Archives for category: tech

Even though I’m a bit of a tech-nerd-wannabe, for most of my life I’ve been a pen and notebook kind of guy (which is amusing because my handwriting is terrible — should’ve been a doctor!!).

An aside: In case you’re wondering, I use Picadilly notebooks, a stack of which I bought when they were on clearance at the local Borders (but kind of wish I could join the Moleskine club) and I write with Pentel Energel pens, a grip of which I bought on clearance at Staples (but I really wish I could join the Uni-ball Signo DX club!).


Full-time vocational church ministry can be quite a juggling act — a little of this, a whole lot of that. In order to stay within striking range of effectiveness, I find that I need to be as organized as possible. That way, I can be more fully present with people, and not have projects/deadlines looming over my head as a distraction.

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The Rend Collective Experiment plays worship music with a jangly, fun, indie vibe (all good things in my book).

In the video below, they play Chris Tomlin’s popular worship anthem How Great is our God as a full band with nothing but their iPhones.  Engaging and, strangely, breathes some fresh air into this well-worn song (must be the nerd in me!).

On the way to gather with our church this morning, I heard a great story on the radio about WE CARE Solar (Women’s Emergency Communication And Reliable Electricity). Their motto is, “Saving mothers’ lives with solar-powered light and communication.”

WE CARE was founded by Dr. Laura Stachel, an obstetrician, and her husband Hal Aronson, a solar power engineer.  Maternal mortality accounts for half a million deaths worldwide each year, of which 99% occurs in underdeveloped countries.  Proper medical/surgical care is greatly impeded by a lack of reliable electricity to power lighting, equipment and communications.

Dr. Stachel and her husband developed a “solar suitcase” that can provide much-needed electrical power to fulfill their mission, which is to promote “safe motherhood and reduce maternal mortality in developing regions by providing health workers with reliable lighting, mobile communication, and blood bank refrigeration using solar electricity.”

The “solar suitcase” powers two overhead LED lighting, charges walkie-talkies and cell phones, and includes LED headlamps that come with their own rechargeable batteries. The first deployment of these systems occurred in June 2009. Now these systems have been introduced in nine countries. Most recently, we were asked to send solar suitcases to Haiti, where they are being used by medical relief teams and maternity clinics.

A donation to WE CARE could make a fantastic Mother’s Day gift this year!

My friend Dave Ingland, who I met at the first Idea Camp back in February in Irvine, California, just wrote a great piece about The Idea Camp.  Since the next Idea Camp is coming up soon — August 28-29, 2009 in Washington, DC — I’d like to share a few of my thoughts as well.

Here’s a quick summary of the ethos behind the Idea Camp (you can read more here):

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My postmodern side should be more comfortable with this paradox, but I still struggle with the ways in which the blogosphere (and the rest of the internets) can be such a beneficial and frustrating place, all at the same time. 

Finding My Tribe

For someone like me who works in vocational church ministry, the blogosphere can be a very life-giving place. Church work can be isolating and discouraging.  Over the last couple of years, connecting with like-minded friends and colleagues from around the country has carried me through tough times.

Friends from The Idea Camp tribe (#ideacampers are the best!) regularly encourage, inspire and challenge me. The ethos of collaboration and innovation, especially from within the IC tribe, have been reason enough for me to remain active in the Twitterverse.

Static Prevails

But, then, there’s the flipside…

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… we salute you!

These days, USB drives are offered with ever-larger capacities at lower & lower prices.  So, other than competing with rock bottom pricing, how can a tech company differentiate itself from the rest of the field?  Gang signs and devil horns, of course!

See the images below for the Hand USB sticks a company called Sirtified will be releasing in February [h/t: Engadget]:

When the USB sticks are plugged in, they remind me a little bit of the Wicked Witch of the East getting crushed by Dorothy’s house.

I guess nothing says, “I might look like a working stiff transporting my data from a regional quarterly sales meeting in Dayton, Ohio but, deep down, I roll on the westsiiiiieeeede” like this blue model.

For adventure seekers who are not afraid of being decapitated by their own recreational device, the good people of Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana have just the product for you — your very own personal rocket-powered helicopter backpack! [h/t: Engadget] Perhaps this helicopter backpack will revolutionize personal transportation the way the Segway was supposed to (never get stuck in rush hour again! almost lose your noggin every time!) — although it might be harder to customize your copter-pack, like this Segway with spinners.

And, if you ever have the cash to show Bill Gates who’s boss, then you might consider purchasing this $2 billion home [h/t: Gizmodo]. Does a person really need a 22-story home with 400,000 square feet of interior space? I guess there’s a certain madness that sets in when a person’s net worth hits ten or eleven digits. But, if each floor of this home were equally divided in worth, then just giving up one floor would be the equivalent of sponsoring almost 3 million World Vision kids for a year.