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"Here's Hans" Posts

Don’t Do This on Your Blog: Spring Scrubbing! and a Happy New Year

Today I did, what you are not “supposed” to do on your blog: Scrubbing! But who are they to tell me? Who are “They” anyways?

Looking back at my blog posts, I feel that I was putting a lot of immaturity on display here over the past three to four years. Just like you don’t want everyone to know the silly things you did in University, I had to do a little bit of spring cleaning. I left some posts that have some interesting thoughts in them, but many of the silly thoughtless ones are gone.

For 2011

Seeing that 2011 is right around the corner, here is my public New Years Resolution for this blog: To write one… 1! … single thoughtful post per month. I know it seems very little for these fast moving always connected times that we live in, but I would like to display quality rather than quantity. I’ve tried more in the past and usually failed at it, because the simple thought of the task is too dreadful for me to even get started. On top of it I’m not a particularly well articulated writer. It’s never been my forte, and it will probably never be. I’m sure everyone of my past German, French and English teachers will attest to it.

So for now, Make it a Happy New Year

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Book Recommendation: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Today’s Book Recommendation: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. Excellent book, especially since a lot of people are worried these days. Very practical tips to not worry yourself to death – literally. You can pick a new one up for under $15 at Amazon, or a used one for under $5, or go to your local library and lend it for free.

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Concept of Train that does no stop in Stations

A concept for a train that never stops showed up on youtube recently. A very interesting idea, since this would save a lot of energy to accelerate the train and time that is otherwise wasted for passengers to get on and off the train. Have a look:

It really looks like a reasonable idea, but definitely has its technological challenges.

And the following version is for laughs. The echo makes this one sound like a public address, perfect communist style.

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Junkworld vs. Calmness and Renewal

Why is this world racing at the speed of light – or so they tell us – yet strength lays in the calmness and endurance?

I read this post on swiss-miss this morning:

“Daddy, What’s a Brand?”

We live in The Age Of Everything. Why commit? There are 80 milllion Millennials aged 9-28 in the U.S. alone. Half are already in college or the workforce, and the women will be a tornado. They group around shared affinity more than shared nationality, they’re prosumers not consumers, and they care more about peer recommendation than corporate reputation. They grew up in a world where change is too fast to process, but they know one thing: if you wait a minute or two, something better is sure to be along. They live on an IV drip of real-time connection, and are fiercely interdependent. If you’re a company, failing to consider their preferences would be, in their own vernacular, WOMBAT–a waste of money, brains and time.

I don’t understand that things move so fast, but we generally don’t take the time off to renew ourselves, which truly lays in calmness and just letting time go by.

How do things like this time-piece fit in with the junkworld of Walmart products?


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Book: Getting Things Done

If you are an overachiever like me and need to get things done, you need to read this book which presents a really good method on how to keep on top of things.

“This constant, unproductive preoccupation with all the things we have to do is the single largest consumer of time and energy” – Kerry Gleeson

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Old Media, Give Me a Break

I was just skipping through the pages of Today’s Parent (a promo copy, I didn’t buy it), and there was a little article about research that had been done on kids who were able to play in the dirt and how they had much better immune systems as adults.

Did we not already know this? Seriously, is this news to you? I always feel so empty after reading these magazines. So many pages filled with stuff that is rarely ever new and does not inspire me in the least.

As the editor of these magazines, you have to come out with a full magazine every month and keep people interested, no matter what, even if there is nothing new happening.

We consume so much media today, but so little of it is necessary. I want quality not quantity. I might actually buy a bi-yearly parenting magazine, that had only the best stories, the best reports, that is inspiring and informative. But I guess there is no money in that for big business, probably enough money in it though for “small business” (or smart business).

I think it’s time we reevaluate our media consumption. Lets hang out with friends and our kids more instead of beeing filled up with junk non-sense repetitive media.

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Green Living Show Toronto 2010 Recap

I’m always excited to see a few companies with great products and services at the green living show. Check out the following links (no particular order):

Sander Design (Landscape Architecture)
Martin Liefhebber (Architect)

Solares (Environmentally Integrated Homes)
Green Enterprise Ontario and Green Enterprise Toronto
Traffic Design with the Worlds Greenest Business Card
Project Innovations with its Water Recycling System

The following are companies that I discovered this year:

Chariot Carriers with their Bike Trailers (Respect for Manufacturing in Canada)
Living Arc – Green Roofs for Industrial Buildings (creating great environments in urban settings)
Fair Trade Jewelry Company (recycled silver + fair trade diamonds)
Wiggers Furniture (Great Furniture, made with FSC lumber)
Homestead House (I never knew about milk paint and how great it looks)

I think the big looser (with the worst product) at the show was:

GE with their heat pump water heater. Here’s why: The heat pump takes the temperature out of the surrounding air and “concentrates” it into the water (sorry for the simplistic description, I hope you understand it though). This effectively cools down the air in the room where the water heater is installed. Not a bad concept IF YOU LIVE IN TEXAS. Here in Ontario, you spend a lot of energy to put that heat into the air in the first place, why take it back out for the water heater?

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Book: REWORK

I picked up a book two days ago called “REWORK“. It was more of an impulse buy (although I really try not to do that too often).

David Heinemeyer Hansson inspired me when I saw and heard him on “This Week in Startup” and “The Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Series from Stanford University“. Check out the book, it’s very inspirational.

ASAP IS POISON
UNDERDO THE COMPETITION
MEETINGS ARE TOXIC
FIRE THE WORKAHOLICS / EMULATE DRUG DEALERS ( 😉 at Jason Calacanis )
PICK A FIGHT
PLANNING IS GUESSING
INSPIRATION IS PERISHABLE

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Is Meat the By-Product of Bio-Diesel and the Fashion Industry?

I found an article about a “Beef Bio-Diesel” Powered Train on mashable. I don’t think the economics really work. How many cows does it take to power the train? I assume this business model is fine, if we are using diesel trains anyways, and we can simply modify the trains to use less crude oil.

At which point does the meat become the by-product of bio-diesel though?

This brings me to another post published on ecouterre by Galahad Clark, the owner and director of Terra Plana. He talks about the fashion industry driving the cattle industry. Again, is meat the by-product of shoes and fashion?

I obviously am not an expert on this issue, but I encourage everyone to think about how everything ties in together.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any facts on this issue? Leave me a comment.

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