Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jellybeanville and Eggshell Land

There are two really excellent Easter displays within about 10 minutes of my house. Eggshell Land is in Lyndhurst and Jellybeanville is in Euclid.

Both displays cost a lot to create and maintain but the creators say they love to bring smiles to the faces of children and their families.

You can donate to the Bellflower Center to prevent child abuse at Jellybeanville.

Kudos to Steve Kaselak at Jellybeanville and Ron and Betty Manolio of Eggshell Land.

Both are worth a visit

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Interfaith Seder

The 8th Annual AJC (American Jewish Committee) inter-faith Diplomatic Seder was held at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple.

Rabbi Joshua Caruso led the ceremony with enthusiasm and passion. He told how the feast of Passover was both a celebration of freedom and a memory of slavery.

Along with the readings, music and other traditions and festivities there was a time for personal stories.

Peggy Zone Fisher told of her mixed marriage - she is Catholic and her husband Lee Fisher is a Jew. She also told of how her west side family supported Carl Stokes in the 1960's and paid the price for it.

The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. gave a powerful (as always) 5 minutes on some of his experiences in the South. What an orator!

Check out the pictures and videos from the Seder.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Tri-C Scholarship

Margaret Wong, Jerry Sue Thornton and Judy Wong

Margaret W. Wong knows first hand how important a scholarship can be to an immigrant (or child of immigrant) student. She was in that position herself when she came to the United States. Margaret used scholarships to complete her education which led to the establishment of her world-renown Margaret W. Wong & Associates law firm.

The Cuyahoga Community College Foundation announced the Margaret W. Wong Scholarship Fund at a special reception at Ms Wong's building. "The Cuyahoga Community College Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of the Margaret W. Wong Scholarship Fund for support of immigrant students and their children. This scholarship will provide access to education for both immigrant students and students who are children of immigrants who may not be able to begin or continue their educations without additional financial assistance."

Ms Wong donated $100,000 to set up the scholarship.

Pictures and video from the event

Flipped Off

The latest One Minute Podcast from the Great Lakes Geek talks about the end of the Flip camera.

I always liked the Flip Camera. My sister had one and it fit in a pocket, had that one easy button to push and produced quality video. I also liked the built-in USB connector.

I didn’t own a Flip because I take a lot of video (last YouTube count is at 935 videos posted) and I need more storage than the Flip had.

It always seems odd to me that Cisco, the company behind the plumbing of the Internet, bought this niche business from Pure Digital for $590 million. Cisco’s earnings fell 18% in the 2nd quarter of 2011 and the Flip wasn’t really a growth product so I can see why Chambers didn’t want the brand anymore. But why not sell it?

It would have to be updated though. The iPod Nano got a camera in 2009 and Apple clearly targeted the Flip. Now most smart phones and devices have a camera for stills and video so the question is why buy a single use product when you have that functionality in a device you already own and carry?

Consider how younger people use the camera on their phones. They shoot and immediately post the photos to Facebook, Flickr, YouTube or other social media or send to their friend’s devices. You can’t do that with a Flip which has no Internet connectivity.

Cisco tried a high-end Flip but it sold for $230 and was, again, single purpose.

I just wish Cisco had sold the Flip line to a company that would upgrade it with Wi-Fi, more storage and lots of photo/video specific apps instead of killing the line.

That’s what has me Flipped Off.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Efficient use of charitable donations

Many people want to contribute to causes but with all the scams and inefficiencies of some bureaucratic behemoths, you can't be sure that your money is getting to the needy.

I was impressed by a recent tour of the Cleveland Foodbank.

They are able to provide 4 meals for every $1 they receive in donations. Give them $10 and they will make 40 meals. $100 turns into 400 meals and so on.

Currently the Harvest for Hunger campaign is going on. This is an opportunity to help feed hungry people in the community in an incredibly frugal and efficient way.

You can donate online right now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Think like an immigrant

Ratanjit S. Sondhe is an American success story. He emigrated from India to the United States in 1968 to complete his Ph.D. studies in Polymer Chemistry. He arrived here with $8 in his pocket and two Master's degrees. He soon became an American entrepreneur, creating POLY-CARB, Inc. to add value by offering solutions to infrastructure erosion problems.

In 1980 he heard the message: The bad news is you are broke. The good news is you are in America.

He succeeded tremendously from that point and sold his company to Dow Chemical. Now he advises people and businesses on a better way of life.

For example, He told a City Club crowd that immigrants are "like fresh water in a pond." They come on their own and put themselves in survival mode and see opportunity that American born do not. He wants to convert native born to this immigrant mindset.

Ratanjit Sondhe at City Club of Cleveland

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Team NEO International Business Attraction

Quick. What are the 3 countries that Team NEO does the most work with?

Germany, the Netherlands and China. With Canada coming up fast.

Team NEO markets the Cleveland Plus region collectively to site selectors, real estate consultants and targeted companies across the globe to increase awareness of Northeast Ohio’s business assets in order to increase business opportunities for the region.

Here are 3 short videos from a Team NEO forum that explains some of their efforts.

Global Cleveland

A large crowd filled the 3rd floor of 200 Public Square (soon to be renamed the Huntington Bank Building) to hear news that many thought would never be announced.

The idea to grow Cleveland by attracting and retaining migrants and immigrants has been discussed for a decade. Last year the vision began solidifying into action as Forest City's Albert Ratner, with support from the Cleveland Jewish Federation, led an initiative which has become Global Cleveland.

The tagline for Global Cleveland is "Connecting Newcomers to Opportunity and the Region." None of the numerous businesses, organizations and individuals involved in Global Cleveland is satisfied with the declining population of the region. Aggressive efforts to attract and retain people will yield increased economic opportunities and development for all.

At a press conference launch on April 5th, Global Cleveland Board Chairman Baiju Shah announced large funding sources and a location for their headquarters which will serve as a Welcoming Center.

See photos and video of Global Cleveland launch event

Monday, April 04, 2011

Benefit for Japan

Kids today. They are all lazy slackers who play video games all day, right?

Not these two. Two young high school students, Cameron Beason and Jane Tang saw the stories on the news and knew they had to do something for all the people suffering as a result of Japan's tsunami. Beason says they didn't want to just give money; they wanted to encourage other people to donate as well.

So they organized a Benefit for Japan at Asia Plaza.

Good for you Cameron and Jane!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Have to run IE6?

You know how I feel about Internet Explorer (IE) 6 - it's not as secure or feature rich as more modern browsers. (more about IE6)

But some of you have apps that have to run on Internet Explorer 6.

Microsoft IT pro evenagelist Matt Hester suggests a good workaround for you. And he shares a funny IE6 April Fool's Day story in this video with the Great Lakes Geek.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ambulance Chasing

My sister's car was hit last week by a driver in University Circle. No injuries thankfully.

But several disturbing results.

First, the driver in the big new Dodge Durango had no insurance. She said she "was fixin' to get some soon." How do people not have insurance and get a license and drive?

The repairs will cost about $1800.

At the accident scene, the woman did not want to wait for police and her passenger got out, was very rude and when reprimanded by the driver, got back in the car and passed out! Druggie? Narcoleptic? Who knows.

Another disturbing thing happened yesterday morning. The Police Report must have been made public because beginning at 8AM my sister received a dozen phone calls in less than 20 minutes from law firms and chiropractors. The chiropractor offices wanted to help with her injuries even though no injuries were claimed. Are you sure your neck isn't sore?

It was apparent that these people would like to work with the accident victims to get money from insurance companies or others in the "system."

No wonder rates are so high!