As I passed by the magazine rack at the gym today, a headline on the cover of Wired Magazine caught my eye:

“Heroes of the Wired World.”

I’m a sucker for that kind of news, so I grabbed the magazine and started looking for the story. And guess whose name was included among those “Heroes?” That’s right, Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen! The May issue of Wired listed its 2007 Rave Awards for the “innovators, instigators and investors who are changing the world,” and Allen was given the award for his most recent contribution to science, The Allen Brain Institute’s Brain Atlas.    

Here is a link to Wired’s terrific article about Paul Allen’s Brain Atlas: See… http://www.wired.com/culture/lifestyle/multimedia/2007/04/ss_raves?slide=5 

 From the article:         “If the brain is the ultimate computer, the Allen Brain Atlas is the ultimate tech-support manual. Launched with $100 million in seed money from Paul Allen — Microsoft’s other founder turned philanthropist — the atlas provides researchers with the first complete genetic map of the mouse brain. The map identifies more than 21,000 genes, and because mice share 90 percent of their genetic material with humans, the project is a huge step toward understanding how genes regulate the brain’s structure and function. (The next rev of the atlas will map the human neo cortex.) Allen, who survived Hodgkin’s disease in the 1980s, funded the atlas after asking neuro scientists what single project would give them the boost they needed to better tackle disorders like autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and schizophrenia at the genetic level. By determining which genes are active in each cell of the mouse brain, the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Brain Science has given researchers a breakthrough tool to understand how things go wrong, while giving drug developers the data they need to design innovative treatments with minimal side effects.”  

It got me to thinking….you know, Paul Allen is having a pretty good summer. 

Before the season even started, Allen was named among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential…. see… http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/time100/article/0,28804,1595326_1595329_1616322,00.html  

In May, Wired Magazine called him a “Hero.” 

And a little while later that same month,  Paul Allen joined celebrities like Bono at the Cannes Film festival in France, where Mr. Allen learned, in between movie screenings and lavish parties, that his basketball team, the Portland Trailblazers, unexpectedly won the NBA lottery, entitling the team to the number one draft pick. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2003764854_webblazers27.html    

So right now, in June, Paul Allen is in Portland, Oregon making some exciting decisions about his basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers.  Ever since
the Blazers won the first round draft pick in May,
Allen has had a smile on his face. Watch the “pinch me I must be
dreaming” comment he made at this press conference the other day)  
http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindblazersbeat/2007/06/video_press_conference.html

Tomorrow, June 28th, he and his staff have the daunting task of deciding which phenomenally
talented player (Kevin Durant or Greg Oden) will be taking the Blazers
to the NBA finals this year. And to do it he’s been getting to talk to them, watch
them practice and watch mountains of basketball videos.
(It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it… :).

Among the good things that have happened recently, Allen’s Trail Blazer franchise has made an incredible turnaround. Allen has a terrific staff this year (how can anyone NOT like Kevin Pritchard?) and everyone seems to be excited about the future of the team. In fact, after the draft pick win was announced, the Trail Blazers sold 3000 season tickets, making it the all-time greatest week in franchise history.*1 (BTW—check out the free Blazer Draft party at 3 pm at the Rose Garden Arena on June 28 th  *2 )


 
So what happens in July?  

I don’t know for sure, but Mark Bowling from down under ( http://markbowlingrunningamok.blogspot.com/ ) writes that Allen’s spectacular 414 ft. yacht Octopus is moored right now in Darwin, Australia beside the beautiful “Athena,” software mogul Jim Clark’s megayacht . (http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/royal-huisman-yacht/3738-review-royal-huismans-athena.html) ( http://powerandmotoryacht.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=20    http://www.powerandmotoryacht.com/megayachts/1103top100/index1.aspx). PMY reports that Allen’s ship arrived in Darwin on June 16th, and apparently it hasn’t sailed away yet.

And there are a few exciting things going on in Darwin right now. In less than a week, starting July 3rd at Darwin Stokes Hill Wharf, Baz Lurhmann will be filming his epic movie, “Australia” starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Lord of the Rings’  “Faramir” (David Wenham). (see…. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455824/  and …http://www.australiamovie.net ) * Supermodel Kristy Hinze, granddaughter of Queensland politician Russ Hinze, could be in the area too, as she is rumored to be Netscape Co-founder, Jim Clark’s girlfriend. http://www.topbusinessentrepreneurs.com/10/Billionaires/James-Clark-Netscape-Founder/ 

 But if and when Paul Allen joins the party down
under remains to be seen.   And of course, t
he fact that his ship is in Darwin might mean nothing at all—it could all be a really big coincidence. But I don’t think
so.  Despite the fact that this guy is a visionary and a philanthropist, and despite the fact that he has some serious business to attend to right now—the daunting task of choosing the most talented new player in the NBA for his own personal basketball team—there is always room in Allen’s life for another party. 
 

Yep—I think he’s having a pretty good summer………..  
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Links:  * http://www.australiamovie.net/gallery/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=0&pos=0 Baz Lurhman’s Australia *1 http://www.sportsbusinessradio.com/node/1189 The Trail Blazers won the NBA lottery and then proceeded to sell 3000 new season tickets and have their all-time greatest week financially in franchise history.  *2 http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindblazersbeat/2007/06/blazers_draft_party.html   http://www.nba.com/blazers/fans/Trail_Blazers_Draft_Party-181984-1179.html

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