Monday, May 31, 2010

chugging along slowly

An hour and 45 minutes after we were supposed to depart, we have now loaded the train. Conductor just announced that we will be waiting here until they fix the track, or something similar to that. No one on the train could really hear the announcement so it's that's our best guess. Great.

How is it that the oldest form of mass ground transportation still hasn't figured out how to get people from A to B on time and without headache? Makes me think of the old Einstein quote: "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." Maybe it's time for Amtrak to think outside of it's own antiqued level of consciousness and typical methods of problem solving. We may be able to find a new way to fix trains or track issues, a new way to construct the equipment entirely or perhaps even just a way to make the wait worth a traveler's while. 


Sunday, May 23, 2010

television set, there's hope for you yet

Was reading an article about Google TV. Google TV will allow us to surf the web and watch video via our televisions through a device that we will buy and attach to our sets.

So we went from group television watching - sitting around the tube with our friends/family sharing a bowl of popcorn to watching solo via laptops and Hulu. For many, television via web has become the preferred method of access to our favorite shows. It lets us watch when we want and with limited commercials.  However, it's made what used to be a shared experience into a lonely activity. Head-phones on, sitting in front of a 13 inch screen doesn't leave a lot of room for companions.

I think the opportunity in Google TV is that it can introduce group watching to Hulu-watching. It will allow us to marry the shared experience of watching television with the benefits of online-show watching. Welcome back to the age of social television.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Brilliant idea by artist Nic Rad. With his recent art exhibit PeopleMatter, Nic painted over 100 portraits of people who have pushed ideas and influenced others in journalism, media, blogging and music. 99 of them were given away for free to people who contacted the artist with a solid reason of why they wanted that portait.

Nic made the fans the curators of the exhibit, asking them to decide which people belonged on the free wall and who should be banished to the pay wall. If you felt that you belonged on that wall, you could petition Nic with your reason why you are an influencer.

The wall ended up with a wild mix from Malcolm Gladwell and Barbara Walters to a porn star and Perez Hilton.

I got the painting of Meagan O'Connell.

Here's why I wanted that painting:

Ended up on the video coverage that Gawker did of the show, kinda funny. Nice voice over from Nic about the show:

Nic*Rad - PeopleMatter - Rare Gallery 4/29/2010 from Richard Blakeley on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

rva or no?

Urtak 2600

It is a 6 hour bus ride... but would be really nice to get down there... See the professors, old friends and some of my old haunts. Erg. What to do?

Friday, May 7, 2010

dream on dreamers

Weird mix of reality and dreams for me. Was filling out the entry form to win HGTV's dream house. Every year they build an amazing house in a picturesque location, fill it with top furniture and then give it away for free. If that isn't good enough, they also give the winner a new car and $100,000 cash. I noticed a poll next to the entry form asking "what will you do with the $100,000?" I was surprised to see that the answer with the highest votes what "pay off debt." '

That website was all about dreams - dreaming of starting a new life where you live in a perfect house in a lovely neighborhood. Clearly though the more we see we could have the more we realize we lack. Seems like so many dreamers out there find their realities too heavy to dream with abandon.