Raining in Baltimore.

A few things I either learned or was reminded of while traveling to Baltimore this evening.

  1. I live in a beautiful town (Traverse City), but it would really benefit from some cultural and ethnic diversity.
  2. Both airport men’s washrooms I visited indicated that men clearly cannot aim. Can not. Can’t. Nuh-uh.
  3. Starbucks stores that brew bold after noon are the best Starbucks stores. (However, watch out for 2., above.)
  4. Noise-reducing headphones work very well for noise, but what we really need are talk-reducing headphones. Or talk-eliminating headphones, which would cost even more but be worth it, no doubt.
  5. If you can read this, the WordPress app for iPhone is really very nice.
  6. The air vents in DTW are exactly the same ones as those at Interlochen’s Dow Center for Visual Arts, and they are an aesthetically wonderful design. Very aero.
  7. Truly ubiquitous wifi will make the world a significantly better place.
  8. It is possible to miss your family before you even leave the house. Does that emotion have a name?
  9. I can’t keep up with magazines unless I travel. Layovers help.
  10. Carry-on portion distortion is the new epidemic and must be addressed. I think that guy has his groceries in that bag. Check your bag, folks, it isn’t that hard. Really.
  11. Speaking of cultural diversity, my Ukrainian cab driver was very happy to tell me how to drink a lot and not get drunk. His opinion was that American’s can’t drink because they don’t eat while they are drinking. Apparently, this is the key: Eat a lot, drink a lot, you don’t get drunk. I don’t think he was drunk at the time he was telling me this, but I am not sure.

I already look forward to my return trip.

And now, to bed.

Thoughts on TEDxDetroit.

{Just a draft for sharing links.}

Venue: Detroit Film Theatre @ the Detroit Institute of Arts

Site: http://www.tedxdetroit.com/

Uncut videos available here: http://events.powerstream.net/000/00126/20100929TEDxDetroit/

8:00am – 9:00am Arrival Experience & Check-in

  • Performances by Dixon’s Violin, DJ Primeminister, and Cirque Amongus.
  • Networking and photographs in the Great Hall and Rivera Court.

    9:00am – 10:30am Session One

    • An Awesome Beginning with Justin Sailor & Friends

    http://www.veryawesomeworld.com/awesomebook/inside.html

    • Jeff DeGraff – Dean of Innovation – Competing Values.
    • Geoff Horst – Chief Science Officer – Algal Scientific Corporation.
    • Bil Moore – Solutions Consultant – Strategic Products & Services.
    • Music by Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr.
    • Rick Devos – Founding Partner – ArtPrize.
    • Jocelyn Rainey – Founder – J Rainey Gallery.

    http://www.jraineygallery.com/

    http://www2.metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=10586

    “When you change the vision of our young people, you change the thought process. Eventually it changes the heart, which ultimately changes their lives, and they become the change we need in the world.”

    10:30am – 11:15am Break

    • Share, interact, explore art, technology at TEDxLabs

    11:15am – 12:30pm Session Two

    • Karl Gude – Infographics & Social Media Instructor – Michigan State University.
    • Paul Savage – CEO – Nextek Power Systems.
    • Will Smidlein – Boy Wonder – Null Fear.

      13-year-old web developer and entrepreneur “child prodigy.”

      • Music by Joybox Express.

      http://www.joyboxexpress.com/

      • Dianne Marsh – President – SRT Solutions.
      • Jessica Care Moore – Founder – Moore Black Press.
      • Stephen Clark – Interactive Anchor/Journalist – WXYZ-TV Channel 7.

      12:30pm – 2:00pm Lunch Break

      • Share, interact, explore art, technology at TEDxLabs Shades will be creating a mural in the courtyard.
      • Performances by Cirque Amongus.

        2:00pm – 3:45pm Session Three

        • Anuja Rajendra – Creator and CEO – BollyFit.
        • Kami Pothukuchi – Director of SEED Wayne – Wayne State University.
        • Jerry Paffendorf & Mary Lorene Carter – Founders – LOVELAND.

          http://makeloveland.com/

          • Herman Moore – Entrepreneur & Hall of Famer.
          • Music by DJ Primeminister.
          • Jim Scapa – CEO – Altair Engineering.
          • Paul Nielsen – Founder – Wunderground Magic.
          • Steve Kahn – Director Math Corps – Wayne State University.
          Professor Steve Kahn is the Director of the WSU Center for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics, a series of programs designed to produce success for Detroit students as they pursue their education from elementary and middle school through high school and college. Built by Dr. Kahn, the two cornerstone programs of the Center, the WSU Math Corps at the middle and high school levels and the WSU Emerging Scholars Program at the college level, have received not only local, but national recognition for their dramatic results. Professor Kahn has received many honors and awards for teaching, as well as for his work in support of the Detroit Public Schools and the students of Detroit. Most recently, the Michigan Section of the Mathematical Association of America awarded him the prestigious 2003 Distinguished College or University Teaching Award. A part of the Wayne State faculty since 1981, Dr. Kahn holds a B.S. in Mathematics from SUNY, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics from the University of Maryland.

          3:45pm – 4:30pm Break

          • Share, interact, explore art, technology at TEDxLabs.

          4:30pm – 6:00pm Session Four

          • Music by Jill Jack.
          • Ben Bator – Founder & Author – Texts From Last Night.
          • Henry Balanon – Founder – Bickbot.
          • Dave Blair – Performance Artist.
          • John Hill – Director, Alumni Career Services – Michigan State University.
          • Erik Proulx – Film Maker – Lemonade Presentation to Public Art Workz.
          • Dan Gilbert – Founder – Quicken Loans & Bizdom U.
          • Music by Invincible.
          • Victor Green – Director, Community Relations – Wayne State University.
          • An Awesome Ending with Brandon Chesnutt & Friends.

            Proust and the Squid

            I’ve been enjoying the wonderful Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf the last few weeks. I’m almost done with the book (it is one of those books that I will regret finishing) and highly recommend it if you are interested in the brain, reading, or learning in general. One of my favorite quotes is about, of all people, Socrates (p. 78):

            In the last analysis, Socrates lost the fight against the spread of literacy both because he could not yet see the full capacities of written language and because there would be no turning back from these new forms of communication and knowledge. Socrates could no more prevent the spread of reading than we can prevent the adoption of increasingly sophisticated technologies. Our shared human quest for knowledge ensures that this is as it must be. But it is important to consider Socrates’ protests as we grapple with the brain and its dynamic relationship to reading. Socrates’ enemy never really was the writing down of words, as Plato realized. Rather, Socrates fought against failures to examine the protean capacities of our language and to use them “with all our intelligence.”

            Though there were many things in this segment of the book that I found fascinating, learning that Socrates was against the development of reading and writing was certainly the most surprising. Ms. Wolf’s comparison of his perspective on reading to the adoption of technology rang particularly loudly with me as someone who deals with the use of technology on a daily basis.

            It is hard to imagine what the world would be like without the art, history, and communicativity of the written word, one of the most profound technologies ever developed and certainly one of the hardest to learn. I’m confident that many of the tools that we see evolving today — and which many people are reluctant to adopt — will be taught in the kindergarten of the future, right along with the alphabet.