Wednesday, December 05, 2007

From the Idea Consultants archives (1997-2000)

Whilst perusing the Wayback Machine, I ran across this early Projects Page from the original Idea Consultants dot com website:

Among the projects were these gems: - Arcturus was a friend and visionary in Hawaii whom I included just to help drive traffic his way.
These were the dotcoms I was in possession of, and had planned to develop, sell, or just hang on to:
Birdfinger - A rough approxomation to today's "The Onion", Birdfinger was certainly roadkill from 9/11 and BushWorld. In retrospect, it was quite prescient.
GeniusSearch - At Genius Search, we awarded the Genius prize to folks we had deserving. It is interesting to note that Flemming Funch was a winner in the year 1999. (He has been an active visionary since day one of the web.
CharlotteInternet - Sold this company to Scott Huffman of Webkorner, and would like to invite anyone and everyone to share the love.
JawwGraphics - The digital creations of Genius Search winner, Woodrow Williams.
EarMusic - Music Website.
TradeStreetJournal - This is currently a blog. DowJones challenged me on the domain name.
Brainchild Press - Educational materials for gifted children.
WorldsSexiest - A takefoff on America's Funniest. Was offered 750k, but stupidly turned it down. It wasn't even developed. Just the name. My luck.
IdeaManagement - Invented this in the mid-90s.
SeersCatalog - New Age Catalog.
ShadeWear - "Because the sun will burn you"
GrowLife - "Tobacco Farm Conversions: Changing Fields"
TheHomeLoaner - Woodrow Williams owned this one.
MajorAdvances - Keeping abreast of what's new and good.
SexyJets - Hot Jets for the Jet Set.
FloodMoney - A Charity geared toward helping the growing number of folks who wind up being inundated.
UpperClassifieds - Classified ads for the well-heeled
HighTextiles - "High Tech Styles" - My attempt to throw a lifeline to the Textile industry.
WritersCafe - A gathering for writers.
HDcableTV - High Definition Cable tv
OutreLimits - Idea from a friend.
FutureGoods - State-of-the-arts in good stuff.
TheFirstTrillionaire - An ongoing story.
People'sEmpire - Idea from a friend
VirtualBohemia - This was the name of my very first website, back in '94 or '95.
PeaceGoods - Self-explanatory
UnitedStatesOfEarth - Wound up being picked up by Comedy Channel. I have a knack for having ideas stolen. I'm generous.
eBiz Incubator - Business Incubator for ebiz
GreenWitchVillage - A play on Greenwich Village, but also a virtual community.
TofuChicken - My local Home Economist kade such good tofu chiecken, I bought the name. When I told them...they quit making it. I think they misunderstood.
4-MD - One of Woodrow's great purchases
LoanLow - Another
PeaceFutures - A complex idea on making Peace profitable.
Sharevenue - Revenue-sharing site.

These are the kinds of things you do when not fighting a war. Some of the domains are now elsewhere, and some are still available. Have at it.

OK. Back from Memory Lane...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ideas Aplenty at ConvergeSouth 2007

Every year, North Carolina celebrates ideas and the people who have them, and they call the celebration ConvergeSouth. If you are an idea person, a seer, a visionary, a creative, or a scholar...mark October on your calendar, and stick a pin in Greensboro. It's where you want to be.

HERE are some links to other links on the matter...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Help make NIH-funded research findings freely available to everyone!

Back in July, the House of Representatives passed a bill that requires all the NIH-funded research to be made freely available to the public within at most 12 months subsequent to publication.

The equivalent bill has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this summer and will be up for vote in the Senate very soon! In advance of this important vote, The Alliance for Taxpayer Access has issued a Call for action:

As the Senate considers Appropriations measures for the 2008 fiscal year this fall, please take a moment to remind your Senators of your strong support for public access to publicly funded research and - specifically - ensuring the success of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy by making deposit mandatory for researchers.

Earlier this summer, the House of Representatives passed legislation with language that directs the NIH to make this change ( The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar measure ( Now, as the Appropriations process moves forward, it is critically important that our Senators are reminded of the breadth and depth of support for enhanced public access to the results of NIH-funded research. Please take a moment to weigh in with your Senator now.

Read the rest for talking points and the contact information of your Senators, then do your part and contact them! And spread the word - by e-mail, posting on your blog or website, on forums and mailing lists. Let's get this bill passed this month and thus ensure that taxpayer-funded research is freely available to its funders - the taxpayers.

This needs to be done no later than Friday, September 28, 2007, when the bill is slated to appear in the Senate.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Science Blogging Conference - Registration is now open!

2008NCSBClogo200.pngLate last night we opened the registration for the 2nd Science Blogging Conference.

To register, go to the registration form and fill out the details.

To see who is already registered, go here.

If you will be here on Friday, January 18th and want to join us for dinner, add you name to this list.

If you are on Facebook, join the Conference Event and invite your friends. We will appreciate it if you could spread the word in whichever medium you are most comfortable - word of mouth, e-mail, online social networks, or your own blogs.

I know September 1st is a holiday, but opening the registration today will save our server as thousands of interested participants will spread themselves over a few days instead of all logging on at the same time ;-) This way, those of you who are perpetually online and get your information on blogs (and Facebook, etc.) will be able to get the first dibs, while the advertising for others will start on September 4th.

The wiki is ready for you to explore. The conference program is building up nicely - we secured some spectacular speakers and session leaders and are in negotiations with some others. Feel free to edit the bottom of that wiki page with your own ideas. Suggest a session and offer to lead it.

Of course, as the conference promises to be much bigger than last year (due to the media coverage after the first one - see this page for blog and media coverage) we need to cover the increased expenses (and provide food, swag, etc.), so if you and your organization are willing to be sponsors, please let us know.

And, we are planning to have the second Science Blogging Anthology released in time for the conference, so submit the best science posts written by you or by your favorite bloggers for our consideration.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Railroaded By The NC Railroad

Here's an idea: Stand up against corruption.

Are you being railroaded by the North Carolina Railroad? Click on the link to learn what can happen when the North Carolina Railroad Knocks On Your Door.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bora's interview with John Edwards

Don't miss Idea Consultant Bora's interview with John Edwards.


Q: If elected President, what can you do, and what you intend to do to reverse the anti-science trend seen in the USA over the past several years? What is your role as President to enhance public understanding of science and what can you do to ensure quality science education in all public schools in the country at all levels?

SEN EDWARDS: For the sake of our future, we need to start young. Our education system shortchanges the skills our children need for the future--math and science, creativity and critical thinking. Every day you can read reports about how we're falling behind in math and science--our 9th-graders are 18th in the world in science education. We need to invest in the next generation of math and science teachers for our schools. Ninety-five percent of urban high schools report problems getting qualified science teachers. We need higher pay for teachers, college loan forgiveness, and better teacher training programs.

We also need more kids going to college. I will create a national initiative called College for Everyone to pay one year of public-college tuition, fees, and books for more than 2 million students. If we are to compete in the new global economy we must emphasize science, engineering and other technical fields in our education system.

Q: In your opinion, what kind of healthcare system would be best poised to respond quickly and efficiently to threats such as avian flu or a bioterrorist attack, and what can a President do to enact such a radical change in the healthcare system?

SEN. EDWARDS: Right now, we are unprepared for a serious flu outbreak or bioterrorist attack. If such a crisis were to unfold--God forbid--think about what would happen. To start, some people may not even go to the hospital because they don't have health care. 45 million of us lack basic health care. Those who do go would probably go directly to emergency rooms, which are overcrowded and understaffed. Doctors and nurses in these emergency rooms are often forced to treat these patients without proper patient medical records because of our failure to switch to electronic medical records. Finally, it is possible for hundreds of people to be the victims of an outbreak or attack without anyone ever connecting the dots. Currently, it takes several days for the government to learn about two key factors in any disease outbreak: the progression of the disease through different communities and the availability of vaccine to respond to the disease.

There are some immediate steps we can take to ensure that we are prepared for an outbreak or an attack. First, we need to ensure that people are willing to seek health care if they are sick because they are not worried about paying the bills. Second, we need to bring information technology to our entire health care system so that doctors and nurses who are treating patients have adequate medical records. Third, we need to establish a real-time, unified national tracking system for diseases and for vaccines. Such a system will be easily accessible to public health officials so they can learn how a disease is moving and where to get vaccines.

It's critical that we maintain a health care safety net that includes public hospitals, clinics, and community health centers. Public hospitals are critical for the valuable trauma and emergency care needed to respond to a public health crisis or bioterrorist attack.

On the federal level, we need better coordination. Over 200 government offices are potentially involved in responding, and I'm concerned that there is not an adequate national plan for coordination and leadership in the event of an epidemic or attack. It is the federal government's duty to ensure adequate stockpiles of vaccines and antibiotics and to help state and local governments become better prepared for a bioterrorist attack. The federal government also has the responsibility for agricultural and food inspections, which is a critical part of preventing potential public health crises. These are all issues I worked on in the Senate.

Benny and Markos

Benny attended the Yearly Kos convention this weekend and you can read her thoughts at Benny's World.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Big Plans for NC (and Triangle) Blogging in the New Year

So, whats' cookin' in the local blogging world? Quite a lot, actually.

First, our little group, BlogTogether is growing, growing. Instead of being just a little Anton's sideproject, we are thinking of turning it into a non-profit organization - so if you have experience with founding non-profits please let us know ASAP.

Also, apart from Anton, several others (including myself) are now able to post there. This will make the blog much more active and interactive this year than it was ever before. We are also looking for a nice-looking logo for it so we can slap it on side-bars of all of our blogs. If you have talent, give it a try!

Second, we are much more ambitious with meet-ups this year. We plan on having, each month, one virtual meet-up (here). We'll continue with our regular two meet-ups (at Milltown at 6:30pm) where we sit down over coffee or beer and chat, usually starting with a particular topic (see here for some topics we are planning for February and March), before it becomes a free-for-all. Even if you are not a blogger - come by and within minutes you'll have a blog of your own as we'll help you set one up in minutes!

Once a month we'll have a more active meet-up, actually doing something fun for a change (and get our butts off the comfortable chairs). This month, we'll go bowling (hey, the place has wi-fi, so you can liveblog!). In the past, we've had between four and eight people normally showing up at meetups (unless a celebrity comes by - then everyone shows up). Let's try to have a greater attendance this year. After all, now that both Pandagon (with both Pam and Amanda living here) and Panda's Thumb are Triangle-based blogs (should our logo have a panda on it?!), the epicenter of power-blogging of the world is somewhere in the RTP area, I'd guess. So come by and meet the blogging stars!

We are already planning the second Science Blogging Conference (and the anthology to go with it) for early 2008!

In the meantime, think about joining us for the FoodBlogging series of events (if eating, drinking, eating, drinking and repeating it all over again can be called 'events') this summer. Sure, click on that link and salivate! What great places to eat and drink with fellow bloggers and blog about it!

Anton is hinting about some major activity on the StoryBlogging front this year as well.

And there are more ideas floating around (a design conference, perhaps an EduBlogging Conference, etc.)

Finally, and very importantly, the Tar Heel Tavern #102 will be hosted at Moomin Light this weekend. There is no theme, so send whatever you'd like to: songfinn AT yahoo DOT com by Saturday evening..

Once again, the Tavern was closed last weekend for the lack of a host. Will #102 be the last Tarheel Tavern? It's up to you - no one is signed up to host after this weekend. Do you want to host in the near future? Let us know. Do you want to get more involved in managing the carnival (as Laurie, Erin and I are both too busy with other stuff to do so full-time)? In any case, let us know at: coturnix AT gmail DOT com (me) or lponeill AT att DOT net (Laurie).

Friday, January 26, 2007

Microphilanthropy: Help Mike Young

Dear friends and readers,

I am trying to help my friend Carolyn pay the mounting bills, and ease the worry that comes with her philanthropy. They are only asking one or two dollars, but certainly if you can give more, I'm sure that would truly make their day. Lord knows they coul use some surprises...

I'll just let Mike share his story:

I'm Mike Young
I am 46 years old. I am Mentally Challenged because of a hunting accident when I was 14 years old. I was shot in the head
and spent over a year in the hospital. During my recovery I underwent many surgeries and rehabilitative therapies.

I have lived and been cared for by my Aunt Carolyn since 1995 and she does a GREAT job. My mom and dad passed away within months of each other. My mom, on her death bed asked her sister (Aunt Carolyn) to care for me before she died. Being close sisters and always there for each other my aunt Carolyn did not think twice about saying
yes. With hardly any financial support she has been taking care of me.


Please give what you can.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Science Blogging Anthology is here!

The first of its kind, phenomenal, unbelievable collection of the best science blogging in history has just been published!

Timed to coincide with the first Science Blogging Conference, this anthology of best 50 blog posts from science and medical blogs is now available for sale. You can find all the information about the book, including the blog-typical democratic process of choosing 50 best posts of all time, at this URL

I would really appreciate it if you could steer your readers towards it!

You can buy the book here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Science Blogging Conference Update

NCSBClogo175.pngThe conference is only 19 days from today! It's getting really exciting!

The program is shaping really well:

On Thursday (January 18th) we will have a teach-in session. About 20 people have signed up so far. We'll use Wordpress to help them start their own blogs, so I'll have to make one of my own in advance and play around to figure out the platform before I teach others.

On Friday (January 19th), we'll have dinner and all the bloggers present will read their posts. We have not decided on the place yet, but perhaps a site that has wifi, or a screen and a projector would be good as the posts can be seen as well as heard.

On Saturday (January 20th), we'll have a busy program. We have two speakers: a scientist - Hunt Willard (director of the Duke Insitute for Genome Sciences & Policy) and a science blogger - Janet Stemwedel (Adventures in Ethics And Science).

Then, we'll have four (or five) break-out sessions in an Unconference format - the participants take the lead and the leaders guide and moderate.

We decided not to have these sessions cover different areas of science, but different ways blogs, podcasts and other internet technologies can be used: a) research (e.g., using a blog as a public lab-notebook, online publishing), b) teaching (using the online technologies in the classroom), c) popularization of science (how to blog well, including the importance of visual props - illustration) and d) informing the public (e.g., public health, medicine, countering un-scientific forces in the society, etc. perhaps broken into wo sessions: one on science, one on medicine and public health). We have lined up four excellent people to moderate these sessions (not everything is on the wiki-page yet but will be soon).

Afterwards, we will go to dinner. If you have registered already, or plan to register soon, please do not forget to sign up for one of the dinners. Just edit the wiki and enter your name where you want.

At this moment we have 109 people registered for the conference. Some locals will probably sign up at the last minute. Some of the people coming from very far away may still be waiting for good deals on plane tickets before they sign up. If you are considering this, it would be good if you could sign up as soon as possible so we have a good idea how many people to plan for in terms of space, food, swag, etc.

If you browse through the list of registrants, you will see what a great diversity of people there will be, a potential for cross-fertilization leading to high hybrid vigor! There are people from four continents coming to Chapel Hill in January to meet with us, as well as people from a number of States. There are science, medical and technology bloggers, web-designers, research scientists working in academia, government and industry, physicians, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students, even high school students. There will be editors of science and medical journals and magazines, journalism professors and students, local journalists, and science writers. There will be science teachers at all levels - elementary, middle, high school and college. There will be local elected officials, and staff of state departments. And, I hope, you will be there as well!

We have attracted quite a lot of cool sponsors for the conference, so you can excpect some really good stuff in your swag bags! Still, both Anton and I are quite bad at begging for money. We do need a little bit more - can you or your organization be a sponsor, or donor, or host? If so, let Anton know as soon as possible.

And we may just be able to pull it off to have the Anthology ready to be distributed at the conference.

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