June 02, 2011
Meet Steamboat Ed's Aetheric Musical Machine: Calliope #5Below is a little history and the story behind Steamboat Ed and his Aetheric Musical Machine. Ed and friends were at the annual Maker Faire in May. Instruments emitting fire are not new adn have been made for over a century. They are, however, uncommon. Calliope #4 is a Pyrophone since it's not intended for team, but for air or propane. With propane, the whistles emit FIRE, when tooting, hence the "pyrophone.' His whistles are Helmholz resonators, chosen because he discovered an excellent tutorial describing them. His whistles are activated with solenoid valves that he found on eBay. More in the short video below.
Here are some photos of his work in action.
May 31, 2011
Forget Windy Cold Chicago, Come to San Francisco in the Summer
Even though I’ve lived on the west coast for awhile, I still forget just how cold spring and summer is in San Francisco. Starting in May, it’s the time of year to migrate just in the same way northerners go south from January through April.
I recently went to a weekend festival in the South Bay and was so blown around that I had to resort to tying my hair back with a scarf to see through my hair. Had the scarf not been available, I may have packed it up and called it a day.
The following week, I had to move out to the living room couch since the wind that was tearing up my back garden was so loud, I found it hard to sleep. Bear in mind that I live on one of those traditional San Francisco hills, where you can actually have an outside back garden even if you live on a second or third floor. When the wind comes, the potted trees move, the chimes swirl, the hanging plants crash up against each other, the cats go nuts and it feels as if a tornado is about to come through your windows.
Sometimes I’ll throw on a Bose headset, turn on the meditation music, dim the lights and try to read to see if I can ignore the wild wind “swoons” which clearly want to be noticed in the middle of the night. Just like everything else, I have faith my body will adjust to it over time, in the same way people who live on top of a train station or next to an airport do.
I grew up on a lake in upstate New York and the sound of the boat motors that would often wake newcomers up in the early mornings. For me, it was nothing more than background noise and something I didn’t even notice because it had become part of my routine and my system “knew” and integrated it. I look forward to the time when my system starts to know the wind in the same way.
April 22, 2011
Curation is King: Rosenbaum in Silicon Valley Next Week For Book Release: CURATION NATION"Curation, not creation, is king and Rosenbaum shows you why and what you can do with this knowledge. This is a great piece of research and analysis," says Guy Kawasaki.
"Read this book. Embrace Curation - and you'll be ready to "Crush It" with your focus and passion in the noisy new world of massive data overload," says Gary Vaynerchuk.
I have my own views which will follow in a more extensive book review shortly. (I just finished it). The short of it is: A must read. More to follow.
Author Steve Rosenbaum is in Silicon Valley next week to celebrate the book launch of Curation Nation: A World Where Consumers Are Creators. If you're in the Bay Area (or can be), don't miss attending his book celebration in Palo Alto on Tuesday night, April 26, 2011 for a book signing and a great discussion on curation: what it is, why it's important and where it's going. Details in the above invite including how/where to RSVP or feel free to email me.
April 19, 2011
Viral Media Experiment #Swagapalooza Hits San Francisco Again
For the second year in a row, I attended the quirky consumer and technology blogger event called Swagapalooza, which they call an experiment in viral media.
In a dark club in San Francisco (DNA Lounge), some of the top bloggers, tweeters, and digital influencers in the areas of mobile, tech, food and lifestyle gathered to watch and judge five-minute auditions from the creators of cool new products, largely targeted at mainstream consumers.
The key here is that the products are actual physical products rather than services and websites, which you so often find at similar events. Some of the products I had a chance to see and play with are listed below:
- Waboba Balls - They bounce off water, so that you can play catch in the pool or ocean. Video of product in action: http://bit.ly/gNw7kQ
- Mimi IQ - Like go fish, but with silly facial expressions. Will be available on Amazon in a few days.
- Crumpled City Maps - Lightweight, waterproof, 12 cities. More info here: http://bit.ly/f0dh2Q
- woDegrees - For every nutrition bar you buy, they give a nutrition pack to a hungry child.
- Sabøteur - The world's first tailored waterproof blazer.
- Transcendent Man - A documentary film about the life and ideas of Ray Kurzweil
- Boom Boom! Revolution - A card game you play by performing 'underground acts of guerilla goodness'.
- Grubwith.us - Eat with interesting people!
- FlingsBins - Pop-up recycling and trash bins.
- Stunner of the Month - A subscription sun glasses service that sends you a new pair of 'stunners' every month.
- Fizzies - Instant soda in a tablet, relaunching after 40 years.
- SwipeGood - Round up your purchases. Donate the change to charity.
- SourFlour - Building community through bread. (I just finished my loaf and I have to say, it went fabulously well with my homemade chicken soup I had waiting for me at home).
April 16, 2011
AdTech San Francisco Keynotes, Takeaways & Notes to Self: #adtech
John Bax says their focus is on "local" and that local ads obviously do the best locally since there's more of an understanding of what their brand is about when you have regional sales guys. "Intimacy works," he says.
Mobile is also an important strategy for them according to Bax. He gives a few examples including a local merchant in Virginia who has a B&B. Within 15 days, they sold all the rooms the vendors wanted to book in advance, focusing on a different strategy for how they promoted weeknights versus weekends.
He also noted that people signed up for things they weren't necessarily searching for. For example, those who signed up for a sky diving promo they did were not proactively looking to go sky diving. Their strategy works if you look at their stats and results - they apparently also sold 2 million movie tickets with Fandango.
Manny Anekal from Zynga came at his presentation primarily from the angle of giving back, i.e., "here's what Zynga is doing to give back to the world." In addition to listing all the things they are doing for social good, he ended with a leave behind for brands wanting to do a campaign with them: "We can get you up and running quickly. We were able to get a major brand up and running within six weeks," he says. He also shared stats and insights into their Frito campaign, which grew their fan base to over a million.
He started with the Pepsico pitch of products and services under their umbrella, reminding people that they operate in more countries than the UN. Then he proceeded to go primal on us and show a slide of dinosaurs and early man's progression.
"Why we are all dinosaurs?" he shouts out to the audience. His key takeaway was about adapatability in a world that is changing so fast with exponential technologies hitting us year after year making it harder to keep up.
"Adaptability is key to survival and success moving forward," he notes. “If you cease to adapt, then you cease to survive.”
While I missed Guy Kawasaki's keynote, I did not miss his book signing of new book: Enchantment, which was proof that he nailed it on stage. The line was so long for both purchases and signing that they ran out of books.
ESPN's VP Carol Cruz introduced this year's Achievement Awards right before Arianna's keynote. This year's award went to Mars' Carol Walker, who shared the award with Kathy Reardon in a 'classy moment.'
My tweets during the presentation below including AdTech's Brad Berens' share of where advertising numbers have gone up this year. Kudos to Brad and his dynamic team for pulling off yet another incredible AdTech this year.
- Carol Walker in touching classy moment shares #achievement award with Kathy Reardon on #adtech stage this AM:http://ow.ly/i/ajSA9:22 AM Apr 13th via HootSuite
- ESPN's VP Carol Cruz gives Carol Walker industry #achievementaward at #adtech -- http://ow.ly/i/ajRS9:15 AM Apr 13th via HootSuite
- Brad Berens on the #adtech stage sharing advertising numbers & stats all going up inc attendance: http://ow.ly/i/ajRf
I covered Arianna's keynote in depth here including a two part video. Below she powerfully nailed her talk, which primarily focused on humanity, sleep deprivation, hyper local and hyper connected and balance.
April 16, 2011 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Blogging, On Branding, On Journalism, On Mobile & Wireless, On Technology, PR & Marketing, San Francisco, Social Media, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
April 03, 2011
Maggie Mudd: An Ice Cream Institution Now Gone
People have been talking about Maggie Mudd's ice cream shop on Cortland Street ever since I moved to San Francisco. Truth be told, whenever there was a conversation about ice cream, someone would say, yeah, I drive from Marin or San Jose or Pac Heights or Berkeley for Maggie Mudd ice cream, which is a bit of a trek considering how Bay Area residents feel about crossing either bridge and coming into the city.
MaggieMudd is an independent ice cream parlor that specializes in non-dairy flavors - made from soy and from coconut milk.
The funny thing is that Maggie isn't the owner's name, who btw, is a husband and wife team: Michael and Changying. Maggie is in fact, a cat who moved in with them.
They have over 55 flavors of ice cream and vegan dairy-free ice cream, as well as sundaes and ice cream cakes, including ones without dairy.
They created fun names for their special shakes, such as Brooklynn's Twisted Mind, Tarmack, or Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice. I was told on the day I went in that Tarmack was a customer favorite.
So, on the day I ventured into Maggie Mudd -- April 3, 2011, I was craving a chocolate non-dairy frozen cone, and threw it into a Google search and there she was in all her glory: Maggie Mudd came up, a place which has become a San Francisco institution yet the only time I had spent time behind its doors was when I first moved to the city. What was I thinking?
It wasn't busy despite the fact that it was a sunny day (a rarity in San Francisco), yet when I asked about chocolate and other flavors, Willeda, who has been working for them for six years, smiled and said, not today. So, I asked, you have dark chocolate at other times right? Yes, she said with a smile, but not after today. Confused, she went on to say that today was the last day Maggie Mudd was open. Forever. For good. Yowsa - did I get lucky or what?
I had the place to myself until a few moms came in to order their infamous ice cream cakes for their daughters, which will apparently still be available to order even though the shop itself will now be closed. I tested the coconut, cookie dough, coffee, oatmeal dough and against my initial judgment, peanut butter and jelly, which was better than I expected.
With no chocolate in site, I went for the cookie dough...a small set me back $4.25 and a pint is $7.50, a quart over $13.00. In other words, it ain't cheap. Their ice cream wasn't fabulous to be honest, then again, they don't make their own ice cream and what their known for is their non-dairy frozen cones which they make on-site. And those my friends, are creamier, richer and yummier than any other soy dairy dessert I've had.
While you can't get an ice cream cone at their Cortland Street shop anymore, you can click on their online catalog to see what kind of a cake we can make for you, order online and schedule your delivery time.
March 29, 2011
Web 2.0 Expo: Conversations on Technology Business Models & Beyond
The event showcases the latest Web 2.0 business models, development paradigms, products, and design strategies for the builders of the next-generation Web. They also do a similar event in New York every year, where they feature influential keynotes and speakers, detailed workshops, a Startup Showcase, and an Expo show floor with booths.
To give you a taste of some of the sessions and workshops, take a look at their entire schedule or a glimpse below:
March 29, 2011 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Blogging, On Innovation, On Search, On Social CRM, On Technology, San Francisco, Social Media, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Eoin Harrington Hits YOSHI's on April 22 for CD Release Launch
With the release of Eoin Harrington's second album "Confess" following on the heels of his
breakout success from "Story," Harrington is set to make a huge impact on the industry with his new release, which he'll be previewing on April, 22, 2011 at Yoshi's in San Francisco, CA.
His last EP has been getting airplay across the country in Ireland and he will be releasing "Confess" over there at the same time. Having made many appearances on KFOG, KGO, NPR, KPIX, Alice and KRON4 and having recently completed a US tour, Eoin has also shared the stage with many successful acts including The Fray, The Counting Crows, Alanis
Morissette, Train, Sara Bareilles, and Brandi Carlile.
Harrington has a passionate vocal style and an energetic stage presence; his next musical chapter “Confess” at Yoshi’s should be a memorable experience.
If on the west coast, here's a link for tickets, and more information on Eoin can be found on his site, Facebook and Twitter.
February 26, 2011
Snapshots From #LAUNCH11 in San Francisco
Below are some random shots from the LAUNCH Conference held at the Design Center in San Francisco this past week.
Jolie O'Dell, Marshall Kirkpatrick and Heather Meeker
Above photo credits: Kris Krug
Below Tim O'Reilly, Renee Blodgett, Francois Nadal (myERP.com)
Below Robert Scoble and the Domo guys geek out over fun mobile apps and new Motorola Tablet
Meeting Max Swisher for the first time, a 7th grader who is running / writing the Good Morning Geek blog and website. What were you doing when you were in the 7th grade?
Some of the judges below. Full listing can be found here.
While most people were in T-shirts, some folks were a stylin' such as the sneakers Addreoid's Head up from LA. When someone dresses well in the Valley, you know they're either over from Europe, in from New York or Miami or up from Los Angeles. Not a priority here but writing k-a code sure is. :-)
February 21, 2011
Walter Hood: Start With Community & Build the GREEN Around Them
Walter Hood talks and walks a green path and lives and breathes his passion. His view of what green landscape should look like in urban areas? Listen to what he said about Oakland's Lake Merritt in a Fast Company article.
"Everything seems like it's dropped out of nowhere. It's like, okay, we'll put in the grasses and the rocks and let's do the stupid green roof over a garbage-compactor thing. That's the playbook of landscape architecture. But this is the centerpiece of our community. It should add up and become something larger." The "something larger" is real nature opposed to a fabricated image of nature.
He talked to the TEDxBerkeley crowd recently about the green prints he has been working on in Pittsburg. He showed us his 'green' plans, which he called "You Live in the Woods," and within the woods is a village. He says he watches where the people go and then builds around them.
Hood has been working on a number of cities around America, not just Pittsburgh. Among others, Wood has had an impact on Buffalo and Jackson, Wyoming, where he transformed street corners and highway underpasses into public spaces.
He encouraged us to think differently about public spaces and to stop being afraid of 'green' spaces as they are 'naturally'. "We don't have to control it all the time - sometimes we can just it go." He reminded us how rare it is to see 'woods' anymore, "you know," he says, "that vacant lot where a kid can go into it and see the rainforest, get dirty, play with ants, see Africa, get away from mom and dad."
He's right. When I was a kid, I had my own woods.....I even called it "the woods," and it was there where I took dogs for a walk, built forts, climbed trees, went hunting for frogs and just sat and looked at the bush. It was a place I could seek refuge when things didn't make sense, which for a ten year old is often. And, for a 15 year old, it's even more often.
He showed us amazing photos of 'green forest' they created in Pittsburg, an area that looked more like a mini-rainforest in the middle of an urban sprawl. He says with passion, "we don't need to make a community garden and a park. We need to stop controlling everything."
With his projects, he focuses on the GREEN first and lets everything grow from that one central point. He encouraged the crowd to "think about culture and landscape together. On other words, we can bring the 'hill' back to communities.
Hood ended his talk with this advice: bring back the hill, learn about the hill and listen to stories from people in the hill. Learn more about Walter's work here.