Alexa, Where Is Santa?


That’s right, NORAD and Amazon have teamed up to provide Alexa integration with the NORAD Santa Tracker. All you need to do is ask Alexa, “Where is Santa?” on your Amazon Echo Device(s) and it will request that you accept notifications in your Alexa app on your phone. Once done, you can ask Alexa where the jolly old elf is and it will give you the exact location and offer up some very interesting facts that kids and adults will like. Alexa will even sing you some Christmas songs.

Give it a try this Christmas Eve and enjoy!


Mailing a Lost Wallet-Did You Know?


Chalk this up to one of the many things I didn’t know (#BradDidntKnow), and I bet you didn’t either! Ever lose your wallet or find one laying out in a public place? Good news, people are more honest than you probably perceive as is evident in this scientific video from YouTube scientist Mark Rober where he dropped 200 wallets in various large and small cities throughout North America.

But . . .

Did you know if you find a wallet that you can drop a wallet in any United States postal box and they will deliver it to the stated address on the ID in the wallet? Now you do. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Stuck on “Mars”


patchIt seems fairly certain that if not in my lifetime, in my children’s lifetime there will be humans on Mars. NASA and the University of Hawai’i have teamed-up for the past several years and have sent small groups of people to a white dome on the top of a volcano on the Big Island of Hawai’i to simulate living together in a small space for a long period of time. The program is called HI-SEAS (Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation). As of me writing this blog post, there have been six missions simulating the space simulation.

What sparked my interest in this project is a podcast documentary called “The Habitat” that just came out chronicling the one-year Mission IV of HI-SEAS which was completed in August of Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 4.05.26 PM2016. The podcast uses audio diaries sent to the team at Gimlet Media to tell the story of the six “astronauts” over seven episodes that are each around a half-hour in length. I highly recommend you listen to this if you are at all interested in human space exploration. Each episode chronicles a new aspect of the crew and may make you think how difficult it could be sending humans million’s of miles away to the red planet.

The podcast is available on iTunes and your other favorite podcasting apps. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Better yet, tell me if you would like to try this or would you ever consider going to Mars?


Unnoticed Design-Gas

Good design should be simple and intentional. Many times, however, it goes unnoticed. For example, the always there, but yet unseen gas gauge that is in every car and truck made today. Look closer though, I am talking about the icon for the gauge.
If I were to show almost anyone other than a young child where that icon is from, they would most likely say it is from a car of some type.

Fuel gauge

Now here is a question. Which side of the car is a Volkswagon Passat’ gas cap to fill up the car? Left or right? Have you ever driven someone else’s car or a rental and you drive up to the filling station and you realize you are on the wrong side? Why do I ask? Well like I said above, sometimes good design goes unnoticed. Get into your car and look closer at the gas symbol, notice anything else? An arrow? Yes, the often unnoticed arrow that is intentionally there to do one thing—tell you which side of the car your gas cap is on.

Simple, intentional and often unnoticed.

And now you know!




Taking pictures at the zoo is a great exercise. With hundreds or even thousands of animals, there are always moments to be captured.

Yesterday was a beautiful March day, so we as a family ventured to the Milwaukee County Zoo in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As we always do, we visited the Ape exhibit where they have several lowland gorillas on display.

Today was a special day as I caught a special moment with Baby Zahra sleeping on her mom, Naku. Six-month-old Zahra (Swahili for Blossom) was born September 9, 2017.

See my other zoo post from 2012 titled “Mandrill”, also from the ape exhibit.

Ice Planet


Muskego Lake, Muskego, WI in Winter

Muskego Lake, Muskego, WI | February 22, 2018

The world looks so different from up in the air. This was taken during my arrival into Milwaukee, WI. This is a Muskego Lake in Muskego, WI. I love the textures on the ice—it looks as though it is of another world.

Four Trends Impacting Employee Benefits in Canada

Note: This is my first blog post (below) for the company that I work for: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. The post is about four trends that are changing pensions and benefits in Canada, but in general, these topics are also something the U.S. and other countries are seeing and dealing with. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Cannabis, pharmacogenetics, blockchain, artificial intelligence . . . here’s a look at trends that might impact employee benefits in Canada.

Source: Four Trends Impacting Employee Benefits in Canada