Do A Barrel Roll!

I just installed a plug-in which spins this whole page 360 degrees whenever you type “barrel roll” into the search bar, or anywhere else, I think. It’s useless, but fun. Give it a shot, won’t you? Note: This feature will only work once per page impression, meaning you have to refresh the page to keep doing it.

The title of this post is a throwback to Starfox 64, one of the best games of all time.

Advanced Notice of Joining the Blogosphere Officially

Hi everybody,

So, I’m exploring the “blogosphere” for real by installing a cool plug-in for my WordPress site which lets me share posts from random bloggers I don’t know. If 1000 people from around the internet view these posts on my site, I get $10. It sounds like a neat idea, and I even get to choose from posts in a range of subjects I’m interested in. Basically, I get to review the posts before posting them, so I’ll only be posting blog posts from the sphere that I think are worthwhile reads.

The most alluring part of the whole thing is that I can submit my posts to the system for others bloggers to repost, thereby generating traffic through the sphere. I may pull the plug on the whole thing soon, but it’s an interesting experiment. Don’t be surprised if you see some external content flowing through these digital walls.

Also, I hope to talk more about blogs, etc. soon, because I’m learning a lot pretty quickly and it’s easier to learn than you’d think!

Get a Hobby, Dude.

A new study from the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology has found that participating in creative endeavors is linked to elevated levels of productivity at work. NPR summarized the study well here.

. . . participating in creative activities may help people feel more energized and engaged at work. “You almost kind of spiral in a positive direction,” he says.

Einstein Playing Violin

Einstein Playing Violin

The moral of the story here is that hobbies are good for the soul. A more cynical view of this study is that, from its inception, the study revolved around work; that is, an inquiry into the benefit of creativity through hobbies was framed around people’s productivity at work. That fact says a lot.

Please Slow for Bees

I was driving back to work from lunch today and noticed a dark cloud in the distance just above the road. I assumed that the cloud was a mess of  insects, but I didn’t expect them to be bees; some poor soul must have agitated a hive. (Perhaps it was a 10 year old who, like me when I was that age, thought it would be smart to cover a grounded beehive with a rock.) Instantly remembering that honey bee populations are declining, I slowed way down to ~35 mph so that I wouldn’t smash the black and yellow buggers with my beautiful 4runner (I had also just washed the car). Dozens of bees clicked against my vehicle, were dazed, and then buzzed away. The guy behind me was seemingly perturbed that I slowed down so much on a major road, but the bees, man, THE BEES! I hope that others slowed down as well..
It’s always great to be reminded of the Beauty on “mundane” days.

The Cloud: Under Construction

I just read that Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered satellite drones that can fly for five years at a time. Wait, what? Yes, check it out. I imagine that these things will be flying within 2-5 years globally, bringing “the cloud” to regions of the world without access to the net, among other things. Afterall, according to internetworldstats.com, only ~34% of the world’s population is using the internet as of 2012.

One of these days, I’d like to put together everything I know about Google’s ventures, including Google Glass and Planetary Resources. Google really seems to be the pre-eminent architect of the future, especially when it comes to technology. I generally trust Google and revere them for their decidedly modern business, but, having read The Search, I know that Google’s cultural and capitalistic force is immense. I’m curious, but hopeful.

New Pope Gives Me Hope

If you sign up for a newsletter, Faithful America will send you a free sticker which reads, “This Pope Gives Me Hope.” Admittedly, I originally signed up for the newsletter because of the free sticker which I find to be jocular and a little gimmicky, but the newsletter has been keeping my attention. This organization touts that anti-gay rhetoric is unchristian and that pro-social economic policies are on the moral high ground. They even claim that the Pope, not Paul Ryan, should hold the keys in questions of economics when it comes to the Catholic Church.  I’m paying attention, because this is good stuff.

The new Pope really does give me hope..

A Look at the Highrise; 2014

I was listening to Q With Jian Ghomeshi (easily one of my favorite shows on NPR) the other day, and heard Jian talking with someone about a documentary about high rise buildings. It sounded familiar to me, and it took me a second to realize that I had actually seen this doc before. I found out that the journalist behind it, Katerina Cizek, is a brilliant person, and was awarded a Peabody Award for her work. And deservedly so, in my opinion; the “documentary” is a seminal piece of  new media in addition to being quality journalism. The content and its presentation taken together as one is a beautiful thing. You’d have to see it to understand.

TOMS Coffee

That stalwart vanguard of ethical consumerism, TOMS, has impressed me yet again with its decision to get into the coffee business. I don’t have all the detes present at this moment, but it’s a well-known fact that Big Coffee has been influential in subjugating many farmers and their families, especially in Latin America. In what I consider to be a revolutionary move, TOMS “one-for-one” concept is now being applied to water, rather than hard goods. (Of course, TOMS is famous for the “one-to-one” shoe venture, which provides a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased.) I’ve got some of that glorious bean on order right now; I’ll let you know how it is.

I knew a really great person who worked for TOMS before his tragic, untimely death. I believe he would be proud of this, so I am too.