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One of the things that energizes me is seeing examples of ingenuity within everyday life. 

I felt that way after seeing this Wall Street Journal video highlighting a relatively simple but brilliant way to cost-effectively expand mass transit along congested highways.


Think about that: Without building new highways, subways or elevated tracks, someone curious — and that's a key word — peered into thin air, imagined for a long time and ... shazam! ... envisioned a commuter train that moves above existing highways. Genius! You can bet that China, a nation with global aspirations and massive gridlock, will take this idea to fruition. 

Minutes later, I watched this Wall Street Journal video, which carried a similar theme: 

Again, we have an example of someone curious taking a long look at the status quo and giving it a sharp twist. This electromagnetic gun is fascinating in that it may revolutionize relatively ancient technology — while still using old technology! 

Both are examples of ingenuity and curiosity at its best. Bright minds often do their best work by daydreaming first, sorting through hundreds and thousands of crazy ideas, then winnowing down to the few that might be magic. And, if need be, repeating that process over and over. 

Sadly, too few of us take make the time for strategic daydreaming, thinking it's wasteful when there is money to be made now, numbers to hit now, others to please now. You could say we're no different than the Chinese commuters stuck in congestion. At some point — now, tomorrow or next year — an offramp to somewhere else may be the more rewarding path. 


Shiny Objects — No. 8

1. Deutschland83

Sundance TV is the place to see this terrific German-language series set in Cold War 1983. Jonas Nay is the charming star of this multi-layered spy story set in East and West Germany amid intense threat of nuclear war. There are all kinds of plot twists and switchbacks that will keep you guessing. The series — which Grantland’s Andy Greenwald has proclaimed the best TV series of the summer — is five episodes into an eight-episode run (at least for the first season).Underlying the storylines is the penetration of synthpop into pop culture at that time, and listeners my age will fondly remember some of those songs (including “99 Luftballons”). There’s a great scene where Nay’s character — who grew up insulated from progress in East Germany — discovers the joys of

Click to read more ...


Shiny Objects — No. 7

Once again, long time between installments. All I can say is I have never been busier with family, work and school. But here are a few things that have caught my attention since our last visit -- and you shouldn’t be surprised that music is the constant that keeps me going in these long periods between posts.

1. “Play On: Power Pop Heroes, Vol. 1 and 2”

Author/musician Ken Sharp has released the first two installments of a planned three-volume history of power pop music. I’ve finished the 520-page Volume 1, which covers the mid-1960s to 1974 and am a third through the beastly 772-page Volume 2, which covers the golden age of power pop, from the mid-1970s through mid-1980s. For afficionados of power pop, this is heaven.

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Shiny Objects -- No. 6

Yeah, I know I've been lax in posting. Life has just been crazy busy. All apologies. Here's just a taste of all that's been consuming me. 

1. Snizl

TBC Media and The Bakersfield Californian is partnering with British app maker Snizl to offer Bakersfield real-time deals and events listings.

The Snizl app (details on how to download for iOS and Android here) allows you to take advantage of last-minute deals on the go. And if you’re a business owner or event organizer, you can publicize you event for as little as $10.


2. “High Stakes & Dangerous Men: The UFO Story

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My stint on Bako Motorsports Power Hour

I appeared last week on the Bako Motorsports Power Hour for a short segment with host Louis Amestoy, who grilled me with "5 things that Logan Molen has to react to!" Thankfully, all were racing related, and I embarrassed myself only once. 

For better or worse, here's the clip.