Posts Tagged "snake"

TEDxCincinnati Summary Part I (Thane Maynard, Zachary Green, & Coach Reed)

Dear Kid,

Still trying to process everything from TEDxCincinnati on Thursday.

TEDxCincinnati 2015 DearKidLoveMom.comIt was an amazing event filled with unbelievable speakers on the Main Stage and demos of cutting edge technology in Innovation Alley. Here are a couple—more to come anon.

Thane Maynard TEDxCincinnati 2015 DearKidLoveMom.comThane Maynard from the Cincinnati Zoo came with a feather of a condor (about a zillion feet long) and a talk about how the world can help heal itself if we let it. (Think about how bones heal themselves—the earth behaves in a similar fashion.) He brought a cheetah with him—because he can. The most amazing thing happened when this gorgeous cheetah came out. There house went quiet. There was no cheering, no applause, just a soft breath from the audience. Everyone seemed to understand that as much as we wanted to give her a standing ovation, the cheetah probably wouldn’t appreciate it. TEDxCincinnati is a classy place. During the break between sessions, Thane brought Tether the ball python to Innovation Alley.

Thane Maynard, Pi, and Tether the ball python TEDxCincinnati 2015

Zachary Green is the founder of MN8 Foxfire. A volunteer firefighter, he designed (Created? Invented? Applied? Pick your own verb) a photoluminescent (glow in the dark) technology that allows firefighters to see better in blackout conditions inside burning buildings. He told his story about creating and using the technology and the difference it’s made in safety and better fighting disasters. He’s now applying the technology to emergency exits and stairs in public buildings to improve safety. Prior to TEDxCincinnati, we put a small piece of the material on each program. Zachary had everyone turn on their phone, light up the strip, and then shut off all the lights. The room glowed. Pretty amazing.

TEDxCincinnati 2015 program with photoluminescent material by Zachary Green and MN8 Foxfire.

Coach Reed Maltbie is the Exec Director of STAR Soccer Club (and a bunch of other important soccer coaching stuff). He spoke about the difference between needing to coach skills (pass the ball) and needing to use words carefully to create the kind of people we want to see in the world. He talked about the impact coaches have on the kids they work with and how it is not the sports skills that stick with us through life, but how we’re treated, whether we’re believed in that shape us for life. Yes, I wanted to record his talk and play it back for certain unnamed sports coaches. And no, I probably won’t.

The great news is that all of the TEDxCincinnati talks will be available for on-line viewing in about 6 weeks. Until then, you’ll just have to trust me that it was an amazing event, and check back in occasionally for overviews of some of the other speakers.

Love, Mom


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December 13, 2003: Saddam Found in Spider Hole and Captured

Dear Kid,

Attack spider. DearKidLoveMom.comEleven years ago, international politics was not at the top of your list of interests. If memory serves, it was nowhere on your list of interests. Yet some things seem to stick in our communal memory no matter how old we are.

On December 13, 2003, the American military (go Team!) executed Operation Red Dawn which sounds like a movie title because the operation was named after the Patrick Swayze movie Red Dawn. [Extra points if you can name the best Patrick Swayze movie ever. There is a correct answer.]

Operation Red Dawn was conducted in the Iraqi town of ad-Dawr (near Tikrit) by the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division with Special Forces from Task Force 121—an elite and covert joint special operations team. They were assigned the mission of capturing or killing Saddam Hussein.

The team searched two sites based intelligence that Hussein was in the area. No Saddam. But being the kind of soldiers they are (namely American) they continued searching nearby suspicious looking spots and found Hussein in a “spider hole.”

A “spider hole” is military talk for a highly camouflaged, one-person foxhole which is generally shoulder deep. Spider holes are used as observation posts or (as in this case) hiding spots.

A military historian I’ve never heard of says the term spider hole was first used in the Civil War. However, according to William Safire (who knows pretty much everything about our American language) the term was first used during the Vietnam War where one of the characteristics of holes was a large clay pot big enough for a crouching man. The clay pot protected the person from spiders and snakes. Guess who I’m going to assume is correct?

This particular spider hole was pretty darn big (big enough for an evil terrorist to lie down at the bottom). Saddam (the evil terrorist) did not resist capture (apparently the sacrifice yourself for the cause thing was for Other People not him). Instead, El Brave-o presumably said, “I am Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, and I want to negotiate.”

I am quite sure my thoughts are by no means the rudest on the planet, but I’m quite sure they aren’t the kindest either.

Love, Mom

The Best Patrick Swayze move ever is Dirty Dancing. Duh.

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