Life, Nematodes, and Zero Effect

I agree with anyone who says Zero Effect is one of the greatest existential movies ever made, if only because of a single line…

Heavenfaced: Gratitude and Grieving

When we’re grieving, it’s easy to forget it’s a mysterious process. I’m grateful for the music, stories and art that are also mysterious, the way they find us when we need them and help catalyze the process, which can seem to take such a long time. When Dad died around this time last year, I…

Living With Dementia

Mom passed away three years ago today. After initially being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, it was a few months later, at the University of Iowa Hospitals, when she was diagnosed with vascular dementia. As her world (and ours) fell apart, I realized that Mom’s behavior suddenly made perfect sense. I also became startlingly aware that,…

Changing without changing

Many of us make great sacrifice to avoid it. Laws are written and put into place to stymy it. Large, expensive buildings are built to protect against it. Minds are made up against it and reject ideas that even hint at it. Blockades of all sorts are built against potential outcomes that may lead to…

Does empathy bridge art + engineering?

It takes a special something, a combination of unique experience and compatible disposition, to effectively temper hard sciences with soft ones in practice. Everything may very well come back to user experience, not only in the product (the outcome) but also in the process (the story). Empathy is arguably a key component of both hard…

URL

I learned one of the most important lessons from URL, who was about 3 when I first met him. Known mostly for peeing all over the place whenever he first saw you, URL always got too excited to see people he knew or any people, actually, who were willing to give him attention. URL would…

All in the telling

The latest technologies, including cloud, social, anything mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have and will continue to transform business, especially the customer experience, which still revolves around the story. Storytelling is still the centerpiece. Nothing new there. Storytelling has been the centerpiece since before anyone could even write….

Telling stories

We can’t throw a rock across the Web without hitting one of the many articles, posts, books, podcasts or interviews focused on the use of storytelling in business. Arguably kicking the magic out of the hat, most of them address the way stories are used in marketing goods and services (yawn). We need to think…

Memorial

Right before you got very ill, Mom, you had already made up your mind. You wanted no funeral. No wake. No trace left behind but the memories you built yourself with each of us. You wrote letters to us to be read after you were gone. You made every consideration to make sure we knew…

“Wock, papa?”

Lately, right after dinner time, the little boy will stand there, look up at me and say, “wock, papa?”. Now, this word, ‘wock’ is a thoughtful piece of communication. Your first impression may be that it is simply a two-year-old’s version of the word “walk” or perhaps the word “rock” – but the truth behind…

The unseen upside to donating our bodies to science

“Donating your body to science” is a well-known but poorly understood concept, at least, according to my own experience in helping my own Mom accomplish her last wish. It is important to know there are a lot of options out there for donating but there is little, if anything, written about the process and true…

Perception, Context, Empathy, and the Art of Communication

Perceptions sure are funny things. Everything depends on them. Especially outcomes. This is one for the memory banks. Here is some context: last weekend, my little boy and I had just gotten home. We were unloading our bikes from the day’s festivities (it was Memorial Day Weekend), carrying stuff back into the house: he his…

Race, Socio-Economics, and being cool with each other

What do I know about diversity? I thought I knew something about race, gender, socio-economics, and my own identity in relationship to something larger than myself. Turns out I knew very little. I learned more from this past year than I ever imagined I did not know and am keeping my eyes and ears open…

Success, Failure, and the Power of the Rebound

I was married to my first wife for 10 years. We were together for 3 before we married. It was a fabulous adventure, a tale to tell, full of ups, downs, and everything in between. We lived all over the place, followed our hearts, made sacrifices to spend time with friends in far-flung parts of…

Perfect cubes, balance, and the number 27

It’s the 27th day of the month today. Turns out, the number 27 is singular. The Internet can tell us why, mathematically, the number 27 is so unique. For example, 27 is a perfect cube (3 cubed), a completely balanced equation. In math, that is truly saying something. The number 27 pops up a lot,…

ghost-driven, meat-coated skeletons made from stardust?

I’m not much for motivational schwack. Every now and then, however, something grabs me. Like this (originally posted here) and Erika Leibrandt’s thoughts, too): You’re a ghost driving a meat-coated skeleton made from stardust. What do you have to be scared of? Buddhists sometimes meditate on the vision of their own corpse. Imagine that for…

Adaptation, Semiotics, and Being Cool with Things

My awareness of adaptation began in Mr. Johnson’s 6th grade class. I was a 5th grader who school administrators felt belonged there, rather than with peers my own age. This, unbeknownst to me at the time, required a great deal of adaptation. Being smart in school was not sexy then like it is now. Mr….

Baby, life is what you make it

I have heard everyone say it. If I had to, I could not count how many times my pals with kids have asked, “So when are you going to be a dad?” or “How come you don’t have any kids yet?” For years I fielded kind words from my friends who considered me well suited…

MacAskill

We tip our hats to @kdragon87 for the tip on this one:

Dropped is in

This 10-minute short film is made up of clips found on YouTube by Chris Beckman, who collected clips of people dropping their video cameras and edited them together into this artful masterpiece:

Tabula Rasa

From Wikipedia: Tabula rasa is the epistemological thesis that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and perception. Generally proponents of the tabula rasa thesis favour the “nurture” side of the nature versus nurture debate, when it comes to aspects of one’s personality, social and emotional behaviour, and…

Bar Harbor

I spent the day yesterday walking around Bar Harbor with some very good pals. Walking and talking, we putzed around the tide pools, took some stills, skipped some stones and took in the area’s beautiful scenery and fresh ocean air. We toured Acadia National Park and spent some time at the top of Cadillac Mountain,…