Sunday, November 28, 2004

Learning how I remember

I realized over this past weekend why I love my digital camera so much. The key is that memories for me are often experienced in the form of a visual image that I’m able to recall in my minds eye. Capturing images on my digital camera is a fantastic way to retain these images in an inexpensive and easy to manage format.

The reason all of this surfaced for me over the last couple of days is that I’m spending the weekend in the mountains in British Columbia Canada and it’s the first time I’ve been back to this specific location since I was 6 years old. This experience is unique because I had very specific image memories from my last trip here and I’ve been impressed by how accurate many of those memories are. In a lot of ways it has felt like opening a time capsule that I helped create 24 years ago and then get to enjoy opening and looking through all the images years later.

The most striking part of this experience is that it confirms that my visual memories from all of those years ago are really quite accurate and that there are many additional memories and stories tied to those images that I’m now able to recall. These additiaonl memories have a lot of emotional quality and power to them and it feels like a gift to find them again. It’s a lot of fun and very exciting to have this experience because it allows me to trust many of the image memories that I have from other parts of my life as being true representations of what I experienced all those years ago.

The great thing about the digital camera is that it makes it so easy to capture these images wherever I go. My mind can only remember a few of these images from each experience and it seems to get harder and harder to remember additional images as the years go by. By capturing the digital images it allows me to recall all of those other memories when surfing through the images 1, 5 or 10 years from now. Pretty cool stuff if you ask me.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

In case you were wondering how cool you are!

There is now a test!

I have to say, I'm really curious about what my result would be. I have a feeling I'd end up as an Medium Uncool but then the study authors would just re-define the rules of the game on me.

Here is a blurb from an article that is written by a woman convinced that she would be the most Low Cool person ever tested.

"So it was with a conflicted mind that I accepted an invitation from Steven Quartz, director of Caltech's Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, to take part in a study of cool. Unlike a mere written test, Quartz's experiment would use functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI, to measure my subconscious response to 140 different products and celebrities, each of which had been assigned a coolness rating from 0 to 5."
"Depending on how successfully my subconscious picked out the cool objects, Quartz explained, I would be classified as one of three types: High Cool (a "Trendsetter"), High Uncool (a "Critic"), or Low Cool. As far as I could make out, either of the first two categories would be an improvement on my current status. High Cools, I was told, had brains that lit up in response to cool objects. High Uncools reacted strongly to uncool objects; they're the snobby tastemakers. The last group, the Low Cools, was the one I feared. Low Cools had scans that came out almost entirely blank. It didn't matter whether they were looking at a picture of Michael Jackson or Mick Jagger. They were, in effect, cool-blind."
See the rest of the article here.
What do you think the test results would say about you?

Satelite Radio and Tivo/DVR

I think I'm going to take the sitelite radio plunge. Has anyone out there tried either Sirius or XM?

Check out this article for a little background about XM satelite service.
I'm also looking forward to getting my Tivo or DVR set up sometime in the next couple of weeks.
I'll let you know what I think of these services when I get them set up but I'd love to hear what other people think of both satelite radio and Tivo/DVR.

Can Money Buy Happiness?

"Evidence suggests that if we use an increase in our incomes, as many of us do, simply to buy bigger houses and more expensive cars, then we do not end up any happier than before. But if we use an increase in our incomes to buy more of certain inconspicuous goods - such as freedom from a long commute or a stressful job - then the evidence paints a very different picture. ... Reallocating our time and money in these and simialr ways would result in healthier, longer - and happier - lives."

From Wired Magazine Oct 2004 Page 125

and From Daedalus,
volume 133, issue 2
Robert Frank
Professor of economics, Cornell University
Seeing things like this make me feel better about driving an eight year old minivan and riding my bike to work - though I didn't need an econ prof to tell me this. B

For the Cheap among us

If you've ever wondered where you could stay in London for less than $10 a night look no further than the easyHotel!
You know who you are...

Massive Change

Bruce Mau provides an intersting perspective on design. Check out the interview in Wired magazine here. Also, see the Massive Change website.
The idea that design is all around us and often taken for granted resonates with me. I'm not sure exactly why but I thought this was worth mentioning if for no reason other than to not just take Bruce Mau's ideas for granted.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Rolling Back Women's Rights

Here is an excerpt from an editorial article in the New York Times. "Dispensing with legislative niceties like holding hearings or full and open debate, President Bush and the Republican Congress have used the cover of a must-pass spending bill to mount a disgraceful sneak attack on women's health and freedom." See the whole article here.

I think this is an issue that hasn't gotten a lot of media coverage over the last week. I just wanted to make note of it as and FYI. It looks like Senator Boxer is already working on a follow up vote for early in the next session. She is going to need our support!

U2 Concert on MTV Dec 8

For any of you U2 fans that are interested MTV will be broadcasting a U2 concert recorded earlier this week in New York City. It will be broadcast on Dec 8, time TBD.

Here is a New York Times article about U2's day in NYC that included filming this concert.

The Incredibles

"The Incredibles" Wow! What a movie. I had moments where I completely forgot that I was watching animation and there were other times where I had the feeling that I was watching a classic, stylized comic book come to life.

There were a couple of topics raised in this movie that are of interest to me. The first has to do with the Incredible's son, Dash, and his experience in the educational system. The main message delivered his way seemed to be "don't stand out".

The second topic has to do with the life of a family in surburbia USA. The charictures represented by Mr Incredible, Elastigirl and the oldest daughter (can't remember her name at the moment) are very interesting.

The third topic is risk. The question of when to takes risks is of particular interest to me these days and something that I'm sure I'll explore in greater depth in other posts.

I wanted to get the start to this post published. I'll be back to add an update and expand on these three topics soon.

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau - "What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

This article makes me sad

Mostly because I can relate to the sentiment of many of the people quoted.

What do you think?

Part of me wants to stand up and fight for my community, country and planet and part of me wants to just move away from all of it. Problem is that the US is so powerful that I don't think there is anywhere on the planet a person could go to really get away.

This quote seems relevant:

Henry David Thoreau - "What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"

U2 does it again!

I decided to wait until today, the day U2's new album "How to Dismantle and Atomic Bomb" is released, to listen to this album. Obviously, I'd heard the first single "Vertigo" on the radio and iPod comercial many times and loved it. I wanted to wait for the full album before hearing other tracks to be able to listen to it in it's entirity.

I have to say that I have very high expectations for this album.

My initial reaction - So far I'm thoroughly enjoying the album - as I stated, I had high expectations for this one, and those expectations are being met completely.

I'm looking forward to the long holiday weekend when I can just hit repeat on my MP3 player and enjoy.