Showing posts with label Size. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Size. Show all posts

October 8, 2019

Where Are We Going

Just thought this was an awesome provoking painting. 

To me, it begs the question of where are we going in our lives. 

The terrestrial landscape combined with the light at the end of the tunnel effect as the sky is provocative and at the same time almost hypnotic. 

It also makes me feel the enormity of the universe versus the smallness of just a man.

I see myself standing on the red hilltop looking into that big sky and wondering about so many things. 

In the end, believing that we don't have all the answers, but that we are in G-d's good hands. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 22, 2019

A Mosquito Into A Mule

So you know the old saying about:
Making a mountain out of a molehill

That's when you make a big deal out of nothing.

So yesterday, I heard the European version of this as:
Making a mosquito into a mule

Honestly, I like that version a lot better.

A mosquito bites and is annoying.

But a mule resists and is a very stubborn animal that can drive you crazy. 

You definitely don't want to make a mosquito into a mule! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 25, 2019

Sizing Fashion And More

So it was interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today...

There is an obesity problem in the U.S. 

But the statistics in terms of the typical sizes of fashion (for women) has been "largely" overlooked.

The biggest size most fashion brands even bother to sell is: 12

"Only 7% of womenswear stocked at multi-brand retailers is a size 14 or above."

But the average American dress size is between between 16 and 18!

The typical runway model is size 2.  

BTW, I think men have the same problem with sizing.

There was another thing about measurement in the WSJ today having to do with measuring time. 

Day is measured by the earth rotation (on its axis). 

Year by the rotation around the sun.

Month by rotation of the moon. 

Earth, Sun, and Moon...give us time. 

Now we need to take all the wonderful time we have measured and not spend it all eating.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal @Ripley's Believe It or Not)
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April 11, 2019

Black Hole--What's Really Important?

Amazing beautiful photos of a black hole from 55 million light years (311 million trillion miles) away. 

It measures about 25 billion miles across--about the size of 29,000 suns. 

If this doesn't make you (with all the money, smarts, good looks, and ego to match) feel small, nothing will. 

We are but a speck of dust in this vast universe (maybe not even that). 

Perspective is in order for your life and what it means. 

Forget the money-grubbing and honor-seeking.

Realize what's really important is what you do in terms of choosing right from wrong and good over evil in every small thing you do.  ;-)

(Photo Credit: Event Horizon Telescope)
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August 21, 2018

My New Sneaks

These were my new sneaks for like two hours. 

I loved them in the store. 

My stylish and lovely daughter helped me pick them out. 

Nike bright orange--cool, fashionable. 

"Just do it!"

But when I tried them on, I didn't have socks, and had to use the ridiculous thin ones in the store.  

The sneakers were snug and I asked for a larger size, which they were out of. 

I took the sneakers anyway, hoping they would be okay when I got home, but disappointingly, they were way too tight. 

And "the give" that the saleslady said would happen with the sneakers, absolutely didn't. 

My foot was being crushed in there. 

I think Nike's run small. 

Like the look, but not the sizing. 

Anyway, saw three people playing soccer in these (or something close to it) the same day. 

Orange is the new black. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 10, 2017

Feeling A Little Relative Deprivation

So this was a little funny-sad. 

We were taking a walk.

And we passed these two houses side by side. 

One, this tall stately-looking all brick manicured corner house.

The other, this cozy and sort of beat up little white siding house. 

The juxtaposition of these two as neighbors couldn't have been funnier. 

Sort of like strong and determined Rocky and the nebbish that couldn't. 

Listen, there isn't anything objectively wrong with the little older white house.

Taken by itself, it may actually be a nice place to live--as I said, it's sort of charming (even while the other is commanding)! 

But when you put it against the big new brick fellow, it's just a story of relative deprivation ready to be intensely felt. 

Both have a roof over their heads...and both in the same nice neighborhood. 

Yet neighbor and neighbor--but for no reason, one ends up feeling probably a little shitty--that's putting it in comparison, of course.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 9, 2016

With Creation, The Intelligence Of Even A Worm



Some of you may think at first glance, oh how lame.

Did Andy just take a video of a worm?

But there is something more amazing here than initially meets the eye.

Look carefully at what this simple little worm is doing.

It is inching forward with its sprawling body over the dirt, and it is dragging with it...a feather!

Watch how it moves its body and then see at the top, the sudden pull of the feather behind it--and again and again. 

Clearly, this is not an accident, but this worm wants this feather.

Who would think that a worm has the brains to identify, claim, and take with it, a feather. 

There are probably a lot bigger brains out there that can't even do half that much.  ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 11, 2016

Noticing The Smallest Beauty

My daughter, Rebecca sent me this photo she took.

A little lady bug on the plants outside. 

She told me how important it is to pay attention to the beauty in even the smallest ways out there. 

I was very proud of her!

It's not the biggest, the loudest, or the baddest that necessarily makes the most impact in the world. 

I hope she (and us) keep on noticing what is really amazing in this world. 

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

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March 23, 2015

Respect The Legs

I took this photo of this statue of a lady perched up high on a column.

It's an interesting (yet in my estimation a somewhat demeaning) view of femininity as demonstrated by the relatively small body, but oversized crossed-over legs. 

Perhaps the artist thinks this is sexy or provocative...

Or maybe it's just a relaxing pose with head high and back and arm behind her head.

Either way, you've got to respect those legs, and of course, the woman. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 25, 2015

Size And Smell

So apparently data mining can be used for all sorts of research...

In the New York Times today, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz tries his hand with google search results to better understand people's feelings about sex. 

Though Stephens-Davidowitz doesn't explain how he gets these google statistics...here are some standouts:

As you might have guessed, the biggest complaint from men--and women--is that they don't get/have enough sex. 

For both (as you might imagine in a primarily--95%--heterosexual world), traditional surveys show that it's about once a week.

However, the author says this is exaggerated (yeah, is it surprising that people exaggerate about this?) and it's actually only about 30 times a year--or once every 12 days.

So there are a lot of search on "sexless" or "won't have sex with me."

Observing that "sex can be quite fun," he questions, "why do we have so little of it?"

And he concludes that it's because we have "enormous anxiety" and insecurity about our bodies and sexuality.

Again, you probably wouldn't need data mining to guess the results, but men's biggest worry is about their penis size, and one of women's most toxic worries--a "strikingly common concern"--is about the smell of their vagina.

For men, they actually google questions about genital size more often than they have questions about any other body part; in fact, more than "about their lungs, liver, feet, ears, nose, throat, and brain combined."

So much for health consciousness versus machismo pride. 

The funny thing is apparently women don't seem to care so much about this with only about 1 search on this topic for every 170 searches that men do on this. 

Surprising to most men, about 40% of the searches women do conduct on this topic is "complaints" that it is too big!

Not that size doesn't matter to women, but for them it's about the size of their breasts and butts--and again, bigger being generally considered better.

In this case, most men seem to agree. 

Another issue men are concerned about is premature ejaculation and how to make the experience last longer.

However, here women seem to be looking for information about half and half on how to make men climax more quickly on one hand, and more slowly on the other. 

Overall, men are from Mars and women from Venus, with lot's of misunderstanding between the sexes.

The conclusion from this big data study...everyone calm down and just try to enjoy each other more.

Amazing the insights we can get from data mining! ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Daniel)
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December 13, 2014

Smartphone Or Kitty Litter

Interesting...Bloomberg Businessweek ran a special anniversary issue with a countdown of the 85 most disruptive ideas (in the last 85 years), and guess where they think the smartphone fell in that?

#78!!! 


Right up there with the white board (#82) and good 'ol high frequency trading (#80).


But not as important as get this...the corporate campus (#77), the VCR (#74), Kitty Litter (#73), Singapore, literally--{Uh, and how about Israel?} (#71), bottled water (#56), High-fructose corn syrup (#48), Air Jordan sneakers (#45), Napster (#43), and junk bonds (#7).


They ranked the smartphone so low in disruption, even after giving it a two-page spread with no less than 32 "things the smartphone killed" and they probably missed a few hundred!


There is no need to list everything the smartphone does for you, because you use these functions every moment of every day


To most people now, the smartphone is one of their most prized possessions and they don't go anywhere without it and rarely do you see anyone not "on it." (Uh, I know more than a few people who even dropped them in the toilet!)


Honestly, Businessweek...I think you missed the significance of the smartphone big time. 


Yeah maybe Starbucks (#68) and the Pill (#9) are competitors, but not as important or disruptive as Kitty Litter...shame on you!  ;-)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Lonely Bob)

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October 7, 2014

The Games Organizations Play

So HP, under Meg Whitman, is breaking up into a PC/printing company and an enterprise products and services firm.

Um...well of course it’s the right thing to do to focus each and release the great value of these two companies.

Only, just a few years ago, under Carly Fiorina, HP a printer and enterprise products company combined with Compaq, a PC company, in order to gain the size and clout to succeed in the ever-competitive technology marketplace.

The B.S. of corporate America—everything and the opposite--to try and do something, almost anything, to try and raise the share prices of those strategically stalled companies.

From Meg Whitman, CEO of HP:

- October 2011--“Together we are stronger!”

- Then today, 3 years later--“Being nimble is the only path to winning.”

Yeah, whatever.

Merge, split—wash, rinse, repeat…fool the fools.

HP is still HP—especially compared to Apple, Amazon, Google, and even now Lenovo. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Angie Harms)

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September 15, 2014

Doctor In Context

I took this photo in the doctor's office. 

No, this is not my doctor, but a statue of one on the countertop.  

What's funny to me is how he looks in context of the bottles and anatomical models all around him.  

Either the doctor has shrunk or the other things are really huge.

My dad used to tell me that doctors only know what G-d tells them, so we should pray that G-d gives them the wisdom to help us. 

And my grandfather used to say in German that "G-d is my doctor."

Maybe that's why the image of the doctor is looking up--to get the guidance from the one above to help us. 

That's the intersection of medicine and faith--where truly big things can happen. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 10, 2013

How Apple Is Losing Its Fans

Without a lift, Apple is already (and unfortunately) on the way down.

IDC reports that the recent quarter global smartphone shipments show Android with an almost 80% market share compared to Apple's flimsy 13%.

I've been a diehard Apple fan for years (and I still love them, but...)

Years ago, I converted all my Windows computers and even my old Android phones.

Apple was innovative, sleek, and intuitive to use.

But since Steve Jobs passed, the company has lost its mojo.

Siri was a bust and what else have they done since.

Google is leading the way with Glass for wearable technology.

Apple is disappointing its consumers, and their stock plummet from over $700 to the upper $300s (now in the mid $400's) shows investor sentiment.

Out comes the Samsung Galaxy S4 and I am salivating--the differences from the iPhone 5 make them "almost" not comparable.

Thought I'd wait for Chanukah, but the opportunity came early and so I am now a proud owner.

A couple of days earlier, a young women on the Metro was using the Galaxy and I asked how she liked it--she said she loved it, mentioned the big screen and all the free apps, and then went on to say that her mom also just switched over from the iPhone and loves the Galaxy too.

What is it about the Galaxy?

The larger 5" screen on the Galaxy versus 4"on the iPhone 5 is the first thing you notice--and yes, when it comes to doing email, reading news articles, or watching video, size does matter!

Also, the Galaxy has Corning Gorilla glass and a higher 2.85 resolution and 35.28% higher pixel density--so it is strong and sharp and images really come out looking like a beautiful work of art.

Also with air gesture, you can just wave your hand to navigate pages and not get fingerprints and smudges all over the screen.

The camera is another huge difference: the Galaxy is 13 megapixels compared to only 8 for the iPhone and if you like taking photos that don't look like they came from a smartphone, this is a better way to do it.

In terms of speed, the Galaxy again outperforms the iPhone, it has 2 gigabyte of RAM versus only 1 for the iPhone and its CPU is 2.46 as fast. I was able to transfer my entire iTunes music library in just a couple of minutes.

Finally, battery power is key and the Galaxy has 1.81x what the iPhone has--which basically makes it not necessary to get a heavy and costly Mophie external battery pack for it.

While there are many features I like better on Galaxy s4, the one thing I'd recommend Samsung improve on is the body, which is a cheaper plastic compared to the iPhones aluminum, but once you have a solid case on it, it doesn't really matter for the end user experience.

Overall, Galaxy has out-done the iPhone, and I think the venerable and cash rich Apple, without some major new technology leaps and advances in design is under very real threat.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 28, 2011

Toward A User-Centric Government

My new article in Government Executive is out today.

Called "Too Big To Succeed"--the article talks about the importance of simplifying and organizing large, complex organizations, such as government, to achieve transformational and valuable change.

The article is anchored in the Law of Diminishing Returns and the Law of Large Numbers.

Although the article doesn't use the term user-centric government, this is exactly the point and continuously driving forward with advanced technologies can help us make the leap.

Hope you enjoy reading!

Andy

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June 26, 2011

How Leaders Can Imitate Art

Mental Floss (July-August 2011) has an article on the awesome art of "Christo and Jeanne-Claude." Their pieces are large, imposing, and environmentally-based. Some examples are:

1) The Umbrella (1991)--Installed 3,100 umbrellas across a 12-mile stretch in California and an 18-mile stretch in Japan."

2) The Gates (2005)--Erected "7,503 steel gates, each with a giant rectangle of orange fabric flowing from it."

3) Surrounded Islands (1983)--"Surrounded 11 uninhabited islands in Biscayne Bay with 700,000 square yards of pink fabric."

4) Wrapped Reichstag (1995)--Wrapped the German parliament in "119,600 square yards of shimmering silver fabric."

What I like about their art is the duality of on one hand, magnitude of the projects--they are huge!--and on the other hand, the utter simplicity of it--such as using a single color fabric to just line up along, spread over, or surround something.

Further, I really like their use of contrasts whether it is the colors of the blue water and green islands with the pink ribbon or the lush green valley with the blue umbrellas--it is in every case dynamic and spell-binding.

Each work even in a microcosm would be beautiful, but when done on a massive scale like with the entire German Parliament building or on multiple continents simultaneously, it takes on an air of magic, almost like Houdini.

Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009, but together she and Christo created "20 gargantuan works of art, and Christo carries on the "couples's 45 years of collaboration" with new works today.

To me, Christo and Jeanne-Claude are incredibly inspirational:

1) They were highly productive and developed a multitude of magnificent works of art.

2) They defined a sense of beauty in both urban and rural settings that combined the natural surroundings and augmented it with human interventions to complete the creative process.

3) They took on monumental tasks, "funded all the projects themselves," and would obsessively plan all the details to get it right.

4) The were truly collaborative--Christo was the artist and Jeanne-Claude his encouragement and manager, yet they considered each other "equal partners in the creative process."

Their work reminds me of floating in virtual reality like in Second Life, but in this case, it's the real thing. And it's incredibly important because it teaches us that we are partners in the creative process and can do enormously great things in simple and beautiful ways. Similarly, true leadership is about being one with our surroundings, at peace, and yet envisioning how to improve on it and make the good things, spectacular.

(Source Photos of Umbrella and Gates: Wikipedia, and of Islands and Reichstag: here)


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November 3, 2010

5 Lessons For Implementing Mobility Solutions

[Pictured from Left Kevin Brownstein, McAfee; Andy Blumenthal, ATF; John Landwehr, Adobe; Jack Holt, DoD]

Today, I participated on behalf of my agency at the Adobe Government Assembly: Engage America on a panel for mobility solutions.

I shared the lessons learned from our experience and pilot of mobile devices, including:

1) Be prepared to give the end users as many apps as possible—they want it all just like on their desktops.

2) In mobile devices, size and resolution matters. Although people like miniaturized devices, they want the display of the information and graphics to be clear and visible.

3) Users did not like using a stylus for navigation.

4) Users in the field don’t have time or patience to decipher complicated instruction guides—it’s got to be intuitive!

5) While security is critical, usability is key and it’s a balancing act.


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