Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ahead of the majority

In 1965, Patsy Takemoto Mink became the first woman of color in the U.S. Congress. Seven years later, she ran for the U.S. presidency and co-authored Title IX, the landmark legislation that opened up higher education and athletics to America's women. PATSY MINK: AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY is the story of this dynamic trailblazer who, battling racism and sexism, redefined American politics.

Ten reasons why you should know about patsy mink
  • She co-authored Title IX.
  • She was the first woman of color to serve in the U.S. Congress.
  • She was one of the first women to run for president, entering the Oregon presidential primary in 1972.
  • She ran in 22 elections, more than any other politician from Hawai'i then or since. She is the only Hawai'i politician to serve at the county, territorial, state and federal levels.
  • She introduced the nation's first comprehensive Early Childhood Education Act in 1971. Congress passed the legislation, but President Nixon vetoed it.
  • She authored Hawai'i's "equal pay for equal work" law in 1957. The national law was passed six years later.
  • She defended a strong civil rights plank at the 1960 Democratic National Convention.
  • She was the first Asian American woman elected to public office in Hawai'i.
  • She was the first Japanese American female lawyer in Hawai'i. She originally wanted to be a doctor but was rejected by all the medical schools she applied to in 1948.
  • She led a crusade in college against the the University of Nebraska's segregated housing policy. The school rescinded the discriminatory policy because of her efforts.

    Patsy Takemoto Mink is my grand aunt. aunty patsy has been a guiding force in my life to help others and standing up for whats right. my life goal is to help people and i hope continue my aunty's legacy.

    i feel greatly honored and humbled by Kimberlee Bassford's work on her documentary PATSY MINK: AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY. the documentary is going to be debuted this month in the hawaii film festival. we are really looking forward to seeing the movie and participating in the events.
  • Sunday, September 28, 2008

    trying to keep my creativity alive

    i guess i have an active imagination, because i keep on thinking of new ideas. although, i have no idea how good they are. but, as someone pointed out, i should write them down. so, i try formalize my ideas and build upon them. if you are wondering why this is important watch this video; Talks Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?
    here are some of the highlights:
  • "we get educated out of creativity"
  • "if you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original"
  • "you become frightened to become wrong"
  • "we are now running companies where mistakes are the worst things you can make"
  • "we don't grow into creativity we get educated out of it"
  • "professors look at their body as a transport for their heads"
  • "you have been steered away from things you like "
  • "suddenly degrees are worth nothing"
  • "academic inflation"
  • "creativity is having original ideas that are useful"
  • "rethink the fundamental principles that we are educating our children"
  • "remove all insects from earth in 50 years all life will perish. remove all humans from earth in 50 years all life will flourish"

    anyway, here are some of the ideas that i had recently.

    twitter twin
    not sure how i thought about this one, but wouldn't it be cool to find your twitter twin? the basic idea is that since the character limit is set and there are only a set amount of things you could type in, i would think that some of your tweets have to be duplicates. so, lets say you twittered, "obama is cool" then maybe you could see that 20,000 other twitter users said the same thing. but if you said something like, "new rule: stop putting down the other candidates. its lame." i wonder how many other people think like that.

    when i twitter something my "followers" can respond. but i often think about how my thoughts, tweets, are similar to totally random people. this might work better if the subject area is narrowed; for example the elections twitter view.

    hawaii night life pics
    everyone has mobile phones with cameras these days. you see these pictures all over peoples facebook or myspace profiles. its pretty cool to see your friends pictures from their nights out. you can kind of get a sense of the "quality" of the club by looking at the pictures. whether its crowded, how dark it is, etc.

    i began to think that it would be cool to organize all of our pictures by time and location instead of user profile. what if we chunked up a friday night into hour blocks and then categorized it by location (ie, pearl, level4, bar35, etc). then as the night goes on the people take pictures and upload it to the site, which is automatically sorted and categorized.

    its kinda like the hawaii nightlife diaries, but created by masses.

    world perception
    after the presidential debate, i got to thinking... i wonder which candidate other countries prefer. i'm not sure that will change my preference, but knowing that answer is definitely interesting. i think there are a bunch of things i would like to know what the world thinks. what does the world think about Tibet? what does the world think of global warming? what does the world think about America?

    maybe we can find out the answers to these questions with a world wide polling system of some sort. i really like this idea, because I (we) are only fed what we hear in the news, what we read in the newspaper, etc. that information is very country specific and in some cases that is not a good thing.

    it would be fantastic if there was a virtual world wide meeting place to express your thoughts on world problems.

    tangible internet
    it would be cool to some how make the internet tangible. something you can touch and gain information from. something not traditional (not like a printed paper or something). i guess i just realized that i hate having to sit in front of this computer screen to get information.
  • Sunday, September 21, 2008

    learning a lot from the geekdads

    geekdad is a blog from wired magazine; "Tech toys, science projects and other nerdy things to do with your kids." its a pretty good blog especially when they talk about cool things parents can do with with their kids. for example, this posting making fireflies, or 10 websites for geeky kids. this blog is fun.

    but, there are other geekdads and geekmoms out there. and i'm finding that i'm learning a lot about being a good dad from their blog postings, web pictures, and twitter messages. i really appreciate the view into their family activities. i really do appreciate it. i gives me new ideas of what i can do with my family. their posts reminds me that i need to stop working and start playing. i've made it a real point to stop working during the weekends and instead take family field trips (well, i should have said try).

    like this blog posting from geekdad ryan:

    We got Blake a guitar for his birthday... the reason I thought a guitar might be good for him is this... I secretly believe that he has some sort of hidden musical talent.

    i've been thinking about getting my kid a drum set. he totally loves listening and dancing (or what seems to be dancing) to music. he has one little drum that he plays all day and goes into a total fit if i take it away. he knows how to play different sounds on the drum too. i've been thinking about getting him a little kid drum set. but, i didn't know if people actually punished themselves with that sort of decision. maybe i'll buy it and take it to grandma's.

    or like this twitter from geekdad russel:

    swam in the pool with the kids. so fun! no one else around

    i can't wait to play in the pool with my kid. sounds like good times!

    these geekdads share their stories of awesome family times; whether its a trip to the zoo, a surprise weekend at a hotel, or taking the kids to the park. technology makes sharing these stories possible. cause lets face it, geekdads' don't typically sit around the lunch table and talk about family outings.

    i look up to geekdads like pavel, ryan, and quinn. i'm learning a lot from their example! thanks guys.

    i try to do my share of sharing with my family blog, posting of videos and my picasa web album.

    UPDATE. i just recently saw this website http://hawaii.momslikeme.com/ from the honlulu advertiser. whats the deal with that. is there a dadslikeme site?

    Saturday, September 20, 2008

    the excitement of a startup company

    no, i didn't quit my job to join a startup. but, i have been working with a startup company, knowledge reef systems, for the past few months. its been a lot of fun working with these guys.

    Integrating patent-pending technology licensed from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Knowledge Reef System’s innovative kReef™ software platform is designed for hosting online, information-intensive communities that exist wherever knowledge workers are found—businesses, government, academia, professional societies and even consumer-oriented groups where learning and sharing information is paramount. Its unique information recommendation system uses the power of social behavior to automatically discover and intelligently route information to community members based on their interests and needs. The kReef platform simplifies the discovery and delivery of knowledge in online communities of shared interest. Knowledge communities hosted on the kReef platform offer well-targeted audiences that will accept relevant, data-rich advertising from the kReef’s integrated product data delivery system. Founded by Gary Ebersole, an experienced serial entrepreneur, Knowledge Reef Systems seeks Series A funding. http://www.techventures.org/NM-ECS/presenters.php

    knowledge reef systems main product is kReef systems.

    The kReef (pronounced kay-reef) resource networking service helps knowledge workers discover, organize and share information in the social context of trusted colleagues. Designed to mimic how information naturally flows between people in the physical world, the kReef software uses the relationships between members as "filters" and "routers" to ensure that only relevant information is recommended to members. It goes beyond basic social networking services and search engines to bring community to content in a uniquely integrated resource networking service that delivers an information-rich experience for its members. kReef's resource networking discovery algorithms can locate and recommend information resources stored in kReef that would not be easily found with user-created profiles and conventional keyword search technology.

    i worked with KRS on pumping robotics data into their service and returning the analyzed data to the user in a customized widget. (not sure how much more details i can give at this point). it was fun working on those components. and it was cool to see the usefulness of their service come to life. startups are exciting.

    here is a PDF of their company information.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008

    dinner 2.0 with neil abercrombie

    last week (september 2) i was invited to dinner 2.0 with neil abercrombie. this invitation was kind of out of the blue and i didn't know quite what to expect. it turns out that it was a casual dinner (on paper plates for that matter) with the congressman. he greeted us individually; there were only about 20 people. and we all sat down for dinner (from kakaako kitchen).

    it turns out that it was basically a meet and greet. a chance for us to ask the congressman questions. and just talk story. the cool thing was that it was streamed live on ustream. i was told that there were upwards of 400 people tuning in. (did any one see me?)

    there were many interesting talks. some of not were:
  • the congressman's energy independence bill. we spent a while on natural gas.
  • the congressman's thoughts on how the legislators are changing. he mentioned a couple times that it seems that more than ever people are out to demonize each other. it seems that respect and honor has been replaced by winning at all costs.
  • he talked about the shipyard the cola
  • scott from http://www.hosef.org/ was there

    he explained why he was having these types of dinners. he wants to get back to what he called "direct government". meeting with the people face to face and even virtually. the congressman is a techie. he uses NING as his campaign site; http://neilabercrombie.ning.com/, he went to the geek meet at ala maona park a few months ago, and of course he has a twitter account. overall it was a really interesting night. he's definitely a cool dude.

    oh.... wait. so i did have one comment about the dinner. so, i did find the discussions to be a little "old". i understand that all the issues were important. but, it obviously wasn't the most relevant discussions for for 20somethings in hawaii. actually, i don't really hear any of our politicians talking about things that i'm most concerned with. hmm... haha and i'm not sure how to ask those questions either.
  • Monday, September 8, 2008

    an idea for relationship management

    every once in a while i have random ideas for cool sites or services. this one takes the cake for randomness. but here are some others
  • should have tried to do the android competition 2
  • an firefox extension idea for copying links
  • an idea called moody
  • wordle for my blogs and an idea
  • an idea for twitter
  • an idea for ESPN
  • resume visualization
  • google reader process improvement
  • geosearch
  • a crazy hackystat idea
  • google reader feature requests
  • things that i want from google

    actually, those are most of the ideas that i blogged about. i made it a point to try to write "idea" posts to help me formalize my ideas better. anyway here comes a new idea...

    an idea for relationship management

  • think online financial management for your relationship. i'm serious. really! okay, i'm not that interested in a software service telling me how my relationship with my wife is going, but i just see a huge market for this. online dating services is a million dollar industry (Yahoo! Personals, Match.com, and eHarmony). there are probably hundreds of ways to meet people online. the funny thing is that i would think that the sites want you to meet people and possible date, but ultimately fail and come running back to their site.

    so from a pure business standpoint there seems to be a huge market for this. i kind think of this as the next generation of financial management sites, diet sites, or even things like WebMD. anyway, my imagination is kind of flying around these days. i kind of think that there are some very social and very dynamic things that haven't hit the mainstream technology yet. another totally random idea that fits this idea is social networking for religion. or better yet, a site that teaches you a specific religion. this seems to be uncharted waters.

    someone instant messaged me with:
    [12:30 AM] READER: what kinda of relationship manegment
    [12:30 AM] READER: gimmie an example
    [12:31 AM] Aaron: not sure...
    [12:31 AM] Aaron: i think that question is interesting.. haha.
    [12:31 AM] Aaron: can computers even help with that.
    [12:32 AM] READER: i dont know
    [12:33 AM] Aaron: i think that would be an awesome advancement in technology. or i guess social science.

    anyway, the point is that i don't know how one would manage a relationship via technology. is that even possible. i don't know? but i do think that there are many of these types of social problems that current technology and/or science doesn't really help yet. maybe its the thing of the future.