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Easy longevity teaser

April 27, 2012

It turns out that most people die from just a handful of diseases (think cancer and heart disease), and there is a ton of research about how to avoid those diseases.

If you take a few easy steps to avoid those diseases and some preventative steps to avoid the affects of old age, you will be well on your way to a long and vigorous life.


Becoming a publisher

April 27, 2012

A short conversation between Josh Kaufman, of The Personal MBA, and I on an online forum.  Thanks for the insight, Josh!


I started Personal MBA ( a few years ago as a side project. It’s now a six-figure publishing business that’s growing rapidly. Offers include trade published books, self-published books, online courses, live training, and consulting. (Recently, I’ve been moving to less consulting and more products.) I quit my job at a big corporation a few years ago to work on the business full-time.

I don’t have employees, have very low overhead, have zero consumer/business debt, and we’re in the process of building a house. I choose new projects primarily based on what I find most interesting, and I have no need to chase financing to grow.

My wife also runs a bootstrapped six-figure publishing business in a different market. That business was built in a lot less time, and she was able to recoup production expenses for three high-priced professional training courses that sell very well to an addressable market.

We also spend a lot of time with our daughter, which is why we both chose to build bootstrapped businesses.

Building a great bootstrapped business is definitely possible. Keep at it.


How did you go about finding a printer and distributors?

Btw, love the book.


Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

For book projects, I work with a trade publisher or publish myself, depending on the project.

If a trade publisher handles the project, they take care of printing and distribution. (One of the major benefits of trade publishers is that they’ll get you shelf space / promotion at major retailers.) I generally work with trade publishers if I think the book has mass market appeal that would benefit from broad distribution. (The threshold is 20k+ copies.)

If I’m self-publishing, I use Lightning Source ( They’re print-on-demand, and owned by Ingram, so you get instant distribution on Amazon and bookstore websites. Most bookstores will also list your title as “available for order” if a customer requests a copy by name. is great for one-off workbook or other specialty orders that don’t need retail distribution.

If I’m self-publishing electronically, I use my own delivery system and/or Amazon Kindle Direct publishing. Lots of control if you do it yourself, and/or hire specialized contractors.

Hope this helps!

A new search engine, Part 5

April 20, 2012

This comment ( by user Hippee-lee suggests a possible model for a profitable search engine: 

I think you ask a great question. I’ll bite. Here is what I have in mind that will change my world.

Small data. My data. A 1999 google like interface into an index of me: my email, my documents, images and video that I’ve collected. Nice to haves would be a copy of the various conversations I have had on third party social media sites.

This index should be set up in a way that I can easily include a copy of it in my Trust that will pass my assets to my daughter (note – I am increasingly thinking that the raw data, much of what either lives in the cloud or gets backed up to CrashPlan, is an asset that should be part of the an Estate that gets passed to the next generation). She should be able to add to it when she is a old enough and (if I am so lucky) my grandchildren’s grandchildren should be able to search for vague terms in the stories that their great grandmother (my daughter) told them when they were young. They will get links to relevant emails or documents that help them explore the past. They will be able to see the connections between images takes a the same time or location in a way that lets them explore their history. As I understand this tool better I will be able to narrate a one way version of my story to those of future generations.

As I said above, a tool like this would solve my problem. Do you think it would be useful to a computer literate, smart but non hacker/programmer type? Any ideas on how you think one should approach this problem?

 A personal search engine would be a pretty cool product, but the key task here would be to differentiate yourself from Evernote (  One possible route is seamless integration with a person’s digital tools (including websites) so that the search engine will gather the information in the background.  Of course, this will need  a high level of security because it would contain so much information about a person’s life.

The best of Western Civilization, Part 2

April 18, 2012


The Space Shuttle Discovery, on its transport 747, flying over the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D. C.

Photo by Wendy Couchman.

Scary Maps

April 17, 2012




Ice and snow:

The best of Western Civilization, Part 1

April 17, 2012


The International Space Station over Northern Europe at night.  The Soyuz capsule and solar panels are framing Paris.  The English Channel, and then London, are a little farther to the right.

Picture by astronaut André Kuipers (


April 6, 2012

From TheFacebook, a map graphic of Africa intended to fight misconceptions about Africa’s size and general “immapacy”:

This graphic is cool, except that it displays some “immappacy” itself (along with poor arithmetic).

1) Labeling the British Isles, overlain on Madagascar in the large graphic, as the United Kingdom is wrong. The Republic of Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom, only Northern Ireland is. Moreover, the United Kingdom also consists of three Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man) and 14 overseas territories, including the British Antarctic Territory which itself is 1.7 million sq. km.
2) Labeling the 48 contiguous states in the large graphic as the United States is wrong. The United States also consists of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Marianas Islands. Alaska itself is over 1/3 of the total land area of the United States of America.
3) Labeling the European portion of France as France in the large graphic is incorrect. Missing are the Overseas Departments and Territories of France, which include French Guiana (83534 sq km) and the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (439781 sq. km).
4) According to Wikipedia, the areas given for China, USA, France, Sweden, Japan, Norway, and Bangladesh for are too low in this graphic; and, the areas given for Mexico, Spain, and New Zealand are too high.
5)The small graphic of the United States overlain on Africa is wrong because it excludes the US territories discussed above.
6)The small graphic of the continent of Europe overlain on Africa is wrong because it excludes integral parts of Europe, such as Scandinavia, the Baltics, Eastern Europe, and European Russia.
7) According to Wikipedia, the continent of Africa, 30221532 sq km, is smaller than the combined land area of the continent of Europe, USA, China (excluding Taiwan), India, and Japan (the combined total is 33312703 sq km with Continent of Europe = 10180000, USA = 9826675, China (excluding Taiwan) = 9640821, India = 3287263, Japan = 377944).
8) The list of top 100 countries by land area probably has a lot of mistakes too, but I only took the time to notice a big one at the top. When you include the area of the Australian Antarctic Territory into the total for the Commonwealth of Australia, it is the second biggest country on Earth. Note that 1961’s Antarctic Treaty only stipulates that no new Antarctic claims will be made and that it does not rule on any claims existing at the time the treaty went into affect; thus, leaving any claims made prior to the treaty as still valid.