Friday, February 26, 2010

Birthday as Time for Reflection

This is a great Nouwen quote that seems appropriate to ponder on my birthday. A mile mark, providing an opportunity to reflect on the past in hopes to live in the present more fully.

"O Lord, life passes by swiftly. Events that a few years ago kept me totally preoccupied have now become vague memories; conflicts that a few months ago seemed so crucial in my life now seem futile and hardly worth the energy; inner turmoil that robbed me of my sleep only a few weeks ago has now become a strange emotion of the past; books that filled me with amazement a few days ago now do not seem as important; thoughts which kept my mind captive only a few hours ago, have now lost their power and have been replaced by others.

Why is it so hard to learn from this insight? Why am I continuously trapped by a sense of urgency and emergency? Why do I not see that you are eternal, that your kingdom lasts forever, and that for you a thousand years are like one day? O Lord, let me enter into your presence and there taste the eternal, timeless, everlasting love with which you invite me to let go of my time-bound anxieties, fears, preoccupations, and worries. "Seek first the Kingdom," you said, "and all these other things will be given you as well." All that is timebound will show its real meaning when I can look at it from the place where you want me to be, the place of undying love."

-Henri Nouwen

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bloom Energy

It's not everyday that a revolutionary product that has been in top secret development for 8 years is revealed.

This bad ass "Bloom Box" energy server has it's roots in NASA's Mars program and has the potential to revolutionize energy generation and consumption over the next decade.

Liveblog of the Bloom Box unveiling (start at the bottom).

I don't know many things that would get John Donaho of eBay, Bill Simon of Walmart, Brian Kelly of Coca-Cola, and Google's Larry Page, among others, on stage together.

Plenty of info on the Bloom Energy website that went live today as well.

UFO's and The Sexualization of Children in The UK

Don't confuse the title as a conspiracy theory. I'm referring to two separate and unrelated (maybe) news items. Read on to see those, and other engaging news items from the last week. I encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions.
  • The National Archives in the United Kingdom began the declassification of UFO documents back in 2008. Now the are up to sitings that have occurred in the last 20 years. Pretty interesting stuff if that kind of stuff tickles your fancy.
  • A BBC article about PleaseRobMe serves as a timely reminder that some information (such as when you are on vacation for a week and your house is unattended) is better kept private in the age of social networking.
  • Lengthy, but fascinating, suicide letter left by the guy who flew his plane into the federal tax office. This is by no way condoning his actions. I find it stimulating to engage radical ideas and conflicting world views. It makes you uncomfortable and forces you to dig deeper and think through why you believe what you believe.
  • Another great BBC article on how the UK is wrestling through the danger of premature sexualization of children through the media, products, and advertising. My favorite quote calls out adults to own up and take responsibility:

"The evidence shows that adults feel children are more materialistic than in past generations.

"Children themselves tell us that they value family and friends above money, but feel under pressure to keep up with the latest trends.

"We need a significant change at the heart of society, where adults stand up for better values."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Update My URL in Your RSS Reader

Those of you who follow my blog through an RSS Reader: Please take a couple moments to redirect your RSS Subscription to the following URL:

Those of you who don't have the faintest clue what an RSS Reader is: Check out this quick video that could revolutionize the way you navigate information the internet.

... and then use the aforementioned URL in the RSS Reader of your choice.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Barberrian Birthday Cause

I have given countless hours to the cause and I would be honored if you would join me in celebrating my birthday by giving to the cause. Just click:

Apartment Complex Initiative at Barberry Village.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Nolan's Cheddar (Vid)

Just watch the cute mouse, you won't regret it:

This masterfully created ad is an emotional roller-coaster - seamlessly rolling through nervous anticipation, fear, sorrow, joy, and humor. Well done Nolan's Cheddar.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

$25 Away From My First Google Paycheck

I put Google Ads on my blog over a year ago, and am pleased to say I will be cashing in my first Google paycheck in, ohhh, maybe 6 more months. I might beat you to it Robbie L!

FYI, You don't get your first check from AdSense until you reach $100.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Anti-Tilt-Shift Photography (Pics)

I have posted, on numerous occasions, about a photo technique known as "tilt-shift" which gives real life imagery the illusion of being a miniature scale model.

Well, here is a very talented artist who is able to effectively accomplish the opposite - the anti-tilt-shift.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Pluto Day" Celebration in Rockwood!

Free laser tag after the festivities.

When: Thursday night at 5:30
Where: At the Plaza Del Sol (the old Fred Meyer Site) next to 188th, between Burnside and Stark.

Following the event, head to Lazer Planet for a free game of laser tag!

Read more about Gresham's Pluto Day declaration on Oregon Live

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

US Trade Deficit (Info-Graphic)

Spending beyond our means since the 1980's. Don't you think we need to collectively reevaluate our lifestyles when we have imported more - in the order of tens of billions - than we have exported for the last three decades? (Source:

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Prayer of Martin Luther

A great prayer to start the week!

"Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it.

I am weak in the faith; strengthen me.

I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor.

I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether. O

Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in you.

In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have.

I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor.

I am a sinner; you are upright.

With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness.

Therefore I will will remain with you, of whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give.


-A Prayer of Martin Luther

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Daily Confession?

My friend is seeking to "rub the rust off religious words". Quite the task. I recently started following his blog "Everyday Doctrine". Here he tackles "Confession", a sample of the great content you will find there.

confession: give us today our daily confession: "
For the last few weeks I've been asking people what images come to mind when they hear the word confession. As it turns out, the word confession elicits a mixed bag of mental images for most people. For some, this word conjures up the image of a Catholic priest in a confessional booth,

'Forgive me father I have sinned.'

For others, the word brings to mind television clips of CEO’s, presidents and public officials airing their indiscretions,

'I did not have sexual relations with that woman.'

It’s no wonder then that, for many, the word confession feels a bit…well…dirty. However, for those who are seeking to pray as Jesus taught, confession is not a dirty word…it’s a daily word.

Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins…” [Lk 11:2-4]

Did you catch that? Right after line about daily bread Jesus adds “and forgive us our sins”—which is a bit surprising. It’s almost as if Jesus expects confession to be a daily thing for his followers. I wonder what it would be like if Christians actually confessed their sins each day as they prayed. The way Jesus taught.

I imagine that married people would kiss and make love more often...
Because they wouldn't keep anything to themselves.

Parents would ask their children for forgiveness a lot...
Because even great parents get it wrong a lot.

Self-righteous people would be more gracious...
Because inside they'd know they need grace too.

People that sell anti-depressants would probably sell fewer pills...
They might even stop making commercials
about pills that solve your problems...

Because people would bring their problems to God each day.

It would be a beautiful thing...
If Christians actually prayed the way Jesus taught.

Rub the rust off a church word today."

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chrome > Safari

Chrome for the Mac now supports extensions.

It was a nice run Safari, but you only managed to hold the crown for a mere 6 months in the Browser War, after overthrowing Firefox from its 5 year reign.

I have already been using Chrome regularly on my Mac for a couple months, but extensions sealed the victory.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Austrian Millionaire Gives Away Fortune

"I increasingly got the sensation that there is a connection between our wealth and their poverty," he said in responses to feelings of guilt that arose while on gliding trips in South America and Africa.

"It was the biggest shock in my life, when I realized how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five star lifestyle is," he said. "In those three weeks, (on a recent vacation in Hawaii) we spent all the money you could possibly spend. But in all that time, we had the feeling we hadn't met a single real person - that we were all just actors. The staff played the role of being friendly and the guests played the role of being important and nobody was real."

"Despite making millions through furnishings and accessories, owning a 3,500 square foot villa in the Alps, and driving around in a luxury Audi A8, he had never been more miserable. Rabeder has now found something that gives his life much more meaning. He's giving it all away." (Huffington Post)

''For a long time I believed that more wealth and luxury automatically meant more happiness. I come from a very poor family where the rules were to work more to achieve more material things, and I applied this for many years.''

But over time a conflicting feeling developed. ''More and more I heard the words: 'Stop what you are doing now - all this luxury and consumerism - and start your real life'. I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things that I did not wish for or need.''

For many years, he said, he was not brave enough to give up his comforts. The tipping point came during a three-week holiday with his wife in Hawaii.

''It was the biggest shock in my life when I realized how horrible, soulless and without feeling the five-star lifestyle is.'...

Since deciding to sell up, Mr Rabeder said he had felt ''free, the opposite of heavy''. But he did not judge those who chose to keep their wealth. ''I do not have the right to give any other person advice. I was just listening to the voice of my heart and soul.'' (

Now he has given him a monthly wage of just over $1,000 and put the rest of his $4+ million towards

WOW. What do you say to that?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Secretive Japanese Culture Led Toyota Astray

The WSJ has the most comprehensive and revealing article that I have read on Toyota's current situation.

A more serious take on the situation than my previous post.

There is an interesting chart that reveals complaints filed against Toyota to the NHTSA has increased by 5x over the last decade while the actual number of cars they are putting on the road has increased by only 2x.

It's hard to deny the gap between perception and reality that has dominated the auto industry over the last decade.

Fire on the Mountain Buffalo Wings

24 hours later and I still find my mouth watering for a bite. Hands down, the best Buffalo Wings I have ever eaten.

Fire on the Mountain Buffalo Wings

Two locations:
  • 4225 North Interstate Avenue • Portland, Oregon 97217 • 503.280.WING (9464)
  • 1708 East Burnside • Portland, Oregon 97214 • 503.230.WINGS (9464)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Yet Another Social Network to Navigate

When are we going to stop and ask "Why is this good for me?"

Spending hours on social networking is easier then other forms of human interaction and it's possible to find flares of satisfaction as long as I maintain a steady rate of hit's on Facebook and Twitter. Is this a better way to live?

Yet we don't ask this question, much less have an answer, and we will all flock to be a part of the latest social network: Google Buzz.

Cool, huh?

Surprisingly, especially to myself, this news was recieved as a burden and not with excitement. I worry how various social networks spread us increasingly thin and the end result is not better relationships and deeper community - instead we get a reduction and simplification of sterile communication.

It has become increasingly taxing to keep tabs on everything. I ejected Myspace years ago to focus on Facebook, and have done everything I can to integrate it with Blogger and Twitter.

That being said, I am a die-hard gmail fan and it will be nice to have integration. Even here I have reservations. Compared to email, I have found that people are even less likely to respond to a deep thought on Facebook (because FB is not perceived as a place for deep interaction). Buzz could cause more and more people to perceive their gmail account as a quick fix for social interaction as well.

I find myself being more and more skeptical of where we are going with the internet. Such potential for effective communication and collaboration, but I spend so much on mindless banter.

The reality is I am more likely to get feedback and discussion on Facebook about a Chinese man throwing his bicycle at a thief on a moped than this post. But if I was on Facebook looking for a quick social fix, I probably wouldn't be reading this far anyhow.

I feel confident that I will enjoy Buzz, but I am even more confident it will do nothing to turn the tide of this mounting frustration with the dilution of meaningful relationship, community, and communication.

To engage more on these ideas:

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Beautiful Seatbelt Advocacy Ad! (Vid)

You don't even know! I decided against using the phrase "f'ing beautiful" on my blog, but to be honest, that was the first thing that came to mind in response to this video. So I said it anyhow.

Just watch:

Please, buckle up!

Source: Sussex Safer Roads

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Understanding the Controversy Sorrounding Tebows Superbowl Ad

If you read one article today, read this from the Washington Post.


John Stewart's "Toyotathon of DEATH"

I considered posting a handful of different articles to clear up any confusion around Toyota's recalls, but John Stewart handles it more elegantly then I ever could:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Toyotathon of Death
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

David Letterman finds humor in the situation as well:

  • Japanese government demands an investigation of a faulty electrical system in the brakes of the 2010 Prius after 14 complaints in Japan and 136 complaints in the U.S. (NYT)
  • The U.S. Transportation Secretary states that it "took an enormous amount of effort" for the U.S. to "force" Toyota to do the safety recall related to the faulty accelerator, referring to them as "a little safety deaf". (Free Press)
  • Steve Wozniak states that his new Prius has a "scary" repeatable software glitch affecting the accelerator that neither Toyota or the NHTSA has responded to his request for investigation. (CNET)
All that to say, it seems that Toyota's nightmare is far from over.

This is turning in to such a convoluted mess. Poor floor mat design, mechanical failure, faulty electrical system, and software glitches all affecting some millions of Toyota's newest and most popular models. Someone is loosing their job.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Family Law

Why do adult children not have to care for parents or grandparents?

These are the type of questions that one of Britain's most senior family lawyers, Baroness Deech, has been asking in a series of speeches. (BBC)

I find this one particularly engaging. We have many laws and enforcement in place to ensure parents and grandparents are properly caring for their children when they are in a physically and emotionally dependent state, but why does this not reverse as parents and grandparents become physically and emotionally dependent?

In Singapore "anyone over 60 who is unable to maintain themselves adequately can apply for an order that their child should do so via periodical payments or a lump sum". Baroness Deech proposes a "granny tax" to pay grandparents who provide child care to their grandchildren.

I feel both of these solutions fall severely short of confronting the issue.

What do you think?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Avatar is Actually the 21st Biggest Movie

The truth behind the numbers. Here's another take on Avatars box office success.

Here's the Top 20 movies of all time ... by number of tickets sold:

1 "Gone With the Wind" (1939) 202,044,600
2 "Star Wars" (1977) 178,119,600
3 "The Sound of Music" (1965) 142,415,400
4 "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) 141,854,300
5 "The Ten Commandments" (1956) 131,000,000
6 "Titanic" (1997) 128,345,900
7 "Jaws" (1975) 128,078,800
8 "Doctor Zhivago" (1965) 124,135,500
9 "The Exorcist" (1973) 110,568,700
10 "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) 109,000,000
11 "101 Dalmatians" (1961) 99,917,300
12 "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) 98,180,600
13 "Ben-Hur" (1959) 98,000,000
14 "Return of the Jedi" (1983) 94,059,400
15 "The Sting" (1973) 89,142,900
16 "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) 88,141,900
17 "Jurassic Park" (1993) 86,205,800
18 "The Graduate" (1967) 85,571,400
19 "Star Wars: Episode I" (1999) 84,825,800
20 "Fantasia" (1941) 83,043,500

"Avatar," despite topping the worldwide gross list it is only No. 21 on the ticket sales list with 79,859,600 sold to date. We'll have to see where it stands at the end of it's run, but it still has a ways to go.

If you base box office success on monetary profit, then not only do you have to deal with inflation, but you also have to deal with the fact that 3D movies cost significantly more per ticket then traditional movies.