RadioMilwaukee’s Diggin’ with the Architect

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Just digging around on the internet

Another Resolution for 2008

me

Besides being a sexy geek for 2008 as resolution, I have another one.  I saw this video over at ill doctrine about being first when it applies to blogging. I have to totally agree with my man Jay Smooth. A lot of bloggers try to get the news first instead of bringing their own perspective to the story. So my goal for next year when it comes to my blogs is to be more insightful and bring a different perspective to the stuff I find on the internet. Anyhoo, y’all have a happy new year!

Filed under: blogging, community, video, , , , ,

I End My Beef with Brad Pitt…for now

Brad Pitt

For over a few years, I have had a beef with Brad Pitt. Why? Besides that he thinks he sexier than me (please). Some of you know I am an architect and I paid my dues to become one. However, Mr. Pitt decided he liked architecture and so hooked up with Frank Gehry and worked on some cool projects. No schooling, no all-nighters, no professors making you feel like crawling in a fetal position after tearing your presentation to shreds and Brad Pitt works on amazing projects with no formal training because he is a famous actor. So you see why I am a little miffed.

Well it seems that Mr. Pitt wants to make amends with me. He is now taking the lead on rebuilding the 9th ward in New Orleans. The most affected by Hurricane Katrina. While most of the country thinks that most of New Orleans is recovering, this section has been all but forgotten.

Brad Pitt is heading up this organization called Make It Right Nola. It is organization that will help build sustainable homes for families of the 9th Ward.

Inspired by the courage and hope of the residents he met, Pitt resolved to do whatever he could to help them rebuild. Just as importantly, he wanted to help recreate and nurture the unique culture and spirit of the Lower 9th Ward, which symbolizes the soul of New Orleans. He understood instinctively that a New Orleans rebuilt without the Lower 9th Ward would never be whole.

He began by working with Global Green to sponsor an architecture competition aimed at generating ideas about how to rebuild sustainably. Pitt worked with local community leaders as well as experts from around the world to develop viable ideas for the Lower 9th Ward. That successful project inspired Pitt’s new focus: Make It Right.

The Mission of Make It Right is clear: It is to be a catalyst for redevelopment of the Lower 9th Ward, by building a neighborhood comprised of safe and healthy homes that are inspired by Cradle to Cradle thinking, with an emphasis on a high quality of design, while preserving the spirit of the community’s culture. The goal is to accomplish this quickly, so that the first residents can begin returning to their homes as soon as possible.

There are some amazing designs that are all sustainable. There are various architects from all over the world that are working on this project including two of my favorites: Adjaye Architects out of London and Morphosis out of California plus five New Orleans based architects. Check out these designs from some of the architects.

adjaye
Design from Adjaye Architects

Morphosis
Design from Morphosis

Mr. Pitt is asking for donations to help build these homes. You can even sponsor a home. This is a great program, and for that, I end my beef with Brad Pitt….for now.

Filed under: architecture, community, culture, design, enviroment, family, holidays, media, video, , , , , , , , , , ,

Site of the Day: Family Matters

CoziThis ‘Site of the Day’ is specially for the busy families out there. It is called Cozi. It is an online organizer for Families on the go. It has a variety of features to help families plan, communicate and organize their lives.It features a group calendar where you can coordinate the whole families schedule, shopping lists where you can organize things you need or tasks that need to be done, messages that can be forward to someone in the family via email or mobile phone, and a photo screensaver that includes reminders of appointments and other important things that the family needs to know about.There are even software tools that let you access your account with out software and Microsoft Outlook plugin to sync your information from Cozi to your Outlook accounts. Best of all, it is all free. Give it a try.

Filed under: community, family, internet, Site of the Day, , , , , , ,

Forget about the Super Bowl Ads

firebrandI admit it. I am sucker for a good commerical. I paid money to see the British Advertising Awards every year at the Walker Museum in Minneapolis. Now there will be a network on TV, web and mobile called Firebrand that will focus on the best advertising spots from around the world. The multi-platform network will debut tonight at 11pm EST on the Ion Television Network.

Firebrand features the most creative advertising, best video gametrailers and special promotions, providing a unique destination forcommercial culture. Firebrand programs TV commercials the way musicnetworks have programmed music videos. “Viewers are encouraged to ‘Opt-in,Search, Download and Share’ their favorite spots on TV, the web andmobile,” says John A. Lack, Chief Executive Officer/Co-Founder….Firebrand will enlist the aid of “Commercial Jockeys” or “CJs” who willguide the viewing audience through award-winning ads, exclusives,director’s cuts and never-before-seen-on-TV commercials. In its firstmonth, Firebrand will feature commercial celebrities like the Dell Dude,Ben Curtis, Capitol One’s angel, Jay Klaitz, and the young star of Mr.Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Zach Mills. Each will make a guest appearanceon Firebrand, talking about their favorite commercials, setting up spotsand sharing their playlists.

Check the Press Release here. Try the beta of the site here.

Filed under: apple, community, culture, internet, media, technology, tv, video, , , , , , ,

Give One and Get One has been extended

It is such a great thing and you get a gift that you can share with someone special. The laptop is so cool. Check out the Video review from the New York Times below.Starting November 12 through Decemeber 31, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give One Get One Program for a brief window of time in North America. For $399, you will be purchasing two XO laptops—one that will be sent to empower a child to learn in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to your child at home.For more information, please call 1-877-70-LAPTOP or visit http://www.laptopgiving.org

Filed under: community, culture, education, media, technology, video, , , , , , ,

Scrap Black Friday and don’t Buy Anything.

bndI find Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving pretty surreal with all the advertising. It is a definite attack on my senses.  It almost has become a holiday on its own. In my opinion, I think it has corrupted what Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays truly mean. Don’t get me wrong, I love buying some new fangle device, or some music. However, this can get a little extreme.  Take a look at this  video from last year and previous years where people get trampled in a store to grab some toys that are on sale.Adbusters  put together a campaign called Buy Nothing Day which happens today.   The Premise is simple; don’t buy anything today.  They have Public Service Announcement for their campaign which MTV won’t air because it is a little to extreme for their airwaves.

MTV, the channel that markets itself to hip youth, has decreed that our Buy Nothing Day public service spot “goes further than we are willing to accept on our channels”. Gangsta rap and sexualized, semi-naked school girls are okay, but apparently not a burping pig talking about consumption. If you object to this sort of corporate censorship, why not send them a message now?

Filed under: community, culture, economy, education, enviroment, holidays, internet, media, politics, video, , , , ,

If you can stand the heat, Stay in the Kitchen

chef

Some of my friends know that one of my hobbies is cooking. It is also the holiday season which means that there will a lot of cooking going on. I got a couple of things to inspire you this holiday season and anytime of the year.

The first online resource for cooking is called Open Source Food. It is a social network for aspiring chefs. People share their recipes with others. Others can judge your recipe as well.

Open Source Food came to fruition because me and my father wanted to create a place for people like us. We’re not professional cooks, we just love food. We want to share, learn and improve ourselves with the help of like-minded food lovers. Open Source Food is a platform for that. –Jon Yongfook

opensourcefood

The next one is a video podcast. I found about this from Trace Magazine’s blog. It is called The Dante Fried Chicken Show. There is only one episode and a trailer. It is little more than a cooking show. It is a variety show with interviews, live music and of course cooking. It is kind of like a cooking show surrounded by a party. The host cooks vegan dishes in addition to other culinary delights which is cool. The host is Dante Gonzalez .

…Dante Gonzales aka the Stove Top General. Located in Harlem on 125th Street and Broadway, the lounge is a comfortable restaurant/bar with a spacious stage in the basement. General Gonzales hails from California where he learned to cook and “flip” recipes from his grandmother Jean Crawford. The Jean Cashew Hot Wings with Apricot Sauce had this writer salivating; hot and crispy with plenty of flavor. The Sock It 2 Me Tofu tastes so much like fried chicken a vegetarian would send it back!

Dante has been cooking for 7 years now. He started in New York by having chicken parties for music industry heads which launched his immediate success…

Dante’s music background includes alternative, Afro-Brazilian, Caribbean as well as hip-hop. Dante considers the south sound a new energetic sound although most of the artists are lyrically the same. He thinks this movement is conceptually smart and here to stay. He told us, on the low of course, (shh!) that he used to give away mixed music he made with his food…

Dante’s Fried Chicken Show

Check out the trailer here (some language not suitable for the young ones)

What is your favorite recipe for the holidays?

Filed under: community, cooking, culture, education, food, internet, media, Music, video, , , , , , ,

UPDATE: RIAA: Now attacking School Funding

RIAA

RIAA is now threating the funding of colleges and universities. If suing single moms for sharing 24 songs, or little girls wasn’t enough, the RIAA and its lobbyists are trying to force colleges and universities to fight piracy and if they don’t, they risk losing funding. So your hard earn tuition will go to resources to see if you are sharing the new Britney Spears album instead of education. RIAA is so desparate they are doing everything except evolving the business model.

The College Opportunity and Affordability Act (PDF) is a monster of a document, weighing in at 747 pages. The bill aims to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965, and buried deep inside is a nasty secret sponsored by the entertainment industry: universities would be required to help fight piracy or risk the loss of federal funding.

University officials have been understandably alarmed, as the above provisions would put a potential $100 billion each year in federal aid at risk; failure to comply would cause the school to lose all of its financial aid for students, affecting even those students who don’t own a personal computer.

In a letter written on Wednesday and signed by the presidents of Stanford University and Penn State, and the chancellor of the University of Maryland system, university officials wrote:

Such an extraordinarily inappropriate and punitive outcome would result in all students on that campus losing their federal financial aid–including Pell grants and student loans that are essential to their ability to attend college, advance their education, and acquire the skills necessary to compete in the 21st-century economy … lower-income students, those most in need of federal financial aid, would be harmed most under the entertainment industry’s proposal.

If college wasn’t expensive enough. What’s next day care?

Also check this interesting article from Wired.com on the details of this plan to charge taxpayers to pay for music subscriptions for students at universities.

If there’s a better place to share music than a university, I haven’t heard about it. They offer students broadband connections, of course, and with so many peers around students must always have plenty ideas about the latest songs to download.

But even without the broadband connections, universities would still be near-ideal places to share music. The so-called sneakernet allows students to dump the contents of their iPods onto each others’ computers. Or, you can fit about 1400 MP3s onto a single 4.7GB DVD-R disc.

That’s why a clause in the College Opportunity and Affordability Act (COAA) makes so little sense. According to the Digital Freedom Campaign (part of the Consumer Electronics Association), the bill’s Campus Based Digital Theft Prevention provision “would require every university receiving federal funds to purchase a subscription to a music download service as a way of preventing unauthorized downloads and file sharing on college campuses.”

Digital Freedom accused the RIAA of having had one of its Congressional lobbying victims insert the clause, which it says would require taxpayers to spend $100 billion earmarked for financial aid on digital music subscriptions.

Filed under: community, culture, education, media, Music, politics, technology, , , , , ,

Thanksgiving via Lessons Learned in Iraq

Thanksgiving is this week. Here are some strategies for going home for the holidays (courtesy of Ze Frank). Use them wisely. Remember, always have a timetable just in case something happens.

Happy Thanksgiving

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Filed under: community, cooking, culture, Uncategorized, video, , , ,

Site of the Day: Hot Chalk!

hot chalk

After listening to the School Board Meeting a couple of weeks ago in regards to the property tax increase, I notice that there were little or no solutions, just criticisms. I have my opinion, but my mom told me if I don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve it either. So I will point out some ideas in this blog that MPS, Parents,Teachers and students could use or modify for their own use to help our education system.

This solution to help teachers and students is my site of the day. I found about this site over at Springwise. The site is called Hot Chalk.

From Springwise Article:

The HotChalk Learning Environment does exactly that, using the convenience and versatility of an online community to complement the classroom experience for grades K-12.

Teachers can create websites for their classes and can log on to manage lesson plans and grades, post assignments and announcements for students, including attachments and even video clips. They can also collaborate with other teachers and take advantage of continuing education opportunities, available through a partnership with McGraw-Hill. Students can receive and submit homework, view handouts and reference materials, access grades and, of course, pose questions and comments as needed. And parents can keep a watchful eye on their children’s progress and stay in touch with teachers. HotChalk is free of charge, so schools and parents can take advantage of all of its features without breaking the bank.

Funded in part by corporate sponsorships, the site does accept money from advertisers, but it does so very selectively, using the HotChalk Community Standards Engine. The company doesn’t accept any ads they deem inappropriate. Moreover, ads are never displayed during the school day or to children younger than age 13. One of the fastest growing internet properties in the US, HotChalk may well be a model worth adapting to other regions or professions.

hot chalk screen shot

Filed under: community, education, technology, , , , , , , , ,