Smart Websites


I just want to remind everyone that we are very lucky to be at a stage in our lives when we can take advantage of so many websites that educational. <!Instead of having to be physically present at some facility, we can now engage in a wide variety of online courses right from the comfort of our homes.

I have written about a few of these online classes before, but now, Business Insider details 25 websites that teach us about stuff that we always wanted to know about, but never had the time for in the past.

Click here for the the full 25.

Coursera — More than 800 free courses on a wide range of topics.

Digital Photography School — Beginner to very sophisticated lessons. Also an active community of other photographers to connect with.

Duolingo — Learn new language skills with fun games. — Alternative classes like, The Science of Happiness to Responsible Innovation from the best universities.

Factsie—Historical and scientific facts.

Freerice — Expand your vocabulary with impressive words.

Lifehacker —Tips and tricks for getting things done.

MIT Open Courseware — Powersearching with Google — Learn how to find anything you ever wanted by mastering your Google search skills.

Quora — Get your questions answered by other smart people or read through the questions other people have asked,

A Thanksgiving Day Cousins’ Reunion

Today was quite a day for Eliot and me. We got to spend Thanksgiving with our daughter Whitney and her boyfriend Fredrick. They drove up from San Diego to Los Angeles so we could all spend Thanksgiving with my west coast cousins. I have been very fortunate to have the best first cousins on both coasts.

Our parents were four close siblings, two living in New York and two living in Los Angeles. The miles that separated them never interfered with their tight relationship. This was long before the Internet, Skype, FaceTime, email, texting, and Facebook. Somehow they managed to be very involved with each other. This has spilled over to their children.

Most of the cousins are in frequent communications with each other. My cousin Jeff, wife Beth, and daughter Hanna have a beautiful Los Angeles home and host an annual Thanksgiving dinner. It gets better and better every year. We are very grateful to them. It has been an absolute delight to be together.
























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Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, You’re Really A TV



I have stayed at the best hotels in the world, and some of the worst. I think I have seen it all, At least I thought I did until I walked in to our guest room at the Mondrian Hotel, in West Hollywood, earlier today.

There was an object in the room that looked like a mirror but doubled as a TV, It is totally bizarre but I love it, Eliot thinks it’s stupid, He would rather have a larger flat screen TV.

The TV inside the mirror is a Sony 42-inch unit, It took us a while to figure out how the TV got inside the mirror. We discovered that it was the brainchild of Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, the interior designer responsible for the new look at the hotel. It was very clever to take an ordinary TV and turn it into an art piece.

I guess you have to be a lover of contemporary installations to appreciate it, At the very least, it shows great energy and positive thinking.

Whisknladle, La Jolla, CAl

Frankly speaking, this blog post has nothing to do with technology. It has everything to do with food. Tonight, Eliot and I were treated to the most amazing dinner at Whisknladle, La Jolla, CA, courtesy of Fredrick Selby, Whitney’s boyfriend. He is a cook there and we were served all of the dishes he makes himself. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined anything so grand. Thank you Fredrick and Whitney for an extraordinary evening.

Bluefin Crudo–Pickled Shallots, Cucumber, Pomegranate and Lemon Purée

Charred Bone Marrow–Parsley, Capers, Lemon Zest & Toasted Pain de Mie

Flatbread–Fontina Fonduta, Fennel Sausage, Charred Broccoli Leaves & Leeks

Maine Diver Scallops–Pomegranate Gooseberry Relish, Roasted Purple Cauliflower & Cauliflower Puree.

Pan Roasted Sweetbreads—Maple Glaze, Braised Lentils, Brussel Sprouts & Bacon Lardons

Sleep Tight


I have senior friends who are always tired. They walk around yawning and have big dark circles under their eyes. They are a mystery to me. They sleep eight hours a night and they still look like they are ready to nod out.

I think they may be bored. They left fast-paced jobs, spent most of their life multi-tasking, and had rigorous and challenging schedules. Now that they are retired, they have lost all of their energy. I call it post-work blues. It may mean that when you are finally done with a career, or a project for that matter, your body and mind relaxes to a point that exhaustion sets in.

There is an app called Sleep Better, from Runtastic, that claims to help folks achieve a good night’s rest. It simply analyzes sleep. It tracks sleep duration, cycles and efficiency. All you have to do is put your smartphone next to your bed just before you fall asleep. It relies on your phone’s sensors to determine how much you toss and turn.

You can use the app for free or pay $1.99 for more features. One of the bonuses is that it can determine which moon phase gives you the best rest. Laugh all you want. It works.

Redefining What It Takes To Become Successful


From Kendall Jenner’s huge fashion spread in the December issue of Vogue.

Here’s more proof that the criteria we grew up with, to have a successful career, has gone right out the window. I told you the other day, that your children, and grandchildren, have a completely new set of competitive standards that they have to deal with on a daily basis. More and more industries are taking the popularity of individuals on social media into consideration when it comes to hiring, or even promoting.

Many of you are going to think my example is absurd, but who would have thought a year or two ago that a major cosmetics company would pick a total neophyte to represent their company? Yet, just the other day, Estée Lauder picked 19-year old Kendall Jenner, daughter of Kris and Bruce Jenner, to be the new face of their company.

Kendall beat out girls who were just as pretty and even more experienced because she has 16 million followers on Instagram, 9.1 million on Twitter and 7.3 million likes on Facebook. The fact that she is the half-sister of Kim Kardashian, and already walked the runway for several major fashion designers, certainly helped her achieve these high-scoring numbers. But she had to know how to work the social media system. You maintain numbers like this by frequently posting and sharing information with equally popular friends.

Estée Lauder also knew that Kendall would be a perfect marketing partner. She often talks about her projects and assignments on her social media platforms. When she announced the Estée Lauder deal, on her Instagram account, she immediately garnered
more than a million “likes” and 50,000 comments. You can’t buy that kind of PR.
Esté also benefitted. It received six times the number of unique visitors it usually gets on any given day. Ninety percent cent of the visitors were first-timers and 71 percent were on a mobile device.

While all this may seem too far-fetched for the average working person, it really isn’t. There are scores of people in all kind of industries that garner several million fans. These folks use their big personalities and social media skills to truly change the way people secure fame and fortune today. Take heed.

The Future Of Carry-Ons



Dedicated to my long-time friend, Jennifer Zorek-Pressman, who introduced me to the Bluesmart carry-on suitcase that you can control with an app. You can lock and unlock it, weigh it, track its location, be notified if you are leaving it behind and find out more about your travel habits. You can also charge your phone six times over with a built-in battery.

Thank you Jennifer, this is a real find. It’s a little pricey at $235, but it really does a lot. The Bluesmart carry-on is currently raising money on Indiegogo for development. I will be one of the first to buy this luggage.

Click here if you want a shortcut to see the Indiegogo campaign.



Admit it, every once in a while you want to make a phony phone call. I get the urge every time I see an injustice. I recently wanted to call my neighbor in New York and pretend to be a member of the police force.

“Is it true that you just walked your dog and didn’t pick up after him? We just got a call from someone who saw you on the street. You have exactly five minutes to clean up the mess you left, or you will be arrested.”

i would make that call but I don’t want my phone number traced. I loved when we had phone booths so we could make anonymous calls if we had to. Tonight a friend told me about something called the Burner App, a service that provides multiple disposable numbers. Re/code, a tech site, recently profiled the app as well.

Burner is an app that lets people get one or more temporary numbers. The app is free, but you pay for multiple burner phone numbers. It must be very popular because the app ranks big time in the Apple Store. Word has it that you’ll also be able send video and text messages through the Burner app as well.

Now that you know about this app, I bet you come up with many different reasons to try it. Life gets more interesting.