Monday, May 18, 2009

Geek Dad Guest Blogging

For the next two weeks I have the honor of guest blogging on Wired's Geekdad blog ( It's important to nurture the next generation of Edisons, Teslas, DiVincis, and Curies and here's a forum for exploring just that topic.

My friend John Baichtal is a regular contributor there and I read it regularly. So, when the opportunity to write for a group of like minded people with a big readership came along, I jumped on it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Exploring the trans-Saharan Gold Trade

My archeologist son Andy leaves today on an expedition to a remote part of Ghana, on Africa's western coast. It's seems like it's going to be quite an adventure:
I'm leaving tonight for Ghana to once again participate in an archaeological investigation of West African history. We're staying in the main city of Accra for a few days before heading out to the rural village of Banda. I'm working on a team of North American and Ghanaian archaeologists investigating an ancient market town connected with the very beginning of the trans-Saharan gold trade about 1000 years ago.
Under Andy told me about it, I didn't know there was a trans-Saharan gold trade. According to Wikipedia,
"Trans-Saharan trade is trade across the Sahara between Mediterranean countries and sub-Saharan Africa. While existing from prehistoric times, the peak of such trade extended from the eighth century until the late sixteenth century
The place he's working is so remote that there's no phone or email. I can only imagine what it's going to be like for him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Marvelous Work of Norman Saunders

I met illustrator Zina Saunders at the GEL conference in New York City last week. Wildly creative and fairly edgy, she works have been in a number of top magazines. I hope to talk to her later today to learn more about what she's doing.

Anticipating that call, I did a bit of internet research and found out she's the daughter of Norman Saunders. Norman was a big time illustrator also and did a lot covers for pulp novels. It turns out Norman was from northern Minnesota (I live in Minnesota) and the story of his life is fascinating.

Random bits of information from

Norman Blaine Saunders' illustration career was as big and successful as any artist could hope for, and no single genre could contain his remarkable talent. He painted them all - aliens and aviators, heroes and hunters, detectives and demons, quarterbacks and comic books, sex kittens and serial killers, westerns and wacky packs.

1953- Daughter Zina is born. Norm's style of work for gruesome comic books is effectively ended when Comic Book Code of Decency Law is enacted and most comics are printed with a the seal "Approved."

More on this to follow. . .

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

100 Geeks You Should Be Following is the parenting blog at Basically it is a group geeks who have reproduced biologically and now blog their experiences raising children in the digital age. I like this blog as it ruminates about the way being a parent intersects with technology and popular culture.

Today, on, this post: 100 Geeks You Should Be Following On Twitter

Among those recommended are Neil Gaiman, Wil Wheaton, Adam Savage, Trent Reznor, and. . . . . (wait for it) me(!).

I love the recognition, but now I'll have to try harder to make my tweets more interesting and actually understandable. No more "I think anchovy pizzas suck" or "A/n hav bn sndng ppls (s bck 2 thn. edit LT @SpazNet:"

Sunday, May 03, 2009

New York: I am a Camera

I flew home from New York last night, and boy, are my arms tired. Seriously though, flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle, it's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

I was part of Mark Hurst's always excellent GEL presentations which was held at the TimesCenter in Manhattan. GEL 2009 was super despite the down economy - upbeat and interesting. I spoke on the Art of Living Dangerously.

Before I left I decided to walk around midtown, play tourist, and take a few pictures. My requisite shots of skyscrapers at night.

This one is better. On 30th street I found this locust tree.

The tree's trunk was bubbling up, sort of angrily, out of the tiny open space allowed for it between concrete layers of NYC sidewalk. The other trees on the block were a lot calmer.

Next week I head for Washington DC to participate in Kinneret USA. Should be fun.