Brain Canvas

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Roman Gypsies, Entrepreneurs, and The Key to Self-Improvement

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Trial and error. It’s the most underrated process crucial to success. Growing up we are largely taught to be afraid of failure. And yet, the single most common trait of the greatest entrepreneurs, executives, and even performing artists, is their ability to take risks, learn from failure, and adjust their approach as they gear up for round two. In short, they test and adapt. Knowing how and when to take risks obviously increases the odds of reaching your goal; but perhaps more important is the mind-shift toward risk-taking that exposes one to a broader range of opportunities to be successful.

Indeed, until the 20th Century, tinkering, testing, and adapting to natural surroundings was a crucial part of human survival. If our ancient ancestors didn’t discover fire, how long do you think they would have lasted? The same can be said for early hunter-gatherers, farmers, and even medieval peasants. The human need to survive at all costs was clearly evident during those times – if their approach wasn’t working, they had better adapt quickly, or face the real threat of poverty, malnutrition, and death. It’s evident the process of testing and adapting to one’s circumstances shaped the way our species has evolved over time. However, not until the last two hundred years have such a large portion of the masses been able to truly exist as sedentary creatures. Pondering this realization recently, I began to wonder, “What if all ‘Western’ school curricula dictated taking a year off from classroom instruction, and forced students to live and survive as Roman gypsies?”

Yep, gypsies. You know, those annoying panhandlers trying to sell you plastic replicas of the Colosseum for 12 euro on every street corner in Rome. Having trouble discerning how I came up with such a thought? It’s okay, bear with me. Let’s pause for a moment, and consider – these gypsies survive day after day selling toys to tourists for a living. Mundane, maybe, but it’s not exactly easy work. And it’s not as if their value proposition is unique – there are hundreds of them, all selling essentially the same garbage. Before I describe the benefits of learning the ways of the gypsy, it’s worth noting these people are entrepreneurs (however rudimentary) at their core. They base their livelihood on directly selling a good or service to others, functioning as your their own boss, in a crowded marketplace – not an easy experience. While gypsies likely land in this lifestyle out of necessity, we could all learn a tremendous amount if forced into the kind of entrepreneurial world they experience daily.

So, how can living like a gypsy enrich the development of Western students? What could we possibly learn from gypsies? Well, these folks are master testers. If they can’t find a way to sell their toys, they can’t eat. It’s that simple. While some are lazier than others (and they probably pool their resources together to increase their chances of survival), the best individual sellers are those that get inside the heads of their customers. And they do this through testing.

A few weeks ago, I sat on the Spanish Steps in Rome, transfixed while watching a young gypsy throw a squishy red ball onto a wooden place mat on the ground. The ball, in the shape of an animal’s head, squished into the wood and reformed into it’s original shape within a few seconds. The gypsy picked up the ball, and repeated the process. Toss, squish, reform, repeat. This in itself was nothing special. There were a half dozen or so “competitors” doing the same thing within a two block radius of this guy. It was his approach that intrigued me. Unlike many of the other gypsies I saw that day, he was constantly tinkering with his approach.

After watching him simply stand there tossing the ball downward for about 10 minutes (during which time he sold exactly zero balls), he began to greet tourists with different phrases as they walked by. Specifically, he started targeting parents with little kids. Smart move, I thought. After testing that approach for a while, he then moved a few steps north of his original location, to greet tourists from a different angle as they approached him. No single method he employed during this time was vastly more successful than any other, but watching this process sent my mind racing.

This guy is cold calling. He’s a door to door salesman. A pitchman. A retailer. A sole proprietor. A public speaker. Nothing will stop him from succeeding at his trade, because he has to. His environment constrains him, forcing him to test and adapt. Whether it takes him three weeks or six months, he will test his way into the most effective approach to selling those annoying red squishy balls. And you know what? If those don’t ever sell, he’ll find something else that does!

How many young Americans are ever put in a position where they have to sell something with true purpose? Seriously, you’re going to count that summer folding jeans at the GAP? That’s not what I’m talking about. The first thing most high-school students learn to sell is themselves – on their resume, in job interviews, to fraternity presidents, etc. Many never approach the environment faced by an entrepreneur, let alone one that will help them build skills necessary for future success.

But that’s okay, this can be fixed. The concept of “test and adapt” can be applied in everyday life. Start small, then gradually build up, until your tolerance for what was once considered “risky” is greater, and you expose yourself to more opportunities.

Here are three tangible ways one can apply the test and adapt philosophy today:

1) Pick up a passionate side hobby, and work to become better at it
2) Sell something (over and over again)
3) Learn something new (take that class you always wanted to take in college)

Testing isn’t just for college students and online marketers. The concept of test and adapt can apply to anyone looking to improve in something (even, apparently, gypsies selling trinkets). Approaching progress as a series of tests removes the fear of failure, and helps us view self-improvement in a whole new light.

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Written by bryan

May 5th, 2011 at 1:12 am

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Smell-O-Vision 2.0: Faster than the speed of smell

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I often spend my free moments looking at recipes for involved dishes with pretty, hi-resolution photos in the hope that someday I will have the time to prepare them, the money to buy fancy new kitchen equipment and live in a place with more than a foot and a half of counter space. It was in pursuit of this all together fantastical and unrealistic future-hobby that I discovered how limited the sensory stimulus of modern technology truly is. For example, learning that Tarragon is one of the four Fine Herbs of French cooking and is used primarily with fish and chicken dishes gives me very little understanding of what it smells like or why it belongs in a pasta dish that incidentally contains neither fish nor chicken. What if our digital reference libraries contained not just the visual and auditory data that shapes how we see and hear the world, but the olfaction data that shapes how we smell it as well?

The idea of incorporating the sense of smell into our traditional visual and auditory media is certainly not a new one. In fact, film makers tried to stimulate their audience’s noses well before they attempted wide spread stimulation of their ears. A 1906 newsreel of the Rose Parade was set to rose oil and a fan to give the audience the olfactory sensation of being in Pasadena for the parade, more than 20 years before the first full length feature sound film. But as we all know, what would come to be known variously as Smell-O-Vision, Smell-O-Rama and (my favorite) AromaRama quite quickly lost out to the Talkie. And it wasn’t even close.

Smell films just had too many technical hurdles to overcome. Sound travels at a constant speed (more or less) and is not significantly slower that the speed of light to cause any noticeable delay between the picture and the audio. Unfortunately for pioneers of Smell-O-Vision, there is no comparable Speed of Smell (and what a pity that is for our childish sense of potty humor). As you can imagine, trying to properly sync up the detection of a particular smell that has been released into the air with the correct cue in a movie, such that everyone smells it at just the right time, is nigh impossible. Human beings are capable of detecting over 10,000 scents making it equally impossible to mix up and deliver enough smells for it to be a constant part of the experience, making it even gimmickier than 3-D.

But I believe that the time has come to start considering how all smells can be digitized, categorized and made available on demand. Imagine how useful it would have been to look up a description of Tarragon online and in addition to discovering such useful information as its history in fine French cuisine and its scientific name to, you know, get some idea of what it might actually taste like in my food. With advances in our understanding of the olfactory system and the human genome the limitations of traditional Smell-O-Vision can be overcome, making it less slightly farfetched than it might seem.

A number of entrepreneurs have been trying to digitize scent, but it’s essentially an update of the same process from 1906. In most designs a digital signal is sent to a bay of scent cards, heating the right combination of essential smells (there are usually over 100 of these). A fan blows air across the scent cards wafting the smell throughout the room. While this might be able to reproduce more smells and better synchronized to the events on screen, it doesn’t fully overcome the limitations imposed by trying to physically recreate a scent. It certainly would not be appropriate for a public space, at least until we invent ear phones for our noses (“nose-phones”?).

The key then, is to by-pass the physical part of scent altogether. While researchers are still discovering the complexities of the olfactory system, we do know that it made up of a network of receptor neurons that line the mucus membrane of the nasal passage. Each neuron is calibrated to detect a specific profile of odor molecule. The brain interprets the combination of signals sent from these receptors to identify what it is we are smelling. By stimulating the right combination of olfactory receptors, then, one could theoretically fool the brain into detecting a scent that is not physically present.

The application would certainly not be limited to combating my own ignorance of culinary herbs. Imagine having the power to not only capture images, video and audio with our mobile devices, but being able to capture scent as well. These “smell-o-graphs” would let you recommend a new restaurant to a friend not just by word-of-mouth, but by smell-of-nose too. Shopping online for a new designer fragrance would no longer be a leap of faith. We could even concoct new smells that don’t even exist in the natural world, unlocking a new realm of creativity for our most innovative fine artists.

Obviously the technical challenges would be enormous. Everything from mapping the olfactory genes (there are over 900), to cataloging the odor molecules of different physical objects to the technology to actually transmit these signals to the brain would be a tremendous undertaking in its own right. None the less, our understanding of olfaction has made such a system at least conceivable, forcing us to ponder “what if” the entire range of human smell was indexed and accessible straight from the internet into our brains.

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Written by admin

March 30th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

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The 20-minute Rule

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Personal productivity is a hot topic these days. A Google search of the term reveals 5 million plus results, and there are nearly 50,000 books on Amazon catering to the topic. Meanwhile, productivity evangelists such as Tim Ferris, Ramit Sethi, and David Allen continue to make a killing serving up advice on personal efficiency and getting things done.

All for good reason. Several simultaneous circumstances in recent years have made it vital to know how to manage one’s time, and operate effectively under one’s own will power. The increasingly ubiquitous “knowledge worker” has meant less tops-down, manual work for the masses, and requires more self-direction and process-oriented thinking. Skyrocketing unemployment rates resulting from the economic downturn caused a “gut-check” moment for corporate lifers, with many realizing their presumably safe and secure jobs at large corporations just weren’t so. Consequently, many laid-off or out-of-work employees turned the entrepreneurial route, starting their own businesses. This is a bold move, and requires tremendous commitment, self-sacrifice, and task coordination. Even more influential than recent economic conditions, however, has been the frequency of technological innovation over the past ten years. The breadth and depth of this innovation has affected the way we communicate, find information, and live our lives.

These recent circumstances have bred a society of multitaskers. Smart phones, tablets, Kindles – look around you, and you can’t miss it. In fact, I bet you have more than one browser window open right now. Doing many things at once has simply become ingrained in the way we work. Enter Clifford Nass, Thomas M. Storke Professor at Stanford University. Nass specializes in analyzing social-psychological aspects of human-interactive media interaction, but he has also led laboratory and field experiments on the topic of chronic media multitasking. Back in November, I had the pleasure of hearing Nass speak about the latter topic.

To briefly summarize Nass’ findings, research shows that heavy media multitaskers perform poorly at actually multitasking, and at a number of other cognitive control processes crucial to getting things done well. You can read more about Nass’ study and its findings here, but in short, juggling many things at once causes our brains to constantly “switch” tasks, leaving us less effective while performing the task at hand. During the lecture, Nass recommended a simple solution to help combat this problem: The 20-minute rule. Every time you start a new task, keep your attention solely focused on that task for at least 20 minutes. If you find yourself switching tasks (to check email, for example), force yourself to spend the next 20 minutes performing the activity. If you follow this protocol for two weeks straight, you will learn where your time is best spent, which activities are a time suck, and will effectually become a more productive worker (so says Nass).

But imagine the 20-minute rule was a requirement; that it applied to everything in our lives, 24/7. What would the world look like? What effects would it have? Whether this would help or hinder society is up for debate, but there’s no doubt it would heavily influence three areas of our lives: Productivity, People, and Passion.

Productivity

Seriously consider the implications of the suggestion for a moment. For everything you did or paid attention to in your life, you had to spend the next 20 minutes doing or thinking about that task. It’s almost embarrassing to think about how I would spend my time on some days. Do I really have to spend the next 20 minutes on Twitter? Or reading articles on ESPN.com? Or searching through the app store on my mobile phone? Pretty scary. There’s no denying I would think twice about opening my browser window to check email if I had a deadline looming at work, and really needed to finish a PowerPoint presentation. The resulting behavior: focusing more on what’s truly important! How novel.

On the flip side, there is a place in our lives for checking email, posting updates on Twitter, and connecting with friends and relatives through Facebook. And of course, sometimes we should spend time doing those things. All the more reason to tenaciously power through our other, “more important” tasks, so we can have the free time we need to do other things. I pose this would result in higher-quality work, since all our intellectually capacity and focus is devoted to accomplishing the task at hand.

People

How the omnipotent 20-minute rule would affect our social interactions is perhaps the most intriguing dynamic to think about. Following the rule to the letter, you would have to spend 20 minutes talking to everyone you start a conversation with. (let’s exclude pleasantries such as “Hi” and “Good morning”) How interesting this would this be! Not only would you be forced to interact with your co-workers and close friends for extended periods of time, you will come to know your coffee-shop barista and neighbor down the hall on a more intimate level.

Think about how well you actually know the person sitting next to you at work every day. Wouldn’t you work better, and enjoy your job more, if you connected with him in a more personal way? Wouldn’t long-lasting grudges be smoothed over, if you were forced to “talk things out” with your boss for extended periods of time? And finally, wouldn’t we all get to know the people surrounding us, those random strangers we normally never engage deeply with? If we were forced to spend time talking to one another, over time we would build deeper and more diverse connections to each other, which could only lead to positive outcomes.

Passion

The final affect of the 20-minute rule would be discovering what you’re truly passionate about. Many people get so caught up in the minutiae of life and work, they hardly develop any true passions. Get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch 3 hours of reality tv, sleep, rinse, repeat. Well, if these individuals spent 20 minutes focusing on every task they partake in, and only that task, they would quickly learn what their true passions are. Since the rule mandates you spend most of your time on the tasks you undertake, people would presumably choose to spend more of their free time pursuing their passions. Passionate people produce disproportionate results, leading to high levels of personal gratification, and better outcomes for those they serve. If everyone spent more time pursuing what they loved, we would all benefit from the side effects.

If our lives were tied to the 20-minute rule for only a two-week period, we would all benefit. Increased individual productivity, improved interpersonal relationships, and a more passionate citizenry? Who wouldn’t be in favor of those outcomes?

For those of us who are chronic multitaskers, it would do us well to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s advice: Be the change you wish to see in the world. Focus on what you’re doing at any given moment. Pay attention.

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Written by bryan

March 3rd, 2011 at 12:12 am

From Dumb Asphalt to Smart Rivers

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With congestion, dependence on oil, environmental pollution, inefficiencies in internal combustion engines, and a host of other major problems with our current “cars and trucks on asphalt” model of transportation, it’s clear we need rethink they way we transport ourselves. We are in too dire need of major change to settle for mere baby steps in the right direction. We need radical improvement, and that comes from radical ideas.

There is a lot of asphalt lain across this country for our cars and trucks. You want roads? We got roads. Public roads span roughly 4 million miles in the United States–enough to go around the entire planet 120 times. That’s a lot of windy, squiggly asphalt.

Now, this is space already set aside for the purpose of transportation, and it’s largely the case that these snakes of land, if traversed properly, can get us to our desired destinations.

Here is how we re-engineer this infrastructure, while keeping the land and geographical precision of our current road layouts: we turn our roads into rivers. Not just any rivers, of course, but we turn them into lazy rivers.

People will be able to walk outside, hop on their inner tube of choice (which by the way, are much cheaper than cars. Average new car price is $28,400. Average new inflatable inner tube price is ~$35. That’s a savings of $28,365 per person), and gleefully and peacefully float to work, the grocery store, park, mall, or friend’s house.

The naysayers out there will shout, “what are you going to do about hills and intersections?” It’s always uncreative people who slow down progress and hinder the implementation of great ideas. What they fail to realize, is that the rivers are not pure H2O. There is a special blend of H2O and ferrofluid, which is essentially a liquid magnet. This way, the flow of the rivers can be easily controlled by the linear induction motors spanning the bed of the river that create the necessary magnetic forces that induce the fluid flow. Not only can the fluid be pulled up hills, but it can reach speeds of 100 MPH (you need the the more expensive, aerodynamic, bullet tubes for those high speeds, though). The river road is broken up into lanes, but not the static, “stupid” lanes of yesterday. The entire river is a “smart” river, that adapts to exact conditions to optimize resources, travel efficiency and comfort. For example, each traveller flows in a lane specifically designed for them, based on the width of their tube, their speed, and the amount of other travelers in the vicinity. The sophisticated linear induction motors beneath the river, combined with the real-time sensors that know exactly where you are, allow for precise, dynamic control and navigation down the river. Because of this, there are literally never any wrecks.

There are two modes of operation from the perspective of the floater. You can operate in automatic mode (perfect for relaxing, evening floats), where the brains of the river will take you at the appropriate speed and direction, or there is manual mode, where you can control the speed. However, there are anti-crash algorithms in place that will over-ride your speed control if you aren’t vigilant. Your speed is controlled by a simple joystick-like apparatus on the inner tube itself.

One key component of this ferrofluid-H2O river system is that the brains are centralized. The river itself is smart and adaptable, and controls things with precision and resourcefulness. This is contrary to some people’s efforts to engineer autonomous robotically-driven automobiles that are very crash-prone. Instead of having a dumb road, where smart cars are having to interact with each other (which is the extreme decentralization of intelligence approach), having a centralized brain for the operation makes coordination a piece-of-cake. Think of it this way: if there are ten small magnets on a table and I bring a large, strong magnet near them, they will all respond accordingly, virtually instantly. Contrast that with designing and building ten small robots that communicate and coordinate with each other, and propel themselves individually, in the same direction. Decentralization of intelligence when it comes to autonomous multi-object transportation is the way to go.

The other perk of this? You can text and float.

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Written by Nathan

November 11th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Shoe Suitcase

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Just a quick post from me this week, but one influence by my recent international travel to India that is simple yet inherently practical.

I like to consider myself an efficient packer when it comes to travel, particularly international travel. Nothing puts a damper on a great international adventure than having to drag a 50 pound suitcase behind you – never mind the time and money you can safe when you don’t have to worry about checking bags.

Usually I can pack everything I need into not much more than a backpack, even for a 10+ day trip like the one I just returned to. The only way I was able to do this though, was by bringing only one pair of shoes (the one on my feet). Not only does this limit options for various social or weather related scenarios, but also presents a risk in the of the loss or irreparable damage of that one pair.

The problem is that unlike T-shirts or socks, shoes take up a lot of dead space (air on the inside) that is not easily compressed, and for that reason are not easily mixed in with regular clothing.

Now, shoe luggage does exist, but it is designed to hold more shoes than are reasonably necessary for the international wanderer and is generally a separate piece of luggage. For the international wanderer in all of us, it is time for the shoe suitcase (or backpack). Able to accommodate compressible clothing in a flexible space as well as a fixed, square compartment to store footware, the shoe backpack opens up a whole new world of travel possibilities for the wandering nomad.

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Written by admin

September 8th, 2010 at 5:29 pm

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Brain Vacation

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Preston and Andrew are both taking their August vacations getting refreshed and inspired. Posts will resume next week when Andrew gets back from India.
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August 30th, 2010 at 10:38 am

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Kill. Cut. Cook. Eat.

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It seems today that people are more interested in their food than ever. How it’s raised, how it’s harvested and how it’s prepared are questions that more and more people are asking about what ends up on the dinner table. The meat industry in particular receives heightened scrutiny, both in regards to whether its treatment of animals is ethical and also for its impact on the environment. The proliferation of organic meat and other schemes like cow shares, wherein a number of families will together purchase sections of a cow that was raised and butchered according to their specific preferences, all point to a growing attention to where our food comes from.

But these new food options only go so far. While an individual consumer may have more choice when it comes to purchasing meat at the end of its life cycle, there are few options for the most conspicuous of meat consumers to have a direct hand in, and thus direct knowledge of, the entire process of getting an animal from the farm and into their bellies. This gap creates a golden opportunity for a new kind of farm tourism.

The idyllic rolling green hill of rural Wisconsin would provide the perfect backdrop for a family vacation or romantic get-away. Guests would have the chance to explore the farm and surrounding woodlands, sample the locally grown produce, and most importantly, pick out their own dinner.

Waking up bright and early on their first full day on the farm, they would be instructed in the proper technique for slaughtering their chosen animal using traditional and ethical procedures. They would then be shown how to correctly butcher the animal into all the different cuts and varieties of tasty meat. Finally, at the end of a hard day’s work of preparation, experienced gourmet chefs would help them select a menu composed of their cut of choice paired with vegetables grown on the property, bread baked at the farm house and wines grown and produced locally. The day would culminate with eating the fruits (and meats) of their labor, soaking in the sunset over the small duck pond around back. The remaining meat would be frozen and packed to take back home to enjoy similarly delicious meals for months to come.

What better way to not only sustain disappearing family farms, but feed the appetites of the world’s gastronomes who hunger for a little adventure.

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Written by Andrew

August 17th, 2010 at 1:36 am

Broadcast Karaoke

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Do you sing in your car, in the shower, or at board meetings?  Maybe you don’t think the night is over until someone has belted out “Don’t Stop Believing” despite angry curses from other people in the movie theater.  You drive to work the next morning, sad that when you sing to the latest Top 40 hit, everyone else in the crawl of traffic rolls up their windows.

You exhibitionist, you casual diva!  What you seek is a way for everyone in the world to hear your sing-along stylings without getting fired from your job for slacking off during work hours, and for losing major accounts because clients find your rendition of “Hit ‘em Up” surprisingly offensive.  If only there was some way where anyone could hear your voice like a well-directed megaphone when you get the urge to accompany the radio.  What you need, and the world needs now, is broadcast karaoke.

The simple way to do this is to set up a streaming channel on the Web.  You attach a microphone in your car, in your shower, or you can even use your mobile phone.  Channel the microphone to the radio, your sound system or the karaoke machine you just bought for your basement.  Now you can karaoke live, and save all of your overdubs for podcasts later.  The proliferation of HD Radio means radio stations have a lot more programming time and no programming with which to fill it; perhaps they are willing to give you fifteen minutes of fame on their HD-3 channel to serenade those who get up at 4:00 AM to drive to work.

Social upload sites like YouTube and Vimeo have taught us that with the right amount of accident, brilliance and artful error anyone can be a celebrity to the Net set.  Broadcast karaoke would likely be the same.  Tay Zonday became famous for his idiosyncratic voice and song structure, and among those who sing karaoke at KTV establishments or bars, there are a few standouts for their American Idol-quality efforts both good and bad.  You could become famous for all the wrong reasons, or someone could discover you and sign you to a lucrative recording contract.

Most importantly, singing every day is good for your mood.  Boost your confidence as well with broadcast karaoke.

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Written by Preston

August 10th, 2010 at 5:12 am

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Let’s Bronze Plate the Future

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As we all know, the Statue of Liberty, seen here beneath the ice of Lake Mendota in my city of residence, was given by the French to United States as a gift commemorating its centennial in 1886. The colossal statue stands at 150 ft. and made of cooper plates attached to an inner frame.

In modern day imagery of course, Lady Liberty is depicted as having a dull-greenish hue, due to the copper’s oxidation. But when the statue was first built through about 20 after its erecting it was a copper color, grower duller and greener every year as a penny would decade after decade. Imagine the magnificent Statue of Liberty as seen from Battery Park with a soft coppery glow.

The 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty will be October 28th, 2036 – 26 years from now. This gives a golden window of opportunity to the National Park Service, the government agency responsible for operating the monument, to plan the celebration of 150 years of Lady Liberty gracing the New York skyline. For six generations the Statue of Liberty has stood not only as a symbol of liberty (quite literally, the statue of liberty is modeled after the Roman goddess of liberty), but as a physical embodiment of America, its people and all the things that make the country great. What can the Park Service do to best honor the historical tradition of this symbol of America and preserve it for generations to come?

Rededicate the Statue of Liberty with new copper plating. It might sound crazy, but what better way could there be to mark an important pivot point in American and World history? With 26 years to complete the project, it could be a milestone literally erected to inspire today’s leaders to attack the most critical issues facing our society. The announcement could read something like this:

“On October 28th, 2036, 26 years from now, the National Park Service of the United States of America will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Statue of Liberty by rededicating this historic landmark with a new copper exterior. Having curbed climate change by becoming a world leader in new green technology, balanced the federal budget, overcame international terrorism and put a person on Mars, the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty will enshrine these achievements and inspire Americans for the next 150 years”.

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Written by Andrew

August 7th, 2010 at 1:47 pm

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Theme for August: Brain Canvas Original

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For the last few months we’ve been writing on different themes here at Brain Canvas. We’ve featured one theme every month since April and written exclusively on that topic for the whole month.

April – Health:
How Technologies to Help Veterans can Help us All
Quick-Delivery Health Tips for a Better Life
A Cure for Aging?

May – Entertainment:
Campus Paintball War
ESPN and The Food Network should launch a new channel
Entertainment Evolves to Offer Challenge, Not Escape

June – GSA Challenge Post:
Building the GSA/ChallengePost Community
End-to-End Open Government
Update the Tax Code
Citizen Scientists

July – Transportation:
Maglev Empire
Transportation and Suburban Renewal
Walkabout to Repair Your City

We really enjoyed writing on topical subjects for the past four months, but because nothing is topical in August, we’re bringing back the original Brain Canvas formula this month. Preston and I will be writing about whatever “What If” fantasies strike our fancy, and hope it will give you all something to cheer about in this dullest of months.

And if that’s not enough, make sure you stay tuned in August as we’ll be rolling out some cool new content features in September.

Freshly,

Andrew

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Written by Andrew

August 3rd, 2010 at 8:25 pm

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