Archive for the ‘just fun’ Category

The Fun Always Happens in TX-22

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Ron Paul whipped his three challengers (Larry, Moe and Curly as they’ve been called) in the Republican primary for his seat in Texas’ 14th Congressional District. Next he’ll face whip the winner of the Democratic runoff election. (His son Rand Paul also looks on track to win the Kentucky Senate seat).

However, the real action is in Ron Paul’s old district TX-22. Dr. Paul lost, then won, then lost, then won (in a special election) that district, which he later gave up to run for Senate.

Later, TX-22 was won by none other than Tom “the hammer” DeLay. After DeLay nearly lost a primary challenge (in the midst of his corruption scandal) he decided not to run again and was beat by Democrat Nick Lampson, who was an incumbent representing the recently redistricted TX-9. Lampson won that election when the only Republican was write-in candidate Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs (whose name was notoriously difficult to write in). Next year, Lampson lost the Republican leading district to Republican Pete Olson.

Now Olson faces Lyndon LaRouche Democrat Kesha Rogers. Rogers wants to bring home the troops but unfortunately, apparently, wants to send them to to the moon. Texas Democrats are already mulling the possibility of removing Rogers as the Democratic candidate (which would leave Democrats with a write-in candidate) because she supports impeaching Obama.

Job Op: Online Community Manager for a Libertarian Feature-Length Animation Thriller

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Are you well versed in monetary policy, the events of the housing crisis and are you looking forward to end of the Fed’s era?

Well here’s a juicy job opportunity that might interest you if you fit the qualifications of being online media guru & an amazing community organizer:

Online Marketing Manager for Independent Film

Lineplot is an animation production company in Harvard Square, Cambridge MA. We are hard at work creating a feature-length thriller-romance film, Silver Circle, to be released in early 2011. In addition to telling a great story, the film will bring free-market and sound-money principles to a wide audience.

We have ambitious online marketing plans, with the goal to make this a grassroots-driven hit movie. We want to hire a highly skilled and results-driven communicator - an online guru who can reach beyond simply marketing our movie, to building an engaged community, an actual movement around the film.

We want to make this film into a phenomenon and community is key.

The Manager’s job includes:

Website Project Manager/Designer: The manager will launch the movie’s political website/blog over a 2-3 month period. Then, continue to manage and grow the community online until the launch of Silver Circle in early 2011. Includes: managing the overall timeline, key milestones and dependencies, setting up website metrics, overseeing status reporting, managing a design team (if necessary), creating website infrastructure, brand and feel.
Preferred skills: web design, HTML/CSS, Dreamweaver, and Wordpress.

Online Communications & Marketing: The manager will write/edit/produce content regularly for the site, establish a network of online affiliates, and moderate members of the community. Build relations with key bloggers and influentials to reach a large and well-targeted audience. Find and engage with strategic, relevant, even controversial online conversations and communities to find new ideas and new readers. Leverage search engine marketing to draw more readers and sign-ups for the websites, videos and other media. Create monthly email newsletters. Develop online campaigns, contests, polls, money bombs and fundraising. Report on ROI from campaigns and help develop new strategies.
Preferred background: Proven track record in building traffic to websites and in building engagement with communities.

Live Events: Organize and assist with real-life marketing activities: screenings, trade shows, volunteer events, college campus events, summer intern events in Washington DC, film festivals, comic/animation shows, and fundraisers.
Essential: Incredible interpersonal skills.

Volunteer Coordination: Give volunteers creative opportunities to help spread awareness, interest and create energy for Silver Circle. Recruit and engage online volunteers to spread the word in creative ways. Facilitate and energize the group into a movement, all while managing results and metrics.

The manager will work closely with our small team to define the strategies and tactics to engage our politically astute audience. Ideally the candidate will understand and have a strong interest in the liberty movement, libertarian ideas, monetary policy, and/or independent film.

Ideal skills/attributes include: superior writing skills, excellent verbal presence, the flexibility to manage in a fast-paced film startup, strong understanding of marketing analytics and metrics, and project management skills. Aptitude in web, graphics design and Mac productivity software is key. BA/BS and 2 -3 years of experience in web communications and strategy development preferred.

Salary: Depends on experience.

Submit: Cover letter, resume and portfolio of web projects (websites, blogs, content developed)
To: Pasha Roberts (producer/director) on facebook or email.

Justin Owings, Ron Paul supporter, fitness enthusiast, and graphic designer

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Justin Owings

Justin Owings, Volunteer with Myelin Repair Foundation

>What causes do you care most deeply about?

Generally, I want people (myself included!) to have fulfilling, healthy, and free lives. That may sound a bit peace-on-earth-y, but it’s hard for me to imagine a better world than one inhabited by happy, fit, and autonomous human beings. What I like about my “cause” is that it is one that is inherently decentralized, has no single solution, and can be furthered over a cup of coffee. At it’s core, the idea is about getting in touch with what it means to be human. But that’s another discussion.
>What ignited your interest in multiple sclerosis research? Do you have
any family or friend connections that have MS?
My interest in multiple sclerosis first emerged after having a mentor in college who was dealing with MS. That interest has increased as I’ve learned more about health and nutrition. I’ve also become more interested the more I’ve learned about myelin as I’ve been trying to come up with clever designs for the Myelin Repair Foundation! One thing I particularly like about the MRF’s mission is that it is incorproating a collaborative effort to break down information silos to speed up research. I see this as a very 21st century, decentralized, nerdy solution to the problem over over-specialization and “information hording” that tends to produce a great deal of unnecessary stagnation.
>What is your day job when you aren’t volunteering to create cool
graphics for nonprofits or for the causes you believe in? Do you
consider that your passion/life’s mission?
By day I manage a few financial media websites all involved with the ongoing economic calamity that began in late 2006. These sites are collectively branded with the “Implode-o-meter” logo. I wouldn’t consider dispersing information on the latest imploded banks, hedge funds, home builders, and lenders a life mission, but it’s been the most interesting and fun job I’ve ever had. It’s also enabled me to learn more about both entrepreneurship and the Internet.
>What is most rewarding about what you are doing in your life?
As bizarre as it may seem, the most rewarding work in my life right now (completely ignoring the fact that I’m about to be a dad) is spreading the word about the coolest footwear invented since … ever: Vibram fivefingers. I do this via a fan site called birthdayshoes.com. The great part about this pet project (A pro bono labor of love at this point!) is that it, in a roundabout way, gets people in touch with their humanity through their feet. The realization that you can run and play outside barefoot as an adult — it’s a freeing experience. And it opens the door to other revelations about health and movement, which gets back to my original overarching goal of healthier and happier individuals.
>As a younger version of yourself (child - teenage years) were you
interested in “creating” or “doing”? Anecdotes?
I was always into art as a kid. I think the first t-shirt I designed was in fourth grade, but I was doing various forms of “art” before that. I’ve lost track, but I’ve designed a number of tshirts for organizations ranging from schools to churches to emerging institutes working to create new frontiers (i.e. the Seasteading Institute!). And of course, I’m into creating websites. My first website was on AOL back around 1995. It was not-so-creatively titled “The Owings Brothers Page,” and was adorned with probably ten links and a handful of animated GIFs. Thankfully, that page wasn’t archived publicly. It was atrocious.
>What are some of your most influential books or thinkers? And why?
Recently, I’ve been stuck on the ideas put forth by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan (and Fooled by Randomness). I’m fascinated by how humans have a tendency to want to oversimplify, centralize, and control things that are incredibly complex and dynamic. Taleb is the poster child of this idea.
I also have been influenced heavily by David Friedman through both his blog, Ideas, and his books Law’s Order and The Machinery of Freedom.
Though I do not consider myself an Objectivist, I confess to being first snapped awake by Ayn Rand’s works (The Fountainhead being the pivotal read for me). Rand was the first author to frame human beings as autonomous individuals.
Other books I’ve read lately that were particularly enlightening: Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taube, Stumbling on Happiness by Dan Gilbert, and Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run.
I could go on and on here so I better just stop.
>What advice can you give to artists that are looking for an outlet for
their creativity?
Keep trying different things until you find stuff that works. But once you’ve mastered what works, try something else (you don’t want to get into a rut!). Also, if you’re struggling with being creative, I always find it helps to have a few parameters that constrain my creativity. It’s strange, but placing limits on what I can create tends to focus my attention.
Finally, it helps to have a goal or purpose behind your art. Are you trying to push an idea? Present an emotion? Capture a perspective? Or maybe you’re just trying to make people laugh. Art for art’s sake can be interesting and even fun but don’t expect people to care about it.

Justin Owings found me on Twitter due to our shared interest and passion in Vibram Five Finger Shoes and paleo/evolutionary fitness. We ended up chatting more and found more mutual interests — he was involved in the Ron Paul campaign in Georgia and helped design very cool t-shirts to help spread the word and interested in seasteading. He also manages financial media websites that are helping to spread the message on the real reasons for the economic crisis and housing bubble.

Justin is also a very forward-thinking and creative guy and, I think, will be a future player in the movement. Below is my interview with him.

Q: Justin, what causes do you care most deeply about?

Generally, I want people (myself included!) to have fulfilling, healthy, and free lives. That may sound a bit peace-on-earth-y, but it’s hard for me to imagine a better world than one inhabited by happy, fit, and autonomous human beings. What I like about my “cause” is that it is one that is inherently decentralized, has no single solution, and can be furthered over a cup of coffee. At it’s core, the idea is about getting in touch with what it means to be human. But that’s another discussion.

Q: What is your day job when you aren’t volunteering to create cool graphics for nonprofits or for the causes you believe in? Do you consider that your passion/life’s mission?

By day I manage a few financial media websites all involved with the ongoing economic calamity that began in late 2006. These sites are collectively branded with the “Implode-o-meter” logo. I wouldn’t consider dispersing information on the latest imploded banks, hedge funds, home builders, and lenders a life mission, but it’s been the most interesting and fun job I’ve ever had. It’s also enabled me to learn more about both entrepreneurship and the Internet.

Q: What is most rewarding about what you are doing in your life?

As bizarre as it may seem, the most rewarding work in my life right now (completely ignoring the fact that I’m about to be a dad) is spreading the word about the coolest footwear invented since … ever: Vibram fivefingers. I do this via a fan site called birthdayshoes.com. The great part about this pet project (A pro bono labor of love at this point!) is that it, in a roundabout way, gets people in touch with their humanity through their feet. The realization that you can run and play outside barefoot as an adult — it’s a freeing experience. And it opens the door to other revelations about health and movement, which gets back to my original overarching goal of healthier and happier individuals.

Q: As a younger version of yourself (child - teenage years) were you interested in “creating” or “doing”? Anecdotes?

I was always into art as a kid. I think the first t-shirt I designed was in fourth grade, but I was doing various forms of “art” before that. I’ve lost track, but I’ve designed a number of tshirts for organizations ranging from schools to churches to emerging institutes working to create new frontiers (i.e. the Seasteading Institute!). And of course, I’m into creating websites. My first website was on AOL back around 1995. It was not-so-creatively titled “The Owings Brothers Page,” and was adorned with probably ten links and a handful of animated GIFs. Thankfully, that page wasn’t archived publicly. It was atrocious.

Q: What are some of your most influential books or thinkers? And why?

Recently, I’ve been stuck on the ideas put forth by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan (and Fooled by Randomness). I’m fascinated by how humans have a tendency to want to oversimplify, centralize, and control things that are incredibly complex and dynamic. Taleb is the poster child of this idea.

I also have been influenced heavily by David Friedman through both his blog, Ideas, and his books Law’s Order and The Machinery of Freedom.

Though I do not consider myself an Objectivist, I confess to being first snapped awake by Ayn Rand’s works (The Fountainhead being the pivotal read for me). Rand was the first author to frame human beings as autonomous individuals.

Other books I’ve read lately that were particularly enlightening: Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taube, Stumbling on Happiness by Dan Gilbert, and Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run.

Q: What advice can you give to artists that are looking for an outlet for their creativity?

Keep trying different things until you find stuff that works. But once you’ve mastered what works, try something else (you don’t want to get into a rut!). Also, if you’re struggling with being creative, I always find it helps to have a few parameters that constrain my creativity. It’s strange, but placing limits on what I can create tends to focus my attention.

Finally, it helps to have a goal or purpose behind your art. Are you trying to push an idea? Present an emotion? Capture a perspective? Or maybe you’re just trying to make people laugh. Art for art’s sake can be interesting and even fun but don’t expect people to care about it.

Check out his website at www.justinowings.com and follow him on Twitter @justinNO

Note: He and his wife just completed their “Project Aminowings” and just had their first baby — a girl!  Justin pictured with li’l Aviana, a future liberty-lover.

And out of curiosity, are there any other movement people out there with Vibram Five Fingers? If so, give a shout-out in the comment section.

2tqka5r6xy

Politics Gone Viral

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Some of our readers might take interest in this new website, PoliticsGoneViral.com, started by Ron Paul supporter Dan Endsley.  Billed as a “politics site for people who don’t like politics” — which let’s face it, at its core is pretty much all of us — the site has some great T-shirts and bumper stickers for sale.

Here’s my personal favorite:

Walking a Cat to Pick Up Women?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Tyler Cowen explains the bizarre effects of a Saudi ban on the sale of dogs and cats, in an effort to stop unwanted passes at women (by men walking their pets):

This is, of course, a net benefit for the offenders to date. The newly created artificial scarcity increases the conversation value of the already owned animals and also confers a positive wealth effect on the wrongdoers. Is it not better to stop xxxx by giving everyone a pet and thus eliminating its conversational value? By the way, if this edict is enforced, we can expect an increase in the pet birth rate and also a greater number of abandoned pets.

Update:

Congress debates intervention into… horse racing safety!

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Introducing… The Department of Horse-land Security.

Jess Jackson, owner of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin: “We need action, please. Congress, help.”

Bloodlines, steroids, the lack of an authoritative governing body, alarming figures on horse deaths and a breech of protocol by Big Brown’s trainer were all topics of discussion Thursday before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The hearing was called after Eight Belles broke down at the Kentucky Derby last month and was euthanized on the track.

Rep. Ed Whitfield of Kentucky noted that Congress has leverage to influence the sport because of the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978, which grants simulcasting rights that now account for much of the industry’s profits. A law could be passed, for example, that withholds simulcast money from states that don’t adhere to federally mandated guidelines.

Aren’t you glad that Congress is investigating this single horse death while largely ignoring thousands of human deaths in Iraq?

Amazon Delivers

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Some books arrived this week:

Rachel Ray: Chef. Celeb. Terrorist?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

If you need further proof that the “war on terrorism” propaganda has turned some people’s brains to mush…

O.K., Michelle Maulkin’s intellectual capacity was suspect before this, but WOW!