Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Quotes & Links

From Jed Diamond at the Third Age Blog

Here’s how it works. As women age, their estrogen levels decrease and the ratio of testosterone to estrogen increases. The way I see it, women become more “testy.” For men, the reverse is true. As our testosterone levels drop, the ratio of estrogen to testosterone increases. The effect is that men become for “esty.”

This is only a teaser, you need to read the rest!

From Laura Wattenberg at the BabyNameWizard Blog

In the early years of the graphs, pet forms like Joe, Sam and Gus show up strongly as given names. That's a window on an age when--despite our impression of stiff, buttoned-down ancestors--fun and informal names like Buster and Birdie were at their peaks. In the middle of the century you see parents withdrawing from both ends of the spectrum and sticking safely to the center. And the past generation shows a dramatic rise in long, multi-syllabic names...turf traditionally ceded to girls. (The girls' counterparts to Joseph, Henry and Edward, for instance, are Elizabeth, Catherine and Margaret.)


Consider yourself ???

Are you, or I, for that matter
part of the solution,
or part of the problem?

Consider this fine writing from Patricia Digh at 37 Days

Consider taking up her challenge!

If the American Red Cross is not your favorite charity then follow this link for a choice.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

30 seconds

This is a great tip from Tory Johnson on the elevator pitch via Todd from 800-CEO-READ

About Face

I saw this quote on a colleagues desk recently:

It seems to me, she said, that we only really see something when we allow ourselves a different point of view.
That different point of view lead to this remarkable set of photos by JIMWICh. I recommend turning on the slideshow to view it.

Thanks to Mark Hurst for the link.

Next time you stop to look at something, turn about and look at it again.

What do you see?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Serious Business with Bees

The new issue of The Rake (due on newstands in MN next week) has a good long and interesting article on bees.

For example:

Propolis, or bee glue, is resin that bees collect from the leaf buds and bark of some trees. Though relatively unfamiliar in the United States in all but a handful of co-op grocery stores, apothecaries, and health-food shops, it has been used in folk medicine since antiquity. Propolis has long been credited with healing powers by people throughout Eastern Europe and parts of South America, where it is widely used for a host of minor health and skin ailments. In those areas, propolis products are as commonly available as are echinacea and chamomile in the United States.

or this:

“There are major obstacles,” said Peterson. “Propolis is very potent in regard to its anti-HIV activity, but would I recommend that people take it for HIV? No. Because you have to see that it works in humans. You have to see whether, when taken orally, it’s absorbed and works against the virus in a live person. And in order to do that, you have to address safety, and this batch-to-batch issue. With the FDA, batch variability is not going to be tolerated. Think of the challenge with propolis, when the bees collect it from all these different trees. There are at least three hundred compounds in propolis, and maybe as many as a thousand. So we haven’t really pursued it, because we’re not set up to identify the needle in the haystack.”
or this:
Meanwhile, as the gears of medical research grind laboriously onward, Spivak is turning her attention back to the source—the bees. She’s focusing on the function of propolis in the colony. What exactly is this mysterious substance, anyway? How does a bee locate a source of propolis? How does that bee recruit other bees in the colony to collect more of it? If it can kill HIV in human cells, what good might it do for the bees themselves? Such questions take on considerable weight in light of the well-publicized scourges that have afflicted U.S. honeybees for the last several decades. Few people realize that our honeybee population has dropped by half since 1950. Lately, it’s the Varroa mite—a vicious beast about the size of a grain of sand—that’s been wreaking havoc on commercial beekeepers’ stock. In the past few years, these mites have gained resistance to the only two effective conventional chemical treatments. Spivak estimated that losses in the winter and spring of 2005 slashed the number of honeybees in Minnesota by up to a third.
To summarize:
bees are in danger,
bees produce propolis which maybe a weapon against HIV,
bees are likely to survive because of the people who are passionate about them.

Read more about bees here.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Real actors, real sex - porn or art?

As reality continues to move to the mainstream, and no, I do not mean reality TV shows (IMHO, that is not reality). There is a trend in Hollywood movies to come closer to reality in their depiction of sex. Ty Burrs article in today's Boston Sunday Globe explores this trend and the recent move to the edge as seen in the film "9 Songs". Ty writes:

Since the breakdown of the old studio system in the late 1950s, commercial movies have danced closer and closer around representations of sexuality. Barriers to nudity and behavior have slowly fallen, but sexual activity has remained simulated, even if with increasing frankness. Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider weren't really making love in ''Last Tango in Paris," but the film was extreme enough for viewers to temporarily think so.

One reason for this state of affairs, obviously, is porn. The emergence of hard-core sex movies from the underground in the early 1970s, their explosion onto home video in the 1980s, and their metastasization onto the Internet in the late 1990s essentially gave Hollywood the escape clause it needed. Since the ''real thing" was readily available if you so chose -- and on increasingly private terms -- the pressure was off commercial movies to compete in prurience. In fact, the pressure was on for them not to. The dirty secret about dirty movies is that audiences feel uncomfortable watching them in a theater full of strangers (or worse, unexpected acquaintances). Home video and the Internet took porn back to the bedroom where it belonged.

Because it's product rather than storytelling and has to adhere to the demands of a paying audience, mass-market hard-core has a ritualistically defined beginning, middle, and end. Plus there's all that cheeseball music. Faithful only to baseline anatomy, porn is in many ways more repressive and repressed than mainstream culture.

So it makes sense that movies -- ''real" movies -- are beginning to experiment once more with real sex: If you can show it all and it still doesn't mean anything, what needs to be added for it to have any weight? Art? Plot? Theory? Believable characters? A personal perspective?

I think it needs to meet the appropriate "content in context" criteria. This draws from a story Tom Asacker told (and he references in his book A Cleareye for Branding). Tom, I am not sure if you ever considered this as a natural extension of the message you wanted to convey but here goes.

Tom's story starts with a picture. A hand written sign propped up along a country road. The sign reads: "Fresh fruit and vegetables". The country road, the hand written sign, the text about "fresh" is reinforced by the wholeness of the package. These are likely to be as fresh as they can be. The content in the context works. Second picture, similar setting, similar hand written sign along a country road. The text this time reads: "Free flying lessons". Now, is this something that would convey a warm and fuzzy feeling that this might be the best deal on flying lessons you can obtain? Or does this similar send off alarms as probably not a good thing to do? The content in the context does not work so well as the fresh vegetables.

If the content fits the context, adds to the story line, helps to deliver the message, then this is the kind of "reality" that movie directors should strive for. Otherwise, leave it well enough alone.

What are you thoughts?

Friday, August 19, 2005

No more nonsense from Johnny Biscuit

A posting by Johnny Biscuit leaves me stunned:
This blog has stopped. I want to thank those of you who have read it.

but that is not enough. Too many questions are left unanswered. I understand blogging takes time. I occasionally get flack at home for spending so much time blogging. But to just stop.

He had just posted about a new template. When I checked it out, I was concerned that nothing of the previous postings had come over. I was hoping it was just a transition thing. But there is nothing left now. In my archives, I have some quotes from him. Parts of fuller postings that are no longer available. Unless they are hidden in a cache somewhere.

Johnny was a good read.
He posted frequently.
I quoted him frequently.

He approached blogging with the capability to deliver more humor than I in my dreams could do. We connected on that intellectual level sharing games of survival in this thing we call life.

So what does this mean?
Did he hit the big time? or what?

I'd like to know.

I will also promise you that if and when the time comes I hang up posting to the blogosphere you'll not be left hanging.

This much I at least can learn from Johnny.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Bloggers Come Through Again

Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By and A Sense of Place had alerted her network that Steve Garfield's mother's birthday was today. Now, you must know that the first alert came back in May when Ronni thinking ahead (and in the middle of planning to move from NYC to Maine) let the network know. She was not sure what her status would be in August as the 18th approached. She could have been in between places, or in ME, and waiting for a cable hookup, anything could have happened. But forethought paid off.

Ronni did send a reminder to the network last week. I managed to remember this morning and posted my birthday greetings, commenting on the blog to let her know, and at the time I was tenth in line.

I just checked a bit ago and there are now 50 comments from all over!

Great work bloggers! Thanks for your careful planning, Ronni!

I trust Millie had a wonderful birthday!

Updated - not the first blogger mistake, but one easily corrected. It is not Ronni's mother but Steve Garfield's mother's birthday. Thanks for setting me straight Nanci!

Happy Birthday Millie!

Millie Garfield

Thoroughly Modern Millie

of My Mom'sBlog


This is a special day, Millie.

I hope you have a great birthday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Skill that Separates

From Marshall Goldsmith's column in the July issue of FastCompany:
Boies joins Tom and Kevin for a drink. A few minutes later, Kevin gets up to make a phone call outside. Boies remains at the bar, talking to Tom for 30 minutes. "I'd never met Boies before," Tom said. "He didn't have to hang around the bar talking to me. And I have to tell you, I wasn't bowled over by his intelligence, or his piercing questions, or his anecdotes. What impressed me was that when he asked a question, he waited for the answer. He not only listened, he made me feel like I was the only person in the room."

I submit that Tom's last 13 words perfectly describe the single skill that separates the great from the near great. When Kevin inexplicably disappeared, Boies stuck around and made a lasting positive impression on Tom. The two attorneys have different practices; the chance that Tom could somehow help Boies one day is virtually nil. Boies clearly wasn't looking to score points. In showing interest, asking questions, and listening for the answers without distraction, Boies was simply practicing the one skill that has made him inarguably great at relating to people.
Paying attention... showing respect for the individual... simple enough.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Patricia Digh on Patterns

There is a great posting from Patricia Digh at 37 Days. She writes:

What, after all, is a pattern? And when do patterns begin to shape and form our lives? When do we lose the ability to recognize and anticipate the patterns—and (when) do we regain that ability—or do we ever? How much of patterns depend on recognition? What does Recognition look like? Feel like?

And what are some of the patterns I see around me? There is the woman who constantly uses the diminutive word “little” to diminish the value of something—“oh, I heard your little program was successful,” she’ll say, one little word speaking volumes. Or the CEO who calls everyone “Kiddo.” “Hi Kiddo,” she says, “How’s it going, Kiddo?,” meaning one thing yet implying another, leaving her staff with a nagging sense that she doesn’t consider their ideas worthy of adult status. Patterns under the level of consciousness, but so much there and visible to others, heavy in their impact.

It will be worth your while, follow the link and read the whole thing!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Falmouth Hotspot

Found an internet hotspot, Coffee Obsession, conveniently located near where we are staying here in Falmouth. The Palmer House Inn is a wonderful B&B. I highly recommend it.

Falmouth is itself a hotspot, with temps in the 80's and high humidity. This is not good for running fast or long, both of which I was planning to do on Sunday. Sounds like it will be long and slow.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Falmouth Road Race Weekend

Heading to the Cape for the road race... maybe I'll catch some WiFi somewhere but otherwise, I'll provide updates on the other side of the weekend!

Have a good run!

Irene - Irene

I wish it was the folk song... "Good night, Irene"... but it is the latest Atlantic hurricane this season and the first one that looks like it will menace New England. Still early but the NOAA tracking has it heading towards Cape Hatteras and it usually continues to turn up the coast from there.

Stay tuned to the NOAA site and your local radio for further information as the storm makes its way.

Blogging Tool: TalkDigger

Via Ed Batista, I hear about this tool that combines searches amongst 9 separate search engines for a particular blog URL at one time. Pretty cool!

Check it out here!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Professional/Personal Info Survey: Amy Gahran

Amy Gahran is conducting a survey to see about how you feel on mixing personal and professional information in a blog.

I filled out the survey and invite you to do so as well. You can find the link to the survey on her blog entry with additional info and inital results.

Blog Business Summit - Link Experiment

For insight into this experiment, follow the link here to read about it.

Then you too can link and join the experiment!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Quotes & Links

From Johnny Biscuit at A Little Nonsense:
Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.
Leonardo da Vinci
Italian engineer, painter, & sculptor (1452 - 1519)
From Ronni Bennett at A Time Goes By:

Eventually, every one us must make peace and accommodation with declining strength, but never as young as sports stars. From my perspective now, I think of 40 not as the beginning of old age, but as finally having enough experience to soar.

Not needing exquisitely tuned bodies, most of us have many more years than professional athletes before our physical abilities begin to wane in ways that matter. And even when it happens, we can still get better at what we like to do best and take on new kinds of challenges too. We are so much more than our bodies.

From Maciej Ceglowski at Idlewords:
This adept manoeuvering has kept the Shuttle of sharing the fate of more worthy but politically naive projects like the Superconducting Super Collider, but it has also produced a technical monstrosity. The lastest 'enhancements' to the orbiter system read almost like a parody. The shuttle is to launch, photograph itself from every angle, then immediately to deploy an extended (Canadian!) mechanical arm to carefully look over its own belly, using image processing technology especially developed to identify black holes in black tiles. Astronauts are supposed to take home videos out the window during launch to see whether anything falls off the fuel tank. The whole setup is Rube Goldberg in the extreme, not because NASA engineers suddenly woke up to the danger of tile damage at launch, but because they were not allowed to design the safety features in at the beginning and are suddenly being asked to bolt them on. The entire space shuttle / ISS system is a fossil record of shifting priorities and the design changes made on the fly to address them.
I'll end with this one. It will take you a while to read the whole thing. It is worth it.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Blog Map

Found this blog map tool by following a few links this morning and have now updated all my original blogs with it.

Passionate Runner

Passion for the Good Customer Experience

I have more exploring to do as I now have discovered other bloggers in the area that I had not know of before. This is a cool tool!

Simple and easy to use, also a plus!

Try it!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Quotes & Links

From Twyla at Whimsical Mystic writing on the glory of a morning shower:
Ah, the glory of a morning shower! Why do I so often not appreciate it? It capsulizes all that is good in this life. Comfort, cleansing, renewal, a fresh start. Not to mention an amusement park for the senses.

I love to start the water out a little hot. Not too hot, that is just uncomfortable. Who wants to feel sweaty in the shower? Just hot enough to soothe the knots out of my muscles. I stand for a minute, letting the hot spray course over my head and letting its tiny fingers work their way into any residual tension in my neck and shoulders. Ah, the neck and shoulders. What a playground. So sensitive to both tension and touch.
It continues with good honest writing... read the rest!

From Cindy at Wordlust : Paperfetish
Well, I like to pretend I'm Emily Dickinson from time to time. Even though I'm all grown up, I indulge in a little harmless disassociative episode when I can't stand being myself for one more second. When I come to, I'm always relieved to not have to scrape a kid off of my tires, but sometimes there's a poem stuck to my shoe.
Follow the link to read the poem!

From Jory des Jardins at Pause, her recap of the BlogHer conference

Don't get me wrong--the details were necessary, but what really differentiated the conference for me was observing this community take care of itself, entertain itself, educate itself, promote itself, and--when necessary--laugh at itself.

I've been writing about the Power of the X Chromosome, which I define as qualities unique to women that cultivate effective leadership when used to their potential. I think that these qualities--communication, connectedness, humilty--were in play all weekend.

Read the whole thing... seems like the place to plan on being next year is BlogHer!

That's oll for tonight folks... Solas on CD has just finished and I am ready for my pillow.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Gerald's Clan - updated

Gerald's Clan
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Otherwise known as "our gang", this is a better picture than the one originally posted last weekend. Thanks to Meghan and to whomever used your camera for this one!

Paul's Clan

Paul's Clan
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

Another contribution to the Sherlock family reunion from last weekend, this one from Meghan's camera. Thanks, Meghan.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Quotes & Links

From Johnny Biscuit at A little Nonsense
The older I get the more I see that dreams and hopes are just that unless they are tied to action. And even then it can seem luck of the draw. Life happens and you have to roll with it, that's for sure. But you have to reach for what you want, the really important things, and make them real by making them really important. Life has a cost and you pay it one way or another. Either you pay it with effort and sacrifice to get what you truly believe or you pay it by trying to handle what life throws at you.
From Danny Miller at Andy Hardy Writes A Blog
The teens in the film were great as were the parents/superheroes played by Kelly Preston and Kurt Russell. It even had a moving, non-smarmy moral that allowed for lots of interesting discussions after the film (conversations that I'm grateful for as Leah moves closer to the terrifying teen years). The film is about a high school for the children of superheroes. Upon enrollment, the kids are placed into two groups based on their powers: hero or sidekick. What an effective and fun way to look at the social minefield of high school, the damage that cliques can do, and issues of parental expectations and acceptance.
From Kirsten Johnson at Dream Big
life can become mundane and overwhelming if we go through it accomplishing big things and never taking the time to properly acknowledge their completion. and it can be hard to keep wanting to head for the next goal if there is no celebration at the end to look forward to.

celebrating doesn't have to take any particular form, maybe it's calling someone up and congratulating them, or perhaps making them a great meal and chatting about their success over dinner, or maybe it's just sending a simple email. however you do it take the time to make note of success when you see it - big or small.

so take a look around, at your life and the lives of those you love, what do you have to celebrate?
Enough for today... you go find something to celebrate.

I for one, have some home made ice cream that I can hear calling my name. You may recall this was left over from the birthday party for Carolyn. She is out on the town (Boston) with some friends to see Hamlet. I'll have my ice cream and think about what Trinity Square will do with Hamlet later this year.

The Story behind EPIC

Back in February, I found EPIC and posted about it here.

Josh Hallett has a link to Poynter on the story behind the making of EPIC.

Read about it here.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Home made ice cream for the birthday girl

Home made ice cream for the birthday girl
Originally uploaded by shersteve.

My daughter Carolyn had some friends over to help make some hand-cranked home-made ice cream on her birthday. The cranking went well. Everyone took a turn. The ice cream was delicious!

Happy birthday, Carolyn!