Friday Four

Friday, May 03, 2013

1. Admitting that he has dismissed some very good ideas "at least four times", entrepreneur Dustin Curtis relates a couple of amusing examples. Here's the end of one of his accounts:

"What a stupid idea," I thought to myself.

As we finished our coffees, I think he sensed my apathy, and we parted ways. But just before I walked away, he asked a question:

"What do you think about the name we've been using? It's called Pinterest."
I think the author is being a little hard on himself when he calls his stories possible warnings against "arrogance": There's no way to bat 1.000 when evaluating new ideas.

That said, I think there is value to be had in the sense of being able to remember that some really good ideas have been laughed at in their infancy. If you have an original idea, don't forfeit your own judgement of it just because it has naysayers, which it will.

2. An old friend told me recently that, thanks to the expanson of Google Steet View into Russia, it is now possible for anyone to see a building -- 120 Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg -- that Ayn Rand called home for a time in her childhood.

3. Since we live so close to it and it has a great penguin exhibit, we've taken our daughter to the excellent St. Louis Zoo quite a few times now. She has recently started branching out from her love of penguins to also being fascinated by owls. (Thanks, Warner Brothers!)

So it is that we had reason to take her to the zoo's bird exhibit, which turned out to have only two owls (each of a different species) on display that day. I like to think of the following as her two-word review of that exhibit: "More owls!"

She has been surprising me daily with the speed at which she has been improving her speech. She often uses nearly complete sentences, like, "Take coat off," or "Let me sit," and frequently surprises me with words I recall using rarely, if ever, with her. As I write this, specific examples elude me, as this is now near-daily, and the words are not particularly unusual.

4. Think of the implied personal security tip as "hacking" the range-of-the-moment mentality of most criminals:
As lame as this ATM skimming attempt was, a few aspects of this crime are worth highlighting because they show up repeatedly in skimming attacks. One is that the vast majority of skimming devices are installed on Saturdays and Sundays, when the crooks know the banks will be closed for at least a day. As a result, you have a much higher chance of encountering a skimmer if you regularly use ATMs on a weekend.
The rest of the post is worth reading and ends with an even more general way to safeguard your bank account from card skimmers.

-- CAV

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