What’s Your Walk Up Song?

July 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

I noticed this concept for the first time at a recent conference.  It was so “in your face” that I began commenting on it…then thinking more deeply about the technique.  When I returned back to the office, I began discussing the use of this concept in the workplace as an “Identity Tool”.

What if we created a way to not only uniquely personalize “YOU” with music but more importantly an easy way for others to remember “YOU”?   Music has always been a way our sensing brain connects with our emotional brain.   Music is a remarkable imprinting device.

Some of the ideas I bantered about with people at Mozilla were to give everyone a “RingID” in our online phone book.  This would allow people to easily create a 10-15 second music clip to say as much about you as any Bio or stale “who I am” or “my hobbies” could ever do.

I never realized, or rather, never connected that Major League Baseball has been doing this “Walk Up Song” for years.  This brilliant article describes this “connection concept” perfectly.    We all understand personalized ring tones for our cell phones and we all have our favorite playlists. Is it time for  our personalized RingID?

SO, what’s your “Walk Up Song”?   What is the musical fingerprint that defines “YOU” in the 10-15 second period between the time you are introduced by someone or you want people to remember you by?    My current one?  = Don’t Stop Believing



Cosmos: Flatland and Googol

July 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

One of the biggest influences on my young scientific brain was the amazing thirteen part Cosmos series written by Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan.  It aired in 1980 when I was 13 years old and I still feel it’s impact and influence on my young mind.  It was the most widely watched  series in the history of public television and is still one of the most widely watched PBS series in the world.  It’s been broadcast in more than 60 countries and watched by more than 500 million people.  For it’s day, it was so well produced from the special effects to the soundtracks to the simple Storytelling.  The series brilliant blending of science, history, poetry, music creates tremendous education for a young mind and at 13 I was a sponge.

In this series, the concepts include our universe, DNA, astronomy (Kepler, Copernicus, and Tycho Brahe), an entire episode devoted to Mars, Space-Time and Einstein, Voyager’s Golden Record and our collective intelligence.  It’s all here.

One particular episode stood out for me above all others.  The concepts described in the Flatland episode intrigues me to this day.   The possibilities of “what’s out there?” and how it might look make me full of wonder.    I still love the part how the 3D cube casts a shadow on the 2D Flatland and further, how we can imagine the fourth dimension by creating a “shadow” in our 3D world…even though we can never physically see this 4th dimensional “shape”.


Today I think of this concept as “Perspective” and I regular use this Flatland analogy when I feel perspective is needed.

I love how Carl simply poses great questions and teaches without lecturing.

“Cosmology brings us face-to-face with the deepest mysteries of questions that were once treated only in religion and myth”

“Who know for certain?  Who shall here declare it?  Whence was it born?…….these words are 3500 years old.  They are taken from the Rig Veda,  a collection of early Sanskrit hymns.   The most sophisticated ancient cosmological ideas came from Asia and particularly from India.  Here, there’s a tradition of skeptical questioning and un-selfconscious humility before the great cosmic mysteries..”

I marvel at the consistent blend of poetry, science, history, and cultural concepts and begin to understand how these ideas were planted in my young mind as they were in many other young minds.

As for the Googol and Googolplex, little did we know that 20 years later, these words would take on a whole new meaning.  The concept of “the infinity of small” and the “infinity of large” still intrigues me to this day.


I’ll end this mini-video series with one of Carl Sagan’s most persistent and timeless messages for humanity

“Those worlds in space are as countless as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth. Each of those worlds is as real as ours. In every one of them, there’s a succession of incidence, events, occurrences which influence its future. Countless worlds, numberless moments, an immensity of space and time. And our small planet, at this moment, here we face a critical branch-point in the history. What we do with our world, right now, will propagate down through the centuries and powerfully affect the destiny of our descendants. It is well within our power to destroy our civilization, and perhaps our species as well. If we capitulate to superstition, or greed, or stupidity, we can plunge our world into a darkness deeper than time between the collapse of classical civilization and the Italian Renaissance. But, we are also capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth, to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet. To enhance enormously our understanding of the Universe, and to carry us to the stars.”

Live Like A Dog

July 4, 2013 § Leave a comment


I found this anonymous story on the web.  It speaks a powerful truth….


Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try to live.

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”

The Six-year-old continued,

”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

The moral of the story of a dog’s life?

  • Live simply.
  • Love generously.
  • Care deeply.
  • Speak kindly.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
  • Take naps;   Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

On any given day:

  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.


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