Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Future is Now, but Only for Some of Us!

Here is a question that has been asked many times. What separated Steve Jobs from the rest of us? And you can ask the same question about Elon Musk. Why did these guys see opportunities that others did not?

The answer is surprisingly simple. Both men spent the time and effort to develop a vision for the future. Not an abstract vision, like world peace. But a vision about a concrete aspect of the future. In Jobs case, a vision of what mobile technology could offer. In Musk’s case, how to ween the world off of fossil fuels. With that vision in hand — that they were firmly committed to — they asked the easier question. How do we get there?

George Blankenship was there and he knows. In this video hes pills the beans.

Enjoy!

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What Worked for Hef

Hugh Hefner was not your usual business man. And yet, he was indeed a very successful business man. Whether you liked him or scorned him for what he sold, he sold lots of magazines. Then when the magazine business started to go south, he sold his brand name, Playboy.

Hef knew instinctively how to sell the brand – by living it.  The brand sold the “good life”. Not the old fashioned Victorian good life. But the good life that the mid-20th century offered – materialistic and somewhat hedonistic. Hef conspicuously lived it up with parties, women, resorts, casinos, air travel, everything. And he took none of it too seriously, just demanding that it was a great time.

Of course, this eventually got old. Still dating in your eighties? Yuck! But before Hef became a caricature of himself, the good life that he promoted and lived was taken seriously.  People went to Playboy Clubs.

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People took notice of his wild parties

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His Playboy jet was iconic

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Lots of people envied the man at the center of it all.

The Playboy magazine publisher can be seen with his then-girlfriend, actress Barbara Benton, and other playmates arriving at Le Bourget airport

If you are into it, here is a link for more pics

And he started the whole thing off with a $1,000 loan from his mother.

Could one make up a story like this?

Time to Put Morocco’s Oasis Festival on Your Calendar?

There is no shortage of music festivals around the world. Is there room for one more? Perhaps … if the venue is exotic, the creature comforts are extreme, and the music is inspiring. This is the promise of the Morocco Oasis Festival

(Founder Marjana Jaidi created a one-of-a-kind dance experience in the mountains of Marrakech that gives anyone who attends a chance to immerse themselves in the city’s rich culture, all while enjoying an incredible lineup. It’s the perfect balance between travel and music that will not disappoint.

The promo video at their website is awesome.

We just missed this year’s event. But it is on my calendar for consideration next year,

And you?

Searching for Museum Dopplegängers?

Thanks to my friend Peter for this!

Are museums just places, as Bob Dylan sang “… where infinity goes up on tria”? You might get that feeling wandering around the seemingly endless arrays of art works. A human touch, something that links us as visitors, to the works on display might be nice.

And some museums are offering that. From My Modern Met

Museum doppelgängers exists throughout the ages. They’re commonly in Renaissance-era paintings and pieces of pop art, but the Musée de la civilisation in Quebec City is going back even further. Their project called My 2000-Year-Old Double will soon pair people’s portraits with a corresponding ancient Greco-Roman or Egyptian sculpture. Using facial-recognition software, they will make matches for 60 sets of artwork/twins. The results will be revealed in October of 2018.

Meanwhile, you might find your own dopplegänger. check out the fun pics form the article. here is one

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Not bad! this one is also fun

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Enjoy!

 

 

Manafort is the Key

It is standard procedure in the US for prosecutors to try to flip lower level actors in order to snare the “big fish”. This is how, for example, the FBI took down the mafia in Philadelphia and New Jersey. So it would be no huge surprise if Bob Mueller would be following the same playbook.

And he is. Mueller has been paying very close attention to Paul Manafort. Apparently, Manafort is not quite ready to talk. And Donald Trump’s signal that he might pardon himself and anyone else that he chooses to may be stiffening Manafort’s resolve to say “nyet” to Mueller.

But there is a hitch in that strategy. Trump can only pardon for federal crimes. He cannot pardon state  law crimes. Ooops. And btw, a pardon for Manafort federal crimes might be evidence used in state court prosecutions.

So, it would make sense for Mueller to form an alliance with an energetic state attorney general to share evidence and strategize together on how to rev up the pressure on said Manafort.

And this is precisely what Mueller has done. The press is reporting that Mueller is cooperating with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in just the above way.

If this works, you may see a steady sequence of flips of Trump associates leading to the big game – Trump being forced to testify before a grand jury.

Stay tuned!

Would You Want to be Trump’s Chief of Staff?

Some Reflections on the Latest Casualty of the Trump Administration

So after just six months, Reince Priebus is out as Trump’s Chief of Staff . When you think about it, it is not a huge surprise. He and Trump were not well suited for one another.  Priebus is not a “red meat” kind of guy. And Trump is a raw red meat sort of dude. And Priebus was part of the gang that pushed Trump to play ball with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to make health care reform a priority in Trump’s first year  Using hindsight, that was a  really, really bad political move.   There will be political fallout from that, and I will get back to that point in a minute.

Before I do, we might wonder, who would want the Chief of Staff job anyway? The Chief of Staff is supposed to keep things in order. But “in order” is a phrase that doesn’t resonate with Trump unless it is everyone else obeying his orders — no matter how silly they may be. In a political system of checks and balances based on the rule of law, Trump is a bull in a china shop with lit dynamite sticks strapped to its horns.   Would you want to be riding that bull? Not me, thank you.

So what next? My guess is that Trump will play ball less with the GOP and play to his hard right base. He may have no other political options. That may have been the “thinking” behind his latest weird speech where he suggested that police rough up detainees more.  HeeHeee! And you thought his speech to the boy scouts was weird!  Here is an excerpt from his latest deep thinking

“When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, please don’t be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over. Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody. Don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, okay?

If that is indeed the way things will go, Republicans in Congress will have to scratch their heads. The midterm elections are a little over one year away. And what will be the main issue? I  am not a genius, but I would guess the health care fiasco will be on the agenda. Someone will have to take the blame for thinking that taking away health insurance from millions of Americans. was a good idea.

If he stays true to form — and there is no reason to believe this pony knows any other tricks — Trump will blame Congress for the failure. He will pretend that he had nothing to do with it, and actually wanted to do other “great” things. But he was held back. Indeed, he is disguetsed by Washington’s corrupt, even criminal ways. You get the idea.  Amd of course, he will want to investigate Hillary Clinton.

So who will take the blame for the health care fiasco? Congressional Republicans will. Of Course, they deserve it.  But deserving it will not stop them from trying to figure out how to blame someone else or to change the subject. There is no one else to blame. That means changing the subject might have some strategic value. Hmmm … by taking the Russia investigations more seriously?   Whether they take this step or not, I am confident that they are considering it. Or they may be considering some other way to capitalize on Trump’s lack of populatity with the mainstream. Conflicts of interest? Lying? Obstruciton of justice? Bad judgment? Poor leadership? Bad hair?

The problem is that changing course in this way would require a modicum of courage. Looking at that bunch, I do not detect that particular character trait in abundance.

The plot thickens.

You May Not Have Noticed but the Finns are Going Wild!

Thanks to my bro for catching this one!

The words “wild” and “Finns” are not generally found in the same sentence. Finns are usually thought of as the opposite of wild. And yet, they have their eccentricities and those eccentricities are on the wild side.

One of the eccentric sides of the Finnish character comes out in sport. The Finns were dedicated to performing well in international competitions. But that was long ago. They have gravitated to other games that they make up. Like swamp football. And wife carrying. And invisible guitar competitions. Of course, games like these dannot be played when you are sober.  Need more to persuade you that this is on the eccentric side?

Just look at swamp soccer in Hyrynsalmi, a place where Jetta can achieve a small level of celebrity over the years. Jetta is a stuffed badger ensconced in a bird cage. She acts as a mascot of sorts for a team of 12 friends who make the seven-hour drive each year from Vihti, near Helsinki, for the competition. They bought the doll seven years ago from a junk store at a highway rest stop, and her fame around the swamp has grown ever since. A couple of years ago, she was interviewed by a local newspaper.

Check out this article if you dare read more!

Swamp football? Yikes!

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