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Grab the Cave Bear and Duck, iPad read-along comic book – one last week for free!! Share with friends and enemies alike! I’ll be taking down the iPad app next week. Get it free on iTunes now.

It’s a read-along comic book with great voices from Tom Kenny and funny sound effects. The comic book tells the story of how Cave Bear and Duck stopped the first forest fire started by humans. Or maybe they didn’t stop it, but they tried!

cvr_duk_25

cvr_duk_26

Read more about it or download it here. 

mfearing:

A great POV. Letting kids find a place by having them share an interest or ability.

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

the problem child

Source: themetapicture.com

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Starbucks part 2

I received a lot of emails from people about my previous Starbucks post oddly enough. What I was trying to say is- with all the hoop-la we hear about social media and technology tracking consumers, most of the time they still don’t get it right in any meaningful way. And that may be in part because we are all just humans after all.  Awash in data is no different from being awash in chaos until someone has the reasoning power to make sense of it. Obviously Starbucks spent a bunch of money to get customers to register and use their cards ETC. And I think too many companies  are all stary-eyed over just getting the data. After all that’s why the IT departments are as big as marketing departments now. But no one has the time to figure out how to make all the chaos into something useful. Or meaningful for a customer.

Are you alive?

life

I’ve always harbored the notion that Life is a byproduct of matter + time. But recently I haven’t been so sure about the Matter part – given the massive amounts of Dark Matter in the universe. Anyway, this Op-Ed from The New York Times by Ferris Jabr is a very intriguing read that purposes that our definition, even our notion of life is simply a construct of our mind.

And you get to watch spellbinding videos of Dutch artist Theo Jansen’s obsessive creations wandering beaches.

Read it here.

screen

I will be pulling my all-ages friendly Cave Bear and Duck app from the iTunes app store in a month or so. It’s a read-along comic book (you can turn on page-by-page voice acting and sound effects) staring Cave Bear and Duck (two smart animals trying to survive in the early Cenozoic). The voices were done by Tom Kenny – he who does the voice of Spongebob!!

In this story Cave Bear and Duck have to try and put out a forest fire started by those pesky, and always hungry humans.

You can find it here and download it from the App store by searching for Cave Bear  and Duck.

It’s a free download and should work on all iPads. Not iPhones. Only iPads.

cvr_duk_9

I’m taking it down as I don’t have the time (or energy?) to upgrade it to higher-res graphics and make sure that the way it was designed and built stays current with the changes to iOS. It still works fine and I’ve been amazed by the tens of thousands of downloads it has received (passing 37,000 shortly I believe). I’ve never marketed it one bit. Except a mention on this blog when I released it. But as a free App I don’t want to spend more money getting a programmer to work on it again. The guy who helped me originally was awesome and really good. And thus is so busy he can’t find time to sleep!

Anyway, if you or anyone you knows wants a funny comic book, with a soundtrack that you can turn on or off, download it soon!

Ant Facts!

ant

I love me the insect science stories and this one is great.

From Scientific American the inside story on Crazy Ants. Acid spewing, fire ant defeating nasties.

“Named for their butterscotch color and erratic movements, tawny crazy ants are the newest insect invaders sprawling throughout Texas and the Gulf states,”

The world of insects is fascinating with unwieldily arms races between species and cleaver behaviors that grant advantages. These Crazy Ants are native to Argentina but apparently have decided to do some exploring. Ants setting off to find new niches. But how can they defeat Fire Ants? And Fire Ants, as anyone who has encountered them knows, are no pushovers. Well -

“Now we have a new clue as to why they are able to prevail over the previously dominant fire ants: Crazy ants produce chemicals they then rub on themselves as an antidote to fire ant venom. And the acidic substance exuded from where a stinger would be located on other ant species also doubles as a chemical weapon they spray at foes, allowing the crazy ants to defeat competitors that would otherwise help keep them in check.”

Read the whole article here.

I’m going to write about Starbucks today. And about the distance between the advantages technology supposedly offers companies who deploy it and what advantages it actually offers a consumer.

I’m registered with Starbucks like a dog is with the county. I have a ‘gold’ card (it’s not actually gold… well it is gold colored but, never mind…) and I use it to purchase whenever I’m at a Starbucks. Not only near where I live but when I travel. So Starbucks even knows what cities I frequent. I’ve registered this card on my iPhone too, so Starbucks knows when I’m even close to a Starbucks location, and they happily remind me.

So for over 6 years Starbucks has been tracking every purchase I make at their stores. The times, the days, the cities I’m in. How many banana loafs I’ve consumed. And they send me ‘special deals’ all the time for – coffee.

Now if you know anything about me it is I haven’t drunk a cup of coffee since…well. Never. I have never drunk an entire cup of coffee. And I’ve never, not in the 6 plus years I’ve been a card carrying Starbucks pawn, bought more than one or two for friends. So why do they send me endless coffee pitches?

And in all that time I don’t recall a single offer that had to do with tea. Which is the number one thing I buy at Starbucks. (More on the quality of their tea in another post)

So the promise of a company knowing its customers and serving them focused deals around their preferences is still a work in progress I guess. Even when they convince you to register with them for every purchase.

Is this sloth on their part? They just have one list for everyone? Or is this the weak link in the technology obsessed companies Conquer The World plans? The same reason a contractor can make off with Top Secret data from the CIA? The weak link is actually having a plan that does something meaningful with all the information available.

You’d think they could do simple data searches, including -What Does This Person Buy. Then act on that information.

Honestly there’s something comforting in the fact they aren’t catching on and acting on this. But I still have to delete 10,000 offers for coffee and coffee accessories every month.

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