Sunday, June 27, 2010

Frank Shamrock retires from American mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting

Frank Shamrock (Frank Alisio Juarez III) announced he's retiring from American mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting at at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum Saturday at HP Pavilion.

Frank Shamrock is the four-time defending, undefeated MMA champion and a 7th degree black belt in something called "Submission Fighting," which is a type of wrestling sport.

Shamrock's four time title defense included some memorably brutal battles, like the one against Igor Zinoviev in 1998 that ended in a knockout. It was called the most violent slam in Ultimate Fighting Championship history. (Warning, the video is violent.)

Shamrock stopped UFC fighting in 1999 after what's considered to be the one of the greatest fights in UFC history against Tito Ortiz. After that fight, Frank Shamrock was considered the greatest ultimate fighter in history.

After a brief stint as an actor, Shamrock returned to fighting in 2001 and had a number of memorable bouts through 2009, when he was defeated by TKO by Nick Diaz.

Shamrock lives in San Jose

Frank Shamrock lives in San Jose, California with his wife Amy and daughter Nicolette. His official website is at

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cystic Fibrosis life expectancy longer than most thought

Diet is one big reason 
Cystic Fibrosis is at the top of search trends Thursday because it was found that the disease, in which the person suffering from it develops an ulcer in the pancreas, can be managed due to advances in treatment. Those advances have caused a larger group of people to live past age 40. 30,000 Americans and 70,000 people around the World have Cystic Fibrosis as of this writing.

According to the Associated Press, Cystic Fibrosis treatment include inhaled medications and a chest - vibrating vest to clear airway clogs. The Cystic Fibrosis disease causes a mucus to build up in the lungs, clogging them and leading to life-threatening infections. That same mucus also clogs the pancreas so the body can't properly digest food.

Cystic Fibrosis generally showed up in kids, who didn't make it to become adults. But what's happening now is that Cystic Fibrosis is showing up in people later in life. What's found is that proper care leads to longer life, but there's something the AP article does not address.

The impact of the non-smoking movement

Not discussed is the impact of the non-smoking movement on Cystic Fibrosis patients. It's wildly known that smoking can harm Cystic Fibrosis patients, but not talked about is the impact of the non-smoking movement and the attack on the spread of second-hand smoke.

Also not considered is the impact of the diet and vitamins movement. Also, exercise is an important consideration. Why those factors aren't mentioned in the AP article is a head-scratcher.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice 2010: first day of summer roundup

Today is Summer Solstice 2010, the first day of summer. According to Wikipedia, Summer Solstice, or the "first day of summer," is "when the Earth's axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'." It's the longest day of the year, with the shortest night, and thus the best reason to have a round up of what's happening. So, picking through the national and local issues and trends...

Oakland, CA

Oakland Police, who have gone without a cost-of-living adjustment for four years, are bracing for job cuts as the Oakland City Council sends signals that it is considering eliminating up to 200 jobs. Some officers say that they've given quite enough in adjustments and feel like they're being used as political footballs while the Oakland City Council tries to look like it can make tough decisions.

The best move for the Oakland City Council is to cut pay temporarily rather than jobs, as many officers would rather have a brief pay hit than a job elimination. Whatever the decision, the City Council should do it and communicate to police that they're more than valued, as many officers don't get that message.

Alameda, CA

Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant is under heavy fire for a consistent practice of hiring out of town contractors for work. According to The Island, Gallant ignored a local black financial advisor, Lonnie Odom, president of Stinson Securities LLC, and selected a firm, Westhoff, Cone & Holmstedt, that includes a person Gallant worked with when that person was with another firm, Westhoff-Martin and Associates, and Gallant worked in another city. Gallant selected Westhoff, Cone & Holmstedt without a competitive bid. The job is to have an underwriter for public infrastructure refinancing bonds.

From my experience in the Oakland Mayor's Office, that work is commonly subject to competitive bid because the bond dollar amounts are so large, generally in the millions and in some cases billions, no one in city government wants to be accused of favoritism or racism. Gallant is dealing with both perceptions. Given her years of experience, it's shocking for Gallant to take such a brazen action and doesn't say much good about her style or intent. If Gallant's not careful, the Summer Solstice could mark the beginning of the end of her employment with the City of Alameda.

Atlanta, GA

The sad top story at The Atlanta Journal Constitution is of Christa Scott, a 26-year old Midtown club employee, who left work with a blood-alcohol level of .229, three times the legal limit and up there in Chris Klein-territory, and smashed into a car driven by Jordan Griner, an intern for Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. Scott ran a red light and hit Griner's driver's side door. He died at Grady Memorial Hospital.

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, portrayed as Godzilla on The Wall SF Forum, has floated a proposal to merge the San Francisco Police Department with the Sheriff's Department and placing control in the hands of the elected sheriff, thus eliminating the position of Chief of Police, and with it George Gasćon. Chris Daly needs six votes from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to get the proposal on the November ballot. Let's see if he gets them this summer.

More later...stay tuned.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

World Cup Soccer 2010: few TV watching chances in Oakland, CA

For all of its claims to be moving ahead as a city, Oakland, California is still light years behind it's neighbor, San Francisco, and other cities like Atlanta and Seattle in World Cup Soccer viewing opportunities.

If you don't have a television or happen to live with roommates who don't care about World Cup Soccer 2010 (boring people they must be), you're almost out of luck in Oakland.

There are only eight establishments showing World Cup Soccer, and spread out between North Oakland and the Claremont District of the Central Oakland Hills. The one I most recommend is Barclay's at 5940 College Avenue.

Why this blog post? I just got this email:

Hi there,

I just came across your video shot right after the game on Friday, and I noticed you were in Oakland. I'm originally from Germany (another lucky team that day...), and none of my roommates give a damn about the World Cup, so I was hoping you could point me in the right direction, as to where in Oakland one can watch the games, both, USA and Germany, that early in the morning.

Name not published

Oh if you're wondering what game, this game's outcome:

San Francisco has scores of World Cup Soccer viewing places

San Francisco's unique brand of urban party town is such that you can see The World Cup matches at cafes like The Steps of Rome in North Beach, or bars like Kesar on the corner of Cole and Stanyan. Why, the City and County of San Francisco even had a live broadcast of the France v. Mexico match in the middle of City Hall Plaza on Friday!

Seattle is mad for World Cup Soccer

Seattle, a city that has a professional soccer team, is teaming with places to watch World Cup Soccer. So many that Seattle Weekly has a directory of them. From The George and Dragon Pub to Azzurri and scores of other establishments, you can't miss a chance to watch World Cup Soccer with others in Seattle.

Atlanta has events around World Cup Scocer

The Atlanta International Soccer Fest, a giant contest featuring 20 teams representing international organizations based in Atlanta, was timed with the start of World Cup Soccer. And bars from downtown to Buckhead have World Cup Soccer viewing parties and special times.

Oakland must wake up to The World Cup

What does Oakland have? Well, a lot less. I have a television set and a good one, but it's fun to watch the World Cup with others. My good friends invited me to watch the epic USA v. Slovenia match in San Francisco at The Steps of Rome, but as I needed a day close to home, I elected to stay in Oakland.

Then I got the urge to go out and see it, really to capture how others were reacting to it on video, only to learn the hard way that in Adams Point, no bar or cafe had World Cup Soccer. The one place I'd expect to have a morning game, the bar Smitty's at 3331 Grand Avenue, had some guy watching it for himself behind a looked screen door and saying to me "we're closed." I didn't want to drive all the way over to Rockridge because there wasn't enough time left in the game.

So I went to the gym, Gold's Gym, to watch it. But by then it was over. No talk. No anger expressed by patrons other than me. Nothing.

Meanwhile, my friends in San Francisco were calling and texting me about the World Cup Soccer game.

For a city that tried to bid to host the World Cup, you'd think it would be easy to find places showing it in Oakland. It's not so easy but as I wrote, there are eight places showing the World Cup matches on a regular basis in Oakland.

The first place you should go is Barclay's at 5940 College Avenue in Oakland's Rockridge District and just up the street from Rockridge BART, as they have a great soccer crowd. Their website reports they will be open for all games at 6:30 AM.

Oakland North's Jill Replogle wrote a great, if not widely seen, article on this subject, and unearthed a few more Oakland places showing the World Cup games, but not all on a regular basis (she recommends you call first). They are:

Commonwealth Café and Public House at 28th and Telegraph Ave
Oasis Food Market on 30th and Telegraph
Kerry House on Piedmont near 41st
Dareye Hide A Way Ethiopian Restaurant: 6430 Telegraph Ave.
The Grand Tavern: 3601 Grand Ave (way up the street from Smitty's)
Luka’s Taproom & Lounge: 2221 Broadway
McNally Irish Pub: 5352 College Ave.
La Calaca Loca: 5199 Telegraph Ave.

But that's still a small number compared to the places in Oakland that should be showing the game. First, as much as I love the place, it's a total shame The Lake Chalet doesn't have a television set, and two TVs hanging iconically near the two ends of that long bar, to watch the World Cup matches would be perfect to draw crowds. Crogan's in Montclair should be showing all the World Cup matches. The Oakland Marriott downtown should have viewing parties. Max's City Center should open early for the games. Pican just next to Luka's has great TV sets and should show all of the World Cup matches.

Come on Oakland! Get with it! I don't care that you don't want to be known as a sports bar, and such concerns are for neurotics anyway. The World Cup is once every four years! Mayor Ron Dellums should get his head out of where ever it is and open Oakland's City Hall Plaza for a World Cup viewing party.

This is awful. This town needs an enema, and fast before The World Cup is over!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Social Networking is really Social Broadcasting

Social Broadcasting
OK. To the view of this blogger, the term "Social Networking" is not only inappropriate, it's illogical. The correct term is really "Social Broadcasting" and if more people thought that way, they would understand how media has really changed over the last two decades and how to take advantage of the tools available to them.

Two events led to the use of the term Social Broadcasting for this blogger. First, on April 10, 2008, James Earl Buck used Twitter to get out of an Egyptian jail. What happened was that Buck, a University of California at Berkeley, or "Cal student", was in Mahalla, Egypt reportedly covering an anti-government protest when he and his colleague Mohammed Maree were arrested.

While being transported to jail, James Earl Buck used his cell phone to send a message that read "Arrested." (If it were me, I'd have sent a tweet rather than a message.) Eventually, bloggers and friends at Cal and around the World were activated. They got him a lawyer, and got him out of jail.

The second event is that a number of people, generally over 40 or 50 years of age, and for the most part in the advertising industry, ask why they should "do" social networking. They want to know why they should connect with people they do not know.

On Linkedin, the busines-oriented social broadcasting system, that question comes up so frequently it's become annoying. I give the same answer all the time: to get out a message. That's when I realized the reason many don't do social networking is because the very term itself is misleading. It's social broadcasting.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of "Broadcasting" is:

"..the distribution of audio and/or video signals which transmit programs to an audience. The audience may be the general public or a relatively large subset of the whole, such as children or young adults."

But that definition is outdated because it implies the use of electronic communications as practiced in the 20th Century with television and radio. The Internet changed all that, as websites and blogs, and mobile devices allow us to send text messages.

So, to that old definition of "broadcasting" one only has to add the word "text" to understand my point, so the definition now looks like this;

"..the distribution of text, audio and/or video signals which transmit programs to an audience. The audience may be the general public or a relatively large subset of the whole, such as children or young adults."

Think about that: "The audience may be the general public or a relatively large subset of the whole, such as children or young adults." It can also be your Facebook friends and Twitter followers or YouTube subscribers. Or all of them.

In my case, it's all of them. Zennie62 YouTube video distribution is done at times using Tubemogul, which permits me to upload one video to as many as eight different video distribution sites. Then the same video automatically goes to my Facebook, Friend Feed, and Twitter accounts. This is also true for blog posts.

The distribution to my network of followers, friends, and subcribers is something I call my "horizontal broadcast network." Why? Because its "cross-platform," that is from Twitter to Friend Feed to Facebook and so on. Each one of those systems is a platform.

My "vertical broadcast network" is simply the number of people in that platform I have as friends, followers, or subscribers.

So by adding platforms you expand your network horizontally. By adding more people in each one you grow it vertically.

I use the Social Broadcasting System to get out information. My Facebook page is listed as for "networking." I'm not concerned about privacy issues on Facebook because there's nothing on it I don't want people to see. Many of my Facebook friends are people I have not met before. I'm using it for Social Broadcasting.  On Twitter, I practice "retweeting" which is just a way of passing on information from one broadcast network, or set of Twitter followers, to another - in this case, your own.

This is no different than the old newspaper distribution system of subscribers. In that case, one newspaper had so many subscribers. From the newspapers perspective, some knew the writers and publishers, but most did not.

But Social Broadcasting's cross-platform reach brings in the concept of going to a Twitter stream which is a lot like tuning into a radio station while driving. You can stay there or find another station. On Twiter, you can follow and unfollow with ease. That action alters the flow of information to you, and changes your broadcast reach as well.

Note that I did not mention who you should follow or friend. That's not the point, and marks the difference in thinking. The objective is to have a wide a reach as possible. Period.

You're in the broadcast business, like it or not, and for the simple reason that you can't perfectly control what anyone consumes that you chose to put out there.  If it's something that your friends, think is worth sharing with someone you don't know; you're plan of control is trashed. Once it's out, it's gone.

If you think about Social Networking as Social Broadcasting, then you see we're all really social broadcasters. And that's how media has changed and why Old Media suffers. Communications technology has caused millions of small media production efforts to spring up, if we consider cell phone and especially smart phones.

An advertiser can chose to sponsor a media effort with someone you and I never heard of just because of that person's reach. And that person may have just a computer, a blog, and a cell phone. Two decades ago, that was unheard of; ad money flowed to newspapers like The New York Times and The San Francisco Chronicle and The Chicago Tribune.

Not any more.

What, then, is the answer for The New York Times and The San Francisco Chronicle and The Chicago Tribune? To team up, or buy up, blogs and websites. That's the only way to expand the Old Media brand. Not one of the Old Media companies can make as many blogs that have the same impact as buying existing ones with set a audience Social Broadcasting base (because they're likely to have a Twitter account and YouTube accounts as well).

The other answer is to copy Associated Content,, and, and add writers and pay them based on a traffic-based estimate.

Or perhaps the best approach for Old Media (The New York Times and The San Francisco Chronicle and The Chicago Tribune as examples is some combination of both.  

From the ad agency perspective, the idea that Social Networking doesn't work can be changed if the agency thinks of it as Social Broadcasting. Then the idea of "media buys" is much different and extends far beyond television and into not just blogs and websites, but someone's Twitter account too.

But even with all that, it's only a dent (but if played correctly a big one) in the total sea of media producers. Why? Because that set of people includes you and me, and the teenager with the cell phone who texts every minute about every thing, and uses Twitter to retweet any tweet on Justin Bieber.

We're all social broadcasters. We're just too busy thinking of social networking to see it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

McDonalds Shrek glass recall: thank Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)

Movie product tie-ins are common and many new products are aimed at kids. That's why the news of the McDonalds Shrek glass recall is so terrible. But first, thank the Office of Congresswoman Jackie Speier for the discovery of the problem.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle via the Associated Press, there were 12 million McDonalds Shrek glasses on the market: all of them must be recalled after a discovery by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The glasses are tainted with Cadmium, a carcinogen that can cause "long term adverse health effects." While that's in the recall notice, along with the news that the discovery came from the Office of Congresswoman Jackie Speier from California, that news is buried way down deep in in the Associated Press article.

The article also makes it seem as if the Consumer Product Safety Commission made the discovery. You have to read the entire, long work to see that it was Rep. Jackie Speier's office who made the find base on an anonymous tip. Spier issued this statement:

"Our children's health should not depend on the consciences of anonymous sources. Although McDonald's did the right thing by recalling these products, we need stronger testing standards to ensure that all children's products are proven safe before they hit the shelves," said Speier. "Cadmium is a toxic substance that is extremely dangerous to the developmental health of children."

Here's the text from the recall notice and the link to the web page containing it:

McDonald’s Recalls Movie Themed Drinking Glasses Due to Potential Cadmium Risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Name of Product: “Shrek Forever After 3D” Collectable Drinking Glasses

Units: About 12 million

Manufacturer: ARC International, of Millville, NJ.

Distributor: McDonald’s Corp., Oakbrook, Ill.

Hazard: The designs on the glasses contain cadmium. Long term exposure to cadmium can cause adverse health effects.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: The “Shrek Forever After 3D” collectable drinking glass are 16 ounce glasses that came in four designs, Shrek, Fiona, Puss n’ Boots, and Donkey.

Sold exclusively at: McDonald’s restaurants nationwide from May 2010 into June 2010 for about $2.

Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: McDonald’s is asking consumers to immediately stop using the glass out of an abundance of caution. Visit for additional instructions on how to obtain a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact McDonald’s toll-free at (800) 244-6227 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s website at

Note: CPSC was made aware of issues with this product through the Office of Congresswoman Jackie Speier from California.

If you want to thank Rep. Jackie Speier's office, visit their website here: