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.

 

 

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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. 
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Look Ma, No Hands 

As much as I like to eat, I completely lose my appetite when I see a public salad bar. I get nauseous when I witness someone picking an olive, or a tomato, from the salad and then putting it directly in their mouth. Gross. 

I picture another person sneezing on the salad when no one is looking. I also imagine people touching the salad with their dirty hands. Ugh.

Chowbotics to the rescue. A Silicon Valley start-up, called Chowbotics, has developed a salad bowl robot that will  assemble salads out of precut vegetables stored in refrigerated canisters. Chowbotics hopes to reduce the risk of bacteria and debris in salads by using robots to prepare and serve to the public. 

Called Sally, the robot is designed to prepare food in restaurants, cafeterias and hotels, as well as food courts in airports, malls and hospitals. Sally uses 20 different food canisters to prepare and serve more than 1,000 different types of salads.

Sally is ready for distribution.

More in the New York Times 

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Experiencing A New Dimension     

I’m not a person who gravitates to roller coasters, ferris wheels, bungee jumps, or ziplines. I can barely go to the edge of my condo’s balcony, 36 stories up. 

I have no idea what possessed me to try the virtual reality headset that was being offered at a recent Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce real estate meeting. Thanks to sponsor Hotwire Communications, a fiber optics telecommunications provider, the Oculus Rift virtual reality system was available for a demonstration.

Virtual reality (VR) is a computer technology that completely immerses you inside a virtual world. Oculus Rift uses a virtual reality headset that  superimposes a computer-generated image right in front of your eyes.

Once you put the headset on you are basically in a different world. You intellectually know that your two feet are on the ground, but you feel the full impact of the virtual world in front of you. Hotwire’s VR journey featured a walk through a new luxury apartment. 

I got lucky. I could have put on a VR headset that had me jumping out of a plane or skiing down a 2,000 foot slope. Walking from room to room in the luxe apartment was challenging enough. I felt off balance and slightly dizzy. Every time I took a step, I couldn’t tell the difference between the VR environment and where I was actually standing,

Eliot, on the other hand, had no trouble at all. In fact, he wanted more action. He would love to experience what it’s like to float in air or rocket to the moon. 

I hope you all get to try a VR experience really soon. Start with an easy one first, and then advance from there. Don’t pretend to be brave. You may find yourself screaming for your mother.

Good luck 

 

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Pull Strings 

I had to “pull strings” to show you these treasures. Eliot and I discovered them when we were visiting the SoHo, NYC, loft of Allen Hirsch, an artist, sculptor, and creator of HandL phone cases. Allen only wants me to promote his phone cases, so I had to convince him to let me show you a few of his paintings that feature a totally new technique. You are going to think I’m fooling you. 

These are paintings on strings. Yes, the strings contain the paint, not the canvas. One looks at, and through, the image at the same time. You really can’t tell if the paint is on the string, or on the canvas. Allen laughs when I question him if this is a magic trick. The strings of color achieve an image that you just can’t stop looking at. 

A new visual space is achieved by the fact that the viewer needs to change the focal point from the strings to the image within. This new technique of painting ties together many of Allen’s artistic interests over the past 20 years. 

We thought they were magical. Allen’s new line of luxury HandL phone cases are going to be quite unique too. There is nothing like them on the marketplace. I will be showing them to you soon. Enjoy! 

 

Is It A Religion Or A Disease? A Psychiatrist Calls It Audiophilia  

I was there in the early days of hi-fi. I watched many audiophile writers sit in the middle of a sound room at trade shows or audio salons, close their eyes, and listen to music. Sometimes, they didn’t move for an hour or so. I used to wonder if they were sleeping, or seriously listening to the sounds. 

The audio writers back then loved all of the stereo equipment as much as they loved any treasure. Franklin Karp of Audio Video Systems, emailed me this BBC film today. It’s all about audiophiles in 1959, with tongue-in-cheek humor. 

Critics call it a masterpiece. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It brought back so many memories.
Here it is.

This is dedicated to the audiophile writers who started it all. I will be adding to the list as other audio industry folks remind me of those I missed. 
Harry Pearson • J. Gordon Holt • Julian Hirsch • Hans Fantel • Len Feldman• Larry Archibald • Gordon Sell • Bob Angus • Barney Pisha • Larry Klein • Gene Pitts • Michael Riggs • Ivan Berger • Lance Braithwaite • David Ranada • Peter Dobbin • Ed Foster • Peter Michell • John Atkinson • Robert Harley • Anthony Cordesman, • Dan Kumin •

 
Read the What’s Hi-Fi article that covered the film

The Future Of Photography   

Every time Eliot and I travel, or go some place interesting, he packs a knapsack filled with heavy camera equipment to take with us. As each year passes, I worry how he manages to lug all that stuff.

That’s why I was particularly interested in a new camera called “Light” that is supposed to go on sale this week. Two of my tech friends told me about it. It sounds fabulous for a novice like me, but I wish Eliot would consider it. 

For $1,950, the new “Light” camera weighs less than a pound, fits in your back pocket, has 16 lenses and sensors that can capture a 52-megapixel shot. While I know very little about camera technology, I am told that amount of pixels give you a super detailed photo. Most cameras only offer 12 megapixels. 

One thing I do know about is having a great zoom lens. I love being able to zoom in on things from blocks away. The optical zoom on “Light” captures  objects five times closer and gives you lots of focus options.

I wanted to know more about this camera so I googled it. The Wall Street Journal had the best review. All the details are covered by expert Geoffrey Flowler.

My Body In 3D

The thought that someone other than myself has an outline of my body parts is just the incentive I need to go on a drastic diet. I am sure there are other people who feel the same way.  We all have to get use to having merchants who know us up-close and personal. That is the digital future.

Amazon just bought Body Labs. It’s a 3D scanning platform that will measure your size and then create an avatar-like image of your  dimensions. This all fits beautifully with Amazon’s “try before you buy” Prime Wardrobe service. This subscription based program will allow Prime members to order (and try on) from three to 15 items of clothing before they actually buy any of them.    

The whole idea is to cut back on returns. Get the size right that first time. Let me know your thoughts on this.