Monday, March 31, 2008

Spend 18 Minutes with TED

TED, (Technology, Entertainment, Design) began in 1984 as a way to spread new ideas. They are devoted to giving millions of knowledge-seekers around the globe direct access to the world's greatest thinkers and teachers. They now have a time limit of 18 minutes for each of the talks, which are free to distribute under the Creative Commons License and sponsored by BMW.

Here's a recent talk by Neuroscientist Christopher deCharms who is helping to develop a new kind of MRI that allows doctor and patient to look inside the brain in real time -- to see visual representations of brain processes as they happen. With his company Omneuron, deCharms has developed technology they call rtfMRI, for "real-time functional MRI" -- which is exactly what it sounds like. You move your arm, your brain lights up. You feel pain, your brain lights up.


Other past talks:

In the "What Makes Us Happy" theme, Rick Warren: On Purpose

In the "TED Prize Wish" theme, Bono: Join my call to action on Africa


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Waking from my R.E.M. slumber

Back in the late 80's, early 90's, before things like iPods and filesharing and streaming and all of the ways we enjoy music these days, I had a stack of R.E.M. CD's (compact discs for anyone born in the 90's) on top of my living room player and one or two in the car at all times. For whatever reason, I lost interest after 1992's "Automatic for the People."

The R.E.M. song that plays in my head at random times is "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville"

Michael and the boys are back with "Accelerate", being released next week, but you can stream the entire album for free here.

And be sure to watch them perform on the plaza outside The Today Show studio Tuesday morning, April 1.


Monday, March 24, 2008

iPop Art

When an ad campaign becomes an integral part of our culture, someone will inevitably find a way to profit from it, besides the original promoter. puts you into the ultra-hip iPod adverts that you can order as posters, t-shirts, greeting cards and more.



Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Night in the Boiler Room

Our house church had the opportunity to learn more about a neighborhood ministry known as the stockbridge boiler room, which was featured in a local newspaper article yesterday. One of the three interns and a friend came over to talk with us about his life's journey and how he ended up where he's at now. Then we walked to the house for a quick tour and an hour of prayer and worship. We met some awesome people doing some great things - I guess you had to be there.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Cool but Creepy

This is called a motion potrait - crazy graphics of a woman's face set in motion.


Then you move your mouse.


Reminds me of the paintings on the wall in Scooby-Doo or Harry Potter.


May I Recommend...?

It's certainly convenient if you have a great group of friends who love reading books and putting you on to the next great read. However, if you don't hang out with book types, here's a referral site that gives you recommendations based on other's reviews (instead of the Amazon cyborg suggester).

And if you're really not into making your own choices, they have an affiliate site that lets you take a quiz to see if you should really vote the way you think you should. (They actually ask if you think the candidate should be a Mormon...)


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

High Fives Decision Making

For anyone who has ever had to lead a group writing a mission or vision statement, or planning an event, a lot of time can be spent checking to see how everyone is feeling about how things are going. This "High Fives" method can cut that time dramatically, especially as the group expands beyond 5 or 6 individuals. Here's how it works:

The facilitator clearly states the question or idea and provides the scale below (it is helpful to post the scale on a flip chart before the meeting begins):

5. I can give an unqualified yes to the decision. I'm excited or enthusiastic about it.
4. I can live with the decision. It's OK with me.
3. I am concerned about this decision but will not block the group.
2. I think there is a major problem with the decision and choose to block the group's action.
1. Too soon to make any decision; work needs to be done before the question can be asked.

Each person in the group responds to the question by indicating with a show of fingers his or her level of endorsement of the proposal. When the group responds with “fours” and “fives”, the decision goes ahead. “Threes” indicate a need to discuss the question further, as do “ones” or “twos.”


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Rescue Deja Vu

A Chinese man is being hailed as a hero for diving into a pond to save a drowning 7-year-old boy - 20 years after he jumped into the same pond to save the boy's father. Wang Weiqing, 58, sprang into action when he saw the child struggling in the water as he walked past. Only when the boy's grandfather arrived did the two men recall their previous encounter two decades earlier.