Archive for June, 2009
When I give, I like to give smart.
I give to the right organizations that I’ve researched and know well, and I prefer giving when my donation is being matched.
A few weeks ago, I found one of those opportunities when a distant acquaintance/relative named David Alhadeff was raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. David was kind enough to offer a personal match AND a corporate match from his firm, Goldman Sachs. 3X leverage on a philanthropic donation is a situation I like, so I donated and then sent out an email to some family members who were also kind enough to donate. With one email, we increased his fundraising amount by 21% (but more importantly, The Lance Armstrong Foundation got 3X that much!)
Today, a similar opportunity has presented itself. A wealthy donor has offered to match gifts to Planned Parenthood up to $1M:
From now until June 30, a generous donor will match every online gift to Planned Parenthood dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million. This means that, for example, if you give $50, Planned Parenthood will actually get $100. With more and more people turning to Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers for care during this economic recession, now is the best time to give. Whether you can spare $5, $50, or $500, your contribution will be doubled: https://secure.ga0.org/02/match09pporg?source=match09fbc3
Planned Parenthood is a leader in women’s health, and often provides services free-of-charge to underserved and poor women (including cervical cancer screenings, breast exams, contraception, testing for STIs, et cetera), and Planned Parenthood can’t continue to provide those services without your support.
2X leverage on your donation for a good cause…what are you waiting for!?
Give To Planned Parenthood
I sat down with Gist CEO T.A. McCann last Friday and got a personalized introduction to their messaging application. I’m finally importing all my messaging, contacts, and social networking data into Gist so I can use it as my centralized messaging center day-to-day.
It’s fascinating what kinds of things Gist can tell you about your contacts:
Imagine I had a meeting scheduled with Marcelo Calbucci next week. I could look at his Gist profile and see which media organizations had mentioned him in the last week, and what they wrote about him. That way, I can be caught up on what’s going on in Marcelo’s world before even sitting down with him.
Gist functions in a very similar fashion to my BlackBerry’s Messages application, and by that I mean that it’s a centralized destination that gives a timeline of my communication with all my contacts no matter the platform (email, Facebook messaging, Twitter, et cetera). That kind of continuity and context is important in our modern, connected, busy world. And to top it off, you can reply using any and all platforms right from Gist. No need to open up Facebook or Gmail in a separate tab.
This thing is just going to blow Google Wave out of the water because it harnesses the power of context. It combines communication and contextual relationships into one, bringing a human element into messaging–something that Google could only wish they’d thought of building into Wave.
It seems like this product was purpose-built for me. If they made me pay monthly for it, I would–in a second.
I’m going to write about any new Gist features that strike my fancy each week, as I get to know the software better, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, try it out yourself: https://beta.gist.com/dashboard
My obsession with D.C. rapper Wale (coming to Seattle for Bumbershoot!) continues…
Personally, I’d prefer to have more Wale on the track. I dig the sing-songy Merriweather vocal line, but only as a hook (i.e. in small doses).
I produced a piano line for a beat prior to hearing this track that is eerily similar. I want to meet the guy who produced this track (et tu, Daniel Merriweather?)
I checked for this track on my new favorite music-listening website, FlyByMusic.com (like an improved and simplified Pandora that actually lets you PICK the track you listen to AND will sync the track to your iPod from the comfort of your browser window!) but alas, they’ve only got a few Daniel Merriweather/Mark Ronson tracks. They DO, however, have an a**-ton of Wale on there (thank me for getting on them about adding more Wale). Click over and experience music bliss.
Drunk-driving aside, Shia LeBoeuf has today proved himself to have just about the most game of any young man on the planet. Confident, laid-back, funny, and you KNOW he’s got the upper-hand when courting any young lady because he happens to be a movie star. Watch the action on the Today Show this morning when he pulls out a female fan from the crowd and makes women everywhere love him:
She asked him what type of girl he likes, to which Shia responded “all kinds” before letting her know his afternoon was free. Now, I’m not saying these two went and had sex in a fancy hotel, but I am saying she looks like the appreciative type who can keep a secret.
The percussion is really innovative. Sort of tribal, half-syncopated, and stop-start. Works well with the bass line. There are some nice strings and a walking xylophone line to accompany them. Apparently, the artist knows people think he’s innovative with the beats:
♫ I swear they think I’m crazy //
♫ Too much percussion and bass //
♫ When I make beats //
And WALE KILLS IT ON THE MIC! Makin’ other rappers in the game look like fools!
I seriously want to meet the man (or woman) who made this beat. Phenomenal.
My buddy Mike DeGrow (from TheRock a.k.a. Bainbridge Island) appears in this skate video with Josh Kalis, Stevie Williams, and Rob Dyrdek (who I’ve met previously in Paris on the Gumball3000 Rally in 2004). Mike has a pretty long part (from 3:25 to 4:08, approx.) that showcases his effortless grinds and flip-tricks (there’s even a kickflip to frontside 50-50 on a declining ledge thrown in there). Check it out:
internet dollars – /ˈɪntərˌnɛt/ /ˈdɒlərs/ - pl. noun
1. the exposure and web-visitor traffic showered upon internet startup companies’ websites, which earn the company legitimacy and fame but generate little to no actual revenue.
2. what 90%+ of internet companies thrive on.
3. the lack of a real business model or end-game.
2004; English compound phrase theoretical + internet + dollars, “South Park”, Episode 12041
1. The [South Park character] boys post a music video on YouToob and go to what looks like an employment office to collect their money. In the waiting room, they encounter many Internet sensations including Tay Zonday, the Numa Numa guy, and the sneezing baby panda. They were all waiting for their millions in Internet theoretical dollars.
What moral does “Southpark” leave you with? Kyle said, “We thought we could make money on the Internet. But, while the Internet is new and exciting for creative people, it hasn’t matured as a distribution mechanism to the extent that warrants a trade of real and immediate income opportunities for the promise of future online revenue. It will be a few years before digital media distribution on the Internet can be monetized to an extent that necessitates content producers to forego their fair value in more traditional media.”2
dollar /ˈdɒlər/ noun
1. a paper money, silver or cupronickel coin, and monetary unit of the United States, equal to 100 cents. Symbol: $
1545–55; earlier daler < LG, Dutch daler; c. German Taler, short for Joachimsthaler coin minted in Joachimsthal in Bohemia.
1. a vast computer network linking smaller computer networks worldwide
2. a series of tubes
1990-1995; Albert Gore, American politician3. Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, creators of TCP/IP protocol.
3. “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the internet.” -Albert Gore. March 9th, 1999. CNN’s ‘Late Edition’ with Wolf Blitzer. (link)
Presented without comment.
Sara: motherfucker…my coworkers are notorious for stealing pens and shit out of this office
When you can tap the knowledge of everyone you know, on a single platform, with responses coming at you near instantaneously, who needs a specialist anymore?:
Randy: are you pro union?
Cameron: no. i’m pro union when workers are being exploited. or underpaid.
Randy: thank god
Cameron: f*** unions.
Randy: agreed, they are outdated
I keep hearing about how they get in the way of GM or reform in other sectors and it makes me f***ing livid
Cameron: and the workers don’t know that they are strangling their own employer
biting the hand that feeds them
Randy: like i heard the union leader for GM today
talking about how if they are going to sell a car in america they should make it here
Randy: and vomitted in my mouth
Randy: that makes 0 sense and he has power.
I wonder what his education level is.
Cameron: lunch today?
Lauren: i have no access to a car until 1:30.
Cameron: i’ll pick you up. i don’t want you driving anyways, considering all the red-light running you did last time.
Lauren: my driving skills are just fine thank you…i just like living on the edge.
but yeah, come grab me. i can give you my address
but you have to promise NOT to hide in the bushes outside my window
Cameron: i’m already outside.
nice hydrangea’s you’ve planted out here!
I’m loving the color-changing petals
Lauren: i knew it. i was wondering who that creepy guy was
Cameron: you must be using low-acidity fertilizer in your garden!
i spend a lot of time waiting in the bushes outside girls’ houses, and have become somewhat of a gardening expert.
Justin Ricaurte (@ricaurte) is a phenomenal person, and deserves much more than a minute-long track recorded in his honor, but I don’t have the time to produce an entire record even for my closest friends, so this is my humble attempt:
♫ He’s reasonable, ideas unbelievable//
♫ Stares ‘em down Pamplona when he sees a bull//
♫ I can’t believe it though, ’cause when he sees a ho//
♫ He’s effortless like a key enters a keyhole//
♫ Electro, techno, much respect though//
♫ Cause nobody else is quite so flexible//
♫ He’s ill like swine flu from Mexico//
♫ Text-to-speech connects, hyper-textual//
I wrote this because the guy has amazing ideas, is courageous and confident in any situation, and is versatile in so many ways (he enjoys jazz, hip hop, and latin music, and is producing a hip hop track with yours truly). Pretty amazing for the young startup-CEO that he is.
So, who is volunteering to shoot the music video? : ) Haha
Cameron Newland’s Google Chat Status: “Every Day I’m Hustlin’ (Hustlin’-Hu-Hu-Hustlin’)”
Cynthia: You are ridiculous. Thanks to you, I have “Every Day I’m Hustlin” on repeat going through my head
Cameron: Awesome. My job here is done.
Cynthia: And I blame you.
Cameron: Funny thing is, it’s completely true (that I’m hustlin’ every day) but mostly on the phones though–not the streets. This morning, I hustled together TWO meetings with professionals (in a city 180 miles away, I might add) who just might help my friend find a job, and all of this on just one day’s notice. All I do is hustle. I’ll hustle for you too. You just tell me how, and I be hittin’ dem phones, girl.
(10 minutes pass)
Cynthia: Have you seen [our mutual friend] lately?
Cameron: He was at FolkLife with ******, but I was busy taking care of a drunk Seattle University girl over at Peso’s and was unable to meet up with him.
Cynthia: Cameron, buying more shots of Patron for the drunk girl at Peso’s is NOT taking care of her.
And NOW I have the song “Drunk and Hot Girls” stuck in my head! What the hell!
You bring out the thug in me.
Tupac – Thug N U, Thug N Me (Remix):
Due to an apparently fraudulent election in Iran, an interesting situation has presented itself. One in which the world would be much better off if the man controlling the White House was former-President George W. Bush.
One of the most hated Presidents in recent memory (if not the entirety of American history), George W. Bush managed to divide the nation into hostile camps of partisanship. He led a war into a foreign country that did not attack America, going against the traditional anti-war stance the Republican party had held for much of U.S. history (including Vietnam). He changed tax policy to increase the amount of earnings that the rich could keep, which both inductively and effectively led to increasing wealth inequality and disparity, fanning the flames of class warfare . And he was a foreign policy hawk, largely due to the construction of his cabinet which included prominent gung-ho warriors like Elliott Abrams, Dick Cheney, and Paul Wolfowitz.
Barack Obama, in contrast, is a foreign policy diplomat. His message as well as his actions indicate a desire to show a new face to the world: an America that engages other nations constructively as an observer, but neither infringes on nations’ sovereignty nor involves itself in their internal affairs.
Enter the 2009 Presidential Elections of Iran. It’s come to light that Mr. Ahmedinejad, the victor, may have actually come in 3rd in votes. The vote was certified within three hours of being counted, whereas Iranian election law dictates that they be certified no earlier than three days after an election, so as to allow for appeals on grounds of corruption or voting-tally errors. The security services have green-lighted a provision to allow police to fire upon demonstrators and protesters who dare question the results, and have already begun shooting protesters in exactly this fashion.
It is time for a change of the political system in Iran, the first major change since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. A young and resurgent Iran demands Democracy and modernity, and now needs to rip the power away from the entrenched theocracy, the Mullahs, and the (Grand) Ayatollah (Al-Sistani).
Equally important to the Iranian people’s revolutionary actions would be American intervention. The United States’ CIA is widely-known as being responsible for the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq in August 1953, and is just as able to foment a revolution in Tehran now as they were then.
The best outcome of these election irregularities would be a peaceful popular uprising and a revolution. The mullahs, however, have other ideas, and would be a strong adversary during a revolution. The mullahs would call up the military to institute martial law in order to keep the revolutionary hordes down. Because of the mullahs and their power, the most likely endeavour to bring about revolution in Iran would require outside (U.S.) intervention in addition to a popular uprising.
With Barack Obama sitting in the White House being the calculated and ‘safe’ President that he has shown himself to be time after time, it is not likely that we will see strong support from him for an aggressive U.S. response/intervention. Doing that would go against not only the principles that he ran on and his outspoken stance against the war in Iraq, but against his subconscious self that has been shaped by his experiences in politics and law for decades.
Barack Obama is not the President who will help Iran over the pass and into the Valley of Liberty and Prosperity.
But who is?
The first man who comes to mind is none other than George W. Bush. Bush’s father, George Herbert Walker Bush served for a time as Director of Central Intelligence under Gerald Ford, and knows of the CIA’s capabilities regarding illegal and unauthorized activities and intervention on foreign soil (he was actually called in by Ford to investigate and clean-up the agency of this kind of activity). Bush 41 also led the charge of Desert Storm into Kuwait and Iraq in 1990 and is likewise quite willing to use the military and the CIA in defense of America’s interests abroad. Bush 41′s son, George W. Bush, was likewise a war-hawk, willing to intervene for global interests and to ensure that authoritarian hegemony has no safe harbor in our modern world. He and his cabinet led the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 in addition to the occupation of Afghanistan, and managed the occupations until his two-term presidency ended in January 2009.
If George W. Bush were the President of the United States, he and his cabinet would likely support and execute a covert intervention in Iran and supply the Iranian revolutionaries with intelligence, supplies, and money. Such a development would be best for Iran and the world, but because Barack Obama is such a measured and calculating anti-war President, American intervention is unlikely. Iran and the world will doubtlessly suffer because of this cruel joke of history.
It’s now up to the Iranian people to rise up, as Ukraine did in 2004, and do what must be done–with or without the help of a passive and unassertive America.
Cameron Newland is a mobile phone expert and technology writer from Seattle, Washington. You can subscribe to his blog’s RSS feed by clicking here, and follow his Tweets here. He can be reached at cameron at cameronnewland dot com.
At 8GB, my BlackBerry now matches (most) iPhones when it comes to storage, and still manages to weigh less, have a keyboard, and push email/contacts/calendar entries to the device. I’m throwing my 2GB iPod Nano out the window.
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