Below is an archives of items previously listed on my home page as
"new in the box" fodder for living a life of ideas.
I've moved them here to make
way for new front page newness ...
Got a lot of books? Buy a lot of books? Freakishly organized? Check out Library Thing. It's a brilliant use
of various Web technologies that let you catalog your personal library in a unique online database. It couldn't be
easier to use. Just enter the title and the site pulls in full card-catalog-like information: ISBN number, publication
date, etc. You can access your entries from Web-enabled handheld devices. (So you can check your library
while you're browsing, say, at Barnes & Noble and make sure you don't buy something you already have and
forgot to read the last time you bought it.) You can view your library by title, author, subject or by tags you assign
according to your own categories. Library Thing lets you see how many other people have the same books you
have as well as the other books they own. It's an interesting way to stumble on "recommendations" of other
books you may like.

What's in an acronym? Another Web site that's gaining a following is dedicated to cataloging the proliferation
of acronyms littering all manner of writing these days. If you need to know what an acronym means or simply
like browsing the condensed thoughts of government, corporate America, or just writers short on letters, check
Acronym Finder.

Chances are, you have a language all your own at work. For a fun and enlightening read about the
special vocabulary of bakers, magicians, pilots, pharmacists and more, check out a great book by my friend
Mim Harrison:
"Words At Work." The fact that she tosses me a bouquet in her acknowledgements has NOTHING
to due with my recommendation ... :-)

Head or heart? What do you think? The Web gives everyone a chance to express their opinion, but if you're
looking for a little more structure and a question to debate with others, you might be interested in
The Great
American Think-Off. Since 1993 the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center has been posing an annual question
and inviting people to respond with essays (due this year by April 1). On occasion C-SPAN has broadcast the
finalists. The 2007 question is
Which should you trust more: Your head or your heart? Four finalists will be
selected by a panel of judges to go to New York Mills, Minnesota for the final debate on June 9, 2007, held
before a live audience. The four finalists, all of whom receive $500 plus travel, food and lodging expenses, will
be announced May 1, 2007. A parade to honor the finalists will be held June 8. Yes, really, a parade. The winner
is decided by the audience and named "America's Greatest Thinker."

Nearly 10 decades of saxophone excellence. Al Gallodoro started playing saxophone in 1926, beginning a
career that would see the batons of Toscanini, Stokowski, Paul Whiteman and other masters. Routinely cited as
one of the world's finest saxophonists by generation after generation of musicians, Gallodoro is still performing
at the age of 94. I wasn't familiar with him until my friend Jonathan turned me on to him. His sound is "sweet" in
the turn-of-the-century style, but not saccharine in the Guy Lombardo vein. His ability to articulate ridiculously up-
tempo passages is awe-inspiring, and his lyrical expression is just plain inspiring. While his sound is definitely
of a particular time (and a little bit does go a long way), time spent listening to him is a revelation.

CDs you won't find in regular stores. So let's say you want to listen to some of Al Gallodoro's playing,
where can you buy it?
CD Baby is a "little online record store that sells CDs by independent musicians." It's a
part of the growing reinvention of the music retail business. CD Baby gives control to the musician rather than
major labels and attracts talent that might not normally find mainstream distribution. Check it out to discover
sounds you won't find elsewhere.

Alibris is alive with books. I order online from Amazon when I know what I want. I browse Barnes & Noble or
Borders when I want to be guided by chance. And when I'm looking for something no longer in print, I turn to
Alibris. It's a rich database of the used and rare inventory of book dealers all across the country. If you've given
up on a title you thought you'd never see again, hold out hope and click through to Alibris.

A plug for potatoes … In time for Thanksgiving, The U.S. Potato Board (one of my clients) has just launched
an online "
Healthy Mr. Potato Head Quarters." It's full of fun stuff, including e-greetings that let you substitute
your face for Healthy Mr. Potato Head's, puzzles, potato trivia and more. The HMPHQuarters comes to bricks-and-
mortar life in New York's food Mecca, Chelsea Market (9th Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets), Monday Nov.
20th through Friday Nov. 24th (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily). So if you're in NYC for Thanksgiving, stop by and watch
healthy potato recipe demos from famous chefs, see a state-of-the-art display of potato varieties, have your
photo taken with the HMPH costume character, and — near-and-dear to my heart (
here's why) — learn the Potato
Power! song and dance. On that Monday morning we're shutting down the street and inaugurating the HQ with a
hundred dancers performing Potato Power! And on Thanksgiving Day, Healthy Mr. Potato Head makes his
second appearance in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

What would the time line of your life look like? A relatively new Web site called "Dandelife" lets you find
out. I'm most fascinated by how it lets you create "stories" for moments in your life, which it then plots on a time
line, but it's also designed to be a social networking site for people to share their stories with others and invite
family and friends to view, contribute and link to their own time lines. I haven't played with it much yet, and its
user interface could user some help, but I can see kids intent on the social networking aspect of the Web getting
on board as well as an older audience (maybe the same sorts who are into scrapbooking?) checking it out.
Seems like it may have particular appeal to genealogists.

Wanna check out some "sides"? There's a whole generation that has no idea what I mean when I say that.
Jazz musicians used to invite one another over to their homes to "check out some sides," meaning listen to
records. That's back when recordings had "A" and "B" sides. Well, if they still did, here are the sides I'd invite
you over to hear these days ...
Corinne Bailey Rae, a sweet soul singer from the UK is the real deal. She puts real
emotion into a real groove and brings the best of an authentic soul sensibility up to date with contemporary but
restrained production techniques. I can't get enough of her emerging hit "Put Your Records On." Caught her
recently on Saturday Night Live and downloaded the single before her segment was over, I liked it so much.
Coincidentally, my friend Anne Phillips booked the extra musicians for Corinne's SNL appearance (trivia: among
them was
Ingrid Jensen, the trumpet player from my Potato Power! recording session) ...

Speaking of Anne, I've been wrapping myself up in her 1959 classic
"Born to be Blue" a lot lately. It's a "desert
island pick" and makes dictionaries everywhere kick themselves for not using it as their very definition of
"lush." This is what velvet would sound like if it had a broken heart …

In a completely different groove is
MarchFourth Marching Band. This isn't what you recall from your high school
half times. This is Cirque du Soleil gets funky. MFMB combines everything from hip hop to samba, New Orleans
second line to big band, and more. A little bit goes a long way, but when you listen, you'll definitely have a party
in your ears.

… and one for puppies. For another client, The Iams Company and its Eukanuba brand of customized nutrition
for dogs, I've recently been involved in the creation of a very cool program called "
Beauty of the Breeds."
Eukanuba is all about understanding, celebrating and serving the unique needs of individual breeds, so they've
launched this online photo/video contest inviting you to show them what's beautiful about your dog.

"The Illusionist" is worth a trip to the movie theater. One of three mainstream movies currently in release with
a magic theme (joining Woody Allen's "Scoop," and "The Prestige") — and the only one I've seen so far
manages to portray magic nicely and tell a great story at the same time. Paul Giamatti's James-Mason-like
reading of his police inspector character is a delight to watch, and the cinematography is excellent. What little
violence there is isn't extreme, romantic moments are discreet, and the plot twist, while anticipated by some, is
intelligent and rewarding, so it's a good movie for a wide range of watchers to enjoy. I particularly enjoyed the
on-screen recreation of a famous bit of 19th century magic originated by the French "Father of Modern Magic"
Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin: the blooming of an orange tree with real oranges, and the appearance of butterflies
carrying aloft a spectator's previously vanished handkerchief.

Evidently, more really is less. "The Paradox of Choice" by Barry Schwartz joins the burgeoning ranks of
popular books devoted to the psychology of happiness. It offers a compelling look at how the "culture of
abundance robs us of satisfaction." Drawing from numerous scientific studies, Schwartz explores the nature of
regret, how being required to give reasons for your choices changes the choices themselves and the world of
"maximizers" and "satificers."

"Music From the Inside Out" is a wonderful documentary about what music is and how it affects us featuring
performers from the Philadelphia Orchestra. I saw it at a limited run in New York City several months ago and it
is gradually making its way to other major cities now. National release is unlikely but fortunately a DVD is
available. I referred to it in my
commencement speech to VanderCook College of Music this summer and highly
recommend it.

I've got rhythm. Do you? I'm a drummer, so I'm supposed to, but I was intrigued to test myself against a free
interactive rhythm test. It's a simple 60-second test to see how well you can maintain a steady beat. I scored a
79.8 my first time. Tried it again and landed an 80.3. That's considered pretty good, but candidly, for a drummer I
was hoping for better. If you can hit your space bar you can take the test. Check it out.

Basically we don't have a clue In "Stumbling on Happiness" Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert brings an
incredibly entertaining writing style to the latest research on "the uniquely human ability to imagine the future,
and ... our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there." It's makes for fascinating reading.

Check out "Read and release" is a fascinating concept, perhaps even social experiment,
that encourages book lovers to put a bookcrossing label into a volume they've finished reading, leave it
somewhere public, then track its subsequent journey among those who find it (as long as they enter that book's
unique tracking code into the bookcrossing web site).

Any reason to listen to Bob Kindred is a good reason His new CD, "Live at Café Loup" has just been
released. Bob plays saxophone like a saint and a sinner and is one of my favorite musicians and people. He
gave me my first gig in New York and I want everyone I know to check out his music. The CD is so new it hasn't
hit his Web site yet, but it will shortly. I've heard it and it is sublime. Check it out,

Dick Cavett returns! Starting September 7, Turner Classic Movies will air classic Hollywood interviews from
Cavett's old talk show every Thursday night at 8 p.m. Eastern. They'll also broadcast a new Cavett special
interview with Mel Brooks. You gotta love the "thinking man's talk show host."

I'm ready for a Pink Martini PM blends elements of Cuban, classical, Brazilian and jazz idioms layered with
deliciously original lyrics. I bumped into them on a PBS fund-raising special recently and was transfixed. Very
fun, exciting and rich listening.

Idea Festival says it all Provocatively known as "IF," Idea Festival is an unusual conference hitting next
month in Louisville that caught my eye in a recent "Mental Floss" magazine ad. It is billed as "four days of
events plus a dizzying array of extraordinary thinkers." I won't make it, but it's worth knowing about. (Check out as well for a kitschy take on the sort of conversational knowledge you always wish you had at
cocktail parties.)
An archives of past front-page
fodder for a life of ideas
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