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Monday, March 30, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood Revisited

Here's a 21st century take of the old fairy tale classic "Little Red RidingHood." As VSL (Very Short List) points out, this is Little Red Riding Hood meet CSI. This is one brilliant video production by Tomas Nilsson, a design student at Linköping University, in Sweden.

This video captures exactly how the modern information age mind thinks. Everything is analyzed down to the smallest detail (Grandma's nutritional value as a meal to the wolf, that's just hilarious!). That the story ended exactly how it should, despite all the details, is a statement in itself. The tools we have at our disposal are there to make us better informed when we make decisions. It is still entirely up to us to process this deluge of information and come up with the best course of action.

But, I'm keeping you from the video with all this clutter. Enjoy...

Tags: Tomas Nilsson, VSL, Very Short List, Little Red Riding Hood, Linköping University, Sweden, fairy tale, CSI

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Switch Off Those Lights for Earth Hour 2009

Earth Hour logo
Earth Hour 2009 is happening this Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 8:30pm - 9:30pm local time. This is going to be a huge event taking place worldwide with over 2100 cities in 82 countries participating. Here's how the official event organizers' site describe the goal for this year's Earth Hour:

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.

Watch the Earth Hour 2009 video:

For more information please visit:
Media credits:
  • Photo of Earth Hour Logo courtesy of Earth Hour.org
Tags for this post: Earth Hour 2009, climate change, global warming, environment

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Values for the "Lost Generation"

Here's an awesome video shared by a Facebook friend, Howard Falco. Simple yet strikingly effective, it outlines the values and priorities of the so-called "lost generation." While it debunks the myth that young people (gen y or z) are lethargic and apathetic, it also highlights the more important things in life for them (and for us) - family, relationships, civic consciousness, caring for the environment. Share with a loved one, if you also find this awesome. I'm showing this to my daughter.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Have A Great Week Ahead!

"We're starting a new week...so help us God."
The quote above is from a friend's update in Facebook. I'm a bit perplexed by the tone of this message. The author obviously wants to pass it off as some sort of joke, but one can sense the feeling of dread and fear of someone who's ill-prepared to face the new week or whose week will be exactly the same as last week or the one before that. In a fast-moving world, we need solid anchors or we get adrift, at the mercy of the waves and eddies created by others.

Who do you work for?

Modern business and the constant demand for social interaction in a wired world tend to make us forget who our real employers are. Some people work for themselves, and that's fine. Others, like myself, are motivated by their families - spouses and children. It may be counter-intuitive in the face of the current crisis, but if you do work for yourself, don't wait until you're sixty before enjoying and pampering yourself, you deserve it.

Details of a montage my daughter Aya and I created for a school project

If you work for loved ones, don't wait to land the big one before spending some great time with the kids. If you don't give them time and make them an integral part of your schedule, no one else will, and soon you'll have strangers growing under your roof that you're gonna take to the park or the movies...someday. Trust me, I'm a dad, I learned this the hard way.

On self-discipline

Self-discipline is a bit tricky working from home; perhaps even more difficult than having a 9-5 job working for someone else, because that someone else will be there to give you a hard time if you don't do things the corporate way.

When you're your own boss, there's obviously no one else to enforce discipline. It's all up to you. It doesn't mean, though, that you have to be extra-hard on yourself and work crazy hours (like I did when I first started the business). Strike a balance between work, family, and time for yourself. Too much of one thing is always a bad thing.

Control your thoughts. Self-discipline comes from within. Have a conscious awareness of the thoughts that go through your brain. Positive, disciplined thoughts create a positive and disciplined reality. Avoid brain-numbing habits (TV, the news, online games) that kill creativity or put your brain in one track for long periods. I try to, but it's a an uphill battle, for the moment - Huffington Post and Ikariam are eternal distractions in my fight for mental discipline.

Just some random thoughts for the new week. Let's all have a productive and great week ahead.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Glory Revisited

The other day, I watched for the nth time, a rerun of one of my favorite war movies of all time - Glory (1989, Tristar Pictures) on cable's Star Movies. I can hear Tony Robbins now, telling me to get a life. Well, it's one of my favorite movies from the eighties (arguably, the best decade to grow up in), I guess that gives you an idea of how old I am, but no matter.

Every time I see a powerful movie like Glory, there's always a new perspective, a new turn of phrase that I must have heard (and ignored) before, but has found a new sense of relevance in my current circumstances. I guess great works of art, literature, and the cinema have that effect. You always discover something new every time.

You haven't seen it? Why not?

Well, too late now for a wide screen viewing (unless you own a theater). Grab your DVD copy, you're missing out on something truly epic and powerful. The film received five Oscars, including Best Cinematography, in 1989. Denzel Washington's performance remains as riveting as ever, and the prayer scene on the night before the big battle is as poignant and emotionally-charged (for me), just like the first time I saw the movie.

But it was the words of Col. Robert G. Shaw (Matthew Broderick) that struck a chord this time:

There's more to fighting than rest, sir. There's character, there's strength of heart. You should have seen us in action two days ago. We were a sight to see! We'll be ready, sir. When do you want us?

Replace fighting with life, and you will see the universal truth in this statement. Character, shaped by immutable principles (like honesty, integrity, compassion, fairness, excellence), will forever remain to be the deciding factor of how we fare in this life, of how we grow with our individual businesses.

As Dr. Stephen Covey suggests in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," principles are like a lighthouse on a rock in the middle of the ocean (I hope he forgives me for mangling the analogy). We can have our course shaped by their presence, or we can ignore their power and destroy ourselves in those rocks.

What has this got to do with web 2.0 and marketing?

Everything, actually. The web 2.0 environment is a venue so powerful that it can potentially magnify any message (good or bad), for anyone who's good at it, or who hires someone good at it. But that's all it is - the internet is only the medium NOT the message.

You still craft your own message, you're still judged by that message, and by your own actions. And because of the highly interconnected nature of web 2.0, people will discover soon enough if you're true to your message, and if you're really doing business based on integrity, fairness, and excellence. Or, if you're just someone out to make a fast buck.

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