Detecting Future Earthquakes 

We had a full day at Versailles. Eliot’s photos of the gardens are below. We loved going there because we are currently watching “Versailles,” the Netflix series, and we wanted to see where all of the hanky-panky took place. Watch it at your own risk. The upside is that you do learn a lot of French history. My friend Bob follows the series by Googling names and places discussed in the script. He said it’s a fascinating way to learn what was happening in France at the time.

Meanwhile, I just learned that fiber optics, the type of cable that is providing the best  performance for data networking and telecommunications, can help detect earthquakes. 

A story in Engadget said that researchers have developed a technology “that detects seismic activity through jiggling in fiber optic lines. Laser interrogators watch for disturbances in the fiber and send information about the magnitude and direction of tremors. The system can not only detect different types of seismic waves (and thus determine the seriousness of the threat), but spot very minor or localized quakes that might otherwise go unnoticed.”  

The system is currently being tested in a three-mile loop around Stanford University. This is developing news, so I will be looking for more stories to update you all the time. 

Onto Versailles. Photos by: Eliot Hess 


Paris, Day One

We love to travel. In fact, right now we are in Paris because on Tuesday, the CES Show, the most famous in terms of innovation and size, is hosting an exhibition for tech start-ups. I wanted to attend the show, called CES Unveiled Paris, because by the time these companies arrive in the United States, some other PR agent has grabbed them up. 

CES hosts tech start up exhibitions all over the world, but this year the French are really flexing their muscles (how’s that for a pun) in tech innovation. A lot of French companies are getting involved in robots, augmented reality, the Internet of Things and drones.

We walked into the ground floor of LE BHV Marais, the world-famous department store, and the first thing we were greeted by was a robot. I’m sure I will be seeing more of this product at Unveiled Paris. 

We will all own robots one day.

The sign that explains why everyone needs to buy one.

It takes a while for folks to figure out what they are looking at.

I really went to the LE BHV Paris because I heard they opened an Anthropologie boutique on the first floor. Saw it, loved it. Not big enough for my buying habits. Most of my 35 kimonos come from Anthropologie. Yes, I counted. I’m obsessed with kimonos. I love being able to throw one on over TV shirts and jeans, and then being dressed up.

We walked all over Paris today thanks to my long time friend Bob Risse who lives here, South Beach, Rio, San Francisco and one other place I can’t remember. He rents out his homes as  Airbnbs so he just keeps piling the properties on. 

Bob, Eliot and I met in the early ‘90s. Bob had one of the first website building companies, and a few years later sold it to a travel company for millions. He has been traveling and buying real estate since. Tomorrow, we are visiting Versailles together.

We actually walked more but this is what was captured.

Celebrating the Olympics coming to Paris.

The Luxembourg Palace, built (1615–1645) to be the royal residence of the regent Marie de’ Medici, mother of Louis XIII of France

Bob is a selfie professional.

It doesn’t take much to get Bob to show off his tattoos.

Celebrating our 30 year friendship


The Fabulous Fiords 

The New York Times recently did a story on the Fiords of Norway. I was anxious to read it because we just came back from visiting the Fiords (or Fjords) in August. 

While the Times did a beautiful job in its description and photos, I wanted to add a few of my own thoughts, as well as Eliot Hess’s photography. It’s worth looking at because every time you look at the long, narrow inlets with the steep cliffs on either side, you see more beauty. It was all created by glacial erosions.

I’m a city kid never thinking that I could love nature so much. When we travel, I much prefer exploring villages, rural areas and topography that I have never laid eyes on before.
I found the Fiords in Norway to be so calming and peaceful that I wished we stayed there much longer. We actually got to stay at a quaint hotel in Lofthus, Norway, called the Ullensvang, that was nestled right next to a Fiord. There were times that you didn’t see another living soul for hours. That’s not how I want to live my life, but for a change, it was sheer joy.

Click here for New York Times story.

Photos by Eliot Hess starting with the second picture.

The Ullensvang, image from Google

Ruth Gruber 

What an emotional night. We went to see the movie and meet the filmmaker of “Ahead Of Time” at the Jewish Museum Of Florida. It was about the life of Ruth Gruber, (born in Brooklyn 1911 and died at 105) who became the youngest PhD in the world before going on to become an international foreign correspondent and photojournalist at the age 24. She became the eyes and conscience of the world for seven decades. 

I think one of the many amazing things about Ruth is that she never had formal training taking pictures. She just picked up the camera and started shooting. Her photos were published all over the world because of the images she captured. She never worried about the exposure.  Her job was to tell a story through pictures. Ruth went the distance to do that. 

Ruth Gruber at 100

Ruth as a photo journalist

Jewish Museum Of Florida

Susan Gladstone, director, Jewish Museum Of Florida

Patti Kenner, Ruth’s best friend

Indiegogo Adds Retailing 

Surprising news from the world of crowdfunding. Indiegogo, an international crowdfunding website that was founded in 2008,  has announced today that they are going into the retail business. Called “Indiegogo Marketplace,” the site will sell products that were crowdfunded on their site, as well as from other platforms.

If you think about it, it’s a natural progression. Many products that were successfully introduced can’t find retail distribution. Indiegogo will now provide them with a place to get started sales wise. I think this is very exciting. Startups will now get a terrific head start to see if the American public really wants their product.

Indiegogo will take between 10 percent, or 15 percent, of the sale price of the product. 

No word from Kickstarter so far, but friends close to the company say they are not interested in becoming a retailer on any level. 

I wonder how many of us will be buying product from Indiegogo in the future? 

“MeToo” Campaign 

For those of you who are not on social media, you must be wondering what the “MeToo” campaign is all about. Unless you are not watching the news on TV, or reading a newspaper, or even listening to a radio, you had to have heard about the social media campaign that is exposing just how rampant sexual assault and abuse has been for many years.

Millions of women have posted “MeToo” on Facebook or twitter to show the magnitude of all who have been sexually harassed or assaulted.  According to Ebony magazine, a female activist says she’s the original creator of the “MeToo” campaign that has taken over social media in the wake of sexual assault and harassment allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein.”

Tarana Burke, 44, says she “created the movement in 2007 to let young women of color who survive sexual assault know that they are not alone.” It was a catchphrase to be used from survivor to survivor to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible.”

Actress Alyssa Milano is being credited for turning the phrase into a viral hashtag campaign last Sunday. She also asked victims to share their stories with “#MeToo.” 

Since then millions of women have responded with their painful stories that have let others know they were not alone. It was very upsetting to see one post after another admitting the attacks that most women want to forget. 

I was surprised that so many women came forward. I am so proud of them. It took a lot of guts.








Snore While You Work   

I love to work in bed. This morning I wrote a new business proposal in the same spot where I slept the night before. I love it. I find it easier to think, create, and finish an assignment in one work session. The more relaxed I am, the better the results. 

Apparently, I’m not the only one who likes to work in a reclined position. A company named Altwork said they are getting a lot of demand for their innovative reclining desk-chair combo that is redefining the workspace. The price of this new type of workstation, $8,500, proves that people like to be comfortable when they need to be productive. You can buy an Altwork workstation right here.

You must watch the video to see this remarkable desk in action. 

The Altwork chair transitions from standing, to sitting, to the lying position. A large metal monitor mount adjusts for the optimal viewing experience. The desk uses magnets embedded in the desk so your computer or tablet stays in place. The desk also features a special affixed mouse pad, and wireless peripherals. 

Altwork declined to comment on how many units they sold, but a spokesman did say the sales numbers are better than they ever expected. 

Text-Based Clock

If you love to text, you should know about this clock. It tells you the time in words, just like a text. The time lights up to form a sentence that tells you the time in verbal terms. It’s really a lot of fun to watch.

The bright LED lights spell out the approximate time. Many people don’t care that it’s not precise.. They prefer the feeling of being texted. Many DigiDame readers feel more comfortable with a text, as opposed to a digital display. 

It’s really weird. Telling time has certainly followed the progression of trends in the tech world: analog, digital, and now texting. For people who love words,  this clock is definitely for  you.

 Fans can find it on Amazon for $89.98. 

Our friends Bob and Alfonso are getting Paris ready for us. This is just one of their several homes. Eliot and I will be in Paris from October 20 to 26. Lucky for us, we get to see our pals in South Beach and now Paris.