Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vote Vetrazzo II

In September I wrote about my Jen's work for Vetrazzo and asked for votes to help them win a Forbes competition for a big cool grant. If you missed that or need a refresher, please hop back and take a look at why I think it's worth your time to do this (Vote Vetrazzo). They have an awesome recycled product, and an even more awesome management philosophy and work environment. They definitely deserve a leg up. They made it through the semi-finals voting round and now there are just five companies competing for the grant. In part thanks to all of you, Vetrazzo is one of them. Now they need your vote one last time. The deadline for voting is November 30.

If you go to the
Vetrazzo page, after a short ad (just wait it through) you'll end up on a page with lots of details about Vetrazzo and what they'll do with the grant and why they deserve it (jazzed up since last time I think), while a video plays of the company president (James Sheppard) making a long but very interesting pitch for Vetrazzo to the Forbes team. At the bottom of that page is the online ballot to vote for Vetrazzo, just like last time (if you want to skip everything and go straight to that spot on the page click here). This will generate a verification email that will be sent to you, and all you have to do is click the verification link in that email (or copy and paste it into a browser and hit go) and your vote will be counted.

James won the privilege to go to New York and do this new video because Vetrazzo made that top five, and those five companies got to make their pitch to a panel of experts in New York. Your votes this time count for 50% of the final score, while the panel's own votes count for the other 50%. In the new video James is speaking before that panel, with a slide show, and goes into a lot of detail, but I actually found the whole thing very engaging, and ended up watching it all despite its length (which is saying something, busy as I am). I recommend it if you have the time. Lots of info there about world and national economics, the surfaces industry, technology, how to run a green factory (using solar power, natural lighting, recycling their own water), and of course all things Vetrazzo. The second half of the video is a very on-point Q&A session. The panel knows their stuff, they ask some good, probing questions, and James totally nails it. It's almost like watching an athlete perform a perfect round of mind-Judo.

Whether you want to stay and watch or read all that, or just go right to the task, please vote Vetrazzo one more time!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Light fare today. As I already announced, since I graduated, my Columbia home page is soon to dissolve, so I moved everything to my own new domain (see Item 2 in Important News). But one thing I had at the old site just for friends and family were some family photos. They are many years old now, but I like them. They're pretty. So I thought I'd move them here and share with you all. But first a bit of background before each set.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Hambone Videos

Hambone Productions recorded a video of my recent irreverant talk at MSU, along with that of PZ Myers who spoke after me. You can find this (in eighteen parts) on their dedicated YouTube Page. My talk spans the first six parts (less than an hour altogether). The rest of Myers' talk (currently up to part fourteen) and the subsequent Q&A weren't up yet when I posted this (but they are almost all up now). The video is a bit jumpy as the cameraman tries to capture me and my slides, and zips back and forth between them. There is also one point where things wig out briefly like a Max Headroom video. But apart from all that this is a really good video, and Rob put a lot of work into it for little return.

I've been recorded by Hambone before. They came to my home to interview me for a documentary they're shooting called Give a Damn? about whether we should give a damn about starving people in Africa. It's hosted by two friends, one a Christian, the other an atheist, who have a strong youth angle and a daring approach.

They want to complete their project in Africa, actually interviewing real Africans while themselves trying to get by on a dollar a day. They've already begun shooting stateside, traveling the country and talking to all sorts of people. But to complete their project they need funding, and I definitely recommend this to those who have the cash to support independent media. See for more about the film and different ways to support it. I like what they are doing and how they are doing it, and as I told them, I really want to see what they find out. It's a film I hope gets made.

Incidentally, I was also interviewed on camera some years ago for a student film by anarchists, which as somene joked to me probably won't ever appear anywhere--I mean, they're anarchists. When will they find the time? But I was also filmed more recently for a new documentary by a more prominent filmmaker, which I'm not at liberty to discuss, but that should definitely hit theatres (or video stores) in a few years, when I'll be able to say more.

Update: My original Skepticon slideshow is now available for download (as a large PDF).