pardon the dust bunnies, i'm still around

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the past two weeks have given me introspective time to think about one of the most important part of this trip... love. the unrelenting, always self giving love. you know, the type of love that builds from years of exposure and common kinship. the type that type that exists from parent to child. the type of love that builds among friends who grow up experiencing the same joy, excitement and loss. the type of love never seems to die.

thankfully, the past two weeks have been spent with some of my oldest and dearest friends, stories of treasured memories, my brother and my parents. as the next five weeks unfold, there are many things that must be done. a majority of them will rattle my cage, shake my will, and question my own personal resolve. one thing is certain. love is immortal.

Ohio - May 207 - 67this morning, as i uploaded several photosets to fickr, i read a pleasant piece about two late-twentysomethings who will embark on a similar voyage around the globe. throughout the article, i can hear the same answers to the same quick witted questions i am asked. when it comes to why we attempt such an experiences, well...

People are always willing to lend a helping hand,” Ms. Collins said, “because there are so many things, like the wind, that are completely out of your control.”

...and frankly i feel the same way... my mother has always said, "if you are nice to people, people will be nice to you."

over the next week, i'll be cranking out two video pieces, a travel narrative of the past few weeks and a very special announcement (that has taken longer to announce that original conceived). until then, i leave you with Buddha's four immeasurables - love, compassion, joy and equanimity.


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heading to chicago

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i'll be in chicago as of 8 am central... if anyone is interested in hanging out, give me a call at 917.657.6999.

also, i'd like to thank all of club of seven donors who have donated since april 15...

seven weeks to go!

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ten days ago, i sent out an email to my donors asking for help.
nine days ago, i sent out an email to my address book asking for help.
eight days ago, i email all of my lists and ensured proper messaging on all of the social networking sites.
within that time, you answered the call and raised total donations to $2678.12!!!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

seven days ago, i dusted off a camera and headed out to the humble abode of House 2.0 for jelly nyc. jelly nyc is unique member of the coworking family. coined by House 2.0 residents, amit and luke, while working out from home. the two wanted external stimuli and desired to meet new and interesting people. so, they open their doors and invited a few people in. this past week, (sadly sans luke) while in the pleasant company of strangers and friends, we chatted about our projects... in a stroke of magic, a new york times reporter came by to figure out the world of coworking and more importantly the humble side of Jelly. after a few good hours of productivity and several conversations that created a warm happy feeling, i turned on the camera and created Episode 3.

just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone... - james tayor

as of this week, the luck of seven is now my full time job. my last consulting gig just ended. despite the fact that i don't get paid, and i'm living off of savings... i feel very good about this. there are many hard times ahead and the only way is to be fully prepared. ok, that's just a BS statement saying, "it's a lot harder finding people to interview than originally thought..." nonetheless, today i had a great interview with jamie and dan from Mayfirst/PeopleLink which should be up by monday. on sunday, i'll be out doing a few more interviews... all in all, this is turning out to be a much larger production than i ever thought.

"there were peasants singing and drummers drumming and the archer split the tree..." - neil young

next week, two friends get married. painfully, one in nyc and another in detroit.
next week, i turn a year older and get to celebrate with a bachelor party.
next week, i'll be chicago (21 - 23), detroit (24 - 27), dayton (28 - 30) and columbus (31).

if you're interested in showing me around chicago on the 21st and the 22nd. shoot me an email. i'll have camera in tow! also, if you know of a good person to interview, shoot me a line!!.

rounding out the housekeeping issues, i don't know why it took so long for me to figure out how come my site was poorly organized. i've striped out a bunch of wiki junk. now there is a new and improved itinerary and equipment listing. if you know of anyone, any product or project that can help. don't hesitate to contact me...

ps - special announcement on monday!!!

cheers!
noel

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a question...

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just browsing through my email and i see that a friend of mine/donor, jonathan berger, is making some introductions, and in his cut and paste, he added this IM message...

"he's kind of like a batman villain, now that i think about it"

which i chuckle. not that it's a bad thing, but there could also be a hidden message of conflicted good/bad guy. i really don't think that JB intended that. ;) instead, i see the statement pointing directly to the fact that it speaks to the power of cultural references. (furthering reading henry jenkins for a modern viewpoint)

as some of you might know, i worked on john kerry's presidental campaign (i was on the winning campaign, the side that got him nominated). when i look back at the leaders of the modern era, i consistently see figures who not only can embody their own existence, but who can manifest the pop. i'm not just talking about elected officials, but musicians, painters, writers, directors, etc... frankly, this is not intended as some grand notion, but just a refinement of a question that's that perplexes me.

how can one produce a timely documentary without seeking out the pop?

Episode 3: Jelly NYC at House 2.0

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Recoded: 10 May 2007
Locations: Brooklyn, Greenpoint, Manhattan, Columbus Circle, Williamsburg, Subway, NYC
Tags: Coworking, Jelly NYC, Photojojo, Monkey Business Labs, Insanely Great Tees, Amit Gupta, Joshua Keay, Anna Grossman, Dave, Sahadeva Hammari, Ian Van Ness, Dave Keay, Ben
Music: " wonder what i'll do today" by oldDog, featuring narva9

on thursday, 10 may 2007, i loaded up my laptop and a borrowed a Sony HVR-A1U and headed over to House 2.0 for a bit of Jelly NYC. after leaving my house in greenpoint and stopping to smell some flowers, I found myself on a motionless 7 train, wondering what joy and excitement would befall the day. little did i know, how much i would learn in such few hours. while the day was filled with standard enjoyment and pleasant conversations. it wasn't until the afternoon when i started filming did i really discover the important lessons.

here are some tips on being a better videographer in nyc...
lesson 1 - people will stare at you and think you are a tourist. just remind them god created sky for everyone to enjoy. then, like a good new yorker, take off your cap, curtsey, and say have a good day.
lesson 2 - people will ask you what you are doing. just say, "I'm looking for something to report" and then politely remind them of the subway ads saying, "see something, say something."
lesson 3 - listen to what you have to say before saying it, but then again don't do it over and over. eventually you will get it. don't worry, after you're comfortable being in front of the bloody camera, things will flow.
lesson 4 - give your subjects a count down after hitting record. i found my self working with really tight record times. simply padding 5 - 7 seconds before and after interview statements would have allowed for better transition.

on the technical end...
lesson 1 - HD is HUGE!!! while i'm not sure of the exact conversion, it's roughly a GIG a min. oh, and if you think that your laptop's hard drive can handle that type of data manipulation... think again. right now, i'm using my 60 gig 4th gen iPod as my scratch disk, thank goodness it's the last model that had firewire!
lesson 2 - map things out. not only are tapes expensive, storage is a premium and so is your processor power. make a mental map of scenes, and do a bit of story boarding.
lesson 3 - it takes forever to convert data from HD to the web. make sure before outputting that you're ready, and then once your ready review Zadi Diaz's rules for making internet video compatible with appleTV.
lesson 4 - create an account on a content sharing site like blip or revver where you ultimately own the intellectual property.

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Just passed $2,000!

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Thank you Alexandra Deschamps! Your the lucky winner for setting me past $2000!!!

META: overloaded server and move to blip.tv

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it appears that my dreamhost server flipped out earlier in the day. thanks to the hard working support staff we are back up and running.

though through my foraging, i once thought it was a good idea to host everything here at Lo7. in reality, between server constraints and thoughts of the unknown, i have walked down the path to to blip.tv.

WHY???

first, the blip.tv guys and gals are awesome. ever so often, when we would go out drinking, they would laugh stating my foolishness in hosting my own video.

second, it's super easy! i once thought that i had to use a special drupal module, but that hasn't turned out to be the case. instead, i'm using the drupal video module and imbedding the blip.tv flash and quicktime file within the node. too boot, i now can promote my self on iTunes, Windows Media Center and on Democracy Player without having to blink.

ok, i just blinked.

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two months to go...

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Dear Friends,

Today, marks a very special day, not only has Luck of Seven crossed the 20% goal in fundraising, but in two short months, I will depart from my beloved city of New York to explore this planet. On 7 July 2007, and traveling for seven months, my feet will wander the earth contemplating seven topics of freedom. On the way, I'll be documenting the experience on the "Luck of Seven" travel site (Lo7).

The seven topics of freedom are not some crazy manifesto, but an exploration of a world without any borders. Our ability to transcend, distance, time and culture are unprecedented. With more people living in urban environments, our world is growing and condensing at the same time. Fundamentally the seven topics of freedom boil down to four: open source communities, open source technology, social entrepreneurs and the greater conversation of global change. Ironically, a few weeks ago my mother sent me Leo Buscaglia's "The Way of the Bull." If you haven't read Mr. Buscaglia's books you will find them highly entertaining. While I instantly laughed at the outrageous cover, I found this motherly highlight, "The only thing that is certain for us is change. To battle change is to waste our time; the battle can never be won. To become the willing ally of change is to assure ourselves of life."

Now with 07/07/07 quickly approaching and my first month planned out, I look at my life and see a wealth of opportunities to explore this world. BUT I can't do it alone. I need your help in three ways...

1. A small donation of USD $11.11.

Thank you donors!! As of today, we have reached 20% of Lo7's fundraising goal! Not only will your donations help me go around the world, but in return, I promise you an autographed copy of the book. In the meantime, luckofseven.com will continue to tell the story though rich media. < http://luckofseven.com/donate >

2. Spread the word and connect me with your other friends.

There is nothing more important to me than my friends. Though my past years of traveling and countless workshops, I know that we can make this a better place. Regardless if it's just a smiling face, a pint of beer or a hard floor to sit on, I want to visit your friends and say hello. Forward your friends this message and copy me < noel(at)noneck.org >! Then, if you have a blog or social networking site, spread the word. I really need the link love ;)

3. Organizational sponsors for equipment and travel.

In Prague, Transitions Online has asked me to teach on new media journalism to former Communist countries. While "on the way," I look forward to teaching, conversing and interviewing citizens of this earth. If you know of an organization that might be a good fit, please don't hesitate to forward this email or make a formal introduction. I'm quite keen on helping organizations adapt technological frameworks for their own uses, elevate the seven topics of freedom, and share my experiences at an organizer. Otherwise, I'm looking for sponsors to acquire equipment: an HD Camcorder, a GPS device, an GSM cell phone, etc... I have a list and would love to entertain any ideas. Have your people call my people!

... and with that, I hope you place your luck on seven and at least give a donation.

be seeing you...

noneck noel


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my initial travel arrangements...

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four flights have been confirmed... i'll be departing nyc on 7/7/07 at 9pm, arrive in barcelona for a six hours. then, i'll depart for pamplona for a bit of bit of bull running. after 22 hours on the ground, i'll depart for prague to help teach a week long course and snag a few interviews...

during this leg, i'm only going to need one lovely couch and a guide around pamplona... i wonder how many couches are available?

Reservation of the flights:

Flight: IB6250
Date: Saturday, July 07, 2007
From: New York John F Kennedy International Terminal 7
Departing: 18:00
To: Barcelona Terminal B
Arriving: 9:50
Status: Confirmed

Flight: IB8404
Date: Sunday, July 08, 2007
From: Barcelona Terminal C
Departing: 14:30
To: Pamplona
Arriving: 15:25
Status: Confirmed

Flight: IB8535
Date: Monday, July 09, 2007
From: Pamplona Departing: 12:00
To: Madrid Barajas Terminal 4
Arriving: 13:05
Status: Confirmed

Flight: IB7884
Date: Monday, July 09, 2007
From: Madrid Barajas Terminal 4S
Departing: 14:45
To: Prague Ruzyne Terminal N2 Arriving: 17:40
Status: Confirmed

...where the sidewalk ends...

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There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,

And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow

We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,

For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

-Shell Silverstein

megan, to answer your question, YES! thank you for the reminder...

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the computers power of suggestion

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i was composing and email and wanted to say apocalyptic, but instead got apoplectic...

"an apoplectic handbook, to the post-apoplectic world..."

i wonder if there's a new lexicon to define? linguistics through computer aided spell checking?

a rain of thoughts and ideas...

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yesterday it was pouring rain. though this rain was not your ordinary rain - filled with cats and dogs, the rain contained an unusual assortment of information...

at my usual watering hole, an unusual individual passed along a droplet of information that has soaked my soul. it's almost like a dream come true. imagine hitching a ride from london to mongolia in a car whose engine contain half the power of my camelpak... so what's a liter of power in english measurements? think of a fiat, citron or an old mini... in other words, a compact. a EUROPEAN compact. some call them micro cars. others, daily transportation. for a small group, at max 180 people, it will be home and a haven for an international rally that spans from the uk to mongolia. insanity right!?! hells yeah.

organized by the league of adventurists international LTD, 60 cars will leave on july 21st from london. these rebells from around the globe have three weeks to make their way across five "routes" and then end up in mongolia. nothing gets my heart beating like a good car race. nothing gets my heart beating faster than a bunch of lunatics attempting feats of nobility and self determination. nothing will make my heart beat faster than one of the teams contacting me asking for a third driver!

which then got me thinking about a "me" vs "we" factor. right now, public response indicates people think this trip is a cool "vacation" vs "adventure." without having an explicit charitable organization or partnership, it's been hard to convince my reluctant compatriots that this is not a "vacation." heck i had one friend outright question my manifesto's authenticity. not that i have one... nonetheless, i am searching for the right opportunity, partnership, marriage, etc... non-profits, media agents, and others... nothing is too crazy, as long as you don't compromise my integrity and my content.

then somehow the question of integrity carried me down a stream of consciousness back to february... in a mildly cold geneva surrounded by snow barren alps, i questioned what is digital integrity? but it's more than integrity, my real question lies in the existence of what is a digital soul. back at LIFT, sister Judith Zoebelein, holy see, spoke about the internet as a conduit for modern theistical practice. i think that our online existence is an extension of our physical existence. in this place we can explore freudian thoughts, interact and fill the void that a modern organic existence creates, and really understand that our identity wether organic or synthetic is an embodiment of our organic nature. (whew..)

personally, i've always tried to keep my self on the same plain of existence - synthetic or organic... i am the sum of all my parts, but because of my mental space has been growing further than my ability to type and express my thoughts, i'm finding my self in a fractured digital existence.

inherently our online existence is divergent though the plains of participation - flickr, myspace, del.icio.us, twitter, last.fm, etc... they force us to segment our flow. this segmentation provides us the ability to manifest many different personalities. historically, i've attempted to keep a unified existence. online or offline, my worlds collide through a curated view of self. while i am the one who builds the profile, my friends, number of friends and my quality of self is there for perceived through these mediums.

with an infinite number of mediums, these inadvertently give us digital fragmentation. painfully, i now find my self in an altered existence with friends that are unrecognizable, relationships of no value and an overwhelming amount of data. sure, some may boil it down and say that it's a form of internet ADD. when it comes to my own understanding of things... i feel a bit scattered, and concerned with having a life that is inflated.

i'm sure you've all heard the statement, "he looks good on paper..." well for years i've frequented bars and had a persona for my bar existence, then i had my office life, another for scooter subculture, another for political events, etc... and what i find painful is that this is the type of existence i've had since high school... and while i always felt light and nimble, it also felt somewhat superficial. my friends where never given the proper justice, time or love. as for love, let's just say that though it all, i've had my ups and downs... in the end, i can look at a diversity of existence and experience. in the end, i am happy but now on an never ending quest for more.

ironically, the online model i follow is no more different than my physical existence. changing one social networking bio, leaves others disconnected from the current "reality" and presents an alternate universe. in the end, preferences left on one site will attract a different group of followers than what is featured on other sites.

it really does freak me out that i'm bothered by these disparaging profiles of existence. i know they are who i am, or whom i once was, but are they really who i am now? there are many ways to look at these online identities... some see them as time capsules. others, facets of expression, and yes, i know that i'm lumping in many thoughts here... but when i think of my online existence and maybe this is more of a traditional perspective, i want to see an honest reflection of how i view my life, but in reality images are built on how others see your actions...

imagine a figure skater who is just starting to spin. as the figure skater obtains balance, their arms are extended out. as the speed increase, arms withdraw and body mass is concentrated... speed increase and beauty is displayed.... not that i'm a fan of figure skating, but currently that's my perception of digital participation.

fundamentally i am conflicted. instead of being spread across a multitude of plaines, should i scale back? should i seriously consider revoking social networking profiles, firing all friends, and placing a tombstone as an image?

some people call this digital suicide... especially in light of this journey, but there is another argument that resonates... if we give away our own "labor" what protection do we have? on friday, trebor schultz made this his central argument... he waxed on that "we are labors in the digital factories of participatory culture."

this armchair philosopher is not intending this treatise to be a political argument. that conversation will come later, but as i wade though this river of thoughts i find THE real argument... i am asking for your fellowship. i am asking unknown people from around the globe to be my eyes, my ears, my hands, my beds and my wallets. i'm asking you to join me, rebuke the thoughts and notions of mental tyranny. let's go fishing beyond the borders of existence and see the connectivity of all things.


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thank you to two new donors!

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thank you Matt Turck and a huge thank you to John Keegan for donating $77.77!

interesting news today

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one of the most elusive creatures on this planet is my younger brother. stuck in the middle of ohio, he's one hard fella to track down. in our post-easter convo, i've come to discover that his graduation is not in feb, it's not in jan, nor even dec. it is nov 17, conveniently located when i would be in Antarctica.

i'm still mulling over this change of course. i can still start the trip in europe. i've decided that africa is impossible to cover. unless i can find a sponsor to take me to a kenya, namibia and south africa, i might spend a majority of my time in egypt and the middle east. then on to india, nepal, thailand, vietnam, and maybe hong kong. in a weird twist, i will finally cross the equator on my way to australia and new zealand. from the land down under, i'm considering finding steerage in an aluminum tube in order not to miss my brother's graduation. after graduation and coincidentally thanksgiving, i'll start my trek ether with my brother and we'll venture south though the usa and onto central america in an idealistic quest to see the wind mills of antarctica or i will venture on my own to argentina, in a more immediate desire to make no stone unturned.

as you can guess, i love my bother very much, and since i have not graduated college. i must support my brother's desire to finish and in a more interesting twist, potentially join the military. that leaves me no other option than to bend convention...

oh, in other news, i invited 170 people to join my account on linkedin and i got 5 donations... ether people don't read the invites or they don't care, but you know who does?

thanks gang!

CS, where can i get an inexpensive global cell phone

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this is in response to a post on an CS RTW question about global mobile phones...

i too am in a similar boat. i'll be leaving on july 7th for seven months and have been looking into a communications plan that will keep me happy on all 6 populated continents. over the weekend, i dropped into my local t-mobile store to ask a very distracted man a few questions. over my shoulder stood a tall blond who was fidgeting with a sidekick and without out a doubt, i stood in the way of the t-mobile agent getting some digits.

nonetheless, i discovered that while t-mobile would be the best provider bouncing back and fro from US and Europe. there is no good single provider. t-mobile has the most inexpensive international blackberry (data) plan, but data, voice and text are comparable to cingular, the new at&t. i've heard Europeans get a better plan when they come over to the US on voice and text but not on data. to date i have no one can provide conclusive evidence.

logically, i see my self purchasing an unlocked GSM cellphone and keeping my fingers crossed or keeping my brick like treo. my other consideration is fairly expensive. in june, apple and cingular will launch the iPhone and conceptually it's the perfect device for a world traveler - GSM, WiFi, iPod with 8 gig, Address Book, 2 megapixel camera and what appears to be an SD card slot.

in the end, i've been debating the suitability of have a phone, battery, etc... but then i think of twitter and txt messages... how will i ever live what my friend heather calls the "mini postcards."

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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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