Archive for 14/05/2013

Looking past limits

Laugh Lots, Travel Often

I love TED. You could probably call it a slight addiction to TED. I love being inspired. I love being informed. And I love feeling the humanity, sincerity, earnestness, and honesty of the speakers talking about their life, their passions, and their research work that is all contributing to a better understanding of us and the world we live in.

One of the most moving and inspirational talks I’ve watched is from Caroline Casey: looking past limits. I won’t spoil it (but strongly encourage you to watch it!), but it had my eyes tearing up whilst clutching my iPad.

She talks about living life without labels or limitations, and how having incredibly strong belief in yourself along with a good dose of determination can help you achieve your goals. But at the same time, she talks about how many of us believe in the wrong parts of ourselves…

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Super Song….

Tish Farrell


Lamu  fishing dhows off the Kenya Coast


You could say that Swahili culture was born of the monsoon winds, from the human drive to trade and of prevailing weather. For two thousand years Arab merchants plied East Africa’s Indian Ocean shores, from Mogadishu (Somalia) to the mouth of the Limpopo River (Mozambique), arriving with the north easterly Kaskazi, departing on the south easterly Kusi. They came in great wooden cargo dhows, bringing dates, frankincense, wheat, dried fish, Persian chests, rugs, silks and jewels which they traded with Bantu farmers in exchange for the treasures of Africa: ivory, leopard skins, rhinoceros horn, ambergris, tortoise shell, mangrove poles and gold.

By 700 AD many Arab merchants  were beginning to settle permanently on the East African seaboard, and the earliest mosques so far discovered date from around this time. These new colonists would have married the daughters of their Bantu trading hosts…

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To what extent does a motto such as “Don’t be evil,” truly mean anything? After all, such smiling simplicity in a mission statement may sound good even as it solicits scoffs, but is that three word directive really worth even a microscopic fraction of the total financial value of the company with which that quote is associated?

In his column this week at Truthdig, titled “Google’s Spymasters Are Now Worried About Your Secrets,” Robert Scheer discusses not so much the worries of Google executives about the information they have harnessed, but rather their recognition and admission of what they have gathered and what it could all mean. Or, as Scheer, writes:

“What is truly frightening is that the techniques of the totalitarian state are the same ones pioneered by so-called democracies where commercial companies, like Google, have made a hash of the individual’s constitutionally guaranteed right to…

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James Rovira

If you’ve been shopping for colleges you might have read about four and six year graduation rates. These rates are indicators of what percentage of entering freshmen finish college four years after starting and what percentage finish six years after starting. Graduation rates beyond six years aren’t followed very closely, as most students finish within six years or not at all, and from the numbers I’ve seen, five and six year graduation rates tend to be very similar.

Time-to-Graduation too Often Overlooked” by Beth Akers and Matthew M. Chingos addresses the issue of time to graduation as a significant concern for students considering a college. They are concerned about the added costs involved in graduating six years after starting rather than four. Akers and Chingos provide a lot of useful data indicating that four and six year graduation rates can vary widely among institutions regardless of the institution’s quality on other measures…

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Wedgwood in Seattle History

Albert Balch, developer of the View Ridge and Wedgwood neighborhoods of northeast Seattle, did not start out to work in real estate.  As many college grads do, at first Balch struggled to find a suitable career.

Albert Balch graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1926, and for the next two years he was employed by the national organization of the fraternity he had belonged to, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

In his job as travelling secretary Balch reviewed organizational records and the functioning of the fraternities, whose mission statement was to “turn promising young men into true gentlemen.”  Judging from the activities of Balch and his fraternity brothers after graduation, it appears that having been in Sigma Alpha Epsilon gave the men social advantages as the men went on to respectable careers and civic involvement.  In the period after his graduation Balch was many times noted in the Seattle…

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Interested in the saga of this big, old boat? See parts One, Two, and Three to catch up! This is part Four.

Yesterday was quite possibly one of the most stressful days I’ve ever had. I waited around for Matt to get done with work, then he, his buddy Bill, and I all packed on up to head out to Arena.

First, I should cover Matt’s plan (he even made sketches and a Power Point presentation on his iPad). This was the boat trailer.


Now, absent a crane or a boom of any kind to provide lift from above (that would be too easy),  and since attempting to pull to boat forward and up onto the last trailer bent it very badly, we had to work with jacks and blocks from beneath the boat. You can see the beams of the trailer are nice and widely spaced. Matt’s…

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Regardless of whether a person believes that humans (in some evolutionary form) have been present on Earth for tens of thousands of years or whether they believe that humans arrived on Earth (with the click of cosmic fingers) about six thousand years ago, all sides should be able to agree on one thing: the Internet has only been around for a fraction of that time. And if you consider the true arrival of the age of the Internet to coincide with the relative replacement of dial up with broadband, well, in that case it’s even less time.

The point? Simply to indicate that when people say they: “can’t imagine life without the Internet” a fair rejoinder would be to tell them to go read a history book. Most of human history has occurred sans Internet.

And yet there are still many who are mystified by the idea of life without…

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