Bored vicariously.

During our recent San Francisco travels, Skye and I were disrupted by the last of the Universal Soldiers. His name’s Justin, so hints his URL, and he’s revolutionizing something or another with an idea that was bound to come about sooner or later: 24/7 real-time first-person, erm, programming. Though I reckon his is a case study in content-second webcrap, don’t take my word for it. Check out for yourself the exciting highlights of his first week of broadcast, including “sleeping” and “cleaning up after a party” — just like your own life, except in lousy resolution.
[Still, props for follow-through.]

Getting the message.

I was wrong. My initial distaste for Windows Live Messenger’s Whatchoo Listenintoo? gimmick was unfounded. This is actually an ingenious feature. Provided they aren’t merely shuffling through a random playlist, my conversee’s current choice of music reveals a level of communicative nuance and emotional subtlety beyond even the most winkety of emoticons. And when Gregtober77 writes that “painting, sculpture, opera, ballet, poetry and theater shouldn’t bother considering ordinary people” while listening to Cinderella’s “Heartbreak Station”, there’s something to be said for subtext indeed.
In an effort to further the intimacy (and perhaps irony) of Messenger convos, perhaps the next version should also indicate when a partner “is deleting a message”, as it does when they’re writing one.

The Apple of Retail’s Eye

In the new edition of Fortune they call out “America’s Most Admired Companies” and to nobody’s surprise; Apple is in the top 10. They have a great article on Apple’s success with retail. When they got into the retail game in 2001, industry experts where extremely critical of their approach and didn’t think they would succeed. I think the opening paragraph is worth repeating here:
“Sorry Steve, Here’s Why Apple Stores Won’t Work,” BusinessWeek wrote with great certainty in 2001. “It’s desperation time in Cupertino, Calif.,” opined TheStreet.com. “I give [Apple] two years before they’re turning out the lights on a very painful and expensive mistake,” predicted retail consultant David Goldstein.

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Science Cafe

I just spoke with Al Wiman about the Science Cafe offering they run over at the St. Louis Science Center. Tonight, the topic is, “Are We Committing Biocide? The Human Impact on Biodiversity” and includes Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden. I’ve been wanting to go to one of these because of the access it offers; they bring each guest around to each audience table for one-on-one discussion. Alas, not tonight for me because it is my wife’s night out and I’ve got the boys. Despite my absence, I thought I’d tell y’all about it. The folks over at the science center are doing yeoman’s work and deserve all the support we can give ‘em.

as far as possible, and then some

I’ve been mercilessly threatened by thugs at the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies. They’re the ones in the swank flowery shirts. They insist that if I don’t consider the broadest possible multiplicity of potential outcomes, I may overlook the one I actually want to pursue. And while I couldn’t really hear over the howl of ukuleles, I think they said that if I don’t respect the almighty S in futures, they’ll rub a pineapple against my neck. Not lovingly, either, like Don Ho does to tourists in the front row.
Now, maybe I’ve got a bit of a Honolulu Syndrome thing going on, but I think all that talk of possibilities and pineapples has gone to my head. In a recent client-attended ideation session, all I could feel was the pull of the far-fetched and improbable.

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