Sunday, October 28, 2007

All Natural Cemeteries with Google Maps

The Forever Fernwood Cemetary in Mill Valley California features all natural burials.

No Embalming is permitted, and you have to use a biodegradable casket if you use one at all. To preserve the rainforests, no exotic woods, like teak or mahogany, can be used. Most of the dear departed are, in fact, buried without casket or shroud, after being shipped in on dry ice.

Land conservation is a major part of the pitch. One of the company's goals is to conserve land that might otherwise be developed. Few companies would try to develop a mini-mall over gravesites.

"Your last act of life," Boileau said, "becomes one of land preservation."

No Grave markers are permitted. "We issue the family a Google map with the GPS coordinates," said Jay Boileau, executive vice president of Forever Enterprises, owner of the 32-acre facility.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Man Texting While Driving Hits Train

Robert Gillespie, 38, was text messaging on his cell phone yesterday In Eugene Oregon when he drove into a frieght train. Amazingly, he was alert and talking when police arrived at the scene and found him trapped in his car.

''There are all kinds of ways to get distracted these days,'' said Eugene police spokeswoman Kerry Delf. ''We don't recommend any of them while you're driving.''

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Pod People

Schools are struggling with students who bring their iPods to school. But some schools are joining the iPod generation rather than fighting it.

These schools are employing iPods as tools to increase bi-lingual abilities and as adjuncts to lessons in just about all subjects. The schools purchase iPods in bulk and load them with video and audio lessons. Some buy the devices for all students; others buy enough to hand out in classes. Some are finally allowing or even encouraging students to bring their own iPods to school, so that the lesson files can be loaded.

In one recent class at Jose Marti school in New Jersey, Spanish speaking eighth-grade students mouthed the words to the English language rock song “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s as they played the tune on the iPods over and over again. The braver ones sang out loud.

“It speaks to me,” said Stephanie Rojas, 13, who moved here last year from Puerto Rico and now prefers to sing in English. “I take a long time in the shower because I’m singing, and my brothers are like, ‘Hurry up!’”

Grace Poli, a media specialist at Jose Marti, said her Spanish-speaking students — known around the school as Pod People — have been able to move out of bilingual classes after just a year of using the digital devices, compared with an average of four to six years for most bilingual students.

Read about it here

Monday, October 8, 2007

What's Next? -- Business 2.0 Closes Shop

Business 2.0 will close its print edition with the current issue, October 2007, Volume 8 #9.

Next Things has found inspiration in the magazine's "What's Next?" feature, in which ten new hi-tech ideas are explained. Readers of Next Things will find three items in the final issue interesting:

  • A Projector for Cell Phones: a small chip inserted in your cel phone that allows you to project images from the screen onto the wall. O.K., you store your power point presentation in the cell memory and you can give a quickie presentation to your elevator companions as soon as the door closes. Better than Musack!

  • A Table Touchscreen: an Intra-net built right into the nearest tabletop, to pipe web-content to those around the table. This would be great for those classrooms where the teacher says "turn to page 76" and nothing happens. Now she just hits a button and page 76 is right in front of everyone.

  • E-paper Screens for Reading e-newspapers and E-books: e-paper is a thin screen technology that is more natural than LCD screens, mimicking the look and feel of real ink on real paper. Looks like the folks in silicon valley have finally discovered the 'real' hi-tech device . . . paper. better luminosity, portability, disposability, and energy efficiency. If things keep going in this direction the wave of the future may be e-cuniform.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Plastic Ice Cream Cones Don't Leak

If you just can't stand it when your cake ice cream cone starts to leak all over your pants and your kids make fun of you, you are in luck.

Plastic ice cream cones, now available in several neon colors, are guaranteed not to leak, and can be washed and re-used for all eternity.

The bad news is that it is hard to get to the melted ice cream at the bottom of the cone.

TV Guide to Offer Fix for TV Addiction

Are you suffering? TV Guide has something for you!!

The Guide has introduced a new “We’ll get you through the week.” advertising campaign.

Read all about it at:

“The new TV Guide is about the fans, about the passionate viewers — it’s not about somebody who looks at railway timetables,” Ian Birch, the Editor in Cheif, said.

“If you have a favorite show, you really go through what we consider a withdrawal period,” said Alan Cohen, TV Guide International’s chief marketing officer. “This campaign is all about positioning TV Guide as the source for getting your fix and feeding your need during that six day and 23 hour period.”

The “We’ll get you through the week” campaign announces that the Guide’s print and on-line vehicles can give ardent fans get a therapeutic dose of their favorite programs during the anxious days between installments.

Richard Dorfman, of investment firm Richard Alan, noted that “the ads are saying ‘we’re going to give you your fix.’

To promote the changes, TV Guide International increased its marketing budget from under $1 million last year to $20 million this year!

Should someone call the police?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Speed Reading Slowing You Down? Try Photo Reading!

Personal development specialist Steve Pavlina recommends the reading course Photo Reading by Learning Strategies Inc.

The main benefits, according to both Pavlina and the company, are these:

Read books at least 3 times faster. Some books you'll be able to read 10 times faster -- or more.

Read more books. The faster you read, the more you can read.

Read faster online. PhotoReading adapts nicely to online articles and blog posts. You'll be amazed at how quickly you can blast through this site's 500+ free articles.

Extract ideas more efficiently. PhotoReading's nonlinear, multipass reading strategies allow you to extract the key ideas from a book without getting sidetracked by the fluff.

Avoid reading lousy books. In just a few minutes, you'll determine whether a book is worth reading... or discarding. You'll love using this technique the next time you visit a bookstore.

Improve your memory. Because you're focused on idea extraction instead of scanning every word, you'll retain more of what you read.

Enjoy reading more. PhotoReading keeps your mind fully engaged, so reading becomes much more stimulating.

Photo Reading may be a good bookstore or library practice. Pick a topic, go to the shelf, gather up all the books, and put them down in half an hour.

May also work for your blogroll. Go through that baby before breakfast and extract something useful.

Its a tad manic, but it can get the job done.

I prefer curling up with a good book, but what does that have to do with Photo Reading?