May 29, 2007

Immersive Maps

I've been known to pan Google in the past (mostly cuz o' my bad interviewing experience there) but stuff like this makes me glad they're around. Their maps already rocked, now they're even more immersive with street-level imagery...rad).

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Ticketmaster's Days Numbered?

Time Magazine thinks so...


Joy Division is a band that I learned to appreciate more over time...introduced to them as I was through their progeny New Order (listen to Joy Division's bass lines to hear the family line). JD's lead singer Ian Curtis was one of those flashes whose influence extends far beyond his ministry (just think interpolarcadefirebrokensocialscenebravery). The photographer turned director Anton Corbijn, who I know best for his work on U2's Joshua Tree album cover, is said to have a fine job directing the portrayal of Curtis' life. Having seen two terrific rock movies in the past two years (loudQUIETloud and About A Son) I'm looking forward to seeing Control.

Written while groovin' to Day Of The Lords from the album “Unknown Pleasure” by Joy Division

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May 24, 2007

Improving Organizational Speed & Agility

“Almost nine in ten executives say organizational speed and agility have become increasingly urgent issues for them over the past five years, according to a McKinsey survey.( n1) Still, a majority admit they struggle to outpace their competitors. The survey defined ”speed“ as a measure of how rapidly organizations execute an operational or strategic objective and ”agility“ as the ability to change tactics or direction quickly.”

“When asked to pick the top two barriers to speed and agility, 50 percent of respondents select ”overly centralized, slow, and complex decision making,“ although many other factors also emerged (exhibit). When invited to cite the two organizational elements that contribute most to speed and agility, executives choose the alignment of company strategy and individual employees' performance goals and the delegation of decisionmaking authority as far down the organization as possible (41 percent and 39 percent of the sample, respectively). On the behavioral side, 57 percent think responsiveness to customer needs is the key issue.”

“This survey confirms our own experience in improving organizational speed and agility. Companies must create a sense of common purpose, focused on the customer and the market, by relentlessly capturing and leveraging market knowledge across the organization. It must then be linked to individual performance goals, roles, and accountabilities. They should also simplify decision-making processes and foster a culture that places less emphasis on following rules and procedures and more on driving business outcomes.”

Written while groovin' to Eternal Broadcaster (Authentic) from the album “The Beat Konducta: Vol. 1-2” by Madlib

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May 22, 2007

Coach Calls An Audible: Hail Mary

When Renee Marble, a marketing consultant in Jackson, Miss., needed guidance to improve her profit margins, she searched the Internet and got direction from a business coach. But when she hit a crossroads en route to trying to become an ordained Episcopal deacon, she scanned the Internet for a coach of a different kind: a spiritual coach.

March 24, 2007
RELIGION JOURNAL; Seekers Try On Life Coaching for the Soul

When Renee Marble, a marketing consultant in Jackson, Miss., needed guidance to improve her profit margins, she searched the Internet and got direction from a business coach. But when she hit a crossroads en route to trying to become an ordained Episcopal deacon, she scanned the Internet for a coach of a different kind: a spiritual coach.

''I went through psychologists, ministers, priests,'' said Ms. Marble, who wrestled with the notion that she had to be perfect for God to love her. ''I thought it was taboo to talk about my spiritual relationship to God with anyone but a clergy member.''

In an era when the pursuit of self-improvement often means hiring personal trainers, diet coaches and life coaches, another breed of manager -- the spiritual coach -- is heeding the call of people who speak of inner guidance systems and reconnecting to their heart. In a 2006 poll of nearly 6,000 coaches by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the International Coach Federation in Lexington, Ky., 18 percent said their specialty was spirituality.

Before a session, Ms. Marble and her coach, Gavin Young, ''each engage in prayer and thoughtfulness,'' she said. ''Gavin is almost like a psychologist, minister, priest, life coach, business coach and best friend. The very act of preparing to talk to Gavin is a reminder of my relationship with God, kind of like sharing communion. Usually I light a candle and ask our spirit guides and angelic friends to join us.''

Her coach, Mr. Young, is quite a spiritual cocktail: ''Roman Catholic with strong Quaker leanings -- an oxymoron, but I love it,'' he said. He received certification from the Coach Training Alliance and conducts sessions from his home office in Talent, Ore., where he keeps icons from Christianity and Judaism, a Maori shield, a vigil candle and a well-used Tarot deck.

Working by telephone, Mr. Young counsels individuals as well as groups, up to 30 people at a time. ''The beauty of group coaching,'' he said, ''is everyone ends up coaching everyone else.''

His ''Spirit Community'' tele-seminars, $40 for two sessions per month, address issues including money, sex, aging, the hereafter and addiction. ''We view a topic of practical relevance through a spiritual lens,'' he said.

Mr. Young, who has advertised his business, Whitehawk Spirit Coaching, in The National Catholic Reporter, a weekly newspaper, said a typical client was female, 30 to 50 years old. ''Men,'' he said, ''who often avoid the vulnerability associated with spirituality, are a harder nut to crack.''

His most profound, humbling sessions, he said, were with his partner, who died from AIDS in December. ''He asked me to coach him through the dying process, and for five months we dutifully met Tuesday and Thursday mornings for an hour and read Scripture and prayed together,'' Mr. Young said. ''We discussed life, death, immortality, God, anger, denial. I was pleased that I was able to stay in the role of coach during those times, although my heart was breaking.''

It is not only the huge, probing questions of life that spiritual coaches address. That is why Kate Theriot, who runs Coaching for Change LLC in Houma, La., has counseled her clients in everyday places like Starbucks and her home.

''Sometimes we sit on the back deck, sometimes we sit in the living room,'' said Ms. Theriot, who usually charges $60 a session. ''Or we get real Southern and sit on the swing on the veranda. As long as you can have a private conversation, it doesn't matter where you speak.''

Ms. Theriot, who is also human resources director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, added, ''I'm helping people find God in all areas and relationships of their life, at the coffee shop, at their desk at work, even in the bars and dance halls.''

So, how does one get to know God? Ms. Theriot may ask clients to get to know themselves first, through a personality inventory test, for instance, or through a meditation that asks how they show love to their neighbors.

Then there is the ''tapestry of life'' assignment. ''We make a chart for each decade of life to see, for example, how your image of God has stayed the same or changed,'' she said. ''For a 5-year-old, God is typically the big-cloud father figure in the sky. Later, that evolves. But so many times a 50-year-old is sitting in front of me saying it's still the guy in the clouds. Our image of God has to change and evolve as we change and evolve, so that God can be more real and present.''

Val Hastings, a spiritual coach who runs in Douglassville, Pa., poses the question, ''When is God most real to you?'' The question is especially relevant. He coaches members of the clergy.

''Many spiritual leaders respond by saying something like, 'I can't really remember anymore,' or, 'I would love to have a whole day to just devote to prayer and reading Scripture,' '' said Mr. Hastings, a former United Methodist pastor who coaches about 45 pastors, rabbis and priests each month.

''When I began coaching in 1999, nobody knew about coaching, let alone spiritual coaching,'' said Mr. Hastings, whose fee over the telephone is $250 for two 30-minute sessions a month. ''I was lucky to have one client a month. Now I no longer have to explain what coaching is. Pastors call me and say, 'Can I hire you?' ''

Ask Cassandra Christiansen, a spiritual coach in Fairview, Ore., if her field is gaining momentum, and she replies, ''A resounding yes.''

''People desire a connection that is soul to soul, not instant message to instant message,'' said Ms. Christiansen, who received her credential from the International Coach Federation and coaches clients from around the world by telephone.

She added: ''Most people live their life asking questions like 'What should I do?' I encourage my clients to begin asking: 'What does my soul truly desire? What would make my divine spirit sing?' In the beginning, people are always thrown by the questions. But they always have an answer.''

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May 21, 2007

Note To Spammers

“Representatives are wanted to act as our agent in their locality and to be our medium of contact with our clients are mostly making payments to us.Plaese do respond to if you are interested.”

Actually, three notes:

1) You suck.
2) If you're going to try to get me to respond then spell the word “please” correctly, as a start.
3) Using more unnecessary words doesn't make you sound more legitimate, seriously.

Posted by Pedraum at 10:58 AM | | TrackBack

May 11, 2007

Apple Innovates by Doing Less

“The most fundamental thing about Apple that's interesting to me,” he says, “is that they're just as smart about what they don't do. Great products can be made more beautiful by omitting things.”

It's nice when articles talk about the stuff I can't discuss.

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May 09, 2007

The Hip-Hop Project

Who's in to see the premier with me (Friday, May 11)?

Posted by Pedraum at 09:50 AM | | TrackBack

May 04, 2007


Let's just hope Thievery Corporation considers this a parody...

Posted by Pedraum at 08:12 AM | | TrackBack

Malcolm Gladwell v. Stephen Colbert

A terrific interview with Malcolm Gladwell wherein Mr. Gladwell ties the premise of his most recent book, Blink, to the state of the world today:

Posted by Pedraum at 12:04 AM | | TrackBack

May 01, 2007

Na'im's Wisdom

My Friend Bobby sent me the following dialogue with his son:

4/30/07 - Driving to school with daddy, listening to NPR: “Why are they
talking about Iraq so much on the radio?” “Because there's a big war
there.” “I know there's a war there, but why are they talking about it more
now?” [This is during the surge/deadline for withdrawal debates.] “Because
some people want the soldiers from America to stay there, and some think
they should come home.” The kid then reveals that he's either a closet
conservative, or an expert politician: “But if they come back, then someone
may explode a bomb in our land.” “Who told you that?” asks Daddy, with some
agitation. “No. No. No. If they stay THERE, then someone may explode a
bomb in the *city* where we live.”

Then some discussion about how hard it is to understand what's going on in

Soon after, a story on increasing antagonism toward U.S. soldiers notes that
sometimes they are pulled from their beds, and interrogated in their “night
clothes”: “What are 'night clothes'?” “Pajamas.” “Why do they talk to
them in their pajamas?” “Well, because there are some bad guys, and so they
go to find them in the middle of the night, and they can't tell which ones
are the bad guys, so they don't want to give them time to get dressed,
before asking them questions.” “Why are there bad guys there?” “Because
one group thinks that they should run Iraq, and another group disagrees, and
thinks they should run it.” “I don't think either George Washington or the
other people should run it.” “I agree, son, I agree.”

Written while groovin' to Haven't You Heard (12“ Version) from the album ”Real Music For Real People“ by Patrice Rushen

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