Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake and The Roots perform a history of hip-hop


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This is freaking sweet.

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Me + Southwest Airlines(Las Vegas) = BlogWorld Expo 2010


BWE via Southwest Airlines

The Dads Talking Blog World Expo Giveaway sponsored by Southwest Airlines and BlogWorld Expo

It’s been a dream of mine for quite a few years to get a chance to make it to Blog World Expo. I’ve been an avid blogger for more than 10 years now and I made my living from blogging for four of those years. Unfortunately the planets never seem to align for me to be able to make it whenever BWE comes around, largely because I spent the last three years working at Major League Baseball Advanced Media and October isn’t exactly a time you can take off around there.

Recently MLBAM and I parted ways which left my October’s a lot more free than they had been in a long time. As I started seeing people chatting about going to BWE I started to get that familiar sense of anticipation and imagining how I might be able to make this dream come to fruition. Still, I have a 2 1/2-year-old daughter and a wife and, with the economy being what it is, was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to convince myself (read: my wife) that a solo trip to Vegas for BWE was a justified cost.

I had pretty much given up on the idea while beginning to count down the days to BWE 2011 and starting to plan out how I would start saving, determined to give it a shot again.

Yes folks, believe it or not that was me, good old Johnny Give-up, my spirit had once again been crushed by the reality that I wasn’t the rich, jet-setting playboy (you know the kind that attend all those sweet blogging conferences) that could just up and go to a conference on two weeks notice.

That was until I happened upon this tweet from @dadarocks:

@dadarocks

Oh. Em. Gee. I *heart* Southwest Airlines and BlogWorld Expo

Naturally I clicked on the link as fast I as I could to see what the Dads Talking Blog World Expo Giveaway was all about. After making sure I wasn’t committing myself to eating fifty hard boiled eggs I exhaled and continued reading:

You must write a blog post, or record a video or an audio podcast, and tell us why you want to go to BlogWorld & New Media Expo in Las Vegas.

A blog post? Hey, I have a blog and oh my lord how do I want to go to Blog World and New Media Expo. Free round trip airfare to @BlogWorld courtesy of @SouthwestAir? The longer I kept reading the more I kept giggling uncontrollably, my body’s way of venting the now volcanic like excitement that was building up inside me as I realized that BWE and New Media Expo may well be withing my grasp this year. Had someone walked by me at that moment they may well have thought that I just found out I had won the lottery, and that was just at the possibility that it was in my grasp.

I imagine that the feeling I have as I’m writing this is the same feeling that women who go to see a taping of Oprah have, head over heels over the possibility that they might be walking with some incredibly awesome free stuff. Me, me, me! I want some incredibly awesome free stuff.

A bit of my giddiness is, in part, because of who one of the sponsors of this contest is. It’s not often that an advertising campaign has a legitimate effect on me but, I have to admit, that I’m a big fan of @SouthWestAir’s “Good Cop, Bag Cop” commercials, they’re hilarious (and it doesn’t hurt to know that if I did win that my bags would be flying free as well).

This could be the year that I finally get to mix and mingle with so many bloggers whom I admire and respect. I am very much looking forward to the possibility of having the opportunity to learn and brainstorm with some of the brightest social media influencers out there. The deadline for the contest is midnight tonight and they’re announcing the winner on October 2 so be sure to check back and see if I’m going to Vegas baby.

More Americans Need to Learn About the Benefits of Building a "Passive House"


Couple in Vermont uses “Passive House” techniques to build a house in Vermont without a furnce

Barbara and Steven Landau are currently building a 3-bedroom, timber framed, 2,000-square-foot home in Vermont (read: it’s freaking cold there). What makes this home unique is its use of “passive building” which keeps the home so efficiently that, even in Vermont, the home doesn’t even use a furnace. The builders even advised them to leave out a fireplace for fear that it would make the home too warm.

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Never heard of a “passive house”? Join the club. The Landau’s home is one of only a dozen or so homes in all of the US to be built to be certified as a “passive house”. While passive homes are becoming almost commonplace in most of Europe, most Americans don’t even know they exist.

Concerned about it getting too hot in the summer? No worries. A passive house (built 20 years ago!) in Germany stayed cool even during some of the hottest summers on record in Europe. “Even during the extremely hot European Summer in 2003 we were able to keep our Passive House cool without a cooling system (without active air conditioning) – the same was true during the hottest month ever measured sofar in Germany, July 2006.”

Here’s a great infographic about the different parts that make up a passive house.

In Europe, where passive houses are more common, the cost of a passive house only adds about 2%-3% to a home while the cost of building one in America can add up to 10%-15% simply because the materials needed to use it aren’t plentiful and drive the rates up.

Can you imagine the difference we could make if we got the word out well enough that 20% of all homes built in the next 10 years were built using passive housing technology. Just imagine the energy savings and the incalculable savings to the environment.