Friday, October 31, 2008

82nd Official Houdini Seance

On Thursday, Elizabeth and I headed down to Madison, New Jersey for the 82nd Official Houdini Seance. It was an interesting experience to say the least. Elizabeth was invited to the "Inner Circle" which is an honor in the Houdini-world (she's the youngest person to be a part of it in all 82 years since Houdini's death). The circle was composed of such icons as Sidney Radner and Dorothy Young. After a hour or so of 'tapping into spiritual energy sources' by the psychic medium, the great Houdini decided not to show himself. Maybe next year?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Great Time in NYC

Last night, Elizabeth and I made our way to NYC for Inc. Magazine's "30 Under 30" party. We got into the city hoping to catch an early dinner at Veselka, a well-known Ukrainian place on the LES, but some new show starring Jason Scwartsman was being filmed in the restaurant so we temporally crossed that off our list.

After exploring the neighborhood, we headed up to midtown for the Inc. party at D'Or. The club was packed full with many interesting entrepreneurs, guests and the great people who make the magazine happen. I met lots of great people, had great conversations - it was a blast. We headed back down to Veselka for a late dinner of pierogi, golumpki, and blintzes... and then made our way back home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Breakfast Roundtable at MIT

Today I had breakfast at the President's House at MIT.

Rewind: towards the middle of last week, I received a phone call from Governor Deval Patrick's office - an invitation to the Technology Roundtable at MIT. My initial reactions were that of shock and excitement...

At the table: MA Governor Patrick, Susan Hockfield (president of MIT), Jack Wilson (president of UMass), and CEOs: John Chambers (Cisco), Paul Sagan (Akamai), Joe Tucci (EMC), William Green (Accenture), Colin Angle (iRobot + actor in the movie, 21), and some kid from Western MA with a pseudo-dutchboy haircut, me!

As the discussion moved forward, many points were made about the future of the tech industry in Massachusetts, impact on the state economy, and promoting entrepreneurship.

When the issue of focusing on green energy (as it applies to tech) arrived... I commented that Western MA's most valuable resource for the tech industry is abundance of power: renewable hydro-electric power. At the moment, Google is in the process of building a major data-center of in The Dalles, OR (population: 12,000) because of the cheap and renewable energy from the hydro-electric dam. Holyoke has 16 hydro-electric sources, the most of any city in the state - by almost 3 times as much as the runner-up. Holyoke also has the Mt Tom Power Plant and ISO as an added bonus. You have the bargain, clean hydro, multiple sources of energy and water for cooling the data-center... it's data-storage/processing company's dream.

Is there a chance that a company like Google might look at Holyoke for there next data-center? From some of the CEOs and other experts I've talked to... Yes, it's very likely.

Well, enough of my rambling. Today was unforgettable and it was a great honor to meet some of the world's most brilliant thinkers.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Art Invades the Canal District

Last night Elizabeth and I checked out another show at The Canal Gallery in Holyoke. Today we checked out Paper City Studios and Parsons Hall, two galleries/studios that opened up to the public for the weekend. The spaces are situated in beautiful old buildings that overlook the 2nd level canal. I was blown away by the Parsons Hall building and the artists and art that filled it. Ornamental plaster cast ceilings, hallway corbels, and tile mosaic floors - beautiful details. We saw lots of great audio and video work and hope they put on more shows.

Everything in this city is a constant reminder that, in the words of Jane Jacobs, "Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Las Vegas in Springfield

Last night, I checked out The Rat Pack is Back show at CityStage in Springfield. The YPS hosted a wonderful pre-show gathering and hooked me up with a ticket. I had the expectation that the show was going to be lame - but was pleasantly surprised, I had a blast!