, 2012

A holiday addition of the links! I wrote this listening to John Heart Jackie, a tip from Ziser.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Based on a survey of 102 people whose left hand does most of the work when they applaud and 541 people in general.
Sent with Reeder

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Meg Donohue's How to Eat a Cupcake: A Novel

Meg Donohue's new book, How to Eat a Cupcake: A Novel, has just come out on Amazon for pre-order. Meg is a long time friend and one of the best storytellers I've ever met. Don't even get me started on her ghost stories. Terrifying!

Anyways, check out Meg's book. It's a guaranteed winner.

Monday, February 13, 2012

NBA Draft Preview 2010: Jeremy Lin, G Harvard | Hoops Analyst

This guy predicted Jeremy Lin would be a good NBA player in 2010. I love the Internet.

NBA Draft Preview 2010: Jeremy Lin, G Harvard | Hoops Analyst:
"After John Wall there are no sure things. Jeremy Lin might be the #2 PG available in this draft. He looks to me like a sleeper in the mold of George Hill. He appears to have the skills to become at least a usable combo guard. If he can get the passing thing down and handle the point, Jeremy Lin is a good enough player to start in the NBA and possibly star."

Whitney Houston’s isolated vocal track on “How...

This is amazing.

Whitney Houston’s isolated vocal track on “How...:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Brunch - February 12, 2012

It's the links! I wrote this listening to a Spotify Playlist called Evenlyn is Not Real.

  • Peanuts - great, short post showing how much crap (i.e. corn starch) finds it's way into something as simple as Peanuts. I've been trying really hard to avoid corn starch and I feel better.
  • The Lesson of Steve Jobs - An entrepreneur leaves his very successful startup because it's ruining his personal life. Great perspective.
  • A Softer World - great advice. In photo format.
  • Boney Money Brown - loved this guide to your "Blues Name." Mine is Blind Killer King. :)
  • Bags to Riches - the story of a terrific young entrepreneur (18 years old) who is recycling conference bags to give to the less fortunate. Akbar is an incredible young man.
  • The Rise of the iPad - mobile traffic is exploding. Every site needs a mobile strategy these days. 
  • The Allegory of the Hike to LA - Why Development Estimates are Always Off - fantastic post on software development and why it (or really any complicated task) always takes a much longer than expected.
  • Stinky Farts - great poll from Correlated. :)
  • Life Lessons for Jake - great post by my buddy Scott for his son.
  • State's With the Highest Voter Turnout... - linked through my buddy Alex Bain. Great idea on re-arranging primary schedules.
  • The Artificiality of Time - Seth Godin is write right, determining your time horizon on any project is a key to success. With Ben's Friends, we're not in a hurry, and it makes the little bumps a lot easier to get through.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

B.S. Report: Larry Bird - The Triangle Blog - Grantland

If you like basketball, this is a terrific podcast. The Sports Guy interviews his idol, Larry Bird. I grew up watching Bird and Magic. I spent so many days in the backyard shooting hoops and acting out big games. It's one of those things that kids do and it's wonderful.

B.S. Report: Larry Bird - The Triangle Blog - Grantland:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kenny Powers of 'Eastbound & Down' sends an open letter to Tim Tebow - Grantland

Quite possibly my favorite article of the year. It's from the main character of Eastbound and Down, one of my favorite shows. Watch out, it's very crude, but funny. :)

Kenny Powers of 'Eastbound & Down' sends an open letter to Tim Tebow - Grantland:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Your not-so-secret iPhone address book

Your Not So Simple Address Book - Turns out a bunch of Apps have been downloading all your address book information in the background without your permission. Not cool. Apple is going to be all over this. Expect a lot of apps to get blocked and have very public mea culpas.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Revolutions: Because it's Friday: Star Wars, remixed

Incredible, a completely crowd-sourced version of Star Wars.

Revolutions: Because it's Friday: Star Wars, remixed:

"Star Wars Uncut was the brainchild of Casey Pugh, who created a crowdsourcing website where budding sci-fi moviemakers could select a 15-second clip to portray, and the best ones selected by the fans."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Give me spark - (37signals)

Great advice from 37 Signals blog.

Give me spark - (37signals):
"Some of the best decisions and designs at 37signals have emerged from intensely contested debates. Not just between Jason and me, but from anyone in the company. When sparks fly, some truly great ideas come to light.

The catch is that the heat must arise around the decision itself. Debates go off track when personal biases or old grudges come into play. So long as each party sticks to the merits, adding some fire will only unearth new angles and concerns."

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Brunch - February 5, 2012

It's been a long weekend of travel to Andrew & Jill's wedding in Kansas City, but I wanted to get a few links up for you.

  • Will Energy Consumption Stay Private - Thought provoking article on energy use and transparency on energy usage by Seth Godin. Everything else is becoming public, and I think this will too. That's a good thing.
  • In Search of the Elusive Pitching Prospect - Major League Baseball pitchers are like startups. It's almost impossible to project their success, until they start succeeding.
  • People Who Use Pinterest - this really funny. In case you don't know, Pinterest is one of the hottest web services in the world and it skews dramatically female.
  • Red State Socialism - it turns out that most of the states that skew Republican, get more in Federal benefits than they put in via taxes. That would be fine if they weren't so worried about Socialism. :)
  • Does My Butt Look Fat in This? - great investing article on Lululemon and the perils of betting against the fashion tastes of women.
  • How Carbs Make You Fat - great infographic.
  • Novita Knows - my good friend Lauren is now blogging. She has great fashion sense and is worth the read.
  • Watching Apple Win the World - interesting perspective from a group that supported Apple in the early 2000's because they made the best computers. They still make the best computers but it's weird for this group to now be in the majority. Kind of like your favorite Indie Band making it big. Then what do you do?
  • How Netflix is Helping Hollywood Ruin DVD's - so true, and smart by Netflix. They have 20M digital subscribers. Hollywood can't ignore a customer base that big.
  • Morton Kamien's Obituary - I was saddened this week when a Kellogg classmate passed on the obituary of Professor Mort Kamien. He lived an incredible life including escaping Hitler's troops by running through underground tunnels at the age of 4 in his native Poland. He grew up in NYC and made his way to Chicago to help start Kellogg's Decision Sciences & Macro Econ programs. That's where I met him when I took his Macro Econ class. I believe it was the last class he ever taught, retiring in 2007. We weren't especially close, but I loved going to his class. He liked handling off the cuff questions from students and I gladly fired away. I remember one day he was complaining about something and saying he should already be retired. So I raised my hand and asked why he hadn't retired yet. We both knew the answer and he smiled at me. Professor Kamien loved teaching and I'm proud to have had him as a teacher.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Jill & Andrew's Rehearsal Dinner

At the college basketball hall of fame for Jill & Andrew's Rehearsal Dinner. It's a total blast.

Btw- Did I mention I was second in the EBAL in free throw shooting in 1995?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

PaperWheel's Groundhog Day Card

My friend Elizabeth Weil of PaperWheel Letterpress surprised me yesterday with a beautiful Groundhog's Day Card in the mail. The shadows on my photo don't do the card justice but I hope you get the idea. It was really cute and so nice of a friend to think of me and actually send me a hand made card.

Thanks Elizabeth. You make beautiful Letterpress! Check out Elizabeth's Paperwheel store if you get a few seconds.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Letters of Note: To My Old Master

The Walm sent this in. An incredible letter. Click through to read it.

Letters of Note: To My Old Master:

"In August of 1865, a Colonel P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee, wrote to his former slave, Jourdan Anderson, and requested that he come back to work on his farm. Jourdan — who, since being emancipated, had moved to Ohio, found paid work, and was now supporting his family — responded spectacularly by way of the letter seen below (a letter which, according to newspapers at the time, he dictated)."