Sunday, January 15, 2017

Who speaks for the ocean?


This makes me want to vomit. 

FYI, the URL on the whaler in the story below www.icr.org is for this Japanese "research" organisation who show a photo of themselves HARPOONING A WHALE on their own website. They were caught this month with a dead minke whale in spite of a worldwide moratorium on whaling. See that whole story here: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/sea-shepherd-finds-japanese-ship-with-slaughtered-whale/ar-AAlSC7o?ocid=sf 

When I was young, I fell in love with the ocean and had career aspirations of working on research projects to help us understand and protect marine life with a focus on marine mammals. My path ended up leading in a different direction, and I have not been able to spend much time anywhere near them. I read stories like these and have to wonder if I would have been able to make a difference had I taken a different path in life. Sadly, I do not own a time machine and cannot undo that now, but the work I have been able to contribute to in other technologies may have had some effect on getting the information out to the world faster and more efficiently. I am hopeful we can do more. 

With all of the focus in the media this past year on politics and oil and celebrity spotlights it seems that the oceans have fallen very far down on the list of concerns for the average person. We need to change that. We need to recognise that our own lives are dependent on the health of the oceans and without them, none of our other problems even matter. a-brewery-invented-edible-six-pack-rings-to-save-ocean-animals 

People still seem to think it is okay to release hundreds of balloons into the sky for their
celebrations, but we have pretty clear evidence that this is really harmful to our ocean dwelling friends. We are still finding animals with those plastic six-pack can rings wrapped around their heads and feet even though it has been a known threat for decades. There is hope though in some new technology making these actually edible if they end up in the ocean. 

There are still tons of floating garbage circling around in the ocean (literally) in spite of what you may have heard about it being a "myth". Dangerous headlines like this may have you thinking the problem is solved, but it is not. The reality is somewhere between a "clean ocean" and an "island of garbage the size of India" - both of which I have read and both of which are false. Thankfully there are some interesting ideas to clean up the mess that really is there to deal with. 

My hope is that I can help raise awareness and contribute to advance technology solutions that will help preserve the oceans that are vital to our survival.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Time for a refresh

The first week of January has always been a "reset" time for me.  While it can be argued that January 1st is just an arbitrary date on the timeline and should not be considered some magic time to cast personal resolutions for change, the changing of the calendar is a great excuse to pause, take stock and reset.

I always take some time in the first week of January to assess where I am, where I need to be, and what it will take to get there.  Maybe I should do that more often.  Maybe that will be something I do this year.  It reminds me of the Vorlon five questions from the amazing series Babylon 5 from the late 1990's.  

Who are you? Really, who ARE you?  Beyond your name and address, past your occupations and title, what are the things that make you, you?  

Where are you going? Not physically, but metaphorically - where are you heading to in your life and career?  What are the decisions and actions active in your life now leading you to?

Where have you been? Contemplate the situations and experiences that have compounded to make you the person you are today.

Who do you follow? The people you admire, emulate, aspire to be can say much about you. 

Whom do you lead? Even if you don't consider yourself a "leader", there may be people who look up to you, admire you, and try to emulate you.  Be aware of of your actions and be aware of those who may see you as a leader even if you don't.

I kick off 2017 with a revamp of my websitesnew social presence and a renewed effort to create awesomeness.  I'll be doing my best to divide my blog efforts to separate technology posts from the political rants as well.   I plan to focus a whole lot more on helping kids adopt technology which is something I did a great deal of in the past, but have been quite lax in recent years.

Whether you make New Years resolutions or not, take the time this week to assess where you are in life and where you want to be.  If you don't like what you see, make an effort to change it.

Be awesome, change the world.