Thursday, March 23, 2017

Moonalice - The Dream Continues

Image: Bob Minkin
Flashback to an interview that Roger McNamee, founder of American folk/roots-with-jam band Moonalice gave in 2015:  

“What I would say to anyone who is reading this is just remember…if you’ve got a dream, never let go. Not ever. You’re gonna have setbacks. I’ve had dozens of them. Some of them have been really horrible. You just, you don’t ever really want to let go because there’s always a chance to have an up after a down. And, in my case, each down has lead to a more interesting up. I don’t know what the next one will be, be, but I look forward to it whatever it ends up being,” he said.

Following your dreams is a recurring theme for both Moonalice and Roger, who has commented about fan favorite, ‘Nick Of Time’ saying, “The song is deeply optimistic, which reflects my philosophy.”

High tech. meets high touch

Moonalice is unique for both its tech. and its tribe - The Tribe is how Moonalice fans describe themselves - with nearly half-a-million fans on social media. 

“We were consciously created to apply technology to the music industry. Being our age, and playing original music and not being a tribute band, we had to use technology to reach people. So the combination of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and then, especially, the video broadcast of every concert. That has been transformational. What’s been really funny is it turns out it wasn’t that expensive to broadcast all the shows,” Roger explained.

The dream continues

After a winter hiatus, Moonalice fans were thrilled to see the announcement of 2017 tour dates which include a SoCal tour, a number of festivals as well as the highly popular and regularly sold-out "Gathering Of The Tribe" at Slim's in San Francisco.

“The 2017 Moonalice tour begins on March 30 with four shows in SoCal with our friends, Cubensis- Grateful Dead Music Experience,” Roger recently posted on Facebook. “Click through to see the dates through early May ... including 4/20 at Slim's!!! Please bring your dancing shoes!!!”

Moonalice is a psychedelic, roots-rock band of seasoned musicians mixing a variety of genres with extended musical improvisations that evoke a sense of adventure and exploration. Everyone is a part of the experience and the music inspires dancing and other acts of self expression.

Every show has an original art poster created by a well-known artist memorializing that event and given to all attendees…each poster has its own Moonalice legend. All concerts are broadcast live in HD and available in archive shortly after their set.

Moonalice plays mostly original material mixed with several covers, and during their extended freeform jams the band moves as one, drawing from many musical genres honed from years of experience playing with various major acts. Their single "It's 4:20 Somewhere" has been downloaded over 6 million times.

Moonalice is:
  • John Molo: Drums, Vocals. (Bruce Hornsby & The Range, John Fogerty, Phil Lesh & Friends, The Other Ones, David Nelson Band).
  • Barry Sless: Lead Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Bass. (Phil Lesh & Friends, David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Cowboy Jazz).
  • Roger McNamee: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Bass. (Guff, The Engineers, Random Axes, Flying Other Brothers)
  • Pete Sears: Bass, Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals (Sam Gopal Dream, Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship, Jerry Garcia, Hot Tuna, John Lee Hooker, David Nelson Band, Phil Lesh & Friends).
  • Big Steve Parish: Road Scholar/Medicine Man/Storyteller. (Grateful Dead crew for 26 years, co-founder of Jerry Garcia Band)
Fun fact - Moonalice's first show was in May, 2007, which means that the band has a milestone birthday in 2017!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Making The Pokémon GO - World Water Day Connection

Image: The Pokémon Company
In January Niantic and The Pokémon Company teamed up with the Global Goals and Project Everyone campaigns to raise awareness of issues through special Pokémon GO locations at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was described in the media as more of an encouragement for conscientious, tech-savvy WEF attendees than a concerted attempt to sway influencers - it's helpful, but not game-changing. 

Today, World Water Day, Niantic announced a new promotion, Make a Splash in Pokémon GO, but did not make the connection to the relevance of the day.
Waves of Water-type Pokémon are coming your way in Pokémon GO  
Starting at 1 p.m. PDT on March 22, 2017, more Water types are headed to Pokémon GO! Look for the Water-type Pokémon Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their Evolutions to appear more frequently all around the world. Additionally, when you're out exploring areas where Water types commonly appear, you'll have a greater chance to encounter several of the Water-type Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region. If you're fortunate enough, you might even encounter Lapras!
The deluge of Water-type Pokémon will last until 1 p.m. PDT on March 29. Good luck discovering more of these Pokémon around the world in Pokémon GO.
Co-incidence? I’d like to think not. But since Niantic are not making the connection, I will.

I’m celebrating World Water Day by watching Watershed #mywaterstory streaming live from the Vatican. This afternoon I'll head out in search of Totodile.

Making the connection. That’s #mywaterstory today.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Old books exquisitely repurposed into whimsical tea time items

Image: Cecilia Levy
Swedish artist Cecilia Levy makes beautiful art objects - including everyday items like cups, saucers and tea pots – using small pieces of paper taken from old books and comics, preferably from the last century. 

Trained originally as a graphic designer and bookbinder, Cecilia’s passion for books led to some creative experimentation beginning in 2009. 

“I began experimenting with 3-dimensional shapes; taking apart an old book, tearing it into small pieces and pasting them back together again (resulting in a wobbly, but expressive, bowl). I had suddenly found "my" material. Ever since then I'm on the lookout for suitable old books,” she explained.

Cecilia’s work celebrates the passage of time - original stains and marks on the paper remain and add both depth and character. The art objects are created using papier-mâché techniques, and are not varnished, so that the emphasis remains on the paper itself. This means that works like the teacups are for appreciation in terms form rather than in actual function. With these cups one sips with one’s eyes as opposed to one’s lips, and the refreshment comes from an appreciation of an art form that is an ingenious as it is exquisite.
“The book is recreated in a way, but takes on a new form. The two-dimensional becomes three-dimensional. The process is slow and meditative,” Cecilia Levy.
Image: Cecilia Levy
The words on the pages Cecilia selects are more than decoration on the beautifully made art pieces - they are the entrance to a world of enchantment. 

It is easy to let one’s imagination follow those thoughts down a rabbit hole to a magical place where the March hare or the white rabbit are sipping from these at a tea time table. 

The content of books that may otherwise have gone to waste lives on in memory’s mystic band in Cecilia’s whimsical and magical art.

Follow Cecilia's art journey on her website and on Facebook and Instagram.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

New High Pressure Processing Council Launches at ProFood Tech

Council aims to advance High Pressure Processing (HPP) as a critical technology for the food and beverage industry. 
Jeff Williams, President, Avure Technologies
PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, has announced the formation of an industry council focused on the advancement of High Pressure Processing (HPP) as a critical technology in the food and beverage industry. Convened by PMMI, the HPP Council will address questions about the technology while developing and formalizing industry best practices. The new council will also promote networking among professionals using this processing technology.

High Pressure Processing transitioned from the lab to the production floor almost 20 years ago. Now, it is gaining greater recognition among consumer packaged goods companies for a variety of products. “In this age where consumer choice is critical, HPP is a cost-effective method for processors to maintain taste, texture and nutrition while providing the clean label consumers are looking for,” says Jeff Williams, president of Avure Technologies, and a founding member of this Council.

In today’s regulatory environment, the technology is gaining importance. “HPP allows food processors to achieve significant benefits in terms of food safety and extended shelf-life. The formation of this Council will help us take this technology to the next level,” adds Jaime Nicolas-Correa, Director Hiperbaric USA, one of the founding members of the Council.

The Council officially launches at ProFood Tech (April 4-6; McCormick Place, Chicago). Founding members will share the latest process insights and successes in a session on the ProFood Tech Innovation Stage on Wednesday, April 5 at 2:30 p.m. The group will also host a booth (Booth #937) on the show floor and will participate in the OpX Leadership Network’s Executive Council meeting.

“HPP is a critical technology in the food and beverage industry and it only makes sense to launch this Council at the most comprehensive food and beverage show in North America, ProFood Tech,” says Justin Segel, Chief Executive Officer of American Pasteurization Company, LLC, and a founding member of the Council.

Bringing together more than 6,000 processing professionals, ProFood Tech is an ideal venue for the industry to come together and share information about this technology. “We encourage show attendees to take the time to learn more about the benefits of HPP and get involved in this new Council. We look forward to an open exchange of ideas and best practices among industry professionals interested in this technology,” says Mark Duffy, CEO, Universal Pasteurization Company LLC and Universal Cold Storage LLC, another founding member of the Council.

A breakfast session on Wednesday morning, April 5, 8:30 a.m. at ProFood Tech will enable all interested parties to meet the founding members and hear more about the objectives of this organization as well as opportunities to join. Check for the final agenda and location of the breakfast.

ProFood Tech is the only event in North America focused exclusively on all food and beverage sectors, including Baking & Snack, Beverage, Frozen/Prepared Foods, Dairy and Meat/Poultry/Seafood. This event will offer a full range of food and beverage processing solutions from both large companies that serve several market segments and smaller niche companies that focus on more specific needs. ProFood Tech will include 400+ of the world’s top suppliers, 150,000 net square feet of exhibit floor, and 45 hours of blockbuster educational programming.

For more information and to register, go to

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Daydream Doodling Inside The Box

I spent a fascinating morning in The Pfister Hotel's Pop-Up Gallery today. 

Artist Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri’s INSIDE THE BOX exhibit invites you to literally step inside the boxes entitled The Lounge, The Drawing Room, and my personal favorite, The Retreat. The immersive environments invite you to leave a mark on the world, to share part of your self.
"This project is a metaphor for that inner place we go to when we take creative risks.  It also represents the playful creative spaces we built as children, like a tent made of blankets, or a shelter made of branches, places where we felt secure and free to express ourselves."
"It was a knee-jerk reaction to the phrase ‘think outside the box.’ To me, it’s trite and empty.  I mean, every brushstroke, every creation, is a risk.  When we take our biggest risks, we go inside.  That’s why this is called ‘Inside the Box,’ because it’s like getting inside the self."
Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri

Inner playful places to go when we take creative risks? That also offer an emotional oasis? That could only mean one thing...and with a mental hop, skip and a jump it was down the rabbit hole for me, and a happy couple of minutes spent daydream doodling about Moonalice - my favorite band, and about to start their 2017 tour.

What good is a doodle without the requisite Instagram to record it? Which of course involved a further few happy minutes as I fussed to get the shadows just right for my handiwork.
"I don’t like the word ‘should.’  It’s a difficult word.  I’d prefer ‘I could do ___.’  This is all about letting go of ‘should’ so that people have the freedom to create what they want.  These are safe spaces, then, with no requirements.  I ask people to try to refrain from using the word ‘should’ while they create in the boxes."
Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri
I like to think that Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri would have smiled if she could have seen me daydream doodling and having so much fun inside her art today.

Jeanne Nikolai Olivieri’s INSIDE THE BOX exhibit runs through March 4th 2017 in The Pfister’s Pop-Up Gallery.  

The Moonalice 2017 Tour begins 30 March. Fans of San Fran psychedelic rock can find details of their tour here

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Don't Let Your Love Story Be Another Creature's Unhappy Ending

This balloon was untangled & recovered from the tree.
If you love them, don't let them go. Hang onto those balloons. What goes up will come down, and when it does, it will be litter and may also kill countless creatures through ingestion, entanglement or strangulation. And let’s not forget the possibility of getting stuck in power lines and the resultant outages. 

This post, which came up in my Facebook feed last night describes an all-to-often seen scenario:
“At Moss Landing today: two women walked up to the edge of the Jetty with 8 heart shaped Mylar balloons. I was hoping they were just going to take a photo but watched in horror and disbelief as they released them to be taken by the wind to the waters of our Marine Sanctuary. Some kind of memorial or celebration? What they thought was positive was actually seriously negative! I let them know kindly that those balloons could end up killing marine life (thousands of turtles, birds and mammals die from balloons every year). Please, please do not release balloons...and share with everyone the tragic consequences balloons visit on beautiful and precious marine life.”
Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
In another a post this morning a friend shared photos showing how he had filled his car with balloons for his son’s birthday. There were photos of some of them floating off into the sky. So pretty to look at, and I could imagine the delight of his son looking at them float away. So potentially deadly to other creatures.

Birds, turtles and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “Sea turtles are especially hit hard as they surface to breathe and eat and commonly eat balloons.”

There are so many ways we can show our love. Our love story shouldn't mean another creature's unhappy ending. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Augmented Reality At Milwaukee Icon - The Pfister Hotel

Cold doesn't keep me from walking, but cold combined with freezing rain? That's a horse of a different color, which is how I found myself walking indoor laps and playing Pokémon GO during a recent stay at Milwaukee icon, The Pfister Hotel. As I meandered along the second floor corridor overlooking the lobby, to my delight, I found that The Pfister has an augmented reality art tour – called appropriately enough, The Pfister Augmented Reality Tour (PAR). 

Melding 21st century technology with the history and tradition, PAR allows guests and public alike to tour the hotel’s historic features and expansive Victorian art collection in an immersive experience. It is a modern twist on the traditional art tour offered by the hotel, providing users with additional historical features, games and video content to view on their smartphones.

As we were about to check out I didn’t have a lot of time to play with PAR, but what I did experience was enough to have me looking forward to my next visit so that I can explore more.

Set up is easy:

1. Use your phone and simply download the Wikitude app. For iPhone/iPad: Visit the Apple App store to download The Pfister Hotel - AR Art Tour. For Android: Visit the Google Play store to download The Pfister Hotel - Art Tour

2. Now you’re ready to begin interacting with the artwork. Throughout the hotel you will find several pieces of scan-able artwork marked with score cards located next to each “active” piece. To help finding these there are maps showing where the scan-able pieces are located.

3. Once you have interacted with the pieces, you can check them off on the list in the app. For completing the tour you will be rewarded with a special pricing on the award-winning book, The History, Art and Imagery of The Pfister Hotel, available for purchase at the Front Desk.

Current pieces with augmented content include: Dick & Harry (Lion Sculptures), Breakfast, Ben Marcus Bust, Ceiling, Fireplace, Time Capsule, Royal Love Feast, Thermostat, Fortune Teller, Kittens, Flirtation, Card Game and Mahomet.

High tech. meets fine art in an environment that is steeped in history, and with spectacular architecture as the cheery on top. It doesn’t get much better than that!