Twitter as Medical Alert System

Detour, originally uploaded by LenEdgerly.

Yesterday as we were in final preparation for our trip to Boston and Maine, I woke up from a nap disoriented, unsure what year it was, and sure someone had slightly revised all my posts on Twitter. My wife and my doc agreed it would be prudent to get checked out. I ended up overnight at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver, and received a clean report from various tests, including a CAT scan last night and an MRI this morning . I was attended well by Dr. Timothy M. Clark, along with Maria on the 10th floor, Kirk on the MRI, and others whose names I can't remember. I was pretty fuzzy until this morning, when the world seemed to click back into alignment. Dr. Clark speculated on what sort of event might have cause the interruption and discharged me at about noon. I'll have some of his comments on the Video Pod Chronicles episode I plan to upload Wednesday.

The Twitter angle is very strange. I was so convinced that my Tweets had been tampered with that I wrote a couple of them down longhand last night, as evidence for whatever hunt I was going to conduct for the Twacker. I asked Darlene to bring the notes to me this morning, and, no surprise, I recognized every word of them. Forgetting the year last night was one thing, but it was my total disorientation about Twitter that really shook me up and made me agree quickly to a visit to the Emergency Room.

We were booked to fly JetBlue to Boston late tonight, but it's been delayed till tomorrow night. In addition to calls from my family and friends, I was really touched by the chorus of consoling Tweets that I received online from friends on Twitter. My good Alaska friend Kes Woodward and his physician wife Missy also provided key encouragement last night to get things checked out. I won't say I wasn't scared, because I was, and I am still digesting the experience. One thing for sure is that I will abandon my odd habit of smoking one cigarette a week, on Thursdays. It was fun while it lasted, but a night at Presbyterian/St. Luke's convinced me it's not worth however miniscule the risk it poses of a return visit.

It's great to be back home, Twittering and blogging, watching TV with Darlene and the Yorkie, and enjoying the rest of 2007.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Veni, Vidi, Vince?

29 giugno 2007: Apple iPhone | Notizie | Telefonino.netLink
Uploaded with Skitch!

My friend Valerie Ellis today sent me a translation of an Italian journalist's story about my 15 minutes of iPhone celebrity on launch day in Cambridge, Mass. Here's how it went:

Winner, Len Edgerly. It's not a car race or a track meet (in this case, we're talking about a marathon of 10,000 meters) for the iPhone. For the man from Colorado, the wait is over, as well as for millions of panting Americans. Len Edgerly arrived at Cambridge Mall at 3am on Friday, sat on his lawn chair, in the company of a couple of sandwiches and a lot of pop, a good book and the indispensable imac, and waited fifteen hours to get his hands on one of the many iphones available as of today at stores in the U.S.

While for Europe and Italy, the American's new product is still a dream, for the U.S., as in so many situations, it's already a reality and Len Edgerly is the first man in Boston to own one. Thanks to Tnet, we were able to participate in what for the collective imagination is a day to remember. On the 29th, Apple arrived in the mobile world and the people are scrambling for it. By car, we arrvied at Cambridge Mall in the early afternoon, finding an unexpected show. Approximately 107 were in line 1/12 hours before the opening, on thier lawn chairs, the iPhone some meters away waiting to show off.
How fun is this? Thanks very much to Valerie for la traduzione!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ft Caspar Sky

Ft Caspar sky, originally uploaded by LenEdgerly.

We've been staying at Fort Caspar Campground in Casper, Wyoming, this week, courtesy of our friends Tom and Tish, who have loaned us their fifth-wheel RV. I've enjoyed reconnecting with good friends, but I haven't seen much of Darlene, because we are connecting with different friends most of the time. Tomorrow we'll drive to the Black Hills of South Dakota, near where she grew up, to stay in a cabin by a stream for a night before heading back to Denver.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Even in Casper

Even in Casper, originally uploaded by LenEdgerly.

I lived in Casper, Wyoming, for 20 years and never thought I'd see the day Starbucks would come to town. Returning to visit friends, I find not one but two (the second due to open next month). I have to admit that it's jarring to read a Casper Star-Tribune at a little round table in a high-ceilinged, French-roast-friendly Star-pod. I'm almost relieved they don't have WiFi yet.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Tough Love for the Arts

Yesterday at the conference of The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) I interviewed Chris Wineman, a fellow member of the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, during a daylong seminar that sort of ripped the top of both of our heads off. It was given by an arts branding consultant, Neill Archer Roan, whose theme was that arts organizations need to understand what's happening before they can fix anything. One shocking thing that's happening to most mainstream arts venues, such as orchestras and theatres, is that about 80 percent of the people who come to an event never come back. This means huge marketing budgets must keep bringing new people in, just to maintain attendance levels. Something's wrong. Maybe the seats are uncomfortable. Maybe the ticketing policy is barbaric in its inflexibility. Maybe it's been a long time since the Board sat down for a sustained conversation about why the organization exists. Roan gave a terrific presentation, one that I'll be pondering in all of my arts-related work.

The TAAC conference was presented by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), which means everything about the event was done well, including the booking of Mr. Roan.

My apologies for the audio quality. I had the level too low on the high-quality mic shown in the video, so I had to rely on the audio from the videocamera, which picks up lots of other noise in the room. I hope you can still follow the conversation.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Interview with a Technologist

Roland Tanglao of Vancouver, British Columbia, is the first person I ever heard utter the word "podcast." That was at a conference in Banff more than two years ago, and since then I've enjoyed following him online and occasionally running into him in person. Today was one of the latter opportunities, because Roland is a presenter at a conference of The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) here in Denver. After lunch we sat down in an alcove of the Magnolia Hotel and talked about what's happening in technology and what it can mean for the arts. Roland is a founder and current technologist at Bryght, which builds community sites and website technology powered by the open-source Drupal system. He also has uploaded approximately 32,000 photos to Flickr.

Click here to listen to the interview, which is 11 minutes long.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Segway Down

Segway Down, originally uploaded by LenEdgerly.

I've owned a Segway for several years and have never had a serious fall--until this afternoon. I was tooling along 16th Street near Union Station in downtown Denver, listening to Leo Laporte's This Week in Tech (TWIT) podcast. Suddenly, a curb. I bounced off it at an angle, which threw me off balance and sent the Segway skittering out of my control across the street. Luckily, there was no person or vehicle in its path, and my injuries were confined to a cut knee and torn pants. The Segway was operable, so I continued on to my haircut and received first aid from Tracy at Higdon's Hair Salon, 2523 16th Street.

On the way home, though, the damn thing simply quit, with a shiver of its shaft and a flickering out of the round control light. As if my pride were not beat up enough, I had to push the contraption six blocks home.

Moral of the story: No more listening to podcasts on my iPhone while riding the Segway. I think I'll even give up music.

Be careful out there.

UPDATE: I love Leo Laporte's spin on the Segway spill here.


Monday, July 09, 2007

The Singing Tech Writer

David Pogue, the peerless technology writer at The New York Times, kicks iPhone mania into an entirely new orbit with this musical video:


Thursday, July 05, 2007

A Sane Voice on Al-Qaeda

I am so tired of shrill media voices and opinions regarding terrorism and Al-Qaeda that I was powerfully struck when I first heard in my earbuds the sane, informed, and calm voice of Lawrence Wright, a New Yorker author whose 2006 book The Looming Towers won the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction. The first podcast in which I heard Wright was the July 2nd CBC Radio One Ideas program, which recorded a speech he gave at the University of Toronto. The second was a Council of Foreign Relations panel discussion.

Wright made the challenge of Jihad seem huge, but he offered ways to address it that make sense to me. One of the most obvious is to hire more native Arab speakers in the U.S. institutions trying to understand Al-Qaeda. Of the 1,000 employees in the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, fewer than 10 are native Arabic speakers. What chance do we have to know what's going on when hardly anyone at the Embassy can read the local newspapers?

Wright also pointed out that the U.S. has a remarkable ability to assimilate Muslim immigrants compared with, say, France, where Muslims account for less than 10 percent of the general population but make up half of the prison population. In the U.S., it's just the reverse--Muslims account for a much smaller percentage of the prison population than they do the general population. In France, Muslims earn far less than average incomes; in the U.S. they earn significantly more than the average income. Such statistics are important, because studies Wright cited show that the young men most likely to be drawn into nihilistic Jihad are those who feel marginalized in a foreign culture, as is the case in Britain, where home-grown Muslim terrorists pose a challenge not seen in the U.S.

Great podcasts. Good ideas. And high-energy aerobic exercise as I followed along, reluctant to stop the audio when my workout was done.


Wish I Knew Some Italian

Luca Bordoni, an Italian journalist, e-mailed me the link to his story and which includes this photo he took of me right after I left the store with two new iPhones.

If you understand what he says about me, leave a comment!


Sunday, July 01, 2007

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