How to get a date to the prom (and launch a music career?)

Via Neatorama

Forget about Rebecca Black and the Beeb, this guy has the right idea. Taking asking a girl to the prom to a whole new level, this kid did everything right:

  1. He impressed the girl with talent and risking shame in front of the class.
  2. He wrote a pretty decent song that required the use of his homies (who were probably a source of extra confidence, too)
  3. He had the whole thing videoed and uploaded to YouTube.

The “awwwww!” factor is quite high, meaning that the video is likely to go viral and his talent as both songwriter and singer. While his initial objective to get a date for the prom seems to have been accomplished, I hope this kid gets a lot more out of his efforts.


Connect Twitter to Socialcast [how to]

Yammer and Socialcast are two services that provide Twitter-like capabilities based on corporate email addresses. The idea is that you can communicate in short messages that are accessible only to individuals within your organization. Using groups, you can reproduce your organization’s workforce structure and augment communication methods like email, phone, and chat.

The advantage to these services is that colleagues within an organization can converse asynchronously and share ideas that, if shared publicly on Twitter, could result in a loss of intellectual capital or business opportunities.

I currently use various hashtags to repost from Twitter to Facebook (#fb), LinkedIn (#in), and Yammer (#yam). In this way, I can post to multiple platforms, depending on which circles I want to share content. I haven’t determined the appreciable differences between the two platforms, but to adequately test Socialcast, I needed to find a way to connect my Twitter account.

I was surprised not to find instructions on the Socialtext site. It took a bit of searching, but I came upon a post on getsatisfaction which provided some bare-bones instructions. Based on those instructions, I created this detailed tutorial.

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Wifi signals visualized as a light painting


We all know that countless radio signals are coursing around and through us in our increasingly wireless world. But it’s easy to forget about this invisible layer…unless you have a way to visualize it. One group of artists decided to do just that. By taking a four meter rod fashioned with 80 lights, they created a “light painting” that reveals the pattern of wifi signals around various urban structures in the Grünerløkka area in Oslo. The bar lights up proportionate to the strength of the wifi signal. The result is a semi-transparent three-dimensional graph of light which is both beautiful and fascinating.

See the embedded video after the jump. Read the full story here.

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Innovative new kids guitar project shows promise [Kickstarter]

I’m a big fan of Kickstarter, the site that gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to raise funds for innovative new projects. If you’re not familiar with the site, project leads submit a video proposal, dollar amount to be raised, funding levels, and a time frame. If the dollar amount isn’t reached by the deadline, no one is charged a penny. Typically, different contribution levels provide different rewards.

Today I stumbled across a new project called the Loog Guitar, a child-friendly instrument that theoretically makes learning the guitar easier for little hands and minds. The guitar comes disassembled for some fun (I hope!) parent-child bonding time. It is designed with only three nylon strings so kids can learn power chords and build their confidence on the guitar before switching to a more traditional six-string.

As a sometimes-guitar-player, I’m always on the look-out for ways to teach my kids to play. Fake guitars like Paper Jamz and Guitar Hero are fun toys, but teach nothing about how to handle a real instrument. A child-size six-string – which we have in our home – is more “genuine” but difficult for the kids to hold and overwhelming to learn the basics. Watch the video on Kickstarter to see the vision of creator Rafael Atijas.

I paused before contributing only because I didn’t know at which level to participate. The $150 level appealed to me since it includes one of the first instruments off the production line. On the other hand, a $500 contribution gets you three of the buggers. However, without the chance to play or listen to one, I opted for the lower amount. This is one area I think Kickstarter could improve: provide a flexible way for contributors to suggest alternative reward packages. In this case, I might have chosen to give $300 for two guitars.

Looking at the pace at which the project is getting funded, I don’t doubt that this one will succeed. I’m looking forward to playing…er, I mean helping my kids play with the Loog when it arrives!

A life story worth retelling: A Million Miles by Don Miller

Don Miller is one of the best nontraditional “Christian” authors of our age. His books speak candidly about the Christian life in essays that are readable and relatable. A Million Miles is Miller’s story of rediscovering his passions and overcoming writer’s block. Ironically, it also tells the story of his former failed movie venture, which has since turned into a smashing success.

Watch the video for more on one of Miller’s most popular books.

What story are you telling? from Rhetorik Creative on Vimeo.