Marc de Hond’s Journey

Marc de Hond, my 35-year old Dutch friend, just sent me a 20-minute documentary that he wrote, produced and directed about a friend he met when they both were in a rehabilitation center in Amsterdam 11 years earlier. Marc is paralyzed from the chest down. Thanks to his very capable arms and hands, he now lives an independent life. His friend Hans is severely injured and cannot feel anything from his neck down. They hadn’t seen each other in over a decade. Marc had often thought of Hans. The short film is about their reunion.

English subtitles are available by just clicking the CC (closed caption) on the bottom righthand side of the screen. Marc recorded this on an iPhone 5, a Canon EOS 600D (DSLR) camera with sound, a Zoom H1, a Sennheiser MKE 400, and a Rode VC1.

Marc had been a deejay for an Amsterdam radio station, the goalkeeper of his soccer team, and one of the youngest Internet millionaires in Amsterdam as of the sale of his company, Hatchoo, when he was 22. A few months after the sale, a tumor was discovered on Marc’s spinal cord. Despite a risky operation, the mass was successfully removed. During the first few hours after the surgery, the night nurse failed to check the incision and a serious bleed was not picked up in time. The results were disastrous. When Marc woke up the following morning, he was paralyzed from the chest down. Doctors told him he would never walk again. In the rehabilitation center, the staff tried to prepare him for a new life in a wheelchair. He refused to accept that diagnosis and was determined to walk again at all costs. After months of meditation, training, and perseverance, there were some signs of improvement but not enough to make him walk again. Marc will fill you in on the rest in the video.

In his book Perseverance (“Kracht in Dutch), Marc writes candidly about the impact of his paralysis, including on love, sex, and his sense of self-worth. Marc is a frequent TED speaker. I’ve known Marc for almost 30 years. His father Maurice was a client for many years and today remains a close friend.

StumbleUpon This

If you love the TED website and app because it introduces you to the “great thinkers” and “doers” around the world, then you are going to love StumbleUpon.

StumbleUpon is a very popular website and app that introduces you to great sites, videos and photos on the web. All you have to do is check off areas of interest and StumbleUpon will offer you amazing reading material you never would have found on your own. I don’t care how many times you “Googled” a particular topic, StumbleUpon digs deeper and more precisely.

I heard about this site years ago and never got around to trying it out. My girl friend, Julie Lesser, told me months ago that I was nuts because I wasn’t using StumbleUpon to scour the net for the most interesting information to impart for social media purposes. It was just one of those things that I never got around to doing, much like the stack of books that are waiting for me to read on my iPad.

I just started using StumbleUpon and I have become an addict.

You can access StumbleUpon on your computer or smartphone.

Look at the stories I found today.

FDA Approves Edible Digital Pills That Keep Track of Your Health | PCWorld

Lego Motorized Wheelchair Doubles as the Nerdiest Throne Ever | PCWorld

How To Develop A Photographic Memory

Ideas Worth Spreading

The best way to stay young is to keep living as if you have decades ahead to create and explore. In the age of some of the most amazing developments in technology, there is just no excuse not to keep your mind filled with exciting new ideas and the promise of new opportunities.

You can get that mental stimulation right from the comfort of your favorite chair even though my hope for you is that you get out and “kick some ass.”

Let me introduce you to TED. No, TED is not some young digital developer who is about to make billions because of his new invention. TED is a series of conferences held all over the world where some of the smartest people in their respective fields stand and deliver new ideas and concepts in an 18-minute forum. Some of the past speakers have been Bill Clinton, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and Nobel Prize winners.

I personally got involved with TED when my client Jill Tartar, Founder of the SETI Institute, was asked to speak at a TED conference. She was also presented with a $100,000 check for her work to explore, understand, and explain the origin, nature, and prevalence of life in the universe. Every year TED gives a check to one individual as part of their program to fund the “One Wish to Change the World.”

TED has existed since 1984 and stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. In recent years TED has morphed into a more positive “world changing” theme. It is owned by the private, non-profit Sapling Foundation. TED’s mission is to disseminate “Ideas worth spreading.” Hence, my headline. It was created by Richard Saul Wurman, an architect and graphic designer who coined the phrase “information architecture.”

Today you can be a TED fan by simply going to You can also find TED on YouTube, Netflix, iTunes Podcasts, iTunes, and on the TED Radio Hour on NPR. You can also watch TED on the go! A simple download of the TED application gives you access on an iPhone or iPad. Don’t have an iOS device? Google Plays allows you to access TED on Android devices, including the Sony Tablet P, and Amazon Apps allows you to download them to your Kindle Fire.

Here are some interesting TED talks

Regina Dugan: From mach-20 glider to humming bird drone

Neil Burgess: How your brain tells you where you are

Bill Gates on mosquitoes, malaria and education