Book Review – Gamestorming

Mar 13, 2011   //   by Richard   //   General  //  Comments Off on Book Review – Gamestorming












Gamestorming provides a great collection of games to assist a group in approaching and resolving challenges.


The book is setup into three major areas:


1. Explanation of Gamestorming – For those that would like to understand gamestorming and how it can assist your organization, the first three chapters provide you with all the details that you will want to know (and then some) about games, the essentials for gamestorming and the core gamestorming skills. I also think these chapters are essential reading for anyone who will be overseeing a gamestorming session;


2. The Games – The following four chapters provide you with approximately 90 games that you could jump right into. Each game stands on its own and you are therefore free to pick and choose the games for your particular situation. I was very impressed with the amount of information and explanation that the authors provided. For example, for each game they discussed: Object of Play; Number of Players; Duration of Play; How to Play; and Strategy; and


3. Putting Gamestorm to Work – This was my favorite chapter. They discussed a real-life example of how a group used gamestorming to consider solutions to a specific problem, including the games played, the outcomes and the benefits to the group.


I recommend Gamestorming to everyone who is looking for alternatives to help their organization “solve complex problems through collaborative play”. To purchase this book or to obtain additional information click here: http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596804183/


Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided to me as part of the O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program on the understanding that I would read it and provide an honest review. If you are looking to join a review program, I highly recommend that you consider O’Reilly’s. Full details of the program can be found by clicking on the following:

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Video Review – Crap Detection 101

Jan 29, 2011   //   by Richard   //   General  //  Comments Off on Video Review – Crap Detection 101




The Video Crap Detection 101: How to Distinguish Good and Bad Information Online is targeted at parents, educators and high schools students to provide them with the tools to identify the difference between accurate and inaccurate information online. While I think it achieves its stated purpose, the question and answer (“Q&A”) format between Mr. Rheingold and Mr. Brokering of Safari Books Online makes watching the video difficult at times, especially for high school students.


Saturday afternoon my wife, 16 year-old step-daughter and myself gathered around the monitor in the living room to watch the video. The video starts out very strong and we could all relate as Mr. Rheingold explains the discussion he held with his 12 year-old daughter and the steps she should take in questioning information online. Unfortunately, the format then changed to a Q&A and we felt that we were sitting in a classroom lecture.


It was very interesting to hear the steps that one could take to protect themselves against a number of online issues, including phishing, hoaxes, spam, and incorrect or misleading online information. The video also explored online healthcare information, children on the web, teaching and learning about critical thinking and using Wikipedia. However, in our opinion the video was too long and at times we lost interest. While Mr. Rheingold showed some actual examples of websites, we suggest that it would have been beneficial if there were more examples and/or information to look at while Mr. Rheingold talked. My step-daughter said that she would have found the video more interesting if there were interviews with “young” people and included information about Facebook (which surprisingly seemed to be missing in the video).


While there is a lot of great information and tools to help one distinguish good and bad information online, the way it was presented and the cost of the video makes it difficult for me to recommend the video. To purchase this video or to obtain additional information click here: http://oreilly.com/catalog/0636920015031/


Disclosure: A free copy of the video Crap Detection 101: How to Distinguish Good and Bad Information Online was provided to me as part of the O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program on the understanding that I would review the video.  It is a great program that I highly recommend.  Full details of the program can be found by clicking on the following:

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

Book Review – The Facebook Marketing Book

Jan 25, 2011   //   by Richard   //   General  //  Comments Off on Book Review – The Facebook Marketing Book




The Facebook Marketing Book provides a comprehensive overview of Facebook and provides excellent suggestions and examples for those who are considering using Facebook as part of their marketing strategy.


The book starts with the basics: Profiles, Pages, Groups, Events and builds from there into Facebook applications, developing a content strategy, cross-promoting content, advertising on Facebook and concludes with ways that you can track and measure your Facebook marketing efforts. While the book does not delve into any one area in any great depth, it provides a comprehensive overview of Facebook and will have you marketing on Facebook in no time. However, if you are looking for a lot of specifics, you might be disappointed. For those areas that you may be interested in exploring further, such as building your own Facebook application or obtaining additional information on analytics, the book provides you with a solid base to build upon. I found the book to be well written, easy to read, with a nice balance of graphics and screen shots from Facebook. I also liked how the authors provide their thoughts on what might and might not work in particular areas.



For those who are experienced with Facebook, they will most likely find this book to be too basic. However, if you are new to Facebook or would like to understand how you can use Facebook in your marketing, then I highly recommend this book. To purchase the book or to obtain additional information click here: http://oreilly.com/catalog/9781449388485/



Disclosure: A free electronic version of The Facebook Marketing Book was provided to me as part of the O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program on the understanding that I would review the book.  It is a great program that I also highly recommend.  Full details of the program can be found by clicking on the following:

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

 

Part IV – The Surgery

Oct 5, 2009   //   by Richard   //   General  //  Comments Off on Part IV – The Surgery

After over two weeks of walking around with a broken collarbone, the moment of truth arrived. We arrived at the hospital around 11:30 and I was promptly admitted by a nurse who took all my readings, confirmed my information and placed a “hospital band” on my arm. She also advised that unfortunately all the beds were occupied, so I was free to wander as long as I was back before 13:00.

So my wife and I explored the hospital. Shortly before 13:00 the surgeon came to talk to us. He advised that everything was ready to go; they were just waiting for the previous surgery to conclude. While talking to the surgeon, he received a call advising that the OR was available.

We proceeded to the admittance office where a bed was being wheeled in just for me. A quick change into the ‘oh show me your butt’ hospital gown, a kiss from Brigitte and off I was to my long awaited surgery.

I was delivered to the holding area outside of the surgery room where the nurse verified again all of the details including which collarbone I broke. The Surgeon and the Anesthesiologist stopped by to answer any last minute questions and mark my right arm to ensure everyone saw which one would be operated on.

A few minutes later I was in the operating room being hooked up to the monitoring machines and given oxygen. The next thing I remember was Dr. Vivek calling my name. It was over and went very well. Dr. Sanders updated my wife and although he could not use Plan A, Plan B was just as successful. Plan A and Plan B you say? Plan A was to attach the main collarbone back to the small piece of collarbone from the AC joint. Unfortunately, when he did that, the small piece of collarbone lifted from the AC joint and was also cracked into four pieces…not good. It essentially meant that I tore the ligaments in the AC joint. Plan B was to attach the main collarbone to the right shoulder blade and attach the little piece of collar bone to the main collarbone to allow it to heal.

So, as you can see below, I have a bit of a gap between the main collarbone and the right shoulder blade. The plate has effectively bridged the collarbone.

X-Ray of Richard's Repaired Collarbone

With a successful surgery, I was given a prescription of Percocet / Oxycodone and Cephalexin and sent home.

Next time in Part V – The Recovery

Part III – Health Care in the Cayman Islands – Preparing for Surgery

Sep 12, 2009   //   by Richard   //   General  //  Comments Off on Part III – Health Care in the Cayman Islands – Preparing for Surgery

In Part II I left off having decided to wait two week until the arrival of Dr. David Sanders, a Canadian trauma orthopedic surgeon. The two weeks passed surprisingly quickly, especially considering that I actually stopped taking my pain medication a few days after the accident. “Mind over matter” as I would say to my wife. I actually didn’t really need the pain medication as I slept most of the time and didn’t move much. The body is amazing how it takes care of itself and does not allow you to overdo it for too long.

On July 13 we met with Dr Sanders. We found him very helpful, and he provided us with all of the pros and cons of surgery versus waiting for the collarbone to heal itself. Yes, believe it or not, there was an option of waiting three to four months to see if the collarbone would set itself. As long as I didn’t mind a collarbone sticking up an inch or so next to my shoulder. The main risk with the surgery was infection. However, no one could remember a case of infection from a surgery that was done on the Island. They have had a few cases, but these occurred with individuals who had their surgery done off Island. One of the downsides to waiting was that if the collarbone did not heal, the other side of my collarbone (attached to the AC joint) would have become ineffective as the body would have started to dissolve it.

Having weighed the options, we decided to go ahead with the surgery and I was advised to arrive the next day at the hospital around 11:30 as my surgery was scheduled for approximately 13:00. I was then introduced to Dr. Vivek, the anesthesiologist – a very nice gentleman whom you immediately feel comfortable with and know he has everything under control. This was especially evident the day we met him as his receptionist was off sick and he was managing the whole office ?. After filling out some forms and discussing my history, Dr. Vivek walked my wife and I though the procedure and answered our questions.

Since I was never a patient at the Cayman Islands Hospital it was strongly suggested that I register after meeting with Dr. Vivek. The Cayman Islands Hospital is a 24 hour full service, 124 bed, non-profit Government Hospital in George Town. From their website: “It offers accident and emergency services; a wide range of surgical services; a Critical Care Unit, physiotherapy; a pharmacy; a central sterilization unit; and laboratory services, including a state-of-the-art forensic unit – along with many other facilities a person would expect in a modern health care setting.” Registration was very easy and we were in and out of the hospital in about thirty minutes.

I was now exhausted and heading home knowing that the surgery was less than 24 hours away and that the surgery team was very experienced and knowledgeable, and that my collarbone repair could not have been in better hands.

Next time in Part IV – The Surgery.

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