Friday, June 27, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I'll be at InventTeams this week

I'll be at the InventTeams event at MIT today. Here's a very cool electric motorcycle developed by high school students from Saint Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights. Looks great! I'll be meeting with them and other teams over the next few days. Articles: LINK and LINK

(Pet peeve: why is it that when student teams get describe, so often their NAMES are left out and it's just their school, as in the article linked above, or their professor? Our expectations of what young people can accomplish may be rising but it's vestiages of Old School like this that bug me!)

(And how do you tell that a faculty/student team isn't ready to really be a venture yet? When the students don't call the professor by the first name. Or am I wrong on that??)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bizarre about Raleigh

Bizarre that my post about Raleigh's One-Way is 9% of my recent traffic (LINK).

Monday, June 23, 2008

Reinventing Collapse

Here's a nice and exciting book for a Monday morning! LINK

Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects

Product Description

In the waning days of the American empire, we find ourselves mired in political crisis, with our foreign policy coming under sharp criticism and our economy in steep decline. These trends mirror the experience of the Soviet Union in the early 1980s. Reinventing Collapse examines the circumstances of the demise of the Soviet superpower and offers clear insights into how we might prepare for coming events.

Rather than focusing on doom and gloom, Reinventing Collapse suggests that there is room for optimism if we focus our efforts on personal and cultural transformation. With characteristic dry humor, Dmitry Orlov identifies three progressive stages of response to the looming crisis:

  • Mitigation-alleviating the impact of the coming upheaval
  • Adaptation-adjusting to the reality of changed conditions
  • Opportunity-flourishing after the collapse

He argues that by examining maladaptive parts of our common cultural baggage, we can survive, thrive, and discover more meaningful and fulfilling lives, in spite of steadily deteriorating circumstances.

This challenging yet inspiring work is a must-read for anyone concerned about energy, geopolitics, international relations, and life in a post-Peak Oil world.

Dmitry Orlov was born in Leningrad and immigrated to the United States at the age of twelve. He was an eyewitness to the Soviet collapse over several extended visits to his Russian homeland between the late eighties and mid-nineties. He is an engineer and a leading Peak Oil theorist whose writing is featured on such sites as and

(OK. Maybed WIRED has some value but not as a paid print subscription. Via Bruce Sterling @ WIRED, "What the Hipsters are Reading" LINK)

A "thank you" to WIRED Magazine.

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your recent cover story titled "Attention Environmentalists". You've shown me why I love WIRED. The article didn't even try to be more than an attention getter designed to sell magazines. The light weight of its analysis and arithmetic made me realize that WIRED is little more than Vogue magazine for gadget whores like me. And now faced with the underbelly of my own superficiality, I'll be saying good bye. I can't be bothered to cancel my subscription but I won't be able to bring myself to renew.


This person compares it to Playboy not Vogue: LINK

All the cool stuff at Many Eyes

Here's a screen shot from Many Eyes, the site from which the Gonzales testimony in the previous post was taken. Lots of cool stuff to explore (LINK).

Brilliant Alberto Gonzales visualization

Above is a brilliant visualization of Alberto Gonzales' senate testimony (LINK) created by Martin Wattenberg (LINK) via Ethan Zuckerman (LINK).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Take-down of WIRED Magazine

I posted a little while back (LINK) on WIRED Magazine's incendiary cover story which can be summarized as "Go Nukes!". RealClimate has a great take-down: LINK.

That story they printed is a big nail in that magazine's credibility.

Quote from RealClimate: "WIRED got the story egregiously wrong, and not just because they did the arithmetic wrong. In their rush to be cute, they didn't even make a half-baked attempt to do the arithmetic."

Bill Cunningham brings smiles

If you haven't ever listened to a NYTimes Bill Cunningham "On the Street" narrated shoot of fashion he photographs around Manhattan, you must. The enthusiasm and delight in his voice should lift anyone's day. Here's one: LINK. But there are many: LINK.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Being watched

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Behind our house

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Great Tom Bihn Man Purse

I was inspired to get a man-purse by WhoHasTimeForThis (LINK). Ostensibly a "vertical Messenger Bag for the MacBook/MacBook Air/Thinkpad X300", I might as well call it what it is. Tom Bihn calls it his Ristretto Messenger (LINK). Carries my electronic body extension, a Lenovo X61s, plus miscellaneous cables in a Waterfield Gear Pouch (LINK) and a few pens and a notebook. Perfecto! Shown in comparison to a size 11.5 Puma Usan (LINK).

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Exustar Stelvio

(Thanks, John.)

As fuel prices climb, and more people bike, here's where the Exustar Stelvio comes in, for those who need to transition right to the office from the bike. Now if only Zoza hadn't gone bankrupt and still made that suit with secret trouser cinchers. (review LINK for the shoe; Zoza LINK and LINK)

Good op ed on long distance food and how things will change

The article concludes with:

"But bananas have always been an emblem of a long-distance food chain. Perhaps it’s time we recognize bananas for what they are: an exotic fruit that, some day soon, may slip beyond our reach." NYTimes LINK

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hunger cafes

"If, as a rush-hour commuter passes, her eye happens to catch your hungry gaze, you will eat. If she is talking on the phone or toggling radio stations, you may not. Life on the lower rungs can be that simple." NYTimes LINK

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Michael Steig

A little post for my father who died in late 2006. He's the guy looking down in this photo with friends. They're all my age here. But we don't have as much hair these days. No time for all that hair management.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I'm not hip enough not to be late on this but here it is for the rest of you, even less hip than me!


Monday, June 09, 2008

The brilliant Honda diesel I want

Honda is supposed to be introducing their 2.2 liter diesel in 2009, in the Acura TSX of all cars, 50 states legal and without the urea injection system (yes, you heard that right) that cars like Mercedes will require to meet emissions standards. But in Europe you've been able to buy that engine for a while, in a brilliant Honda Civic, unlike any Honda Civic we get here in the United States. Of all the cars in the world I could have, this would be right there at the top of the list.

Looks like a Renault!

There's an amusing take on the car, from last year's Jalopnik (LINK), as well as an article on hypermiling this car and the massive Audi Q7 diesel in which they got 70mpg in the Honda and 35mpg in the Audi. Their point: all the bellyaching from US manufacturers (including Toyota but notably not Honda) that they don't have the technology to get such mileage is complete and utter bs (LINK).

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I'm currently working on what I'll call two "investment initiatives". Specifics later. But I've been getting a lot of questions about NDAs and whether investors should be asked to sign them. One of the better articulations can be found on Feld's blog, a post titled "Why Most VC's Don't Sign NDAs" (with links to Kawasaki). Read the comments too because there are some good--and contradictory-- points there. LINK

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"They’re feeding on each other as much as on me."

“I love when I’m shaking hands on a rope line and”— he mimes the motion, hand over hand — “I see little old white ladies and big burly black guys and Latino girls and all their hands are entwining. They’re feeding on each other as much as on me." Barack Obama, NYTimes LINK

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Carbon negative Fiji water on commuter rail

I hadn't yet seen the Fiji water ads extolling the carbon negative nature of their product. Can you imagine seeing something like this a year ago, even six months ago? No. Article in NYTimes about the company's attempt to reposition itself, given the carbon output created by getting water from Fiji to America! LINK
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