Dr. Seuss, inspiration and rejection

The inspiration of Dr. Seuss

Before he was Dr. Seuss, Theodor Geisel was stuck on a ship returning to the States from Europe listening to the thump thump thump of the engine.  Inspired by the rhythm, he wrote his first children’s book: And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street.

The rejection of Dr. Seuss

He pitched the book and was rejected 27 times before a chance encounter with a friend who had just landed an editing job.  Geisel told his friend about his book, about the rejection, and told him he was fed up and about to destroy the book.  The friend read it and Dr. Seuss was born.


You never know where inspiration is going to…

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How to travel the world with your iPhone and not pay $11K in charges

Yes, that is an iPhone in my pocket, but I’m also glad to see you.

No matter where I go in the world these days, my iPhone goes with me.  My iPhone is my alarm, recorder, video camera, camera, calendar, notes, currency converter, translator, texting device, map, and, yes, sometimes even my phone.

I’ve recorded audio with it that has aired on NPR and taken photos that have appeared in shiny magazines.  I know it’s not the optimal tool for any one of these things, but it’s the Swiss Army knife of my storytelling/traveling gadgets.

(This is why when a friend asked me if I would buy another iPhone after the recent Foxconn revelations, I told them YES.)

But if you step off the…

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Let's email Apple encouraging them to do better

Mike Daisey’s visit to the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China where iPhones and Macs are made has sparked a national debate.

Are our precious Mac toys and tools made by child labor, by unhappy people who are paid poorly and treated even worse? Should you, should I toss iTunes to the wind and shout at the computer Gods, “I’ll never buy another Mac again.”?

My next phone will be…

As much as I’d like to take a stand, my next phone will be an iPhone and my next computer will be a Mac. What are the alternatives? All of our electronics are made under these conditions.

That said, what are the conditions? No one knows. Short of going to China and talking…

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Are you making a career of Humanity?

Career of Humanity

As we celebrate the life of one of the greatest Americans, everyone seems to be asking this question: What would Martin Luther King Jr. fight for today?

New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman argues that income inequality and lack of upward mobility is the greatest injustice of today in the United States:

Yet if King could see America now, I believe that he would be disappointed, and feel that his work was nowhere near done. He dreamed of a nation in which his children “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” But what we actually became is a nation that judges people not by…

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Deckers responds

If you’ve read my book, you know I had a less than magnificent experience working with Deckers (company that owns Teva, Simple, Uggs) in China. In the Spring of 2011 I stopped by their office near Santa Barbara, California, and dropped off a copy of Where Am I Wearing?

That started a dialog and I eventually asked them if they would like to make a statement to include in the new edition. I wasn’t able to include the entire statement, so I’m placing the it here:

Deckers Statement for Kelsey Timmerman’s book

We apologize for any difficulties that you encountered while researching your book. As you said, having a customer travel to a factory to see where their shoes are made is an unusual request that we…

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Where was your iPhone made? Probably here…

60% of the world’s population has a mobile phone.  All of the best phones — iPhones, Blackberries, probably the one you have — are made in at the Foxconn factory in China. Storyteller Mike Daisey visited Foxconn and talked with the workers. He shares his experience in the amazing essay above that was featured on This American Life.

Foxconn is the largest private employer in all of China.  The company employs more than one million people.  Half of them work at the Shenzhen factory. Foxconn and Apple received a lot of negative press after a rash of  worker suicides – 17 total – in 2010 at the Shenzhen plant.  Suicides became such a problem that the company put up nets to catch…

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