Blog Archives

The Bright Sides of Japan

The stunning majesty of our planet knows no bounds yet we face myriad boundaries that prevent us from experiencing these, at times, indescribable wonders.

Having been fortunate to have parents (shout-out to my amazing parents!) who prioritized traveling the globe in order to venture to various cultures around this floating marble, I am keen to discover new places, people, and wildlife whenever possible.

Even if I’m restrained to my laptop on a random Tuesday.

(Increase this video’s resolution to your computer’s/laptop’s/phone’s maximum capacity)

What am I thinking right now? Can you read my mind?

Maybe it’s about the good old days or being an honest man? The restless heart? The Promised Land?

Crikey, I’ve Never Seen That Before

You’ve never been so happy to be aboard a plane for hours and hours.

My family’s Christmas tradition, starting from when I was about 5, was to travel somewhere foreign and exotic. Broadening our perspective and soaring far beyond (and above) our preconceived horizons was always a thrill for me, my two older sisters and my parents. No matter what’s happening in our lives, good or bad, traveling somewhere new always proves to be a magical escapism.

From the New Year’s flight over Antarctica to standing in snow watching my sister ski down an indoor slope in Dubai to sleeping in the desert in Oman to enjoying dinner under the stars with Uluru (Ayers Rock) serving as the backdrop, venturing off to exciting places around the world is something I am eternally grateful to my parents for throughout my life. Thank you doesn’t begin to cover my appreciation for these priceless experiences.

And on equilibrium with the destinations are the memories of the journey.

Seeing the world unfold in ways we never thought possible is why we travel. To hear about a far off place is one thing, but to witness and embrace a new culture in-person is enlightening in the best ways imaginable. The sights, sounds and people far exceed what you anticipate. As divided as the world seems these days, one saving grace I’ve always kept close to my vest (not literally, but you know what I mean) is that everywhere I’ve traveled, the people, rich and poor, have been kind, helpful and inspiring.

Experiencing life’s wonder with friends and family, as well as with friendly strangers, is part of the beauty of it all. When you’re on vacation, anything can happen.

Like going on a spur-of-the-moment late night stroll along a riverbank in Kakadu National Park in the Australian Outback with Ranger Ted in an effort to spot crocodiles. And, for the record, we succeeded. Ranger Ted told us to pause our walk to focus our eyes on these two red dots in the middle of the river. From those two red eyes reflecting in the water to the tip of its tail, the crocodile’s length was ~15 feet.

True story.

That’s why we escape the daily grind for an overseas adventure, isn’t it?

Usually, I Order a Coke with No Ice…

In partnership with Ogilvy & Mather Bogota, Coca-Cola may have just started a cool sustainability revolution with its ice bottle. According to a July 9, 2013 Foxnews.com article, “Coca-Cola unveils new bottle made of ice,” the popular soda/pop (a serious debate, I know) maker gave the sweating populace of Colombia the rare icicle-like treat.

The ice bottle appears to be precisely what you would imagine it to be: ice that is frozen in the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle, with a rubber band around the middle for holding and drinking convenience, with the refreshing soda/pop cooled to the perfect temperature inside.

Just as long as it is easy to drink with an ice bottle opening and that famous scene from “A Christmas Story” doesn’t occur, then the general public should be in good shape. If need be, adjustments then have to be made.

It’s hot outside. What feels good on a hot summer day? Ice. What’s even better than ice? Ice with chilled Coca-Cola! But here’s the genius of it all: The outer and inner contents of the ice bottle will refreshingly chill your heat soaked bones. It’s a win-win. Actually though, since the bottle is made of ice, that means once you are finished drinking or using the bottle, it simply melts away without becoming trash.

It’s a win-win-win!

With the number of countries throughout the world that experience hot weather all year-round or even just seasonally hot weather like in the United States of America, the potential for this commercial product could be astronomical. Imagine the continents of South America, Africa and Australia for starters. Middle Eastern countries also tend to be on the slightly warmer side. Specifically, Dubai is always looking to the future and embraces some Western ideas and tendencies.

Imagine going to the beach during Summer vacation and instead of having to lug around a cooler filled with empty soda/pop bottles or cans at the end of the day…well, now you don’t have to. The cooler would be significantly lighter. Incredibly, this idea could spread to adult beverages. Because water is a key ingredient in beer, it is manageable. The recipe would have to be altered and thoroughly tested, but it is workable.

Wouldn’t you try a Coca-Cola or a Corona in an ice bottle on a hot Summer day?

Environmental sustainability is a vitally important issue and Coca-Cola’s seemingly simple ice bottle could be the practical product the public embraces globally just like Coca-Cola itself. Having traveled all around the world, I will speak from extensive experience when I say American consumer goods, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi and McDonald’s are very popular. In the case of the Coca-Cola ice bottle, the brand is already well-established and a favorite with millions of people.

If managed properly (cost, distribution, etc.) and affordable pricing is offered to the public, then we could be on the cusp of a global effort to positively and realistically preserve the environment.

Some of our worries could just melt away…

P.S. Two suggestions to Coca-Cola: don’t use a rubber band (use something recyclable) and make the gripping band larger so it can be hand-held, not finger-held.

“How does somebody know what they want if they’ve never even seen it?”

Steve Jobs changed the world forever with his innovative products, released as if they were all continuously moving along an assembly line for him to pick up at his leisure. His business savvy has also been celebrated and assuredly studied by aspiring businessmen, businesswomen and big thinking dreamers in their basements and even parent’s garages. The iMac computer is not owned solely by Americans, but by adults and children all around the world. And not just this Apple product either. Terms like iPod, iPhone, iPad, iMac and Macbook Pro are household names. Techies and millions of fawning fans alike listened to his every word whenever he casually strolled onto that plain stage in northern California with a wall-sized projection screen behind, clothed in his trademarked look: blue jeans, New Balance sneakers and his low-key black turtleneck. In hand was his next big device to make its grand premiere, ready for an exhilarating public test run.

Rightly so, he is admired. In this age of increasing globalization, it was nice to say when he was alive that, ‘he’s one of ours….he’s an American innovator.’ It’s still nice to say. Walter Isaacson’s Behemoth of a book, “Steve Jobs,” details his life and includes just about any bit of information anyone would like to know about the man and technological icon. A movie is set to be adapted from this book by famed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin for a movie called, “Steve Jobs.” For those who are drawn to Jobs’ life and career, love dramatic stories as portrayed in cinema but can’t wait for this film to be released sometime down the road, they are in luck.

Lights. Camera. Genius.

“That ’70s Show,” “My Boss’s Daughter” and the cult classic “Dude, Where’s My Car?” offer a snapshot of the portfolio of the man chosen to fill the soles of some of the most famous New Balance shoes in history. Ashton Kutcher, the director, writers and cast are preparing to premiere the major motion picture, “jOBS” at the Sundance Film Festival tonight (Nationwide April 19th on Apple’s 37th Anniversary). Many may scoff at the idea of Michael Kelso portraying such a serious and beloved figure. However, before passing judgement, first take a look at a side-by-side comparison:

steve-ashton-apple

(www.sellcell.com)

Now come the vital questions that will surely be asked before and after the premiere: did director Joshua Michael Stern present the right details, milestones and key decisions to appropriately define the gigantic life of Steve Jobs through his multiple decades of leading Apple onto the top-shelf of the technological world? What overall theme and events did they decide to drive the story with? Is it accurate?

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (“The Woz”) recently shared his reaction of the first released clip of “jOBS” as seen below to the website Gizmodo. “Not close…we never had such interaction and roles…I’m not even sure what it’s getting at…personalities are very wrong although mine is closer…don’t forget that my purpose was inspired by the values of the Homebrew Computer Club along with ideas of the value of such machines and Steve J. wasn’t around and didn’t attend the club so he was the one learning about such social impact of the future,” Wozniak said.

Here is the aforementioned clip:

One thing that can be agreed upon is that the final retort from Kutcher/Jobs excitedly foreshadows the empire the two of them would soon begin to build. It’s probably safe to say that this clip alone will generate a significant buzz of curiosity about the movie.

Interestingly, Alexis Kleinman of The Huffington Post recently noted something very insightful about the clip. “With the premiere of the Steve Jobs biopic “jOBS” quickly approaching this month, its creators are doing something Apple never would: Pumping up excitement by offering a sneak-peak.” It’s certainly something to ponder…

Without seeing this movie in its entirety, it’s impossible to declare whether or not the script is misleading throughout or simply taking a little bit of artistic licensing, which does happen in Hollywood, for better and for worse. This could be the only hiccup or it could be first drip in a waterfall of inaccuracies. Until the lights go down and the movie is premiered, no fan/critic will know. The question is with his true life so fascinating and inspiring, why has such a step been taken for this important one minute scene? A few fortunate people will likely discover that truth tonight.

I suppose that like any Apple product though, there will be the occasional bug. Maybe “jOBS” is just life imitating art?

Come April 19th, will you give it a Friday night?