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Saturday, October 11, 2003

Mobile and miscellaneous

Baby bits - Today brings us into week 34 of my wife's pregnancy, and Thursday's check-up went very well with Amy and baby girl along a perfectly normal course. This morning we went to our first Parent Education Class. The instructor delivered lots of useful information, but I again noted how technical all this birthing stuff gets. The baby also got an earful of Tarantino's Kill Bill this evening.

Art in DC - Friend Geoff Harris and I rode the MARC train down to DC with Amy to see the show of J. Seward Johnson's enchanting sculptures of impressionist art at the Corcoran. We lucked into an in-person appearance of Johnson himself who was taping some segments with a film crew. He graciously walked a group of us past several of the installed works. After the exhibit, we hopped a taxi back to AARP, where the Web Strategy & Operations (WSO) staff had a surprise baby shower for Amy. Many fun baby-related artifacts were unwrapped, and content editor Liz gave me a quick tour of the offices as I'll be starting work in WSO November 1st.

Shneiderman's presentation - Tuesday's talk and lunch with Ben Shneiderman were pleasant. The talk provided a good overview of his book Leonardo's Laptop. AARP's Older Wiser Wired site now offers the PowerPoint presentation and some links to additional resources.

America 24/7 - The PR machine around the arrival of the America 24/7 book is kicking into high gear. I recently found an article in Newsday where the book's co-author David Elliot Cohen revealed that my photo of the Woolworth Building is the first image spread in the book after the cover!

The competition was stiff: Cohen said that in the final judging, only 32 amateur photos were selected. "But some were awfully good and will end up as double-page spreads," he said. Indeed, the first image in the book - a full-page shot of the Woolworth Building in lower Manhattan, shrouded in fog - was made just after midnight on the first day of the project by amateur Michael Lee of New York City.

Elsewhere, Creative Pro offers an interesting article about the production workflow of the book. And CBS News Sunday Morning will be airing a story on the project tomorrow morning. A transcript is already on their website. I'm hoping my photo makes it into the program.

In an e-mail update from the director of America 24/7's photographer relations, I learned that the books are flying off the presses in Japan to amass an unprecedented initial print run of 500,000 copies. The book will be released on October 27th and should trickle into bookstores a couple weeks after. Amazon is offering a 30% discount. The project web site just launched an innovative custom cover service where you can have one of your own digital photographs to create a personalized dust jacket.

One mobile year with my Sidekick - At the beginning of this month, I observed my one year anniversary of my owning the T-mobile Sidekick. There are many tempting new devices on the market now, but I'll stick with the Sidekick for at least few more months.

Hanging out at the MIT Media Lab - My plane and hotel are booked for a trip to the MIT Media Lab on October 20-22. I'll be attending a couple symposia with co-workers from AARP:

The theme of the i:o meeting is Rethinking Healthcare, with the goal of reducing the demand on the healthcare system by a factor of 10. We will explore approaches that: (1) encourage active lifestyles, using music, arts, and games to keep people active and healthy; (2) enable self-, family-, and friends-care, using pervasive lifestyle data-capture and social pressure; and (3) technological intervention, including pooling data, the computer as coach or companion, and the use of media artifacts as a catalyst for reflective practices.

Building Blocks will explore the role of modularity in design, engineering, and learning: how will new materials and new technologies change the ways we build the world--and build new ideas? Building Blocks will be examined from nanoscale to macroscale, from physical to digital, from education to manufacturing. The symposium will include hands-on activities to spark new ways of thinking.

I also got word that Richard Saul Wurman will be presenting. I'm hoping to get a look around the lab in addition to the afternoon I'll have before the events to wander around Cambridge.

Last IA work - I'm putting in some hours back at my old office in the next couple weeks to finish the information architecture strategy for an insurance claims products web site. Since I'm going into a design management role in November, this might be my last hands-on IA work for six months or more. I'll still be active in the discipline as I will manage IA activity for the AARP.org web site, and I'll be going to the IA Summit in February.

Ear Candy - And I'm really jazzed about the tickets Amy and I have to see Candy Dulfer at The Rams Head Tavern early next month.

11:51 PM in Moblogging | Permalink

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Comments

congratz on the 1st page spread! kewl beanz!

Posted by: km at Oct 15, 2003 6:35:21 PM