Friday, April 15, 2005

The age of documentaries

Learned something new yesterday: documentaries are hot hot hot! With Netflix in use in some many households, people are finally taking the *risk* of renting documentaries. With the average price of a rental down to $2 and using the recommendation engine on the site, people are discovering and choosing to rent deliveries. I am one of those people. Of the 35 movies, I have rented so far this year, four have been documentaries (What the #$*! Do We Know!?, Shakleton's Antarctic Adventure, Spellbound, and Control Room), with several more in the queue (Touching the Void, A Touch of Greatness, The Fog of War, Capturing the Friedmans, etc.).

It was mentioned that Netflix has approached the Discovery Channel and other sources of documentaries to feed the hunger for nonfiction cinema. I'm very happy with this trend. Will this new interest be popular enough to overtake the drivel (Survivor, American Idol, and the rest of the reality crap) that permeates the airwaves? I do hope so...

Monday, April 11, 2005

7cm = 2.75 inches, in case you were wondering

Ah...the miracles of modern medicine: "Hey, is that a penis on your arm, or are you just happy to see me?"

The Internet and maps

The Institute is very big on the evolution of the Internet to incorporate mapping into its core: layers and layers of information that will be available to you as you move around in place. Information will be tagged with latitude/longitude/elevation coordinates and you will access content via a device that knows where you are, so your place in space will allow you access to information that is relevant to you at that very moment. Combine these two with search, security/privacy, social networking, content filtering, and presence technology and you have a wonderful new place that we call the GeoWeb. A site I saw last week that shows where we are going is a marriage of Craigslist and Google Maps. This is only the start of the next big wave of innovation. Hope you catch the ride early!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

California Organ Donation Registry

On NPR on Friday morning, there was a conversation about California's new Organ & Tissue Donor Registry. The old model of signing a donor card and putting the pink dot on your license did not put you on any list or Registry. It only takes about 60 seconds to sign up. Hope you will!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Remember playing video games as a kid?

...or maybe you still do. We are starting to do research on pervasive gaming and how it is becoming more and more part of our lives (at least for a good chunk of the population). To assist in that, we are asking people to tell us about their experiences with if you got some history to share, please do so! ...and feel free to share the link with all your gamer friends. Thanks!


Note...our request made it to the BoingBoing blog.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Back in school I am

The night class that I had originally registered for (Anthropology of Silicon Valley) was cancelled. As a backup, I decided to take Introduction to the Arab World. Since most of us Americans are know to be very ignorant to things that are *foreign*, I thought it would be nice to expand my horizons a bit. It's a 9 week course...and I"m through the first two weeks. I'm taking it for credit, so I have a paper due on the last day. I'm leaning towards writing about the educational system in Saudi Arabia and its impact on Saudi Arabia's future (the study of engineering, medicine and the sciences is very rare...most study religion). If anyone has some nice links for me to check out...send 'em my way!

Week 5 of the gym

Ah...finally...I'm back! Tonight, I passed into the I'm-in-shape zone. How do I know? If you've been know. At the end of the workout, endorphins start to flow and you get that little high. Nice, very nice! I've been averaging about 4 trips to the gym per week...90 minutes each time.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Only in SF...37 years ago

I just finished watching Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, starring Sidney Poittier, Spencer Tracy (his last movie), Katherine Hepburn. I have to say...bravo for this movie having been made back then. There were some great soliloquies, most notably Monsignor Ryan's about how mixed marriages were America's future and Mrs. Prentice's thoughts on old men. Thankfully, Tracy's character comes through in the end with thoughtful remarks on how two people who love one another will be able to stand up to hatred and other challenges.

The sad thing is that even though it was made 37 years ago...people are still hateful, prejudiced and bigots. I know of parents who still think it there place to dictate what their children should and should not do. I think my favorite quote in the movie was when Mr. Poittier tells his father, that he doesn't owe him anything. "You brought me into this world. You are responsible for me. I owe you nothing. And just like you, I will be responsible for my own children."

Children are a parent's responsibility. True. Do your best for them, teach them well and then once they are adults, let them be free to do WHATEVER they want. Your responsibility ends when they leave the nest. It boggles my mind why, to this day, this is still not understood...