Category Archives for Pointers

[412-public-news] Busy year so far. Yes, I am of the year-of-the rooster.

The month has been busy. Three updates below:
1. Catherine’s stories,
2. my new duties as executive director of a nonprofit, and
3. my presentation to California swim coaches.

#1) My wife’s fourth story was recently part of the national radio show,
Moth Radio Hour, and associated podcast. For a bit of humor, tune in. Tip:
the full recording of the show is worth the time as the second and third
stories are amazing too.

Full show:

Just Catherine’s story:

Link to all of Catherine’s online stories:

#2) I’ve got a new advocate role with a budding nonprofit to go along with
my local swim coaching with Pittsburgh Public Schools, the
Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, The Pittsburgh Project and The Ellis
School. I’m now the executive director of SKWIM USA.

New Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a 501(c)(3)

#3) My presentation with (slides, audio, and links to videos) to last
week’s Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic about game-play, water polo, SKWIM and
our approach in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, is now documented and shared at

Thinking again about aquatic game play — Presentation at NorCal’s Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic

Planning for summer is in full swing. If you think my efforts with
sportsmanship, teamwork, aquatic safety and aquatic fun can help you and
yours, email or come to the Saturday Swim School at Oliver High School on
the city’s Northside. We can visit there and better sustain these
wave-making activities.

108 South 12th Street in the historic South Side

Funny, true, 2nd-hand story about South Side pride N’at, in the wake of the “discussion” on the other thread about 15203:

Our home’s former owner who we never met was a small business man, Mr. Gursky. He lived here and ran his shoe repair shop here for decades. He and his wife raised two children on this spot on 12th Street. One kid became a doctor. He fixed the shoes and boots of countless of people throughout his long life. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, nor any of the family.

After we moving in, for years, people would knock on our door and try to give us their shoes. Nope. This isn’t a shoe repair shop these days. Often, the stories would start to flow.

One guy recounted how he once brought a pair of shoes into the shop and to his former neighbor, Mr. Gursky. This customer had lived in the South Side for years. They chatted. The guy allowed how he moved to Brentwood, (perhaps Baldwin?) as Mr. Gursky, the shop owner, hadn’t seen him around the South Side in recent months.

As the conversation winds down, the tattered shoes come out of a bag and onto the counter / work bench for repair. Mr. Gursky picks them up, walks outside onto the sidewalk, tosses them down in disgust and says, “You move away. You’re too good for us now. You take your shoes to Brentwood! Let them fix em.”

Mr. Gursky, living what some have called ‘the immigrant’s dream’ with home / business under the same roof, was not having anything to do with those shoes from the ex-South Sider who moved to Brentwood. Hard. Crusty. Iron willed.

What inspires? A list of projects with impact from a Teach Mozilla crew.

Great list of organizations and projects that are doing wonderful work in tech today.

In the future, I think can get into these conversations with our efforts for Creating Literate Olympians Here.

* <>*
These are projects and organizations that inspire us right now, as
generated by you in Tuesday’s Mozilla Learning community call

The links are a great way to step back and think big about the impact we
want to have with our own leadership and advocacy work.

We also got some great feedback on our draft Impact statements and
milestones, which the working groups will refine and update in time for the
next call on Sep 8.

More on that soon — but in the mean time… have a look. And please add to
the list.


*Mozilla Learning calls:*
*Notes from the last one: *
*Video recording: *

Who inspires you?

– *Free Code Camp <> *— learn to code by
helping non-profit organizations *(Amira)*
– *18F* <> — kicking ass when it comes to bringing
open source to government *(Kaitlin)*
– *The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
<>* — cool network and community of practice
for 15,000 people teaching in refugee camps and other emergency settings
around the world *(Surman)*
– *The Engine Room* <>— small and scrappy,
but doing amazing work with teaching open tools for social change
– *GDS <>* — because they somehow manage to work
like MoFo, even though they are part of Government *(Adam)*
– *Keyboardio <>* — open source mechanical
keyboard with a wonderful backlight, shipped with a screwdriver so that you
can tinker around and reprogram. * (Shreyas

– *Born Accessible
<>* — thinking
about web content as “born accessible.”*(Emma)*
– *WikiSpeed <>* — a non-profit that’s building
open source, energy-efficient cars in 17 countries,  with no org chart or
management structure *(@OpenMatt)*
– *NESTA* <> — engaged in some interesting
thought leadership that relates well to our work *(Sam)*

– *Ocean Cleanup
*— addressing “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” with business /
philanthropy / sponsorship / science / data / youth vision all coming
together to stem it *(Rebecca)*
– *Conservation International*
<>— I’m digging their
current campaign: “Nature doesn’t need people, people need nature”
– *Mercy for Animals <>* — they take a
big, often controversial topic and make it approachable — and they have a
massive, engaged volunteer force *(Lindsey)*
– *Truth and Reconciliation Commission Canada
<> **(Simona)*
– *Generation Squeeze <>* — taking on the
impossible task of advocating for worklife balance, childcare and
affordable housing on a living wage *(ErikaD)*

– *NYT documentary of bieber + skrillex + diplo
–  Love the focus on storytelling and combo of graphics / animation.
– *model view culture* <>— cranky and
continuous analytic deconstructions of intersections between technology,
inclusion, diversity with anger and no apologies and a paper journal that
arrives on a regular basis. *(@leahatplay)*
– *Colors <>* magazine — open contribution
– *the Unilever rapper campaign
— because it was a long-stale pollution problem that was revitalized with
creativity *(Andrea)*

– *Hollaback*
uses online tools to work with young people and confront street harassment
– *Craigslist <>* — because their
success is based on the assumption that most people are good. *(David)*
– *Dark Mountain
<>* — thinking
through how WebLit does / does not survive in the anthropocene. *(Chad)*
– *NPR* <> – They strike a successful balance between
mass appeal and education. *(Simon)*


The above examples are…

1. *Crisp*. Our group was able to communicate the story for each of
these projects — in their own words, off the top of their head, in a single
sentence. That means the mission is telegraphic, simple and sticky.
2. *Viral*. Each of these organizations has succeeded in creating an
influential, mini-evangelist to spread their story *for* them: you!
3. *Edgy*.  Many of these examples have a bit of punk rock or social
justice grit. They’re not wearing a bow tie.
4. *Diverse.* There’s a broad range of stuff here, not just the usual
tech / ed tech suspects. This is a party you’d want to be at.
5. *Real*. There’s no jargon or planning language in any of the
descriptions people provided — the language is authentic and human, because
no one’s trying too hard. It’s just natural and unscripted.

*Can we get to this same level of natural, edgy crispness for MoFo and our
core strategies?* Would others put *us* on a list like this? Food for