March 28, 2010
Sarah Palin: the Dangerous AirheadThis past week in the Huffington Post, Mona Gable writes an amusing but scary account of Palin's most recent examples of her ongoing hunger to become a celebrity and folksy hero, regardless what it takes.
Her first example is Palin's documentary deal on Alaska she struck with The Discovery Channel.
Gable writes: "beyond semantics, what were the folks at Discovery Channel thinking? Did anyone there consider the irony of hiring a woman to host a "nature" show who disdains nature? I mean, before she fleeced you for more than $1 million an episode, (for that matter, John McPhee would have been excellent, and I'm sure he'd have done it for much less), that maybe it wasn't the smartest choice given her strange relationship to the truth and her polarizing politics? Did you forget that in her brief and erratic tenure as governor, Palin had a dreadful environmental record, championing such animal-friendly policies as the aerial shooting of wolves? Or refusing to give protected status to such endangered species as the beluga whale? Even now, Palin proudly and avidly flaunts her ignorance about climate change."
The essence of Gable's piece however is about her "refusal to take responsibility for stirring up violence on the right with her incendiary rhetoric."
She writes about Palin's suggestion that Obama was "paling around with terrorists" when she was running for vice president. Mona also reminds us of her other vocal assertions, when she "claimed that the president had inserted "death panels" in the health care bill, precisely so they could kill her Down syndrome infant and her aging parents."
Read more, including her final plea for someone to hold Palin accountable and set things straight.
March 26, 2010
Out of Hospitals & Into Your HealthTeam breakout sessions from this week's Economist & Berkeley Haas School of Business presented on-stage: innovative ideas around the areas of finance, new business models, education, healthcare, energy and sustainability.
Below is the idea presented on healthcare entitled: Out of Hospitals and Into Your Health, which won the audience sentiment at the end of the event. Also refer to the more extensive summary of the event.
March 25, 2010
The Economist's Innovation & Ideas Economy Event at BerkeleyI attended The Economist's Innovation event at Berkeley's Haas School of Business this week, a new format and style for them.
The discussion that was both compelling and controversial was on day one between Nathan Wolfe of Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, Juan Enriquez of Excel Venture ManagementLife and death in a techno-utopia and Ray Kurzweil who came in via live video stream. Topic? Can technology save you—and the planet? In other words, how much can we count on technology to fix issues and how much do we need to rely on ourselves? Humanity?
A discussion I missed but wanted to not only watch but participate in, was the one entitled: Is America turning into a third-world country? The Economist's New York Bureau Chief Matthew Bishop has a conversation with Arianna Huffington. Every time I leave America's borders and return, I am reminded how much it is. Where you sit on this issue depends on where you sit economically and geographically. Silicon Valley should be its own country, since so many of its views and daily realities are so far removed from the rest of the country.
Social entrepreneurship was a big theme. Can free-market thinking solve the world’s most serious problems? What is the future of social entrepreneurship? What are the costs and benefits of micro-capitalism? Acumen Fund's Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder, Acumen Fund, LeapFrog Investment's Andrew Kuper, VisionSpring's Jordan Kassalow and Dan Reicher, Director of Climate Change and Energy Initatives at Google, discussed.
On day two, they had breakout sessions in several important categories including financial markets, new business models, green technology & sustainability, and healthcare.
Given that the overall programme was business school focused, Mashable's Ben Parr and I, who are so entrenched in start-up culture, were a rarity in discussions with larger entity heads of marketing and innovation at companies like Cisco, Intel and other corporates in the Valley.
We were both on the same team for the new business model team break-out, which involved building a new prototype to attract engineers for a company that looked and felt like Facebook. Creating a 'home environment' at the workplace is so automatic for Silicon Valley start-ups that the exercise, designed to keep gen-y workers, was a much more natural exercise for us.
How to influence change within the minds of more traditional older school executives is a much harder challenge, something which Charlene Li addresses in her upcoming book Open Leadership, due out in mid-April.
Innovation Court ended on day two with on-stage presentations by the break-out teams in each of their respective categories. The winner would be awarded a cover placement on the Economist, which happily went to Healthcare - "Out of Hospitals and Into Health.". In my opinion, the right choice. The recent 'win' is a step in the right direction, although clearly it's only the beginning.
I shot a series of videos towards the end of the event, of the teams presenting on stage which will follow in subsequent blog posts, all of them moderated by The Economist's Vijay Vaitheeswaran.
November 20, 2009
Dining by Design Chefs & Designers Speak Up
Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS is one of the country's largest supporters of direct care for people living with HIV/AIDS and preventive education for those at risk. Merging care and commerce, supporters of DIFFA come from all fields of fine design and the visual arts, including: architecture, fashion design, interior design, photography and consumer product design.
They held their annual Dining by Design event in San Francisco this week.
October 07, 2009
Caring.com Acquires Gilbert Guide
The undisclosed stock transaction was closed on September 23rd. Effective immediately, the Gilbert Guide team will become a part of Caring.com and focus on the further development and expansion of the guide. Gilbert Guide CEO Jill Gilbert and COO Jason Gilbert will join the Caring.com team as vice presidents, reporting to CEO Andy Cohen.
August 18, 2009
Personalized Eldercare for Consumers
The goal? To take the stress out of senior care and planning, an issue all of us need to think about at some stage in our lives, whether it's for ourselves or our aging parents.
People can now sign up for a program that includes unlimited telephone access to experienced eldercare specialists for assistance with immediate needs and long-term planning and an extensive list of useful services and support designed to take the stress out of eldercare planning.
Other program benefits include a step-by-step guide to VA Benefits for Aid & Attendance, copies of Aging with Grace Caregiver Tool Kit and Tips & Tools for Managing Caregiver Stress, access to a caregiver support library, online tools for writing and scheduling, and direct access to the CareConnection online caregiver community to connect with people facing similar day-to-day caregiver challenges. Check out the full list of services and benefits.
Gilbert Guide is also providing direct access to its renowned National Senior Care Provider Directory, its library of expert articles on a wide range of senior related topics, and its Weekly Insider aging product feature newsletter to Aging with Grace’s eldercare specialists and clientele.
The program is available immediately at for an annual price of $34.95. People can call a toll free number to access the service: (866) 369-8072 or online.
August 14, 2009
Learn New Skills to Delay Cognitive Decline
Says Alzheimer expert Dennis Fortier, "late diagnosis is the biggest problem with Alzheimer's treatment." In other words, new learning is beneficial in delaying obvious cognitive decline.
We were always told as kids to push crosswords on your grandparents so their minds stayed active and would decrease the likelihood of them getting Alzheimers. He notes that continuing to do the daily crossword once you have mastered the rules of crosswords is unlikely to help much.
A recent Examiner.com piece says that there is some evidence that computer-based brain games help users get better at the games but do not clearly translate into a generalized benefit. Learning new skills such as a new instrument or language is much more likely to help.
Fortier asserts that, although we cannot yet cure Alsheimer's Disease, physicians can intervene and manage the symptoms with more success than most headlines indicate. Refer to three related articles that also includes a great list of resources: Parenting Your Parents, Drug-free Help for Alzheimer's Patients, and Where to Get Help.
August 05, 2009
Improve Your Inductive Reasoning Through Mind360
I recently learned about this cool Israel-based company Mind360, which develops mind games and it's not just for older folks with aging brains.
As you get older that it's harder to find where you left your car keys, your brush, even your cup of coffee while you're running around the house trying to get out in the morning?
The brain is a muscle - I learned a lot about how the brain tools and retrains itself after my grandfather had a stroke.
Advanced brain training games help improve your memory, increase your ability to stay focused, and help you make faster and better decisions.
Brain Training Benefits:
* Sharpen your memory * Stay focused longer * Increased alertness and awareness * Make quicker and wiser decisions * Boost your productivity * Function better overall * Feel better about yourself and your life
Not only do these guys develop the games and training programs for you to meet your own personal goals, but they have the data (and returning players) to prove they work. Aging boomers can certainly gain, not just their parents.
Using the game as a medium, you follow whatever personal brain fitness program that’s right for you, advancing you from one level to the next.
You can not only track your progress, but a Personal Trainer will also guide you with instant feedback indicating in which cognitive areas you are strong and where you can improve.
The Jaipur Knee
Joel Sadler talks to me about the Jaipur Knee, which he co-developed at Stanford University. You can find out more information at RemotionDesigns.org. Click play to hear how it started and get a quick video clip of it in action in India.
July 29, 2009
A Kiwi's Mission to get Millions of Women Pregnant
Below is Shamus Husheer, the genius behind DuoFertility, which is being launched in the UK this month. Shamus' Mission? To get millions of women pregnant.
Below Shamus holds the monitor that consists of a discreet, hand-held reader and a small sensor, roughly the size of a £1 coin, which is worn underneath your arm. The sensor measures your temperature continuously and uses this information to pinpoint your ovulation and identify when you are most fertile, helping you to get pregnant more easily.
Below Shamus talks to me in a video interview during a dinner held at the oldest college at Cambridge University: 1284, hence the quality of the audio.