Temple Grandin Movie

January 27th, 2010

I’m really excited to see Temple Grandin’s life was made into what looks to be a very good movie starring Claire Danes.

Having volunteered a number of years at a free surf camp for children with autism, I’ve always felt the kids were normal and fine but that the challenges/difficulties/hurdles were with people outside of their circle understanding that the kids perceived things a bit different than us and the challenge of communicating with them lie not with the kids, but with us/them.

This movie could go a long way in helping people not very familiar with autism understand this, and be more accepting of the kids AND their families.

I’m really excited to see this. I’ve said that twice already? That’s how excited I am!

Watch the full trailer here (1:30). It’s way better on full screen!


Resumes That Get You Noticed

January 8th, 2010

I’ve always felt that traditional resumes did a poor job of communicating a job seekers skill. I love this collection of resumes as infographics.

There’s a lot of easily digestible traits and strengths in this resume. To verbally communicate all of it would take at least 10 minutes in an interview.

I bet these resumes won the job hunters an interview. I love the thinking outside the box.

Via Delicious

Realize the Road to Improvement is Incremental

December 31st, 2009

Computer programmer Karl Martino penned a quick essay about what it took for him to overcome homelessness.

-Transportation: Without it you will never hold or find a job. One of my priorities each month was to buy a SEPTA transpass. This was very important. You needed transportation to look for a job and hold one. You needed transportation to maintain contact with your friends. Sometimes you needed a transpass just to find a place to sleep. This was a higher priority then food. You can always “find” food. You gotta *buy* transportation.

-Realizing the road is incremental: You need to take things one step at a time. If you can only get an apartment, and not afford utilities, that is better then not having an apartment. Having the apartment will help you find a job that will pay enough for utilities. This is really difficult. I know a lot of people who get overwhelmed by expecting their goal to be achieved in one step. My experience tells me that’s a fairy tale. Things happen incrementally. Sometimes with the smallest of steps.

Despite extended hunger, cold, despondency, and horror, his experiences living on the streets of Philadelphia propel him forward with optimism and patience for others.

You can read a bit about how he went from homelessness to computer programmer here.

Via RC3.org

God Went Surfing with the Devil

December 15th, 2009

A colleague from Surfers Healing help pioneer the initial effort of donating surfboards to both Israel and Palestinian surfers.

God Went Surfing with the Devil Trailer from Alexander Klein on Vimeo.

I don’t think anyone is under the illusion that this will solve anything. However, on an extremely local level, great things have been accomplished.

I’m really looking forward to seeing this. More info on the official website

Protect it by Uglifying it

December 13th, 2009

Jimmie Rodgers was doing some volunteer work in Brazil when his camera was stolen. He found out that although digital cameras were worth money to thieves, film cameras were not.  Using duct tape and a sharpie, he disguised his new camera as an old film camera.

He was subsequently mugged twice. Both times they let him keep his camera. Ingenious.

Check out all the details here.

Via Life Hacker

Neat Info Graphic

December 12th, 2009

Update- The link is fixed. Thanks to everyone who emailed!

No matter the subject, I never tire of great info graphics. When done right, they effortlessly convey a lot of information, at a near instantaneous rate.

See the whole chart here.  It’s very well done.

Via Delcious

Do Me a Favor?

December 10th, 2009

If anyone is swinging by the North Pole, can you drop these off for me? The Lovgren boys would greatly appreciate it.

Quite the optimists, aren’t they?

He Can’t Read or Write, But He’s Changing a Continent

December 8th, 2009

Yacouba Sawadogo is a farmer in the western African nation of Burkina Faso. He recently revived an ancient planting technique and adapted it to the more arid climate of Africa today.

It had long been the practice among Sahelian farmers to dig zai–shallow pits–that concentrate scarce rainfall onto the roots of crops. Sawadogo increased the size of his zai to capture more rainfall. But his most important innovation, he says, was to add manure to the zai during the dry season, a practice his peers derided as wasteful.Sawadogo’s experiments worked: by concentrating water and fertility in pits, he increased crop yields. But the most significant result was one he hadn’t anticipated: tiny trees began to sprout amid his rows of millet and sorghum, thanks to seeds contained in the manure. As one growing season followed another, it became apparent that the trees–now a few feet high–were further increasing crop yields while also restoring soil fertility. “Since I began this technique of rehabilitating degraded land, my family has enjoyed food security in good years and bad,” Sawadogo says.

The changes have been adopted by other farmers and have helped rehabilitate more than 12 million acres of degraded land.

The tree-based farming that Sawadogo and hundreds of thousands of other poor farmers in the Sahel have adopted could help millions of their counterparts around the world cope with climate change. Already these practices have spread across vast portions of Burkina Faso and neighboring Niger and Mali, turning millions of acres of what had become semi-desert in the 1980s into more productive land. The transformation is so pervasive that the new greenery is visible from outer space via satellite pictures. With climate change, much more of the planet’s land will be hot and arid like the Sahel. It only makes sense, then, to learn from the quiet green miracle unfolding there.

Clever Skit

December 6th, 2009

This is what happens when a nerd rapper performs with a hot pop star.

Via The Matt Smith

Straight Talk From the Oceanside Rec Center

November 25th, 2009

Oceanside, CA is one of the last blue collar beach towns in southern California. It’s beautiful in places and gritty in others.

I don’t think I would be happier living anywhere else. A significant part of this has to do with the Oceanside Rec Center. I’ve been a big fan since day one. The staff is over the top great.

They quickly learn all the kid’s names AND remember them. If the kid misses a season and they don’t see them for six months, the staff (they’re all awesome!) doesn’t miss a beat. “Yo, What up Jeremy? Where have you been, my man.”

When you’re a 7 year old kid, and a 20 something athletic wonder greats you like you’re his buddy, it’s quite a pump up.

Recently, from the first day of basketball.

Rec Center staff member addressing a group of 60 kids sitting on the floor.  “You don’t need special sneakers to play basketball. You play with the sneakers you’re parents can afford. 10 dollar sneakers work exactly the same as 100.00 sneakers. If anyone tells you different, they are lying. If another kid, brother, sister, shoe salesman tells you different, they are lying. If they swear their is a difference, they are lying.”

She then turns to the bleachers and addresses the parents. “If you’ve never had a child in one of our programs know we’re here to teach kids how to play basketball and most important, TO HAVE FUN DOING IT. We’re not here to create superstars. Please, conduct yourselves appropriately. We practice 1 hour a day, once a week. There’s no meeting at the park for an extra team practice. By all means though, practice with your child. It does wonders.

If a child comes home and tells you a staff member told them they need new sneakers to play, they are lying.”