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Lessons learned From Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean in: An illustrated guide

Posted by admin on Feb 21, 2014 in books, geekery, lists, opinion

Sheryl Sandberg Job Advice

I recently read Sheryls Sandberg’s Lean In and have a few thoughts I wanted to share about it. First, the book is not half as intimidating as it looks from the outside.  The intimidation wasn’t the title,  the cover photo or the feminist message you knew it contained, but the actual size. The hardback size. Bound, big and heavy. The publishers went for the “serious” cash rather than the mass return, and published a book that looked very big and weighty. It looked long. It felt like it would be worthy. It turned me off.

Fast forward a few months and I downloaded it on my Kindle. And I discovered the book is short. Really short. 24% in and I’m at chapter 5. There are eleven chapters. And it’s SO easy to read. It’s essentially a self help book which uses Sheryl Sandberg’s career as a framework. Sandberg is surprisingly honest and open about her personal failings and her family life. She shared anecdotes about crying at work. She revealed her mistakes. She talked about regrets, such as being insensitive to pregnant women (before she’d experienced it). I learned about how she grew up (who knew she was from Miami?), her parents, her sister. I was impressed with her before, but now I like her.

I feel that the publishers did a disservice by releasing a hardcover copy of the book as a lot of people who could have benefitted from this probably didn’t read it. But now that I have – and enjoyed it – I decided that I’m going to break it down for all the people who are to time poor or lazy.

A lot of the lessons in the book are about the way you look at things. It’s about the angle, not the events. Yes, she acknowledges gender discrimination, wage disparity and social issues. But she doesn’t try and make you change the world. She offers practical, useful advice on how to make the best of a flawed situation, and maybe make some bigger changes along the way. I’ve been quoting certain phrases to people, and that’s pretty rare for me, so the following nuggets are ones that stood out for me personally.

leaninbigproblem

This is a question that Sandberg suggest using when approaching a job role you want. It’s not about you- it’s about what you bring to the company. Read more…

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Eating Pizza and Pasta at The Biggest McDonald’s In The World

Posted by admin on Feb 16, 2014 in geekery, Strange events, Yum

Amurica. Home of the weird, the wild, the oversized. Nothing is more American than the golden arches of McDonald’s, a company that has been going since 1940 and was originally a BBQ restaurant. Today the golden arches stand for fast food, consumerist America and excess in so many ways. But let’s forget the gluttony and saturated fat for a moment and celebrate some pure American excess, with a trip to the world’s largest McDonalds’s…

Yes, the BIGGEST McDonald’s in the world. Seriously. Based in Orlando, Florida, home of Disney World, SeaWorld (or picketing SeaWorld), there is the biggest McDonald’s in the world. It has a bowling alley, a 500 gallon aquarium, arcade games, gift shop and chefs serving you tailor-made pizza and pasta dishes. Plus an ice cream bar. So, we tasted tested, of course. Read more…

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A surprisingly realistic list of technology predictions for 2014

Posted by admin on Jan 3, 2014 in geekery, lists, opinion, technology, Yum

foodinifood

We hoped for many things in 2013. We were promised these by tech companies, by journalists (oops), by advertisers. Did we get them? Hell no. Where’s the 3DTV in our living room? Why aren’t we 3D printing clothes at home? Why on earth are we still having to fly to Los Angeles from NYC; just where is Elon Musk’s magnetic levitation train? God knows.

Still, we have hope, we have faith, we have wallets.

Technology will continue to change our lives, and we look forward to 2014, a year of immense scientific discovery, technovation and stuff we can never afford.

Here’s the top five technology predictions for 2014 of things that will realistically happen in the tech world. (Originally published on Fusion.net)

3D printing food will become commonplace…but you still won’t be able to afford it

This year 3D printing food became a bit closer to reality. We were already used to 3D printed fashion and had been impressed with the variety of designers out there offering this to us, but food was still a long way away. Sure, we knew that Google 3D printed pasta at their Mountain View cafeteria, but how did that apply to regular folk? However, this year we had NASA announce they would 3D print pizzas in space and saw the launch of Foodini, a prototype 3D food printer that can be used to make multiple things such as ravioli and chocolate.

Downsides are that it prints one ingredient at a time (boo) but it’s miles above previous 3D food printer prototypes which had complicated parameters about what they could and couldn’t make. This isn’t going to be mass produced anytime soon, but as the 3D printer movement got so HUGE over the last year, with hundreds of brands now in the space (MakerBot, ForrmLabs etc.) the cost had lowered so much that you can buy a basic 3D printer for $500.

“With 3D printing food we already have factories and machine parts in place,” said Marcelo Coelho, a research affiliate at MIT who designed a 3D printing chocolate machine called the Cornucopia at MIT as part of his graduate project and who gave a talk on Digital Gastronomy to Microsoft last year. “The challenge is to take a machine used in a factory and enable it to be used in a kitchen, hundreds of ingredients to manufacture.”

Expect to see a resurgence in 3D printed food appliances and associated “food materials” all over the media and Kickstarter. Just don’t expect to be able to afford one…yet. Read more…

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Vine Violence Goes Viral with the social media #smackcam

Posted by admin on Sep 17, 2013 in geekery, news

smackcam 1

In a world where privacy is becoming a rarity, some are striking back – literally. The U.S. is seeing surge in #SmackCam violent videos being uploaded to Vinewhere the perpetrator smacks a stranger or friend in the face. This is being accepted under the premise of “social trending” but what happens when it moves from smacking to crying?

21-year-old physical therapy student Max Jerry is loosely credited as being the first person to turn #Smackcam from a hashtag into a fully fledged trend. Jerry started the #SmackCam videos — which involve a filmed clip where he “smacked” someone unawares and then uploaded it to Vine — on June 27 from his home in Boston. “I didn’t like the idea at first,” he said. “I didn’t really think it would go this far.”

Accidentally or not, SmackCam has taken off. And these #SmackCam uploads are rising in popularity every day. A quick search on Topsy (the social search engine) shows that the #SmackCam tag has been used 17,000 times in the last week. Today it has been used 2,557 times and that number is rising.

“My friends didn’t really like getting smacked to begin with, “ Jerry confided. “They would shout at me, and I would go run behind my Mom (Jerry lives at home) while I would upload it to Vine. Since this has blown up and gotten them on TV they’ve changed their minds.”

A quick look at the latest #SmackCams show a wide variation in video types. They range from pies to the face comedy, more disturbing videos that show fisticuffs, fire-play and unhappy looking victims.

“The smacks I do don’t really hurt,” said Jerry. They sound like they do but it’s not painful and I don’t go red.” Read more…

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DNA collected from YOUR trash made into 3D printed portraits

Posted by admin on Jun 19, 2013 in geekery, random, technology

3D DNA shot ZaraStone c2013

3D Printed heads created from DNA sampling in NYC. Artist Dewey- Hagborg working with Russian Police to solve crimes.

Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg’s 3D portraits are unnerving. They were made using DNA samples she extracted from discarded cigarette butts and chewing gum. She collected these samples from public spaces in New York City. Basically, that means that any of her portraits could be YOU, as collecting DNA from public spaces is currently 100% legal.

So, what’s the process- how exactly does one go from trash to these realistic 3D portraits?

Dewey-Hagborg uses her background in science to extract DNA from the samples she collects in Brooklyn’s GenSpace lab. She then uses genetic markers (taken from single nucleotide polymorphisms) to map out physical attributes such as eye color and skintone. Once she has the results back, she maps out the face with 3D modelling software, and then sends that to get printed on a 3D printer.

There are currently no laws around public usage of DNA collected from a communal area.

heather dewey hagborg studio

“It is not likely be legislated for twenty years,” said lawyer Philippa Loengard, Assistant Director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts. “This area is so avant-garde. However, if a drivers license was in the public garbage no one has a right to open credit cards with it, and this analogy could be used for collecting DNA from cigarettes in the trash.” Read more…

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Selfless portraits lets you doodle strangers Facebook profile photos

Posted by admin on Apr 7, 2013 in geekery, news, technology

selfless portrait watercolor

Think DrawSomething meets Facebook meets weird blind date and you’ll have a vague idea of what Selfless Portratits are. I say vague, as it’s hard to define- the app is still in its infancy so what you see now might evolve into something completely different. The basic premise is that  you login via Facebook and agree to draw a picture of someone else.

They could be anywhere in the world, and you get a glimpse of their Facebook Profile photo and need to create an artistic replica within 48 hours. In return, someone, somewhere will do the same for you- but likely not the person you’re sketching. It’s a pass it forward system – if you fail to upload your Dali-esque stylings, then your subject gets assigned another artists and you lose out on seeing someone else interpret that cheesy selfie you’re currently so proud of.

Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 3.51.42 AM Read more…

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Rabbit Festival Fashion Show in Japan

Posted by admin on Feb 13, 2013 in Animal Oddities, geekery, news, random, Strange events, style

Can somebunny share the love for Rabbit Fashion Week?

In recent years I’ve noticed a trend towards pet owners taking various animals and dressing them up in costumes. I just discovered the Japanese Rabbit Festival, an annual event where bunnies are dressed up in all types of couture and make their adorable flip floppy way down a rabbit runway, as part of a two day rabbit fiesta.

As far as I can ascertain (Google translate Japanese is a little hairy) each  Rabbit Festival follows a particular theme, and the bunnies are adorned to match. The festival is about more than just the rabbit fashion show, as there are hug a bunny workshops, video diaries of bunny activity and rabbit accessories to buy. People who visit can come WITH their own rabbit, and it sounds like a strange but sweet meetup.

schoolgirl rabbit

I’m not 100% sure but I also think there’s a bunny cosplay event going on as well; – though whether that’s for the owners of the pet or the animals I’m uncertain. Read more…

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