Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Cleveland Botanical Garden’s “Glow at the Garden”

Treat yourself to a magical time at the Cleveland Botanical Garden's holiday event, Glow at the Garden, which opened Friday, November 29th and runs until January 5th. Back for its 2nd year, all of your favorite past Glow experiences are also returning.

Take a train ride through the garden, feast your eyes on over 100 gingerbread houses (you can even decorate your own to take home!), enjoy live seasonal music performances, dozens of trees delightfully decorated by garden clubs, and the twinkling lights. Plus, there are a few new surprises in store for you.

Check out a few pictures of the Forest City Tree Protection crew setting up the 24' concolor fir tree in the lobby.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Diwali in Cleveland

Deepavali, or the "festival of lights", is one of the most important festivals of the year for Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and others. The name "Diwali" or "Divali" is a contraction of deepavali which translates into "row of lamps".

Federation of India Community Associations (FICA) celebrated Deepavali 2013 on Friday, November 8th in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall with music, dance, camaraderie and Mayor Frank Jackson. The Indian flag flew atop City Hall.

More from Diwali 2013 in Cleveland

Are Facebook (or Instagram or …) ads cost effective?

So where does a company put its limited advertising resources? Facebook? Pinterest? Other Social Media?

The Great Lakes Geek asked Dave Skorepa, Chief Creative Officer, and Matt Messenger, Director of Web Marketing, of Aztek, a Cleveland web design firm, specializing in custom responsive web design and web application development and web marketing.

Matt quotes a report that only 37% of Facebook advertisers were satisfied and Dave has some concerns about the ads being too targeted and displaying just how much information they have about him. Check it out.

Philippines storm devastation

Dr. Joy Kouns Lewis spoke about the tragic storm devastation in her hometown and surrounding areas in the Philippines. Almost two weeks ago, Super Typhoon Haiyan - called Yolanda in the Philippines - landed in Eastern Samar and Leyte provinces and destroyed much of Tacloban City.

Experts say it was one of the most powerful storms ever to hit land. Thousands are dead and thousands are missing. Local Filipino and other communities are planning events to raise funds to help those affected by this tragedy.

Champion of Immigrants Award

Congressman Dennis Kucinich accepted the first annual Champion of Immigrants award at an event in Cleveland sponsored by the International Services Center.

As its first recipient of this annual award, the ISC selected Dennis J. Kucinich, former U.S. Congressman and Mayor of Cleveland, because of his ongoing dedication and service to immigrants both locally and on a national level. As the grandson of immigrants from Croatia and Ireland, Congressman Kucinich understood the diversity that makes up the ethnic neighborhoods of Cleveland, as well as those in the African American and Latino communities. Throughout his political career he “stood up for the people,” addressing their concerns and problems.

As a Member of Congress, his advocacy for immigrants and refugees helped many come and stay in this country. He also opened doors for bilateral trade with the countries represented by immigrants in Greater Cleveland. He has always put immigration to the forefront of his service to our community and country, and so richly deserves this honor.

Photos and video from the event 

Albanian Cultural Garden Dedication

A delegation from Albania including Fier Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj and the Prefect who represented Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama joined Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Councilwoman Dona Brady and members of the Albanian community to dedicate Phase 2 of the Albanian Cultural Garden.

The ceremony included scattering of soil from Albania and a ribbon cutting.

Photos and videos from the Albanian Cultural Garden event

Happy Thanksgivukkah

This year, on November 28, 2013, two of the most delicious holidays for Jews collide: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

This much anticipated day, a day when you finally can eat Thanksgiving turkey and potato latkes at the same time, will not happen again in our lifetime, or even our great-grandchildren's lifetime.

According to the Denver Post, the last time the confluence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah happened was 1888. This year it occurs Nov. 28, which is the second night of the eight-day Hanukkah celebration. The next time it will occur? Hold on to your dreidels: By some calculations, it won't be for another 79,043 years, thanks to disparities between the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars.

When life gives you Hanukkah on Thanksgiving, make a menurkey. Or a turkel.

Gobble Tov!

Happy Thanksgiving

May your stuffing be tasty,
may your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes 'n gravy
have nary a lump,

May your yams be delicious,
May your pies take the prize,
May your Thanksgiving dinner
stay off of your thighs.

May your Thanksgiving be blessed!!

Best to you and your family

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Is Vine (or Instagram video) useful for business?

I have to admit that watching compilations of the best Vines (6 second videos) can be addictive. Some are really funny. Most are stupid. That's the web.

But is there a business case for Vine?

We use to wonder if messages of 140 characters or less could be productive and Twitter showed us that it could. But a 6 second video?

The Great Lakes Geek asked Dave Skorepa, Chief Creative Officer, and Matt Messenger, Director of Web Marketing, of Aztek, a Cleveland web design firm, specializing in custom responsive web design and web application development and web marketing.

Matt pointed out an effective business use and Dave told of the competition with Instagram.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What went wrong with Healthcare.Gov – web pro’s view

Leave the politics aside because both sides of the aisle admit that the launch of Healthcare.gov was not, let’s say, optimal. 

But whether you are a fan of the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – or not, there are things we can learn from professional web developers about this botched launch.

 Dave Skorepa, Chief Creative Officer, and Matt Messenger, Director of Web Marketing, work for Aztek, a Cleveland web design firm, specializes in custom responsive web design and web application development and web marketing. In their 15+ years in business Aztek has completed thousands of projects with more than 600 different clients in nearly every industry imaginable.

Great Lakes Geek Dan Hanson asked them, from the point of view of web developers, what went wrong with the healthcare.gov launch.

They spoke about the user experience component as well as the back end issues but also pointed out a website that the government did right, data.gov.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


I came across some PCD files and couldn't remember what file format they were. So after a Bing search, I found a website that promised more info.

When I clicked, this is what appeared.

Luckily there were other sites available to determine that the files are Kodak Photo CD files.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Most Valuable Brands

Coke has owned the top spot in the annual Best Global Brands report since inception in 2000. But not anymore.

The new report says that Apple is now the most valuable brand in the world, followed closely by Google.

Coke is now 3rd followed by IBM, Microsoft, GE, McDonalds, Samsung, Intel and Toyota.

So tech companies claimed 6 of the top 10 spots. Not bad. And Cisco is 12, HP is 15, Oracle is 18, SAP is 25 and eBay is 28.

See the report

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Adam Mickiewicz Bust Rededication - Polish Cultural Gardens

Adam Bernard Mickiewicz (1798 to 1855) was a prominent poet, dramatist, essayist, political activist, publicist and translator. He is commonly considered the greatest poet in Polish literature.

 The event featured dignitaries, speeches and performaces from PIAST, the Polish Folk Song and Dance Ensemble of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America (PRCUA).

PIAST group in front of Copernicus

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

3000 videos

I noticed that yesterday I posted my 3000th video on YouTube (the dedication of the new Cultural Garden Kiosk). 

The funny thing is that of all the videos posted the one with the most views is a quickie I did with my black lab Hogan in his pool.  Over 155,000 views from all over the world.  He goes nuts in the pool about ½ way through so it is fun but there is a lesson somewhere here about content. 

Check out Hogan in his pool. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fax me Baby

I sent a fax the other day.

That doesn't sound like a big deal but it's been many months since I sent the last one. Being a Geek I used to have a portable fax that could be (gulp) attached to my belt to demonstrate my Alpha Geek status.

Now, we keep the fax machine off because every morning there would be a bunch of spam advertisements and never anything "good."

When I needed to send a quick page the other day and the company just listed their fax number, I plugged in the fax, took a moment to remember that the paper went in face down and top end first and sent it off.

It was convenient and fast but I have no idea what it looked like to the recipient. You can be pretty sure when you attach a pdf to an e-mail.

With a scanner on my desk, the fax has been used less and less. We don't print our fax number on business cards or letterhead anymore. Do you?

Let us know how often you use the fax machine and why. We will publish some of the most interesting comments (anonymous if you prefer).

Leave a comment - just don't fax it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cleveland Marathon through Cultural Gardens

Congratulations to the African-American Cultural Garden who showed the most support of all the Gardens as the runners from the Cleveland Marathon passed through on Sunday. They won a $500 gift card from Petitti Garden Centers. Congratulations!

 ClevelandPeople.Com's Debbie Hanson presenting a $500 Petitti gift card to
Carl Ewing of the African-American Garden

The Irish Cultural Garden came in second and won a $150 gift card from Petitti.

What a beautiful venue for a race!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Being Different - Johnny Wu keynote

Cuyahoga Community College West and the Parma City School District presented the annual Culture Shock on April 18, 2013.

Award Winning Filmmaker Johnny Wu was the keynote speaker.

Wu is the President of OCA Cleveland Chapter and Co–Founder/Executive Committee Chair for the Cleveland Asian Festival among many other titles. Wu's presentation was titled "Being Different.”

See more from the Johnny Wu keynote including video highlights

Culture Shock at Tri-C

Cuyahoga Community College West and the Parma City School District presented the annual Culture Shock on April 18, 2013.

Susan W. Lohwater, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, English as a Second Language and ESL Coordinator, Advisor to International Club & Conversation Connection worked with the Parma City Schools to make it happen.

The event included tables representing various nationalities and cultures as well as multi-cultural performances.

See more from Culture Shock at Tri-C

Miss Puerto Rican Image 2012 Aidelis Rivera

Miss Puerto Rican Image 2012 Aidelis Rivera performed at the 2013 Culture Shock event which was put on by Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) West and the Parma City School District.

Miss Puerto Rican Image 2012 Aidelis Rivera dancing

Ukrainian Dance

The Cleveland Ukrainian community was represented at the 2013 Culture Shock event which was put on by Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) West and the Parma City School District.
Besides a table display, there was a dance performance.

Ukrainian girls dancing

See more from the Ukrainian performance

Friday, April 05, 2013

Cleveland Rotary Club honor

Rotary Club of Cleveland is pleased to present its 2013 International Service Award to ClevelandPeople.com and its founders, Pat Hanson, Dan Hanson, and Deborah Hanson not only for their commitment to a better world and the furtherance of world understanding and peace, but for their global vision in support of the international community of Greater Cleveland and the State of Ohio.

The Presentation will be made at its annual International Fellowship Day on April 11 at 12:00 noon, Windows on the River.

Please R.S.V.P. to the Rotary Office no later than 12:00 Noon, Monday, April 8, 2013 by email:clevrotary@aol.com or by calling 216-556-8637.

The cost is $20.00 per person. Checks should be made payable to the Rotary Club of Cleveland – MasterCard and VISA are also accepted.

Parking is complimentary – please advise the guard at the Security gate at the entrance to the parking lot that you are attending the Rotary luncheon meeting.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

If Jupiter was the same distance as the moon

I love this image created by jb2386 on Reddit depicting a landscape if Jupiter was the same distance from Earth as the Moon is. Very cool.

Cleveland Indians spending

We all know about the major expenditures the Cleveland Indians have made for the 2013 season.

But did you know that high school baseball for boys and softball for girls in the Cleveland metropolitan school district is 100% funded by Cleveland Indian Charities and would not exist without them?

Kudos to the Tribe.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The last Eggshelland

Ron and Betty Manolio have been commemorating Easter and entertaining the community with Eggshelland since 1957.

Ron Manolio passed away last year so Betty and the kids and grandkids decided there should be one last Eggshelland as a tribute to Ron and to thank the community.  Thank you Ron and Betty.

Photos and videos of the last Eggshelland

Friday, March 22, 2013

Baseball Puzzle

Here's a puzzle to get you in the mood for the upcoming baseball season.

Let's say that for the first half of the baseball season, Nick Swisher hits for a higher batting average than Asdrubal Cabrera. During the second half of the season, Swisher again hits for a higher average than Cabrera.

Is it possible for Cabrera to have a higher average for the season as a whole?

It sure is.

The Great Lakes Geek will post a solution in a few days but think about it first. If you know how it could happen, leave a comment.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

19 days

Bob Feller's old #19 jersey came in handy for Tribe PR boss Bob DiBiasio as he announced there are 19 days until the Cleveland Indians Home Opener!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Pi Day

We all know that Pi is the mathematical constant that is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to it's diameter.  Pi is irrational and its decimal representation goes on forever and never settles into a repeating pattern.

Of course, Pi begins with 3.14159... so March 14 or 3-14 is celebrated as Pi Day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lotus - the end of an era

The Great Lakes Geek is sad that the Lotus name has been removed from the Notes/Domino name and the Lotusphere conference.  It’s hard to believe that it was way back in 1995 that IBM bought Lotus, essentially for the Lotus Notes product line. 

I don’t think you can overestimate the importance of Lotus 1-2-3 to the PC industry.  Jonathan Sachs had written a couple electronic spreadsheets and he and Mitch Kapor created Lotus in 1982 and released Lotus 1-2-3 for the IBM PC in 1983.

Lotus 1-2-3 is the main reason that businesses bought PCs.  It made the IBM PC the world standard.  In fact, the common test for a clone PC to be IBM PC compatible was that it be able to run Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Flight Simulator (to test the graphics).  There was even a rumor that Microsoft would intentionally change DOS just enough to mess up 1-2-3.  The motto was 'DOS ain't done till Lotus won't run.’'

If you are old enough, you may recall the first time you set up a spreadsheet and then changed a field (maybe a tax rate from 10 to 12%) and recalculated and watched the values update.  What power! The Geek actually first witnessed this with VisiCalc on a TRS-80.   1-2-3 soon eclipsed VisiCalc and Microsoft’s Multiplan never did offer much competition. 

The product was called 1-2-3 because it had 3 functions: Spreadsheet, Charting/Graphing and Database.  Of course the database and graphing functions seem prehistoric when viewed against Access or Excel but it was a big deal back then.  And many people used 1-2-3 as their only app, including as a word processor.  They loaded 1-2-3 in the morning and stayed in it all day.  The familiar A1 row/column screen was burnt into many CRT monitors.

Lotus 1-2-3 did not have the burden of accommodating modern GUIs.  The first versions were written in x86 Assembler Language (V 3.0 switched to C) and they wrote directly to video memory rather than slower OS or BIOS output.  It was fast!

As companies relied on 1-2-3 more and more, they soon reached the 640K limits of the PC and the industry developed expanded memory to break the 640k barrier.  I spent a lot of time on Quarterdeck’s QEMM eking out some precious extra kb of memory.

Lotus 1-2-3 was the first killer app and dominated for a decade.  The beginning of the end came when Lotus lost the famous “look and feel” lawsuit against Borland and their Quattro Pro spreadsheet.  The port from Assembler to C took more time than expected and in the meantime Microsoft launched Excel for the Mac.  As Windows grew market share, Excel for Windows grew with it.

Lotus Symphony was the successor to 1-2-3 offering an integrated suite including a word processor.  Symphony and the Lotus SmartSuite never gained the dominance and market share of 1-2-3 despite being excellent products.  I still find the dragging of a completed task in Lotus Organizer to a trash can and seeing it burst into flames as the most satisfying of any PIM/calendar. (remember PIMs?)

The Lotus name was revived with their revolutionary groupware program Notes which incorporated network communication and sharing.  It’s a terrific product but more for the enterprise whereas 1-2-3 was on every desktop, consumer or business.

Many software companies of that era could be identified with the CEO or other key player: Philippe Khan at Borland, Bill Gates at Microsoft, Gordon Eubanks at Symantec and so on.  These, and many others, were supporters of user groups and spoke at the Association of PC User Groups (APCUG) annual meetings at Comdex in Las Vegas. 

While Lotus had a presence, and some terrific user group reps (I remember Elena Fernandez – who else?), I don’t recall visits from Mitch Kapor, Ray Ozzie, Jim Manzi or other Lotus bigwigs.  Maybe my APCUG pals will correct me on this.

Just as we will never have someone like Walter Cronkite being viewed by most Americans, we will never again see a program dominate like Lotus 1-2-3.   For a trip down memory lane, you can download (legally) and play with early spreadsheets such as VisiCalc from Dan Bricklin’s page. 

Looking forward to other “mature” Geeks comments.

Monday, February 18, 2013

95th Lithuanian Independence Day

The Cleveland Lithuanian community gathered to celebrate the 95th anniversary of February 16, 1918 and the declaration of Lithuania's independence.

A slew of dignitaries and speeches was followed by a keynote address from Proctor and Gamble scientist Darius Sabaliunas who was born and raised in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

Then, kids from the Lithuanian Saturday School recited a poem in Lithuanian.  Other musical performers followed.

Photos and Videos from the Cleveland Lithuanian Independence Day celebration.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI

Brian Burch of CatholicVote.org posted the following sentiment this morning (and the picture)

“Catholic Americans join their brothers and sisters in the Faith around the world in humble acceptance of the decision today by Pope Benedict XVI to leave the Chair of Peter later this month. This historic decision comes fittingly as the Church prepares to enter the season of Lent, where marked with ashes, we are reminded of our human limits and utter dependence on the grace and providence of the Lord of history. We are mindful that the universality of the Church is particularly visible during these historic events where the prayer, tradition, and grandeur of Catholicism are on display for the world to see. We give thanks for the rich pontificate of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, and await with joyful hope and prayer the workings of the Holy Spirit in our Church in the weeks ahead.”

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cleveland Aikikai Dojo featuring Aikido Martial Arts

On the 2nd floor of Asian Town Plaza on East 38th Street in Cleveland's AsiaTown you can find restaurants, art and the Cleveland Aikikai Dojo.

The Aikikai is the original school of Aikido. It is centered on the Aikikai Foundation in Japan, and its figurehead is the Doshu (the family heir of the founder of Aikido). It is represented globally through the International Aikido Federation.

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.

Sensei Jim Klar of Cleveland Aikikai says that Aikido techniques teach one to prevent confrontation but how to deal with them if rational attempts do not succeed.

More about Cleveland Aikikai and Aikido

Sho-Jo-Ji Japanese Dancers

The Sho-Jo-Ji Japanese Dancers performance at the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration at Asia Plaza was very popular with the audience.

Chinese New Year in Cleveland Year of the Snake

The Year of the Snake was celebrated throughout Asia Town in Cleveland with day-long celebrations. Music, dance, Martial Arts, food, vendors, groups and, of course, a Lion Dance, were part of the festivities.

Photos and videos of Cleveland celebrations

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year

Johnny Wu, President of the Organization of Chinese Americans - Cleveland Chapter and co-founder of the Cleveland Asian Festival, explains the Year of the Snake and how to say Happy New Year in Mandarin in this short video clip from the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration at Asia Plaza in Cleveland’s AsiaTown.

Friday, January 25, 2013

What does a Lion look like?

One of the coolest parts of the new Gallery One at the Cleveland Museum of Art is the abundance of interactive displays.

It gets you engaged and thinking more than a static piece of art might.

For example, one area of Gallery One has several pieces of art about lions and asks you to consider "What does a lion look like?"

You follow the prompts and start narrowing down key components to what the essence of a lion is. You can then see, in real time, how many other visitors agree with your selections.

More from Gallery One at Cleveland Museum of Art

World Class Tech at Cleveland Museum of Art

Gallery One at the Cleveland Museum of Art is a unique, interactive gallery that blends art, technology and interpretation to inspire visitors to explore the museum's renowned collections.

This revolutionary space features the largest multi-touch screen in the United States, which displays images of over 3,500 objects from the museum's world-renowned permanent collection. This 40-foot Collection Wall allows visitors to shape their own tours of the museum and to discover the full breadth of the collections on view throughout the museum's galleries.

The interactive displays, the fun exhibits and the incredible Collection Wall make this world-class Gallery a must see.

Photos and video tours of the new space.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


He has two Ph.D's and an IQ of 187, he plays 'Words with Friends' with Stephen Hawking, and he owns Leonard Nimoy's napkin.

The global march to spread the genius of The Big Bang Theory's Dr. Sheldon Cooper just crossed scientific fields, from theoretical physics to evolutionary zoo biology, as a new species of the Brazilian orchid bee — Euglossa bazinga — has been named after Dr. Coopper's zippy catchphrase - Bazinga.

Actual photos of this previously undiscovered species.

Brazilian biologist Andre Nemesio from the Universidade Federal de Uberlandia discovered the new species of beautiful, but misunderstood orchid bee that bears a striking resemblance to the Euglossa ignita, (or more common Western Brazilian orchid bee). Because the bees share so many similar characteristics, their existence as a separate species eluded scientists for years. Hence, the bees' grand 'bazinga' on the world of science!

Steven Molaro, one of The Big Bang Theory's executive producers, acknowledged the unprecedented honor on behalf of the show and Dr. Cooper.

 "We are always extremely flattered when the science community embraces our show. Sheldon would be honored to know that Euglossa bazinga was inspired by him. In fact, after "Mothra" and griffins, bees are his third-favorite flying creatures."

Ethanol issues

Modern fuel today contains up to 10-percent ethanol (E10). Most modern power equipment is designed to handle E10, but problems arise when fuel is left to stand for prolonged periods of time and especially with older equipment not designed to handle any ethanol. The high amount of oxygen present in ethanol naturally decays gasoline, which is organic.

Imagine if you left a jug of milk in the fridge and then left another jug of milk outside in the middle of the summer -- open. Obviously, the milk outside will decay much faster.

So if you let gas sit in your lawn mower or snow blower or other device, make sure you read these warnings.