Portland Trailblazers


“Are you ready?  Ready for the playoffs?”*

…Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen is — in a big way.  His “first love”*1, the Portland Trail Blazers, a team that he’s owned for the past 21 years,  has made it into the Playoffs, and no one is more excited than the owner.   One of the most devoted owners in the NBA, Paul Allen has always been his team’s biggest fan.   

Allen attends a majority of the Blazers games, bought the team’s game stadium twice and weighs in enthusiastically on every decision, often splurging on players and expenses.  He installed equipment aboard his ships that lets him watch Blazers games when he is away from home.  And when Allen was asked to give the commencement speech to the graduating class at WSU in 1999, he graciously agreed, but gave it long distance via satellite uplink, speaking to Washington graduates from the Portland Rose Garden Arena so he wouldn’t miss a Playoff game.

So his Trail Blazers’ entry this year into yet another Playoffs series is a thrill—still a major thrill— to a guy who has had more than a few thrilling moments in his lifetime.  Blazermania is back and no one is more caught up in the wave of excitement than the owner himself.

Current adventure, Trail Blazers. Past adventures?  This guy’s had a few.  Hopefully he’ll tell us more about all of them in his upcoming memoirs.  http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-allens-newest-venture-a-memoir-2009-3   Don’t hold back, Paul—we want to know EVERYTHING !!!!! 🙂

In the meantime, here is a sampling of Paul Allen’s ideas about — Paul Allen, of course — from his statements to the press through the years.  So, here you go….Part Three of Paul Allen: In His Own Words:

The projects you have funded so far cover a wide range of fields. What are the criteria you look for?

“I ask myself: What are the great questions in science, the knowledge that we are just scratching the surface of?  The chance that we are going to pick up the phone and an alien is going to be on the other end is small, but it is certainly worth—on a modest scale, for me—seeing if we can enable some of that research.  There are these greenfield areas like the human brain, systems biology, ­understanding how cells work internally, and how the proteins interact inside the cell. That’s an area I’m thinking about. Then there are the global issues we have today: global warming, the environment, and disease. I don’t know that I could make a difference in theoretical physics; that’s basically a bunch of mathematical and theoretical geniuses at different places. I’m not sure how anyone could make them work any faster than they are.” http://discovermagazine.com/2007/apr/the-discover-interview-paul-allen/article_view?b_start:int=1&-C=
The Discover Interview, Evan Ratliff

On Advice to Young People
 
If you are starting any new venture, try to find people who share your
dreams with the same enthusiasm that you do and that can complement your
strengths and bolster your weaknesses.  Start with small but achievable
dreams and under the right circumstances, these small dreams can lead to
bigger ones. Remember that you have all of the open-mindedness,
fearlessness and enthusiasm of youth.  Believe in the possibility of success.
From Paul Allen’s WSU Speech to graduating class via satellite uplink from the Rose Garden Arena upon receiving the Distinguished Alumnus Award—1999

Quote from the paulallen.com website (years ago):
  “What is the best advice, business or otherwise, you’ve had and from whom?
The best advice I’ve received came many years ago from my father.  He told me that you should love whatever work you do, you should try to find something you truly enjoy.  And I’ve been lucky through the years that the work I’ve been involved with has been challenging and for the most part, fun.”

On Trying New Things:


 You have to find and appreciate the joy and beauty of the world.  And
many times that comes if you force yourself to try things that you
otherwise might be skeptical of beginning.  In my case I discovered
scuba diving, but any kind of adventure that takes you totally out of
your normal life and into a different environment or meeting different
people can be very rewarding. Also, if you force yourself to be more
adventurous, the more ideas and different types of people you will meet
and the richer your life will become intellectually and otherwise…….
 
 From Paul Allen’s WSU Speech to graduating class via satellite uplink from the Rose Garden Arena upon receiving the Distinguished Alumnus Award–1999
  http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/12439/
 

On His Childhood in Seattle:
 
From “Paul Allen Unplugged” Dec. 2003 Columns UW Magazine
Tom Griffin
 While many of our alumni know of your generous contributions to the University, most don’t know of the UW connections going back to your childhood. Your father Ken Allen began his career with the University libraries in 1951, two years before you were born, and was Associate Director of the libraries from 1960-1982. Did your Dad open the resources of the UW  libraries to you when you were a child?
A. I spent many weekends in Suzzallo Library as I was growing up. I remember spending hours just combing through the stacks of musty books, including early books about computers. Books about science and aviation in particular were some of my favorites.
Did your family have season tickets to Husky games?
A. Yes, my father had season tickets for the Huskies for my whole childhood and I remember going to many Husky games with him. One of the reasons that I really wanted to have an open-air stadium for SeahawksStadium is that I have fond memories of wandering around Husky Stadium with my Dad, eating hot dogs and being able to watch the Huskies play outdoors in the elements—I think it’s one of the best parts about football!
Do you recall attending any open houses or science fairs at the UW that might have sparked your interest in computers?
I went to science fairs many times and had a lot of fun. More than anything it enhanced my love of science— and I carry that excitement with me today. I am particularly interested in how the brain works, and what we might be able to learn by looking at the role of the human genome in the function and anatomy of the brain. 

On His Eclectic Interests

“Allen says his business success is partly a result of his wide range of interests, which he thinks allows him to see connections between disparate areas that others may miss. His credits his parents, who gave him an open-minded start, dragging  Paul and his sister Jody to galleries, the opera, science museums, dance concerts and aviation exhibits. “Even as a kid, every year I was interested in something different,” Allen says, “whether it was chemistry or cards or physics or electronics or space travel or music.”    (Over the Horizon with Paul Allen: Another Microsoft Billionaire Speaks. Fortune: 7/11/1994 by David Kirkpatrick.)

On  SETI

From The Discover Interview with Paul Allen (by Evan Ratliff )   http://discovermagazine.com/2007/apr/the-discover-interview-paul-allen
What do you think are the chances of SETI’s succeeding—in other words, of finding intelligent life beyond our world?
“The scientists are optimistic because they think that if they have better instruments that look deeper or on more frequencies, there should be civilizations out there broadcasting. I think everybody would admit it’s a long shot, but if that long shot comes in… wow.”
If they do get the signal, will you be the first person they call?
“Actually, first they call the White House. At one point they told me I was third or fourth on the list. So I guess that’s one of the benefits of funding the project. But the phone hasn’t rung yet.”
What would that kind of discovery mean to you?
“That would be such a life-changing thing, for us all to know that there are other beings out there who we could potentially communicate with, or maybe we are listening to a signal that they transmitted hundreds of millennia ago. And then we’d say, “Well, what was in the message? Can we decode the message, and can we communicate back? What are they really like? Are they oxygen-breathing bipeds, or are they a gas cloud on some gas-giant planet?”

On Music


 http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/emp/allen.shtml   Gene Stout Seattle P-I
June 22, 2000   The Visionary: Jimi Hendrix set off a spark in Paul Allen’s Imagination  (On Jimi Hendrix, music and the Experience Music Project Music Museum):
I think Jimi expressed in some of his interviews, and in his songs, the idea that music serves as a magic carpet that can take you to different places,” Allen says. “There’s a churchlike feeling there, and great music makes the spirit soar.”  …..

“………..”It was really a challenge to come up with things that were hands-on, yet robust enough to stand up to thousands of people using them and still allow a level of instruction for someone who hasn’t had much experience playing an instrument,” Allen says. 
“We just want to get them excited about music and think, ‘Hey, here’s a door I can go through.’ There’s a lot of fun and excitement in self-expression.” 

 


 On Football:


“Hail From the Chief” by Brian Davis from the Seahawks’ website:   http://www.seahawks.com/ardisplay.aspx?ID=1002
“My experience with football goes back to watching Husky games with my father when I was under the age of 10—outdoors, eating a hot dog and cracking open some peanuts and seeing a game played out in the elements. That’s real football to me, so that was my dream and I think we’re delivering on that.”

On Science Fiction and  the Science Fiction Museum


 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3203151
  “The Microsoft billionaire, whose personal collection inspired the idea for a museum, hopes the facility attracts droves of sci-fi fans from around the galaxy.
“I was exposed to science fiction at an early age,” Allen says. “I think… it’s actually about science and where science is going to take humanity and culture in the future.”

On The Allen Institute for Brain Science

From “Piece of Mind” The Economist  http://www.economist.com/theworldin/displayStory.cfm?story_id=12494720&d=2009 
   “The scientists used state-of-the-art technology to dissect a mouse brain, photographed it sliver section by section, then reassembled it in a computer database that would allow easy access. But it was the speed at which the project was accomplished and what they did with it afterwards that changed the game.
They released it to the public. Over the Internet. Free.
When we first put the mouse-brain atlas online free, it was met by the research world with suspicion. People wondered what the catch was. Scientific research has long been a solitary endeavour—one researcher, one microscope. Findings are protected so that discovery credit can be clearly defined and awarded. This is a successful model and will continue to be.
However, the Human Genome Project demonstrated a different path: multiple teams working collaboratively towards a common goal. I believe a real acceleration in progress and innovation comes from the open sharing of ideas and collaboration. We wanted the mouse atlas to be free and available for all to use as the basis for foundational research and discovery.
A new generation of implantable pacemakers for the brain will be widely used to treat everything from depression to addiction and Parkinson’s disease
If we thought it would be a hit right out of the gate, we were slightly wrong. It took a while for people to trust that it really was free to use. No one believed in a free lunch.
Now, things have changed. Today we have many scientists using the atlas for their research into Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorders, Down’s syndrome, Parkinson’s, fragile x mental retardation and epilepsy. The atlas is also giving scientists insight into alcoholism, obesity, sleep, hearing and memory.”

And from a recent Wired Article:

In March 2002, Paul Allen—co-founder of Microsoft and 41st-richest person in the world—brought together a dozen neuroscientists for a three-day meeting aboard his 300-foot yacht, Tatoosh, which was anchored in Nassau, Bahamas. At the time, Allen’s philanthropic work consisted of an eclectic (some say frivolous) set of endeavors. There was the Experience Music Project in Seattle, a rock-and-roll museum designed by Frank Gehry; the Allen Telescope Array, 350 radio telescopes dedicated to deep-space observation and the search for extraterrestrial life; and SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded plane developed to put a human in space. But Allen was eager to start something new: a project involving neuroscience. He was excited by the sheer uncharted mystery of the mind—one of the last, great scientific frontiers—hoping a single large-scale endeavor could transform the field.
“I first got interested in the brain through computers,” Allen says. “There’s a long history of artificial intelligence programs that try to mimic what the brain is doing, but they’ve all fallen short. Here’s this incredible computer, a really astonishing piece of engineering, and we have no idea how it works.”
Over several days, Allen asked the neuroscientists to imagine a way to move their field forward dramatically. “I wanted them to think big,” he says. “Like the Human Genome Project, only for the brain.”

http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/magazine/17-04/ff_brainatlas (Jonah Lehrer 3/23/09)

and from The Discover Interview: Paul Allen by Evan Ratliff  

http://discovermagazine.com/2007/apr/the-discover-interview-paul-allen/article_view?b_start:int=0&-C=
Your interest in the workings of the brain seems like a logical step for someone who started out writing software.
“Yeah, if you are involved in computers, at some point you end up being fascinated by the idea of the human brain. The human brain works in a completely different fashion from a computer and does some things so much better than a computer, and this may remain true for the next 100, 200 years. How can that be? So I brought a bunch of neuroscientists together and asked, “What can I do that would be interesting and different that would potentially help the field of neuroscience move forward?” The answer was a genetic database of the mouse brain.”

 
On Space Travel:


THE ROBERT J. COLLIER TROPHY 

Paul G. Allen
Remarks on Winning ‘The Robert J. Collier Trophy’
National Air and Space Museum
Washington, DC
April 19, 2005
from www.paulallen.com website

  “I feel I’ve been lucky to be part of three great waves of change—the personal computer, the Internet, and now private space travel.  All were extraordinary, but for sheer adrenaline, nothing will ever top that day last June when we first sent Mike Melvill to the edge of space in SpaceShipOne. 
I was always interested in flight and growing up in Seattle in the 1950s and ’60s was a great place to explore those interests. We had the World’s Fair, a strong local aeronautics industry, and I loved going to the library with my mother where I found books like Robert Heinlein’s “Rocketship Galileo,” or Willy Ley’s “Rockets, Missiles and Space Travel.” 
Science fiction was great back then, but it was amazing how much trouble it had keeping up with the reality of actual space travel. Like millions of American kids, I followed the Mercury suborbital flights, then Gemini, and then the Apollo lunar missions. I remember how exciting it was to watch those events on our grainy black and white TV set. Like many kids back then, I built scores of airplane and rocket models, and naturally, I had a plastic Air Force helmet with a flip-down visor. I even had hopes to become an astronaut one day. But after my 5th grade teacher realized I was sitting in the front row of class and squinting—it became apparent that I was nearsighted and I realized that becoming an astronaut was not in the cards for me. 
I have no doubt that these formative early experiences with space exploration helped fuel my desire to build and program computers. That same spirit of invention was always in the air in the early days of Microsoft. With SpaceShipOne, the work we did with Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled reminded me in many ways of the work Bill Gates and I were doing when we were just starting out. There aren’t that many times in your life you get to work on a project that is challenging, groundbreaking, and just plain fun.”

Recently on space travel, while watching friend Charles Simonyi blast off into space for a trip to the International Space Station:

“It’s fantastic to see a launch, but when it’s one of your friends it’s just something so special,”  Allen told Associated Press.   Allen said he would not be interested into getting into orbit using Russian technology, but is hoping to using his own spacecraft. He is a major investor in SpaceShipOne, the first commercial space operation.
http://www.vinunet.com/vinunet/news/2239325/simoni-sets-iss-space-tourist 
http://www.personalspaceflight.info/2009/03/27/paul-allen-future-space-tourist/     http://content.usatoday.com/topics/photo/People/Business,+Science+and+Technology+Figures/Paul+Allen/0dnL0857t8gym/4 )
 
 
 On SpaceShipOne:


” As an engineer, I’ve learned to avoid words like “awesome” or “amazing” that don’t describe things specifically; but I can’t think of any other way to describe Burt’s team and what they have achieved. With only 20-odd people, working out of a simple hangar in the Mojave Desert, they reinvented, for all time, the way we view space exploration—that we can accomplish it in new and cost-effective ways as private enterprise, and that soon it will be a possibility for a great many of us.

I’d also like to say a word about courage. Never in my career have I put my own life on the line to advance knowledge. Our pilots did just that. I can’t say enough to convey my thanks to Mike Melvill, Brian Binnie and their families for their commitment to SpaceShipOne. Without them, none of us would be here today. The early aircraft pioneer Otto Lilienthal once said, “To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. To fly is everything.”…………………..
 
…………..But I hope SpaceShipOne does more than just bring people to the edge of space. I hope it helps to rekindle a passion for aviation, rocketry and exploration among kids. And I hope it motivates educators to lay the important foundation of making science and math really engaging to a new generation of students. ” (Collier speech as posted on paulallen.com)
 
On the Biggest Thrill: 


 “I feel I’ve been lucky to be part of three great waves of change—the personal computer, the Internet, and now private space travel. All were extraordinary, but for sheer adrenaline, nothing will ever top that day last June when we first sent Mike Melvill to the edge of space in SpaceShipOne.” (Collier)
 
On what he wants to be his legacy:

http://www.sportsbusinessradio.com/node/1423
 “You just try to create things or look for opportunities to do things for the world at large that are going to make the world a better place.”

 
On The Future:

 
 “I was always thinking about the future as a kid,” he says. “When you’re
a kid, you think anything is possible. You don’t know about constraints.”

  Living: Sunday, June 14, 1998  A Wealth Of Interests — The Big-Idea Billionaire — Paul Allen Is Into
Sports, Technology, Music, Real Estate, Movies – And He’s Not Done Yet”  by Richard Seven
  (He still does think anything is possible, or at least he seems to….)
 
 “From technology to science to music to art, I’m inspired by those who’ve blurred the boundaries, who’ve looked at the possibilities, and said, “What if…? 
 In my own work, I’ve tried to anticipate what’s coming over the horizon, to hasten its arrival, and to apply it to people’s lives in a meaningful way. Challenges inspire me, whether it’s pushing further into space than any private citizen ever has, as with SpaceShipOne or into the inner reaches of the human mind, as with the Allen Brain Atlas initiative. The varied possibilities of the universe have dazzled me since I was a child, and they continue to drive my work, my investments, and my philanthropy.”
 I hope you believe, as I do, in the inexhaustible ability of human beings to find answers to problems, to create works of beauty and originality, and to craft vital new ideas inspired by those who’ve gone before. The possible is constantly being redefined, and I care deeply about helping humanity move forward. “
(From Paul Allen’s website www.paulallen.com)
 And as he said a couple of years ago, in Paul Allen’s own words…..

 
  “I’m not near the end of the story.” 

 http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2005-01-17-paul-allen_x.htm  (Microsoft Co-founder’s Dreams Funded into Reality  by Allison Linn   1/17/05)
 
I can’t wait to hear more…..looking forward to hearing the rest of the story in your memoirs, Paul!!!!…. 🙂

______________________________________________

*From Jason Quick of the Oregonian: (http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindblazersbeat/2009/04/behind_the_blazers_locker_room_13.html)

“A scene that shows how fired up owner Paul Allen is: As the media was waiting to get inside the postgamelocker room, Allen emerged from his private suite. As he walked through the gauntlet of reporters he looked at me and smiled. “Are you ready? Ready for the playoffs?” And with that, he extended a fist for a fist-bump. I think it’s safe to say Paul is ready for the playoffs. And I think it’s safe to say Paul is glad he didn’t sell the team a couple of years ago. I still contend he is one of the best owners in sports.”

*1 http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2009076872_blazers18.html

 He’s been touted as the “Pharaoh of the Pacific Northwest” for his renovation of South Lake Union in Seattle, and listed among Time Magazine’s Most Influential for two years running. He owns 3 major league sports teams, and has left big footprints in several industries, including computers, medicine and space travel. And yet Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen has been described as a down-to-earth, regular guy—“the nicest billionaire you’ll ever meet.”

 

But just in case you never do meet him, you can still see that “Regular Guy” side of Allen via a few videos that have been floating around the Internet lately.

 

Check it out:

1) Shaq Attack:

Basketball phenom Shaquille O’Neal recovers gracefully from a tumble into the stands by shaking the hand of Trail Blazers owner, Paul Allen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKvm63hfFo8

 

2) High Five:

A Seahawks win has owner Paul Allen and fans in a very good mood. Check out this video of Allen high-fiving Seattle Seahawks fans as he walks off the field.
 
http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/thebigblog/archives/128891.asp

 

3) Twice Bitten:

Here Paul Allen is a good sport as he is attacked by a “vampire” while chatting with a comely news reporter about Gwen Stefani and technology.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1807044/stylela_paul_allen/

 

4) Cannes Hello:

Here is a video of Allen in Cannes, France, coming ashore from a trip aboard one of his megayachts, Tatoosh. His lovely home in St. Jean Cap-Ferrat, called Villa Maryland,  was a hangout for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt during the 61st Cannes Film Festival last summer.

http://x17video.com/celebrity_video/brad_pitt/paul_allens_luxury_yacht.php

 

5) Blazers Workout:

Here is Paul Allen again after a Blazers workout, chatting about chatting with some dynamic new potential players from France — in French, no less.

http://videos.oregonlive.com/oregonlive/2008/06/paul_allen_on_tuesdays_workout.html

 

6) Blazers Press Conference:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur38bh1Ze4A

And here he is again talking about his favorite basketball team.

 

 

 7) Beard or No Beard?

 Here is Paul Allen joking around with Bill Gates as the famous photo from 1978 is retaken 30 years later: (2:30 minutes into the program):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyyYvdswn9Y

 

(From BBC’s “The Money Programme: Bill Gates: How a Geek Changed the World.” (Part 2)

 

8 ) A Computer on Every Desk:

 

And here he is talking about the realization of the dream that he and Bill Gates had of putting a computer in every home and on every desk:
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOuaT9r-YVk

 

9) Best Computer History Video of All Time:

If you haven’t seen Robert Cringley’s “Triumph of the Nerds,” in which many of the pioneers of the computer industry, including Paul Allen, were featured, you’ve got to check it out. Here is one place where you can find it :

 http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5816243901626409784&vt=lf&hl=en

 

10) Jamming with Friends:

Finally, here are a few of my favorites—-Paul Allen performing in concert through the years, just being a regular guy, having a good time and playing some pretty decent guitar rifts besides!

 

Here he is hamming it up with his band:

http://2008.thecableshow.com/Popups/ContentPopup.aspx?ID=427

 

And here is a bearded version of Paul Allen in 1995, having a great time performing with some good friends:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7736241993066088463&q=%22paul+allen%22&ei=rC0ZSI9SjqyuA9D3-OoG&hl=en
 

So maybe this post isn’t “Evri”-thing you wanted to know about Paul Allen—

in fact, you can find that here:

http://www.evri.com/person/paul-allen-0x49a77.html

 

But it’s still fun to see Allen in candid mode. :-)_________________________________________________________________________________

BTW—I know I’ve been away for awhile.

I’ve been a little sidetracked lately, doing some serious cyberspace exploration with my mini-pc, a Flipstart, and I’ve been having just too much fun with it to stop by.   But I’ll be back soon, I promise, with more six degrees connections, and a list of cool sites and other things I’ve discovered lately along the way.

Stay tuned…..

Sorry for being away for so long —-
 
I’ve been hanging with Brad and Angelina ……….
http://ok.co.uk/celebnews/view/954/Brad-and-Angelina-to-marry-at-sea/
 
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20196636,00.html
 

 

Starting new companies……
 

 www.mineboxx.com
 
http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/venture/archives/135164.asp
 
http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2008/02/18/story4.html
 http://www.evri.com/about.html

 
Sticking up for my homeboys against the whole NBA (except for Mark Cuban ) ……….
 

 
 
Doing Some Remodeling ….
 
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7761738065392890378&q=south+lake+union&ei=SN4fSNeWNpDCqAPssdm3AQ
 
And Accepting Awards…………
 
http://www.worldscreen.com/newscurrent.php?filename=ncta033107.htm
 
http://www.variety.com/awardcentral_article/VR1117983178.html?nav=news&categoryid=1983&cs=1
 
http://media-newswire.com/release_1064357.html
 
http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/0,28757,1733748,00.html?iid=redirect-time100
 
 
All of those awards…where in the world am I going to keep them all???
 
 
OH, WAIT A SECOND…..THAT’S PAUL ALLEN’S LIFE, NOT MINE…..:-)

 
The truth is, I’ve just been really busy doing a lot of pretty mundane things.
 
This has been a quiet Spring for Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen, but I imagine that Allen’s most uneventful day would seem pretty exciting in comparison to mine. 🙂

———————————————————————
 
Here is a quick glimpse of just a few of the things that Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen has been doing recently:
 
 
—– Paul Allen was one of only two NBA owners who voted against moving the Seattle SuperSonics team to Oklahoma as the new Sonics owners wanted.  As reporter John Canzano noted, although from a business standpoint Allen had the most to gain from a “yes” vote, he put his own interests aside, stood up to NBA Commissioner David Stern and 28 other NBA owners and voted “no” in the best interests of the people of Seattle.
That took guts. Way to go, Paul!
http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf?/base/sports/120857553122610.xml&coll=7
 
—–Allen’s Brain Institute is continuing to push the frontiers of Neurology, giving away expensively acquired medical research findings in order to help other researchers to find cures for diseases of the brain that much faster.  In March, Paul Allen’s Institute launched 3 new landmark Brain Atlas projects focusing on the human brain, developing brain and spinal cord. The projects “have vast potential to help scientists worldwide gain new insight into neurological diseases and disorders.”
http://www.alleninstitute.org/content/Press/2008_0313_PressRelease_NewProjects.pdf
In addition……

“The Institute will create three new Web-based atlas resources that map gene activity in the brain and spinal cord. These include an atlas designed to provide insight into gene expression in the human brain; an atlas of the developing mouse brain designed to illustrate and enhance understanding of gene activity across multiple stages of development from birth through adulthood; and an atlas of the mouse spinal cord designed to inform research into spinal injuries due to disease, disorder or trauma.

The new atlases will be officially known as the Allen Brain Atlas (ABA)—Human Brain, ABA—Developing Mouse Brain, and ABA—Mouse Spinal Cord. Upon completion, the atlases will be made publicly available on the Internet at no charge to users to encourage widespread use and scientific collaboration.”

See…
http://www.paulallen.com/NewsDetail.aspx?id=178
 
Although the Brain Institute’s latest developments have not been met with as much fanfare as the first time it made a major scientific breakthrough, Time Magazine has not forgotten to recognize Allen for his achievements. This is the second year in a row that Time Magazine has nominated Paul Allen as one of its “100 Most Influential” (for 2008).  Check it out below: (Excerpt written by Thomas Insel and Story Landis)
 
“If the brain is science’s great frontier, you need someone to lead the expedition—someone with smarts and curiosity, not to mention a large bank account to finance the journey. In the terra incognita of the brain, that’s Paul Allen.  Co-founder of Microsoft, owner of three sports teams and lead backer of SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 made the first private manned space flight, Allen, 55, is also head of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, which was founded in 2001 with the goal of mapping the brain, cell by cell and gene by gene. His scientific team began with the mouse brain and finished the job in 2006, posting all the data online. Scientists everywhere now have a free neural GPS to learn where and how specific genes are expressed—a vital tool for studying similar functions in human brains.The institute has now begun its own effort to map human gene expressions, hoping for insight into the molecular basis of consciousness and creativity. Allen founded his institute in the belief that with the right tools you can transform the speed of science itself. Not many people accomplish that even once. Allen is doing it yet again.”
 
http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1733748_1733754_1735855,00.html  *
—– And this is not the only honor that Allen will be receiving in May.
See…
At the NCTA conference this month, Allen will be among those receiving the cable industry’s top honor, the Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership, which is “presented annually to individuals who excel in both business and personal commitment to their colleagues, and whose accomplishments merit the recognition of the entire cable industry.”
 
 Watch for the “battle of the bands” during the conference, which will include a performance by Paul Allen’s band. http://www.capitolvalley.net/2008/04/im-headed-to-the-big-easy-for.html .
 
(BTW—-If you’ve been invited and have a video camera, please, please, please use it that night, ok? We seriously need a Youtube of Paul Allen in concert! 🙂
 
I’ve already found a few videos of my favorite musician on the Web—but could certainly use another one… 🙂
Check out these links: 
 
(Paul is the guy in the baseball cap)
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1260080481509617254&hl=en
 
Ok, the video above is pretty cool—Allen is performing with Spinal Tap and a number of other musicians during last year’s Live Earth Concert at Wembley Stadium in London. But it’s also impossible to tell whether Allen is a good guitarist or not in the midst of so many rock musicians.
 
So—check out this video from 1995—many, many years ago. Here is Paul Allen back in his bearded days, performing with “The Paul Allen Group” at a Ticketmaster event in Santa Barbara, California. It’s absolutely priceless, and you’ve got to admit, this guy plays a pretty mean guitar! 🙂
 
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7736241993066088463&q=%22paul+allen%22&ei=rC0ZSI9SjqyuA9D3-OoG&hl=en
 
And here is one more site to check out for a taste of Allen’s own music.  Most of the songs on this album were written by Allen, and all of them were performed by his band, Grown Men.
 
http://www.grownmen.com/interior.asp?section=clips
——————————————————–
What else?
In April, Paul Allen was awarded an honorary Ph.D in Science from the Watson School of Biological Science in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.  In addition, during the last few months he has been founding startups, buying up wireless airwaves, donating to charities, “scouting” in Spain for his Trail Blazers, and basically having a really good time, as you can imagine!
———————————
What a remarkable life!
 
______________________________________________
______________________________________________
*(BTW—It is interesting to note how Time defines “Influential.”
 
“The TIME 100 is not a hot list. It’s a survey not of the most powerful or the most popular, but of the most influential. Influence is hard to measure, and what we look for is people whose ideas, whose example, whose talent, whose discoveries transform the world we live in. Influence is less about the hard power of force than the soft power of ideas and example.”)
 

Just a quick note—

If you haven’t seen it already, you might want to check out Bill Gates’ awesome Keynote Speech at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last Sunday:

See…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEWMC4usElM

 Gates’ Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen was there too, supporting his old friend, sitting in the front row of the Palazzo Ballroom next to Viacom’s Philippe Dauman.

I’ve listed a few links to some first hand accounts of the CES show below. One reporter had a particularly interesting story, as he had the rare opportunity to talk to Allen before the show.

Apparently Allen has lost a lot of weight recently, and when Seattle Times’ Brier Dudley remarked on it, Allen said this: 

“I’ve got a trainer.”

I thought Allen was just stating a fact, and that he had actually hired a trainer (Matthew McConaughey, maybe?)—until I saw the Gates video. 

But now I think—no kidding—that he was cracking a joke.

(Watch the video and you’ll get it.)

I’ve heard through the grapevine that Allen has a good sense of humor—a “dry wit.” Maybe Dudley caught a glimpse of it Sunday night.

And if that’s true, it’s not a bad joke…..not too bad, anyway…:-)

Allen has a few good reasons to be in a joking mood right now.  Over the holidays he was celebrating in style at St. Bart’s,  jamming on his guitar aboard his 414 ft. yacht, Octopus with rockers Jon Bon Jovi and Robbie Robertson.

See…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/02/bon-jovi-entertains-alis_n_79163.html

And he had company. Celebrity guests at his Octopus party included Steven Spielberg, Denzel Washington, Billy Joel with wife Katie Lee, Harvey Weinstein and bride Georgina Chapman, Penny Marshall, Tom Freston, Linda Evangelista and Peter Morton, financier George Soros, Rebecca DeMornay, LeeLee Sobieski, Vivi Nevo and Ziyi Zhang, Charles Simonyi and Martha Stewart, Lorne Michaels, and Antonio “LA” Reid of Island Def Jam Records.

Afterwards Allen came back to Seattle to watch his football team, the Seahawks, score another big win, leaving them in the running for a Super Bowl bid again this year. Check out this great video of Allen and Seahawks fans after the game:

http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/thebigblog/archives/128891.asp

Not to be outdone, Allen’s Portland Trailblazers scored a victory the very same day, and owner Allen, who had arrived straight from the NFL game to support his NBA team, was again cheered on.

See…

http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf?/base/sports/1199604300319530.xml&coll=7

So things have been going pretty well for Allen lately.

Here’s hoping for at least one more joke before the Consumer Electronics Show is over.

————————————————————–

CES Links:

http://www.g4tv.com/CES/index.aspx

http://www.cesweb.org/default.asp

http://www.microsoft.com/events/executives/billgates.mspx

http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/brierdudley/2008/01/paul_allen_beaming_about_hawks.html

http://bigtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2008/01/06/sony-ces-press-conference/?source=aol_quote

http://www.forbes.com/2008/01/07/bill-gates-CES-technology-internet-cz_bu_1206gates_print.html

http://voices.allthingsd.com/20080107/ces-keynote-bill-gates-chairman-microsoft/

Answers to The Six Degrees of Paul Allen Anniversary Contest 

 So the prizes didn’t jazz you, eh? C’mon, how many people do you know who have a Darth Vader Jump Drive? Oh well, I had to choose between giving out a Star Wars USB Drive or a new Xbox 360 Elite, and I knew that no one would want one of those, so….:-)

(But seriously, you might want to check out Dynamism’s site.  There are a few really cool items for sale including some sharp-looking futuristic sunglasses that double as a 50-inch plasma screen T.V. when connected to your video Ipod—well, something that feels like a 50-inch screen T.V., anyway—the “I-Theater” sunglasses are actually small enough to fold up and put in your pocket!   Or you could check out the  iTech Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard –why lug around a real keyboard when you can flash a virtual lighted keyboard and type on just about  anything? (see… http://www.dynamism.com/i-theater/main.shtml and http://www.dynamism.com/virtual-keyboard/main.shtml   ). Pretty cutting edge stuff, you know?  

 But anyway—let’s get back to the contest ….. I know you’re just dying to know the answers, so here they are!  

Question: 

(1) MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) of Albuquerque, N.M. announced “The World’s First Microcomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models,” the Altair 8800 PC, on the cover of the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics. Shortly afterwards, a couple of guys called MITS’ owner Ed Roberts and told him that they had a BASIC interpreter for his computer, the Altair.  One of them later went out to meet with Roberts, discovering on the plane that he and his partners had forgotten to write the loader for the program! He hastily finished writing the loader as he flew in to New Mexico and demonstrated the completed program, BASIC, at MITS headquarters to Ed Roberts and his staff. Fortunately the program worked, and Robert hired him as MITS Director of Software Development.  Who was he?  

Answer: Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen. http://startupgallery.org/gallery/printPage.php?ii=20  http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2000/sept00/09-0525bookff75.mspx  Also— See Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews’ biography, “Gates; How Microsoft’s Mogul Reinvented an Industry—and Made Himself the Richest Man in America” pp.68—76. 

The story goes something like this…. Paul Allen and Bill Gates were friends who had worked with computers since high school. They had been following the development of microprocessors, and knew that they had tremendous potential.  One day Allen was walking across Harvard Square when he saw the headline of the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics—“World’s First Microcomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models”—with a photo of an Altair computer on the cover.  www.vintage-computer.com/1975.shtml  

He knew that this was what he and Bill Gates, then a Harvard student,  were waiting for. The Altair was a computer with limited capabilities and no software—yet at the time it was a breakthrough machine—-other mainframe computers of the day were huge, expensive refrigerator-like contraptions—and here hobbyists had the exciting opportunity to own their own, affordable PC!  For 1975 it was like something out of a science fiction novel. 

Allen and Gates had never seen an Altair, but had designed a simulator for another business they had started together called Trafodata.  They knew it was possible, then, to design a software program for the Altair on a large PDP-10 computer.  Harvard just happened to have one of those, and Paul Allen took on the task of designing a simulator for the program they would be writing for the Altair. Bill Gates then started designing the Basic programming language itself. A third friend from Harvard, Monte Davidoff, worked on the math routines for the program.

Tall and bearded, Allen was the oldest-looking person in the group, so he was chosen to meet with MITS Director,  Ed Roberts to demonstrate the program the guys had invented. When Allen arrived at the Albuquerque airport, he expected to meet a professional in a business suit. But MITS director Ed Roberts was instead an earthy-looking guy who arrived in a pickup truck. Roberts’ company, MITS, was located in a dusty strip mall that also housed an office supply shop and a massage parlor. It was not exactly the Ritz. But Allen was not the only one who was surprised. Roberts was equally disconcerted when the software professional who was listed on Trafodata letterhead as  “President” of the company could not even afford the cost of an overnight stay at a local hotel!  Nonetheless, the next day, when the Altair had passed all of its memory tests and was ready for Allen’s program, the software that Allen and Gates wrote for the computer actually worked!

 Paul Allen returned home to greet his friend Bill Gates with a brand new Altair computer provided by MITS and a new title, “Vice President and Director of Software at MITS.”  

(2) The Rose Garden Arena, located at One Center Court in Portland, Oregon, opened its doors on October 12, 1995. The stadium, which is often used for concerts and other events, is the home of Portland’s professional basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers. The guy who originally footed most of the $262 bill for the stadium also currently owns the Portland Trail Blazers. What is his name? 

 Answer: Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen.  Allen purchased the Portland Trailblazers from Larry Weinberg in 1988 for $70 million dollars. The team was his first major purchase since Microsoft went public in 1986, and his first purchase of a professional sports team (though it wouldn’t be the last).  The team is still a favorite with Allen, who recently spent millions of dollars on new players this year in order to give the Blazers a winning edge in the upcoming season. 

 (3)  Seven tug boat crew members were plucked from icy seas off Port Alfred a couple of days ago in a dramatic sea rescue involving the luxury super yacht, the 414ft. Octopus. The maritime drama started at around 2pm on 8/23/07 when the tug boat, called Douala Tide, mysteriously sank 31 nautical miles off Port Alfred in heavy seas. The Octopus was one of the first ships on the scene and managed to rescue seven crew members of the tug. Who owns the Octopus?  http://www.dispatch.co.za/2007/08/24/Easterncape/abdrama.html  

Answer: Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen.  Allen owns the megayacht Octopus, which was at one time the largest privately owned yacht in the world. Allen was reportedly not on board at the time of the rescue but the crew members of his ship were the heroes of the day when they saved the lives of seven people during a violent storm near Port Alfred, South Africa. The 414 ft yacht crew responded to a distress call that was sent out to whomever was nearby, and Allen’s ship was large enough to withstand seas so heavy that rescue teams could not come close to the area  for several hours. 

 (4) The Seattle Seahawks football team was purchased in 1988 by real estate developer Ken Behring.  Eight years later, when Behring decided that he wanted to move the team to Los Angeles— much to the chagrin of Seahawks fans—another guy stepped in and eventually bought the team, thereby keeping it in Seattle. (For fun, check out this article from The Seattle Post-Intelligencer written in 1996: “SOS: Seahawks Mess Not About You” by Laura Vecsey. (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/archives/1996/9604030018.asp )  In 2002 the new owner helped build a new stadium in Seattle for the team called Qwest Field. In 2006, this same owner took the Seahawks to SuperBowl XL. Who was he? 

 Answer: Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen.  If you have a chance, read Laura Vecsey’s editorial (above), written at a time when saving the Seahawks and keeping them in Seattle was a Quixotic dream held by a few  diehard fans. In 1996, SOS—the Save Our Seahawks group  who showed up to meet the players on their expectedly brief return to Seattle—were thought of as the “poor betrayed fans, who go down fighting like Don Quixote against the windmill.”    Enter Seattle’s Clark Kent, Paul Allen.   Although Allen’s father played football, Allen bought the team before he became an avid football fan, more than anything else as a favor to his hometown. The postscript for this story is that Allen purchased the Seahawks and then helped to build a stadium, eventually taking the team to the Superbowl. Check out this video of Allen raising the 12th Man flag at the NFC championship game the year the Seahawks went to the Superbowl. As Paul Allen appeared before a packed stadium crowd at that game, the marquee flashed “He Saved Our Seahawks” and the fans cheered so loudly that it shook Qwest Field Arena.  What a moment! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjhRaYj8sTc 

(5)  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the largest charitable foundations in the world. The Foundation was established in the year 2000 and is dedicated to “bringing innovations in health and learning to the global community.”   Who founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? 

 Answer: Bill and Melinda Gates. 

See.. http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1186811,00.html   http://www.gatesfoundation.org/default.htm 

What the Gates’ are doing is truly heroic. See this excerpt from Time Magazine:  

“Every year malaria kills 1 million people—most of them African children under age 5. When Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, 50, and his wife Melinda, 41, were looking for ways to give away their prodigious wealth, they assumed that such monumental problems were being worked on. Instead, Melinda says, they found a “vacuum that does need to be stepped into.” Step they did: the Gates Foundation now provides more than a third of the world’s entire malaria-research funding, and it’s paying off. The most effective drug to treat the disease, naturally occurring artemisinin, is in devastatingly short supply. But last month Gates-funded scientists announced that they had created the technology to manufacture artemisinic acid synthetically. Within five years, the cost of a lifesaving supply is expected to drop from $2.40 to 25 cents. Lead researcher Jay Keasling says it would not have been possible without a $43 million Gates grant. “I had companies call me and say, ‘This is great, but we can’t give you any money. We can’t make a profit on this,'” he says. But even if millions are saved from malaria, there will be more diseases and more death. The Gateses’ most profound influence has been to change expectations. Their belief that every life should have equal value, backed by their $29 billion endowment in the foundation, has injected hope not only into global health but also into their other priorities: public education, public libraries and at-risk families. The couple demands from grantees the same relentless focus on results expected of Microsoft employees and takes away the classic excuse for failure: not enough money. They have inspired others—from medical students, who are entering global-health fields in unprecedented numbers, to governments, which are putting billions into Gates initiatives. Says Jimmy Carter: “This is the most important foundation in the world.” 

(6) This famous photo, taken in 1978, depicts the early Microsoft crew. 

See… www.answers.com/topic/microsoft-staff-1978-jpg  One of the co-founders, a young looking guy with blonde hair is seated on the far lower left of the photo. His co-founder is seated on the far lower right sporting a beard and long hair.  Who is the co-founder seated on the right in this picture?  

 Answer: Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen.   Often this photo is depicted with the caption: “Would you have invested?” These 11 early Microsoft employees look more like they belonged in a commune than as a part of one of the most successful companies of all time.  But behind the long hair and beards were the people who laid the foundation for the founders’ vision of  a “computer on every desk and in every home all running Microsoft software.”  

(7) Vulcan Productions (www.clearblueskyfilms.com),  an independent film company, has produced a number of movies since it was founded including the Emmy winning documentary, PBS’ “Rx For Survival” and the Peabody Award winning “Black Sky,” a documentary about SpaceShipOne, the spaceship that won the Ansari X-Prize in 2004. Who is the Chairman of Vulcan Productions?  

Answer: Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen (are you beginning to see a pattern here :-)???

See  http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=16619   http://www.clearblueskyfilms.com/TemplateHome.aspx?contentid=1   http://www.clearblueskyfilms.com/TemplateDocumentaries.aspx?contentId=66  

(8)  This computer mogul is also a rock musician who has performed with numerous musicians including Dave Stewart, Dan Aykroyd, Carlos Santana, Little Feat, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mick Jagger and Peter Gabriel.  In 1999 he cut an album with his rock band, Grown Men.  On the album, special thanks were given to Dave Stewart, Peter Gabriel, Dan Aykroyd and the crews of the Meduse and the Charade,  two megayachts that this guy owned at the time.  He most recently performed with Spinal Tap at former Vice President Al Gore’s Live Earth Concert at Wembley Stadium in London. Who is he? 

 Answer: Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen.

See..

Paul on guitar

http://soe.stanford.edu/about/pop_allen.html  http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/techtracks/archives/2006/03/

Paul Performing at the Recent Live Earth ConcertScroll sideways to video #58 Spinal Tap’s “Big Bottom” (You’ll have to wait a moment for the menu to appear—there’s a commercial that appears first. The menu is on the left…..”play clip” segment 57-63.)  http://entimg.msn.com/i/ExperienceData/p1-7/us/x.htm?sh=LiveEarth&ep=le_london and  https://within6degrees.wordpress.com/2007/07/12/being-paul-allen/

Paul’s “Grown Men” Rock Band Site:  http://www.grownmen.com/interior.asp?section=who 

(9) This tech wizard is connected within six degrees to a number of famous people including Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Princess Grace Kelly, photographer Annie Leibovitz, writers Truman Capote, Ian Fleming, John Steinbeck and Mark Twain, President Franklin Pierce, artists Georgia O’Keefe and Pablo Picasso, statesman Nelson Mandela and his Council of Elders, Former President Bill Clinton, scientists Carl Sagan and James Watson, musician Paul McCartney, director Martin Scorsese and actors Tom Hanks, Eric Idle and Scarlett Johansson—of The Perfect Score.  What is his name? (Hint: he wrote PC BASIC).  

Answer: Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen. (See previous posts of this blog)  

(10) In 1999, Seattle P-I’s movie critic William Arnold wrote this article about the revival of a nearly demolished theater in Seattle called the Cinerama. Fill in the name of the person he’s talking about at the end of the quote–( eg. Who saved the Cinerama?): 

“It may sound like shameless hype, but there’s no other way to say this: the survival and restoration of Seattle’s Cinerama Theater in the late 1990s is simply one of the greatest success stories in the whole checkered history of movie theater preservation in America. When the theater’s 35-year lease ran out in March 1997, no exhibitor was even vaguely interested in the once-luxurious movie showcase at Fourth Avenue and Lenora Street. The Seattle media wrote its obituary, and no sane observer gave the naive, grass-roots “Save-the- Cinerama” campaign the slightest chance of success. But two years later, the Cinerama is not only still standing, it’s undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation, and will reopen April 23 as the most technologically advanced, state-of-the-art cinema, not just in Seattle and the Northwest, but arguably on the entire planet.  A year ago, in what was supposed to be the Cinerama’s final week, I took a last, sad tour of the long-neglected facility — cringing at the water-damaged walls, crumbling screen, broken seats and dilapidated fixtures that seemed almost beyond repair. Late last month, I wandered through the same space and found it had been not just lovingly restored to its full 1963 glory, but transformed into a kind of nirvana for movie lovers — a theater so chock-full of extras and innovations that it’s hard to list them all……….”   See… http://seattlepi.nwsource.com

Answer: Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen.

The story of the Cinerama goes like this: (Excerpt from… “Eight Ways to Save a Cinema” by Lisa Gray, Houston Chronicle)

”In the late ’90s, Paul Allen was renting a video when he saw a petition
to save Seattle’s Cinerama Theatre from being razed to make way for
downtown development. The Microsoft mogul remembered the theater from its 1960s
heyday, and he loved its giant screen. He signed the petition.

And then — you see where this is going — he bought that whole block
of Seattle, including the theater. Through his holding company, he spent
millions of dollars to restore the Cinerama to its groovy glory, complete
with retro mohair seats. At the same time, he updated the
single-screen, 808-seat theater for the digital age, making it one of the highest-tech
movie theaters in the world.
Allen hooked up with AMC Theatres, and the Cinerama now operates as a
first-run movie house, the kind of place where people line up to see
Snakes on a Plane. Seattle Weekly readers regularly vote it the city’s best
theater.   

Does Allen think he’ll make his money back? Jason Hunke, Allen’s
spokesman, says the theater operates at a profit and the mogul may develop an
empty parking lot next door. But Allen’s investment was about saving the
theater, not about wringing the maximum return on his money.  The Cinerama, Hunke
says, “is his gift to the city.” 

Seattle’s Clark Kent strikes again!!!

________________________________________________________________________ 

So those are the answers to the Six Degrees of Paul Allen Anniversary Quiz!  When it all comes down to it, this was not such a hard test after all, was it? 🙂  

 Now to start on this next year’s Six Degrees links to Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen, including Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, architect Frank Gehry, the Antikythera Mechanism and The Earl of Sandwich…..Stay Tuned!   (In the meantime, “Darth” and I will be going…..:-)

Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen is one of those guys who gets more interesting the more you read about him. 

The guy is involved in everything you can imagine, in every area you can imagine with everyone whom you can think of. 

I was thinking about this sometime last year when I told a friend that I thought that everything in the world could be linked to Paul Allen within 6 degrees. You’ve heard of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, right? Well, ironically, a few days after I said that to my friend, I read that Paul Allen and Kevin Bacon were performing together on stage aboard one of Paul Allen’s yachts during the 2005 Cannes Film Festival! 

 Six degrees of Separation is basically the idea that anyone can be connected to anyone else through a chain of acquaintances with no more than 5 intermediaries.   One day I was playing around with my laptop and thought it would be fun to invent a new game based on that theory called “Six Degrees of Paul Allen.” The point of the game is to try to link Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen with anyone or even anything—within 6 degrees. And that’s how this blog was born.

On September 4th, this blog will have been around for a year.  And I have to tell you, it’s been a blast! I’ve spent last year trying to find new links between Paul Allen and remote celebrities and even historical figures from a 100+ years ago and that task has been easier than I thought it would be—which leads me to believe that the Six Degrees — “Small World” theory might actually be true, especially when it comes to people like Allen, who really get out there.

Before I do anything else, I want to thank you guys for reading my blog—you have no idea how much you make my day by stopping by!  Serious kudos also go out to Matt Mullenweg (http://photomatt.net/about/)  and the Awesome WordPress Blog Masters, primary enablers of my Blog Stat addiction (almost 14,000 site views and counting!!!:-) — you guys rock!!!  And Google —- it’s such a thrill to see my blog translated into Portugese, etc.— it is so cool! Really, thank you, you guys, for giving me a chance :-)!

Since this is an Anniversary issue, I thought it might be fun to do something out of the ordinary—so here is the “official” Six Degrees of Paul Allen Anniversary Contest.  Unlike the used salad shooter and the video tape rewinder in the shape of a sports car, there is actually a real prize for this contest—a 1 Gigabyte USB Drive (see below). So I’m thinking that someone might actually want to enter the contest, and if not, I’ll send the prize to myself and be the first person on my block with an R2D2 Jump Drive!  Anyway, see if you can be the first to answer the questions below in the comment section, and if you’re the first to answer all 10 questions correctly by 9/4/07 at midnight, I’ll send you the prize. No, really, I will…..:-)***

So here goes…..

1) MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) of Albuquerque, N.M. announced “The World’s First Microcomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models,” the Altair 8800 PC on the cover of the January 1st 1975 issue of Popular Electronics. Shortly afterwards, a couple of guys called MITS’ owner Ed Roberts and told him that they had a BASIC interpreter for his computer, the Altair.  One of them later went out to meet with Roberts, discovering on the plane that he and his partners had forgotten to write the loader for the program! He hastily finished writing the loader as he flew in to New Mexico and demonstrated the completed program, BASIC, at MITS headquarters to Ed Roberts and his staff. Fortunately the program worked, and Robert hired him as MITS Director of Software Development.  Who was he?  

2) The Rose Garden Arena, located at One Center Court in Portland, Oregon, opened its doors on October 12, 1995. The stadium, which is often used for concerts and other events, is the home of Portland’s professional basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers. The guy who originally footed most of the $262 bill for the stadium also currently owns the Portland Trail Blazers. What is his name?  

 3) Seven tug boat crew members were plucked from icy seas off Port Alfred a couple of days ago in a dramatic sea rescue involving the luxury super yacht, the 414ft. Octopus. The maritime drama started at around 2pm on 8/23/07 when the tug boat, called Douala Tide, mysteriously sank 31 nautical miles off Port Alfred in heavy seas. The Octopus was one of the first ships on the scene and managed to rescue seven crew members of the tug. Who owns the Octopus? http://www.dispatch.co.za/2007/08/24/Easterncape/abdrama.html 
 

 4) The Seattle Seahawks football team was purchased in 1988 by real estate developer Ken Behring.  Eight years later, when Behring decided that he wanted to move the team to Los Angeles— much to the chagrin of Seahawks fans—another guy stepped in and eventually bought the team, thereby keeping it in Seattle. (For fun, check out this article from The Seattle Post-Intelligencer written in 1996: “SOS: Seahawks Mess Not About You” by Laura Vecsey. ( http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/archives/1996/9604030018.asp ) In 2002 the new owner helped build a new stadium in Seattle for the team called Qwest Field. In 2006, this same owner took the Seahawks to SuperBowl XL. Who was he? 

 5) The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the largest charitable foundations in the world. The Foundation was established in the year 2000 and is dedicated to “bringing innovations in health and learning to the global community.”   Who founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? 

 6) This famous photo, taken in 1978, depicts the early Microsoft crew. See… www.answers.com/topic/microsoft-staff-1978-jpg  One of the co-founders, a young looking guy with blonde hair is seated on the far lower left of the photo. His co-founder is seated on the far lower right sporting a beard and long hair.  Who is the co-founder seated on the right in this picture?  

7) Vulcan Productions (www.clearblueskyfilms.com),  an independent film company, has produced a number of movies since it was founded including the Emmy winning documentary, PBS’ “Rx For Survival” and the Peabody Award winning “Black Sky,” a documentary about SpaceShipOne, the spaceship that won the Ansari X-Prize in 2004. Who is the Chairman of Vulcan Productions? 

 8.) This computer mogul is also a rock musician who has performed with numerous musicians including Dave Stewart, Dan Aykroyd, Carlos Santana, Little Feat, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mick Jagger and Peter Gabriel.  In 1999 he cut an album with his rock band, Grown Men.  On the album, special thanks were given to Dave Stewart, Peter Gabriel, Dan Aykroyd and the crews of the Meduse and the Charade,  two megayachts that this guy owned at the time.  He most recently performed with Spinal Tap at former Vice President Al Gore’s Live Earth Concert at Wembley Stadium in London. Who is he? 

 9) This tech wizard is connected within six degrees to a number of famous people including Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Princess Grace Kelly, photographer Annie Leibovitz, writers Truman Capote, Ian Fleming, John Steinbeck and Mark Twain, President Franklin Pierce, artists Georgia O’Keefe and Pablo Picasso, statesman Nelson Mandela and his Council of Elders, Former President Bill Clinton, scientists Carl Sagan and James Watson, musician Paul McCartney, director Martin Scorsese and actors Tom Hanks, Eric Idle and Scarlett Johansson—of The Perfect Score.  What is his name? (Hint: he wrote PC BASIC).  

 10) In 1999, Seattle P-I’s movie critic William Arnold wrote this article about the revival of a nearly demolished theater in Seattle called the Cinerama. Fill in the name of the person he’s talking about at the end of the quote–( eg. Who saved the Cinerama?):

“It may sound like shameless hype, but there’s no other way to say this: the survival and restoration of Seattle’s Cinerama Theater in the late 1990s is simply one of the greatest success stories in the whole checkered history of movie theater preservation in America. When the theater’s 35-year lease ran out in March 1997, no exhibitor was even vaguely interested in the once-luxurious movie showcase at Fourth Avenue and Lenora Street. The Seattle media wrote its obituary, and no sane observer gave the naive, grass-roots “Save-the- Cinerama” campaign the slightest chance of success. But two years later, the Cinerama is not only still standing, it’s undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation, and will reopen April 23 as the most technologically advanced, state-of-the-art cinema, not just in Seattle and the Northwest, but arguably on the entire planet.  A year ago, in what was supposed to be the Cinerama’s final week, I took a last, sad tour of the long-neglected facility — cringing at the water-damaged walls, crumbling screen, broken seats and dilapidated fixtures that seemed almost beyond repair. Late last month, I wandered through the same space and found it had been not just lovingly restored to its full 1963 glory, but transformed into a kind of nirvana for movie lovers — a theater so chock-full of extras and innovations that it’s hard to list them all……….”   See… http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movies/cine08.shtml

—————————————————————-

OK–The first person to answer all 10 questions correctly and write the answers on the comment section below by Sept. 4, 2007 at midnight EST will receive a 1 Gigabyte Star Wars Mimoco USB Drive from Dynamism, the company that sells Paul Allen’s mini-pc, the Flipstart. See… http://www.dynamism.com/usb-star-wars/main.shtml ***

Good luck, guys!!! 

———————————————————— *** J
I’m not sure I really have to do this, but just in case someone thinks
his or her answers should have shown up first and he/she should have
won, I don’t want to spend my life savings buying Star Wars themed
USB drives for everybody, you know? 🙂
So…..
By entering the contest you agree that your answers are not “consideration” and that I don’t owe you anything; contest is void where prohibited, subject to availability, and good only where Dynamism ships and as long as the shipping fee costs less than the item itself. (Note–Dynamism is not affiliated with the contest nor this blog–the company just has a lot of fun stuff, including cool-looking jumpdrives…:-)
Don’t enter if…..you’re even remotely connected to spam, if you’re coming from a site that’s not ‘G’ rated, if the WordPress Akismet thinks you’re spam, or you send emails to a lot of people who don’t know you on a regular basis. And if you think you should have been first, but your answers don’t show up first below, I’ll give you sympathy but not another USB Drive—basically this is just for fun, guys !!!!

Good Luck!!!

‘Ever wanted to be someone else? Now you can….’ 

That line was the promo to the movie, “Being John Malkovich”   http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120601/ 

The movie featured a little door on the 7 ½ floor that lead into the mind of actor John Malkovich.

But just for fun, let’s change the script a little.  Let’s say that you’ve discovered a similar little door in the wall underneath your desk; a portal to another dimension of reality that leads not into the brain of John Malkovich, but directly into the mind of Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen.

Wouldn’t it be fun, just for a week or so, to step through that door and see what’s on the other side?

 It is true that Paul Allen is a remarkable person. But he also has a very, very interesting life. So let’s step on in and take a slice of life tour through the “Paul Allen Experience.”

…………

Now, before we go, let me brief you a little about the world you’re about to enter… Let’s start with the basics:    

 Here’s a copy of this year’s Wired, Time, Seattle Magazine and Discover. As you can see, you’ve been interviewed, dubbed a “hero,” pictured on a magazine cover, hailed as one of the world’s most influential and chosen as “person of the year.”  The Brain Institute you founded a few years ago just made a major scientific breakthrough, but it’s not the first time you’ve tried to change the world. A couple of years ago you helped to jumpstart the private space travel industry with a really brilliant spaceship designer, Burt Rutan. You’ve been renovating the city of Seattle for awhile now. And then there’s that “Basic” thing you invented years ago and that company you co-founded with Bill Gates that nobody ever seems to forget about.  And, of course, the story’s not over yet; you still have a few ideas up your sleeve.

What you do:    You are the CEO of some really big companies, you have a few gazillion dollars in pocket change, you own 2 professional sports teams, and things are going really well. A couple of years ago your football team went to the SuperBowl. And your basketball team is not doing too badly either (more on that later).

What you own:   You also own—well—a lot of stuff. In addition to some other toys and some really valuable art, you are also in possession of a few Megayachts, (the 414 ft. one is parked in Australia right now), a submarine and a couple of nice jets that take you to your many gorgeous mansions in beautiful cities all around the world. 

What’s happening now:   A month or two ago you were partying with a few celebrity friends at the Cannes Film Festival when you discovered that your basketball team, The Portland Trail Blazers, had just won the NBA lottery, entitling them to the first choice in the NBA Draft. The news created such a frenzy of excitement among Trail Blazer fans that your team sold 3000 season tickets in one week, thereby reviving a phenomenon called “Blazermania.”

And, oh yeah, you like to play the guitar.

————————————————————– 

O.k., let’s get started. You are entering the “Experience” on June 28, 2007. And as Paul Allen, you and your staff have a few decisions to make……

1….On June 28th you choose the number one Draft pick—phenom Greg Oden—for your basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers. Click on the Trail Blazers link below and choose the icon that says “Portland Selects Greg Oden” to watch the actual moment the choice was made, how it aired nationally and how the fans reacted.     http://www.nba.com/blazers/news/2007_draftcentral.html  

 The Experience: Watch the excitement generated by a simple phone call—a phone call that you got to make because, well, you’re the owner of the team.

2….Afterwards, with a little extra pocket money, you, Blazers owner, Paul Allen, do a little player trading and buy up a few more hot draft picks, just to make sure that you make it to the NBA Finals this year.  http://www.nba.com/blazers/news/Trail_Blazers_Acquire_Draft_Ri-230217-1218.html  http://www.nba.com/blazers/news/Trail_Blazers_Acquire_Steve_Fr-230245-1218.html    http://www.portlandtribune.com/sports/story.php?story_id=118340914108691400    

 The Experience: This is real-life NBA Monopoly, and you own the bank.

3….A few days later, on the 4th of July, you jet off to Europe to attend an exclusive party, the Dom Perignon Oenotheque 1993 International Launch hosted by Karl Lagerfeld and super model Claudia Shiffer, held at a private mansion in Paris. Some of the celebrities who join you there include Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes, Paz Vega, Maria Bello, Pedro Almodovar, Zhang Ziyi and Mia Maestro.   http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/domperignon/28866/

Your date for the evening is a beautiful French actress named Aure Attika.  See … http://pro.corbis.com/popup/Enlargement.aspx?mediauids=%7b506e9a89-3fe0-4739- adad-7272d984af66%7d%7C%7bffffffff-ffff-ffff-ffff-ffffffffffff%7d&qsPageNo=1&fdid=&Area=Search&TotalCount=302&CurrentPos=2&WinID=%7b506e9a89-3fe0-4739-adad-7272d984af66%7d   and dvdtoile.com/Filmographie.php?id=6993   

The Experience: Need I say more?

4….On July 7, 2007, you’re in London, backstage at Wembley Stadium with British actor Ricky Gervais and a group of young friends. You’re at London’s Live Earth Concert, one of a number of concerts that were hosted around the world to raise awareness about climate change issues.*1 The upbeat concerts, which featured more than a 100 music artists and celebrities appearing across the globe, were organized by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, and attended by billions of fans, including over 10 million who watched it via MSN streaming video. The reason why you’re backstage at Wembley right now is that you were invited by your friend Al Gore to perform at the concert too. 

http://www.liveearth.org/?p=226

http://www.salon.com/ent/music/feature/2007/07/08/live_earth/index_np.html  http://www.wireimage.com/searchresults.aspx?cbi=3342&s=al%20gore&sfld=C  http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2007-07-05-live-earth_N.htm  http://www.wembleystadium.com/events/pastevents/liveearth.htm  

So, several minutes later, you and a number of other Bass guitarists from rock bands like Foo Fighters, James Blunt, Madonna, Bloc Party and Beastie Boys are introduced by newly reunited Spinal Tap* and brought onto the Wembley Stadium stage.  The stadium is packed, and as you look out over the sea of fans jamming to the music, you begin to play Spinal Tap’s tongue-in-cheek song, “Big Bottom” on your guitar, accompanied by Spinal Tap and all of the other musicians onstage.

 

Here’s the video —-(Note: you’re the guy in the baseball cap)

Scroll sideways to video #58 Spinal Tap’s “Big Bottom” (You’ll have to wait a moment for the menu to appear—there’s a commercial that appears first. The menu is on the left…..”play clip” segment 57-63.)  http://entimg.msn.com/i/ExperienceData/p1-7/us/x.htm?sh=LiveEarth&ep=le_london 

The Experience: Check out that crowd—is that cool or what? You’re a rock star, man!

And now we’ve come to the end of our tour. We hope that you’ve enjoyed the Paul Allen Experience.

Before you go, don’t forget to take a souvenir photo of your trip… (see Gettyimages link below).

Thank you, come again….

http://editorial.gettyimages.com/Search/Detail.aspx?axd=DetailPaging.Search|1&axs=0|75311819%2c75310590%2c75310353%2c75309335%2c75304894%2c75304807%2c75303893%2c75302275%2c75301480%2c75300360%2c75298446%2c75298047%2c75297513%2c75297320%2c75297150%2c75295795%2c75295750%2c75295748%2c75294775%2c75294773%2c75294770%2c75294277%2c75293858%2c75293856%2c75293416%2c75293415%2c75293396%2c75265577%2c75263776%2c75263296%2c75263254%2c75031140%2c74336436%2c74153467%2c74153462%2c74079982%2c74079290%2c74079289%2c73745004%2c73578657%2c73687379%2c73539310%2c73645874%2c73465454%2c73408586%2c73408469%2c73408458%2c73389532%2c73389455%2c73389446%2c73392428%2c73392384%2c73556097%2c73556052%2c73556031%2c74679586%2c73533779%2c73533777%2c73279992%2c73279984&id=75265577  (p. 28 of 60, Gettyimages–Also check out 29-31–scroll to the right)

Footnotes:

* Http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088258/    BTW, “This is Spinal Tap” is one of the funniest movies ever made–if you haven’t seen it yet, you’ve got to check it out. The reunited group that performed at Live Earth was the actual rock group from the movie…..

*1     You’re quite an environmentalist in your own right, and here’s the proof:

Your “OneWorld Challenge:”   http://www.seattleyachtclub.org/Sailboat/sycAmCup/Public%20Releases/sycAmCupPRO6-17-02/

You invest in alternative energy companies:   http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=22595&hed=Startup+Chases+Nuclear+Fusion§or=Capital&subsector=VentureCapital   

Over 14% of Allen Family Foundation charity $$ goes towards environmental causes.

 http://www.pgafoundations.com/TemplateMain.aspx?contentId=12

And, your Vulcan Productions movie company produced a PBS show on the issue:   http://www.pbs.org/strangedays/episodes/onedegreefactor/

 

*2 Six Degrees Trivia:

Your new one degree connections include the musicians who performed at Wembley Stadium for Live Earth London:

Beastie Boys United Kingdom Hip-hop/Rap
Black Eyed Peas United Kingdom Hip-hop/Rap
Bloc Party United Kingdom Rock
Corinne Bailey Rae United Kingdom Pop
Damien Rice United Kingdom Rock
David Gray United Kingdom Rock
Duran Duran United Kingdom Rock
Foo Fighters United Kingdom Rock
Genesis United Kingdom Rock
James Blunt United Kingdom Pop
John Legend United Kingdom R&B/Soul
Kasabian United Kingdom Rock
Keane United Kingdom Rock
Madonna United Kingdom Pop
Metallica United Kingdom Rock
Paolo Nutini United Kingdom Rock
Pussycat Dolls United Kingdom Rock
Razorlight United Kingdom Rock
Red Hot Chili Peppers United Kingdom Rock
Snow Patrol United Kingdom Rock
Spinal Tap United Kingdom Rock
Terra Naomi United Kingdom Rock
     

 (From http://liveearth.msn.com/artists ) 

Next Page »