2012 Year End Book List
Quirky Egg-Headed Organizations
Innovative Investment Organizations and Other Investment-Related Links
Nonprofits and Philanthropy
Investment, Business, Behavioral Finance Books
Other Non-Fiction
Novels, Stories and Poetry
What, You've Read All of Those?
Arts of All Sorts
Odds and Ends
Innovative Ventures

Arts of All Sorts:

Let's Hear it for the Bees!  (and bats and birds and butterflies…)
“Wings of Life” Pollinators Film:
Remember a few issues back, when we mentioned the amazing TED presentation of the pollinators film, but the clips weren’t up yet, which was so disappointing?  Well, here they are!  We like this for 2 reasons – 1) it shows big companies can help do amazing things (Disney helped bring Schwartzberg’s film to reality), and 2) really, truly, these images are overwhelming. Peaceful and energizing at the same time – a mini-vacation in under 10 minutes.

The boundaries between sculpture and dance disappear in new work from Reuben Margolin (kinetic sculptor) and Gideon Obarzanek (dancer/choreographer). I can’t describe it, you need to look:

You may not always call a boisterous talk show art, but this one is pretty cool. Parazit, the VoA show, is turning media creation upside-down, pulling in photos, video, and audio from listeners and compiling a new, more complete view from all of the fragments.  It’s kind of like Shepard Fairey but with audio and video, and even more political (clearly). Parazit’s Kambiz Hosseini notes, “we used to create content for people – now we collect content from people and give it back to them.”  - plus zillions of YouTube links.

PopTech Mixtape:
This is the best possible note to end on – literally.  Zee Avi, John Forte, John Legend – all live performances from PopTech conferences over the years.  The next PopTech is coming up in October in Camden, Maine – check out their website ( for more details.

The Johnny Cash Project:
This is a super-cool crowd-sourced art/film project, coupled with one of the best recordings ever, Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave”.  You can vote for your favorite images to be used in the video, contribute your own frame for consideration, or just lean back and watch it roll by…
El Anatsui:
El Anatsui’s more recent metalworks are almost quilt-like, but with a rougher (literally) edge to them, and his older wooden pieces are amusing, calming, and full of gravitas, all at once.  All of his work is fiercely contemporary, reflecting questions of globalization and colonialization, and it all also builds on local materials and traditions from West Africa (he was born in Ghana and has lived in Nigeria for many years).  I just caught the tail end of the fantastic exhibit at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College – its sister exhibit is showing at the Clark Museum in Williamstown, MA summer 2011, so if you are heading that way be sure to check it out.  Later showings of the full retrospective are scheduled for U Michigan, the NC Museum of Art, and the Denver Art Museum.

Here is a great grab-bag of links inspired by presenters at the TED 2011 conference:

This fall the new opera Death and the Powers played in Boston (and earlier in Monaco) to sold-out crowds. It was fascinating on two levels:  first, the technical advances were impressive – for example, the robot characters were not pre-programmed to move, but rather responded to the movement of the other (people-resident) characters.  Second, the topic addressed in the storyline was mirrored in the production itself:  what does it mean to be human?  Can we ever really replicate the human mind… should we try?  Is there a soul?  Tod Machover from the MIT Media Lab is the composer, poet Robert Pinsky did the libretto, and my incredible friend Bob Hsiung designed the killer robots (killer in a good way - they didn’t actually run amok and crush the audience).

Playlist for getting started & keeping going, September 2010:
“Getting started, keeping going, getting started again - in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm not only of achievement but of survival, the ground of convinced action, the basis of self-esteem and the guarantee of credibility in your lives, credibility to yourselves as well as to others.”
-Seamus Heaney

If you, like me, sometimes need a little help getting started and keeping going, try this list:

  • Rosalita, Bruce Springsteen
  • Girlfriend, Avril Lavigne (because sometimes, admit it, you wanna be the mean girl)
  • Hanging on the Telephone, Blondie (but sometimes, you are the jilted one instead)
  • Faith, George Michael (ditto)
  • Celebrity Skin, Hole (ditto)
  • Hurts So Good, John Cougar
  • Bad Romance, Lady GaGa (best when shouted at the top of your lungs)
  • U Can’t Touch This, MC Hammer (see, you are laughing already!)
  • Baby I’m a Star, Prince
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Stevie Wonder
  • If You’ve Got the Money, Willie Nelson
  • Short Skirt/Long Jacket, Cake (what can I say? Those iTunes commercials are good!)
  • Pink Cadillac, Bruce Springsteen
  • Desire, U2
  • I’ll Take You There, Mavis Staples
  • These Are Days, 10000 Maniacs

You can also find (and review) our mixes on iTunes – this one is at:

Summer Rooftop Playlist, June 2010:
There is nothing trendy or hip or new about this list, and that is the point – summer is not for trendy, it is for songs where you know all the words, and it seems like you’ve known them forever. It is for singing along at the top of your lungs, wind blowing in your hair, face just a tiny bit sunburned, dancing like no one is watching (or like everyone is watching, depending on what sort of dancer you are). I dare you to listen to these without smiling. And yes, there is a large representation of Boston sports-related songs. You gotta problem with that?

  • Dirty Water, The Standells version
  • It’s Your Thing, The Isley Brothers
  • MMMBop, Hanson
  • Freedom 90, George Michael
  • You Should Be Dancing, The Bee Gees
  • Start Me Up, The Rolling Stones
  • I’m a Believer, The Monkees
  • Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond
  • When Love Comes to Town, U2
  • Rosalita, Bruce Springsteen
  • Little Less Conversation, Elvis version
  • Dirty Water, The Dropkick Murphys version

Honeybee Playlist of the Month, February 2010:
You can see our playlist details on iTunes:

  • Major Tom, Shiny Toy Guns
  • Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around, Stevie Nicks
  • Here Comes Your Man, The Pixies
  • I Wanna Know What Love Is, Mariah Carey (no kidding)
  • Sour Cherry, The Kills
  • Honey Bee, Lucinda Williams
  • Get Up Offa That Thing, James Brown
  • Whiskey River, Willie Nelson
  • Hallelujah, JT and Matt Morris version
  • Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley version
  • A Change is Gonna Come, Seal
  • Higher Love, Steve Winwood

Ze Frank
Goofy and surprisingly moving communal web stuff

Rachel Sussman
Rachel Sussman is photographic ancient plants – check it out

When you hear the phrase “we the people”, do you start singing the preamble to the Constitution? Do you know that a conjunction goes around “hookin’ up words and phrases and clauses”? Is this knowledge embedded in your brain solely because of Schoolhouse Rock? Do you wonder what kids today are doing without such a resource? Well, fear no more! I saw this site referenced on economist Greg Mankiw’s blog ( The Econo-Rap about principles of economics ( is destined to become a classic – it’s got a great beat, and you can dance to it. And the parent site has songs for all sorts of topics, from lab safety to fractions to state capitals (“in Alaska, you know Juneau’s the boss”)

Zee Avi
Zee is a great example of the power of data availability –she was discovered on You Tube, via videos she posted of her singing along with her guitar at home in Malaysia. Be sure to listen to her Honeybee song!

John Forte
I heard John Forte at the PopTech conference and he was amazing, even better in an acoustic set than in a fully-produced performance. Check out his work at:

Anthony Doerr
This essay of Doerr’s was featured at PopTech (second link below)– it is a sort of modern version of TS Eliot’s The Rock, illustrating the dangers of data overload in a world through of natural wonders. Doerr also reviews science books for the Boston Globe, including a honeybee story earlier this month that can be accessed through his personal website. Click here for PopTech link.

Gideon Obarzanek
Chunky Move, Gideon’s dance company in Australia, does some crazy stuff – he uses projections to illuminate dancers instead of just recording them, a whole new way of using the ‘data’ of light.

Ukraine’s Got Talent
Here is a moving example of artistic ‘data’, from a young Ukrainian on ‘Ukraine’s Got Talent’ (no kidding) – in a few short minutes she conveys all of the joys and sorrows of history.

Chris Jordan
Chris is a lawyer turned photographer, who recently returned from a trip to Midway Island to witness the environmental state there – his theory was, if pollution is bad there (thousands of miles from landmass and major human settlements), then “it’s like the doctor saying, I’m sorry, it’s everywhere”. His disturbing photos are at

[return to top]

Honeybee Capital