— Voting With My Feet

tomsNow I’m officially a hipster. I own cloth shoes.

They’re really comfortable and pretty cheap (~$50). But the coolest part is that when you buy a pair of Tom’s Shoes, they donate a pair of shoes to a child in the developing world–it’s their One for One policy.

They’re inspired by an Argentinian shoe which was the predecessor to the espadrille. But that’s not really important.

I think their marketing team is doing some really cool things–I actually read more than just the subject lines of their e-mails (better than J.Crew–which keeps sending me ideas for the perfect spring blouse, thanks J. Crew).

How to wear them / what to buy:

Anyway, my motto with ridiculous shoes is go big or go home. That’s why I got lime green crocs. And that’s why I got bright red TOMS shoes. If you’re going to wear something abnoxious (and let’s face it, these are quasi-obnoxious), might as well go the distance…

Lucky for me, they come in a lot of ridiculous(ly cool) colors/patterns, check them out: www.tomsshoes.com. I think these will be my next pair.

Wear them with shorts (so you can show them off) or plain jeans. The most important thing, though, is pairing them with a simple and solid t-shirt–the shoes are the focus here, so don’t go overboard.

Oh yea, AT&T is featuring the founder, Blake Mycoskie in a commercial right now, embedded below. Kind of makes you want to go out and buy them, doesn’t it?

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So, this post is partially prompted by a recurring dream I’ve had that just won’t go away. Basically, I’m parasailing behind a boat and the idiot boat driver decides to dip me in the water, but what he can’t see is that he’s about to dip me onto a breaching whale, and there’s nothing I can do because I can’t tell them to stop.

Terrifying, I know.

whale-surfer_1110915iSo a few months ago, my dreams became a reality (albeit for somebody else) when a kiteboarder accidentally boarded over a humpback whale, which kicked the boarder with his tail as he went past. I know, right? Just as you were about to make fun of my outlandish dream, it happens.

But yeah, Humpback whales are terrifying. Watch the video about how they hunt embedded below. They create a perfectly choreographed synchronized swimming death spiral. So smart. And then look at how big their mouths are. So huge. They’re just terrifying. I always thought they were happy-go-lucky giants that fed on tiny tiny plankton and what not. Turns out I’m wrong. They’re terrifying.

Anyway, to make a long story short, this is why I’m hesitant about swimming in large bodies of water. Shit lives in there.

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anna-wintour Anna Wintour, the inspiration for Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, sits down with 60 Minutes’ Morley Safer for a rare interview.

It’s pretty interesting (in case you missed it, I’ve embedded the interview below). From what I can tell, the movie seems to be a dead-on portrayal of Wintour. Man–a $200K wardrobe allowance?? Sweet!!

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pandadrips China decided to send a Taipei zoo two Panda bears as a gift. Zoo workers became suspicious, though, when the traditionally low libido-ed bears were unusually frisky. Turns out they were normal bears, China just spray painted them. before sticking them on a plane. What, like they won’t find out?? Foo real!!!

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misscaliforniaTheir position on gay marriage, as she so eloquently pointed out in a press conference carried on all of the major news networks with Donald Trump last week.

It certainly pointed out how ridiculous Obama’s position is–that this disgraced beauty queen can invoke his name to legitimize her own position. Because it’s the same. As his.

Obama is quick to remind us of the hurdles that we’ve overcome so that his historic election could take place–the battles that civil right leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks fought so that he could have a seat at the table. And he’s quick to remind us of the barriers that are still standing.

But when it comes to the central civil rights issue facing our generation, rather than learning from the past, he has taken the politically “sensitive” position of supporting civil unions, placating to moderate America.

Where do you think we would be if MLK had been interested in a middle-of-the-line approach? Separate but equal comes to mind. Which is exactly what civil unions are.

Anyway, I’m not trying to say that civil unions are wrong–to be honest, I think that if marriage really is such a sacred institution, then the government shouldn’t be in the business of granting it–gay or straight. But still, it just strikes me as an entirely weak position, motivated by his a selfish desire to be popular.

But being popular doesn’t make you right.

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kanyeDear Kanye,


The funny part is that half of the people that left comments on that blog entry also wrote in all-caps. Are there special keyboards being sold that aren’t capable of lower-case letters?

Oh, and would proof reading really be too much to ask? I know you’re too busy “BEING CREATIVE MOST OF THE TIME” or “JUST LAYING ON THE BEACH” but changing “there” to “their” is really just as quick as a a few strokes of your caps-only keys.


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chrome-commercialApparently it doesn’t take that much to impress me: a good song, some synchronized tech demonstration, and that’s about it. The iPhone app commercials bring tears to my eyes, I will pause and rewind the Sprint Now Network commercials again and again, and don’t even get me started on the new Honda Insight commercials (I’m getting emotional just thinking about them).

Add this commercial to the mix (embedded below), one of Google’s new ads for its Chrome browser. It’s got a great song (The Lucky Ones, by Tim Myers), bright colors, and synchronized objects moving around the screen. The prefect recipe in my book.

As far as the rest of the Google commercials go, they kind of suck. In typical Google fashion, they don’t really highlight the features–at all. I guess Google just thinks that because they look cool, you’ll download it. Well, I guess they’re right…

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youtube-obama-downloadI wrote this letter during the campaign and posted it to my other blog. Although it wasn’t acted upon, I still think there are many opportunities for Web 2.0 applications like this to politics and international relations.

Barack: You’ve brought a lot of new players to the table—now keep us here!

It’s one thing to bring us to the table, it’s a whole other thing to keep us sitting. So I’m going to let you in on a little secret, Senator Obama: we like our money, but we think our opinions are much more valuable.

This is a problem facing campaigns: making the supporter (and the donor, for that matter) feel engaged in what’s going on with the campaign day to day. It’s not enough anymore just to donate money, we want to have a say in what’s going on. Everyone has their own opinion on what a campaign should be talking about, who they should be targeting, and what issues they should focus on—everyone has their own vision. But, it’s hard to incorporate millions of visions into one presidential campaign—we can’t all be on the strategy committee!

So I propose a new approach to fundraising, an “open-source” approach—fundraising 2.0, if you will. Open source is when programmers release their programming code to the public so that anyone can improve and expand upon it. It’s not just for programming; the business community is pouncing on the idea of “open-source” business models. And so I ask—why not politics, as well?

What would this look like? Obviously, David Plouffe can’t release his strategy online and simply ask for comments—what a disaster that would be! Instead, here’s a simple idea: the Obama campaign can take all of their television ads and put them on a special section of their website (there’s no harm in this, you can already see all of them on Youtube anyways). Then, they can point their supporters to this page and ask them to watch the ads and rate them. When they see an ad which really speaks to them, or is particularly good at finessing a point, supporters will have the opportunity to directly fund airtime for that ad. In doing this, the Obama campaign can turn their website into a focus group of sorts. Except the beauty of this focus group is that the campaign doesn’t have to pay them; in fact, quite the opposite—they pay you!

Simply sending e-mails asking for money is an antiquated approach to fundraising, and it does nothing to address this engagement problem. Open-source fundraising engages the supporter without confusing the message. The Obama campaign still controls what gets voted on, they’re ultimately deciding where the spots are played, but they’re opening up the decision process on which ads get the most airtime to those who are actually voting on November 4th. It’s sometimes hard to know what will resonate the best with the voter, especially when you’ve been working in a campaign bubble for the last 18 months; this system quickly tells you which ads you were right about, and more importantly, which ones you were wrong with.

I certainly know I would donate money this way. And I’m willing to bet I’m not alone…

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When this commercial comes on, I get this tingly sensation.

Even though most Californians probably don’t do half the stuff pictured in this commercial, it’s still nice that everyone else in the country thinks we do.

Here’s a link to the extended version with the outtakes.

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donavon1 I first heard it played by the Pernikoff Brothers at Stanford CoHo (and they did a great job!), and when it came up on my Jack Johnson playlist on Pandora, I decided to download it.

If you like: Jack Johnson, Diet Country
Listen to it on imeem:
What’cha Know About – Donavon Frankenreiter

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