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Trip of a Lifetime: Prize Ideas

January 23, 2010

Handstands on the beach, originally uploaded by Outdoorsie.

The following is a post by Taylor Conroy, which I thought I would share on my blog as well:

HEY!  Do you know Dane Low from Vic ?  He and I are organizing a killer contest (based on raising cash for charities) and just need to find out what we should offer as the GRAND PRIZE for the 15 winners.  We have it narrowed down the potential prize to 5 juicers…

What we need from YOU: If you were one of the 15 winners… tell us which prize would you want to get????

1) Sun, Surf and Friends in Indonesia
You, me, and the 14 other winners fly to Indonesia together, stay in beach bungalows WAY away from the tourist areas.  We surf, fish, explore, tan, swim, scooter, and lap up life for 7 days and 7 nights.  You are MORE than welcome to stay longer if you want!  Your flight and accommodation for the week are all paid for.

2) Luxury in Spain

The 16 of us fly to the party capital of the world, Ibiza, and set up camp in our home away from home (which will look something like this) . We sun tan, explore the island, eat unreal food, and do a tiny tiny bit of partying at night…. and by “tiny tiny bit”, I mean that we party at the world’s best night clubs with the world’s best DJs.  Ibiza is world renowned for it’s parties, and the villas are second to none.  Your flight and the villa are paid for… how much you spend aside from that is up to you.

3) All-inclusive in gorgeous Mexico
You eat well, you drink lots, you party too much, and you get a brutal sunburn when you pass out by the pool all day (oh wait… that’s me).  This is a week of 16 awesome people getting pampered and living the life.  It can be relaxing or can be an assault on your liver.  All I know is that you can’t go wrong when all you need is a pink bracelet to get you anything you want :)

4) Volunteerism abroad
A week building schools, and creating epic memories through the Free The Children foundation.  This is the organization I visited in February (see my facebook album for wicked pics ), in Kenya, and it is UNBELIEVABLE.  The impact they have made is incredible, and their administration costs are stupendously low.  The airfare and accommodation would be on us, and other expenses would be minimal.  Such a cool way to spend a holiday.

5) Your custom trip
This is a trip all about YOU, and what YOU want to do.  We simply buy you an open ended ticket around the world and fill your pockets full of spending money.  That way, if you want to go to Thailand, lay on a beach, and read all day… you can.  If you want to go to Buenos Aires and tango your ass off… you can.  If you want to do some volunteer style stuff in Africa… you can… OR you can do all 3.  The departure and return dates are all up to you, so do what you want.  $1000 spending money included.

SO!  Which would (will) you choose???  Thanks in advance!!!!  We will put all info on the contest on this blog.  You can keep an eye on it by clicking to subscribe at the top of this page.

Is there a trip that you think would be a better prize???  We would love to hear it.  Comment below.

2010 Olympic Torch Bearer – Sunday, February 7th

January 10, 2010

Torch Bearer, originally uploaded by thebringer.

Recently I found out that I was nominated to carry the torch to represent Cactus Club Cafe as their official Olympic torch bearer. I am extremely excited and proud to be able to participate in the relay.  Yesterday I got a box from Purolator with all of the goodies. I made a short video for those interested in what each torch bearer receives for their leg of the relay:

If you are free Sunday, February 7th, I would be honored if you joined me in the magnificent countryside of Chilliwack.

Deets:

Date: Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Approximate start time: 12:22 PM, PST

Starting location: 50374

Finishing location: 50230

Approximate length: 300 m

Torchbearer number: OTR101-044 (Look for this number on the route marker)

Torch Bearer

I’ve always wanted a reason to do this, so here is a Google Street view of the route:

For any questions/general information about the torch relay visit here.

Analysis Paralysis: A Lesson in Getting Started

January 5, 2010

How often are great projects or ideas left to die as a sketch on a napkin because of over-analysis of the possible outcomes?

In October of 2007, inspired by Tim Ferriss’ Literacy Liberation campaign , I started raising money for a preschool in Vietnam.  I used Tim’s model of Firstgiving as the donation page and Room to Read as the charity. At the time, Facebook “groups” were huge and some of the largest were ones for charitable causes (e.g. Monks in Burma). However, with massive numbers of supporters (upwards of 1,000,000 at the time), very few tangible results were being produced.

That was my goal: To create a Facebook group whose entire purpose was to produce something tangible – a preschool in Vietnam.

I learned many things during this project – about myself, about fund raising, about creating community.  One lesson has resonated with me the most: Get started. You can over-analyze these kinds of projects to the point where they do not happen at all. “What will people think of me?” “What if I do not reach my goal?” This type of thinking is affectionately referred to as “Analysis Paralysis”. The easiest way to approach a problem that appears too large is to ask yourself, “What is the next step that I need to be taking?” and not burning yourself out by thinking too far into the future. I had the pleasant experience of meeting extremely kind people whose generosity, either through donations or through support, I had not anticipated when planning starting this project.  You will, too.

Here is a short video I made reflecting on the project and the subsequent visit to the school:

For those wanting to see the rest of the pictures of the visit, they are here on Flickr.

This experience has exceeded my expectations in nearly every aspect. An exciting way to wrap up was to have this project featured on Tim Ferriss’ blog as a case study for the “future of giving back and karmic capitalism” and acknowledged by Room to Read and John Wood.

What projects have you been putting off that you could get started in 2010?

Laptops in Class: Good or Evil?

June 1, 2009
Flickr Photo Credit: John Conners

Flickr Photo Credit: John Conners

(This post was written with my experience with the Bachelor of Commerce program at the University of Victoria)

With the advent of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, it seems universities are defaulting to laptop bans instead of embracing the technology. The reality of laptops in the classroom affects three parties: the student using the laptop, the student’s classmates, and the professor teaching the class. Let’s look at the weaknesses in the common arguments for a laptop ban in each category:

1. The student using the laptop:

Argument: Laptops will distract the students

An argument against students using laptops is that it will distract them from the lecture. Ergo, removing the laptops will engage the classroom. This view is wrong for two reasons: laptops do not cause distractions, and distractions are good to have in the classroom. Read more…

Stop Motion Photography Remix

May 13, 2009

(Music credit: MGMT, Soulwax)

This is an attempt at stop motion photography.  It was shot with a Nikon D80, SB600 speed-light, a tripod and edited in iMovie ’09.  I have been wanting to try a stop-motion film ever since seeing “starwars v startrek” by the lichtfaktor crew.  This crew also inspired several attempts at “light graffiti“.

6 Ways to Indulge Your TED Talks Addiction (Edit: TEDx)

May 11, 2009
Photo credit: Jurvetson on Flickr

Photo credit: Jurvetson on Flickr

Edit: The curator of TED, Chris Anderson, kindly tweeted about what he would like to see in this article.  The changes have been added.

The conference, TED Talks, has been attracting significant mainstream attention, since 2007, TED.com offered videos of the lectures for viewers to stream.  TED’s success is a good example that is counter intuitive to traditional ways of doing business: giving away information can actually increase revenue.

If you have landed on this article and haven’t watched any TED Talks:

1. Open the TED Talks list in a new window

2. Watch several of these talks (currently 442)

3. Finish reading this article.

For those of you who have fully embraced your addiction to TED, and are looking for more TED, here is a list of things you can do: Read more…

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