Monday, May 30, 2016

Tesla's Gigafactory

Nikola Tesla was one of the greatest inventors of all time. So, a company with his name attached should be one that thinks differently, expands imagination, and stretches our ideas.

Elon Musk is building toward an electric future, and this factory in Nevada is testament to that.

Learn more about this fascinating spark of imagination (actually a gigaspark):

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Futuristic Chinese bus concept

The Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) rides high allowing the cars to pass underneath, or it to pass over the cars.

How would you feel seeing one of these in NYC or Chicago?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Candace Payne and the simple joy of Chewbacca

Seven days ago just a handful of people knew Candace Payne. And then, one little spark of inspiration led her to post a video of herself trying on a Chewbacca mask on her Facebook account.

The 4-minute clip was filled with her laughing her way through the opening and demonstration of the mask. It was, and still is, hilarious.

Within the first hour or so she had reached 1,000 views. By the time she went to bed that evening, it was up to 1 million. Wake up the next morning and the views topped 20 million.

As of this writing the viewership is well in the hundred million views. And now, she has been on Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, and The Late Show with James Corden (where she even did a skit with J.J. Abrams). The latest is the original Chewbacca, Peter Mayhew, reached out to her to invite her family to be his guests at an upcoming Star Wars fest in Dallas.

As she described it at the end of her original video, it is the "simple joys" in life. Candace's one little spark of inspiration has led to hundreds of millions of people around the world taking time to laugh. There's no hidden message behind it, no ulterior motive, no marketing ploy. It was quite simply a window into her moment of pure joy -- and we all get to celebrate it with her, over and over again.

Laughter -- we need more of it.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Agora Cyber, ECOT, and thoughts on virtual schools

Two stories came out this week, one from Pennsylvania and one from Ohio related to virtual schooling (cyber schooling in PA).

In Pennsylvania, Agora is in trouble with the PA Dept of Education over accurate data.

In Ohio, ECOT is being questioned by the the Dept. of Ed in Ohio about recording of attendance (which equals funding).

Recently, K12 in their quarterly report announcement bragged about a 289 basis point increase in retention rates. It is unusual because it is an investment term and they are, in essence, describing students in terms of investments. One basis point is the equivalent of 1/100th of a percentage, meaning 289 basis points equals 2.89% increase. I guess 289 sounds better and larger than 2.89%. Now, if they are serving over 100,000 students, 289 (or 2.89%) is a decent increase until one remembers how many students are leaving annually (estimated around 35%, or 3500 basis points, to 50%, or 5,000 basis points). That creates a different perspective doesn't it.

I also did a search (multiple searches really) in an effort to try and find success stories related to virtual schooling (other than those put out by the schools themselves). Interestingly, I could not find one.

Where are the success stories?

I'm keeping the faith in virtual schooling but the light is dimming.

Perhaps now we can quit trying to rearrange the deck chairs and create a radically different model.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Why you will fail

Larry Smith pulls no punches in this evocative TED Talk.

Where are you on the excuse spectrum? Are you pursuing your passion in life no matter what others might say? Or, are you using one of the excuses he talks about to keep you from sharing your best self with us?

I know which one is mine. Which excuse is yours? And, when will we stop using them?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Turning the corner

Sometimes turning the corner is merely a precursor to going around in circles (or squares).

Sometimes turning the corner is merely to hide from what is behind you.

Sometimes turning the corner is the result of going the wrong way.

Sometimes turning the corner is exactly what you intended to do. In this instance before you make any turns, you must decide you will turn, and determine where you want to go once you make the turn.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

It's only mountains

We all know how to "make a mountain out of a mole hill."

But, do we know how to make a molehill out of a mountain?

Whether a mountain or a molehill you can still simply go around.

You can also go over either one.

And remember, the view from the mountain is more breathtaking than the one from the molehill.

We can help you navigate the path and enjoy the journey.