I had no idea what it was 12 months ago, but two unrelated friends — also first-time attendees — raved to me about it in the same week. Once I did the digging, it quickly became the event I most wanted to be part of.
Where else can you sit next to Yo-Yo Ma, Jeff Bezos, and the guys from MythBusters with the breathing room lost at the mega-conferences? Share drinks with the winners of Nobels, MacArthurs, Oscars, and Tonys without the pretension of a white-tie ball? Hang with Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs while listening to the world’s top dueling pianists?
Now I’m in the mix: I’m speaking on December 12th, most likely on accelerated learning and the quest for elegant skill acquisition.
Founded by Richard Saul Wurman, the mastermind behind TED, to recreate the dream conference, it hosts the most unusual and creative cross-section of inventors, entertainers, artists, scientists, rising stars and living national treasures you could ever imagine… Read More
Perhaps it was flipping a motorcycle at 90 mph on Infineon Raceway.
Perhaps it was tearing my Achilles tendon in jiu-jitsu practice, then getting thrown on my head.
Maybe having my scuba mask fill with blood at 120 feet underwater in Belize?
That could have done it.
Or perhaps is was just crossing the 30-year age threshold and having friends who didn’t make it. 9/11, suicide, accidents — bad things happen to good people.
I came to realize in 2007: it’s really not that hard to die. And that’s when I started thinking about storing my genetic material.
Yes, my little swimmies.
In this post I’ll talk about the process, how I did it, and why it’s cheap insurance in an unpredictable world. I’ll also throw in some curious details (sexy time!) just for entertainment… Read More
Who’s ready for the “most dangerous Bond ever filmed”? I’ve been waiting and waiting for this one.
Casino Royale was released on November 17, 2006. Nearly two years ago. For me, that’s when Bond was resurrected.
I’ve seen Casino Royale about 50 times. Yes, a wee bit crazy. I’m so psyched to see the new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, that I’ve partnered with my friends at American Apparel to get a theater for all you readers and Bond fans out there… Read More
Many a false step was made by standing still. -Fortune Cookie
Named must your fear be before banish it you can. -Yoda, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
Twenty feet and closing.
“Run! Ruuuuuuuuuun!” Hans didn’t speak Portuguese, but the meaning was clear enough—haul ass. His sneakers gripped firmly on the jagged rock, and he drove his chest forward towards 3,000 feet of nothing.
He held his breath on the final step, and the panic drove him to near unconsciousness. His vision blurred at the edges, closing to a single pin point of light, and then… he floated. The all-consuming celestial blue of the horizon hit his visual field an instant after he realized that the thermal updraft had caught him and the wings of the paraglider. Fear was behind him on the mountain top, and thousands of feet above the resplendent green rain forest and pristine white beaches of Copacabana, Hans Keeling had seen the light.
That was Sunday.
On Monday, Hans returned to his law office in Century City, Los Angeles’ posh corporate haven, and promptly handed in his three-week notice… Read More
“If the market felt fidgety, if people were scared or desperate, he [senior Salomon Brothers bond trader] herded them like sheep into a corner, then made them pay for their uncertainty.”
-Liar’s Poker, Chapter: A Brotherhood of Hoods
There were 4-6 screens per person, and chairs were lined up at a single 30-foot desk in hierarchical pecking order. Commands would come down the line and trades were made.
“Who the f*ck are you?” asked one of seniors, swiveling back to his glowing screens before I could answer.
It was my first time inside one of the largest investment banks on the planet, and I was just observing a friend in the hopes of learning something. Before I knew it, lunch had arrived and a 20-minute break was announced in a poetic slew of 4-letter words.
“Name a company.” It was a voice I didn’t recognize, but it was clearly directed at me.
“Uh… sorry. Excuse me?” I asked to the room and no one in particular.
“Name a company.”
“Any company — doesn’t matter.”
“OK. Ah… Genentech.” It was a shot in the dark with no rhyme nor reason.
“F*ck Genentech!!!” came the chorus.
“OK, we just sold 100,000 shares of Genentech. F*ck those guys. Lost a ton on them last week.”
100,000 shares of Genentech sold because a no-nothing guest had pulled the name out of thin air.
That was my introduction to how truly rigged the stock market is… Read More